Orioles had $48 million for V-Mart…what happened to it?

December 16, 2010 | Drew Forrester

offered him a paycut over his 2010 salary. They weren’t REALLY interested in giving Dunn the money he needed (deserved) but by at least making a token offer, the Orioles can say “we’re out there busting our humps trying to make the team better.”

Another question for Andy: “This is your fourth off-season as Orioles GM. In your tenure here, the club hasn’t made ONE “big splash”, “significant” or “franchise player” type signing. Not one. How do you expect fans to buy tickets when your most celebrated move has been a new manager? All of these players/”bats” have been available during your tenure in Baltimore and NONE of them have been signed — Teixeira, Beltre, Dunn, Werth, Guerrero, Thome, Holliday, Martinez, Crawford…”

Any of those players would have been considered a significant signing by your fan base. At the very least, you would have made good on your 2007 promise of “we’ll grow the arms and buy the bats”.

You might be shocked to know this, Andy, but you’ve actually spent MORE money on pitchers than hitters since you arrived 42 months ago.

And I’m not counting Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis. They were players you inherited.

Every year, and I mean EVERY year, you have deflected any criticism for your lack of “big bat” spending by offering a couple of throw-away lines that get eaten up and digested by the orange kool-aid drinkers, but aren’t as easily accepted by those of us that know better.

One of your best lines — “As soon as we think we’re on the verge of competing, we’re going to be a big player in the free agency market.” Well, you know what happens there, Andy. You become your own non-self-fulfilling-prophecy. You know what you’re doing — you’re postponing any major moves until you’re ready to compete, but you know you can’t compete until you make one of those major moves.

Personal note — I know you’re not a risk taker, Andy. I’m as confident in saying that as I am in saying that if Ravens have a 3rd and 2 with a minute to go in the game this Sunday against the Saints, Cam Cameron is calling for a pass play. To you, Andy, taking a risk is asking the guy at the local pizza shop to make your pizza “well done”. It might get to you a little burned around the edges…be aware of that. And while I realize there’s a big difference between spending $48 million on a baseball player and ordering a pizza, I also realize this: At some point you’re going to have to follow through on your promise of spending THE FAN’S MONEY (and that’s what it is, bro) and get some real players here. In other words…you’re going to have to take a risk on one of these high-dollar players, because, A) it’s part of the promise you made and B) the fans deserve your best efforts to improve the team.

And the other line that I love just got tossed out there earlier this week — “It’s just so difficult to compete in this division when you have the Yankees and Red Sox with their revenue stream and their payroll.” So why not leave the American League East? We all know the answer: You can’t. About 30% of the team’s annual attendance is made up of fans flocking south to watch the Yankees and Red Sox play in Baltimore. Move into another division and you lose that revenue. Try drawing 90,000 for a 3-game series against the Twins in August. Ain’t happening. The Orioles are in the American League East and that’s that. So please, please stop complaining about the Yankees and the Red Sox. You knew when you took the job what division your team was in…you signed up for this. Please stop complaining about it.

Just fix it, Andy.

Spend some money on good players and fix it.

I’m allowed to question your spending decisions because I’m a ticket buyer. In fact, your computer records will show I bought 44 tickets in 2010.

The next time you wonder about MY love for the team, take a quick survey of the folks at your radio and TV flagship stations and ask them how many tickets they purchased last year.

I’m also allowed to question you because I do a radio show every morning that focuses on your team and your product for six months every year.

I don’t get to ask you questions, of course, because your PR people have issued that edict based on the fact that we’re not a “rightsholder”. (Funny story — I AM allowed to ask questions of the Ravens and our station isn’t a rightsholder with them…but I guess you already knew that and I’m sure you know deep down how bush league it is that I’m not allowed to sit down and ask you questions that pertain to the baseball team).

There’s also this sub-plot that you’d be interested in learning more about — the story about how I’d probably get treated more professionally by certain members of your organization if, let’s just say, I happened to be of a different religious faith. Or of a different sex, perhaps.

But we’ll save those disclosures for some other day down the road when you and I have a coffee together and talk about things.

Don’t worry…I’ll pick up the check for the coffee.