Orioles today: MacPhail likes that hammock but we need some action

July 20, 2010 | Drew Forrester

For the most part, I’ve been overly kind to the Orioles this year.

Even though I was one of the goofs in town who predicted a “mid 70’s-win season” (76 to be exact), I haven’t taken out my frustration on them via The Morning Reaction or here, at WNST.net.

I’ve looked at it all the way I always do — fairly and with some eye towards what’s REALLY happened, which is to say the team has been hit with several key injuries and their horrid start contributed greatly to this miserable stretch of baseball that has them stuck on 29 wins on July 20.

But enough is enough.

This really is shameful, what’s happening now.

And at some point, Andy MacPhail needs to get moving with a plan that expedites the “rebuilding process”.  I know he’s a big fan of patience and all, but enough is enough.

Hire a manager for God’s sake.  That’s a start.

And watch the waiver wire in a few weeks and see if anyone tries to slide a big bat with a bigger contract under everyone’s unsuspecting nose.  If that happens, by all means, GET THE BAT.

The Apologists and the internet warriors who defend the team’s current dilapidated state by constantly saying, “we have to be patient” are now the true vocal minority.

And as Greg Bader once reminded us – in the year leading up to the decision to put “BALTIMORE” back on the road jersey – the team shouldn’t listen to the vocal minority.

The majority of fans are fed up with this stuff.  Well, I take that back.  The majority of fans don’t follow the team anymore.  But the few of us left who still DO care — and numbers-wise we’re more than the vocal minority, still — deserve better than this.

How on earth does it take a team this long to hire a manager?  Honestly…

That’s just the latest laughable thing going on.  We can’t even hire a manager right.

The baseball being played right now, particularly last night’s mail-in-version of an 8-1 loss to Tampa Bay, is a complete joke.  If these cats don’t have enough pride to get pissed off when they’re losing 10-1 and 8-1 on successive days – at home, no less – than they need to get smacked around a little bit on the radio airwaves and via the internet and through Twitter and whatever other means are used these days for people to air their feelings about whatever is on their mind.

There’s no sense in me singling out guys like Adam Jones or Matt Wieters or Brian Matusz or Chris Tillman or Ty Wigginton.  They’re all smart guys.  They’re keenly aware that they’re struggling.

Struggling…I can handle that.

But are they still busting their balls every game?  Are they?

I’m no longer sure of that.

And that’s the problem.  Getting beat is one thing.  Getting beat because your heart isn’t in it…that’s another story.

Adam Jones was quoted last week saying something about the season being a grind (true) and players needing to get away (true) and how everyone needs the chance to re-charge their batteries (true).

It’s that way for the fans too.

13 years of this has been a grind.  Fans have needed to get away…and many have gone away.  And it’s not easy for people to continue to support the team with all of this losing piling up.  We need something – anything – to re-charge OUR batteries.

Maybe something like a 4-game winning streak…

Oh, right, we just had one of those didn’t we?

And now we’re back on the slide, losers of 4 straight and still searching to crack that 30-win plateau.  And when the Birds won those four games in a row in Texas, it took every fiber of energy they had to do it.  Hell, Corey Patterson had to come up in a rainstorm and hit a game-tying grand slam with 2 strikes and 2 outs in the top of the 9th just to get one of those wins.  When we win a game, it’s by the skin of our teeth.  When the other guys win, they pound out 12 or 15 hits and run around the bases like they’re on Black Beauties.

29-63.  I have to say it aloud sometimes just to let it sink in.

Most of that, though, goes on the team’s front office and the methodical way they’ve tried to patch this club together on a relatively small budget and a wing-and-a-prayer on players who were flicked away by other clubs in the big leagues.  When you don’t go balls-to-the-wall to get better, you get b-slapped by the teams who do…and in the American League East, we’ve been slapped around so much we’re filing a restraining order against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays.

The Orioles have more facial bruises than wins this year.

Every off-season, the Apologists use this throw-away explanation as their crutch for the Orioles NOT signing big dollar free agents:  It goes like this —  “Why spend big money on (insert player’s name here), one player isn’t going to help us get to the playoffs.  We need 3-4 really good players to contend.”

Memo to the baseball-challenged:  You can’t get 3-4 good players until you get ONE of them.

In the winter of 2008, the O’s could have signed Mark Teixeira, but they gave him an embarrassing offer that merely satiated the fan base and Tex, of course, gobbled up the biggest offer in New York and that was that.  There’s one player…gone.

In the winter of 2009, the O’s could have signed Matt Holliday, but they once again failed to offer him anything reasonable (if they even REALLY offered him anything…I’d bet a grand they didn’t).  There’s two players…gone.

They also could have made an offer for Adrian Beltre – we did need a 3rd baseman last winter, if you recall – but he was too expensive and since we didn’t even make him an offer, we’ll never know what he would have done with it.  And don’t forget, Beltre would have blocked the expected dramatic rise of Josh Bell.  We can’t have that happen.

The Apologists will blabber about how “none of those guys were coming here anyway” and I’ll reply, smartly, with this:  “Yeah, well, when you don’t offer them anything, they sure aren’t.”

The point to all of that?  You have to sign SOMEONE to start the process of trying to sign the 3-4 guys you think will fill in your roster.  All we ever hear from the nitwit-bunch is this:  “you can’t sign that guy, ONE player isn’t going to help the team contend”.

That’s right.  One player can’t.

And neither can the three we signed this past winter.

Someone wake MacPhail up out of his summer slumber and remind him he has an obligation to the fans to fix this fuster-cluck.  We’re tired of waiting.  Enough is enough.

He was brought here to fix it.  So fix it.

And hire a damn manager.  It can’t be this hard.

It just can’t be.