Having botched the road jerseys decision this week in full view of their (dwindling) loyal fan base, the O’s have the unique opportunity to almost immediately provide those same disenchanted fans with a make-good of sorts. And unlike the road jersey fiasco, an off-field topic, this make-good attempt would involve an on-field change.
National baseball writer and ESPN contributor Buster Olney is reporting the Texas Rangers are likely to shop 1st baseman Mark Teixeira sometime in the not so distant future, particularly if the Rangers continue to languish in last place in the AL West. Teixeira, who makes $6.2 million right now, is set for a huge payday after the 2008 campaign. Some are speculating, if his numbers stay the same or improve, that he will probably command a $120-$130 million dollar salary (over 7 or 8 years) when he hits the open market. And with Scott Boras as his agent, you know Teixeira’s not going to come cheap.
So here’s a chance for the Orioles to once-again prove to their fans that they DO care about them.
The directive is quite simple. “IF MARK TEIXEIRA IS AVAILABLE VIA TRADE, BRING HIM TO BALTIMORE.”
Texas is going to drive a hard bargain for “Tex” and well they should. Olney speculates that the Yankees won’t be party to a trade scenario with the Rangers…they’ll just wait until he’s free in a couple of years and back up the Brinks truck for the young man and he’ll spend the bulk of his remaining career in the Bronx. And let’s face it, if Teixeira ever DOES hit the open market, the Yankees will be the logical high bidder for his services.
But they can’t get him if he’s in Baltimore. Of course, that means a number of things have to happen:
a) The Orioles actually have to show interest in doing a deal with Texas. That means someone in the Warehouse needs to return phone calls or e-mails. I know, from personal experience, communication is NOT a strong-point over at Camden Yards. Better yet, here’s an idea: How about if the O’s make that first call? Get the ball rolling by checking in with the Rangers just to see if, in fact, they might be willing to part with Teixeira.
b) After the initial interest has been confirmed, the Orioles actually need to be serious. No more “last minute” offers…no more “we’ll give you 3 years but not 4 years on the deal”…no more “well, the kid is from Severna Park, maybe he’ll play for $12 million a year instead of the $18 million he’d get in New York.”
c) The O’s need to get Teixeira signed to a new deal BEFORE the trade is consumated with Texas. And they also have to be willing to part with some real talent in this trade scenario. Yep, they MIGHT have to part ways with an Erik Bedard or Daniel Cabrera or – gasp! – Nick Markakis. Side note: I guess there’s not much chance Texas wants Melvin Mora and Jay Gibbons right? lol
d) That means sour-britches Pete has to pony up some dough. Big dough. REAL MONEY. Not that $23 million/3-year deal that Aubrey Huff hoodwinked them into signing back in December. We’re talking major, major bucks. Pete has the money, of course. Hell, I’m giving him $2.00 a month for that Wayne’s World TV network he’s running and so are you…and you…and you. I’d gladly let them steal another 50 cents a month from me for the next 7 years if that meant Teixeira could become an Oriole. Maybe if we all agree to let Pete charge us $2.50 a month for Wayne’s World, he’ll have enough cash to bring us the local All-Star we so desperately need – and want.
The question, of course…or questions…will the Orioles follow through and complete steps 1-4 above?
Fairly soon – maybe by the All-Star break – the Teixeira trade talks will heat up and the time will come for the Orioles to once again step to the plate and do something to reward their fans.
This week – in what has now become hauntingly typical fashion – they spitefully ignored the logical and long-standing pleas from their fan base to add the word “BALTIMORE” to their team uniform/logo, etc. for the 2008 season. This week – again – they proved they only care about what THEY think – not about what the “great unwashed” think.
When Mark Teixeira is made available by the Rangers this summer, the Birds will have the chance to be a player.
As one of a dying breed here in Baltimore – a fan who follows the team every day – I’m demanding they pursue this deal for Teixeira with all of their energy and baseball accumen.
Will the fans win this time?
Let’s wait and see.