Your Monday Reality Check: If not now, when?

July 30, 2012 | Glenn Clark

Your Monday Reality Check: If not now, when?

The good news is that no matter what happens before 4pm Tuesday, I won’t have to wear a Hooters outfit anywhere.

That’s good news for all of us.

If the Baltimore Orioles had made a trade “of significance” before our WNST Baltimore Sports Media Superstar finals last week at Hooters, I had pledged to don the whole garb. I was going to show up to the event in the white tank top (with padding), orange booty shorts and tights. (I had a listener ask if I had also agreed to wax, and I said I had. Looking back, I have no idea why I said that.)

Thankfully, the acquisition of INF Omar Quintanilla (even after getting three quarters of the way to hitting for the cycle Sunday) could not be argued as “significant” by much of anyone.

Don’t get the wrong idea. This wasn’t some sort of fetish. I had ZERO interest in donning tights…unless I was given an offer to replace Christian Bale in the next Batman installment. But truth be told I would have happily squeezed into the shorts if it meant Josh Johnson had been pitching against the Oakland Athletics this weekend instead of the San Diego Padres.

Following Sunday’s win over the A’s, the Birds have gone 8-9 since the All-Star Break. They’ve lost 22 of the last 36 games they’ve played overall, but they’re still 53-49 overall and just two games back in the AL Wild Card race.

Quick, back to the negative. The O’s have a -58 run differential for the season and despite being tied for second place in the AL East, ESPN calculates that they have a 6.2% chance of making the postseason. Despite the statistic being meaningless, I figured I’d pass along that the two teams behind the Orioles in the division (the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox) are given an 18% and 21.9% “POFF” respectively by the Worldwide Leader.

Here we are.

I’ve maintained that there’s little way to explain the success of the 2012 Baltimore Orioles as anything other than “an accident”. It hasn’t happened because GM Dan Duquette put together an overwhelming level of talent on the field before the season. It hasn’t happened because the pitching staff matured to a point where the “cavalry” evoked visions of Palmer, Cuellar, McNally and Dobson in Charm City. It hasn’t happened because the lineup has figured out a way to get the one big hit necessary when given the opportunity. It definitely hasn’t happened because the team has stolen runs with good base running and taken away runs with stellar defense.

The only tangible ways to explain the success of the Baltimore Orioles to this point are a stellar bullpen, sound leadership from Buck Showalter and a surprising amount of power lead by CF Adam Jones.

Despite the fact that pitchers like Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Anibal Sanchez, Francisco Liriano and Wandy Rodriguez and capable position players like Ichiro, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Johnson aren’t available anymore, there are plenty of capable players that are.

I do not believe anyone is making smoke and mirrors available however.

(I’ve thought that it would be REALLY funny however if the Birds were to acquire recently demoted Seattle Mariners 1B Justin Smoak and Milwaukee Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez. Get it? “Smoak and Ramirez?” I’m hilarious.)

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Glenn, just exactly what time does your act start at the comedy club ? Look, the Orioles are not going to pull the trigger on any big named players.. there just not. Attendance is up and Angelos laughs at the fans on his way to the Bank. Smoke and Mirrors again this year for the fans,when will we learn?

  2. Unitastoberry Says:

    The second coming of Frank Robinson isn’t going to happen. That being said enjoy the rest of the season and kudos to Buck for staying over 500 into late July with all the injuries and crap players who can’t field.Maybe a miracle will happen and they will compete into September . Buck will be manager of the year if that happens .

  3. Scott Says:

    God forbid that the Orioles trade a “prospect” for a proven major league player. Can you imagine how bad the Orioles would be if they had traded any of the following for an established major league player: Adam Lowen, Hayden Penn, Beau Hale, Daniel Cabrera, Matt Riley, Garrett Olson, Chris Smith, Rhadames Liz, etc.? Good thing the O’s held on to those guys as opposed to trading them while thier value as a prospect was high.

  4. Oriole85 Says:

    Scott,
    Wow that’s some easy Monday Morning QBing there, well I’d imagine if Machado/Bundy don’t work you’ll be saying the same thing in 5 years.

  5. Oriole85 Says:

    “Just last week, MASNSports.com said the Birds didn’t get far in talks with the Houston Astros about Rodriguez because they had questions about his velocity.

    In case you forgot, these are the same Orioles who brought in Jamie Moyer earlier in the season.”
    –>I agree with what the title of the article and I for one am sick of the 3-5 year plan every year. Given our track record, this might be our best shot for a while. I must take exception to this statement. That was on a minor league deal, where we gave up nothing. You can sign as many of these minor league deals for all I care which are low risk, low reward.

    (Edit from Glenn: Yes-but it’s asinine to suggest that you somehow know so much about pitching that you can figure out that Wandy Rodriguez is a bad idea and others can’t. You don’t have any pitching. You don’t need velocity. You need guys that get outs.)

  6. Scott Says:

    Oriole85:
    Granted, hindsight is 20-20. But I hope you will admit that after 14 years of losing, the fans are entitled to a new approach. Very clearly, the status quo is NOT working. I’m not suggesting that we mortgage the future of the franchise, but I for one don’t want to wait another 14 years for a playoff appearance. To many of us the lack of trades for proven players is based exclusively on the fact that established players are more expensive than unproven prospects and the owner has no interest in spending money to win.

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