We needed to hear something like that as Orioles fans. I can’t tell you with certainty that there is a trade worth making this summer that will vastly improve the chances of the Orioles making the postseason. But I’d like to believe that if there were, the Orioles wouldn’t simply dismiss the possibility because it didn’t fit their fiscal strategy. Duquette either confirmed that or at least gave us hope to believe it. I’m VERY okay with the former and even sorta okay with the latter.
From the “maybe a leopard actually does change his spots file”, the Orioles’ decision to re-sign OF Adam Jones earlier in the season served as a potential “show cause” that the Duquette regime truthfully represented Orange & Black change. After doling out the richest contract in club history, there was true reason to believe the organization was willing to enter an era where spending big money for good players was set to become a regular option for the future.
That made Duquette’s “I don’t think the way to build a team is through free agency” statement during the Jones press conference particularly gut-wrenching. Even if the team has no real plans to increase payroll, it would have been nice to hear something more along the lines of “we will always consider every possible way to improve our team and deliver a winner to the great fans of Baltimore.”
It might not have really meant anything, but it would have felt great to hear as a fan. It’s fairly similar to the description “Tommy Boy” Callahan offered to the concept of placing a product guarantee on a box. Perhaps buying a Duquette line offering hope of the organization spending more money would be akin to buying “a guaranteed piece of sh*t”, but as a fan I would at least like the option to determine that for myself.
(If you’re not familiar with the Tommy Boy reference, stop reading. I just don’t think our columnist/reader relationship is worth furthering.)
By making the proclamation “we are going to do whatever we can to make the playoffs”, Duquette is either A-being wholeheartedly honest about the organization’s desire to make winning matter immediately or B-allowing us the opportunity to naively believe option A is possible despite the fact that nothing has truthfully changed.
Either way, it’s better than saying “acquiring a player of significance via trade isn’t really something we’re considering.” We want to believe the team is willing to do anything possible to win, and more importantly to win now. (And to win in the future. We want to believe the team is willing to do anything possible to win at all times. We want to believe the team only cares about winning and is in no way concerned about anything else.)
With that in mind, this type is meant to serve as a level of praise for Dan Duquette. Thank you for either reflecting the truthful statement that the organization will do anything necessary to win or at least giving us reason to believe that might be true.
Again, bravo sir.
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