The O’s must think the fans are stupid…

December 29, 2008 | Drew Forrester

Leave it to the Orioles and their foolish ways to force me to write a baseball blog the day after the Ravens make the playoffs. 

Last year, the O’s had a theme:  “Welcome to Birdland”.

This year, it must be: “Watch us – we’re TRYING to lose!”

How else can you explain the signing of Mark Hendrickson?  Hendrickson will be in for a physical later this week and, at some point in the middle of the night when the fans aren’t paying attention, the O’s will announce his addition to the team.  Of course, he fits in perfectly with the financial structure of the club, having made $1.5 million last year with Florida. 

THIS is what they’re spending the MASN money on…a guy with a 50-63 career record and a 5.07 ERA?

They won’t sign Derek Lowe because he’s, A) going to be 36 in ’09 – and B) expensive

But they’ll sign Mark Hendrickson because he’s, A) going to be 35 in ’09 – and B) cheap

I can’t believe it.  I mean, I know they’ve done some whacky stuff and all over the last few years and it’s painfully obvious that ’09 is setting up to be a 60-something-win-season-again – but signing Mark Hendrickson to a contract is a shock – and almost nothing they do anymore shocks me. 

Mark Hendrickson is how they’re going to improve their starting pitching?

Times must be tough at The Warehouse.

They’re fighting with Nick Markakis over roughly $12 million and knowing the O’s, they’re not budging. My source tells me Andy MacPhail tossed a 6-year, $57.5 million offer at Markakis.  Nick’s looking for $68 million over that same 6-year period.  

They’re fighting with their best player over about $12 million when they (supposedly) just offered a guy $150 million for 7 years. 

Anyone else understand why Markakis is brooding?

Talk about a kick in the family jewels.

“We’re going to take this kid who’s never played one game for us and offer him $150 million but we’ll fight with our best player over $12 million in six years.”

And they wonder why the players all want out of Baltimore?

Or, don’t want to come in the first place.

Unless you’re Mark Hendrickson.

Have you seen this guy’s numbers over his last three seasons?  Here’s some quick math on what he’s done as a starter in ’06 through ’08.  He started 59 games in that span.  Hope you’re sitting down.

5.2 innings per start 
5.4 strikeouts (p.s.)
3.17 walks (p.s.)
1.14 home runs (p.s.)
5.38 ERA (league average of 4.39 in that span)

Keep in mind that 46 of those starts came in Los Angeles and Florida, both known to be favorable to pitchers.

And part of the O’s “rebuilding plan” is to take him and and…and…what???  Lose?  

Fighting with their best player.

Signing a 35-year old pitcher who can’t get guys out. 

Not spending any money on quality free agents.

I just can’t believe it.

NOTE:  Stay tuned – the day AFTER the Hendrickson signing is officially announced, I’m going to add one hour of programming (5am-6am) and do a 60-minute “session” devoted solely to hammering the Orioles for this silly, bizarre, foolish signing.  Feel free to listen in as I lose my mind.