Okay, look, it’s no secret that the Orioles aren’t going to the playoffs this year… or next… or probably even the year after that.
But it doesn’t mean that this won’t be one of the more exciting seasons in recent memories.
You have the beginning of a real “youth movement” and an opportunity to see Orioles stars of tomorrow along with talented stars of today like Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts… at least for now.
I still think Roberts will be gone at some point. MacPhail will wait it out until some team comes calling with dreams of an ’08 World Series and a bevy of young prospects ready to be dealt.
There’s a lot of scenarios that could unfold this year. The team may show promise or the team may outright stink. Here are some best and worst case scenarios for this year’s roster:
JEREMY GUTHRIE (Opening Day Starter)
BEST CASE- See first half of ’07 season
WORST CASE- See last 10 starts of ’07 season (5.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio
that’ll make you want to cry.)
ADAM JONES (CF)
BEST CASE- Figures out Major League pitching and shows why he’s considered a future All-Star by nearly every baseball expert. In 2009 gives the Orioles an outfield that’s among the best in the American League.
WORST CASE- Proves that defensive liabilities during spring training were no fluke. Nor were his ’06 and ’07 K/AB ratio when he struck out nearly a third of the time. In fact, his propensity for “whiffs” is SO epic he makes Chris Hoiles (4.6 lifetime k/AB ratio) look like a disciplined hitter… or he suffers a career ending injury in early May.
AUBREY HUFF (1B/DH)
BEST CASE- Gets hit by a bus.
WORST CASE- Gets hit by a bus and lives.
MELVIN MORA (3B)
BEST CASE- With all the young talent around him (and maybe better help with those 25 kids he has so he’s better rested), Mora’s career is revitalized and he puts up numbers similar to ’04.
WORST CASE- He whines, he cries, he moans and before the all-star break, with a .240 average and a whopping 4 home runs, checks into a mental hospital for evaluation.
JAY GIBBONS (who cares)
BEST CASE- Sold to a league in the Phillipines.
WORST CASE- Sold to a league in the Phillipines where, owing to some perfectly legal pineapple juice and monkey spleen concoction, Gibbons rediscovers his power and is picked up by the New York Yankees where, in 2009, he’s voted the league’s “Comeback Player of The Year”.
NICK MARKAKIS (RF)
BEST CASE- He was just getting started in 2007. This year he improves upon those numbers as the quiet superstar makes the All-Star squad.
WORST CASE- Angered because he didn’t get the raise he wanted, his team sucks and he has ZERO protection in the lineup, Markakis becomes a sullen guy who “conveniently” suffers a season ending injury while accidentally talking to a reporter.
KEVIN MILLAR (1B)
BEST CASE- The “Cowboy Up” guy- whatever the hell that is- proves to be the tough out and the positive clubhouse force we keep hearing about. Even at the ripe age of 36 he shows that he still has some pop in his bat and, late in the season, gets traded to a playoff contender who,
mistakenly, thinks he can contribute.
WORST CASE- The only thing more annoying than his paltry offensive numbers is the fact that he keeps telling us the Orioles are playing “… good baseball right now it’s just that the breaks aren’t going our way.”
GEORGE SHERRILL (CLOSER)
BEST CASE- B.J who?
WORST CASE- “Oh, dear God, please make Chris Ray healthy again!”
DAVE TREMBLEY (MANAGER)
BEST CASE- Working with a bunch of talented, young kids and stressing
solid fundamental baseball, Trembley reinvents “the Orioles Way” as the
team surprises everyone and scrapes together 75 wins thus reminding all of us why we were so happy when Perlazzo got canned.
WORST CASE- Um, remember what happened last year when the “interim” tag was removed from Trembley? Uh, the Orioles lost 30-3.
I’ll do some more players later… Feel free to add your own in the comments section. Also…
Andrew and I start our weekday show on opening day. We’ll be on Monday thru Friday from 6-8pm and will continue to do the Saturday show as well.
Our show is not only funny but really offers a unique and interesting perspective on all things sports related.
WORST CASE- Andrew says the word “f%ck” before we hit the first “top of the hour” break and we’re immediately fired.
… Or is that the BEST CASE? Guess that depends on who you ask.