Melvin Mora vs. The Karma Train …..

August 03, 2009 |

So, Melvin Mora is feeling “disrespected.” Indeed, life has such pitfalls, huh?

I heard about Mora’s clubhouse meltdown, a few moments after it happened, yesterday afternoon. That’s right, before Jason Berken threw batting practice to the Boston Red Sox, in front of 40,000+ chowdaheadz, the Orioles suffered an offensive assault in the confines of their own clubhouse.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the details. The veteran was dejected at the reality of sitting on the bench for the 3rd time in 4 games. And, his frustration was aimed directly at Dave Trembley.

To hear Mora’s comments, an out-of-towner might suspect the 3rd baseman is enjoying a respectable season, of say a .300 batting average and 15 homers. Add 44 points and 12 dingers and this would be Mora’s season stats. Yep, he’s struggling …..

Yet, he thinks it’s a sign of disrespect to be “riding the pine.”

“I don’t appreciate the disrespect, because I’ve been playing hurt for a guy who won’t respect you. I don’t deserve it.” “I need to have my respect. This is not a guy who just came to the Orioles. This is a guy who’s been here for nine years,” Mora said.

Fair enough.

Mora has indeed been here 9 years and he’s been paid handsomely for his contributions. In fact, for his decade of service and a couple All Star appearances, the Orioles have paid Melvin Mora nearly $40 million dollars, including $9 million, this season.

The Orioles have awarded Mora a raise in salary, every season. And, they’ve obliged his desires and negotiated right to remain in the 410 area code. The Orioles have made Melvin Mora a very wealthy man. I call that RESPECT.

Yet, as we sit here on August 2nd, and after 104 games, Mora has hit just 3 homeruns and accumulated a measly 27 rbi’s. That’s an average of a homer every 6 weeks. At this rate, he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get released.

I don’t think Melvin Mora’s benching is directly rooted in poor production and/or management “disrespecting” his contributions. As I’ve mentioned in the blog’s title, I suspect we’re dealing with a typical case of KARMA.

Uh huh, we know all about the “what comes around, goes around” tales of everyday life, right? It sounds like the Karma Train has pulled up to Mora’s locker and dragged him, kicking and screaming, onboard.

Think about it …..

Melvin Mora is leading us to believe he really wants to win and he pretty much conceded these desires during yesterday’s rant. “I need to sit down in my house, see what team (is) thinking to win,” Mora said. “I know here they’re rebuilding and they bring a lot of young guys here, good players. I know it’s time for me to move on.”

Really …..

Does Melvin Mora really wanna win?

If so, I’d like to know how many times Andy MacPhail OR Mike Flanagan OR Jim Beattie approached the embattled 3rd baseman with an opportunity to “join a contender” in past seasons. In fact, I wonder if he was given such a choice, over the last few weeks.

Hey, he wants to play for winner – he said it, yesterday. Yet, I’d be willing to bet he’s rejected opportunities to join winning organizations during past trade deadlines. If so, the desire to win can’t be too strong.

Thus, I’d suggest we really look at this situation for what it is …..

Melvin Mora knows he’s struggling. He’s well aware that he’s hit 3 stinkin’ homeruns in the course of 4 months time. He’s truly underachieved and he looks like a guy sliding down that slope known as the “backside” of his career.

And, he most surely knows his only shot at proving any worth to a potential 2010 suitor is to GET HOT and start producing. As Drew said in his Sunday blog, Mora won’t be in Baltimore, next year. So, if he wants to play, he needs to impress other teams.

That won’t happen on the bench.

For the Orioles part, they have no obligation beyond paying Melvin Mora. He has no obligation to playing time and we’re approaching that stretch of the season where “rebuilding teams” (as Melvin eloquently put it) put young, unproven players in the lineup, at the expense of veterans.

Now, I’m not saying there isn’t a greater purpose with Mora’s benching, as well …..

Alas, I truly suspect he’s been that DARK CLOUD that rained down on more than a couple potential deadline deals, aimed at improving the long term picture of the franchise, in the July’s of 2006, 2007, 2008 and this season.

I have no problem believing Mora has exercised his no-trade clause on more than one occasion. Hey, he negotiated this privilege and the Orioles foolishly granted it. But, I also have no problem believing they feel no urgency to help him pad next year’s resume’.

It’s just business.

In fact, this might benefit the Orioles in their prospective relationship with Mora. Who succeeds him, in 2010? Ty Wigginton? Josh Bell? Not yet. So, perhaps, Melvin Mora was on the scope for a 1-year deal, and the Orioles just want to ensure they won’t contend with much competition.

As recently as a week ago, Mora publicly disclosed that he wanted to play 4 more seasons. That’s a real stretch. But, I could’ve seen a season or two. And, if he was humbled by the opportunity to keep his family in Harford County, the Orioles might’ve considered him part of bridge to the future.

But, these meltdowns are not helping his cause. Maybe, he’s just a guy who needs a different environment. Or, he might just be one of those guys who needs to answer for all the roadblocks he’s created over the past few years.

In my 42 years, I’ve grown to embrace and appreciate the reality of what comes around, really does go around.

Call it what it is ……

The KARMA TRAIN awaits Melvin Mora and he doesn’t like it.