Strangely enough, we here at WNST.net have been taking a lot of heat this week from the handful of remaining Orioles sycophants and apologists.
But for the most, I think the community is rightly again at wit’s end, and www.freethebirds.net has an INORDINATE amount of traffic and if you HAVEN’T joined the "FAN UNION," please feel free to do so if you’re as pissed as we are that this civic disgrace continues day after day. (It only takes a minute and it’ll put you in the loop FIRST when we announce Free The Birds 2…if you join our text service, you WILL be the FIRST to know!)
Funny, I DID call into Andy McPhail’s crackly conference call yesterday and lobbed him a question regarding Russell Smouse and Lou Angelos sitting in on managerial interviews. He gave me a quaint answer about it not being "unusual," but I have my doubts already. In retrospect, I should’ve asked more questions about how and when he was approached by Peter Angelos about this job (I haven’t seen that one spoken to, but again, I don’t attend the "real" press conferences because they refuse to let me in the building because they’re scared to death I might actually ask a few questions on behalf of the fans).
But I’m still astonished that he took this job and I have little belief that he really knows how bad things are here — especially in the community.
This ownership group and all of its flunkies continually believe that if the team got better, it would solve ALL of their problems.
Everywhere I go, and everyone I meet — and I’ve talked baseball with literally HUNDREDS of people since Monday because I’ve been doing nothing but community appearances every night this week from Ellicott City to Timonium to the Inner Harbor — tells me that I’m in a VERY, VERY large majority.
People are PISSED at the Orioles, and READY to get galvanized to do a "Free The Birds" sequel — A "Free-Pete" if you will!
I’m getting more angry Orioles mail than I could possibly post here!
I ran into Jim Hunter at Cal Ripken’s joint today and I couldn’t even bring myself to talk baseball with him. Nothing against him "personally," but that’s gotta be the toughest, most thankless position on earth working for MASN. I honestly would NEVER work in this business if I had to roll into work and look over my shoulder every minute worried about telling the TRUTH about what’s going on and what an unbelievable embarrassment this week’s proceedings have been, especially when you consider that they are not even a SLIGHT departure from anything we’ve seen in the past in terms of bush league and inept in virtually every capacity.
Other than snookering McPhail and getting him here in the first place, it’s been a giant dramedy all week — Perlozzo’s slapstick firing, conflicting news, weird press conferences with the new "interim" manager that don’t include him, confusion by Flanagan and Duquette, concerns about Leo Mazzone, a DL injury to Tejada (plus the ensuing nonsense and obvious lying from Dave Trembley in San Diego yesterday), an injury to Bedard , and of course, the polite "no, thank you" from a very wise man named Joe.
And the kicker?
(And I’m sure this won’t warrant a return call from Andy McPhail upon his return from the hinterlands of Michigan…but I wasn’t expecting that anyway!)
Our new team president is taking his first weekend of work "OFF" while the team is in Arizona!
BUT NOTHING SHOCKS ANY OF US ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!
Every single SNIPPET of news (or perceived news) short of the actual hiring of McPhail that has come outta The Warehouse this week has been absolutely BIZARRE, even by THEIR already rock-bottom standards…
EVERY DAY THEY ONLY JUSTIFY WHAT WE DID LAST SEPT. 21!!!!
At least I’m not the only one who thinks so…
This is a snippet from Jayson’s Stark’s latest "rumbings and grumblings"…
This clipped part is from half-way down…
• Life with Peter Angelos, Part 1: True story: The Orioles’ entire baseball-operations department first heard about Angelos’ decision to hire Andy MacPhail when they read Buster Olney’s story on ESPN.com. Seriously.
Life with Peter Angelos, Part 2: Obviously, MacPhail never would have taken this job if Angelos hadn’t promised him he’d have nearly full autonomy. But one baseball official who has known Angelos for years told Rumblings: "I still question whether he’ll let Andy do what’s necessary. Andy will do a great job there if Peter lets him do his job. But Peter is Peter. So I doubt it." But another baseball man who has worked with Angelos says, "I know everyone is skeptical that he’ll really relinquish the reins. But I honestly think he’s had enough. I think the losing finally got to him."’
Life with Peter Angelos, Part 3: One friend of Joe Girardi told Rumblings this week: "If Joe were to ask me whether he should take this job, I’d tell him he’s nuts. I just can’t see him working for Peter Angelos. I’d tell him to wait for a better job."
Girardi’s buddies in the game say the one job he’d be interested in besides the Yankees, Mets and Cubs would surprise you. It’s the Royals, if Buddy Bell ever gets fired, because of Girardi’s respect for GM Dayton Moore.
• We’ve heard a lot of talk about how the Orioles’ bullpen undid Sam Perlozzo. But Perlozzo did his share to undo that bullpen, too. Until Danys Baez headed for the DL, four Orioles relievers (Chad Bradford, Jamie Walker, Chris Ray and Baez) were on pace to pitch in nearly 90 games this year. And here’s all you need to know about how insane that is: No pitcher in the history of the franchise has ever appeared in more than 76 games in a season. Those four, said one AL executive, "were totally abused."
• Don’t be surprised if the Orioles add Don Baylor to their managerial-interview list. But Dusty Baker was never a candidate for that list. Every indication is that MacPhail thought Baker wasn’t the right fit for this team.
• The other blockbuster firing of the week was Eddie Murray’s exit as Dodgers hitting coach. Dodgers players have told their friends that Murray was so headstrong and old-school that half the position players on the roster weren’t even on speaking terms with him.