My Response to Rex Snider

April 11, 2010 | Erich Hawbaker

I left this as a comment to Rex’s post, but I thought it might be a some more notice if I put it here too…

You’ve got some nerve, buddy. First of all, the date today is April 11, 2010. That date comes two months after February 8, 2010. And as of yet, I still don’t see anything in your bio that I could pick out and use to mock you the way you’ve done to me.

And you’re damn right I would have been booing if I had been there on Friday. If Gonzalez is the closer, his job is to go out to the mound in the 9th inning and get 3 outs. Thusfar, he hasn’t been doing his job. That upsets me, and it clearly upsets plenty of other people too (including you, who only bothered to say so after you were done hanging me out to dry).

As far as Gonzalez “going”, nowhere did I say that the Orioles should release him or never should have signed him in the first place. Going into this season, he looked like a very solid pickup. But if he’s blown two saves in three tries, something clearly isn’t right. I’ve heard Jim Palmer, Fred Manfra, and Joe Angel all mention that Gonzalez did not do well in spring training. And then last night, I read on my fantasy baseball page that the coaching staff has noticed that his mechanics have changed considerably since last year. While Trembley didn’t say so after Friday’s loss, he did (to his credit) admit before Saturday’s game that something had to be done.

I read an excellent blog yesterday by a Mr. Garyy Clark who made an excellent point. Why is it set in stone that Gonzalez has to be the closer just because he has the biggest contract? The job should go to the guy who can do it best. That’s how you win. And since you’re so much smarter than me, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about the phenomenon of players who do well for other teams and then fall off the table once they get their big contract here (Danys Baez, Sammy Sosa, and Albert Belle just to name a few). That has been infuriating to me over the years, and I’m sure plenty of other O’s fans would agree. Granted, none of that is Gonzalez’s fault, but if he wants to stay out of that club, he’d better get his act together and start earning his $6 million a year.

When I said that “Gonzalez has to go”, what I really meant was that it might be time for the Orioles to look to someone else to assume the role of closer until they figure out what’s wrong with him. If the Ravens were 1-3 instead of 3-1 because their kicker had missed two game-winning field goals, wouldn’t you be at least thinking of letting someone else try the next time the game is on the line?

I hope that this addendum to my earlier remarks makes me “accountable” in your eyes and that I’ve shown a little more class in my disagreement with you than you did in your disagreement with me.