I’ll get my Gregg Zaun rant out of the way right off the bat here. It’s an embarrassment to watch this guy try to hit. You just can’t have gaping holes in your lineup like that, even if only on Sunday. I know there needs to be a backup catcher, but it’s obvious that the organization overestimated his already diminished productivity, and needs to just own up to the mistake and fix it. It wasn’t a $10 million mistake. It was $1.5 million. Cut your losses and bring in someone who fits with this team and can at least have productive at bats. I don’t need the guy to hit .285, but when you can’t move runners along AND you’re throwing balls into centerfield on steal attempts, I think your time is up.
It would have been great if Wieters would have asked to wear #9. Then what?
Speaking of Wieters, I’m a little sick of the hype already. I understand as well as anyone the promise and hope that he brings. I think that part of it is great. I also think he, much like Adam Jones, knows the game and knows the right things to say. Hopefully a week out of the spotlight (and primetime) will give Wieters a little gel time with his mates.
I think the extended hype bothers me mostly because they’ve dropped two in a row. I can’t handle the matter of fact way that Trembley conducts himself in post-game interviews. It’s haughty and condescending, and it’s mildly offensive. He comes off like some father who’s proud that his sons are finally growing up after all the lessons he taught them. I guess I’d just like to hear him answer some more specific questions and stop speaking so generally. Tell me who missed the sign when Aubrey Huff got thrown out on an apparent hit and run. Tell me why you thought Chris Ray was a viable option on Wednesday, (a game that Trembley obviously had put in the L column when they were down 8-3) but dispensable on Thursday. When did it become okay to not discuss the game itself?
He has to be aware of the standings and the importance of each and every ballgame. It can’t ever be ‘good enough’ to settle for a split when you’ve taken the first two of a four game set. Let’s be honest, that loss on Saturday was a bad one, and yesterday’s game was a one run ball game until the bullpen got their hands on it.
I’m well aware that the Tigers are no slouch and that the two guys they threw at us on Saturday and Sunday pitched pretty well. Still, it was no time for the Orioles to rest on their laurels. Had they managed to scratch out those two, they’d be a game under .500, 4 ½ games out. Instead, they’re 5 games under .500 and 6 ½ games out. Big difference.
If the organization is content to sit back and consider this a year of transition, and not to pursue winning games now as priority one, then they’re selling themselves short. They showed this past week that winning is a real possibility, but that it requires putting a team on the field that doesn’t put you at a decided disadvantage before the game even begins. Gregg Zaun has 4 RBIs in 118 AB’s. You can’t convince me that there isn’t a better hitting catcher somewhere in your organization or available as a free agent. Sure, he’s only one guy, but he’s one ninth of your lineup. 11%!
I guess the good news is that the Orioles will miss Felix Hernandez on their three game visit to Safeco Field in Seattle, which begins tonight at 10:10 PM EDT. The bad news is that the Mariners are set to send a southpaw to the mound for all three games to face the Orioles lefty-heavy lineup. The trio of Washburn, Bedard, and Vargas will force Dave Trembley to be creative in his lineup construction. It will be interesting to see how he uses Wigginton, considering the tear that Scott has been on.
Felix Pie, who hasn’t seen a pitch since Wednesday, should have probably just planned on meeting the team in Oakland on Thursday. But he’ll be there tonight in Seattle, taking up a seat on the bench, providing further evidence that this season was never about winning games.
I know, leave it to me to beat them up after the ‘corner turning’ week that they’ve had, but it’s frustrating to watch. Believe me, I thought the outpouring of support from the fans at the park this weekend was tremendous and encouraging, but hope and optimism are just table scraps when you’ve been starving for 12 years. Giving them a pass for ‘progress’ is far better than they deserve.