The Cardinals named strike out king Mark McGwire Hitting Coach, but the Orioles had yesterday’s biggest swing and miss. Before I get too far I want to thank Nestor for having me in studio today to talk about The Buddy Project and our upcoming fundraiser (www.thebuddyproject.net/ball). I really appreciate the opportunity and had a lot of fun talking baseball on the show. I can attest that Nestor isn’t all that Nasty and is one of the good guys.
I must say that Nestor was pretty fired up about the Orioles not sending any current players to the Brooks Robinson tribute on Monday evening. I admire Nestor’s passion, the Angelos-run Orioles have just about zapped all of my mojo, and agree that current players should have been in attendance. I don’t blame the players. I did blame the players for not going to Elrod’s funeral, that was disgraceful.
The Orioles front office wasted a golden opportunity on Monday to begin bridging the gap between the Orioles glorious past and what they’ve been selling as a promising future. Andy McPhail should have called Brian Matusz, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones and strongly urged them to not only attend the event, but familiarize themselves with Brooks’ career and what’s he has meant to Baltimore. A DVD of Brooks’ highlight reel wouldn’t have hurt either. The fact that this didn’t happen signifies that the team doesn’t feel it’s important for the gap to be bridged, and that alone shows a major disconnect between the club’s leadership and the frustrated fan base.
As for the World Series I’m picking the MFYs in 6. I’m pulling for the Phillies, but I envision Lidge giving up a late inning momentum shifting homer in Yankee Stadium. I think the team’s are evenly matched and it should be an entertaining series, especially Game 2 with Pedro on the mound, but the Yankees hold the clear advantage in the bullpen and I think that puts them over the top. That being said I’d much prefer to see Ryan Howard hit a Series winning bomb off of Mariano Rivera. Fingers crossed.
When I was on with Nestor today I mentioned how not so long ago the Phillies looked a lot like the current Orioles. Through most of my childhood, with the exception of 1993, the Phillies were a terrible franchise. Their fortunes began to change when they developed talented young players like Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels. The improved minor league depth also allowed the team to make deals for Lidge, Blanton and Cliff Lee. The Phillies also spend some cash, with a 2009 payroll of $113 million. The Orioles seem to have assembled a group of talented young players, they have some talent to package in deals, and if Peter ever gets off that big pile of MASN money there may be hope for this franchise yet. Of course, that is one massive if.