The Honeymoon Is Over

April 20, 2009 |

It’s official, the honeymoon is over.  It was fun while it lasted.
After the Orioles finished their first three series of the year, they were 6-3 and in second place in the division.  After this past weekend in
Boston, their ship is sinking faster than the Titanic.  With the exception of Koji Uehara, the entire pitching staff couldn’t get anyone out this past weekend in Boston.

Quite Frankly, Andy MacPhail, Mike Flannigan and the entire Angelos family should be embarrassed by the product they have put on the field.  MacPhail is not totally to blame for the teams’ ineptness; after all, he hasn’t even been here for 2 years yet.  But, he certainly hasn’t done much to fix the pitching situation at the Major League level since he’s been here.

I love what he has done with the farm system. By trading away two disgruntled veterans, MacPhail has retooled the O’s system for years to come.  However, his failure to address the state of the Orioles is disheartening.  Seventy five percent of the pitching staff wouldn’t make the big league roster of the majority of the teams in MLB.  To make matters worse, MacPhail ignored the problem during the offseason and decided to go with quantity over quality.  The team had 70+ pitchers in camp to start spring training.  I’m not saying that he needed to go after someone high priced, but plenty of adequate help was available.

The argument is that he is waiting for Bergesen, Arrieta, Tillman, etc to reach the big leagues.  I get that. In the meantime though, he could have signed some decent pitchers. If those young guys pitched their way into the rotation, the free agent acquisitions would have made good trade bait. It always seems like come late July, every team is looking to add starting pitching.  MacPhail would have been able to field a more competitive team in the short term, and when the young guns were “ready” been able to trade the pitchers he brought in for some position player prospects to further bolster the farm system.

Aside from the pitching situation, Felix Pie is awful.  He should be playing along side Jay Gibbons in the Independent League.

The Orioles current situation has got to be disheartening for the position players.  They have a very good nucleus of players in the starting nine.  But, I have to wonder, how long are they going to put up with this nonsense.  Markakis, Jones, Roberts, Huff, Scott, Wigginton, Mora, Izturis, and company go out and play hard everyday and should make up the nucleus of a contending team.  They deserve better than this. The onus is on Andy MacPhail and the front office to get them the pitching help they need to be taken seriously. It should happen sooner, rather than later.

It’s going to be very long summer in Baltimore.  Good news is the NFL Draft is this weekend, and July training camp doesn’t feel like it’s that far off.