The Orioles, after a brief tease, have reverted to form and now sit in their familiar bottom of the AL East at 9-16. No one in his right mind can think this team has any shot at 80 wins, let alone a playoff berth. With virtually no one coming to the games, what in the world is the point of playing it safe? The Orioles have refused to be bold for a long time. The fans, so hungry for a taste of the glory of old, want the club to take risks, shake things up. So many questions remain:
1. When the heck will Matt Wieders make hs first start behind the plate? Nothing aganist Gregg Zaun, but he is 38 and is batting .129. What damage can be done by letting Wieders get 400 at bats this year?
2. I know Melvin Mora just got back from the DL, but is he really part of the Orioles future, whose better days are at least two years away? He is 37, and his trade value diminishes each year we hold onto him.
3. There has to be some young pitcher at Norfolk or Bowie deserving of the roster spot being taken up by Mark Frederickson. He has given up over two baserunners per inning, and 7 home runs in 23 innings. He will be 35 next month. Even if a rookie does no better (doubtful as that may be), the major league experience will only help that pitcher, especially if he is just given the ball every fifth day and told “go get ‘em”.
4. Aubrey Huff has done a lot on the field to make up for his insults of Charm City. He has put up fantastic numbers. Iwould think a big market club looking to make a run would be willing to part with 2 or 3 top prospects for Huff’s services. We are 9-16 with Huff, only by TRULY shaking things up can things change. Andy McPhail and co. have done a good job so far of restocking a farm system that had rotted for a long time. They traded a malcontent (Bedard) and got better as a result. It is time to see what the youngsters are made of.
These are just some of the bold steps the Orioles need to take to prevent what may be a permanent loss of interest in the team. I used to live and breathe the Orioles, attending 30-40 games a year. Now I might go to 3 a year if I’m lucky, and someone else invites me to go. I want to be a fanatic again. I am willing to stay invested if the club is taking real, bold steps to improve.
Just be honest with us – tell us we’re going to put the young guys out there and let them play. Be honest – don’t give us a line that we are going to contend right now. Treat the fans who go to the games with respect and dignity. Don’t send the goon sqaud after fans who dare to walk down a few rows in the late innings. When 7 out of 8 seats are empty, don’t piss off those who do schlep to the Yard. Instead, wouldn’t it be great if the announcer at the end of the 7th invited all fans to take whatever seat they wanted for the last two innings? After all, they are spending lots of money to come out and watch a team that has no shot.
Give us something good to talk about!!