Can’t win with Oriole fans, no matter what

July 31, 2012 | Richard Golden

The trading deadline is rapidly approaching. And so are the O’s haters out en masse.  You just can’t please some people.

The Orioles are currently 53-48 and within a few games of one of the American League wild card spots.  But this isn’t good enough.  They continue to play with a lot of heart, despite the injuries and the lack of success of their starting pitching and middle infielders.  But this isn’t good enough. They have been able to replace busts like Michael Gonzalez with successes such as Pedro Strop.   Jeremy Guthrie (not necessarily a bust but not the best either), with Jason Hammel.  But THIS isn’t good enough. Now, with the trading deadline looming, the vultures that are the O’s “fans” are circling the carcass, just waiting to take a  few pecks at it.

It’s always the same argument” “Angelos is a blah blah blah”, “they don’t want to pay the money, blah blah blah”.  It’s not about Angelos, it’s about the STATE of the GAME. Would I rather have a different owner? Sure. But that’s not a reason to make Angelos the most hated person in Baltimore since the “I” word.  Angelos has not single-handedly ruined this team, as many seem to believe.  The game itself is where the problem is.

There are only a few teams that can give the money, and or the chance to be a winner. Those are the Yankees, Angels, Braves, Phillies, and Rangers, and maybe a few others willing to pay beaucoups bucks to players who may not even return to them at the end of the year. Many of these teams have been able to replenish their farm teams, and have made good judgments of players. The Orioles, on the other hand, although many say Angelos has the money (unsure since the information has never been given out publicly), still can not match the offers of some of these other teams, financially or with quality prospects.  But yet, there are many “Fans” who feel that we should be ready to trade the few that we have been able to obtain (Bundy, Machado, Schoop) to get players who are superstars, but have no desire to return to the team after this season. This is not good business. Seattle traded 5 prospects, including Adam Jones, to get Eric Bedard. We all know how that worked out.  I would rather keep Bundy and Machado, and attempt to fill holes before giving them away for veterans who may or may not be successful not stay with the team.  Yes, I would have liked to have had Greinke as much as any other team. But to give up one of the only two blue-chippers we  have in the system would be a mistake.

Let’s look at some of the other trades that have taken place recently.  Francisco Liriano? million dollar arm, 10-cent head.  Wandy Rodriguez? Nice numbers for a poor team, but can he meet the challenge of a pennant race.  Hanley Ramirez?  not worth losing Bundy or Machado, and obviously had a problem with playing third, despite the millions the Marlins are/were paying him.

Anything the Orioles can do to shore up this team, give them better depth, and a positive outlook in the clubhouse should be appreciated, not bashed, ridiculed or constantly criticized.  Let’s look at the bright side.  When was the last time the Orioles were five games above .500 on July 31? Or in a wild card race? Despite the poor defense, untimely hitting and inconsistent pitching, this team is STILL in the wild card hunt. Is major league baseball promoting mediocrity in order to have another wild card team? Possibly, but it’s OUR mediocre team. And we need to support it no matter what.