George Sherrill vs. Mike Gonzalez

April 12, 2010 |

It’s hard to believe just a short week ago, many of us were collectively beaming with optimism as the Orioles 2010 season was beginning.

Here we stand, just 7 days later and many of the same “optimists” are packing it in. Come on …..

What did you expect? A playoff run …. A 90 win campaign …. 1989 – Part II ….

This Orioles team is a work in progress. They’re likely to finish in last place, again – as I predicted with Allen McCallum, last Tuesday. But, I said they’ll be markedly better than recent Orioles teams and I’ll stand by that forecast. They’re not gonna lose at a pace of 5 out of every 6 games. Heck, they’ll win 5 out of 6 during the stretch of the season.

They’re playing without their sparkplug, the CLOSER has imploded and they’re not hitting with runners in scoring position. There’s your “three factor analysis” into the abortion known as the Orioles first week.

But, they are getting decent pitching efforts. And, what has baseball’s history taught us? That’s right, good pitching wins ballgames. The sticks will come to life and mild reshuffling of the batting order is probably in the near future plans.

As for the pitching, I’ve heard glowing things about Kevin Millwood and disturbing things about Mike Gonzalez. Damn, what a difference a week makes. Millwood has looked solid and Gonzalez has resembled the initial Ricky Vaughn, from Major League fame.
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Damn it, that’s it. What were we thinking of …..

Mike Gonzalez might need GLASSES !!!!
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Hey, he’s the guy who’s popped up in nearly 100% of Orioles-related conversations over the past week, right?

And, I’ve heard Gonzalez mentioned in nearly every context. Some references are fit for WNST.net and some are not. Yet, one particular reference is running far ahead of others.

I’ve been steadily force-fed the comparisons (and differences) of George Sherrill and Mike Gonzalez, over the last few days. That’s the typical fan reaction; compare the current guy to the former guy ….. or ANY guy that promotes the fan’s argument.

It’s also an argument I’ll never win.

Who’s better, George Sherrill or Mike Gonzalez? Last week, it was Sherrill. This week, who knows? And, if you say anything contrary (which some will), it’s nothing more than speculation.

Throughout my life, as a Baltimore sports fan, I’ve always got a good chuckle from fans who display the propensity to dredge up the names of players who once played in Baltimore – especially if they have success elsewhere, or if their replacement is doing poorly.
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Some of the ONES WHO GOT AWAY are pretty memorable …..
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But, there is a boatload of players who left and never really made an impact anywhere else …..

For the record, nearly EVERYONE who loved the Orioles wanted to run Dennis Martinez out of town. We succeeded. And, so did he.

Yet, for every Dennis Martinez, there are a handful of Jerry Hairston’s, Danny Clyburn’s and Derek Anderson’s to choose. I can remember all those Derek Anderson calls flooding the ‘NST phone lines. Where are those same voices now?

You wanna compare Sherrill and Gonzalez after one week – a week of poor performance for Gonzalez. That’s awfully convenient. Better yet, lets go back to 2009 and look at the end of the first month …..

On May 2nd, George Sherrill blew his 2nd save opportunity in a little more than a week, and he proudly owned a 5.06 ERA !!!! As a result, he was put on double secret probation. He responded well and everything worked out.

He’s now pitching for a contender and the Orioles received a couple notable prospects in return. Yet, these early-2010 complaints point at the Sherrill who finished out an impressive 2009 season. The upside-potential rests with Josh Bell developing in the Orioles minor league system, rather than Sherrill closing out games in an Orioles uniform, at 32 years old.

George Sherrill is a Dodger …..
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God bless him. He’s a good guy and he pitched very well, overall, during his time with the Orioles. I honestly hope he gets a ring.

But, will he have a better season than Mike Gonzalez? Will he pitch more innings and have a lower ERA, than Gonzalez? You don’t know – don’t say that you do.

Go back to May 2, 2009 …..

George Sherrill had a 5.06 ERA at the end of the first month. At the time, would you imagine Sherrill would finish with more innings pitched and a lower ERA (my favorite stat) than Mariano Rivera, Jon Papelbon and Joe Nathan?

He did – as “Dan in Fallston” pointed out.

So, take a step back and let the Mike Gonzalez situation play out. It’s way too early to tell what 2010 will end up bringing. It’s just one week …..

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