I Can Think Of MILLIONS Of Reasons …..

January 08, 2009 |

For weeks – make that years – the Orioles have taken a beating from a varied collection of critics.  This group includes fans, media and people within the industry.  I get it ….. you wanna win and you’re sick and tired of losing.

I’ll go a step further ….. we’re all tired of the dysfunction and rudderless command of the Baltimore Orioles.  That said, I honestly believe these poor traits do not exist within the organization any longer.  Am I privy to anything within the warehouse?  Of course, not.

However, I look at the moves and direction, since Andy MacPhail assumed control of the team and I like it.  When he took over – 18 months ago – I realized this wasn’t going to be an 18 month fix.  Didn’t you feel the same way?

The Orioles franchise was a rolling trainwreck, 18 months ago.  The roster was riddled with guys who didn’t want to be here, such as Miguel Tejada, Erik Bedard and Ramon Hernandez.  Fast forward to today, they’re gone.  And, the franchise is stronger due to their absence.

We can all agree the Orioles were the drug-addict that hit rock bottom, when MacPhail assumed control, right?  Did you really think his plan was to spend nearly $200 million on a first baseman (who’s nearing his 30th birthday) less than two seasons into overhauling this mess?

I’ve got news for you ….. Andy’s plan doesn’t include resigning a 31 year-old second baseman to a 4 year/$50 million deal, either.  I don’t care if he’s a good guy.  Being a good guy doesn’t win ballgames – just ask Ty Cobb’s grandchildren.  Any move and every move must be in the best interest of the Baltimore Orioles ….. period.

Brian Roberts’ best days are behind him.  If you believe anything else, I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona, for you.  That’s what George Straight said, right?  It’s true ….. Brian, by all indications is a great guy.  But, his price tag and AGE doesn’t fit this team …..

Have you looked at his numbers?  This is all about numbers !!!!  Roberts is an efficiently productive player.  But, he’s not a franchise guy; stop treating him like he is.  The blunt truth is a team is not built around the likes of a dependanble, but light-hitting middle infielder.

The Roberts stats are consistent, but he’s not hitting .300 – he’s not collecting 200 hits – and he’s not swatting double-digit homers.  So, what are you getting for your money?  Yep, you’re paying for 30+ stolen bases, a great attitude ….. and dependable, workman-like play.

I’ve got news for you ….. those stolen base totals aren’t staying in that 30-50 range, throughout his next deal.  Why?  He’s human.  Even FREAKS like Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines and Lou Brock slowed down after their 33rd birthdays.  You can bet a 34 year-old Brian Roberts isn’t swiping 3 dozen bags.

So, what am I saying?  Yesterday’s Baltimore Sun speculated that talks between the Orioles and Roberts have broken down.  It’s rumored the Orioles are offering a multi-year deal, at $10 million, per season.  I’m assuming Andy MacPhail knows this won’t get it done, and that’s fine with me.

This opens the door to an eventual trade, amid broken-down extension talks.  The blunt truth is whomever pays Roberts $50 million/4 years is rewarding work already done.  He’s not going to maintain the “decent” numbers already posted.  Why?  He’s a speedster …. and dependent on it.

The right thing to do is part ways with Roberts and bolster the pitching staff, in the short/mid term.  Is Gavin Floyd being offered?  Great ….. Jason Jubb and I will drive to Chicago and pick him up.  I’ll do that deal, straight up, right now.  Meanwhile, I’ll give Ty Wigginton $5 million, per season, for the next 3 years to anchor second base.

An Orioles team with Wigginton/Floyd is stronger than the same team with Roberts and the next Alpo-Eater they bring in to pitch.  It’s a rebuilding franchise.  They need “bridge” players ….. while young talent develops.  It is what it is …..

You can probably think of a few good reasons to keep Roberts.  I can think of MILLIONS of reasons to let him go …..