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Yankees want to win, they sign good players…Orioles want to win and…and…and…never mind.

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Yankees want to win, they sign good players…Orioles want to win and…and…and…never mind.

Posted on 04 December 2013 by Drew Forrester

I called the Jacoby Ellsbury to New York move back in September.

That one was as easy as predicting the Orioles won’t sign any REAL free agents in the winter.

The Yankees not only added a quality player, but they’re now going to face the Red Sox 19 times a year with Ellsbury on THEIR team instead of the other way around.

Ellsbury’s injury history makes it easy for people jealous of the Yankees to snicker and point their finger at New York’s front office while saying, “You dummies…that guy is always hurt!”

He wasn’t hurt last October when Boston was winning the World Series.

I completely understand that people in Baltimore are conditioned to criticize all free agent signings of the Yankees and Red Sox.  Go back and look at the way the orange apologists in town laughed and scoffed at Boston last winter when they inked Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino to contracts.

How’d that work out for the guys in Boston?

Back in 2009 when the Yankees landed Sabathia, Teixeira and Burnett, lots of folks in Baltimore LOL’d at New York for forking over $400 million for those three guys.  They won the World Series that year.  Sabathia has been phenomenal in New York, Teixeira was very good until his injury last year and Burnett was outstanding the year New York won the title but has since moved on.

They signed those three players because they wanted to win.

And win they did.

We pick on everything those franchises do because we want their signings to fail — but as the Red Sox showed last year, when you sign good players they rarely fail.  That’s why they’re good baseball players.  Some of the signings don’t work out.  See my comments above about A.J. Burnett in New York.  But, if one girl in your high school economics class says, “No thanks, I’d rather feed my goldfish” when you ask her to the prom, do you not ask anyone else?

I also understand the need to review a player’s health while evaluating his worth, but please don’t be one of those goofs who says “I wouldn’t take Ellsbury on my team, he’s injury prone.”

No, he isn’t.

Nolan Reimold — now there’s a guy living in the definition of “injury prone”.

He doesn’t play.  Because he’s always hurt.

And, when you don’t play, you have ZERO value to the team.

Ellsbury — and some of his injuries have been more about his style-of-play than anything else — is a helluva baseball player who clearly got paid a king’s ransom in New York because he’s the proverbial “table setter” for the rest of the lineup.

Sure, he can’t be missing 60 games a year over the next seven seasons or his $153 million dollar deal will be outrageously out-of-balance, but you can’t go into any sort of “mega contract” pre-predicting a player’s health or you wouldn’t sign anyone of value.

This, of course, speaks far more about the Yankees wanting to win than it does anything else.  They had a gaping hole at catcher heading into the winter and quickly solved it in a big way by bringing on Brian McCann.  They wanted an upgrade in centerfield and quickly solved it by adding Ellsbury.

Did they overpay for those two?

Most certainly they did.

Are the Yankees a MUCH better team this morning than they were two weeks ago today?

You bet your pin-striped rear end they are.

And that’s how they roll in New York, where their quest for winning trumps everything.

In Baltimore, where the Orioles have GOBS ANB GOBS of money at their disposal, the quest for winning comes in 3rd or 4th place on the list of “what’s really important to us this off-season?”

By the way, the Red Sox will also be heard from over the next month or so.

Sure, they just won the World Series – something we haven’t done in Charm City for 30 years now – but they’re not going to sit back and dismantle their team while the Yankees get better.

The Orioles don’t compete with the Yankees and Red Sox for players for one reason and one reason only.

Because they choose not to.

 

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The Giants got Tim Hudson, the Orioles got a guy you’ve never heard of…ever.

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The Giants got Tim Hudson, the Orioles got a guy you’ve never heard of…ever.

Posted on 20 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

I’m the guy who has been telling callers and e-mailers over the last month that the Orioles aren’t going to sign any “real” free agents this off-season.

So, why would I be chirping about the Birds not having any interest in Tim Hudson?

Beats me.

Probably because I still have this wacky, bass-ackwards idea that one of these days, the Orioles just might actually spend some of that money they’ve been stacking up for the last seven years since they birthed MASN and started collecting money from everyone in the market via your monthly cable bill.

Here’s the funny addendum to that.  This March, the Orioles and the rest of the 29 other MLB teams get a NEW $27 million check as part of the league’s national TV package.

I have no idea if Tim Hudson would have come to Baltimore.

He was well situated in Atlanta, having grown up and gone to high school in nearby Alabama, so a move to San Francisco seems somewhat odd for a guy that you assume would be looking to stay closer to home as his career comes to an end.

I’m sure his $23 million/2-year deal in S.F. made him nearly untouchable in Baltimore, where the Orioles have signed only two free agents – EVER – for more than $10 million a year (Albert Belle and Miguel Tejada).

Way back when, as Peter Angelos discussed the unveiling of the MASN TV network, he authored one of the most telling quotes in his now 20 years of Orioles ownership.

Asked about the prospect of signing then-high profile pitcher Roy Oswalt, who was asking for $100 million for 7 years, Angelos quipped:  ”I just don’t see the logic in spending $14 million a year for someone who only works once every five days.”

Not surprisingly, the Orioles have never signed a quality free-agent starting pitcher.

Tim Hudson has enjoyed an outstanding major league career.  He’s not a Hall of Fame candidate, but he’s certainly going to make a speech someday at the Hall of Very Good.  He has 205 wins spread out over 15 seasons and his lifetime ERA of 3.44 is better than a lot of guys who ARE in the Hall of Fame.

Yes, he’s coming off a bad leg injury, but he doesn’t pitch with his leg.  He uses his shoulder, arm and hand to do that.

At age 38, he’s in the November of his career, for sure, but he’s better than Miguel Gonzalez, Scott Feldman and Bud Norris, although all three of those pitchers are admittedly younger and have less tread on their tires.

I’m not surprised the Birds didn’t have an interest in Hudson.  He’s the anti-Oriole signing, frankly.  He’s a player with a track record and a sparkling career resume who won’t come here and work for $37.00 an hour the way a guy like Kelvin Dela Cruz will, who signed in Baltimore earlier this week after eight so-so seasons with — you ready — a bunch of minor league teams scattered all over baseball.

There’s a lot of hot stove action to go and maybe the O’s will stun us all with a signing of Carlos Beltran or A.J. Burnett or perhaps they’ll pull off a trade for a Jose Bautista or Ian Kinsler.

I’d love to see some of that activity.

I want the Orioles to get better.

But, as I’ve been warning a lot of you over the next four weeks, don’t hold your breath for any kind of improvement that includes SPENDING MONEY ON OR PAYING FOR REALLY GOOD PLAYERS.

It’s just not in the cards, no matter how much money you and I continue to contribute to the Orioles organization via our monthly Verizon or Comcast payment.

The Giants got Tim Hudson.

The Orioles got some guy named Kelvin Dela Cruz who has as many career major league strikeouts as you, me and Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden.

To borrow a phrase:  ”It’s the Oriole way”.

 

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