This summer of ’09 chess game the Orioles are playing has become what every other chess game becomes — boring.
Wake me up when the team starts trying to win again.
Another night in New York, another night of choking on the Big Apple. Base running blunders galore, a shabby effort from the starting pitcher and one more evening where I started using the remote around 8:45 pm.
After all, if the team isn’t fully dedicated to keeping me entertained, why should I be fully dedicated to them?
The answer: At this point, I’m not.
Is Dave Trembley the guy responsible for calling that insane 3rd inning one-out steal/hit and run “thing” that resulted in Nick Markakis striking out and Brian Roberts getting caught in a rundown for out number three? Memo to Dave: Aubrey Huff was up next. He’s pretty good. Right handed pitcher vs. left handed hitter. Why “dummy” yourself out of the inning with a runner on 3rd base (and Roberts at first) and one of your team’s best power hitters at the plate, trailing 4-0?
Those are decisions I can’t defend (and won’t) when the Anti-DT Club calls in today and starts bashing the skipper.
And, if it’s New York on a Wednesday night, that must mean Melvin Mora is going to commit a base-running gaffe. Mission accomplished last evening, as Mora inexplicably tried to stretch a long single into a double in the 6th inning after the O’s had cut the lead to 5-3.
These baserunning mistakes that take runners off the bases and remove the bat from the hands of the team’s select-few decent hitters are precisely why the team is mired in last place. And Mora, God Bless Him, is routinely involved in those blunders.
Afterwards, everyone raved about how Jeremy Guthrie “gutted it out”. Was that before or after he created his own version of “The Comcast Triple Play” by giving up three straight homers to Swisher, Cano and Cabrera? There’s an old Charley Eckman audio clip that has him railing against the U.S. basketball team in the Goodwill Games where “The Coach” says, “what’s goodwill stand for, going down there (Cuba) and getting our butts kicked?” — I thought about that that last night as I heard the wordsmiths shower Guthrie with praise and “gutted it out” references. “Gutted it out” is code word for “didn’t pitch up to his capability”.
Here’s where I should remind everyone that the O’s cut Guthrie’s salary by $120,000 in spring training (for no good reason)…but I won’t do it.
Guthrie is the team’s #1 starter. He might be the ace by default, but he’s the ace nonetheless. And he needs to start pitching like it. Or, come the end of July, it might be time for Jeremy Guthrie to “gut it out” for a playoff contender.
Speaking of announcers and wordsmiths — I watched the post-game “analysis” on MASN and could NOT believe my eyes when Hunter and Dempsey started reviewing the events and Hunter said, “OK, it’s 4-0 Yankees already when they score here to make it 5-0…and the O’s started their comeback, Rick.”
Are you FREAKING kidding me? You’re doing a show that is supposed to document the game and how one team won and the other lost and you skip the most important element of the game — the three home runs in succession bashed by the Yankees in the 2nd inning. You want people to tune into the post-game show for the in-depth analysis and critical eye provided by a former World Series MVP and you don’t show Guthrie’s 2nd inning effort and the three home runs? The 2nd inning was the story of the game. “It’s already 4-0 when the Yankees scored to make it 5-0 and then the comeback started…” - *Taps Hunter on the shoulder: “Jim, exactly HOW did it get to be 4-0 in the first place?”
What a joke.
So when do we all start caring about the team again? When the “calvary” comes up and makes an impact? OK, I’m on board with that. I truly AM excited to see guys like Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, David Hernandez head to the mound. I’m not sure if they’ll be any good (although Robby Hammock called Tillman “can’t miss” on my show on Tuesday) when they get here, but I’ve bought into “the plan” hook-line-and-sinker and I’m eager to see the front line of The Calvary show up in Baltimore.
At this stage, can The Calvary be worse than Adam Eaton?
And if I hear that “confidence wrecking” theory one more time, I’ll jump off the Key Bridge. How the hell are you going to wreck a kid’s confidence who gets to fly all over the country, pitch in ballpark-shrines, field questions from pretty 20-something female baseball fans in the lobby of the team hotel and get paid for doing it? “Confidence wrecked”…what a laughable theme that is.
If you’re good, confidence shouldn’t be an issue.
I don’t think Brad Bergesen is struggling with his confidence right about now. Neither is Nolan Reimold, who hit a home run last evening off of the great Mariano Rivera. Reimold’s not a pitcher, of course, but I don’t think his confidence is in question this morning, do you?
I haven’t really spent many nights in front of the TV getting worked up about the team’s woeful ’09 performance because, as I’ve said many times, “if they don’t care about winning, neither do I.”
Last night, for some reason, was an exception.
I found Trembley’s managerial decisions to be whacky, Guthrie’s pitching not good enough, Mora’s baserunning to be just plain dumb and the post-game show on the team’s flagship to be so obviously on the take it was unwatchable.
Then again, that’s also part of the Master Plan, I assume.
After all, if we’re not talking about those four things on today’s show, what O’s topic ARE we going to talk about, right?
Without The Calvary, Matt Wieters and winning, it’s the same old, same old, same old, same old, same old, same old — night after night after night after night after night after night.
It’s actually MORE boring than chess, truth be told.