Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., Sept. 25

September 25, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., Sept. 25

Now, finally, it’s “y time”.

As in:  Orioles   81-76    (y)

And then, the notation:  (y) indicates team has been eliminated from the post-season

There will be lots of time over the winter to go through the season on a player-by-player basis and ask the questions that need to be asked and search for the answers:

> What’s happened to the bat of Nick Markakis?

> Is Nate McLouth the left-fielder in 2014 or do the Birds need an upgrade there?

> After a sizzling first half at the plate, Manny Machado took a dump with the bat in the final 70 games.  Why?

> Who’s the 2nd baseman in 2014 and beyond?

> And the 2014 closer will be…??

Those answers will be bandied about over the next four months, part of “Hot Stove Talk” on the D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction.  Back when the team stunk and they weren’t really trying to win, there wasn’t much off-season discussion because the club wasn’t doing anything to improve.  Now, with two straight seasons of meaningful September baseball under their belt, the Orioles are in position to creatively add some quality players and make another post-season run in 2014.

For now, the immediate reflection on 2013 is simple, to me anyway.  This team’s offense, while power-packed, lived – and died – by the home run.  Their inability to generate runs with timely hits and better plate discipline turned out to be their death knell.

Case in point: The Birds have now gone 21 straight games without scoring more than five runs in a game.  They haven’t endured a streak like that since 1992.  That’s 21 years ago if math isn’t your strong suit.

That means, as Pedro Cerrano said in “Major League”:  Bats no listen.

Despite the struggles of Jim Johnson and a starting rotation that was inconsistent, the story of the season, for me, was the Orioles’ failure to produce the big hit in the big moment with men standing on the bases.  It happened over and over and over and over and over and over and — should I keep going? — over and over and over.

How does “that” get fixed?

Better players, for one.

Let’s see if they go get ‘em in the off-season.

—————————————————

I don’t care who you are, that Jason Giambi home run from Tuesday night gives you a shiver up your spine if you love sports.

Much like Baltimore, Cleveland hasn’t had a whole lot of baseball success over the last five years.  That might change this season if the Indians hold on over the next five games, but Giambi’s walk-off dinger in the bottom of the 9th could be one of the most memorable moments in franchise history if Cleveland does, in fact, make it into the post-season.

It was one helluva moment.

————————————————–

Someone came up to me yesterday at the annual Ruth’s Chris golf tournament and the discussion kicked-in about the Orioles revoking our media credentials (mine and Luke’s) three weeks ago.

The guy was clearly trying to troll me.  I could tell from the beginning he was either a FM station “plant” or just anti-WNST but he started on about “Free The Birds” and some other garbage that just proved he isn’t in touch with reality.

I threw the question out there that I’ve been asking all of the contrarians over the last three weeks.  It’s simple:

“Do you think the Orioles were right revoking our credentials?”

That’s it.

Just answer THAT question.

His reply:  ”You guys are just making a mountain out of a molehill.  You keep talking about it like you’re not allowed to watch the games.  You guys can still cover the team.  You can watch the games on TV and even buy a ticket and sit in the stands and do your coverage there.”

Damn, why didn’t Luke and I think of that?

 

 

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12 Comments For This Post

  1. Robert Says:

    GM Drew:

    Regarding the O’s difficulty scoring when they weren’t able to hit home runs & what they MAY do during the off-season, the promise made long ago that “we’ll grow the arms & buy the bats” comes to mind. I’m still waiting to see the 2nd part play out and for them to spend that monthly MASN money. Considering their track record, I’ll believe it when I see it and not a moment before. Cheers.

  2. jay Says:

    A plant from the FM station? I’m with you guys, but that just sounds paranoid, man. I don’t think they give a damn about you guys, as they never talk about you? You seem to always be calling them out for stuff, though. Why not just focus on being the best media outlet you can be, no need to worry about another radio station. It’s kind of unprofessional anyway. When the Ravens play the Bills or Raiders, they don’t sit around and talk about how awful those teams are run, they just offer some respect and go about their business – take a lesson from an organization that I know WNST has some level of respect for. (DF: You seem to miss the point. I’m playing in a charity golf outing. We’re on the putting green, warming up. I’m not bothering anyone. Some dude comes up to me and starts bellyaching about our media credentials. Naturally, I assume he’s either someone who bows to the greatness of “The Fan”, works for the Orioles, or just doesn’t have a grasp on reality.)

  3. Chris Says:

    I agree with you on the O’s. I also agree with you in that I would love for them to get Robinson Cano (although I doubt it’ll happen). He would be an awesome 3 hitter which would allow machado to continue to bat 2nd, Davis 4th and jones 5th (which is where he should bat anyway with his low OBP). Weiters could bat 6th, hardy 7th (those two are honestly interchangeable) whoever the left fielder is bats 8th and Markakis 9th. Not sure about the lead off hitter.

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    All good questions, but this is a talented, young team that doesn’t need much to be more competitive. Pitching is ALWAYS a priority, but for the second year in a row, it was the failure of the offense to produce, particularly with RISP, that sealed their fate! Going an entire season without a legitimate DH hurt them, so that has to be a priority next year. Not easy to quantify this opinion, but Markakis may have been suffering the after affects of the serious hand/wrist injury last year either physically, psychologically, or….both! Most of the pieces are in place, but they definitely need tweaking……

  5. unitastoberry Says:

    Ace starter,revamp the pen,proven DH,and second base.See you in Sarasota cause I’m going to go to spring training for a few days this year it’s been on my bucket list way too long. Too bad WNST isn’t allowed there.

  6. matt Says:

    yOu’S gUyS aLwaYs TaLkIns baDs abouTs tHe o’s. gEt’s ReAl’s JobS.

    lol ;x

  7. Mike from Carney Says:

    An unbalanced season, but not all in a bad way. Bats were huge on the Homers and doubles (lots of doubles), and at least the defense might be record breaking for a single season (errors). so at least the offseason will be more of a chess match vs. flushing the toilet. I hope. So this was a (y)Not season.

    Did the troll golfer wear checkered pants and had a beer tap on his golf bag by any chance? Did his anchor get scratched ???

  8. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Markakis suffering from last year’s wrist injury, give me a break ! He had no problem signing his 15 mil a year paychecks, did he? A great ” D ” guy with no offense & a over priced salary, he needs to be used as trade bait!

  9. Jason Manelli Says:

    Better luck next year O’s, but this was a solid campaign and I think the spirit and chemistry on this team is the best. 2 straight winning seasons means something also, to me at least. Agreed with DF and other commentators – let’s go get a couple of quality pieces and contend for the division next season.

  10. justafan Says:

    Lack of plate discipline is the one factor that cost the Orioles more than anything else. For instance, the Orioles drew the fewest number of bases on balls. The Boston Red Sox drew the most. You could count on Davis striking out at least once per game. Adam Jones just loves to hack at a breaking ball that bounces near the left handed batters box. In general, the Orioles have far too many first pitch swingers. Making the opposing pitchers work a little harder could have made a big difference.

  11. tsnamm Says:

    As much as I’d like to see them get a Robinson Cano, the Yankee’s will never let him go, that being said, they could easily upgrade the DH spot with not a lot of money, which goes over well at the Warehouse. They need to get some more starting pitching too…this year they didn’t get any length with 5-6 inning starts, and they gave up a load of HR’s especially at Camden Yards…look at what KC did this year with acquiring “Big Game” James Shields…while the O’s probably won’t go after top of the line Free Agent starters, they could certainly find a few Bud Norris types at reasonable cost. That would make me believe they’re serious about taking the next step from just being good, to making a run for a World Series Championship.

  12. BK Says:

    If we could only get rid of that awful Markakis contract. He is due another obscene 15mil next year. For that, we could get a top tier pitcher and someone just as productive, if not more at his position in RF. At least we finally get rid of Roberts money. We can only dream about the O’s going after Cano, or even Hunter Pence. Shields may be available if KC doesn’t exercise that 2014 option.

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