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  • #16
    Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
    The Rays are much improved and I think they've a fun team to watch, and even secretly root for given their miserable history. I think they're probably at least a year away though. There have been a number of teams in recent years that struggled for years, but then featured a young and definitely improved team and made big strides, but faded down the stretch that first year. The Brewers last year come to mind. The Royals when Tony Pena was there, and the Twins as they became competitive again. Even the Indians a couple of years back. The Tigers of 2006 are notable exception as they made the leap all at once.
    Detroit did it through a combination of all their starting pitchers "hitting" in the same season - Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, and Rogers, all had outstanding, full, injury free seasons, and the same was basically true of the pen. It was one of those magical "everything clicks" type seasons. They've since started spending a lot more money in an attempt to maintain the team, but their pitching is likely to be their downfall in the long run.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by Pinstripes View Post
      Unless the Orioles EVER plan to pay to keep some talent, they're 1,000 years away.

      Just because they're off to a good start doesn't make them contenders - now or in the future. Same goes for the Rays.

      I remember in 2003 the Royals got off to some amazing start, and everyone thought they had talent and maybe "in a few years" they'd make some noise. But if you don't spend the money to keep the talent, it will never materialize. The O's trading away Bedard is a perfect example.

      Since starting out 6-1, the O's are 10-12; two games under .500. They are virtually no threat to contend this season, and will likely not do so any time soon unless they change their philosophy.
      Your analysis is incorrect. The change in philosophy came last year with the hiring of Andy MacPhail. The trades of Bedard and Tejada reflect that philosophical change. The Orioles recognized that the farm needs to be restocked, and have made moves to do so. MacPhail was able to convert two players into ten, five of whom are currently on the major league roster.
      Despite the fact that the Orioles are unlikely to ever have a payroll over $100MM (unless MASN delivers far more profit than I anticipate), their problem hasn't been an unwillingness to spend money. Their problem (until last summer, anyway) has been bad front office personnel spending money on the wrong people (Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons), and a meddling owner. But note that last summer, when the time came to fish or cut bait on Matt Wieters, the Orioles put enough money on the table to get the deal done.
      While you're likely correct that the Orioles will not be at the top of the AL East come the end of this season, I am confident that this team will play hard, to the final out, every game of every season where Dave Trembley is at the helm. And, when the time comes for this franchise to lock up their own (Nick Markakis and Adam Jones spring immediately to mind) it will get done.
      Andy MacPhail will see to that.
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      • #18
        Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
        The Rays are much improved and I think they've a fun team to watch, and even secretly root for given their miserable history. I think they're probably at least a year away though. There have been a number of teams in recent years that struggled for years, but then featured a young and definitely improved team and made big strides, but faded down the stretch that first year. The Brewers last year come to mind. The Royals when Tony Pena was there, and the Twins as they became competitive again. Even the Indians a couple of years back. The Tigers of 2006 are notable exception as they made the leap all at once.
        Originally posted by Pinstripes View Post
        Detroit did it through a combination of all their starting pitchers "hitting" in the same season - Verlander, Bonderman, Robertson, and Rogers, all had outstanding, full, injury free seasons, and the same was basically true of the pen. It was one of those magical "everything clicks" type seasons. They've since started spending a lot more money in an attempt to maintain the team, but their pitching is likely to be their downfall in the long run.
        Taking a closer look at the Rays' bullpen, their performance could also be attributed to a bunch of guys all having career years at once. If they're able to keep it up (always a question with bullpens) I see no reason why Tampa Bay cannot continue to be in this race all season.
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        • #19
          Originally posted by bigtime39 View Post
          Your analysis is incorrect. The change in philosophy came last year with the hiring of Andy MacPhail. The trades of Bedard and Tejada reflect that philosophical change. The Orioles recognized that the farm needs to be restocked, and have made moves to do so. MacPhail was able to convert two players into ten, five of whom are currently on the major league roster.
          We'll see how those trades pan out in terms of talent acquired.

          Despite the fact that the Orioles are unlikely to ever have a payroll over $100MM (unless MASN delivers far more profit than I anticipate), their problem hasn't been an unwillingness to spend money. Their problem (until last summer, anyway) has been bad front office personnel spending money on the wrong people (Melvin Mora, Jay Gibbons), and a meddling owner. But note that last summer, when the time came to fish or cut bait on Matt Wieters, the Orioles put enough money on the table to get the deal done.
          While you're likely correct that the Orioles will not be at the top of the AL East come the end of this season, I am confident that this team will play hard, to the final out, every game of every season where Dave Trembley is at the helm. And, when the time comes for this franchise to lock up their own (Nick Markakis and Adam Jones spring immediately to mind) it will get done.
          Andy MacPhail will see to that.
          You can hope they'll get it done, but in the AL East, it's going to take a whole lot more than Markakis and Adam Jones to contend. With the Yankees and Red Sox in that division, in addition to the pitching staff that the Blue Jays have, there's no balance shift on the horizion.

          In the end, it's going to come down to pitching, and I'm not seeing much on the horizion for the Orioles in that department. You can say that the Bedard trade was forward thinking, but how far forward? Bedard is an ace type pitcher, and very well could be for the next 4-5 years or more. Trading a known quantity (namely a pitcher) is a questionable move when your plan is to contend in the near future.

          But anyway, until I see the Orioles willing to spend for a free agent here and there to fill some of their gaping holes, I don't see how a few decent prospects is going to be enough to have the Orioles contending in the AL East. Maybe in the Central where it's up for grabs every year, but that's just not enough in the AL East.

          Originally posted by bigtime39 View Post
          Taking a closer look at the Rays' bullpen, their performance could also be attributed to a bunch of guys all having career years at once. If they're able to keep it up (always a question with bullpens) I see no reason why Tampa Bay cannot continue to be in this race all season.
          I see plenty of reasons. First off, it's unlikely they'll continue to all pitch that well. Possible, sure, but likely? no. They have a rag-tag collection of relievers with mediocre to decent career numbers, and nearly all of them are pitching over their heads. It's unlikely to continue. Players usually revert to career norms, so to expect all those pitchers (including some questionable starters) to continue to all have career years? I certianly wouldn't be betting any money on it.

          It's going to take more than a few career years from some relievers to make a good team, anyway.

          In addition, their offense, aside from some very promsing youngsters, has several weak hitters, a Carlos Pena who thus far has shown no sign whatsoever of repeating last year's (potentially) flukey season.

          For a team with marginal depth and not a whole lot of talent beyond a select few players, it would take an extraordinary amount of luck and several players to have career years in order to have a prayer of contending for a playoff spot.
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Pinstripes View Post
            We'll see how those trades pan out in terms of talent acquired.

            You can hope they'll get it done, but in the AL East, it's going to take a whole lot more than Markakis and Adam Jones to contend. With the Yankees and Red Sox in that division, in addition to the pitching staff that the Blue Jays have, there's no balance shift on the horizion.
            I focused on Markakis and Jones merely as the first two guys the Orioles are going to have to lock up. There will be others, moving forward.

            Originally posted by Pinstripes View Post
            In the end, it's going to come down to pitching, and I'm not seeing much on the horizon for the Orioles in that department. You can say that the Bedard trade was forward thinking, but how far forward? Bedard is an ace type pitcher, and very well could be for the next 4-5 years or more. Trading a known quantity (namely a pitcher) is a questionable move when your plan is to contend in the near future.
            The Orioles minor league system is pretty deep in pitching right now. The Bedard and Tejada trades, coupled with an emphasis on acquiring young pitching both by MacPhail and Mike Flanagan, have left them in a much better position than before.
            As far as Bedard is concerned, yes, it's difficult to trade away a pitcher of that quality. But, knowing that this year was not going to be the year; that he was unlikely to extend with the Orioles anyway, and that his value would likely never be higher, the Orioles did what they had to do. Will Bedard be an ace for the next 4-5 years? Barring injury, that's very likely. What's unlikely is that the Orioles would have had him for more than two of those years.


            Originally posted by Pinstripes View Post
            But anyway, until I see the Orioles willing to spend for a free agent here and there to fill some of their gaping holes, I don't see how a few decent prospects is going to be enough to have the Orioles contending in the AL East. Maybe in the Central where it's up for grabs every year, but that's just not enough in the AL East.
            Agreed...with a very large caveat. Yes, the Orioles are going to need to look
            to the FA market for positional talent, as well as continuing to pursue advantageous trade opportunities.
            However, (URBANSHOCKER...DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING!) if the 1-2 spots in the AL East are to remain predestined to belong to the top two revenue teams in that division in perpetuity, I believe the Orioles, Rays and Jays should adopt a Marlins approach: slash payrolls to nothing, and not even bother trying to compete most years. If you're destined never to make it to the playoffs--no matter what you do--then the best recourse is spend nothing and not bother trying to compete.
            At some point, somebody has got to stand up and tell the emperor he's walking around buck naked.
            The last decade in MLB has radicalized me on two areas, revenue and scheduling. Unbalanced revenue streams, coupled with unbalanced schedules have created situations where certain teams have almost no hope of making the playoffs. In addition to my (oft-stated) desire for greater revenue parity, I have also come to believe that MLB should do away with the unbalanced schedule and interleague play. If your objective is to send the four best AL teams to the playoffs, and not just an endless loop of Red Sox, Yankees and whichever Bozos win the other two divisions, both distort the playing field. Let's start everyone from (approximately) the same revenue point, have them play the same schedule, and let the chips fall where they may.
            Last edited by bigtime39; 05-04-2008, 06:40 AM.
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