Tag: Andy MacPhail

Baltimore Orioles: 3 Reasons Andy MacPhail Should Receive Credit for Turnaround

This past offseason Andy MacPhail left the Baltimore Orioles after spending over four seasons as the President of Baseball Operations, and upon his departure the feeling among Orioles fans was that he had failed miserably.

Eventually Dan Duquette would be hired as MacPhail’s replacement, and Duquette would quickly make his mark on the O’s by swinging a trade for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, and bringing in several key arms like Taiwanese born Wei-Yin Chen and relievers Luis Ayala and Darren O’Day.

The foundation, though, the real guts of this Orioles ball club, has been in place for years and MacPhail—or “MacFail,” as some Orioles fans have unfairly renamed him—is responsible.

Begin Slideshow

Baltimore Orioles and Andy MacPhail in the Final Analysis

The 2011 campaign was supposed to be a better year for the Orioles. Andy MacPhail is on the hot seat and may not return. Of course, we have to remember that analysis and performance is not the same thing. When we look at analysis, we go back further than 2011. We look at performance going back to 2007 and sometimes further. Sometimes players just have down seasons and sometimes they get hurt without warning.

It is hard to look at the Orioles and feel good about what they have done so far. The organization feels like an Etch-a-Sketch that seems to get partially erased every couple of seasons. Nothing seems to be sustained and so they are looking up at their rivals for another season. Furthermore, there is nothing on the horizon to make you think that won’t be the case in 2012.

Key Statistics

Team Payroll: $85.3 million (18th)

Lineup: 11.4

Starting Rotation: 22.5

Bullpen: 17.8

Composite Ranking: 17.2

Analysis Score: +0.8



The lineup represents the greatest hope that MacPhail had for competitiveness and where a majority of the payroll rests. He added Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds in the offseason. The general idea was to pair them with established hitters like Brian Roberts, Luke Scott, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. If everything broke right it would have been a formidable attack.

Some of it was out of everyone’s control. Brian Roberts has been hurt for going on two years. Derrek Lee was not effective and later traded in a salary dump. Furthermore, Nick Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero did not produce the normal numbers they had in the past. Even the consistent Luke Scott went down with an injury.

Out of the group, only J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones produced as they had hoped. Matt Wieters continues to improve behind the dish and at the dish. He represents the direction the Orioles should be going.



Again, the performance has been worse than what the analysis dictates should have happened. Unfortunately, managers and general managers usually aren’t judged on the quality of their decisions, but on the results of their decisions. Brian Matusz seemed destined to be a No. 2 or 3 starter before his season devolved into a 1-7, 9.84 ERA disaster.

The same could be said for Jeremy Guthrie. He has the unfortunate role of being the No. 1 pitcher. Going up against the league’s No. 1 pitchers has taken its toll. He is mathematically in the running to lose 20 games. Zach Britton has been solid, but no one in this rotation knocked your socks off this year. The Orioles still have high hopes for Matusz, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for him to bounce back next season. Still, there isn’t enough here to make a good rotation.



The Orioles bullpen has been okay. Kevin Gregg is a decent enough closer and they had support from veterans like Mike Gonzalez. Gonzalez was traded to the Rangers before the August 31 roster deadline. Koji Uehara was a revelation and MacPhail did a good job trading him while his value was high. Jim Johnson is also solid in the pen, but right now the pen amounts to Gregg, Johnson and a bunch of crap.


Response to Crisis

It is clear that Andy MacPhail thought he had made enough moves to make the Orioles respectable. I’m not sure that was the right way to go. He really didn’t have any answers for when Brian Roberts, Luke Scott and the young pitchers went down with injuries. It seems the plan was to hope everything went according to plan. He did trade veterans Lee, Uehara and Gonzalez down the stretch. He didn’t net much for any of them, but the financial savings should help some.


Analysis Score: +0.8 (15th)

Final Analysis: There is no way in heck that Andy MacPhail is in the middle of the pack. Even if we assume that everything would have broken right for the Orioles, they would have finished no higher than fourth in the AL East and probably still fifth.

If you add all of the free-agent money together, you get in excess of $20 million. Their payroll could be in the neighborhood of the Blue Jays or Nationals and probably have similar scores for the three phases. He likely will end up being at least in the bottom ten if not the bottom five.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Buck Brings his Broomstick: Baltimore Orioles Sweep the Angels

The Angels Series

We know.

It’s only been three games since Buck Showalter took the reigns as the Orioles skipper. But can you really blame O’s fans for the excitement flowing through the Baltimore harbor?

Having just completed their first three-game sweep of the Angels since 1999, the Orioles seem to have a new get-up in their step following the hiring of Showalter, a no-nonsense manager who has twice built teams into the upper-echelon only to be replaced in the offseason before that team won the World Series (see: 1996 Yankees, 2001 Diamondbacks). Without a doubt, Showalter is the best Orioles manager since Davey Johnson, who took the team to the ALCS in 1996 and 1997.

In a season that started with very modest goals (get back to .500), it has been very disheartening to see the O’s sink to the cellar: Of the AL East; of the American League; and of all of baseball. But when you’ve been at least twenty games out of first place since June 2nd, fans start looking for the silver-lining in the rustiest of situations (i.e. At least Garrett Atkins got a hit tonight!).

But in Showalter’s three game debut, even the silver-linings are lined with silver.

The starting pitching over the course of the three-game series was perhaps the best the staff has seen all season, with each starter recording a quality outing. Jeremy Guthrie gave up three earned runs over seven innings in the opener, while rookie Brian Matusz only surrendered one run in his six innings of the second game. The best start, however, likely belongs to fellow rookie Jake Arrieta, who gave up two earned runs over seven and 2/3 innings in a no-decision in which he deserved a Win.

Meanwhile, the Orioles bats came to life to the tune of 20 runs over the course of the Angels series. While scoring runs has proved enigmatic for the O’s throughout 2010, barring a fluky home run here or there, these three games featured timely hitting that has been amiss as of late.

Under Showalter’s watchful eye versus the Angels, the Orioles batted .454 with runners in scoring position (I can’t find the exact stat of what their season average is, but rest assured it is about half this number), while nine of the 20 runs were driven in with two outs. In a season where runners have been stranded on base longer than Desmond Hume on the Island, fans can’t help be be excited that perhaps Showalter has figured out how to get these runners home.

This Author’s Perspective

As a fan of a team that has had a losing record and missed the playoffs every season since 1997, there have been very few things to be excited about over the past decade-plus.

Off the top of my head, my most-favorite recent baseball moments have been: The O’s coming back from down nine runs to beat the Red Sox in 2009, seeing Matt Weiters on the cover of Sports Illustrated (thanks for the jinx), and Dave Roberts’ steal against the Yankees in game four of the 2004 ALCS. Three great moments, only two of which involved the Orioles. That’s how hard it has been to be a fan of the Orioles, who I wholeheartedly believe have the most incompetent owner in all of sports.

Based on the astute moves made in recent seasons, I’m going to guess that Showalter’s arrival in Baltimore had much more to do with General Manager Andy MacPhail’s efforts than whatever fat-cat owner Peter Angelos was doing to replace interim manager Juan Samuel. MacPhail has built the Orioles farm system into one of the best in the league, mostly through his mantra of “Grow the arms, Buy the bats.”

While Baltimore has yet to sign a marquee bat, a line-up featuring Matt Weiters, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Josh Bell and other up-and-comers should be appealing for an experienced big-time bat. If these players produce as they have in the minors and at times in the bigs, they could offer some protection in the line-up for a big bat to be bought in the offseason.

If Showalter can continue pushing his young team towards the potential we all want to think is in there, then the Orioles should at least be in contention for the playoffs as early as 2011. Sure, we’ve been saying that for years, but isn’t the scent of success tickling your olfactory for the first time since we thought the first Tejada experiment would make the O’s contenders?

Maybe. Only this time, its a bit more pungent.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Orioles State Of The Union: How Will Buck Showalter Use The Rest Of 2010

For those fans still holding on in Baltimore, tonight will be the beginning of yet another “new era” for the organization, as the team plays its first game under manager Buck Showalter. 

While the looming hire of Showalter was perhaps the worst kept secret in all of sports over the last month, the fact that the deal is finally done now means that the (re)rebuilding process can begin now rather than come spring training.

This difference is rarely felt in other sports, but baseball is one sport where it isn’t just helpful, it is vital. 

The reason that baseball is unique in this way is that baseball teams get to expand their rosters every Sept. 1 to basically call up anyone they like to the 40-man rosters. 

The ability to call these players up and see how they do against top-level competition can give managers an insight into their potential before next year’s Spring Training. 

For Showalter, this opportunity to see what he has in his farm system could possibly shave off a year in his rebuilding plan.

Although there is certainly no doubt that Showalter will want to use the rest of the season to assess talent, there is one thing that could prevent a blown up roster—Andy MacPhail willingness to have the 2010 Orioles go down as one of the worst teams in baseball history.

At 32-73, the Orioles are on pace to lose 111 games. To put that in perspective, only four teams since 1940 have tallied that many. 

Accumulating that many losses in a season would be an even bigger shot to the reputation of MacPhail and his so-called “plan.” The question now becomes, “Will the Orioles risk entering that realm in order to try and better their future?” 

Either way, guys like Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, and Matt Weiters will all stay staples of the rest of the Orioles’ season. The people whose playing time could be sacrificed will be the veterans like Kevin Millwood, Ty Wigginton, and even Luke Scott. 

If the Orioles are smart, they will give this season to the dogs in order to look at younger guys. If it works, then the season will be forgotten (the Detroit Tigers 119-loss 2003 season was quickly forgotten when they made it to the World Series three years later).

In this scenario, don’t be surprised to see guys like Brandon Snyder, Chorye Spoone, Chris Tillman and even recent acquisition Rick VandenHurk getting some time in Baltimore for strictly scouting purposes. Even Zach Britton (who is not currently on the 40-man roster) could get brought up from Triple-A, he is certainly deserving of it.

Those names are all in addition to Josh Bell and Troy Patton, who were both called up as a result of the Miguel Tejada and Will Ohman trades.

However, in an age where records rule everything, the Orioles could very well decide to play the older vets and try to scrape one or two more wins out of the season. If they do, they could manage to sacrifice the 2011 season before it even starts. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Mummey Rises: What To Expect From Baltimore’s Fourth-Round Pick

I had probably the same reaction as most when the Orioles announced Trent Mummey as the team’s fourth-round pick a few weeks ago.

Nice name, but….who?

And like some of you, I dug a little deeper to see what kind of havoc Mummey brought on SEC pitchers this year.

What I found was very, VERY impressive.

Mummey tore the cover off the ball to the tune of a .366 average, 20 points less than Hunter Morris, his teammate at Auburn and fellow fourth-round pick, but still impressive.

Mummey finished third on the squad with 17 home runs, which would have been good enough for the team lead on most NCAA teams.

Mind you, the Tigers had 11 players selected in the 2010 draft, more than any other team.

His 54 RBI also ranked third, behind Morris’s 76, and Brian Fletcher’s 75. He scored 46 runs, rapped 15 doubles and showed off his above-average speed, swiping eight bases.

All of that offensive firepower, and that’s not even the best part. Hold onto your butts…

…Mummey only played in 36 games, 34 of which he started. He missed the first 28 games of the season with an ankle injury.

If you prorate his numbers through a full 64 game season, like the one Morris enjoyed, his numbers look ridiculous: 

.366 average, 27 doubles, 30 home runs, 96 RBI, 82 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

Let me remind you that the NCAA leader in home runs finished with 27, and the RBI leader topped out at 89. 

Granted, Mummey would have inevitably encountered some kind of slump, or another injury had he not come down with a lame ankle, but the point is proven.

This kid can rake.

And the best part on top of the best part…

…Mummey is usually thought of as a defense-first player.

In addition to being named first-team All-SEC, he was also a recipient of the 2009 NCAA Division I Gold Glove after playing spectacular defense, despite his less than impressive offensive numbers (.289 with 15 homers and 42 RBI).

Mummey possesses many skills that the Orioles have in their system. He has close to top-notch speed (22 stolen bases in 37 Cape Cod League games last summer). He has some pop in his bat, and this season he showed the ability to hit for average. He’s also developed a pretty good eye at the plate, making him all the more dangerous.

Toss in stellar defensive play, and Mummey gives the Orioles all those skills in one player, something they do lack. 

Most of the “typical” lead-off guys in the system feature top-end speed, with little plate discipline or power (see, Xavier Avery, Kyle Hudson). They have a few with a decent combo of speed and discipline (see, L.J. Hoes and Paco Figueroa), but getting one player with all three traits?

That’s straight Mummey.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Getting To Know You…Manny Machado, The Orioles New Shortstop

So I just spent the past three months obsessing over Jameson Taillon, and in an effort to get myself over Big-J (that’s my nickname for him :), I’ve decided to immerse myself in Manny Machado.

First things first. Machado goes by the nickname “A-Rod light” among certain scouts.

And if that sounds like a lofty title, one unworthy of a 17-year old, well you haven’t been paying attention to young Manny, who looks, talks, and even positions himself at the plate like a baby A-Rod.

Machado burst onto the draft scene in early 2009. 

He used the momentum from a fantastic junior season to catapult himself into consideration for the summer showcase series. He eventually helped lead the 18-under USA team to a gold medal in the Pan-Am Junior Championships in Venezuela.

Defensively, there is tons to love about Machado, starting with the fact that he looks, right now, like he’ll be able to stay at shortstop long-term. He has a great arm, solid footwork and outstanding range. Simply put, he can make all the plays.

At the plate, he’s a solid hitter. He projects as a future .300 hitter (very exciting) with some decent pop. Right now his game isn’t real big on power, but scouts see the frame conducive to some down the road.

His baseball makeup seems to be off the charts as well. He eats, drinks and sleeps baseball, and it’s no wonder his idol is none other than A-Rod himself, right down the the number 3 uniform he started donning this season.

Clearly, the O’s need some help at shortstop. They added some depth in second-round pick Mychal Givens last year, and he’s still getting his feet wet at low-A Delmarva.

Given Machado’s advanced defense, I wonder if they’ll try to move Givens off short, or do they play both at the same position at the same level. Thank goodness for the DH in minor league baseball.

There was a reason Machado was considered a top-five talent in this year’s draft, and I just need to get over the fact that Taillon won’t be anchoring any rotation within 100 miles of Camden Yards.

Machado will do just fine. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Prince Fielder To Baltimore? What Would It Take?

“Grow the arms and buy the bats.”

That’s the philosophy Andy MacPhail said he was going to try to rebuild the once great Baltimore franchise with.

So here we are, three years later. The arms have been grown: Brian Matusz, the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft; Chris Tillman, stolen from the Seattle Mariners in the one-sided Erik Bedard trade; Jake Arrieta, Triple-A superstar, and on the verge of joining the big league rotation any week now; and, Zach Britton, one of the more promising, underrated arms in the minors.

Now, how ’bout those bats?

The O’s made a wild run at Mark Teixeira a few years ago, but aside from that, they haven’t really made a huge splash via free agency, and have done nothing so far this season to salvage their despicable season. Trading in Felix Pie and Justin Turner for Corey Patterson and Scott Moore isn’t going to solve this team’s offensive woes.

In other news, the Brewers have dropped subtle hints that All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder might be on the market.


My question is: what would it take to bring Fielder to Baltimore?

No question, he would provide an instant impact, and his left-handed stroke would be perfect for the short right field wall at Camden Yards. He would also give this lineup a power threat and RBI machine that it’s been lacking since the first time Miguel Tejada came to Baltimore.

And better yet, Fielder is young enough that he might still be around when (or if) the Orioles get back around to contending.

Here’s what I’m thinking it would take:

1) Jake Arrieta —capitalize on the fantastic start to the season that Jake is having. He’s a bulldog on the mound, a true inning eater, and a solid starter that the Milwaukee organization is lacking. He has a pretty high ceiling, and if the starting thing doesn’t work out, he has the power game that would work at the back of the Brewers’ bullpen. At best, though, he could be a No. 2 starter.

2) Brandon Snyder —he isn’t having the best start to the season, but he usually does better in his second go-around at a level so I’m not that worried. He’ll hit, that’s what he does. The only question is if he’ll ever develop any power. Shipping him off would clear any obstacle in the way of Fielder holding the position for five-eight years. He would give the Brewers another solid bat for the future.

3) Troy Patton —Patton has proved he’s healthy after undergoing surgery right after being acquired from the Astros in the Miguel Tejada trade, but he hasn’t been able to harness his command, which was once his greatest attribute. Sending him back to the NL might give him some familiarity, and he could develop into a solid back of the rotation kind of guy.

4) Pedro Beato —I know he’s been largely a disappointment for the O’s, who picked him up in the supplemental round a few years ago. He was supposed to be a huge splash as a starter, but that plan fizzled out and now Beato is learning to be a reliever. He’s done a pretty good job too, with an ERA under 2.00 and much fewer walks than he issued as a starter. Beato could be a eighth-inning guy, or even emerge as a serious closer candidate. Milwaukee could use one of those.

And if that’s still not enough to net Fielder, I’d even toss in an advanced arm like a Ryan Berry, or another bullpen guy like Dennis Sarfate or Brett Jacobson.

A four, or possibly five-for-one deal oughta get it done right?

Then Part II is to restructure this lineup. No more Markakis at No. 2 one night, then No. 4 the next. Build it around Fielder, something like this:

1) Roberts—when healthy, of course. Under contract until 2015.

2) Jones—tell him no more horsing around, and no more HR’s. He’s a No. 2 hitter, period.

3) Wieters—sitting later in the lineup hasn’t worked. Try moving him up. It works for Mauer.

4) Fielder—finally, a legitimate cleanup hitter. Gone are the days of Ty Wiggington.

5) Markakis—what the O’s really need out of Nick the Stick is power. Move him down and force him to trade his singles for homers.

6) Reimold—when healthy of course…if that’s possible.

7) Bell—work the rookie in slowly, near the bottom of the lineup. It worked for Markakis.

8) Angle—let Matt Angle and Jones split the CF duties, and put another speed threat in the lineup. Angle would thrive at the bottom of a lineup.

9) Izturis—I got nothing…at least he plays somewhat solid defense.


Come on , Andy…buy some bats.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Orioles’ Biggest Problem (and How to Fix It)

It’s been nearly 12.5 years since the Baltimore Orioles have been in a playoff game. It’s been 12.5 years since Baltimore has last finished a season with a final record above the .500 mark. It’s been nearly 5.5 years since the Orioles have seen any place in the final standings better than fourth (and if you don’t count the 2004 season, it’s been nearly 12.5 years, as well).

There have been a number of stars on the Orioles who have come and gone during this time span: guys like Cal Ripken, Mike Mussina, Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, B.J. Surhoff, Brady Anderson, Melvin Mora, Tony Batista, Javy Lopez, Miguel Tejada, B.J. Ryan, Erik Bedard, Aubrey Huff, Nick Markakis, and Brian Roberts, just to name a few.

Even with all of these acquisitions and players who have come up in the Orioles’ farm system, the team has yet to improve. The team that has now been considered mediocre (or worse) for over a decade.

With all these great stars, you might be thinking, “How come they haven’t done well?” To be quite honest, some of the teams the Baltimore Orioles crafted in the first decade of the new millennium had more talent than the teams in 1996 and 1997 (the only two times they have made it to the playoffs since they last won the World Series in 1983).

For instance, look at at the lineup for 2004 (the only time they managed to seal a place outside of fourth or fifth in the AL East):

1. Brian Roberts (2B)

2. David Newhan (DH)

3. Melvin Mora (3B)

4. Miguel Tejada (SS)

5. Rafael Palmeiro (1B)

6. B.J. Surhoff (LF)

7. Jay Gibbons (RF)

8. Larry Bigbie (CF)

9. Geronimo Gil (C)


That’s a pretty talented batting lineup if you ask me. Granted their pitching wasn’t all that great, but it wasn’t all that horrible.

Now, it’s six seasons after the 2004 season, and the Orioles are not only struggling, but with almost a third of the season over they are atrociously on their worst downfall since 1937 (winning-percentage wise) if they don’t turn things around quickly. Some even remember those days when Baltimore was actually considered a winning franchise, through the 60s up until the mid 80s, and again in the mid 90s. The Orioles have watched several legends come and go, but those days are long gone… or so it seems.

Why is this? Well, they still have some pretty experienced veterans who are still worth the money on their contracts in Markakis, Kevin Millwood, and Roberts ( although Roberts is injured), and they have quite a few young guys in Matt Weiters, Adam Jones, and Nolan Reimold, who all emerged last season and proved that they have what it takes to stay in the big leagues. They have an experienced starting pitcher who still has game in Millwood, along with a couple of stars who have the potential to have bright futures in Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz. To top it all off, to work with their pitching, they have a pitching coach who won Baseball America’s MLB Coach of the Year award in 2006 with the Marlins in Rich Kranitz.

*Fun fact: Rich Kranitz was Greg Maddux’s first professional pitching coach in Pikeville, Kentucky in 1984 when Maddux pitched for the Pikeville Cubs.

Better pitching and offense cannot be the solution to this long problem in particular. Could it be the fact that Baltimore needs a new manager? As of late, there has been speculation that there will be a sixth change coming up soon, and that current manager Dave Trembley will lose his job fairly soon. Trembley took Sam Perlozzo’s spot in 2007, 69 games into the season. With the O’s riding on the worst two-month start of the season in the Majors, people think it is time for a new manager.  

Since ’97, the Orioles management has made five managerial changes, which includes a four-year segment with Mike Hargrove; Hargrove led the Indians to five straight division titles and two American League pennants in the mid 90s. None of them were successful in achieving the goal that seems like an eternity to achieve: to reach .500.

This brings me to the main point of this article: what the Orioles have been lacking for the past 12.5 years. If you look at the attendance numbers, you can see that they have decreased radically. They were ranked first in the American League in attendance at one point in time. 1997’s total crowd attendance was the franchise’s peak, as they generated an audience of 3,711,132 people (45,816 per game). Since then, there have only been two occurrences in which the Orioles’ attendance has increased… and both times were not significant at all.

The numbers speak for themselves:

1998: 3,684,650 (45,490 per game), ranked 1st in the AL in attendance

1999: 3,433,150 (42,385 per game), ranked 2nd in the AL in attendance

2000: 3,297,031 (40,704 per game), ranked 2nd in the AL in attendance

2001: 3,094,841 (38,686 per game), ranked 4th in the AL in attendance

2002: 2,682,439 (33,117 per game), ranked 3rd in the AL in attendance

2003: 2,454,523 (30,303 per game), ranked 5th in the AL in attendance

2004: 2,744,018 (33,877 per game), ranked 5th in the AL in attendance (improvement)

2005: 2,624,740 (32,404 per game), ranked 5th in the AL in attendance

2006: 2,153,139 (26,582 per game), ranked 10th in the AL in attendance

2007: 2,164,822 (26,726 per game), ranked 11th in the AL in attendance (improvement)

2008: 1,950,075 (24,376 per game), ranked 10th in the AL in attendance

2009: 1,907,163 (23,545 per game), ranked 9th in the AL in attendance

So that’s that. The Orioles’ total attendance per year has dropped by over 1 1/2 million in just a little over a decade…


It’s amazing what can happen in 12 years. It seems like yesterday when people were talking about being excited about going to an Orioles game. Now, for those devoted Orioles fans who have watched several games it may seem like a chore. The fans have no motivation for their team to give, and therefore have no motivation to give for their players. At Camden Yards, it’s almost safe to say that there is no home-field advantage for the O’s because there are more fans for the other team than Baltimore’s very own. There is, pretty much, no hope in what the O’s do and fans almost know what the outcome is… so why bother go?

*If that doesn’t say enough for you, 2010’s season has reached an ultimate low. On April 12, just a month and a half ago, the Orioles (or shall I say their fans) set a franchise record for the lowest attendance figure since the opening of Camden Yards. Not only that, but it still stands as the record to beat for the lowest attendance figure so far this season in the MLB.

What really interested me, however, was when I looked at the attendance numbers and found that there was a drastic downfall from 2005 to 2006. What could have possibly gone wrong? They only lost four more games than they did the previous year (going from 74-88 to 70-92), so what caused this huge decrease? Well… how about the fact that Sammy Sosa played for the Orioles at the time? It may strike people as odd, but even though he sucked, a name like Sammy Sosa generates money for the franchise. Big names like Sosa, Bonds, A-Rod, Pujols, etc. generate a lot of money. The fans get behind them and start rooting for them… and the team.

Not only that, but bigger names in the MLB tend to have a lot of experience under their belts. A great example is Ivan Rodriguez with the Nationals. One of the greatest catchers of all time, and not only is his contract worth very little for a superstar ($3 million), but he’s playing a very big part in why the Nationals are currently above .500 and in third place in the NL East division.

However, with that being said, guys that generate a lot of money usually cost a lot of money. Now… do the Orioles have money like that to acquire someone who will generate that kind of money for the Orioles organization? No… not really. Their payroll this year is a little over $81 million, which is good for 17th in the MLB. Plus, with the attendance they’ve been getting day in and day out, it seems like owner Peter Angelo might get into some financial trouble with that payroll and might need to keep a tighter budget.

This made me think about a couple of players who might be interested in contributing to the organization. Well, Ken Griffey Jr. is a big name, and he’s making only $2.35 million this year. I don’t think he’ll be up for that, though. Many baseball fans are pressuring him saying that it’s time for him to retire, and I think he’d much rather do it in Seattle than anywhere else.

Pedro Martinez? Eh…  looking back at his history with the Boston Red Sox, I don’t think he’d accept a contract with the Orioles even if they offered him a decent amount of money.

What about: Jim Thome? He’s a pretty interesting case. He’s in the 500 home run club currently playing for the Twins. He’s not doing so well, so it’s not like he’s going to be asking for a lot more than his current $1.5 million contract with the Twins. However, he has yet to win a World Series… and I don’t think he’s going to want to go to a team that’s on its way of going on 13 straight seasons under .500. Plus, if he sticks around long enough, Thome could be on the verge of hitting 600 home runs. He’s 31 shy of the record now.

There are limited options here, but general manager Andy MacPhail needs to realize that he needs to generate a profit somehow… some way. And let’s face it: he isn’t really doing it with the roster he currently has. He’s not putting butts in seats… and he needs to get those butts back in there to cheer the Orioles on.

Do something… or keep “phailing.”

Anyone have any other ideas or feedback…? Please feel free to comment. I’m always up for new suggestions and/or different opinions.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress