Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sam's favorite movie? Clueless.

After wasting a roster spot for a week on an injured Ramon Hernandez, who we all knew was going to spend some time on the DL, Sam Perlozzo and company did stupid thing number 367 so far this spring.

They called up Kurt Birkins, mediocre journeyman relief pitcher extrodinaire, instead of calling up John Knott or J.R. House, the power hitting minor leaguers who have never been given a chance at the MLB for no reason.

After a while, you just expect the Orioles to do dumb things and I've been expecting dumb things for a long time. I think it's been since about 2000. Yesterday's gut-wrenching 10-7 loss to the Yankees was a prime example of just that. But that was on the field. That dumb mistake was on the players. Roster management shouldn't be so hard. You're not competeing with anyone, unless it's yourself. And we all know that the Orioles love to compete with themselves. Maybe that's because it's the only way they can win.

More than half the players on the 25 man roster are pitchers! It's not like our rotation has done a horrible job eating innings. Bedard and Wright did, but Cabrera, Loewen and Trachsel all did well in that department. Maybe if Perlozzo wasn't so intent on labeling his bullpen (Baez, you're the set-up man. Ray, you're going to save every game. Walker, you're the LOOGY), yesterday wouldn't have happened.

Our bench still consists of Chris Gomez, Freddie Bynum and one of Paul Bako or Alberto Castillo, who are hitting a combined 4 for 25 (.160 AVG). Now would have been the perfect chance to call up John Knott, a right-handed hitter who could spell Jay Gibbons in LF against LHP. Or J.R. House, who would have given us the perfect chance to jettison one of Bako or Castillo. (Unfortunately, the best of the bunch, Jason DuBois is on the DL.)

Now J.R. House isn't known for his defensive prowess but at least he can make-up for what he lacks on defense in the hitting department. So far, Bako looks shaky behind the plate and at the plate, not to mention he's a left-handed hitter, something this team needs less of, so he'd be the one I shitcan first.

Bako is just another example of the Orioles competeing against themselves. They paid $900,000 for Bako, a catcher who isn't wanted by most AAA teams. However, the O's paid almost double what they needed to for him, and then signed a better defensive catcher in Castillo for the league minimum when Hernandez came up gimpy on opening day.

The O's also did this with Payton, spending $9 million on him when they could have signed Jose Cruz, Jr. for $500,000 like the Giants did, and inserted him into the line-up against LHP, which he hammers just as well as Payton, if not better.

But I forgot. Payton is going to be our starting LF. Silly me!

Anyway, the Birkins move seems like a knee-jerk reaction from yesterday's loss. They think they need more bullpen help, but what they need to do is not be so strict with the roles of the bullpen pitchers. Baez doesn't have to pitch every 8th inning, and when he struggles to throw strikes, take him out. Ray doesn't have to save every game, especially when he's pitched the night before and has a terrible track record against the Yanks.

The bullpen will be fine as long as Sam rolls with the punches, but it appears as if he's OK just standing there while he gets pummeled in the face.

So it all comes down to roster management, and again, the O's are showing you why they're a horrible team. They can't do anything right, whether it's on the field or off it.

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