Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Third time's a charm!

So I woke up this morning and went about my daily routine before work: Howard Stern, breakfast, and then ironing my clothes.

It wasn't until I was about to walk out the door that I realized that I hadn't yet checked to see what the Orioles had done the night before.

It's gotten to the point where the Orioles quite simply aren't a part of my life. Well, that's not true. The games are no longer part of my life, because they are a pointless waste of time and energy. I do, however, still care about what the Orioles stand for, and what they represent, which is my hometown of Baltimore.

So as long as the O's play in Baltimore, I will always be a card-carrying fan of the team. However, this will keep me from rooting for another team more than it will keep me rooting for the O's in the middle of another disastrous year.

So, as I sat down at the computer to check out the boxscore of last night's game, which is after all, the only thing I do in regards to the actual games, I expected another disaster. And why shouldn't I?

But even then, a shred of me also thought that I still might get a small surprise to see that the O's won, that they pulled one out last night to end the 4 game skid they were currently mired in. Not that a meaningless win matters after 10 years of pointless losing, but the O's are still my team, and I would rather they win any game than lose it, meaningless or not.

So when I first saw the boxscore, I wasn't shocked. Not a bit.

Nope, I wasn't shocked to see the O's had blown their third consecutive game after having a lead in the 7th inning. It's become a common occurrence.

And Sam Perlozzo's bad moves are becoming a common occurrence as well.

For some reason, Perlozzo is still turning to Danys Baez (6.84 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) at crucial points in games. And for some reason, Perlozzo allows Baez to stay in games even after he walks consecutive batters with 8 consecutive balls.

It's true, Perlozzo isn't a bullpen pitcher who is blowing games himself, or hitter who is not getting clutch hits either. But he is loyal to players for no reason. Loyal to players who's time has come and gone.

Yes, the players are largely to blame. But Perlozzo is only enhancing the lack of performance with poor decisions. His time, has come and gone too.

As for Baez, the O's are stuck with him for another 2.5 years at a hefty price. He's too expensive to be relegated to mop-up duty, but that is something that the O's front office is going to have to deal with and accept. Baez no longer deserves to be in close games, winning or losing. He was a risky signing when he was signed, and now those risks are coming home to roost.

As for bullpens, the O's should reboot the old Oriole Way of bringing along stud SP prospects to anchor the bullpen until they are ready for the starting rotation. Regular work is important for young pitchers, but so is learning to major league batters out.

Afterall, how long will it take for Garrett Olson to adjust to the major leagues when and if he ever gets called up? Judging by how long it took Hayden Penn (58 IP and he's still trying to figure that out), it could be a while.

As we all know, the bullpen isn't the only part of the organization that needs to undergo a plethora of sea changes. And if the organization is still failing to address the problems in the bullpen and on the team in general, how long do you think it will take for the problems throughout the organization to be addressed, top to bottom?

People can always point to the minor leagues getting better as a sign of overall improvement, but I say look again. Outside of a small handful of prospects (mostly pitchers), the minor leagues are as bad as they've always been. And most of the talent is in the lower levels. Who knows what will happen to those prospects after a few years.

The bottom line is this. We all need wake up calls from time to time.

The O's have needed one for the last 10 years, every hour on the hour.

And we as fans need a wake-up call too.

It's going to be a long time before this team is a winner.

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