Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plan for second half? Listen to the fans.

Would it hurt the Baltimore Orioles to listen to the fans?

OK, I’m not talking about the fans who say “Fire Angelos and sign A-Rod.” That’s never going to happen.

But would it hurt the team to listen to the sensible fans, the ones who hang out on message forums and debate endlessly over the make-up of the team?

Let’s take a look at how the Orioles’ way of doing things has worked during the first half of the season.

They’re 38-49 which is good for 15 games out of first place. The season was technically over by June, just like it has been for years. The team has wasted up to 4 spots on its roster, the bullpen has blown more games than it has saved and the offense has struggled to score runs since Opening Day.

If this were any other line of business, the people in charge of the Baltimore Orioles would have been fired a long time ago. But these Orioles still remain largely the same. The same players are still playing. The same general managers are still managing. And the same coaches are still coaching.

And after a disaster of a first half, the Orioles have only fired their manager (Sam Perlozzo) and hired another front office guy (Andy MacPhail) who will likely create more red tape than cut through it. And while the team and die-hard fans would probably tell you that these are major moves that will lead the team back into contention over the next 3 years, to me it looks more like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic than anything else.

After the last 10 years can you blame me?

And that’s why I wonder if the team should give in and do what fans want them to do over the course of the second half.

Most of the things I hear on are sensible. They are moves that should have been made way back in spring training.

After all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Paul Bako and Brandon Fahey have no business being on the Orioles roster and minor league players like Jon Knott and J.R. House deserve to be. (House, by the way, was talked out of leaving the club. I’m guessing they promised him some playing time with the Orioles this season but who the hell knows anymore.)

Most fans would also say that it’s about time we cut bait with players like Jay Gibbons and Corey Patterson and trade players like Kevin Millar, Melvin Mora and Steve Trachsel for just about anything we can get in return.

But this is the Orioles we’re talking about. They’ll probably do nothing. Matter of fact, they will do nothing, which is why it’s time to start listening to the fans.

But that’s just another thing that will never happen. Even though it should.

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