Friday, November 7, 2008

Get a load of this

Danys Baez wants to start.

Yes, you heard that right. The Orioles reliever who pitched to a 6.44 ERA in 2007 and missed all of 2008, now wants to be given a chance to join the starting rotation.

I don’t blame the guy. He probably looked over the statistics from the 2008 rotation and thought he could do better. But even I could do better. You probably could too.

Baez is in a contract year and probably thinks that becoming a starter gives him a better chance for one more payday before retirement. Again, I don’t blame the guy.

But there is just no chance in hell this happens.

True, Baez did have some success as a starting pitcher in Cleveland during the 2002 season, posting a 4.41 ERA that would have looked Cy Young-worthy on the O’s 2008 rotation.

But that was seven years ago.

Andy MacPhail was diplomatic, saying, "He's expressed some interest in preparing himself as a starter, and we'll see how things go from there. It seems to make sense. I don't know if you lose anything by doing that. Preparing yourself so that you are going to start is not going to retard your development whatever the role you end up being in."

Read between the lines, and MacPhail said this, “Hahaha. Good try Danys. You were grandfathered in from the Flanagan/Duquette days when they spent millions on crappy players like Jay Payton and yourself. Times have changed. I can pitchers better than you in most beer leagues, but go ahead. Practice as a starter. Throw more pitches. If, and it’s a very big if, you make the team, preparing yourself as a starter will only make you a better mop-up guy.”

And MacPhail did use the word “retard”, too. Coincidence? I think not.

I seem to remember Baez wanting to be the closer when he signed his 3 year, $19 million dollar deal. Who is this guy to make such demands? Doesn’t he realize he’s lucky to still be in the major leagues at this point?

If the Orioles entertain this past a few starts in spring training, I really have to wonder about MacPhail’s intelligence. This should be nothing more than a few early November laughs around the water cooler before the offseason action begins.

The Orioles have a crop of MiL pitchers ready to join the rotation but are also in need of a few veteran starting pitchers who can keep the team in the game and eat innings.

Danys Baez does not factor into that.

He’ll be given his chance to earn what’s left of his paycheck during spring training, and if he doesn’t metamorphosis back into the 2005 version of himself, he’s gone.

And rightfully so.

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