McPhail’s woes

This time, it was the Rays who used their brooms to sweep the series against the O’s. I’m assuming you all recall the sweep we handed to the Rays in the season-opening series in Florida. Ah, remember the days when the Orioles won? They seem to be getting further and further away and it’s getting extremely painful to not only watch them suffer but to then have to come here and write about how terrible they are. It’s not something new that I’m not used to. We are all used to the Orioles losing, I mean we’ve had years and years to practice so if you aren’t used to it by now, I’m not sure what’s wrong with you. But, we ALL thought this season was a turn-around season and the O’s would have a winning season and maybe even be contenders for a playoff spot. Boy, weren’t we fooled. McPhail phails again (ha get the pun?). He took a new approach by spending money and signing veterans. But he signed the OLD veterans Lee and Vladdy and the AGING veteran Reynolds (and ridiculous strike-outer) and the not-very-good-hitting J.J. Hardy. Not to be a downer, but it really looks like this plan is not going to work and now, we will have to wait another 5-10 years to be a winning team. We need to wait until Manny Machado is ready to come up and we need to draft some great prospects to prepare them to be great major league players. I feel that McPhail will go back to his old plan after seeing this one fail. His old plan: get a ton of young guys in the minors and wait a few years until they can come up and be good. I do give McPhail credit for trying something different this season and spending money and getting players that used to be good but who no longer are. So props to you McPhail, it’s just unfortunate.

Adam Jones and Matt Wieters were supposed to be young players that are great defensively and are great hitters. They’ve kind of been busts. Don’t get me wrong, AJ is a golden glove OF. He saves runs constantly. Behind the plate, Weiters is one of the best catchers in the league. He makes great plays to get those trying to steal out, he blocks the plate beautifully, and calls awesome games for the young pitchers (they just fail to perform). However, AJ is still very undisciplined at the plate, swinging at balls that are close to hitting the dirt and swinging for the fences. This is very disheartening to see every time. He has improved this season and had a 6-game hitting streak coming into today’s game (it was snapped but he got on base with a HBP) but he isn’t where he was expected to be. For Wieters, he has definitely improved from last season. He worked on a higher stance in the batter’s box and it has helped him immensely. He’s currently hitting .232 and is tied for the team-leading RBIs with 19 (tied with Roberts). He is also absolutely the clutchest player with RISP. Still, if he and Jones don’t continue to improve, they will be considered as offensive busts.

I also think McPhail should have gone for a veteran pitcher. He got the veteran batters but every pitcher on the rotation is young. Guthrie is the oldest at 33 years old. Though the young starters have surprised most by being fairly consistent and good, a veteran starter would of made things better. Once Matusz is better, Bergesen will be out of the starting rotation and he has yet to win a game (and the team has yet to win a game with him starting) so that will be a positive.

It seems like the O’s will NEVER get good again. Signing proven veteran hitters didn’t work and preparing young players in the farm system hasn’t worked perfectly either. The O’s have to get good again at some point though, right? Let’s just hope if they do, that it happens when I’m still alive. I am so tired of seeing them suck.

I want to hear from you. What do you think the O’s front office’s plan should be for next season? And what should they do for the remainder of this season?

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  • Paul Lubertine

    I think it’s still a bit early to throw in the towel on this season. I also think it is a bit too early to determine what Andy needs to do for next season, without seeing if what he has done this season has been a success or a failure. In fairness, I have the advantage of two games after this article was written but I meant to comment on it the other night. J.J. has been a great spark in this Seattle series. Adam Jones is on a ridiculous tear, and if Matt Wieters keeps doing what he’s doing, there are a lot of naysayers out there who owe him a HUGE apology. Never mind him calling a great game behind the plate, throwing out everyone who tries to steal second, but his bat has really come around. If he was hitting homeruns…he’d be perfect!!

    Anyway, has far as next year goes I think the two top concerns remain the same. Bring in a proven starter to anchor the rotation(Guthrie is no #1)and bring in a true clean up hitter who will be around for a while. PLEASE LET IT BE PRINCE FIELDER!!!

    I like your stuff Lauren…read it alot…keep up the good work.


  • Lauren Tilley

    Thanks for reading Paul, I’m glad you enjoy it. Yes the O’s do look quite revived so far this series maybe Hardy does have something to do with it. Both starters in the series have been great and the offense is heating up. Adam Jones is hitting ridiculously right now let’s just hope he keeps it up and I agree with you about Wieters deserving an apology!

    I hope this, whatever it is that’s working for them, keeps up because they’re starting to look like the team they were in the beginning of the season.

    And Prince Fielder….that would be amazing.