The Baltimore Orioles Christmas List
4. Give us a bobblehead of a major league player – On May 26th last season the O’s had Nolan Reimold bobblehead night. The only problem was Reimold was in Triple-A. He was projected to be the everyday left fielder when spring training began but he got off to a horrible start and was demoted a month before his big night. I realize replacing the bobbleheads with another player would have cost the organization tons of money, but come on, that was just embarrassing.
5. Gift wrap us a true first basemen – I’m tired of the defensive liability players manning the position. First base is one of the key defensive positions and there are two solid players still on the market with Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee. Let’s sign one. Personally I rather have Lee, simply because of the shorter contract and he’s more proven.
6. Stay above the Mendoza line – I don’t want to see third basemen Mark Reynolds anywhere close to the .200 batting average mark. Last year he hit a dismal .198 in the N.L. West, what will he do in the pitching heavy A.L. East? The odds aren’t in our favor.
7. Keep doing your thing – After manager Buck Showalter took over mid-season the Orioles play inspired baseball. They made fewer base running blunders, hit better with runners in scoring position, and overall looked like a team worthy of being in the majors. Who knows how much of the play had to do with Showalter but let’s hope it continues.
8. Emerging young starters – For the last two years the organization has boasted about the abundance of our young, talented pitchers. Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, Britton, Bergesen, and Erbe are the main ones. They’ve all shown the ability to be quality starters but have also taken their lumps. Matusz is the most polished of the bunch and it’s time for Tillman and Arrieta to cement their major-league-ready status. Bergesen had a terrible first half of the season but bounced back nicely the last two months of the season. Britton and Erbe have a chance to make their debuts this season.
9. Show us that gold glove – After winning a gold glove in 2009, center fielder Adam Jones had a suspect season in the field. He occasionally misjudged fly balls and didn’t cover as much ground as he had the previous year. For a manager who preaches defense, Jones will need to prove his worth to the team.
10. Salary Cap – Oh please, oh please! This was the season the Orioles would turn the corner and catch up ground on the Yanks and Red Sox. How is that realistically feasible with the amount of high priced players on their roster. The Sox countered our left side of the infield moves by trading for power hitter Adrian Gonzalez and signing free agent Carl Crawford, who both arguably could be in the top 10 best players in baseball. The Rays were able to compete for 3 seasons with an outstanding minor league system without a high salary. However, we will see how they do this season after losing some of their marquee players due to free agency.