Do the Baltimore Orioles ship out “bad apples?”

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

I found it interesting that Steve Lombardozzi was traded to Pittsburgh by the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week. I’ll be honest; Lombardozzi was in the minor leagues far more often than I would have thought last year after the O’s traded for him during spring training. The official story was that the Birds didn’t like his defense, which is why he’s now out of the organization. However I suppose my question is whether or not there’s more to that or any other story. If you don’t mesh well, are you shipped out?

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I would say no – at least not outwardly. It boils down to one thing: production. I would believe the story of Lombardozzi’s defense being suspect. However the Orioles are in fact very big on team chemistry; look no further than team leader, Adam Jones. Chemistry is important in every office, be it IBM, The White House, or an MLB clubhouse. And none of this is to say that Lombardozzi was a bad guy or anything like that. Quite the contrary in his case if we’re being honest. However it’s very possible that he just didn’t mesh in the clubhouse.

And that’s not something that’s overly uncommon when trades happen, especially nowadays. I suspect that Lombardozzi felt he was coming to Baltimore as a starter as opposed to what amounted to a third-stringer. And perhaps on a certain level that didn’t sit well with him. Nevertheless, those types of things are easier to “excuse” when the player is producing. If you have a player who’s kind of a loner and doesn’t mesh well with the team’s chemistry, it’s always going to be easy to look past that if the guy’s playing a consistent game. If not, it’s going to stand out even more.

And yes, this is true in companies such as IBM as well. This is not to say that it’s fair or right, but it is what it is. And it’s also not to say this is what happened with Lombardozzi or anyone else – I honestly don’t know. It’s just something to consider.