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DaveO

The Baltimore Orioles (1954-) - American League, East Division - Once-Dynastic Franchise Ruined by Owner Peter Angelos

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During a late lunch I was half watching today's day game: Orioles/Yankees game in NYC.  The Orioles crushed the Yankees. Orioles hits everywhere; homers, doubles, everybody for the Orioles was torching the ball.  It wasn't much of a contest as the Orioles went up early and kept adding runs.

One play grabbed my attention.  It also grabbed the attention of the writers for ESPN who added these sentences:

Quote

After Nick Markakis led off the game with a single, Young followed with a bouncer up the middle. Many shortstops in the majors could've turned it into a double play, but 39-year-old Derek Jeter couldn't quite get to it and the ball skipped under his glove for a single.

"He dove. He did everything he could to make that play," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

It was NOT a scorching shot.  It was a ground ball on the shortstop side of second base.  Jeter moved to his left, dropped his glove but it was still to the 2nd base side and below him.  My reaction to that play was curious as to Jeter's age and range.  The reaction was in sync with the comment above from the article.

I couldn't have asserted that others would have made that play or done so easily but it was beyond Jeter's reach.  I assume the author above is more knowledgeable than I and he "answered" my unstated question.   Jeter has been an exemplary athlete over his career.  I hope he goes out in style.

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...and as the season rolls to an end the Orioles clinched the AL East Division on the same day the Nats clinched the NL East Division; a real coup for baseball fans in the Mid-Atlantic. After decades of futility, ages of suffering under a headstrong owner, years of distress, this once proud franchise won its first division title since 1997, clinched at home for the first time since 1979, and clinched the division title at the earliest date since 1971.  Frankly that is a lot of futility.  But here is to the Orioles.....and to the Nats.

Will be lucky enough to experience a regional World Series?

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A lot of people know about "The Flip" by Derek Jeter, but given that (1970 AL MVPBoog Powell was called out on this play, I say Tommy Helms, the Cincinatti Reds' 2nd Baseman in the 1970 World Series, matched it.

Go to 2:16:00 (or maybe ten seconds before) in this video.

Here's the setup: It's game 5 of the 1970 World Series, with Ray Washburn pitching against Boog Powell. The base runners are Frank Robinson on 1st, and Paul Blair on 2nd. Defensively, Lee May was playing 1st base for the Reds, and Tommy Helms was playing 2nd.

I contend that Powell got *hosed* by the ump (*), but considering that he was officially called out, this is a flip that was equal to Jeter's.

(*) Decide for yourselves - tie goes to the runner, and it wasn't even a tie: post-2-0-85159900-1413085900_thumb.png

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I just got a text message from my brother saying the Orioles are the only undefeated team in Major League Baseball. I was skeptical, so I looked it up:

Screenshot 2016-04-11 at 09.00.31.pngScreenshot 2016-04-11 at 09.00.21.png

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If you have an opportunity this spring/summer drive up Rte 95, take it into Baltimore, once you get into the city cut off 95 and park at or near Camden Yards and go watch the best 3rd Baseman in baseball, Manny Machado.   Its been almost 40 years since Brooks Robinson retired.  The Orioles have had some good 3rd basemen since then, Doug DeCinces right after Brooks, Mora during the earlier part  of this century, Cal Ripken at the end of his career....but right now, the best 3rd baseman in baseball is playing at Camden Yards.  He is only 23.  Cripes he is like Harper and Trout: a scintillating extraordinary young baseball talent.  

Machado is hitting well; very well this season...but what makes him special is his fielding....playing the position once manned by the greatest 3rd baseman in baseball...we now have a young talent with great reactions, a sure glove and an accurate cannon of an arm; Manny Machado.  

 

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Machado doesn't have an arm; he has a Kalashnikov - and he just might take away the MVP from Mike Trout this year.

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Ooooh.   Forgot about the annual Nats/Orioles match up.  Hopefully the teams and their stars will continue to play well.  If nobody gets injured and Harper and Machado continue to perform like the baseball studs they are one might see a tremendous battle of potential superstars in the early parts of their careers.  August 22-25.  First two games in Baltimore followed by two games in Washington, DC.  Of course its too early in their careers ...but could this be like watching Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams/ Yankee and Red Sox..two super stars battling in their primes....Or Willie Mays/ Hank Aaron/ Roberto Clemente/Frank Robinson in the early years of their careers...facing one another...each all time astonishing great players.

Time will tell.

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This is some great footage from the 1966 World Series, in which the Orioles scored more runs with 1 out in the 1st inning in game 1, than the Dodgers did in the entire four-game Series.

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The 1983 World Series by mlb.com: Baltimore Orioles 4, Philadelphia Phillies

Cal Ripken's career got off to a charmed start: He was elected AL Rookie of the Year in 1982, and then in 1983, he was elected AL MVP and his team won the World Series - it doesn't start off any better than that.

[I feel like a Baltimore Orioles hog and a Brooks Robinson hog - I want to reiterate that I encourage everyone to post news items and videos about their favorite teams, in any sport, as often as they wish. All I ask is that if you link to something, try to make it something that you know will be around for awhile (I link to Wikipedia every chance I get, and with YouTube, you can merely paste the URL into your post, and it automatically turns into a video.) Please, feel free to post about your favorite teams ... even the 1969 Mets or the 2015-2016 Alabama Crimson Tide, grrrrrrrr (if you post something like a World Series video, please post it in the winning team's thread). Cheers, Rocks]

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Potentially trading Machado is depressing.

The baseball news and specific words from Orioles management is that the Orioles have Manny Machado up for trade.

He is either the best 3rd baseman in the game or one of the best and a home grown star in current baseball. He is a great fielder has a true accurate bazooka of an arm, can do a great job at either 3rd or shortstop. And is a good to potentially excellent hitter/run producer.

The Orioles have decided they can’t or won’t try to afford him as he approaches free agency and can be in the $30 million/ year range.

Just depressing.  Since Angelos purchased the team in the early 90’s they have an overall losing record, have won their division twice, been in the playoffs 5 times.  Dismal overall.  They compete against the Yanks and Red Sox who will outspend them.

Last year the O’s had the 10th highest payroll in baseball which is certainly a level of competitiveness but they trail NY and Boston by a lot.  They haven’t had an excellent starting  pitcher since they wouldn’t compete to keep Mike  Mussina over 17 years ago.  They let studs go

Angelos like our own little demonic home town diablo (Snyder) has stuck his nose into the players skills part of his business and done a poor job.  I wish he would sell. 

I don’t know the business $ and cents of the Orioles and whether they can afford Machado or not, but with Angelos running the show and 24 mediocre to lousy seasons I wish he would depart.  

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Machado was potentially worthy of a $30M/year contract based on his performances in 2015 and 2016 but regressed big-time this year.

At this point, there are a handful of 3B who I'd rather have instead to build a team:  Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Alex Bregman, Jose Ramirez, and Anthony Rendon.  Move Machado to SS and he becomes way more valuable though.  There's no shame in being merely very good, and Machado is firmly in the second tier of 3B IMO.  I didn't even mention guys like Justin Turner and Josh Donaldson who are older but nonetheless out-performed him this year too.

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40 minutes ago, silentbob said:

Machado was potentially worthy of a $30M/year contract based on his performances in 2015 and 2016 but regressed big-time this year.

At this point, there are a handful of 3B who I'd rather have instead to build a team:  Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Alex Bregman, Jose Ramirez, and Anthony Rendon.  Move Machado to SS and he becomes way more valuable though.  There's no shame in being merely very good, and Machado is firmly in the second tier of 3B IMO.  I didn't even mention guys like Justin Turner and Josh Donaldson who are older but nonetheless out-performed him this year too.

Machado couldn’t buy a hit in the early part of the season but had a tremendous July and August/all star quality then his hitting petered out in Sept.  Someone who watches the O’s “professionally” assured me he was ripping the ball early last season even as he couldn’t beg a hit and as the article referenced.  There are other excellent 3rd basemen Rendon one of them.  Machado can move to SS and be even more valuable as you suggest. 

The franchise depresses me and has during the entirety of Angelos’ ownership.  It was obvious they again made no effort on the starters last year and then the staff underperformed below the expectations of mediocre.

I wish they would try harder as a franchise.   The Nats are trying which keeps them compelling.  The O’s really not for almost 2 decades.

It depresses me.  I see two antidotes.

A chocolate 😜

B Ride Angelos out of town

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Things are depressing at Camden Yards.  At this point in the season the Orioles are among baseball's worst teams.  Last season's terrible pitching has not improved.  Overall the hitting isn't there. 

Meanwhile Machado continues to shine.  He is now playing shortstop not 3rd base.  As noted above he had an excellent season hitting in 2016 and a drop in 2017, though he his second half of the season was a big improvement over the first half.

But the Orioles are dismal.  Not unlike most of the last two decades they have little pitching...maybe a bit worse this year.  Their early season hitting has been below par.  Unless things change they have dived to the depths of baseball standings and they could stay there all season long.

Machado is in the last season of his current contract.  Next year if he goes free agent he is in line for a huge contract...or he could sign for one this year.  Its up to him.

The question is should the Orioles trade him.   Through the first part of the season his hitting is at league leader rates.  Every part of it:  BA,HR's, RBI's, OPS, etc etc etc.  He is playing killer ball.  He remains one of the most talented fielders in the game with a rocket arm. 

I've been watching the Orioles since the early 1970's.  I like the Nats but also the O's.  Old loyalties are difficult to dislodge.  I've watched more baseball games in Baltimore than anywhere else.

As a fan it would be difficult and sad to see Machado leave.  He has all the makings of a Brooks Robinson/Cal Ripken local hero. All indications are that it won't occur.  Next season Machado is due for an enormous salary.  The Orioles are unlikely to stretch that far.  He can walk in free agency and the Orioles get nothing.   The O's can trade him this season and get some players, major leaguers or promising younger players for the minors.  .....and that is why they pay General Managers to make those decisions.

Will the Dodgers get him this season

Will the Orioles hold onto Machado, perhaps all season?

One more depressing season connected to the Angelos reign.

 

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Yeah, but this GM won’t be paid much longer.  Seems to me that he’s out the door, possibly to be replaced by Buck S., who isn’t going to be Manager much longer either.  My own opinion would be that they should pay him and keep him; that is, if he wants to stay.

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8 minutes ago, Steve R. said:

Yeah, but this GM won’t be paid much longer.

Remember when they used to have student-teacher day?   Students become teachers for a day and vice versa.

The Orioles need GM-Owner day.   That is the day Angelos gets fired.  

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On 5/6/2018 at 5:39 PM, Steve R. said:

Yeah, but this GM won’t be paid much longer.  Seems to me that he’s out the door, possibly to be replaced by Buck S., who isn’t going to be Manager much longer either.  My own opinion would be that they should pay him and keep him; that is, if he wants to stay.

And conditions get worse

Attendance was 10,000.  It’s depressing

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MLB is one sport where it's not hard to go from rock bottom to WS champions if you have a great front office and supportive ownership (which I know doesn't exist in Baltimore and may not for a long time).

The Cubs won 61 games in 2012, 66 games in 2013, then 103 and the WS just three years after that.

The Astros averaged 54 (!) wins from 2011-2013 before a jump to 101 and the WS last year.

Both are among the most data-driven teams in baseball.  It starts with the right culture.

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On 5/9/2018 at 10:33 AM, silentbob said:

MLB is one sport where it's not hard to go from rock bottom to WS champions if you have a great front office and supportive ownership (which I know doesn't exist in Baltimore and may not for a long time).

The Cubs won 61 games in 2012, 66 games in 2013, then 103 and the WS just three years after that.

The Astros averaged 54 (!) wins from 2011-2013 before a jump to 101 and the WS last year.

Both are among the most data-driven teams in baseball.  It starts with the right culture.

In this the worst season in Oriole history (for at least 50+ years) that is one way to see the rosy side of things.

I’ve been watching them, going to games, was at a few of their WS games for a 48 year period. They are pathetic right now with the worst record in MLB.  Both their pitching and hitting are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I saw them at their previous worst in 1988 when every player seemed to have an off year, they lost a depressing 21 games in a row, and they featured the worst hitting and pitching in baseball.  They are playing worse now.  They have Machado who has had a red hot early season and it doesn’t matter.  Everyone else is underperforming.   Chris Davis, their high priced “slugger” with a large salary and 4 more years to go on it is a whiff machine who is unable to make contact let alone hit dingers.

I have a distant cousin who follows and writes about them for AP.  Nothing to say—their press box is the saddest place in town.  Pitching and hitting both trail the league.

Hmmm.   Suppose they become a data driven monster as referenced above.   

Nahhh.  It won’t work.   They still have Angelos!!!

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

I saw them at their previous worst in 1988 when every player seemed to have an off year, they lost a depressing 21 games in a row, and they featured the worst hitting and pitching in baseball. 

Reading this jogged a memory buried deep in the recesses of my noodle: Did the Orioles start the season 0-21 that year? I could swear I remember some DJ vowing to stay awake until the Orioles won a game, and ended up staying awake for something like *a week* longer than he'd planned on.

I may be transferring from some other sport, or some other team, or some other time, to the 1988 Orioles, but I definitely remember this happening, and the DJ was loopy and *cranky* as all-get-out.

Anyone remember anything like this in the Baltimore-Washington area?

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Yes.  They were 0-21 at the beginning of the season.  By far the worst start to a baseball season in modern MLB history.  

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On 6/12/2018 at 7:52 AM, DaveO said:

Yes.  They were 0-21 at the beginning of the season.  By far the worst start to a baseball season in modern MLB history.  

And then that was followed by the "Why Not?" '89 season where they went down to the wire for the East!  That damn song still pops into my head every once in a while when I see the logo from that era.

By measure of WAR/fWAR Chris Davis is on track to have the worst season EVER in MLB history (going back to 1901).  THE WORST PLAYER-SEASON OF ALL TIME.  The O's will still be paying him $4.5M in deferred money in 2032.  They will pay him $1.4M in 2037.  He is the new Bobby Bonilla.

Manny Machado is gone next year.  Things are not looking up in Charm City.

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36 minutes ago, TedE said:

By measure of WAR/fWAR Chris Davis is on track to have the worst season EVER in MLB history (going back to 1901).  THE WORST PLAYER-SEASON OF ALL TIME.  The O's will still be paying him $4.5M in deferred money in 2032.  They will pay him $1.4M in 2037.  He is the new Bobby Bonilla.

I understand the general concept of WAR (although not of fWAR - does that mean "field-adjusted?"). It means something like, 'How many wins a player is directly responsible for, in excess of an "average" ballplayer at the same position," is that correct?

This must be a tremendously complex equation, involving a lot of raw data, and data manipulation. WAR seems to be a generally accepted statistic these days, and I would love to hear a simple explanation of what it is - statistics is (or was) a strong point of mine, and I'm well aware of how easily they can be manipulated, or perhaps in this case, "inaccurately produced" - especially when they're complex statistics demanding a lot of number-crunching on disparate sets of data. I'm skeptical that WAR is being calculated in a definitively accurate way, and would very much like to find out for myself. 

(Please don't say, "All the experts agree ..." because I was something of an expert myself (statistics and data mining are right in my wheelhouse), so if they all agree, I'll end up agreeing, too.) :)

Is WAR a "Moneyball" statistic, or has it been developed since then? [i'm wondering whether I should move this into the Sabermetrics / Moneyball thread, or start a separate one for WAR.]

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