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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

O's 2010 Schedule


dc.
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OK... so first of all, the O's start away at TB... which I don't want to complain about... but I like to start at home.

 

But on top of that... we start on Tuesday. When almost everyone else starts on Monday. I've never understood why some teams open Monday and some Tuesday (not counting the Sunday night game). I guess the league doesn't want everyone to have Tuesday off, but really, it should be mandated that opening day is a Monday and everyone plays then. Period.

 

So we already get to wait an extra day.

 

Then, on top of that, instead of starting 2 series on the road and returning for a Monday/Tuesday opener at home... we come straight home after three at TB. So our home opener is on a Friday. Probably an evening game, too.

 

I am wondering if the O's requested that... as it almost guarantees a sell-out. But who wants to open in April at night? Give me spring time day time baseball dammit! Give me kids and parents taking off from school and work!!!

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Oy... more griping...

 

O's open by playing 16 straight games... no off days. And thanks to playing Tuesday instead of Monday, not even that very early off day. Most teams get that at least.

 

The Yanks get 3 off days in that same 16 day period. Sox get 2. !! haha

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DC, I know it is early, but what do you think the O's should do this off-season? Obviously the bullpen needs a make-over. Next, should we make a run at Lackey? Try and put together a package for big bat such as Gonzalez/Fielder? Recent quotes from McPhail seem to suggest that the rebuilding phase is over and it is time to compete. In my opinion, to at least be .500 in this division we need a big bat and a solid, veteran #1/2 pitcher (such as Lackey). We certainly have the prospects to add a bat such as Gonzalez or Fielder (guys like Erbe, Britton, Arrieta, Snyder, Avery, and Joseph are pieces we could use). Lackey might be difficult to add, for he should have plenty of suitors this off-season.

 

In my opinion, adding a Gonzalez/Fielder, a few bullpen arms, and Lackey would definitely put us at .500. That next step to a playoff contender would depend on the progress of guys like Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen, Wieters, Pie, Jones, Reimold, and Bell. What do you think?

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Lackey would be interesting... I think he would be the solid, not great, starter with playoff experience we need. We'll see if he becomes available.

 

I think the Brewers asking price on Fielder will be way too high for our needs. I would love to see him here and locking down that 1B side for a long time, I just don't know that it will happen. I also don't know how long Fielder will be a great hitter - too many Ks, not enough walks... strikes me as a few more years of greatness and then a lot of Jim Thome years.

 

I also just don't know what we would offer for him??? Justin Turner, Felix Pie and a couple arms ... but which arms?

 

 

 

I think we need (in no particular order):

-a good starting pitcher with some veteran leadership, doesn't have to be a #1, but can't be an Adam Eaton or Steve Trachsel

-a power hitting 1b or 3b, maybe both. I think 1b makes more sense with Bell on the way up.

-if we don't get both 1b and 3b, we need another legit bat for DH. (just thought of it - send Scott to Milwaukee too!)

-some serious bullpen help again (Bradford/Walker style help from a few years ago). I still trust Johnson as closer

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Lackey would be interesting... I think he would be the solid, not great, starter with playoff experience we need. We'll see if he becomes available.

 

In my opinion, a guy like Lackey is just what we need. A dependable vet who could give us quality starts. Like you said, Lackey is solid, not great, but a vast improvement over what we have. The question is, what do you pay "solid"? He will probably get priced out of our range.

 

I think the Brewers asking price on Fielder will be way too high for our needs. I would love to see him here and locking down that 1B side for a long time, I just don't know that it will happen. I also don't know how long Fielder will be a great hitter - too many Ks, not enough walks... strikes me as a few more years of greatness and then a lot of Jim Thome years.

 

I also just don't know what we would offer for him??? Justin Turner, Felix Pie and a couple arms ... but which arms?

 

Thome was very productive well into his 30s. Remember, Fielder is only 25, and an off-season diet away from extending his career. As for what we would offer, we have plenty. Guys like Erbe, Britton, Arrieta, Johnson, Snyder, Avery, Jospeh, or possibly one of Reimold/Pie should be enough to put a package together. By the names you mentioned it seems like you do not want to give up any young talent. If we want that big hitter, we might have to part with some talented players. Other potential targets instead of Fielder could be Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera.

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Well, I don't want to give away too much young pitching talent, you're right... because as we've discussed previously, in a good system with good breaks going their way, 1 out of 10 great prospects becomes a great player... maybe 2 more of the 10 become good players... and then you've got 2 more who become regular players... and the other 5 are fighting to become journeymen or never really get passed their first few big league seasons.

 

So when you name 10 great Oriole pitching prospects... that's what I'm seeing in my head... if we're lucky and good... Tillman or Matusz becomes a star... Bergesen and Tillman/Matusz might become good 2/3 guys in the rotation... and then the rest are all forgettable.

 

If we know who's who already... then maybe you trade the guy you're pretty sure won't pan out (I don't think anyone's paying for Berken at this point, though). But odds are we don't know who's who... and I want every last arm we can get. As 'bad' as our offense was this year, our arms were worse.

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Well, I don't want to give away too much young pitching talent, you're right... because as we've discussed previously, in a good system with good breaks going their way, 1 out of 10 great prospects becomes a great player... maybe 2 more of the 10 become good players... and then you've got 2 more who become regular players... and the other 5 are fighting to become journeymen or never really get passed their first few big league seasons.

 

So when you name 10 great Oriole pitching prospects... that's what I'm seeing in my head... if we're lucky and good... Tillman or Matusz becomes a star... Bergesen and Tillman/Matusz might become good 2/3 guys in the rotation... and then the rest are all forgettable.

 

If we know who's who already... then maybe you trade the guy you're pretty sure won't pan out (I don't think anyone's paying for Berken at this point, though). But odds are we don't know who's who... and I want every last arm we can get. As 'bad' as our offense was this year, our arms were worse.

 

I see five really good pitching prospects: Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta, Bergesen, and Britton. In my opinion, Tillman, Matusz, and Bergesen (only Matusz is still considered a prospect out of these guys) are untouchable, for they figure into our rotation next year in a big way. That leaves Arrieta, Erbe, and Britton as our biggest trade chips, Hernandez might have some value, Berken is worthless. Now, you are right in that we probably should not trade our young arms because we are not one big bat away from contending. Say we shore up the bullpen (remember, Koji is moving to the pen next year, he could be joined by Hernandez and Erbe later in the season, we have internal options) and sign a pitcher like Lackey. Do we then make a run at a Gonzalez/Fielder/Cabrera?

 

In my opinion, we are still a season away before making that next step. This upcoming season Tillman, Bergesen, and Matusz should settle in as starters. Hitters like Reimold, Pie, and Wieters should all see significant improvement in their jump to their second full season. And then we have to incorporate rookies like Bell, Snyder, Arrieta, and Erbe. I'm thinking 2011 we make that run for a big bat since all our pieces we be in place.

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I guess the easiest way to break it down is this...

 

Not tradeable (imo and in no order): Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen, Erbe, Arrieta, Hobgood (just drafted)

 

It's that simple to me. I'm not trading any of those guys. Maybe (MAYBE) Erbe or Arrieta if I can get something really, truly special back. But only one of them. And again, only for something truly special (which I suppose Fielder/Gonzalez would fall into)

 

I could easily trade Hernandez, Britton, Waters, etc... etc... but they have far less value.

 

But I don't want to move that first list of guys at all because we look back at the Loewens and Penns and Maines of the world and injury and instability just ruined them. We need the depth.

 

I guess what I want to see next year is this:

 

Tillman, Guthrie, Matusz, Bergesen, (solid veteran guy) in the rotation. We may even need a 6th in the rotation early based on the schedule above. Guys usually get extra rest early and we play 16 straight games. Maybe Hernandez can fill that role.

 

Albers, Uehara, Hendrickson in long-middle relief. Mickolio, Meredith, (lefty?) in later innnings. Johnson as closer. That still leaves Ray, Sarfate, Bass, Waters, Hernandez out of the loop.

 

 

 

I'm all over the place. Again, I haven't looked at it too closely. In terms of offense, I think we're going to be okay. I think our young guys are really turning corners and we need one big bat, maybe two, to really sure us up, but we're ok. It's just all about arms.

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I guess the easiest way to break it down is this...

 

Not tradeable (imo and in no order): Matusz, Tillman, Bergesen, Erbe, Arrieta, Hobgood (just drafted)

 

It's that simple to me. I'm not trading any of those guys. Maybe (MAYBE) Erbe or Arrieta if I can get something really, truly special back. But only one of them. And again, only for something truly special (which I suppose Fielder/Gonzalez would fall into)

 

I could easily trade Hernandez, Britton, Waters, etc... etc... but they have far less value.

 

But I don't want to move that first list of guys at all because we look back at the Loewens and Penns and Maines of the world and injury and instability just ruined them. We need the depth.

 

I guess what I want to see next year is this:

 

Tillman, Guthrie, Matusz, Bergesen, (solid veteran guy) in the rotation. We may even need a 6th in the rotation early based on the schedule above. Guys usually get extra rest early and we play 16 straight games. Maybe Hernandez can fill that role.

 

Albers, Uehara, Hendrickson in long-middle relief. Mickolio, Meredith, (lefty?) in later innnings. Johnson as closer. That still leaves Ray, Sarfate, Bass, Waters, Hernandez out of the loop.

 

 

 

I'm all over the place. Again, I haven't looked at it too closely. In terms of offense, I think we're going to be okay. I think our young guys are really turning corners and we need one big bat, maybe two, to really sure us up, but we're ok. It's just all about arms.

 

Don't undervalue Britton, he is going to break a lot of top 100 prospect charts in the preseason. Some even say he is a better prospect than Arrieta. Why is he so highly-regarded? Check out his ground ball out numbers, he has a GO/AO of 3.38 (I dare you to compare that to any other top prospect!), while still maintaining nearly a strike out per inning! He is also a year younger than Arrieta was at this point in the system. I agree, Tillman, Matusz, and Bergesen are un-tradable. Guys like Erbe, Arrieta, or Britton could be used to bring back something special (in conjunction with bats like Snyder, Joseph, Avery, or one of Pie/Reimold). It might be worth it, depending on where our development is.

 

However, there is no point in bringing in a big bat if we are not in place to compete. That should be the last piece after we are sure we know what we have in our pitching staff. As for being okay on offense, in any other division I would agree with you. But when you have lineups like the Yankees and Red Sox, we NEED a guy who can hit 35-40 homer runs. You are right, pitching is more important, but in order to compete in our division we need BOTH.

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Well... to me the bat is all about being reasonable.

 

With all respect to Mark Teixeira, who is a fantastic player, he is not a once in a lifetime player. He's not even a once ever 5 or 10 years player. The only thing that makes him special is his ability to switch hit... but his numbers are comparable to any power hitting first baseman

 

The point? He wasn't worth this team breaking the bank because another version with a different name would become available this off-season (through trade or free agency).

 

So, if a guy that is a once in a lifetime power hitter comes along... go ahead and make the signing for every last penny. Because we're never getting another chance at that.

 

If a guy like Tex (in the form of Fielder or Gonzalez or whoever) comes along, then we just have to base it on price. If the price is right, you take him. If the price is too high, you pass. Because another one will come along another day.

 

I don't think there has to be any order is the bottom line. If Albert Pujols were available, this team should make every possible effort to get him because, contenders or not, if you can sign him for 7-10 years, your team is that much better for that long. If the bat comes, take the bat. If it doesn't come, don't worry. Get the pieces into place when it makes sense - financially as much as anything else.

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Well... to me the bat is all about being reasonable.

 

With all respect to Mark Teixeira, who is a fantastic player, he is not a once in a lifetime player. He's not even a once ever 5 or 10 years player. The only thing that makes him special is his ability to switch hit... but his numbers are comparable to any power hitting first baseman

 

The point? He wasn't worth this team breaking the bank because another version with a different name would become available this off-season (through trade or free agency).

 

So, if a guy that is a once in a lifetime power hitter comes along... go ahead and make the signing for every last penny. Because we're never getting another chance at that.

 

If a guy like Tex (in the form of Fielder or Gonzalez or whoever) comes along, then we just have to base it on price. If the price is right, you take him. If the price is too high, you pass. Because another one will come along another day.

 

I don't think there has to be any order is the bottom line. If Albert Pujols were available, this team should make every possible effort to get him because, contenders or not, if you can sign him for 7-10 years, your team is that much better for that long. If the bat comes, take the bat. If it doesn't come, don't worry. Get the pieces into place when it makes sense - financially as much as anything else.

 

I kind of agree, but if a guy like Tex, who is young, is there where you don't have to prospects, why not fill the hole? Sure, Tex might not be any better than Gonzalez/Fielder/Cabrera, but we would not have had to given up prospects. In my opinion, Tex is a special hitter. Not only is he a switch hitter, he plays Gold Glove defense at first (something Gonzalez does, but Fielder and Cabrera do not). Do I even need to stress the importance of good defense at first base after watching Huff, Wiggington, and Millar lug around the bag the past few years? If these big bats are so common, why haven't we gotten one yet? By the way, Fielder and Gonzalez are both going to command Tex-like contracts in two years (and Fielder is a Boras client too). So you talk about the "right price", is the right price three top prospects and a $180 million contract when we could have just given Tex the contract?

 

Here is something else you have to consider. Anytime one of these Hall of Fame, special-type of hitters come along teams like the Yankees and Red Sox pursue them driving them out of our price range. Seriously, if Tex got 8-years, $180 million, how much do you think the Yanks would have given to Pujols? Easily over $200 million. Do you really think we would pay any player that much money? And what would make you think a Pujols-type player would even want to come here? I guess you could say the same thing about Tex, so maybe a trade is the only way to get such a bat?

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