Are the Orioles in the Twilight of their Basement-Dwelling Years?

by JohnBowen

By Bob Owens

The Baltimore Orioles wanted a General Manager with experience in the American League East.

But after seeing Tony LaCava reject them, Brain Cashman stay in New York, and Theo Epstein head to Cook Country, it appared they would have to switch directions. But they had a surprise up their sleeve, hiring former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette to a 3-year deal – and it was the media and fans that did a U-Turn at the news.

Duquette has over 10 years of experience as a GM for both the Expos (2.5 years) and the Red Sox (8 years) but has also been inactive from Major League Baseball for the past 8 years. This absence, however, has not deterred his motivation as evidenced by his willingness to interview for this job.

What can the Orioles fan-base expect from him? Well, considering his famous remark about Roger Clemens being in the “twilight of his career,” we can expect him from giving pitchers older than 35 deals for three and four years – a wise policy. The unfortunate part about that statement is that this is the entire quote: “We had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career.”

When read in its entirety, it makes it clear that he has some degree of loyalty, does it not?

The public should also expect him for be very active in Latin America, another sage policy.

As far as this specific off-season? I do not think the Orioles should go after Albert Pujols, who I expect to stay in St. Louis. I do expect them, however, to go hard after Prince Fielder and look forward to seeing what kind of offers they submit. Clearly, Fielder will have many suitors, but a few years ago, there were heavy rumors that Baltimore was the least serious bidder in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. They cannot replicate that performance.

I do not expect them to bid heavily for Jose Reyes, given that they might have the best shortstop prospect in the minors with Manny Machado.

I assume they will bid on Yu Darvish if the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters post him. CJ Wilson is also a possibility, although I suspect that Duquette will not be terribly aggressive in this pursuit.

I also saw what Peter Gammons tweeted about Duquette: “The O’s organization has decayed from the time Angelos ran off Pat Gillick. Is Duke going to have the contracts to find undervalued talent?”

While the first sentence is true, I’m not sure what he means by “undervalued talent.” Is he referencing pitchers or staff? And honestly, does it matter? Everyone says Duquette is smart or brilliant, so I assume he stated clearly what sort of parameters he needed to have. And if the Orioles give free agents legitimate contracts, players will come. And if they are willing to absorb some contracts from smaller-market teams, other GM’s will deal with him. And if he does not lead them to the promised land, he can always blame the owner.

But I do not expect Dan Duquette to do that. I expect him to work his butt off for the Orioles so that he will no longer be known for one statement that has been taken out of context.

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65 Responses to “Are the Orioles in the Twilight of their Basement-Dwelling Years?”

  1. JohnBowen Says:

    Alright, here go. Formatting was odd, so I just retyped it.

    “but a few years ago, there were heavy rumors that Baltimore was the least serious bidder in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. They cannot replicate that performance.”

    If the Orioles had acquired Mark Teixeira for 180 million dollars and he had rewarded them with OPS+’s of 141, 124, and 117, they would’ve been pretty pissed off.

    Tex has averaged 114 RBI as a Yankee.

    Stick him between Markakis and Jones, and it’s probably closer to 85 RBI.

  2. Bob Says:

    From now on, just use Bob Owens. I hate going by Robert. Otherwise thank you.

  3. JohnBowen Says:

    You got it.

  4. Cameron Says:

    Dan Duquette got hired because he was willing to be Pete Angelos’ yes man. Tony LaCava saw the idiots that ran the organization and said he wanted to start firing people and bring in his own guys, no go.

    There’s gonna be more of the same in Baltimore with Danny here.

  5. Bob Says:

    Just because Tex has not been as good as the Yankees hoped is not reason enough to low-ball Fielder. The Orioles thougth they could use the excuse that they could not compete with the Yanks and the Red Sox.
    Cannot hide behind that excuse when the teams are the Angels and the Cubs. cannot. Tex was also brougth in to help the veteran A-Rod cope with New York as was Sabathia. By most accounts they have helped him. Fielder does not need to babysit anyone;he can concentrate on hitting the ball.
    Again, I am not saying they need to win on Fielder, although I think he makes the most sense for them this year. ( Although if you want to make a case for Darvish, I will not argue. )
    But the Orioles cannot afford to piss off any agents this year, including Boras.

  6. Cameron Says:

    The only people the O’s are gonna piss off are the fans, Bob.

  7. Raul Says:

    Yankees are talking to Edwin Jackson.

    Fine. Talk to him.
    Just don’t sign him. Because he is awful.

  8. Raul Says:

    Yankees released Andrew Brackman.

    Glad that draft choice worked out.

  9. JohnBowen Says:

    LOL @7

    Brian Cashman: Ok, Edwin, we’d like to offer you a 4 year, 60 Million dollar deal
    Edwin Jackson: Really? That’s fantastic.
    Brian Cashman: No, just wanted to see your reaction. Bye!

    Personally, I think Jackson is averageish, and a decent innings-eater.

  10. Cameron Says:

    He’s a decent innings eater, but put him in a flyball stadium (hi New York), and he’s absolute death.

    And Raul, Brackman actually made some innings for the Yankees, so he got farther than I ever thought he would.

  11. Raul Says:

    If the Yankees needed average-ish pitchers, there’s Hector Noesi and other minor leaguers in the system.

    You don’t pay a guy 60 million dollars to be 10% better than a guy making the major league minimum.

  12. Cameron Says:

    Well the thing about Jackson is he’s a guy who can post good strikeout numbers, but if he leaves shit hanging (and still tips his pitches, I know that’s why Detroit got rid of him), he’s fucked. He can be good, but when he’s hit he’s shelled.

    Also, I just found out what a stromboli is and I want one so bad…

  13. Chuck Says:

    “Also, I just found out what a stromboli is and I want one so bad”

    Yeah, me too.

  14. Raul Says:

    Just ordered a turkey and swiss sandwich and…(sigh)…this is the first time in my life that I’ve seen swiss cheese that didn’t have holes in it. Frankly, I don’t know what the hell this is.

  15. JohnBowen Says:

    Yankee minor league pitchers are not average by some transfer of magic from pinstripes.

    Noesi isn’t going to give you 200 IP, and he probably won’t give you a sub-4.25 ERA, at least not once the league has seen him.

    Jackson will likely give you both.

    No other Yankee pitcher besides CC Sabathia is terribly likely to give you either.

    2y/16M, with a team option for a third year seems about right for Jackson.

  16. JohnBowen Says:

    Speaking of topical transaction type stuff…

    Melky Cabrera became just the 6th Royal to get to 200 hits in a season.

    Surprisingly, George Brett only did it twice.

    The others are Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer, Johnny Damon, and Mike Sweeney (both these last two reached the mark in the same year, 2000).

  17. Raul Says:

    I’m not paying 60 million for a 4.25 ERA.

  18. JohnBowen Says:

    Oh, when I said 60M, I was just pretending to be Brian Cashman, playing a prank on Jackson.

    I’m saying Jackson is worth right around 8/year for 2, and possibly 3 years.

    For the record, you’re paying twice that yearly amount for a 5.25 ERA.

  19. Raul Says:

    Exactly.

    What was Einstein’s quote on insanity?…..

  20. JohnBowen Says:

    From 2009-2011, Edwin Jackson averaged 208 IP, a 3.96 ERA (108 ERA+), 1.363 WHIP, and 7.1 K/9.

    From 2006-2008, Burnett had about the same ERA, a better WHIP, roughly 2 K/9 more…but just 174 IP.

    I doubt people would’ve cared if he had ended up making 16M bucks in two seasons as I’m suggesting for Jackson.

  21. Cameron Says:

    So he’d be even less effective than AJ Burnett. Awesome.

  22. JohnBowen Says:

    Maybe, who knows.

    My point is, he’s worth a small investment, but don’t give him AJ Burnett money (as no one is suggesting Cashman should).

    And, on the other side, don’t give AJ Burnett AJ Burnett money. He’s basically worthy of Edwin Jackson money.

  23. Cameron Says:

    I think if New York wants an innings eater, Edwin Jackson’s their worst option mostly because of how homer-prone he gets. Get a groundballer on the cheap like Jeff Francis or something.

  24. Bob Says:

    Paul Maholm may be worthy of a look as well.

  25. JohnBowen Says:

    Francis has “eaten” 144 IP a year since 2008, and that’s not including the full year he was out in 2009.

    Pass.

  26. JohnBowen Says:

    Maholm is an interesting choice, I could see that if he’s cheap (2M for a year or something.

  27. Cameron Says:

    Guy just came off a 180 IP season though. He’s not that good, but he’d be about 25% of the cost of Jackson for probably about 75% of the production.

    And Maholm may be interesting, but I think it’ll take more around $5-6 MM to sign him.

  28. Chuck Says:

    Paul Maholm in the AL East will be as successful as Josh Hamilton’s HR derby pitcher.

    pass.

    Edwin Jackson?

    Eh, depending on how much and how long he wants.

    After the Carl Pavano/AJ Burnett nightmares, you’d think the Yanks would be a little gunshy on free agent pitchers.

  29. Cameron Says:

    After the Carl Pavano/AJ Burnett nightmares, you think the Yankees would try to develop pitchers that don’t suck.

  30. Chuck Says:

    That, too.

  31. Cameron Says:

    Seriously, Daniel Norris falls to the second round, Matt Purke falls to the third, New York picks up neither.

    Siganability should not be an issue with New York’s payroll. You guys need to stop fucking around come draft time.

  32. Bob Says:

    There were huge concerns about Purke. I agree that Norris should have gone sooner.

  33. Cameron Says:

    There were huge concerns, but with the ceiling he had and the piss-poor state of the Yankees farm’s arms, he should’ve been a second-round signing by them.

  34. JohnBowen Says:

    “Eh, depending on how much and how long he wants.”

    Exactly.

    I mean, he’s got Scott Boras as an agent, so be smart.

    If the Nats wanna give him a 126 million dollar deal, let them LOL.

  35. Cameron Says:

    Jayson Werth is a good player (well, discounting this season) but what the sweet blue fuck were they thinking with that deal? You could’ve signed him for 7/70 and you go 7/126?

  36. brautigan Says:

    Melky Cabrera gets 200 hits and is ushered out the door. They probably should have gotten more in return than Sanchez, but Cabrera will be lucky to get 100 hits in San Francisco, so maybe this deal is a wash.

  37. brautigan Says:

    ….and looked what happened when the Yankees signed Javier Vazquez. IT would be deja vu all over again with Edwin Jackson.

  38. Cameron Says:

    KC actually got Sanchez and a minor league arm for Melky.

  39. Raul Says:

    Who’s playing CF in KC next year?

  40. Cameron Says:

    Most likely it’s gonna be Lorenzo Cain. After a full season down in Omaha, fingers are crossed over here.

  41. Bob Says:

    Damn, I was hoping it would be Yoenis Cespedes.

  42. Mike Felber Says:

    Hey Chuck, I could not figure out which link to click for your interview. Asked before. Can you spoon feed me that? ;-) Thanks.

  43. Cameron Says:

    Hey Mike, got a fun little thing for ya. I know I recommended Griffin vs. Bonnar as a good intro fight if you want to look into MMA some more. Well, I polled some of my buddies and we came up with a small list of fights to look into for good transition fights to help you ease into things. The rest of you might wanna check some of ‘em out as well. I told the guys you were mostly boxing fans and I was looking for fights that’d mostly be transition from that to MMA and we got this.

    For organization purposes, they’re listed alphabetically by event name.

    Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka II (Pride FC Bushido 6)
    Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung (WEC 48)
    Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar (The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale)
    Joe Stevenson vs. Luke Cummo (The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Finale)
    Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz (The Ultimate Fighters Season 9 Finale)
    Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida (The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale)
    Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan I (The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 Finale)
    Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans (UFC 98)
    Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin (UFC 101)
    Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin (UFC 116)
    Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (UFC 117)
    Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan II (UFC 136)

  44. Mike Felber Says:

    I appreciate you going to the trouble Cameron. I immediately watched the donnybrook you had recommended< & a # of others that popped up. I am not unfamiliar with the styles used, maybe I will check some of those out, thanks. but I think I will remain more of a fan of the Sweet Science.

  45. Cameron Says:

    I know, but it’s just fun to give some recommendations. It also gives me a nice little shortlist of fights to check out if I get bored. I’m a big fan of striking matches myself and there’s a good collection here. The two Stevenson fights were something to ease you into the ground game.

    I highly recommend the Silva-Sonnen fight too, if onyl to show you how much brutality one man can take in a fight. UFC record for most hits landed on one opponent.

  46. brautigan Says:

    Try this one for a whopper of a fight:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDKSIGZyACk

    This is one of the first fights I ever saw on ESPN back in the day.

  47. Hossrex Says:

    Jeez… a guy goes away for a year, and comes back to see people talking about MMA?

    When I want to watch two practically naked men rolling around on the ground, and sticking their faces into each others crotches, I watch gay porn like any NORMAL heterosexual man.

  48. Raul Says:

    About time this fag came back.

  49. Raul Says:

    Oh, sorry.

    I thought you were someone else.

  50. Mike Felber Says:

    I am sure you meant that with love Raul. An ironic comment on that which (used to) not speak its name, referenced above.

    Hossrex. Welcome back man. We don’t question why ya left us-one of the most prominent sports Blogs around, on baseballreference.com, just ended & has a slight return in another forum. And now the Prodigal Hoss returns.

    I do not know if anyone saw this yet. It is a kind of routine locker room fodder, kind of mean spirited briefly when directed at the opposition, but while some don’t like the profanities, most are deployed as a meaningless macho punctuation. More a cliche-laden speech.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2011-11-07/rangers-probe-who-leaked-washingtons-clubhouse-speech?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl5%7Csec1_lnk3%7C110672

  51. Cameron Says:

    …Did anyone else hear guys snorting cocaine in the background, or was that just me?

  52. Mike Felber Says:

    Here’s the problem, he forgot a lot of great motivating/mind numbing statements.

    We just gotta stay/play within ourselves. Always give at least 110%. Take it one inning/game at a time. Win one for the (fill in the blank). It is all about the fundamentals. Stay in the zone. Don’t wander off the field looking to sodomize circus animals. And always + most importantly:

    It Is What It Is.

  53. Raul Says:

    RIP Smokin’ Joe Frazier.

    You were a boxing legend.

  54. Mike Felber Says:

    Amen.

  55. Hossrex Says:

    So… any news with my Dodgers?

    *sigh*

  56. John Says:

    Well, you have the probable MVP and Cy Young winner…

    So, yay?

  57. John Says:

    Also, where the hell have you been this year?

  58. Cameron Says:

    Hoss, the only news I’ve heard about the Dodgers is McCourt’s going to auction them off. The only person I know with a major interest is Mark Cuban, who McCourt didn’t send people out to talk to to facilitate a private sale. However, given the Dodgers are going to be auctioned off, I think Cuban will show up and put his bids in.

  59. Kerry Says:

    My, my, Hossrex returns. Welcome back. And we thought you were dead — or did you get a life? :-) I must admit I haven’t been on much lately myself. (I still owe everyone the wrap-up of the Dugout Central Challenge. Maybe once I get my mom safely moved into a retirement community.)

    You should know that this site is on autopilot — Adam has flown the coup and there aren’t many articles any more. But there are still lively discussions with many of the usual suspects.

  60. Hossrex Says:

    John: “Well, you have the probable MVP and Cy Young winner…”

    It’s going to sound like this is a rail against Kempy… but it’s really a rail against the BBWAA.

    Aint no way in hell Kempy will win the MVP. Given the way the award is routinely considered (by those who vote anyway), he also doesn’t deserve it.

    Although I think MOST of us could agree that the award shouldn’t be so much “MVP” as “Best Fucking Player in the Fucking League”. In that, Matt Kemp would be a run-away favorite… and although I would still hate him, I would happily say the cock sucker deserved it.

    Kershaw has a better chance. The award is viewed differently, and the pitching triple crown is hard to argue with (argue with the individual stats sure… but find me a sack of crap that’s ever done it).

    Kempy finishes a close third, and Kershaw squeaks out a win against Halladay (with a finish much closer than makes sense).

    John: “Also, where the hell have you been this year?”

    I spent 2011 playing the roll of “Fair Weather Fan”. It aint right, but it is what it is. Real life intruded this year, and my Dodgers weren’t good enough to steal my attention.

    Cameron: “The only person I know with a major interest is Mark Cuban

    I don’t know what the typical Dodgers fans opinion of Cuban is… but while I know it’ll never happen… I’d love to see a personality (who gives a shit about winning) in LA. Seems like a good fit with the city, at least from a perception standpoint.

    I’d love to see an owner who cared more about winning than how nice his wife’s hair looks.

    Kerry: “Adam has flown the coup and there aren’t many articles any more.”

    If I ever had the gumption to write something, is the old address given to me before still appropriate? Have you stopped soliciting user generated content?

    Either way, I’ll probably not write anything, so don’t think I actually give much of a shit.

    Just curious.

    As I was writing my handful of thousands of words about Matty Kemp the other day, I couldn’t shake the idea that it was wasted as a comment instead of a written article. With a bit more structure in the formatting, and a tighter presentation of ideas, I think it could have worked as at least inciting to discussion… if not anything better than actually mediocre.

    Seriously though… how could Bug Selig (a man for whom I hadn’t thought my expectations could POSSIBLY have been lower) have ever let it get this bad?

    Isn’t that like… LITERALLY his job? To make sure the owners are playing by not only the written rules, but also the unwritten ones? To make sure everyone gets along, and no one take more of the potato salad than they have coming?

    If that isn’t his job… what is?

    Bud Selig will be in the Hall of Fame in 20 years… and all of the mainstream media will laud the decision… without ever having any capacity to explain WHY.

    Bill Clinton happened to preside over the great tech-bubble of the 90’s… literally the biggest economic boom since the INDUSTRIAL FUCKING REVOLUTION… and he’s deified for… what… not fucking up a perfect opportunity?

    If Bill Clinton owned a used car lot, Bud Selig would be his best salesman.

  61. JohnBowen Says:

    “If I ever had the gumption to write something, is the old address given to me before still appropriate? Have you stopped soliciting user generated content?”

    My email is if you want to send anything.

    “Isn’t that like… LITERALLY his job? To make sure the owners are playing by not only the written rules, but also the unwritten ones? To make sure everyone gets along, and no one take more of the potato salad than they have coming?”

    Eh? What would you have done differently? Maybe write an article!

  62. Hossrex Says:

    I wouldn’t have allowed a person to buy a team, if he needed to extend as much credit as the McCourts did.

    This is one of the thing reported to the league during the proposal period… so Bud knew… but still let him buy the team.

    That’s the point where the mistake was made, which could reasonably have been avoided.

    When I was 21, I tried to get a $1000 dollar loan to buy a super cool digital camera (which I needed to begin doing freelance photography, with designs on doing it professionally… which is exactly what wound up happening)… and they turned me down because I was only making $10 dollars an hour, and still living at home.

    Yet McCourt can borrow RIDICULOUS amounts of money to buy a FREAKING BASEBALL TEAM.

    If my bank knows enough to know better… why shouldn’t Bud have been expected to know better?

  63. Raul Says:

    That reminds me of Louis CK, as does almost everything.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0rSXjVuJVg

  64. Lefty33 Says:

    “Yet McCourt can borrow RIDICULOUS amounts of money to buy a FREAKING BASEBALL TEAM.

    If my bank knows enough to know better… why shouldn’t Bud have been expected to know better?”

    Because in your example what kind of assets or collateral did you have at the time? Probably not much seeing as you were 21 where as McCourt had his parking lot empire worth into the nine figures that he was able to use for collateral.

    Big difference.

    McCourt’s issues are more about using the team’s revenue stream as a personal ATM to fund a lifestyle outside of baseball that he couldn’t afford.

    If he decides to live like a millionaire and not like a billionaire and skim 200 million dollars away from the team probably none of this happens.

  65. Hossrex Says:

    Lefty: “in your example what kind of assets or collateral did you have at the time?”

    It was a thousand dollar line of credit… at a credit union… in the year 1999… when the economy was rolling harder than it had since Eli Whitney freed the slaves (whats that? Incredible manpower needs in the newly CREATED Industrial Sector, and a slave race coincidentally made redundant by those same Industrial developments? BY CRACKY! That should be good enough to stimulate the economy until someone invents computers, and finally makes white people equally redundant).

    I had proof of nearly a year of consecutive full time work, and the only expenses I had at the time was a phone bill… and that type of shit works IN your favor. Banks/credit unions gave those loans out like Halloween candy.

    Besides… none of that even matters.

    The point being…

    Lefty: “McCourt’s issues are more about using the team’s revenue stream as a personal ATM to fund a lifestyle outside of baseball that he couldn’t afford.”

    …how can you think there isn’t a relationship between “person buys team on a historically high level of debt”, and “person uses teams money in inappropriate ways to finance his lifestyle in spite of his new found servitude to the Financial Institutions (HEY! McCourt is one of the 99%er’s!)”.

    When you go to Frank’s Wikipedia page ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_McCourt_%28executive%29 ), the third sentence under the header for “Los Angeles Dodgers” is “McCourt’s purchase of the Dodgers was financed mostly by debt.”

    If the degree of his debt was as common as you imply, would it really have been THAT immediately necessary for a 400lbs nerd to mention is THAT quickly on the Wikipedia page?

    I bet he was smelly, too.

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