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A few observations on doing business


Marlins2003
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I thought I would share a few pieces that are out there that I found interesting, and perhaps of some note for Marlins fans.

 

This is gong to be a long post, I am including each article in it's entirety so that you can make up your own mnds about the players being mentioned based on what was being said, and the context inwhich they were said, rather snippets or taking things out of context which only leads to misunderstandings and recriminations ("why did you cut and paste that part and not this part?").

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From the Baltimore Sun:

 

Orioles choose money over merit by sticking with Kline and Ponson

 

Originally published Jul 20, 2005

Peter Schmuck

 

 

LET'S SEE. You've got a starting pitcher who is defiantly out of shape and owns the highest ERA of any regular starter in the major leagues. You've got a veteran left-handed reliever who has been a major late-inning liability and a growing problem in the clubhouse.

 

And you've got an inspiring comeback story - a former All-Star who quietly picked himself off the scrap heap to win a place in your bullpen and pitch effectively in long relief.

 

So, what do you do when you need space on the roster? That's a no-brainer. You cut the guy with the 1.61 ERA.

 

The Orioles did just that Monday in Minnesota, designating James Baldwin for assignment on a day when a lot of people were wondering if he had earned the right to replace Sidney Ponson (Struggling Pitcher No. 1 in the aforementioned scenario) in the starting rotation.

 

Baldwin had performed admirably in the 12 games he pitched after climbing back out of the minor leagues. The Orioles would like to have kept him by parking Steve Kline (Struggling Pitcher No. 2) at Double-A Bowie while they sort out their roster and try to make a midseason deal, but that would have required Kline to make the sacrifice of earning his guaranteed $2.5 million salary for a few weeks in the minors.

 

Kline, who has been one of the major critics of Lee Mazzilli at the same time he has been making the manager's job much harder than it should be, reportedly declined the option - which is his contractual right - and the club was left with a painful and unpopular decision.

 

It's not my money, but I wish the Orioles had cut Kline loose and sent a message to the team and the fans that the $4 million or so remaining on his contract is a small price to pay to improve the chemistry of the clubhouse. I'd like to see them make a hard decision on Sidney, too, but it's a little easier to understand why club officials hold out hope that he still might earn some of the $13 million in salary and deferrals that remain on his ill-advised three-year deal.

 

Put yourself in the shoes of Mike Flanagan and Jim Beattie, who - unlike Ponson and Kline - are in the last year of their contracts. Now, walk in those shoes to the Law Offices of Peter Angelos and tell the owner that the pitcher you signed for $22.5 million two winters ago is a total stiff and you want to flush the rest of the contract - or, at the very least, turn him into the game's richest middle reliever. This, after you've designated one of your offseason pitching acquisitions (Steve Reed) for assignment and the other one has become a major pain in the, well, bullpen and clubhouse.

 

The co-GMs and the manager apparently aren't convinced Ponson is a lost cause, but we'll just have to agree to disagree. They think he's a guy whose head isn't in the right place right now (well, we do agree on that, though I think the actual location is a little farther south than they do), and are hoping he can turn things around and do what he did in the second half last year.

 

Let's review. Sidney went 8-3 down the stretch in 2004, but that was after he arrived at spring training out of shape and his horrible start helped remove all hope of the Orioles being competitive. He was so chastened after the season that he got jailed on an assault charge in Aruba and put his work visa in danger with a driving-under-the-influence charge in Florida in January.

 

It's hard not to be a little cynical when the economics of the game trump the best interests of the team, but that's the baseball world we live in. The Orioles might be better served with Baldwin in the starting rotation, but the front office is cast in the unenviable position of needing Ponson to write the co-GMs (and maybe Mazzilli, too) a letter of recommendation in the second half.

 

I hope Sir Sidney steps up, because he owes those guys a knight's ransom for their misplaced confidence.

 

I hope the front office steps up, too, because it might be easy to look at Erik Bedard's terrific comeback performance Monday night and the club's recent resurgence and allow some of the urgency to leak out of the midseason star search.

 

That would be regrettable, because the Orioles are not quite ready for prime time.

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/basebal...sports-baseball

 

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From All-America Baseball, a columnist who pens regular columns on the Orioles called "The Baltimore Chop" :

 

Hello Grimsley, My Old Friend

 

Well, looks like Jason Grimsley has officially completed the quickest Tommy John surgery recovery known to man.

 

The Orioles today announced they have recalled RHP JASON GRIMSLEY from his rehab assignment and activated him from the 60-day disabled list. To make room for him on the roster, RHP STEVE REED was designated for assignment.

 

Grimsley went 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA (8.0IP, 4H, 1R/ER, 4BB, 4K) in 8 rehab appearances at AA Bowie. He is recovering from ulnar collateral ligament ("Tommy John") surgery performed last October. Grimsley was acquired by the Orioles from Kansas City last season and went 2-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 41 games.

 

Reed, 40, went 1-2 with a 6.61 ERA (32.2IP, 41H, 24R/ER, 11BB, 15K) in 30 relief appearances with the Orioles this season. He allowed 3 or more runs in a game 6 times in the first half, pitching an inning or less in each. Reed was signed by the Orioles as a free agent in January.

 

Earlier this week, RHP RICK BAUER cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Ottawa. Bauer was designated for assignment on July 2.

 

Steve Reed, we hardly knew ya. I'm rather pleased about this move. First of all, the human-tee known as Reed (1-2, 6.61 ERA) gets to go away. No more bringing him in up a run in the 7th and watching the lead dwindle away. Secondly, Grimsley's story is an inspiration. Maybe it's the kind of jump-start the Orioles bull-pen needs this half. We never really got to see the best of Grimsley last year before his arm fell apart. And yes, he was on the bad end of perhaps the worst trade in Orioles history (though Denny Bautista is having all sorts of health problems in KC), but he's a veteran reliever who should, at the very worst, be an upgrade over Reed. And you have to give him a chance when he comes out of a rehab assignment with a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA. The bullpen's radically different than it was at the beginning of the season. Steve Kline has been awful. Jorge Julio has been inconsistent as usual. James Baldwin probably earned the long-reliever role over John Parrish and Rick Bauer in Spring Training anyway, and he's been nothing short of impressive with the O's. Todd Williams was a pleasant surprise in the Spring, and he hasn't disappointed in his role, either. And what more needs to be said about B.J. Ryan?

 

The wild cards for the bullpen's second half are how Tim Byrdak (0-0, 4.15 ERA) and Chris Ray (0-0, 0.77 ERA) continue to fare. I've said for a while now that I think Ray makes Julio expendable. I mean, just look at some of his stats: 11.2 IP, 7 Hits, 1 ER, 3 BBs, 15 Ks, 11.57 K's per 9 innings, 0.86 WHIP, .177 BAA. That's scary. If he can keep it up in the second half of the year, the O's can comfortably slip him into Julio's role after they deal Julio either for an arm (A.J. Burnett?) or a bat (Adam Dunn?). I made a rather bold prediction at the beginning of the year, saying that the Orioles bullpen would be one of the best in baseball this season. Well, there's still that potential. To me, it hinges on Grimsley, Byrdak, and Ray. It's a lot to ask from a 38-year old coming off of Tommy John surgery, a 31-year old career minor-leaguer, and a 23-year old rookie... but the Orioles are going to need it from them.

 

http://www.all-baseball.com/chop/archives/019715.html

 

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From the Baltimore Sun:

 

Kline refuses Bowie; Baldwin let go

Finding room for Bedard sets off bullpen shuffle; Aaron writes Palmeiro

By Jeff Zrebiec

Sun Staff

Originally published July 19, 2005

 

MINNESOTA - To activate pitcher Erik Bedard for last night's start against Minnesota, the Orioles apparently wanted to send struggling reliever Steve Kline to Double-A Bowie.

 

But Kline said he refused the assignment, and with few other options, the Orioles designated long reliever James Baldwin for assignment. The Orioles now have 10 days to trade Baldwin, pass him through waivers or give him his release. If Baldwin clears waivers, the Orioles could option the veteran back to Triple-A Ottawa, but Baldwin would have to accept the assignment.

 

Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie declined to comment when asked to confirm that Kline, who entered last night with a 5.61 ERA in 43 games, had refused the assignment. However, because of Kline's years of service in the league, he does have the right. Struggling earlier this year, New York's Jason Giambi also turned down a minor league request.

 

In the offseason, the Orioles signed both the left-handed Kline and right-hander Steve Reed to bolster the bullpen, but now apparently are willing to part with both. Reed was designated for assignment last week when Jason Grimsley returned.

 

Baldwin, an 11-year major league veteran, had pitched well for the Orioles, compiling a 1.61 ERA in 12 appearances. However, he seemingly was the victim of a numbers game.

 

With the Orioles' acquisition of Florida starting pitcher A.J. Burnett still alive early in the day, the club had to consider his possible addition to the rotation would likely drop one of the current starters - possibly struggling right-hander Sidney Ponson - to the long relief role. Thus, Baldwin, who was informed of the decision about 45 minutes before last night's game and after reporters had left the clubhouse, no longer would have a role.

 

Beattie acknowledged a potential trade did affect the decision.

 

"That's why we waited [on the roster move]. Otherwise, we might have tried to do something a little bit earlier, but we are respecting the information coming in and the timing of it."

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/basebal...ports-headlines

 

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So what conclusions can be drawn from these articles?

 

1. Be first in line to acquire Baldwin if he isn't traded beforehand. His numbers indicate he could be long relief guy we'e been looking for and an emergency starter.

 

2. Who's really doing the dumping in this trade? Kline is portayed as an underachieving, overpaid malcontent. Steve Reed has already been DFAd by the Orioles. Julio has been inconsistent (*edited*).

 

3. The Orioles are getting $350 million from MLB for allowing the Nats into Washington and they don't want to eat Mike Lowell's salary? Please. And they want us to take their refuse to boot.

 

(P.S. I am not in favor of tradig Mikey anyways, if it happens, it happens)

 

Like I said, I'm just sharing some stuff I came accross. You can draw your own conclusions.

 

I already have.

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When I saw Baldwin had been DFAed I was about to come here and suggest the only deal we make with the Orioles is this one with a former Oriole until seeing that it was because the club did not want eat Kline's contract and that Baldwin would be kept in some way.

 

This is classic Orioes during the three-headed monster's tenure. Start your bid at a moderate level and keep slicing away at it. It's all a game to them. All an publicity act.

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PHX PD: calling all cars...calling all cars

PHX PD: we have an armed robbery in progress at 401 East Jefferson Street

PHX PD: That's the big building in downtown fellas

PHX PD: An out-of-town visitor was assualted and a roberry attempted apon them by some bandit from Baltimore

PHX PD: proceed without any emotion

PHX PD: /police scanner

 

That was the clip from the Phoenix PD scanners as the O's tried to steal AJ

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I'm about to edit my missive to use the word "inconsistent" rather than "failure" regarding Julio.

 

I accept that criticism, I should have been more careful with my words. Thanks for pointing that out, it's fixed. I hope that faux pax doesn't get in the way of the other observations in the original post.

 

Apologies.

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After dealing with all the sorry trades the media reports we were close to accepting from the O's, I'd go the opposite now if I was Beinfest. Make them beat the best offer (from our point of view) that we offered them. The pressure is on them, not us. Their starting pitching is a joke and they can't compete with Boston and NY with the team they have now. Unless we're getting a great every day prospect, screw 'em. Penn most likely wouldn't even be in the top three pitching prospects in our organization (including Olsen and Vargas).

 

Before O's fans jump on me, the O's and Red Sox were my two favorite teams prior to the Marlins existed. Clemens is my favorite player of all time and Ripken is my second favorite player of all time.

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:( "on the bright side, baltimore pitcher lopez just got pegged with a line drive, maybe this will make the O's more desperate"

 

Classy :thumbdown I think most of your fellow fans on this board would disagree! looking at any potential injury as a Plus for your negotiations is just sad.

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:( "on the bright side, baltimore pitcher lopez just got pegged with a line drive, maybe this will make the O's more desperate"

 

Classy :thumbdown I think most of your fellow fans on this board would disagree! looking at any potential injury as a Plus for your negotiations is just sad.

867156[/snapback]

Don't worry 1983, most of us on here aren't like that at all. Its just the immature 12 year olds with their knowledge of baseball coming from a playstation console or XBox, that make this board look bad.

 

 

Anytime someone is injured (Unless its an a**hole player) we don't say that...Well, at least most of the time. :plain

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I want to kill Beatie and Flanagan. OMG like Denny Bautista was the best pitching prospect, but the Orioles would gladly give him up for the chance to have......Jason Grimsley. Now Kline stays to blow more games while a starter who could have helped the O's down the stretch is released. This has to be a joke. Al Leiter and Steve Kline are the kind of guys you DFA, not someone who is pitching terrific.

 

Wow, I was in a good mood before I heard this.

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I want to kill Beatie and Flanagan. OMG like Denny Bautista was the best pitching prospect, but the Orioles would gladly give him up for the chance to have......Jason Grimsley. Now Kline stays to blow more games while a starter who could have helped the O's down the stretch is released. This has to be a joke. Al Leiter and Steve Kline are the kind of guys you DFA, not someone who is pitching terrific.

 

Wow, I was in a good mood before I heard this.

867229[/snapback]

 

Most people considered Bautista the org's best prospect, but I don't think people within the org (who were working with him every day) ever did. There's a reason two teams have given up on the guy.

 

Baldwin had been effective, but we're talking about 22 innings of work in mop-up duty. It wouldn't surprise me if he makes it through waivers and remains with the Orioles.

 

They kept Kline because they will try and package him in any trades. Don't be surprised if somebody wants him. He's a lefty and had been very effective before coming to Baltimore and apparently losing his mind.

 

In the end, this deal isn't going to go through because the Marlins absolutly HAVE to erase the Lowell contract from their books.

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Guest Juanky

:( "on the bright side, baltimore pitcher lopez just got pegged with a line drive, maybe this will make the O's more desperate"

 

Classy :thumbdown I think most of your fellow fans on this board would disagree! looking at any potential injury as a Plus for your negotiations is just sad.

867156[/snapback]

I don't see how that statement is a lack of class at all. He never said he was happy Rodrigo was pegged, never gave any sort of emotional glance at all. He just merely stated the obvious - if Lopez misses an extended period of time, the Orioles will need starting pitching even worse and will be willing to pay more for it. That's basic economics.

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