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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Edward Norton’s birthday wish: For Ripken to save the Orioles

Mischief. Mayhem. Dope.

Edward Norton is a fine actor who starred in such films as “Fight Club,” “Primal Fear” and “Rounders.” He is also a Columbia native and one of the most famous people to admit in public that he is still an Orioles fan.

Norton turned 42 today. What does he want for his birthday? For Cal Ripken to come save his Orioles.

“Thanks for all the nice messages. People have been asking what I want for my birthday. This:” Norton wrote on Twitter, linking to a site asking for donations for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. He added: “And for Cal Ripken to come back and be Manager and GM of the Orioles and revive our poor team.”

Repoz Posted: August 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, orioles

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   1. Koot Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3904699)
You can't take the team away from Buck! He's doing such a great job! He loves the "win" rule. He loves whipping the Red Sox! How can you take that away from him???
   2. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:13 PM (#3904704)
What the hell is it with the Orioles? How can a team that rich lose for so very long? These aren't the Pirates!
   3. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:16 PM (#3904706)
Holy ####### ####, I just checked and the Orioles have had 14 straight losing seasons. FOURTEEN! How the christ does that happen?
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:17 PM (#3904707)
selective endpoints fun: since Showalter took over last year through June 10th of this year, the O's were 64-54. They're 17-43 since
   5. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3904718)
Why I love BBREF. In going through the Orioles abysmal last decade and a half, I refamiliarized myself with the 1997 ALCS. I have almost no memory of it somehow...I guess I couldn't take watching after Sandy Alomar and all that in the ALDS, but it seems like one hell of a series.
   6. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3904722)
If not for Armando Benitez, the Orioles might have had a pennant...
   7. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3904735)
He loves whipping the Red Sox! How can you take that away from him???

2011 BAL vs BOS 3-8
   8. Bob Tufts Posted: August 20, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3904796)
Buck has to hang on until 2014 - he was 1994 manager of the year and 2004 manager of the year.
   9. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: August 20, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3904797)
“Thanks for all the nice messages. People have been asking what I want for my birthday. This:” Norton wrote on Twitter, linking to a site asking for donations for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. He added: “And for Cal Ripken to come back and be Manager and GM of the Orioles and revive our poor team.”

I hate to break it to you Worm, but it's never going to happen as long as Sauron of Baltimore's Evil Eye reigns supreme over the Yards. I'm afraid you're going to be waiting a while longer.

I've got to be honest, even I didn't think the sorry-ass crapbag Orioles would be THIS bad. Looking at their fairly brutal schedule the rest of the way, it looks to me like a virtual lock that they're going to lose over 100 games. They have four left against Minnesota, and 36 left against teams that range from good to excellent.

I think it's more than safe to say at this point that Keith Law's assessment of this team was dead nailed right on the money, and the rose-colored glasses wearing Escabeches of the world couldn't have possibly been more wrong.
   10. escabeche Posted: August 20, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3904891)
Nope -- I was right. Doesn't have anything to do with how many games they lose. I would have predicted a terrible second half for the Orioles last year, and that too would have been the right prediction, even though that's not what actually happened.
   11. Rally Posted: August 20, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3904902)
A 21 year old Ripken joining the Orioles team right now would improve them quite a bit. Does Ripken have managerial ability to do substantially better than Showalter, MacPhail, or both? That seems to be wishful thinking.
   12. Curse of the Andino Posted: August 20, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3904907)
Ehh, O's took it upon themselves to prove TINSTAAPP. So, Matusz is hurt, Tillman's not good, Bergesen's a reliever, Britton needs more time and a K pitch, Ace of the Staff Guthrie is gonna lose 23 games, and between injuries and ineffectiveness, they're starting Jo-Jo Reyes.

On the other hand, I like the trades MacPhail made, and will not have to be watching Vlad for much longer. So, you know.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3904931)
A 21 year old Ripken joining the Orioles team right now would improve them quite a bit. Does Ripken have managerial ability to do substantially better than Showalter, MacPhail, or both? That seems to be wishful thinking.
Yeah, I'm shocked baseball expert Edward Norton doesn't realize this.
   14. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: August 20, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#3904967)
Why I love BBREF. In going through the Orioles abysmal last decade and a half, I refamiliarized myself with the 1997 ALCS. I have almost no memory of it somehow...I guess I couldn't take watching after Sandy Alomar and all that in the ALDS, but it seems like one hell of a series.


It was a fantatic series. ####### tony fernandez.
   15. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#3904973)
Norton wore an O's hat at the end of The Score.
   16. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 20, 2011 at 10:45 PM (#3904979)
Nope -- I was right. Doesn't have anything to do with how many games they lose. I would have predicted a terrible second half for the Orioles last year, and that too would have been the right prediction, even though that's not what actually happened.
I'm not sure specifically what Sock is talking about, but if you were one of the people criticizing Keith Law at the beginning of the year for his offseason comments, then you were wrong, based not on "what actually happened," but based on what was known at the time.
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#3904981)
Holy ####### ####, I just checked and the Orioles have had 14 straight losing seasons. FOURTEEN! How the christ does that happen?

Two words: "Peter" and "Angelos". Next question?
   18. escabeche Posted: August 20, 2011 at 10:57 PM (#3904985)
Keith Law didn't predict 100 losses for the Orioles prior to the season; anyone who had would have been a fool for doing so. Law predicted they would be bad, which is pretty reasonable. (I think maybe he predicted they'd finish 5th in the divison, also reasonable though by no means assured.) People who thought they were a .500 team (I was not one of those people) were being unreasonably optimistic. I think 75-87 would have been a pretty reasonable mean guess.

Right now their winning percentage is worse than any Orioles squad since 1988. It's impossible for me to see how any reasonable person could have looked at this team pre-season and say "this is the worst Orioles team in the last 20 years." It's hard for me even to justify somebody saying "this team is worse than they were last year."
   19. zachtoma Posted: August 21, 2011 at 12:52 AM (#3905074)
Edward Norton's career seems to have mostly stalled since 2002, when he plateaued as one of the best actors in the game. There are, though, a couple of underseen more recent films featuring great roles for him - if you are a Norton fan, don't miss "Down in the Valley" or "Leaves of Grass".
   20. DKDC Posted: August 21, 2011 at 06:09 AM (#3905225)
Two words: "Peter" and "Angelos". Next question?


I'm certainly no apologist for Angelos, but can someone help me pinpoint exactly why he's such a terrible owner? Typically a bad owner falls into a one of two categories:

a) Cheapskate

Sure, Angelos plays the poverty card now and again because of their division, but their payroll is in line with their revenue.

b) Meddler

Angelos does have a reputation as a meddler, but he's mostly been hands off since MacPhail was hired (4 years and counting) and that hasn't seemed to make a difference. Meddlers try to mortgage the future by trading young talent for vets, but the Orioles haven't had the talent OR been close enough to contention for that to happen. The O's have certainly wasted money on over-the-hill vets, but those have almost all been short term roster filler deals - and I'm not sure any of those deals were prompted by Angelos or just the bright ideas of some of the dim bulbs he's hired. But make a list of the worst contracts ever signed, and you won't see Angelos's signature on many.

The real reason the Orioles have sucked for 15 years is their absolute inability to develop major league baseball players. Since Mussina, who was drafted over 20 years ago, the Orioles haven't developed a single star-level player, and you can count the number of even average everyday players or starting pitchers they've developed on one hand (Sidney Ponson is one of those fingers...the middle one I think). I haven't done the work, but I'd be surprised if there's another team with as poor a development record over that period as the Orioles.

In my opinion, Angelos's biggest flaw is that he hasn't figured out why this is happening, and he hasn't fixed it. Because ultimately all of the people responsible for scouting, drafting, and developing talent in the Orioles organization report to Angelos, and they've made an absolute mess of it.

It's particularly disheartening to see this latest crop of young players flail so badly, as it was a highly regarded by the prospect gurus.

I'd like to think it's all Angelos's fault too, because the means it can all be fixed when he goes away, but maybe the organization's too rotten to be fixed.
   21. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: August 21, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3905301)
I'm not sure specifically what Sock is I'm talking about.

There, went ahead and fixed it for you.
   22. Don Lock Posted: August 22, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3905664)
Seems odd to blame an owner for the poor development of the farm system. He hired the gms who hired the farm system directors and scouts but all owners are, fortunately, a few steps away from direct influence of the player development branch of the team. He has okayed big bonuses to some draftees(Weiters, Machado and Bundy most recently).

If the Oriole farm system was doing something radically and drastically different than most other teams, I think we would have heard about it. That is why the 14 years of misery is still a mystery.

The Orioles have discontinued a few low minor league teams and been weak in Latin American scouting and signings. Whether this is that much different than other teams, I don't know.Are they 10th, 20th, last? The perception is that they have modest foreign born player development. I would overspend in this area just to catch up. Not sure what kind of financial investment is needed. More than the salaries of Dereck Lee and Vlad Guererro this year ($15 million or so)?
   23. Ron J Posted: August 22, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3905679)
#17 and yet they had a pretty good run while being run as a high payroll team in the mid 90s.

I'm not sure exactly what caused Angelos to pull back on the expenditures, though a couple of expensive flops sure didn't help make the case for putting money into the team.
   24. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3905997)
Right now their winning percentage is worse than any Orioles squad since 1988. It's impossible for me to see how any reasonable person could have looked at this team pre-season and say "this is the worst Orioles team in the last 20 years." It's hard for me even to justify somebody saying "this team is worse than they were last year."
That's a little misleading, though; at this time last year, they were worse than they are so far this year.
   25. Ron J Posted: August 22, 2011 at 04:55 PM (#3906013)
#22 We did hear domething about it. Eddie Epstein wrote an essay in the intro to the first Minor League Scouting Notebook which alludes to the reliance on the scout's "creepy eyes" (to use an old Orioles usenet term) aligned with an absolute lack of accountability by the scouts. The specific example he gave was a scout who after seeing Dave Justice and Ron Gant in action declared that neither were major league capable players and retained his job because he was a friend of the GM.

GMs come and go, but I think the comfortable cronyism is alive and well in the organization.
   26. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:01 PM (#3906017)

I'm not sure exactly what caused Angelos to pull back on the expenditures, though a couple of expensive flops sure didn't help make the case for putting money into the team.


That's the issue, is that they kept spending money with no results for quite awhile. My perception is the team has been reasonably well run for the past few years, they've just run into some bad luck and some TINSTAAP.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3906059)
I'm certainly no apologist for Angelos, but can someone help me pinpoint exactly why he's such a terrible owner?

There seems to be an issue as to whether Angelos cares that much about the Orioles. It is often said that he bought the Orioles simply to raise his public profile. He was probably the richest man in Baltimore (asbestos litigation lawyer) but supposedly had trouble getting a table in restaurants. The other knock is that he wanted to win too many negotiations rather than just pay fair market value - certainly that was true for Mussina. Things may have changed with MacPhail, although there aren't any results evident, but Angelos was also said to be slow to make decisions, quite possibly because his law firm (there are no other partners) was his main business. Assuming MacPhail has considerable autonomy, the biggest problem is probably that it is more difficult to attract top talent to work for an owner with Angelos' reputation.
   28. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:55 PM (#3906077)
I detest the fact that Angelos lets his rabid far left-wing politics interfere with the business of running a baseball team to win.

Remember: this is the piece of sh*t who refuses to sign players who defect from Cuba to the United States.

Needless to say, he would never be able to get away with applying this personal ban to American blacks or just about any other group of people, but because Fidel Castro is a kind of cult hero to the left, he's permitted to get away with openly engaging in this loathsome, despicable policy of his.
   29. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3906091)
The real reason the Orioles have sucked for 15 years is their absolute inability to develop major league baseball players. Since Mussina, who was drafted over 20 years ago, the Orioles haven't developed a single star-level player, and you can count the number of even average everyday players or starting pitchers they've developed on one hand (Sidney Ponson is one of those fingers...the middle one I think). I haven't done the work, but I'd be surprised if there's another team with as poor a development record over that period as the Orioles.
They developed Erik Bedard, who (a) got hurt, and (b) was such a lone beacon of talent that they had to trade him because keeping him would have been a total waste. They developed Nick Markakis, who stopped taking steroids too early in his career. But in general, yes. Their player development has been abysmal.

For many years, they drafted terribly and had no prospects. But even since they've started developing prospects, they all get hurt or flop or both. But as I've noted before, the Orioles take the following approach:

(a) hitters are easy; you need to develop pitching prospects;
(b) you can't trust pitching prospects so they have to get a very very short leash;
(c) the only way to develop pitching prospects, because they're so erratic, is to have a lot of them;
(d) you can't rely on young pitchers, so no matter how many you have, you can only use a couple of them at any time;
(d) if you have a lot of them, there's no point to committing to one, because there's always another one in the pipeline to try.
I mean, it's ludicrous how the Orioles have treated Chris Tillman. Just put him out there. Let him pitch.
   30. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 22, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3906179)
Edward Norton's career seems to have mostly stalled since 2002, when he plateaued as one of the best actors in the game. There are, though, a couple of underseen more recent films featuring great roles for him - if you are a Norton fan, don't miss "Down in the Valley" or "Leaves of Grass".


I had high hopes for "Stone", with him and DeNiro, but it wasn't that great. I will check out "Down in the Valley", I've heard good reviews on that one.

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