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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Baltimore Orioles

Designated DH Jack Cust for assignment; lost P John Stephens on waivers to the Boston Red Sox.

The Orioles were short on roster room.  After all, with young slugger B.J. Surhoff desperately needed to get the Orioles to the Series, the need for Luis Lopez to be on the 40-man roster, and the eventual comebacks of Babe Cordova and Lefty Daal, there just wasn’t room for these goofs.  The Red Sox pick up Stephens, a slopballer with an annoying ability to get minor league hitters out when healthy and some other team will get Cust, the man who can’t slide.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 11, 2004 at 07:26 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Curtis Posted: January 18, 2003 at 12:29 AM (#563600)
I would say probabaly the smartest dem in recent years was Carter, he really is a genius, but couldn't manage a lemonade stand because he didn't understand the concept of delegating or simple business techniques, and it showed in the White House.
   202. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 04:21 PM (#563603)
The intelligence issue isn't the problem. My favorite president of the last century is probably Truman, and he didn't even go to college. Truman was a good president because he was willing to do what was good for the country, even when it went against his personal preferences, as was the case when he used the National Guard to enforce desegregation in southern schools. I don't think that W has that skill; he's doing what he wants to do, which is not necessarily the same as what needs to be done. He's got a grudge against Saddam, so we're going to war with Iraq, even though the situation in North Korea is more pressing and international sentiment is strongly in favor of more time for the inspectors. He likes tax cuts, so we get tax cuts regardless of the current economic situation.

The Democratic field in 2004 doesn't look that promising, but I suppose it's possible that someone like Edwards or Dean will create a strong enough political identity in the next two years to mount a reasonable challenge to Bush. Most of the other candidates, like Lieberman, Hillary, and Gephardt, share the same problem: the only people who know anything about them can't stand them; their name recognition among voters is almost entirely negative. Graham's probably doomed, since Democratic hawks don't have a really good track record in presidential elections, and Kerry might get Dukakised if he survived the primary, since Massachusetts liberals don't play well in the rest of the country. I haven't decided about Daschle yet, but he needs some serious image rehab if he's serious about forcing his way into the competition.
   203. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2003 at 07:16 PM (#563604)
Truman was a good president because he was willing to do what was good for the country, even when it went against his personal preferences, as was the case when he used the National Guard to enforce desegregation in southern schools.

Uh, when exactly did Harry Truman change his name to Dwight Eisenhower? Truman was out of office by the time Brown was decided.
   204. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2003 at 04:49 AM (#563609)
Sorry, slight botch there.

I meant to say that Truman desegrigated the Army, not the schools; must've crossed a wire in my brain. The larger point is the same, though; Truman was an old-school southerner, a Missouri senator who supposedly used to talk about 'niggers' in casual conversation, but he put forth some of the most important civil-rights legislation in American history because it was the right thing to do for the country. He was able to move beyond his personal preferences and do what had to be done.
   205. All In The Guetterman, Looking Up At The Stargell Posted: January 22, 2003 at 09:37 AM (#563612)
Missed this thread until now.

Dan Szymborski -- I completely agree with your choices (Wilson the Professor and Princeton President, Hoover the traditional engineer, Carter the nuclear engineer), but would add the sharply intelligent but thoroughly evil Theodore Roosevelt to the list. I'd probably put FDR and Taft just below those people; Clinton at the top of the middle. Of the post-Lincoln pre 20th century Presidents, only Grant was of first rate intelligence, though Andrew Johnson should get credit for educating himself, something Bush has been, so far, above doing.

The three biggest idiot Presidents have been, of course, Republican : Harding, Reagan and G.W. Bush. Ignorant but amiable bastards, all.

For the record the three most corrupt administrations in American History have also been Republican/Reactionary : Grant's, Nixon's and Harding's. A genius, a devil and a charming doofus, so, small sample size aside, I'd say intelligence has little to do with rectitude. OTOH, Dubya, whose administration I predict will join the previous three in infamy, scares me for I am not in the least comfy with the idea that a cretin has The Button at arm's length at any given time.

Vlad -- you're a pretty reasonable guy, but I have to disagree with you on Truman. There has been a lot of work done in the last few years, notably by Gar Alperovitz, regarding Truman and the Japanese nukes. I can think of no civil rights issues Truman was involved in -- implicitly maintaining the status quo (army desrgregation excepted). Even the men behind Brown had little to do with Truman : Truman's Cheif Justice, Fred Vinson, had died a few years before; maybe Shay Minton was on the court for Brown (don't remember and too lazy to look it up), but that's it. I dare say that Brown wouldn't have happened if the reactionary Vinson had been Chief at the time. (Yes, I admit that Presidents have little responsibility over their appointees' subsequent decisions.)

Truman instituted the loyalty oaths, revived the Subversive Organisations Invstigations (which his attorney general Clark Clifford later admitted was an entirely political creation to help get Truman re-elected). My larger reasons for feeling that Truman was the worst President of the century are other (though a lot relates to his incineration of Japanese civilians as a "diplomatic" message to Stalin), and I'll spare you.

As if anyone cares, I don't have a favorite President of this century : the best of them have all made colossally criminal/immoral/permanently damaging decisions in office which negate whatever good they did; by the same token, most of the truly villainous Presidents have made some good decisions that almost make up for their other ####-ups, examples being Nixon's detente and Harding's radical disarmament after WW1. Hoover was an excellently conscientious ex-President, quite like Jimmy Carter is now.
   206. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2003 at 02:57 PM (#563613)
Truman's civil rights record is extremely strong across the board, even beyond the army desegregation.

He was the first president to address the NAACP, doing so from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1947.

His judicial appointees were almost all in favor of civil rights reform, and one of 'em (William H. Hastie) was the first black federal justice. These judges were some of the ones handing down the civil rights decisions of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.

Truman created a President's Committee on Civil Rights, which recommended the creation of new voters' rights, anti-lycning, and anti-discrimination laws, as well as increased involvement of the Justice Department in civil rights issues.

He backed up the recommendations of this committee by drafting a strong message to congress in 1948, the first of its kind. In that message, he advocated legislation to prevent descrimination in hiring and abuses of voters' rights and recognized the legitimacy of claims of Japanese Americans held in internment camps during WWII.

Remember the hubbub over Trent Lott's remarks about Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign? Thurmond, along with all the other "Dixiecrats", left the Democratic party that year because they considered Truman's civil rights stand too strong. When reporters asked Thurmond why he was splitting with the party over Truman's policies, when they looked like a continuation of FDR's, Thurmond said "Yes, but Truman really means it."

I don't deny that evaluating Truman's time in office is a difficult task. He saved a huge number of American lives by using the Bomb on Japan (I think he did it mainly to end the war as rapidly as possible, not to scare the Russkies), but he wasted an equal number of lives in Korea. He rebuilt Japan and Europe after WWII, but he's also responsible for the Cold War and the Red Scare of the '50s. He immediately extended diplomatic recognition to Israel, over the advice of his advisors, which is both good AND bad in some ways.

He had all kinds of motives for his strong domestic stand on civil rights. He needed a lever against Dewey in the election, and he was upset at the treatment of black war veterans, and he felt that America needed to be strong and unified if it was going to confront Communism and win. Regardless of why he did it, he was able to move beyond a past that included two sets of slave-holding grandparents, and he deserves recognition for doing so.
   207. Bill Posted: January 30, 2003 at 03:41 AM (#564606)
You're a bitter man, Dan. If you would just have the epiphany and become a Yankee fan, your mental state would improve immeasurably.
   208. Jason Posted: January 30, 2003 at 01:43 PM (#564613)
Hey no fair teasing the few Brewer fans left with delusional possibilities of dumping Hammonds off on someone!
   209. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: January 30, 2003 at 02:48 PM (#564616)
Hey, I'm not working at a gas station, I'm a professor at Wake Forest now!

Ouch. Well, one day you'll leave that horror behind and make it to that gas station, Terry. Have faith.

(The pic of him with the baseball glove is hilarious).
   210. Alan Posted: January 30, 2003 at 05:37 PM (#564620)
" You're a bitter man, Dan. If you would just have the epiphany and become a Yankee fan, your mental state would improve immeasurably."

The Yankees used to be the Orioles. I liken the situation to Lucifer being cast out heaven; going from the Land of Pleasant Living to Babylon on the Hudson.
   211. Bill Posted: January 30, 2003 at 07:46 PM (#564621)
And don't forget, Alan, the Babe was Baltimore property too.
   212. David Jones Posted: January 30, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#564622)
I give up. These signings are utterly purposeless, and epically moronic.
   213. Alan Posted: January 30, 2003 at 11:29 PM (#564625)
"And don't forget, Alan, the Babe was Baltimore property too."

When you're (?) talking Baltimore baseball, the Babe, and John McGraw
   214. David Jones Posted: January 31, 2003 at 12:12 AM (#564626)
I haven't given up on them yet, but at this point, I am certainly going to give up defending them. It's a losing cause.
   215. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: February 12, 2003 at 04:28 AM (#564922)
Definitely not as stupid as signing Deivi Cruz.

But yes, this means that all the young O's starter candidates will likely be in Ottawa to start the year.
   216. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 12, 2003 at 01:22 PM (#564923)
Honestly, I don't think this is a horrible signing. He's cheap, and if he is somewhat useful they may be able to swap him to a contender in July for a middling prospect. People say that he'll block the development of their minor leaguers, but they don't exactly have Zito, Hudson and Mulder that are being blocked.
   217. SM in DC Posted: February 12, 2003 at 02:11 PM (#564925)

You're silly if you think we're paying real money to see that dreck.... the most important part of deciding to go to an O's vs. Anyone else game is the "Anyone else."

Let's Go Sens in '04! (These promo lines just write themselves.)
   218. SM in dC Posted: February 12, 2003 at 02:36 PM (#564927)
Philippe, I had the "good" fortune to attend a couple of Bowie BaySox and Frederick Keys (O's AA and A clubs) and let me tell you, there's a reason that Rochester finally cried uncle... their system is pathetic.

On the bright side though, you may see a good deal of Tim Raines, Jr. and that's gotta be good from a nostalgia standpoint, if nothing else. :-)
   219. PhillyBooster Posted: February 12, 2003 at 07:59 PM (#564930)
The Orioles have, in fact, signed B.J. Surhoff to a minor league deal (link above).

I was all prepared to criticize this move, but then I realized that he's not really likely to take any playing time away from anyone better or more promising than he is. Jay Gibbons, maybe.
   220. Transmission Posted: February 13, 2003 at 12:20 AM (#564938)
Which A-Team cast members have died?
   221. Dag Nabbit at Posted: February 13, 2003 at 03:38 AM (#564944)
I pity the fool that roots for the O-Team.

No really - I do.
   222. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2003 at 06:20 AM (#564947)
Hmm. The A-Team couldn't hit their opponents when they took shots at them. The Orioles... can't hit their opponents. I sense a pattern.
   223. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2003 at 06:21 AM (#564931)
Maybe this signing is just to make fans think Marty Cordova is a "kid."
   224. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 13, 2003 at 06:31 AM (#564932)
Er, that was meant to be on the Surhoff thread.

As for Helling, ugh, ugh, ugh. 32. Career ERA+: 100. Exactly what the Orioles need.... to ensure that John Stephens will never see the inside of Camden Yards.

But Dave, Sid Fernandez's problem was not Camden Yards. He pitched better in Camden Yards than on the road.
   225. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: February 13, 2003 at 03:42 PM (#564954)
Thank you, Baltimore!

Steve Phillips can now wipe the drool off his chin...
   226. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 13, 2003 at 05:49 PM (#564955)
For the record, yes, I'm laughing AT you. There is absolutely nothing John Schuerholz can do poorly that the Oriole 'trust can't do apocalyptically worse.

But hey, you got Luis Riveria out of the deal...

   227. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: February 13, 2003 at 06:21 PM (#564956)
So is Chris Richard going to be traded or released or sent to AAA or what? Isn't he the equal of anybody they have in the OF right now?
   228. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 13, 2003 at 06:49 PM (#564957)
In that he did not play for the 1997 Orioles, no, Chris Richard is not the equal of anybody they have in the OF right now.
   229. jwb Posted: February 13, 2003 at 08:14 PM (#564960)
I hear Fred Lynn is available. . .
   230. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 14, 2003 at 07:43 PM (#564971)
"ZiPS, with an 'i' like in CHiPs. How's Johnny Estrada treating you?"

Not Dan
   231. Eli Hungerford: Cityboy Crypto-Elitist for hire Posted: March 11, 2003 at 08:00 PM (#565208)
I only saw Cust in a few at-bats last year, and it was against Mark Prior on one of his nasty days, but he looked pretty defenseless at the plate. I don't see a ton of upside.

That said, he's younger, healthier, and cheaper than Richards, so go O's.
   232. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 11, 2003 at 08:54 PM (#565213)
Mr. Whipple, the problem is that your characterization of the players is completely wrong. Richard is not young, and is not unproven, and he's not a power hitter. Cust is young, is not unproven, and is a power hitter. Cust is automatically the best hitter in the organization.

But you're probably right that the Orioles won't bother to play Cust. So my reaction is excitement tempered by the knowledge that nobody ever underestimated the Orioles' ability to screw up with a young player.
   233. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: March 11, 2003 at 10:14 PM (#565220)
This is a great trade for the O's. Cust hit .407/.524 in AAA last year, granted it was Colorado Springs. But the kid can hit, and his fielding was actually upgraded from PR to FR by Diamond Mind, so maybe he won't be strictly a DH.

Moving to Baltimore will definitely scale down the numbers, but even if he could hit .340/.450 as a 24-year old, that's nothing to sneeze at.

Richard is 29 and has is a career .325/.453 hitter. I'd take my chances with Cust, this is first sign that the new regime in Baltimore knows what they are doing.

The Rockies were a tough spot, I really think they need 3 outstanding defensive outfielders to win, because of the ground that has to be covered. But I'dve thought they could get more than another DH who is 5-years older and isn't as good for him. It's not like the Rockies are going to be good, put Cust out there for 3 months and let him hit the crap out of the ball to up his AL trade value. His trade value will never be lower than it is right now (well not until he's 35 anyway) great job from Beattie/Flanagan in recognizing that and grabbing him. He's also pretty cheap for the next few years.
   234. Walt Davis Posted: March 11, 2003 at 10:31 PM (#565223)
The Rox do need a 5th OF, so I could see this trade from the Rox angle if Richard was a better defensive OF and if he didn't have a bum shoulder that, so far, has kept him from making OF throws on consecutive days. I think it's the ESPN story that quotes him along the lines of "I hope they know I've got a bad shoulder."
   235. John Posted: March 12, 2003 at 03:25 AM (#565228)
I thought James' "old player skills" theory meant that players declined faster after their peak, not that their peak was moved up.

I think Paul is correct in general; the end comes quickly, but it doesn't necessarily come early. Sometimes (Greg Luzinski, Tom Brunansky) it does, and sometimes (Gary Gaetti comes to mind) it doesn't. All of those guys were old when they were young. They all eventually fell off a cliff.

I haven't seen him play, so I'm basing this only on the numbers, but I wonder if Luzinski isn't the best, best-case comp for Cust? He batted for a higher average than Cust is likely to achieve, but look at his base on balls progression. Clearly it's a talent he always had, but he didn't bust into the league drawing a walk every two games. Not that Jack Cust is likely to end up as the modern-day Greg Luzinski, but if all you have to flip to take that chance is the modern-day Chris Richard (or Richards, or Richardson), then why not?

Of course, I'd bring him up right away, but then, I didn't just sign B.J. Surhoff.
   236. Scott Posted: March 12, 2003 at 04:21 AM (#565230)
Dan, what's the ZiPS on Cust as an Oriole?????
   237. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 12, 2003 at 04:08 PM (#565232)
I'm getting more optimistic after Flanagan's quote in the Washington Post (found by Dave Heller and posted on the Orioles mailing list).

"You focus on the on-base percentage and the track record," Flanagan said. "Strikeouts can be somewhat of a misleading issue. I think the walks are the encouraging sign. You get this mental picture of someone who [goes] deep into the count. That's a guy you can certainly develop in a certain way."

Even if it's just lip service, it at least shows he's *aware* of the conecept, something you need to be in order to pay said lip service.
   238. RP Posted: March 12, 2003 at 09:40 PM (#565237)
I was just listening to the Orioles-Red Sox game, and the announcers were comparing Cust and Thome. I'm assuming the comparison is pretty far-fetched, but does anyone have their minor league stats handy?
   239. Shredder Posted: March 31, 2003 at 01:55 AM (#565248)
No, it's not too early, just meaningless. Unless of course 2007 is next year.
   240. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 04, 2003 at 08:20 PM (#565570)
Machado?? Woohoo! I'm glad to see that they skipped the silly interim step of letting him play a game before getting hurt.
   241. GGC Posted: April 05, 2003 at 02:56 PM (#565576)
When did Lomasney join the Oriole system? I thought that he was Bosox property.
   242. Mikαεl Posted: April 05, 2003 at 03:25 PM (#565577)
6-year minor league FA this offseason. I'm still rooting for the guy, but he still needs to learn how to make his bat hit the ball.
   243. Depot Posted: April 05, 2003 at 06:29 PM (#565578)
Jason Tyner cleared waivers! How could 29 teams pass up this incredible talent?
   244. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 07, 2003 at 08:29 PM (#565585)
Dude, at least pick a movie that didn't suck.
   245. David Jones Posted: April 24, 2003 at 03:12 AM (#565735)
What about Jack Cust?
   246. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 24, 2003 at 03:33 AM (#565736)
The team's still "instructing" him. I believe there are two Cust outcomes in Baltimore - he ends up with an OPS below .750 in Rochester or refuses to listen to the team's hitting ideas and ends up on the smear campaign list and goes somewhere else.
   247. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 24, 2003 at 06:32 AM (#565737)
The Orioles have a cartload of mediocre OFers, so he won't really be all that missed.

Au contraire. How many of the others have Cordova's 33 years of life experience?

Oh. Nevermind.
   248. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 24, 2003 at 02:18 PM (#565740)
Sorry, I still can't get used to Ottawa being the Oriole AAA affiliate; Rochester had been the affiliate since before I was even born.
   249. Eric Posted: April 25, 2003 at 12:35 AM (#565742)
Cust is hitting .196/.431/.261 in roughly 65 plate appearances. That OBP looks great, and we all love walks, but a .261 SLG! I have faith in Cust, but you can't expect the O's to call him up when they have an another OF, Bigbie, hitting .333/.411/.603 in 73 PAs. Not to mention Matos hitting .328/.408/.534 in 71 PAs.

Meanwhile, Perlozzo says they'll play Bigbie every day, and hopefully a) he's right, and b) Hargrove agrees.
   250. David Jones Posted: April 25, 2003 at 01:09 AM (#565743)
Cust is hitting .196/.431/.261 in roughly 65 plate appearances. That OBP looks great, and we all love walks, but a .261 SLG! I have faith in Cust, but you can't expect the O's to call him up when they have an another OF, Bigbie, hitting .333/.411/.603 in 73 PAs. Not to mention Matos hitting .328/.408/.534 in 71 PAs

I don't know...if I were Cust I would be pretty discouraged at another year in AAA at this point, especially if the only thing blocking me from a major league callup was Jose Leon or BJ Surhoff. Now with both Segui and Cordova on the shelf, the O's could have called up both Bigbie and Cust, or Bigbie and Matos. But why Jose Leon? Shouldn't the Orioles, obviously non-contenders in 2003, be using every roster space as a golden opportunity to audition some of these players for more extended periods of time? Oh wait, but that would make sense...
   251. Eric Posted: April 25, 2003 at 02:41 AM (#565744)
But why Jose Leon? Shouldn't the Orioles, obviously non-contenders in 2003, be using every roster space as a golden opportunity to audition some of these players for more extended periods of time?

I don't have a good answer for that, but I'll try anyway (note that I am not a believer in Beatagan, I just like to play devil's advocate. Also note that I am an Orioles fan):

1. The Orioles think Leon has a future with them. :-P

2. The Orioles called up Leon because he's a player they feel comfortable with having on the bench, rather than playing everyday. As opposed to Cust, Matos, Roberts, and Bigbie, who they want playing.

I'm not convinced myself that Leon doesn't have a future as a pinch-hitter and bench player (even if you assume, as I have, that his not as-awful-as-usual 5 BB, including 1 IBB, in 58 PA in Ottawa, and his 2 BB today for the O's, is a fluke). Certainly not a future regular though. Of course, one could say the same of Deivi Cruz.
   252. Randal Posted: April 26, 2003 at 12:44 AM (#565822)
Are you the biggest idiot ever?
   253. Eric Posted: April 27, 2003 at 02:46 AM (#565823)
Randal- the post of HACKING MASS is to pick bad players.
   254. mommy Posted: April 28, 2003 at 02:56 PM (#565824)
Eric - the point of Randal is not critical examination.
   255. Eric Posted: April 28, 2003 at 04:51 PM (#565825)
Sorry mom.
   256. rlc Posted: May 07, 2003 at 06:32 PM (#565865)
Some thinking fans believe that Stephens and his 6+ ERA are on the DL, making a callup somewhat problematic despite its blindingly obvious correctness.
   257. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 19, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#565919)
Besides, the Orioles don't have a viable *starting* shortstop either!
   258. Dan Szymborski Posted: May 19, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#565920)
Well, there's Mora, but they think using him at shortstop is worse than contracting syphilis.
   259. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 20, 2003 at 02:23 AM (#565922)
Bet'cha wish ya had Jeff Reboulet now, eh? Suckers!
   260. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 20, 2003 at 03:49 AM (#565937)
Yeah, but there's nothing in Mendez's record that indicates that he'll hit over the long haul. He's a month short of 29, he's been kicking around the Tigers' organization for years, with middling power and poor strike zone judgment. A month and a half of hot hitting at Ottawa doesn't change that.

-- MWE
   261. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 21, 2003 at 05:55 PM (#565938)
But since the alternative would be BJ Surhoff, for whom there's really nothing in his record that indicates he'll hit over the long haul...

(Of course, silly me, if I called him up, I might put him in the lineup.)
   262. rlc Posted: May 23, 2003 at 11:02 PM (#565940)
5/23 Placed outfielder Larry Bigbie on the 15-day disabled list; recalled outfielder Luis Matos from Ottawa (Int.).

5/21 Placed second baseman Jerry Hairston on the 15-day disabled list; recalled second baseman Brian Roberts from Ottawa (Int.).

[Insert complaint about the Orioles not calling up their young players here.]
   263. Eric Posted: May 24, 2003 at 02:08 AM (#565941)
They also waived Matthews!!! Didn't call anyone up yet, probably activating Surhoff, but still, whoa. I now expect Cruz will be gone when Hairston's ready.
   264. MM1f Posted: May 29, 2003 at 08:35 PM (#565979)
Um, I just saw this today and thought "Wow!" when I saw it but, has anyone else realized Melvin Mora is leading the AL in BA (.359) and OBP (.462) is 3rd in slugging (.599) and 2nd in OPS (1.060).
   265. Greg Franklin Posted: August 05, 2003 at 06:51 PM (#565981)
The O's recalled Cust for the third time this year, to stand in place of an injured Mora. He's done surprisingly well in 333 AB at Ottawa: .285 with a 422 OBP, 426 SLG. (The BA is the shocker.)

But the O's seem to want him to serve the cups of coffee, not sip them.
   266. MM1f Posted: August 06, 2003 at 03:17 PM (#565982)
Five bucks says they won't play him again.
   267. WillYoung Posted: August 17, 2003 at 04:45 AM (#564936)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is just another attempt to kick my underperforming Hacking Mass team while it's down.
   268. Greg Franklin Posted: August 22, 2003 at 03:05 AM (#551964)
Syd's final folly? (Yes, it is.) Cordova learned today he's going to need TJ-type surgery on his bad elbow. He's out for the year and probably most of next.

More surgery for Cordova

I love reading old transaction logs.... this one turned out worse than evven the Oracle imagined. He and David N. are rounding up some wholesale furniture for a ...... punch-out party. Yeah, that's it.
   269. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 22, 2003 at 03:46 AM (#551965)
Well, he almost hit .315/35 this year. That was 35 ABs, right?

If you add up his two years in Baltimore, he hit .486/19, which is pretty good.
   270. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 24, 2003 at 03:03 AM (#551968)
They showed a picture of Cordova a few weeks ago. From the looks of it, I'd have diagnosed him with a case of potato chips.
   271. David Jones Posted: August 24, 2003 at 02:44 PM (#551969)
David N.,

What do you want, a cookie?
   272. MM1f Posted: September 01, 2003 at 01:51 PM (#567699)
   273. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 01, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#567701)
The Marlins' system looks awfully thin right now.
   274. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: September 01, 2003 at 04:21 PM (#567702)
long live Beatagan!
   275. Ziggy's screen name Posted: September 01, 2003 at 04:46 PM (#567703)
One of the origional Marlins returns. They had some really interesting people on that team: Conine, Sheffield, Hough, Hoffman, Nenn. Not bad for an expansion team. No HOFers, but then the '62 Mets are the only expansion team with one. (They will eventually be joined by TB when Boggs and McGriff go in.)
   276. Noffs Posted: September 01, 2003 at 09:42 PM (#567709)
Great trade for the O's. Restocking the barren farm system with two previously untouchable propects and dumping an aging 1B/OF/DH, of which they have many, is a great double-swoop.
   277. VegasRobb Posted: September 02, 2003 at 12:40 AM (#567710)
Non-tender Derrek Lee?

Wouldn't they be better off forcing Conine to LF or 3B if Lowell is dealt?
   278. BrandonMO (U L) Posted: September 02, 2003 at 02:46 AM (#567711)
Maybe they can have Conine bobblehead night II with Conine on the team.

Lowell might go so Conine can get #19 back and wear it until it's retired. :D
   279. Greg Franklin Posted: September 02, 2003 at 05:57 AM (#567713)
The Oracle's macro view on the trade is correct: this trade would never have been necessary had the Marlins not screwed up with Millar in the off-season.

But the Marlins are operating in the micro view, that they are in a playoff race without Mike Lowell, and needed a fill-in pronto for the final month, and a hot October from the wildcard slot could mean a World Series.

In that view, I think this is a good trade for both sides. This trade is in no sense proof that the Marlins are rudderless.

This analysis depends on much you think firing that gee-whiz ex-Dodger fogey (man, I forgot his name) and replacing him with McKeon changed the culture of that franchise.
   280. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 02, 2003 at 01:07 PM (#567714)
You're thinking of Torborg, Greg.
   281. Greg Franklin Posted: September 16, 2003 at 07:35 PM (#567718)
Re: #1 - Pedro Swann got recalled just yesterday. He'll likely get a sip of coffee, no more.
   282. SM in DC Posted: September 17, 2003 at 02:14 PM (#567719)
Re: #21 -- he hit his first ML dinger last night.
   283. The Other Kurt Posted: December 15, 2003 at 01:33 AM (#569982)
Idle speculation time. If Tejada continues to play every day this contract will take him through to game #1566, enough to put him 3rd on the all time list behind Ripken and Gehrig.

Good move for Baltimore. A little expensive, but you know what you're getting with Tejada (consistantly .270/.330/.470). I swear he's a better defender than the advanced metrics indicate though. This belief is based soley on visual observation, so I understand that it will be dismissed, but I'm convinced.
   284. John Posted: December 15, 2003 at 02:02 AM (#569986)
Lee Sinins just sent out an e-mail saying that the Orioles are about to announce the signings of Pudge Rodriguez and Vlad Guerrero. Wow.
   285. John Posted: December 15, 2003 at 02:31 AM (#569990)
Most Of The Hitting, One Third The Price.

Most of the hitting? Quick-and-dirty, Alex has a 1015 OPS, Nomar an 872, Miggy has an 823. And, come on: The Hose That Al Built isn't that great of a pitchers' park. Why can't the guy hit at home? That's kind of a worrying split, especially over three years.

Alex plays better defense, too.

And it's more like half the price (48%, I suppose) than one-third.
   286. John Posted: December 15, 2003 at 02:33 AM (#569991)
That should be The House That Al Built, but it still works, somehow.
   287. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 15, 2003 at 03:10 AM (#569993)
I think the plan was to sign Tejada and Rodriguez first so that Vlad would feel more comfortable with several other star Hispanic players on the team.

They also may be able to add Phelps for Riley in deal w/Toronto. Put Gibbons in LF and have Phelps play 1B.

Now we're talking an offense. Phelps doesn't even cost that much. And, it would be a commitment to the future.


3B Mora
   288. Steve Posted: December 15, 2003 at 04:18 AM (#569996)
Presumably the bonus money is a hedge against work stoppages.
   289. Matthew E Posted: December 15, 2003 at 04:39 AM (#569997)
They also may be able to add Phelps for Riley in deal w/Toronto.

I wouldn't count on it. I don't see Ricciardi making that trade.
   290. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 15, 2003 at 06:29 AM (#570000)
Well, Tejada is 28, but it is a Dominican Republic birth certificate.
   291. fables of the deconstruction Posted: December 20, 2003 at 05:45 AM (#570003)
Now that most of the Big Boys have spent their budgets on older talent (and good line about the Dominican birth certificates, Dan--Miggy's at least 30), watch me swoop in and pick up the bargains.

Dan and The Best-Looking GM in the Game,

If Miguel Tejada was in the Dominican Republic Sunday/Monday and in Baltimore
   292. Danny Posted: December 20, 2003 at 04:49 PM (#570004)
He lets big-ticket free agents go, especially closers (although he seems to have tried pretty hard to retain Foulke), and replaces them with cheaper players and draft choices.

This isn't particularly true about closers. Koch and Foulke were not cheap at all, although I think they were both worth the price.

The jury is still out on whether his methods of drafting work.

Dayn Perry wrote an article for Prospectus Premium on December 3 that ranked farm systems. Perry looked at run differentials of minor league teams, translated them into standard deviations from the mean, and then adjusted them for age (younger is better).

The A's finished 2nd to the Indians in all of MLB. The A's were .94 points below the Indians, but 3.21 points ahead of th 3rd place Mariners. This is not definitive evidence, but it certainly suggests that Beane has been drafting well.
   293. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 22, 2003 at 07:45 PM (#570722)
The O's are not contenders next year, even with Guererro, Tejada, and Lopez, but they need to rebuild the "feel" of the franchise throughout the market, especially in Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties which border D.C. not Baltimore. These are the fringe Baltimore fans who come and go with a winning cycle or as Chairman Bud likes to call "hope and faith." Over the past 5-6 years the O's have provided no chance of even respectability to their fans. They were the team that you knew wouldn't fall behind the Devil Rays in the AL East. That has reduced the fans attending games by one-half. If signing some impact free agents means scoring more runs and drawing more fans then it could actually prove to be profitable for the O's to spend like this.

Look- Tejada is worth about 5 wins over Deivi Cruz. Lopez could be worth another 3-5 over Fordyce/Gil. Eight wins isn't a huge amount in the grand sceme of things for a team that has been winning in the high 60's to low 70's the past couple of years, but it could mean a .500 team. Adding Guerrero and another 5 wins could mean a team with a chance at 85 wins. That's enough of an improvement to tout the team, because the following year people might think the Yankees could fall off the table with age and the O's could improve enough to steal a Wild Card. Crazier things have happened.
   294. Old Matt Posted: December 22, 2003 at 08:00 PM (#570723)
I just think that Baltimore would be better off spreading some of this money around. Three players to show for all those millions starts to look really bad if even one of them goes down with injuries. Everyone knows Lopez's dropoff potential from last year is huge, Guerrero had back problems, and there has been some amount of speculation on Tejada's true age. All of this could really blow up on the O's.
   295. Zen Bitz Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:01 PM (#570727)
Max -

I think you will not be happy with Benito at catcher. I watched him all year in SF - and although he can still hit (for a catcher), his defense is really gone. His CS rate was sub-Piazza like, and he allowed numerous "Wild Pitches". Unfortunately, I'm not sure HOW many WPs Giants' pitchers gave up relative to league average... or I suppose you could compare to Yorvit's numbers, but I am convinced he is a severe liability back there.
   296. flournoy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:56 PM (#570729)
Lopez isn't Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate, but he's not Mike Piazza either. He's never had any sort of reputation (and rightfully so) as a "great defensive catcher," but which largely makes people think of him as a poor defensive catcher. He isn't. He's at least average behind the plate, he'll be fine for the Orioles.
   297. Internet Commenter Posted: December 23, 2003 at 12:15 AM (#570730)
Why not just spend a bit more and overpay Pudge?
   298. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 23, 2003 at 12:42 AM (#570731)
The reason is the Pudge alienated the Orioles by lying about their contract offer in the Florida press. He said the O's offered him 4 years $40M, when their last best offer was more like 3 years $27M. They figured he was fasely trying to inflate the market to sign elsewhere, so they went after someone was negotiating in good faith. Lopez and Pudge have the same OPS+ over their careers, although Lopez spikes and valleys much more. Further, although Lopez is a year older, he has less wear and tear. Three years is a fine maximum length, since that's what can be insured now-a-days. Plus, since it's back end loaded, he'll get Cordova's money when he goes off the payroll and Tejada will get Segui's. This year, their payroll will still be lower than last year's.
   299. Zen Bitz Posted: December 23, 2003 at 01:27 AM (#570732)
Yeah, I remember reading that he only had 8 PBs all year. The distinction has always been somewhat puzzling to me - but it's no worse (or better) than usual "errors". It's anecdotal - but I think many of those WPs could have been caught by a catcher with functioning joints.

Couple that to the fact that his hitting could fall of a cliff at any time, and I don't think he's a great investment. I think the best place for him now would be a part time catching/PH job - at least until he proves that he cannot hit anymore.
   300. flournoy Posted: December 23, 2003 at 03:47 AM (#570733)
The distinction has always been somewhat puzzling to me - but it's no worse (or better) than usual "errors".

I think the distinction there is that errors occur off of a "batted ball."
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