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Sunday, August 22, 2021

O’s streak hits 18: ‘We’re not executing’

If the Orioles’ losing streak isn’t going to end with John Means on the mound, who is going to stop it?

That’s the question the O’s were asking themselves Sunday afternoon, after their 3-1 series finale loss to the Braves extended Baltimore’s losing streak to 18 games, longest in the Majors this season. The Orioles became the first team to lose at least 18 straight since the 2005 Royals, and are now three games away from matching their franchise and American League record 21-game losing streak set in 1988.

“I thought today was going to be the day,” Means said. “It didn’t really add a whole lot of extra pressure at this point. I just went out there trying to control the game for the most part and stay in attack mode.”

Sunday’s defeat was the fourth of the streak behind Means, who lost his third straight decision despite holding Atlanta to three runs on four hits and two walks over six-plus innings. The only support came in the form of Ramón Urías’ fourth-inning RBI double off Braves starter Touki Toussaint, who combined with five relievers to induce three key double plays and secure Atlanta’s ninth straight win.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2021 at 07:51 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 23, 2021 at 01:02 AM (#6035695)
Maybe a few executions would focus the players' attention. (attentions?)
   2. DFA Posted: August 23, 2021 at 01:25 AM (#6035699)
The difficult part is that the Orioles have not even been competitive in any of these games, really. The '88 team had two HOF (Eddie and Cal), and an insane amount of bad luck, but this team? Not so much. Just crappy players playing as you would expect. The team isn't completely devoid of talent, but it's been a brutal stretch.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 23, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#6035712)
Maybe a few executions would focus the players' attention.

John McKay says hi. (Or maybe he doesn't.)
   4. Ron J Posted: August 23, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6035722)
#2 it's always "fun" to look at really bad teams and see what they got wrong.

Oriole 2B have hit .196/.254/.298 (OPS+ of 52 compared to league 2B)
Oriole 3B have hit .207/.259/.350 (sOPS+ of 63)
Oriole C have hit .210/.280/.328 (sOPS+ of 75)
Oriole LF have hit .214/.284/.380 (sOPS+ of 81)
Oriole 1B have hit .238/.293/.415 (sOPS+ of 81)

And I don't think you can excuse any of these as young players who need some time, or compensated by an elite glove. To my mind, two such open wounds is a firing offense for a GM.


And then there's the starting pitching:

They've allowed a collective line of .292/.356/.506 (6.22 ERA)
And the bullpen is terrible, just not nearly as bad.

If we're scheduling executions I think I'd start in the front office.
   5. Astroenteritis Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6035751)
And then there's the starting pitching:

They've allowed a collective line of .292/.356/.506 (6.22 ERA)


Wow, that is horrifying. Had no idea the starters were that bad.
   6. The Duke Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6035752)
Watching the Cubs and the Orioles rolling out terribly bad teams is sad. I don’t care about baseball economics but I would love a salary floor which would make it harder for GMs to tank like this. It’s not fair to the league and certainly not to the fans. I’d also like to see them skew the draft less to the worse teams (lower slots in first 10, lottery for first ten etc). Lowering the slot values would force teams to pay full slot for their picks making drafting early less useful. Lottery system would prevent the annual race to the bottom.
   7. Ron J Posted: August 23, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6035767)
#6 Sadly (Oriole fan speaking) there's no reason to think the Orioles will be able to take advantage of any high draft pick. It's not like they have demonstrated any real ability to identify and develop young talent.

Makes me sad because that was the identity of the Orioles for a long time. And has been something they've been pretty bad at for quite some time now.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6035769)
At the very least, you should not be allowed to pick in the top five in more than 3 consecutive years.


#6 Sadly (Oriole fan speaking) there's no reason to think the Orioles will be able to take advantage of any high draft pick.


Didn't BA just name them the top farm system in baseball?
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 23, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6035770)
The difficult part is that the Orioles have not even been competitive in any of these games, really. The '88 team had two HOF (Eddie and Cal), and an insane amount of bad luck,

The '88 Orioles actual record: 54-107
The '88 O's Pythagorean record: 55-106

I don't think bad luck had much to do with it.
   10. bfan Posted: August 23, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6035773)
and not to flog a dead bird here, but I saw an updated summer list of the top 100 MiLB players and the Orioles had all of 2 of the top 75 (unfair selective endpoints, I admit, as they had the #1 overall and maybe two more in 76-100).

What the heck are they doing/not doing with drafts and international signings? It isn't as if they stripped their minors with great players who are getting their experience and lumps at the MLB level right now.

Their winning percentage since 2017 has been .463; .290; .333.; .417 (and this year's unharvested for draft choices .309); shouldn't they at least be prospect rich at this point?
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 23, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6035790)
If we're scheduling executions I think I'd start in the front office.
GM Mike Elias was hired in November 2018, so he’s on his 3rd full season, with not much in apparent results. Perhaps he’s pursuing a ‘heavy tanking’ strategy, but improvement next season may be needed for his own survival.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#6035791)

and not to flog a dead bird here, but I saw an updated summer list of the top 100 MiLB players and the Orioles had all of 2 of the top 75 (unfair selective endpoints, I admit, as they had the #1 overall and maybe two more in 76-100).


According to BA they have #1 (Rutschman), #9 (Grayson Rodriguez), #42 (DL Hall), #83 (Gunnar Henderson).They ranked them the #2 farm system in all of baseball writing "This is the highest-ever ranking for an Orioles' farm system. The development of RHP Kyle Bradish and 3B Jordan Westburg has helped bolster a top-heavy system led by baseball's No. 1 prospect, C Adley Rutschman."

MLB Pipeline has Rutschman #1, Rodriguez #8, Hall #78, Colton Cowser #83. Fangraphs, which takes depth more into account, has them #1.

Tanking works!
   13. Rally Posted: August 23, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6035803)
Hope is still alive for the Orioles. If they win out for the rest of the season -39 games, and Tampa Bay loses every game they have left, the Orioles can still tie for the division. Though if this did come to pass, Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays would pass TB.
   14. bfan Posted: August 23, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6035831)
MLB Pipeline has Rutschman #1, Rodriguez #8, Hall #78, Colton Cowser #83. Fangraphs, which takes depth more into account, has them #1.


Yes, it was pipeline I saw; thank-you. I guess with a #1 draft choice next summer, if they can hold off the diamondbacks, the Orioles can grab another spot in the top 50 propospects. Maybe Kumar Rocker's arm will recover.
   15. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 23, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6035834)
I'd move on from both Elias and Hyde. Not impressed by either one.
   16. Ron J Posted: August 23, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6035838)
#12 Well they actually seem to have done a good job of identifying talent in recent years. That's new. And the talent they've identified is progressing the way you'd like to see. Again that's new. Can't say they've shown an ability to turn talent into major league production yet, but ... well there's actual reason for optimism now that I've actually looked at the farm system. And that hasn't been true for quite some time.
   17. sanny manguillen Posted: August 23, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6035840)
Tanking works!


This is the key. It'll be interesting to see how well it works when multiple teams take the plunge every year.
   18. bfan Posted: August 23, 2021 at 04:46 PM (#6035847)
This is the key. It'll be interesting to see how well it works when multiple teams take the plunge every year.


As a long-time defender of what many call tanking, let me say this: several teams can do it at once. Tanking in a season in MLB really isn't about getting a higher draft choice; this isn't the NBA where a guy can be on the floor for 20% of your total playing time and turn around your season. I do not think there is much difference between a 1 and 3 draft choice in many years (call it a Moniak year instead of a Harper year). Tanking is deferring current wins from a year where you cannot contend, for wins in a year where you might contend. Residents of Boston, New York; and Los Angeles can stop reading now; you get to buy the best guys every year, and thus this has no relevance for you.

But if you are a middle market team with a pre-season win expectancy of 72-76 games, and you get to the all-star break at 37-45 (right on pace), 11 games out of first, what is the point of keeping some guy that is great and will get you an extra 2 wins the rest of the year (he is an annualized 4 win a year guy, which is a difference maker player), if you have a good farm system and you can trade him for a kid who might give you 4 wins a year, 3 years from now? I have been in a city with a treading water franchise; no one cares much for a non-contender 70-76 game winning team a year. What people call tanking is trying to move around wins to where they may matter for contention, and that may mean being worse this year, which is going nowhere, for the chance to be a contender in a future year.

Seriously, honestly, since this is an Orioles thread: wouldn't the Orioles have been better off moving Means (he seems to be a good pitcher) this spring for a couple of prospects looking to be MLB ready in 2024, when presumably a window will open for Baltimore? I do not believe it means a lot to their fans if their win percentage is .300 or .309., this year.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6035862)

Seriously, honestly, since this is an Orioles thread: wouldn't the Orioles have been better off moving Means (he seems to be a good pitcher) this spring for a couple of prospects looking to be MLB ready in 2024, when presumably a window will open for Baltimore? I do not believe it means a lot to their fans if their win percentage is .300 or .309., this year.


Maybe, but they may not be that far away. The Astros went from 51 wins to 86 wins in two years. Most of the top Orioles prospects are already at Double-A, and you'd think they'd be up by next year.
   20. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: August 23, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6035872)
It doesn't help that Heston Kjerstad, picked #2 overall in 2020, still hasn't played a pro game due to myocarditis (non-covid related, I think). I haven't followed their farm system as closely as I used to but a core of Rutschmann, Rodriguez, Mullins, Mountcastle, Hall, Henderson, Westburg, Cowser, Kjerstad plus whatever they get in trade for Means seems like something I could at least get a little hopeful about.



   21. Jay Seaver Posted: August 23, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#6035877)
But if you are a middle market team with a pre-season win expectancy of 72-76 games, and you get to the all-star break at 37-45 (right on pace), 11 games out of first, what is the point of keeping some guy that is great and will get you an extra 2 wins the rest of the year (he is an annualized 4 win a year guy, which is a difference maker player), if you have a good farm system and you can trade him for a kid who might give you 4 wins a year, 3 years from now?


Some vague obligation to present the best quality experience for your ticket-holders, fans, and broadcast partners, I guess? I mean, if you're not a team that can reload quickly and win more than your fair share, you're only winning a title once a generation at best anyway, so try and make the periods in between fun so that folks don't just lose interest in the meantime.
   22. Zach Posted: August 23, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6035900)
4 wins a year, three years from now is a much better return than most deadline deals give. That's a guy who is already major league ready, with some star potential. To get a guy like that in a deadline trade, you've got to be giving up significant star power.
   23. Zach Posted: August 23, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#6035904)
From a great deal of experience, the difference between a 76 win team and a 60 win team is much too large to simply lump them together as "losing seasons".

You can have a lot of fun rooting for a team that's a little below average. Heck, the Royals are on a pace for 72 wins this year. There are still interesting storylines, quality players, fun wins and stretches where they're playing competitive ball.

60 win teams are brutal. There's roster churn at every position, and random bad bounces can torpedo the team's chances in any given game. There's long streaks where there's nothing you can do but tune them out and wait for things to stabilize.

Wins are important, even on losing teams!
   24. shoelesjoe Posted: August 23, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6035920)
Given the apparent strength of the Orioles’ minor league system they’re probably not as far away from contention as the current W/L record indicates. A lot of organizations would have brought up Rutschman a month ago, and while the contribution of one guy isn’t usually a big factor over the course of half a season there are exceptions. Machado’s promotion from AA during the 2012 season gave the perennial losers a swagger that carried them to the playoffs. Nobody was going to carry this O’s team to even a winning season, but having Rutschman batting third every night and (especially) handling this pitching staff could have done wonders.

What’s really interesting about the Mike Elias drafts is how heavy they’ve been with position players. Top pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall were drafted under the previous regime, and it looks like there’s not a whole lot of good arms behind them. But Elias has stocked the minors with so many position players they’re having problems placing them all. Some guys are staying longer than necessary at lower levels simply because of the logjam at higher levels. I’m guessing Elias’ strategy is to acquire as many good position player prospects as possible (maybe because they less likely to break than good pitching prospects) and eventually trade the surplus for arms that are already established at the major league level. This is how the Astros operated once they were ready to compete, bringing in Cole, Verlander, and Greinke for their playoff pushes.
   25. DFA Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:27 AM (#6035954)
I don't think bad luck had much to do with it.


We might agree to disagree. During those 21 games, the Orioles lost 5 by 1 run, another 5 by 2 runs and 3 by 3 runs. That's 13 of the 21 which were at least close. One game in KC was lost due to a "wind blown triple." (That quote if completely from my memory, so it's possible I'm wrong.)

This years bunch of losers, I think only 1 game so far has been decided by 1 run. That's the luck, this team just sucks, that team had a lot going wrong to lose 21 in a row. '89 happened, that was karma for sure.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 24, 2021 at 01:02 AM (#6035956)
Machado’s promotion from AA during the 2012 season gave the perennial losers a swagger that carried them to the playoffs.
This is not a real thing.
   27. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 24, 2021 at 01:51 AM (#6035958)
During the pandemic I grew to like listening to Jim Palmer when he's on the broadcasts, now having subscribed to MLB.TV so I could get more than just the audio feed I had availed of myself in earlier seasons. It's amazing how well he has held up even given the carnage he's had to watch each night. Even with that, there are some arms on the team that have promise, it seems like they are all just prone to having a "big inning" here or there, and it's mostly been "here" lately. Matt Harvey, for one, started to turn it aroud, I wonder if that could be credited to the coaching staff.
   28. shoelesjoe Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:02 AM (#6035964)
This is not a real thing.


2012 Baltimore Orioles' pythag prior to Manny Machado being promoted: .456
2012 Baltimore Orioles' pythag after Manny Machado was promoted: .620

Ya, it was a real thing.
   29. bfan Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:48 AM (#6035966)
What’s really interesting about the Mike Elias drafts is how heavy they’ve been with position players.


Interesting. When the Braves and white Sox were each in the dumpster, the Braves collected young arms and the White Sox hitters. For 2 to 3 years they battled it out on the best farm system ratings.

It is funny; the white sox success has been driven mostly by the young hitters; the Braves success IMHO, has been fueled by lucky signings of young hitters (Albies and Acuna). The huge roster of young high end drafted and traded for pitchers (Wisler; Anderson; Siroka; Allard; Folty; Fried; Blair; Wright; Touki; Jenkins; Newcomb) , while the jury is still out, has not been what has delivered them the success of past few years. That bears good tidings for the Orioles, if those young guys can hit.
   30. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:36 AM (#6035987)
The '88 Orioles actual record: 54-107
The '88 O's Pythagorean record: 55-106

I don't think bad luck had much to do with it.


We might agree to disagree. During those 21 games, the Orioles lost 5 by 1 run, another 5 by 2 runs and 3 by 3 runs. That's 13 of the 21 which were at least close. One game in KC was lost due to a "wind blown triple." (That quote if completely from my memory, so it's possible I'm wrong.)


Okay, I was referring to the O's overall record. Nearly all losing streaks have an element of bad luck to them, even if the current O's streak breaks the pattern.

But overall this year's Orioles are actually underperforming their Pythag, which is 40-83 compared to their actual 38-85. And this year's team actually had two months (April and July) of semi-respectability, whereas the 1988 team had only August. The bottom line is that it's like choosing between poison and the electric chair.

   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 24, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6036007)
2012 Baltimore Orioles' pythag prior to Manny Machado being promoted: .456
2012 Baltimore Orioles' pythag after Manny Machado was promoted: .620

Ya, it was a real thing.
Not only is this a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, even if there is actually causality, you have no idea if it was due to "swagger" or whatever. Come on. Machado posted a 98 OPS+ in 51 games in 2012 (1.6 WAR). Looks like he mostly replaced Wilson Betemit, who ended up with a 101 OPS+ but only 0.8 WAR. So apparently Machado was a defensive upgrade, which of course will help you win games. But the rest is just BS media narrative.
   32. donlock Posted: August 24, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6036013)
When a team like the Orioles can't re-sign its young stars because their agents advise them to wait for free agency, that makes it hard to compete. The trades the DD regime made were typical of free agent to be rentals. Very few of the O's gains or any other deadline trades yielded top players.

The talk of tanking is misleading. Once you lose your stars, there is no good way to get new players, particularly pitching. Mike Elias has money but there are no players to be had on the waiver wire, rule 5 draft, etc. Should he pay the ones he has more money to create a cap floor? Should he trade John Means for unknown minor league arms? He has lots of bodies in the system but no one really knows how or if they will develop Seems a gamble.Should he trade his minor league talent for a major league starter? Can't think of a good example of a bottom team trading this way. Very risky.

No easy answers for bad baseball teams.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:58 PM (#6036113)
O's attendance:

2014: 2.4 M (recent peak, 96-66 team, lost the ALCS ... no attendance bump the next year)
2017: 2.0 M (75-87)
2018: 1.6 M
2019: 1.3 M

So, that's not good. From 2007-11 the O's failed to win 70 in any season but drew 1.7 to 2.1 M. That was preceded by a long streak in which they never topped 79 wins but also never dipped below 2M and even topped 3M with a 63-win team. The 1988 team managed to draw 1.7 M. Somebody else can try to detail any changes in how attendance is measured along with whatever effect we think the Nats had on O's attendance but, on its face, 2018-19 were the two lowest figures since 1978.

This year's attendance figures are difficult to judge given different opening up dates, etc. but they sit 12th in the AL in att/gm, ahead of the Rays, A's and Jays ... so don't rhyme with A.
   34. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6036120)
The Orioles attendance benefited in the years leading up to Camden Yards' opening, since there was huge demand for tickets and previous season ticket holders were given preference for seat locations. And then all during the 90's and beyond a big percentage of their attendance came from the Washington area. (My wife and I had Sunday plans until Angelos sacked Jon Miller and sorely pissed us off.)

It also didn't hurt that the Washington Post covered the Orioles as if they were a Washington home team, to the complaints of many former Senators fans. In fact the Orioles beat was how Thomas Boswell first built up his reputation.
   35. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 08:49 PM (#6036121)
When a team like the Orioles can't re-sign its young stars because
they don't want to spend the money
that makes it hard to compete.
FIFY.
   36. BillWallace Posted: August 25, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6036168)
A lot of uninformed takes in this thread. The O's when Elias took over were an absolute wasteland. They must have been bottom 3 in surplus contract value on the major league roster AND one of the worst farm systems. What do you expect him to have done in 3 years? By all accounts they've significantly overhauled the scouting and player development functions which were one of the worst in baseball. Now they have the #2 farm system and while it isn't filling up the top 100, it's reasonably deep. It would look even better without a bit of bad luck on last year's #2 pick.

I've long been an advocate of 75-80 true talent teams spending a bit of real money to fill gaps. But that's not what was on the table here. In 2018 there was literally no possibility for the 2021 Orioles to even be an average team short of running a $250M payroll. Instead they signed a few bargain basement major leaguers (Franco, Galvis, Harvey) which was probably the right move.

I get the hate for tanking, but I think it needs to be directed at teams like the Cubs, and maybe the Nats. Hating on the Orioles for their current predicament is badly misguided. They got to this place in large part by trying so hard to compete in 2016-2017 (with a dash of incompetence). Given the starting point, Elias looks to be doing a great job.
   37. donlock Posted: August 25, 2021 at 04:43 PM (#6036305)
I don’t think think there was a dollar amount that would have satisfied Manny Machado. As it turned out, that number was probably $35 million plus for several years. No one, other than SD was offering him that much. He was the best Oriole but is not the best 3b in baseball today, maybe the richest.
Now, project 4/5 years from now when Ryan Mountcastle is approaching free agency, many voices will say , the team has to sign him. Remember when Manny, Schoop and ZachBritton were free agents and they all left town…
The Orioles are in a small geographic market, with weak tv money and play in a hitters park in the brutal AL East. How can they keep or acquire top pitchers? Just outbid Boston, NY, Tor, and outsmart TB. 0r give him $$$$. That didn’t work for Colorado, Miami or Baltimore (with Chris Davis).
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6036325)
The Orioles are in a small geographic market, with weak tv money . . .
The Orioles own actions alienated them from a significant portion of their potential market. Some is the tanking, but more of it is their hostility toward the Nationals and unwillingness to live up to the terms of the MASN TV deal. The Orioles were going to lose some fans to the Nationals as the Washington franchise became more established, especially those in Northern Virginia & DC who have far easier travel to Nationals Park than Camden Yards, but it would have been less as friendly rivals rather than bitter enemies. That’s on ownership, not the GM, but to the extent there is an adverse revenue impact he’ll have to live with the consequences.
   39. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6036360)
The Orioles were going to lose some fans to the Nationals as the Washington franchise became more established,... but it would have been less as friendly rivals rather than bitter enemies


Can you give any real life examples of this "friendly rival attendance effect" of which you speak? I for one find it hard to comprehend.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6036363)

The talk of tanking is misleading. Once you lose your stars, there is no good way to get new players, particularly pitching.


But isnt this a problem of baseball in general and the way the economic structure of the game is operating? We have perennial basement dwellers that seem unable to get out of the cycle. SD may be on the upswing but that's unusual. KC had a very brief moment in the sun. PIT is almost never there. Even teams like CIN, MIL, AZ, etc. may have brief swings in fortune but its generally not very exciting.

Then you have the large market teams that are always going to be there. And you have a few large market teams like PHI, NYM and TEX that might not be there, but they have the ability to quickly reload in a few years.

I dnot see what this has to do with losing your stars. Or what about pitching in particular this has to do with. The BAL are a small market team and that's an systemic problem given the economic structure of baseball. I dont see the need to concoct ideas about pitching is harder to acquire than say catching or power hitting.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:57 PM (#6036364)
What is a "friendly rivalry", anyway?
   42. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:25 PM (#6036367)
yeah, Im trying to think of an example of that myself and Im baffled. I guess Road RUnner and Coyote made for huge TV ratings.
   43. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:27 PM (#6036393)
What is a "friendly rivalry", anyway?


I don't know how it is now, but in the 1970's and 1980's it seems the Angels and Dodgers had an agreement with the schedule-makers in MLB such that they would rarely play home games at the same time - the Dodgers were out of town when the Angels were home and vice-versa. This was back when neither the Angels nor the Dodgers broadcast home games on television. It seemed at that time like those two had "agreed to co-exist", figuring that the more baseball the better.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#6036394)
The Orioles & Nationals are in different leagues, and mostly separate but adjoining markets, so there is less reason for them to be bitter rivals. The Orioles could have opted for measures such as a final preseason exhibition game rotating between Baltimore & DC, benefiting both teams. The MASN mess, and the Orioles invoking their ‘territorial rights’ to block a Nationals exhibition game against the Naval Academy in Annapolis, even though they were unwilling to play there themselves, have somewhat poisoned the well. The Washington area is full of transplants, many from the northeast, who would journey to Camden Yards mostly for the visiting teams, especially the Yankees & Red Sox. I no longer make that journey, partially because I’m reluctant to put any money in Peter Angelos’ pocket, although the availability of Extra Innings (or MLB.TV), and other changed circumstances have also contributed. Such sentiments seem fairly common among my baseball acquaintances in the area, most of whom have only a secondary allegiance to the Nationals.

Getting back to my original point, market size isn’t really the Orioles’ problem. An extended period of poor ownership should be the bigger concern.
   45. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:43 PM (#6036395)
yeah but whether or not they televise some exhibition game at Naval Academy is not going to determine whether I go to an Orioles game. Same with a preseason exhibition game. I went to several Orioles games in the 90s mostly because of the new park and also to see: Cal Ripken, and guys like Ruben Sierra or Devon White.

My interest in the Orioles really waned once the Post started to cover the Nats. There's not much they can do about that.
   46. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: August 26, 2021 at 12:55 AM (#6036407)
Orioles win!
   47. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: August 26, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6036551)
A lot of uninformed takes in this thread. The O's when Elias took over were an absolute wasteland. They must have been bottom 3 in surplus contract value on the major league roster AND one of the worst farm systems. What do you expect him to have done in 3 years? By all accounts they've significantly overhauled the scouting and player development functions which were one of the worst in baseball. Now they have the #2 farm system and while it isn't filling up the top 100, it's reasonably deep. It would look even better without a bit of bad luck on last year's #2 pick.

I've long been an advocate of 75-80 true talent teams spending a bit of real money to fill gaps. But that's not what was on the table here. In 2018 there was literally no possibility for the 2021 Orioles to even be an average team short of running a $250M payroll. Instead they signed a few bargain basement major leaguers (Franco, Galvis, Harvey) which was probably the right move.

I get the hate for tanking, but I think it needs to be directed at teams like the Cubs, and maybe the Nats. Hating on the Orioles for their current predicament is badly misguided. They got to this place in large part by trying so hard to compete in 2016-2017 (with a dash of incompetence). Given the starting point, Elias looks to be doing a great job.

I think this is roughly right (with the huge caveat that I'm not willing to say that Elias has done a great or poor job or whatever - would need to do a deeper dive to weigh in there), though I'm much less strident about it.

* IMO, the 2018 Orioles would have had pathways to being an average team by 2021 with an exorbitant payroll (most teams do - let's not go wild) - but not ones that also can lead to long-term success. Rebooting was overdue, particularly in a tough AL East.
* The Elias plan, such as it is, seems reasonable to me in that context.
* This is an accurate characterization of the farm system, per a variety of evaluators.
* I do not, however, think that they've been very good at identifying marginal/low cost options. This might be partly luck or having other factors that would serve to disinterest more marginal types from joining the team as major or minor league free agents - but I haven't been impressed on the whole.
* It's unclear how much this portends other issues wrt talent identification. I've come to believe that there's less overlap between different aspects of talent procurement and development than I once did.
* It is debatable, I think, whether teams should tank or TANK in baseball. When it comes to the ability to acquire amateur talent, there's very little a team can do now to spend beyond its means without incurring draconian penalties that no one has been willing to incur. As such, terrible clubs truly have a leg up in getting better/more of these bodies. Oto, the hit rate with top baseball picks is lower than, say, in the NBA. In general, I'm team little-t tank, but that's more from a philosophical perspective than a feeling like the case is clear.
* Baltimore has chosen to TANK. That's also partially explains their interest in the Francos of the world, versus slightly more expensive, better options (beyond cheapness).
* Of course, the cheapness is also real and a real problem. At least they've discontinued some of their wackadoo former practices like not investing in the international market.
* I don't think they'll be good - even with the greatly improved system - for a few more years, if that.

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