Baltimore Orioles Preview
Front Office: First off, we got rid of Jim Beattie, who probably wouldn't pull the trigger on an Erik Bedard for Albert Pujols trade unless he had 2 weeks to think about it, promoted Mike Flanagan, and brought in Jim Duquette who seems to know what he is doing. Overall an upgrade, but does it really matter when Peter Angelos is your owner?
Manager: Sam Perlozzo replaces Mazzilli. While I think he's better than that Yankee (who I suspect was still working for his former team), Perlozzo has been part of our losing for years and will probably continue the trend. I also don't think he has the stones to let the young guys play as he will probably give the 40-year-old Jeff Conine 500 ABs this year. Brilliant.
Coaches: Leo Mazzone, nuff said. Have fun with Roger McDowell Helmet.
C - Ramon Hernandez - New addition who can handle a pitching staff and put up above average offensive numbers. I think it was a good pickup, but the 4th year might be a little much. Of course, we have to give that 4th year because we're the Orioles and no one wants to play here.
1B - Kevin Millar/Jeff Conine platoon? - Who knows. These guys are both old and subpar to say the least. But at least they are good "clubhouse guys" who bring a good "veteran presence." Joe Morgan is currently touching himself.
2B - Brian Roberts - Two words: Man Crush. If he comes back from that arm injury and plays near where he did last year I'll be ecstatic. If he comes back and gets on base at a high clip I'll be happy too. He just gives it his all.
SS - Miguel Tejada - Disgruntled superstar who was tricked into signing with a team he thought would try to get better. Suck it up; you're making $12 mill a year.
3B - Melvin Mora - Love this guy, too bad he's asking for an extension at $9-10 mill a year when he's 33 or something. Of course, he has quintuplets so he needs extra money for diapers. All around though, great guy and an above average 3B.
LF - Nick Markakis - The rookie. Expecting big things, but won't be disappointed if he just gets on base and plays good D. He doesn't need a lot of pressure on him.
CF - Corey Patterson/Luis Matos - A couple of retards with enormous talent and no heart. Patterson is a washed out former #1 prospect who's cocky despite the fact that he batted .215 last year and can't even get on base at a .300 clip. Matos is talented, but lazy as shit. Someone has to win this battle of mediocrity and somehow I bet it's the shittier one.
RF - Jay Gibbons - If he stays healthy we can expect 30ish homers and 100ish RBIs. Of course, that's if he stays healthy. I think he has back problems just holding up those ears.
DH - Javy Lopez - His transition to 1B was put on hold because the O's brass is scared. He hates to DH though and hits like crap when he's there. Great.
We have 5 quality starters, which is our strength. No #1's, but a bunch of guys who can keep us in games.
Rodrigo Lopez - Solid, throws a lot of innings, wins games. Looked good in the WBC, but had a 4.90 ERA last year.
Erik Bedard - Talented, but isn't driven. Started out last year on fire, but then got injured like a little bitch.
Kris Benson - I bet he gets just BLOWN UP in B'more. His soon to be ex-wife is insane and he's moving to the AL. Could be a Mazzone project though.
Daniel Cabrera - Most potential on the staff and possibly in the AL. Lot of people picking him to do big things. He has the stuff, but can't hit the broad side of a barn at times.
Bruce Chen - The Panamasian. Soft-tossing lefty who is just solid. I don't think he'll be as good as last year, but he may be the best 5th man in the league.
Bullpen: Youngun Chris Ray (of W&M fame) anchors the bullpen that lost BJ Ryan to Toronto (who spent money like they were Paris Hilton). Latroy Hawkins might be a good setup man, Todd Williams is already injured, Sendy Rleal looks like he has some talent, but I'm sure you don't care. I don't even think I do. The rest of the guys are your regular, run of the mill scrubs.
Conclusion: First Place in the AL East, in 2052 after New York sinks into the ocean and Boston catches on fire. We'll probably end up in 4th. Optimistically I think we have a ceiling of 85-87 wins, but we'll probably end up with 75 and another losing season. Maybe my Brian Roberts t-shirt jersey will be lucky this year.