...and the Orioles front office actually appears competent.
While it appears that Luis Hernandez is still on the team (more on that later), the Orioles did the right thing yesterday and released Jay Gibbons.
Jay hasn't played 130 games in a season since 2005. Last season, he fell off the table as he hit only .230 with 6 HR over 84 games before getting hurt again. Injuries and poor performance had made him an albatross on a team that was desperate for offense over the last two seasons.
It was a no-brainer to hand the spot on the roster over to Scott Moore...except that I'm not the one who would have to eat almost $12 million in contract. Andy MacPhail:
"The decision was essentially down to two players and we made a baseball decision," he said. "I just didn't see where this was going to be productive, or in anyone's best interests going forward the way we're stacked up now. "
The beauty, the true beauty of all this is that the Orioles made the right decision when put in a tough spot. Scott Moore is obviously going to outperform Gibbons this year even if he struggles to adjust to major league pitching. But the question was whether or not Peter Angelos was going to eat the rest that contract. And he did.
"I hadn't reached any conclusions myself. I was wrestling with this one," said MacPhail, relaying an anecdote. "I was really, more than anything, to be honest with you, looking for advice. His advice was, 'You've got to do what you've got to do.' Those were the last words he left me with, and I took the position that this was what I think we have to do."
Quite refreshing that Mr. Angelos appeared ready to make a good baseball decision, even if it was going to hurt his wallet. Certainly a step in the right direction.
I am not a Jay Gibbons hater. I think he was a good guy (he was nice to my son so I thank him for that...) and if he could've stayed healthy he had the talent to be an above average corner outfielder in this league. I hope he is able to continue his career if he chooses to.
So DirecTV was having a free preview of their "Sports Pack" this weekend and I got to watch a lot of MASN this weekend. (I live in Atlanta...) I Tivo'ed the Orioles/Nats game and what do I see in the 4th inning? Luis Hernandez making yet another fielding error! I was so mad I still haven't gone back to watch the rest of the game.
Somebody (I can't recall who) was making excuses for Hernandez on one of the MASN shows. I'm going to go back and get that ridiculous quote and post it here.
He's the starting shortstop for now. He has a clean slate with me for now. Let's see what happens.
It's Opening Day baby! Beat those upstart (Devil) Rays!