Finally, I am back in town. I will be home through the rest of the regular season, so I hope to get back to posting more regularly.
If the Orioles were going to start losing in miserable and painful ways, at least I was in southwest Florida where:
A) I didn't have any time (or access) to watch the games and
B) Beaches, fresh seafood and a general laid back atmosphere made me not care as much.
The bright side to this recent losing streak is that now The Warehouse can look to unload some of these veterans without much objection from Peter Angleos and/or the fans. There is (at the moment) no winning team to break up!
This is not to say that this team as currently constructed could not be a winning team. The Baseball Gods giveth and they taketh away. Baltimore has won a lot of close games this season and the pendulum does seem to swinging the other way at this point. But .500 should not be the ultimate goal here. The eye still needs to be toward the future with this team.
Who gets traded?
Aubrey Huff - Huff is having his best year since 2003 and given his tendency to hit better after the All-Star break, he may be on his way to a career year. His trade value has never been nor will ever be higher. Trade him. Ironically, Tampa Bay could use some offense and need a first baseman. Depending on David Ortiz's health, Boston could use him too. Let's get what we can.
Brian Roberts - I won't be upset if the O's keep Roberts but, again, the head says it's time to get maximum value. Trade him.
George Sherrill - Lots of contenders need relief help for playoff runs. Trade him now.
Speaking of Sherrill, a few weeks ago I looked at "The Nailbiters", the Oriole closers who would strike fear into the hearts of the O's faithful when they took the mound. Back then, I determined that George was not even in the top ten. No longer. With a WHIP of 1.412, Sherrill now makes the list. Solidly. To paraphrase John Cusak in "High Fidelity", "Congratulations George. You're now #6 in my top Nailbiters of all time. With a bullet."
O's blogger Desert O (aka Appalachian Trail thru-hiker "Vegas") has made it past the halfway point to Maine and is solidly into Pennsylvania. Way to go and good luck!
After posting a .323/.349/.455 line in June, The Truth is hitting .341/.400/.545 in July.
Even with their recent losing ways, the Orioles managed to elicit a good grimace from Clay Bucholz on Friday night:
Yes, it's only 17 games but...
Matt Wieters. In Bowie, he's put up a .350/.426/.600 which is virtually identical to the .345/.448/.576 line he put up at Frederick. There has been no adjustment needed.
You never want to rush a prospect and in Baltimore's case there's really no need. But I expect we will now see Wieters in Baltimore on Opening Day 2009.