Friday, August 14, 2009

Base Hits: Draft News, Rick Dempsey, His Nephew and the Blog Days of Summer

According to MASN's Steve Melewski, the Orioles have withdrawn their contract offer to 2009 2nd round pick Mychael Givens.

Oriole scouting director Joe Jordan:

"This is all on me," Jordan said. "This is my call. I just don't feel good about this and we are moving on to Plan B. We were working on info from the weeks leading up to the draft and some of that changed draft day.

"It was never my intention to meet that number (that Givens advisor mentioned on draft day). But I think some things will come out in the next few days that will ease our pain over this."


If the Orioles don't sign Givens, they will receive an extra 2nd round pick so they have a bit of protection. However, I have been and remain a strong advocate of teams (especially teams like the Orioles) signing their top ten draft picks and getting that talent into the farm system. Every year, you'll have an 8th or 9th round guy who will opt for college instead but as a rule, you need to sign that top talent if you want to compete in the American League. With that in mind, not signing your 2nd round pick is inexcusable.

Even if you get an extra pick in 2010, you've still lost a year of development. The Orioles blew this pick big time if they end up not signing him. You've got to sign the talent you draft. Especially in the first two rounds!

Tempering my irritation is the fact that the Orioles have drafted guys this year who are talented but dropped due to signability issues or health concerns. These are risky picks but the O's need to make those risky picks from time to time to increase the talent in the farm system. If Jordan is able to sign some of those guys , it will ease my concern a bit.

But make no mistake, this is a failure.

Or this is all just a playing hardball and calling Givens' bluff. We shall see on August 17th...


Speaking of draft signings, the Orioles have signed 22nd round draft pick and high school lefthander Cameron Coffey for $990,000.

The Baseball America link gives you all the background you need on Coffey and this is the kind of signing that takes the sting out of the Givens situation.


In the department of "too weird to make up", Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company has purchased a script based on an incident in the life of former Oriole, current MASN analyst and this blog namesake, Rick Dempsey.

What's it about?

Variety says the script was written with input from Dempsey, the scrappy ballplayer who was named MVP of the 1983 World Series.

"Our pitch was, it's 'Catch Me if You Can' meets 'Bad News Bears' with a touch of 'Bad Santa,'" (script writer Johnathan) Schaech said.

Dempsey's coach, John Jennings, steered the team to a Little League World Championship in 1963, did time for his crimes and died of cancer after his release from prison.

So Rick Dempsey contributed to a screenplay about a team that wins the Little League World Series led by a bank robbing coach? I'm not sure which is crazier, the plot or the source of the screenplay.

If the film ever sees the light of day, it would be my professional (amateurish) responsibility to go see it...


By the way, Rick Dempsey believes and I suppose Dempsey's Army had better fall in line.


Also, Rick Dempsey's nephew is now with the Rays and our team is weaker for it. Hopefully Baltimore gets back a useful player to be named...

Good luck Gregg. It was great to have you back, even for a short time.


Forget the dog days of summer, for myself and the other Orioles faithful who type into the ether, these are the blog days of summer.

The O's are 7-19 since the All-Star break, an anemic 3-9 in August. It looks to get no better. And this is not new. The annual summer swoon is expected by Oriole fans in these dark days. Twelve consecutive losing season will do that to you.

This is only the third season I've been writing this blog but I feel like an old-timer. I have seen Orioles blogs come and I've seen them go.

Long gone are 2632 , Earl Weaver Rules and The Orioles Warehouse. I've seen some promising blogs pop up every year, including a couple this season, that wither away once the calendar turns to July. Hell, even Roar From 34 used to be three guys and is now just a very prolific one.

Sure, there are other blogs that cover Baltimore sports in general. The Ravens pick them up out of the summer heat, giving them hope and renewed vigor. But if you are writing a blog strictly about the Baltimore Orioles, there is no respite. You suck it up, keep writing about the losing or fade away.

So when I look at my brethren in the Oriole blogosphere, I pull for every one of them. This is no picnic and there's no bandwagon. If you're cranking out an Oriole blog, you must really LOVE this team. Or you hate yourself. Or both.

But October is right around the corner. The offseason, the fall leagues, Spring Training in Sarasota. Hope will spring anew.

And we'll keep writing.

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