Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wieters' Meter Winding Down

For the most part, we keep our collective focus here at 24x7 on the Ravens and the NFL. And while I’m a fan of the Orioles and like most of you I cheered for them like it was a playoff game when they beat the Red Sox over the weekend, I’m jaded when it comes to the team.

Of course that arms length approach has nothing to do with the players. It has everything to do with the owner and unlike WNST’s Nestor Aparicio, I don’t believe that Peter Angelos can be persuaded to sell the Orioles. In fact it is my opinion that such overtures however blatant or genuine they may be, only make matters worse. People like Angelos will only dig their heels in deeper just to make a point – albeit a useless point.

This is certainly no unique revelation to anyone. All of us know how Pete is by now.

But every once in awhile, you get sucked in by the emotion on that rare occasion when you can still feel for the team. This weekend was evidence of that for many of us. And it makes you wonder just how good it could be here in The Land of Pleasant Living if we actually had two teams we could cheer for with passion and know that the team will do its very best to reward your support instead of turning their almighty nose up at you like some hot babe in a bar who sees you as out of her league.

A player looking to get into the American League is Georgia Tech C Matt Wieters who was drafted by the Orioles with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. Going in the Orioles knew that Wieters who arguably is the best position player in the draft, would be represented by agent Scott Boras – an 800 pound gorilla at the bargaining table.

The Orioles and Boras have spoken at length but to now avail so far. And in about 32 hours, the Orioles will have to make a choice – concede to Boras’ demands for Wieter or continue to be one of the biggest laughing stocks in MLB.

From what I’ve heard and read, the negotiations are all about the slotting principle and the Orioles don’t want to pay the fifth pick in the draft as though he was the first. After all, we’re talking a couple of million here.

Big freakin’ deal!

The problem is that the slotting principle combined with the Peter Principle go together about as well as Lindsay Lohan and sobriety.

After 10 consecutive losing seasons and counting, the Orioles have put themselves in this position. They’ve blown their leverage. They’ve lost the fan base. They’ve created the unfavorable negotiating position which forces them to overpay for marginal talent. Look at the millions they shelled out for bad relievers. On one hand they are all too willing to hand over the Benjamins to a Danny Baez for four years yet they won’t give a couple extra million to a stud prospect in Wieters

What will it say to the fans if the clock strikes midnight on Thursday morning and Wieters signature still isn’t on an Orioles’ document? What will it say to big name free agents who the Orioles might want to lure to Baltimore?

To me it says they don’t care about winning and they don’t care about turning things around and that Andy McPhail is yet another in a string of Angelos’ puppets.

You know many have wondered why McPhail is here at all. But why wouldn’t McPhail come to Baltimore and accept Angelos’ millions and not be asked to do anything of substance. McPhail can keep cashing those checks without consequence. It won’t affect his career. Why? Because Angelos’ track record gives McPhail the perfect alibi.

“Look it wasn’t me Mr. Steinbrenner. You know Mr. Angelos and how he is. I was handcuffed. If he would have enabled me to do what I’m capable of, I could have turned that team around.”

You know I’m right.

Meanwhile having done nothing good or bad, McPhail has millions more in his bank account.

Not a bad deal for McPhail – just a rotten one for Orioles fans.

If there’s Peter, McPhail’s running meter and no Wieters come midnight tomorrow, it’s only going to get worse for the Orioles and that’s something that most of us probably thought was not possible and they risk losing the few that cling to hopes of a bright orange and black future forever.


KevinB said...

You couldn't be more right. Trembley has been a good move; taken as it appears on the surface, MacPhail is a good move. I believe the Weiters move, if it backfires, might be the last straw for this organization in this town.
Not only are the fans watching what happens so are the Orioles pending free agents.

Anonymous said...

If the O's don't sign this guy it will totally dissolve any progress they have made in the team makeup and in public opinion. It won't shock anybody if it doesn't happen. Everyone will think "Same Old Orioles". BTW, did anyone see the full page ad in the Sun congratulating Cal for HOF taken out by the Ravens? Another class move by a class organization who recognizes there is another team in town and wants to play nice together.

Anonymous said...

The Ravens are a class organization. Too bad the game of football sucks though.

William said...

I'm gonna freak if they don't sign Wieters.

He's one of the best catching prospects to come down the pike in years.

Ridiculous. Same ol' Angelos.