The Baltimore Orioles transformation to a minor league team is now complete

It’s August 1st which means the Major League Baseball (MLB) trade deadline has come and gone. The Baltimore Orioles got out their trade hammer and let it swing with reckless abandon.

The Orioles acquired a lot of minor league talent. Too bad their farm system is terrible. They would have a better farm system if they employed actual farmers to develop their prospects.

An actual farmer should be put in charge of the Orioles farm system.

Real farmers. The guys who grow potatoes and complain their government subsidies aren’t higher.

The problem with the Orioles is ownership

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Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

Unfortunately, the Orioles couldn’t trade their owner Peter Angelos or his two sons, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Not only would there be no takers, evidently MLB doesn’t allow trading away ownership. That’s too bad.

Angelos bought the Orioles on August 2, 1993. From 1994 to today, the Orioles have enjoyed a win-loss record of 1,861 -2,064. That works out to a .901 winning percentage. In that same time span, the Orioles have had 17 losing seasons. That’s 17 out of 25 seasons.

Ticket prices should be based on a team’s winning percentage

This season has been extremely brutal. Out of 107 games, the Orioles have only won 32 games. That’s ridiculous. MLB should have rules in place for situations like this. If a team fails to have a winning percentage above a certain number, the team is prohibited from charging MLB prices for tickets. A better idea would be to have all teams base their ticket prices on their winning percentage. There would be a set price for tickets established by MLB and then every ten games, the price would change based on the team’s winning percentage. Teams with a winning percentage above one would be able to charge more, teams with a winning percentage below one would be forced to charge less.

MLB standard ticket price x winning percentage = corrected ticket price

Right now with a winning percentage of only .299, the Orioles are still pricing tickets what they would if they were one of the best teams in the league. That’s immoral.

The Baltimore Orioles are the Washington Generals of MLB

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The Harlem Globetrotters only opponent, the Washington Generals.

Currently, the only reason to go to an Orioles game is if you’re a fan of the opposing team. It’s one of the reasons they price tickets against the Red Sox and the Yankees higher than they do for the White Sox or Mets. There are fans of the Red Sox and Yankees up and down the mid-Atlantic region. These fans are willing to pay more to see their favorite team play the Orioles, especially when the Orioles are terrible. Fans of other teams usually see their team win against the Orioles. Angelos is able to capitalize on this and add even more money to his already inflated bank account.

Peter Angelos has a lot of money. I have it on good authority when Angelos is home, he sits upon a giant pile of gold, much like the dragon from The Hobbit. Win or lose, the Orioles allow him to add to his giant pile of gold.

That needs to change.

Manny Machado on the precipice of going to the Dodgers

It appears Manny Machado will be wearing Dodgers blue, at least until the end of the season. The Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Dodgers are close to working out a trade that would send the 2018 Orioles’ lone All-Star to the Dodgers for the rest of the season. Machado becomes a free-agent in 2019 meaning he will be the starting shortstop for the 2019 New York Yankees.

I am a fan of both the Dodgers and the Orioles

I’ve been afraid of this trade for a while now. There are two teams I support, the Dodgers and the Orioles. I support the Dodgers because they’re the team of my youth. I grew up in Los Angeles County and even though I haven’t lived there since I joined the Air Force in 1984, I still have nothing but love for the Dodgers. My other team is the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve lived here in Maryland since getting out of the Air Force in 1994 and I’ve watched them on TV and gone to Orioles games since then.

I do not like Manny Machado

I’ve been afraid of this trade because I knew the Dodgers needed a shortstop and because I do not like Manny Machado. I’ll be glad when he’s no longer with the Orioles, but I don’t like the idea of him being with the Dodgers.

My dislike for Machado was a gradual thing that took years to build up into the crescendo of contempt that it is today. First, there was the time he got pissy and threw a bat at Oakland Athletics’ fielders during a game. Machado acted like an asshat the entire series with Oakland, but it was the throwing of the bat that earned him a 5-game suspension. As far as I was concerned, he was on my own personal double-secret probation for that public display of dickishness.

Manny Machado turned his back on his country

The final straw was when he chose to play for the Dominican Republic instead of Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Machado is an American. He’s as American as I am. How he could choose to forsake his own country and play for another country is disgusting.

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American Manny Machado chose to play for another country in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

With that disloyal, un-American decision, Manny Machado became dead to me. You can cheat on your girlfriend, cheat on your taxes, or even cheat at Magic: The Gathering, but you can never, ever cheat on our country. That’s what Machado did, he cheated on his country.

I guess this is why you should never root for two different baseball teams. It’s not like I chose to have two favorite teams, it just happened.

Orioles beat team with a similarly losing record for the win

The Baltimore Orioles (9-27) beat the Kansas City Royals (12-24) last night. The final score was 3 – 5. What last night’s game shows is that if the Orioles focus on playing teams who’ve lost at least 20 games so far this season, they have a real fighting chance.

Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis.

Chris Davis even hit a three-run homer last night. Hitting home runs is really the only thing Davis offers offensively, that and striking out. The problem is, Davis isn’t really hitting a lot of home runs this season. Davis is batting .172 this season with three home runs, 13 walks, and 43 strikeouts. In other words, he’s earning every penny of the $23 million he’s making this season. If you have a problem with a player such as Davis with his limited offense making that much money, you’d better get used to it: the O’s are paying Davis $23 million a year till 2022. 

Orioles’ second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

Jonathan Schoop returned to the lineup last night. That’s a good thing considering he was the O’s best overall player last year. A right oblique strain earned Schoop a visit to the 10-day disabled list last month.

The Orioles have generally sucked since I moved here to Maryland in 1994, but they were the only local team on TV at the time. This was before the Expos moved to Washington DC and became the Washington Nationals. This was also before you could pay around $100 a year for MLB.TV and watch any team you wanted to, live or not live, except when the extensive black restrictions applied.

MLB.TV has more blackout rules than a Norwegian death metal band.

I don’t mind watching a local team that sucks, as long as they have the potential to become good later down the line. My problem with the 2018 Orioles is they have players like Chris Davis and the un-American Manny Machado on the team. They’re stuck with Davis and his $23 long-term salary. Why Machado is still on the team at this point is a mystery. He’s having a career year playing his natural shortstop position this season. The time to trade him was yesterday. This is his final season under contract with the Orioles. What are they waiting for?

Kevin Gausman throws first ‘Immaculate Inning’ of 2018

Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles threw an immaculate 7th inning in a loss to the Cleveland Indians Monday night. An immaculate inning is where a pitcher faces three hitters and strikes them out on three pitches each.

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Kevin “Gausy” Gausman

If an immaculate inning sounds silly, that’s because it is. It’s not even all that impressive when you think about it. He had to throw a total of nine quality pitches to get the three outs. A much more impressive feat would have been if he got the three outs on three pitches. Baseball is a team sport and Gausman had eight other players helping him get outs. If Gausman somehow got each batter to pop up or ground out on the first pitch they faced, then I’d be impressed.

Three outs on three pitches. That would be immaculate, mother of Jesus type of stuff.

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Jesus, son of Mary. Hates the New York Yankees.

The Orioles lost the game. Something they’re probably going to do a lot this season. This year’s squad has all the markings of a losing Orioles team. God knows I’ve seen enough of them since moving to Maryland in 1994.

San Francisco Giants Brandon Belt has a 21-pitch at bat

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt made Jaime Barria of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange Country throw 21 pitches in the first inning of Sunday’s game. Belt eventually lined out to right field, but it doesn’t really matter.

The at-bat lasted 12 minutes and 45 seconds. When you make a starting pitcher throw that many pitches, it is a quality at-bat.

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2017 Topps Heritage Brandon Belt card.

Belt broke the MLB record set in 1998 with 20 pitches between hitter Ricky Gutierrez and pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Jaime Barria escaped the first inning with no hits but threw a total of 49 pitches. Ouch.

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The team formally known as the California Angeles.

A Giants-Angels game is one of those weird events where I truly hate both teams. I normally want both teams to lose whoever either team is playing, but when they play each other, that cannot happen. I don’t even know which team I hate the most. If I had to pick one, I’d probably pick the Angels. I don’t like how they’re constantly changing their name or how they now pretend to play in Los Angeles. There’s only one team that plays in Los Angeles and it ain’t the Angels.

Orioles sign pitcher Alex Cobb to four-year, $60 million deal

The Baltimore Orioles got out their giant orange checkbook and signed Tampa Bay Rays right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb to a four-year deal worth a reported $60 million. The deal supposedly includes deferred money, money the team will not be paying Cobb until after his career with the Orioles is over. If memory serves, Chris Davis received a similar deal when he was resigned with the Orioles.

Alex Cobb is 30 years old and played his entire career with the Rays, so he’s familiar with pitching in the American League East.  He has a career 48-35 record and an ERA of 3.50 in 115 major league starts.

Alex Cobb had Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2015. The 2017 season was his first full season back since the surgery and he pitched 177 innings with an ERA of 3.66. His career ground-ball rate is a whopping 54 percent. The fact that he can get hitters out with ground balls should make him quite effective in Camden Yards.

Something else that will help Alex Cobb pitch in Baltimore from his years pitching in Tampa: he’s no stranger to pitching in front of so many empty seats.

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Alex Cobb pitching last season in front of the Orioles faithful.

This looks like it has all the makings of a fantastic free agent signing by the Baltimore Orioles, something they haven’t always been accused of doing. They needed a starting pitcher and it looks like they went out and got the best starting pitcher they could get.