The Baltimore Orioles need to trade Manny Machado

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is now 25 years old. He’s under contract with the Orioles until the end of the 2018 season. The Orioles need to trade Manny Machado for pitching prospects while he still has perceived value.

A good defensive third baseman who hits for power is a luxury the Orioles can’t afford, especially when you consider batting average. Manny Machado is currently hitting only .215 this season. Although batting average is often times a poor indicator of a player’s offensive ability, it’s a nice indicator of how many times a player’s efforts result in an out. Someone who is batting .215 generates an out for his team 78.5 percent of the time.

Whoever signs Manny Machado after the 2018 season will end up paying too much money. He’s the type of player who looks great on highlights. He makes outstanding defensive plays that look only better when seen over and over in high-definition slow motion. The same can be said for his home runs. What you don’t see in the highlights are all the times he’s strikes out (70) or all the other times he’s generated an out on offense. Manny Machado has generated 248 outs on offence, the worst for any third baseman in the American League.

If the Orioles are ever going to be a real contender in the American League East, they need to get rid of players like Manny Machado and replace them with pitchers who are more inclined to do well in the tiny confines of Camden Yards. That means pitchers who have a high ground ball percentage. That means pitchers who don’t throw a lot of pitches. The more pitches you throw, the more likely a hitter is going to guess right and either hit the ball over the shallow right field wall for a home run or in the left corner for a double.

What’s better, striking a hitter out with six pitches or making the hitter hit a ground ball to the shortstop on the very first pitch? It’s getting the batter out with only one pitch. One pitch outs are efficient and a thing of beauty. They’re far more valuable than a strikeout. Pitchers who can get hitters out with the least amount of pitches are the type of pitchers the Orioles need.

This is a philosophy that needs to begin in the minor leagues. Pitchers in the Orioles organization need to learn to be more cost-effective with their pitches. If the Orioles can trade Manny Machado for pitching prospects who already naturally embrace this pitching philosophy, then they need to do it while they can.

MLB’s hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson

One of the advantages of reactivating my Facebook account is that I get to see lots of ads. A while back I must have “liked” the official Lids Facebook account. I now get to see ads from Lids in my Facebook feed.

That’s not a problem. I like to wear overpriced hats associated with professional sports franchises. By Lids peppering my Facebook feed with ads, I now have a better idea on what I should be spending money on. In other words, being a good consumer.

There was an ad I saw yesterday that made me look twice. It was for hats honoring Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. Not the first black player good enough to play in Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson was the first black player the racist pricks who controlled Major League Baseball allowed to play.

Major League Baseball has now turned the legacy of Jackie Robinson into a way of making money. These hats at Lids are just one example. The thing that surprised me about the ad is that they couldn’t even bother to get his name right. It’s Jackie Robinson, not Jackie Robins.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner

It annoys me that every team in Major League Baseball gets to honor Jackie Robinson when only the Dodgers signed him and put him on the team. When I see a Yankees hat with 42 on the side, I think it’s honoring famed closing pitcher Mariano Rivera. He played 19 years of the Yankees and he wore the number 42 like Jackie Robinson. He started wearing it before Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s number league-wide. Players who already wore the number 42 could continue to wear it.

Why were they allowed to do that? If you want to mass retire a number you should be willing to enforce it immediately. We’re all for honoring someone or something, unless it’s inconvenient. Having to change the number on your uniform would just be too inconvenient.

Every year I saw Mariano Rivera play with the number 42, the more I associated that number with him, not Jackie Robinson. Like every other Yankees player, his name wasn’t on the back of his jersey. All he had was a large 42 on the back. Even now when I see the numbers of retired players at Camden Yards, the blue 42 makes me think of Mariano Rivera, not Jackie Robinson.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner
Retired numbers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It looks it me that the Orioles are honoring Mariano Rivera. This is the same team that has a statue of Babe Ruth in front of the stadium. Babe Ruth, the greatest Yankees player of all time.

 

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson

One of the advantages of reactivating my Facebook account is that I get to see lots of ads. A while back I must have “liked” the official Lids Facebook account. I now get to see ads from Lids in my Facebook feed.

That’s not a problem. I like to wear overpriced hats associated with professional sports franchises. By Lids peppering my Facebook feed with ads, I now have a better idea on what I should be spending money on. In other words, being a good consumer.

There was an ad I saw yesterday that made me look twice. It was for hats honoring Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. Not the first black player good enough to play in Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson was the first black player the racist pricks who controlled Major League Baseball allowed to play.

Major League Baseball has now turned the legacy of Jackie Robinson into a way of making money. These hats at Lids are just one example. The thing that surprised me about the ad is that they couldn’t even bother to get his name right. It’s Jackie Robinson, not Jackie Robins.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner

It annoys me that every team in Major League Baseball gets to honor Jackie Robinson when only the Dodgers signed him and put him on the team. When I see a Yankees hat with 42 on the side, I think it’s honoring famed closing pitcher Mariano Rivera. He played 19 years of the Yankees and he wore the number 42 like Jackie Robinson. He started wearing it before Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s number league-wide. Players who already wore the number 42 could continue to wear it.

Why were they allowed to do that? If you want to mass retire a number you should be willing to enforce it immediately. We’re all for honoring someone or something, unless it’s inconvenient. Having to change the number on your uniform would just be too inconvenient.

Every year I saw Mariano Rivera play with the number 42, the more I associated that number with him, not Jackie Robinson. Like every other Yankees player, his name wasn’t on the back of his jersey. All he had was a large 42 on the back. Even now when I see the numbers of retired players at Camden Yards, the blue 42 makes me think of Mariano Rivera, not Jackie Robinson.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner
Retired numbers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It looks it me that the Orioles are honoring Mariano Rivera. This is the same team that has a statue of Babe Ruth in front of the stadium. Babe Ruth, the greatest Yankees player of all time.

 

Washington Nationals sign Matt Wieters to a two-year deal

Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is now a member of the Washington Nationals. He signed a two-year contract with the choice of opting out after one season. That may work out in Wieters’ favor if there is a demand for 31-year-old low average, switch-hitting catchers next season.

Matt Wieters will make $10.5 million this season. That’s a pay cut when compared to the $15.8 million the Orioles overpaid him last year.

Matt Wieters never turned out to be the player the Orioles hoped he would be when they drafted him with the 5th overall pick in 2007. His lifetime batting average is .257. When the Orioles signed him, he was supposed to be the next Joe Mauer. Matt Wieters was never Joe Mauer. He did win two Gold Glove awards, in 2011 and then again in 2012.

Watching Orioles games on TV and hearing the way color commentator Jim Palmer talked about Matt Wieters, one might think that Wieters was baseball Jesus. It was obvious Palmer had a severe man-crush on Wieters. Like most things said by Palmer, it was annoying to listen to. When Palmer speaks, you can almost hear the Grecian Formula drip from his head and puddle up on the broadcast booth countertop. Someone should tell Palmer that it’s not natural for 71-year-old men to have a full head of jet black hair. Palmer looks like he’s cosplaying Ronald Reagan.

Tonight is Game 7 of the World Series

The Chicago Cubs (103-58) and the Clevland Indians (94-67) face off tonight in a World Series Game 7. Even though the Cubs won nine more games than the Indians, they don’t have home field advantage. Because the American League beat the National League in the 2016 All-Star Game, the Indians have home field advantage.

The All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series has got to be the most stupid rule in baseball. Considering that baseball is a game full of stupid rules, that’s saying something.

The All-Star Game use to be just a fun exhibition game between players that almost never played against each other. The advent of interleague play ruined all that. Now teams play teams in the other league every day. For example, the American League Baltimore Orioles play the National League Washington Nationals six times a year because both teams are geographic “rivals.” They aren’t rivals. We went to an Orioles game in Washington a few years ago and not only were there about an equal amount of fans from both teams, but a lot of people were also wearing both Orioles and Nationals gear. For instance, an Orioles jersey with a Nationals hat.

Both interleague play and the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series was the doing of one man: former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Bud Selig
Bud Selig

Selig was an awful commissioner. He was at the helm during the 1994 player’s strike. He was also in charge during the so-called steroid era. The idea that his stupid ideas would remain in effect even after leaving the commissioner’s office seems dumb.

Personally, I don’t mind interleague play, but it does make the Word Series a bit anti-climatic when one team for the National League and one team from the American League face off to decide which team is the world’s best. The Word Series use to be exciting for no other reason then you would get to see teams play each other that you never got to see play against each other.

The Chicago Cubs won 103 games this season. That’s tough to do. Every year, one team wins the World Series.  Usually, no team wins  100 games in a season. The idea that the Cubs could win 103 games and then have to play Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland in front of Indian fans seems all sorts of wrong. The Cubs should be able to play tonight at Wrigley in front of Cubs fans.

Usually, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t care who wins this Word Series. I don’t hate either team or even more importantly, I don’t hate the fans of either team. Typically a match-up like this would invoke nothing but neutrality within my heart. Because the Cubs and their fans are getting jobbed with home field advantage, I want the Cubs to win.

No team that wins 103 games in a season should be forced to play Game 7 of the Word Series on the road unless the other team somehow won 104 games. That didn’t happen, so I’m rooting for the Cubs.

Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis suspended 25 games for taking amphetamines

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was suspended by Major League Baseball for testing positive for amphetamines.

Davis released the following statement:

I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.

Adderall? That’s a drug for kids who have ADHD. Davis seems more than happy to sit for 25 games. I almost get the impression that he’s just glad he didn’t get caught for taking something else.

A therapeutic use exemption (TUE) is something covered in the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It essentially allows a player to take a banned substance if they have a doctor’s note and they promise, cross their heart hope to die, that what they’re taking isn’t being taken to give them a competitive edge. MLB allowed Alex Rodriguez to use performance enhancers before they didn’t allow him to use them, and he simply kept on using them.

chris_davis

I assume from Davis’ statement that he was probably using amphetamines with the league’s blessing last year when he hit 53 home runs and batted in 138 runs.

For having such gaudy numbers last year, Davis was having a terrible season this year. He was hitting only .196, but he hit 26 home runs and hit 72 runs batted in. He also had 173 strkeouts, second most in MLB.