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  1. Maybe you meant: “They have some useful building blocks in… [Zach Britton]”? Brian Matusz’s abilities are in doubt after his record-breaking performance.

    Comment by swieker — October 11, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  2. I think it is too early to give up on Matusz, but you are absolutely right Britton should be included, and possibly Roberts.

    Comment by Noah Isaacs — October 11, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  3. It’s good that the site put up an article reviewing MacPhail’s tenure, but in the same grain, I was a little sad that there wasn’t even a mention of Tony Reagins and LAA “parting ways” due to “organizational pressure”. If anyone deserved an entire article devoted to failure, it would have been him.

    Also unrelated, it’s cool that you got to intern with the Jays. When was that? What did you do there, and are you continuing to do so?

    Comment by SC2GG — October 11, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  4. 2010. I did everything from ordering pizza to statistical reports for AA.

    Comment by Noah Isaacs — October 11, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  5. Also, Matusz broke Roy Halladay’s record and he turned out ok.

    Comment by Erik — October 11, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  6. Yeah, I wouldn’t give up on Matusz if I were the O’s management. But he really has a long way to go to turn it around.

    Comment by swieker — October 11, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  7. “In 2009, ESPN ranked Peter Angelos, Orioles’ owner, as the worst owner in all of baseball. A GM is only as good as his owner/president will allow.”

    The whole article could have been summed up by those words.

    This is an owner who reviews free agents medical records personally. And walked into the room 10 minutes before a draft was ready to start directing that his team take a college pitcher that year.


    This guy is a very successful ambulance chaser, but a horrible baseball team owner. At least, if you’d a fan of a team that he owns.

    Comment by Mike — October 11, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  8. hardy instead of roberts

    Comment by Kyle — October 11, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  9. In all fairness he is probably checking their medical records for mesothelioma so he can sue someone

    Comment by Kyle — October 11, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  10. Well, the Orioles are still nonexistent in international scouting.

    Thier elite prospects have fallen victim to poor player development.
    MacPhails free agent picks were either past thier primes, on a steep decline, injured, or was picked up on a flyer.

    His campaigne slogan “grow the arms, buy bats” sounded great at first, but he failed to supplement any of the young talent with depth, which ultimately resulted in prospects being rushed through the system before they were even close to ready. At least Wieters worked out.

    But he made a few good trades. Bravo.

    Sounds like more of the same in Birdland.

    Comment by Dave in GB — October 11, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  11. Great job with trades. The Erik Bedard trade basically ended Bill Bavasi’s career. The Miguel Tejada and George Sherrill trades didn’t exactly work out, but looked promising at the time.

    He also wasn’t afraid to go after the high-price guys in the draft. Wieters, Machado and Bundy all had huge price tags, but got all of them to sign. Arrieta was another one that they were willing to pay extra for (he set the record for most money received for a 5th rounder).

    Just bad luck with developing talent. Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz were supposed to be aces. Radhames Liz, Jake Arrieta and Troy Patton had starting potential. There was once a lot of excitement about guys like Brandon Erbe and Pedro Beato. Josh Bell, Brandon Snyder and Billy Rowell all busted. Wieters finally stepped up and had a solid year, but he’s had a slow start. Of course this failure to develop talent extends far beyond the start of MacPhail’s tenure.

    You look at a team like the Rays, who seem to have an bottomless well of talent, and have to wonder what the O’s are doing wrong.

    Comment by Anonymous — October 11, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  12. Roberts? How in the world did I end up back in 2004?

    Comment by AK — October 11, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  13. I would include Britton and Wieter’s certainly. Jones has shown he can be a bit better than a league average player, which is fine. But, he probably won’t get any better. Markakis has likely plateaued as a league average player, as well. Matusz looks broken. It’s too soon to give up on him, but if he can’t either develop a new pitch or figure out what happened to his velocity, he won’t ever be more than a back of the rotation starter (at best). Roberts is past his prime. He isn’t a “building block” by any means. This team has graduated all their prospects. MacPhail’s rebuild in is complete and it is an epic failure. He seemed to draft ok,at least according to the experts, but the Orioles’ player development system is terrible. You expect a lot of draft picks to not develop as the experts expect, but you don’t expect all of them to fail. The O’s had the best rated minor league system a few seasons back and every single one of them has fallen well short of expectations. This team is bad and will be bad until their player development system is completely gutted and rebuilt.

    Comment by Bill — October 12, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  14. Hardy was an excellent pickup. Reynolds had a good offensive year, he just had no business minding third base. I can’t knock these acquisitions. The Gonzales signing was inexcusable, but the Gregg signing was even worse. Especially because it showed he learned nothing from the Gonzales signing. As an O’s fan though, I’m terrified that they are going to go after Hendry. I know it’s going to be an old school guy, but a move for Hendry is just the type of thing Angelos would do.

    Comment by Bill — October 12, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  15. If an above average number of draft picks fail, you can blame that on bad luck. The fact that every single one of their draft picks under MacPhail have failed to meet expectations can’t be written off as bad luck. Their player development system must be very poor. MacPhail had the power to evaluate and rebuild his player development system. Yes, its incompetence extends back 20 years, but he had it in his power to fix it. All failure in this area must ultimately rest on his shoulders.

    Comment by Bill — October 12, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  16. That’s true, but Roy is an exception not the rule when you’re a young pitcher who pitches the (historically) awful season he’s had.

    It’s not just the mechanics or pitches that need to be refined but also the mental and emotional aspects of the pitcher. Most of these guys were successful at every level till the majors. A beating like this can and will mess one’s head up.

    The mentally tougher ones can learn from this. The fragile ones never come back.

    On top of that there’s the Oriole’s woeful minor league development… I’d say the odds are not good.

    I really do hope the kid does come back because he seemed to be an ace in the making in 2010.

    Comment by Damaso's Burnt Shirt — October 12, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  17. ^ adam jones is prob better than league average, especially given he is a CF. I don’t think he will get much better unless the plate discipline does, but regardless he is pretty good. Markakis is pretty much avg. tho

    Comment by Kyle — October 12, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  18. sherrill for… jim johnson and josh bell right? id say it did work out, as sherill is an average releiver. All the rest I agree. I don’t know how much blame can be placed on him for player development. The consensus when he drafted a player or traded for one was that he did a good job, something just fell apart along the way

    Comment by Kyle — October 12, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  19. STEVE Johnson

    Comment by Mike — October 12, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  20. Would the fact that they plucked McPhail from the Cubs discourage them from getting Hendry right from the Cubs? I’d have to think it would.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — October 12, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  21. Jim Johnson is one of their few player development success stories. Don’t take that away from them.

    Comment by Bill — October 12, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

  22. Brian Matusz is on his way AA in 2012. He completely lost whatever he had in 2011, or stopped taking what ever he was using in 2011……hmmm?

    Comment by goldmurano — October 12, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  23. The draft picks are being judged as good picks, when the fact of the matter is, no one can really tell if they are good picks or not, because the team only drafts High School players. They haven’t even finished growing up when they are drafted. These pitchers aren’t even sure if they would rather be firemen or policemen instead of a BB player.

    Comment by goldmurano — October 12, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  24. I have been an Orioles fan from the 1960s until the present day. I lived through the glory years, and then watched a great frachise destroyed by its current owner. I feel sorry for all those who write in this column about this player or that, as though getting better players is the answer.

    Championships are not won by the teams with the best players, but by the teams whose players play best. Owners, GMs and managers can’t make players play great, but they can disrupt team cohesion. MacPhail signed Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis to long term contracts and both went into eclipse. Why? Because the big money took away their motivation? No. Because they saw Angelos come between the GM and the manager by developing a “special relationship” with him. That destroys morale because it means the GM can’t do his job properly.

    Now MacPhail has walked away and Showalter is in charge (he will help choose the GM). What kind of situation do you think that will produce? The Orioles will continue to be a laughing stock until Angelos is permanently gone. Wish it were otherwise, but it is not.

    Comment by DavidE7 — October 15, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

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