Monday, May 24, 2010

National Debt

The Orioles lost two of three this weekend against the Nationals in Washington, DC. Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

I know---sorry attempt at humor; but after that debacle this weekend it’s hard to find anything too positive heading into the summer months.

The Orioles team on Friday night didn’t have Brian Roberts, Matt Wieters, or Adam Jones after he homered and walked in his first two at-bats, respectively; yet they still beat the Nats. Let’s not forget that Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, and Mike Gonzalez are all out., and all three of those players were the most integral pieces of the bullpen entering the season.

On Saturday night, the Orioles blew a 6-3 lead in the later innings. I was unable to see most of the game because of a prior engagement, but from what I read and heard from reliable sources, they completely gave the game away.

Enter Sunday afternoon.

The Orioles blew another game. With the bases loaded and two outs, Nats right fielder Roger Bernadina hit a fly ball to right-center field where Jones got to the ball easily, and either miss-timed his leap or didn’t know he wasn’t so close to the wall, and he missed the ball. It allowed the only three runs of the regulation nine innings to score.

In the sixth inning, Cory Patterson led off with a single and stole second. With no outs, Nick Markakis hit a fly ball to the warning track in right field. One out and man on third with Miguel Tejada---wait---no. Patterson, for whatever reason, didn’t tag up. Tejada grounded out with what should have been an RBI to make the score 3-2, but instead Patterson was stranged on third to end the inning.

The Orioles would battle back in the ninth inning against Nats closer Matt Capps to tie the game and send it to extras, but it didn’t matter. The Orioles newest closer Alfredo Simon came in and got four easy outs, except on the fourth out he strained his hamstring. Unbelievable.

Predictably, Cla Meredith came in and surrendered a walk-off home run to Josh Willingham.

The Orioles completely gave this series away. Their mental breakdowns have cost them so many runs this season, and they just look like they know how to lose more than they know how to win. That mentality will not get it done. It’s just a killer, and everything that could have gone wrong this year has. I’m not saying Dave Trembley needs to go---but he needs to go. This team needs an attitude makeover in the worst way. If you don’t think the manager makes a difference, then you just don’t know sports or baseball. The manager sets the tone. He is the one who determines where guys hit, where guys can most succeed---and most importantly, he batted Jones in the leadoff sport where he hit .188 for a month even though it was obvious after two games that that was not a spot that suited him. I could go on for days about the gaffes Trembley has made, but this is a blog.

What do you think? What is the first thing this team needs to do to get back on track?

1 comment:

  1. First things first: mental breakdowns like the Patterson gaffe, which was totally inexcusable, need to be punished: have a seat for the rest of the game. Set the tone: the organization won't put up with sloppy, high school play.
    Next: time to have a talk with Jones: ok, big fella, enough time has elapsed; he is too talented to have the kind of disappointing career that appears a possibility. You can't let this guy slowly play himself out of town. Work with him.
    Last: anyone besides people at the game see the look of utter frustration on the face and posture of Markakis walking off the field? They are mentally done already, and it isn't even Memorial Day. If nothing else, they have to find a way to start the season over, at least mentally, and play to a .400 level the remainder of the year.
    The way to start off all three stages: new manager, starting today. I suggest Cal; somebody told me Cal could not do it, that he would, literally, hammer someone. Good. Some of them could use it.