Monday, January 10, 2005

Beattie-Eyed Weasel

I wanted to hit on this earlier today, but damn work gets in the way sometimes.

Jim Beattie is a moron. But he's Peter Angelos' kind of moron.

Sez Beatie:
Beattie conceded that the Montreal Expos' move to Washington, the possible effect on the Orioles' revenue and the undetermined compensation to majority owner Peter Angelos have complicated the team's winter maneuverings.

"We can't just go out there without some sort of sense of where we are, what we can do," he said. "There are certain things we have to comply with. It has slowed us down. It has had an effect. We would be in a much better situation if we had an agreement with MLB right now. It's put us a little behind the eight-ball with respect to what we've been able to do."
Yeah, behind the eight ball. That's why your team is stuck in neutral. First, you're lying, trying to cover your ass. Second, even if you weren't lying, that's probably more damning of your capabilities as leader of that team.

To this point, the Orioles have only signed reliever Steve Kline and infielder, Chris Gomez, whom they incidentally lost in the Rule V draft, because they apparently don't understand roster rules. Thankfully for them, the Phillies shipped him right back to Baltimore after extracting some cash for him.

According to various reports, they've targeted several free agents this year: Carl Pavano, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran and probably some others that I've missed. While I haven't heard any dollar values being exchanged, it doesn't appear that the Orioles were on the short list for any of those players, although Delgado's still a distinct possibility. Why? Because the Orioles, probably correctly, haven't wanted to pay the going rate. The Yankees and Mets have both probably overpaid for Pavano and Beltran respectively. Even if Washington weren't in the picture, the Orioles still wouldn't have been in the final running. Washington was not a factor in this at all, and it's just an attempt to run down the team, and to score a few cheap points with sympathetic and parochial Baltimore sportswriters.

There have been plenty of other pitchers on the market too, Perez, Clement, etc. I haven't heard the Orioles name connected with any of those, even though those pitchers signed for less than Pavano. Wade Miller, who many regard as one of the steals of the offseason, didn't even appear to get a sniff from the Orioles. Why? If they're interested in pitching, there were plenty of options other than Pavano, yet he's the only one they went after. When they didn't sign him, did they just fold up the tent? If they were willing to commit money to him, why not to other free agents? They certainly weren't getting outbid by the Nats.

Now, let's take him at his word. Let's say the uncertainty of the Washington Nationals IS having an impact on their budgetary strategy. Well, you know what, Jim? You should clean out everyone in the front office, and maybe you better resign as well. For how long has this saga been playing out? It's not like the Nats just showed up on your doorstep overnight! This has been talked about for the better part of a decade. Your boss has been crusading against this for a long time and has even commissioned studies researching the impact upon the fan base--all much more pessimistic than any other study.

You mean to tell me that no one in your front office, or that you haven't direceted anyone to research the economic impact of the Nats? That's never occurred to you before? I'm sure some kinda report has crossed your desk a few times. I'd find it amazing if you didn't know the worst-case scenario--and I'm sure you knew all that before you committed huge dollars to Tejada and Lopez last season.

This is going to be the beginning of what should be a pretty ugly fight. It's pretty sad that the Orioles are resorting to loser-talk already, making excuses for their lack of inaction. If their young pitching continues to improve, the Orioles can have a decent season. No, they probably won't compete with the Yankees or the Sox, but anything north of .500 has got to be success.

Instead, Beattie is lowering the bar, and trying to convince the fans that any failures of the team aren't because of bad front-office leadership, bad planning, or the player's failings. It's all because of that evil-MLB and those yuppiefied, latte-sipping, pork-barreling lobbyists to the south. Yeah, that's it, Jim.

The Washington Nationals are not the reason you haven't signed any impact free agents. A narrow, all-eggs-in-one-basket approach and a lack of desire to overpay in an inflated market are the reason. And unless you were in the market for weak-hitting shortstops or old-as-hell third baseman, the Nats had nothing to do with that.


  • Excellent commentary.

    It should be sent to the Sun or the Post.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/2005 12:25 AM  

  • I couldn't agree more. As someone who is trying to combine Os fandom with Nats boosterism, I find this kind of thing particularly aggravating. Beattie is either lying or incompetent, possibly both. And now he's engaging in exactly the kind of anti-marketing that Selig does for baseball in general -- small teams have no hope, the system is unfairly biased, your hometown team will never have any good players because they can't afford them. Way to continue to destroy the Orioles brand, Jim. A few more public statements like that and maybe you really will drop below 2 million in attendence. It's almost enough to make one start taking Boswell's conspiracy theories seriously. Almost.

    By Blogger Randolph, at 1/11/2005 9:36 AM  

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