Dear Baltimore Orioles,
With just 11 days ’til baseball season starts — the earliest Opening Day ever — I thought I’d drop a note and say “hi.”
I see that lots has been going on in Birdland.
You’ve set up a new program to let kids attend Orioles games for free through the 2018 season. You’re expanding play areas at the park and creating new menu options especially for kids. Awesome!
Since I last wrote, you’ve picked up a couple of starting pitchers.
Good for you.
Welcome back, Chris Tillman and your 7.34 ERA.
You were a broken Bird most of last season which, we’re assured, is the reason for the stinky ERA. I hope you’re feeling better because I hate when Editor/Husband yells when starters get shelled in the third inning. (Or, second. Or, first.)
And, welcome to Birdland, Andrew Cashner.
Your 3.40 ERA in 2017 with the Rangers would have made you the ace of the O’s. The ace.
Cashner signed a two-year, $16-million deal. This would be plenty for most people. But, Cashner made the Orioles front office waive their strict no facial hair clause, refusing to sign with the team if he had to shave his beard. “I think this length is kind of what it’s supposed to be, I guess,” he told The Baltimore Sun.
You have to appreciate a guy who wants his beard to be happy.
You know what will make me happy, Cash’? How about 15 wins?
(A note to the Official Team Beard Checker: Look at the other O’s in this post. There may be some fuzz-cheaters in your ranks.)
That brings the Orioles to four starting pitchers. Math isn’t my strong suit, but let me try.
Number of starting pitchers a Major League baseball team requires: 5
Number of starting pitchers the Orioles currently have on their roster: 4
5 – 4 = 1
Wait. Something’s not adding up.
I know that you have a lot of things going on, Orioles. With so much doing to do, who has time to fill out a roster?
I’m here to help.
Sure, I get annoyed when someone who has never done my job tries to tell me how to do my job. I get a little snippy. I’m counting on you to rise above snippiness and hear me out.
Some Orioles will begin the season on the Disabled List. Closer Zach Britton. Sometimes slugger Mark Trumbo.
Another sometimes slugger Chris Davis also seems to be sometimes broken.
Here’s a thought. I know you like veteran players – age and experience are a plus. Their lower price tag, like a loaf of day-old bread, an even bigger plus.
I have found an available free agent to fit your needs.
Sure, he’s 34, which is 238 in dog years. But, no one else has signed him. Actually being available is a big plus, right?
There are a few negatives:
** He’s not a pitcher. Well, he’s not a pitcher currently. As I mentioned, Reynolds is 34, which is only 33 in sea turtle years. I was about that age when I switched careers. So, why not see if he can heave the ball over the plate? If you fail, you say, “Well, he’s a fielder, we knew this stupid idea wouldn’t work.” But, if he succeeds you are – and by you, I really mean, I am – brilliant.
** He’s 34, which is 198 in armadillo years. But, Mark Trumbo who is on the D-List (that’s what you call the Disabled List, right?) is 32, which is 128 in guinea pig years, so it’s pretty close. Plus, they’re both named Mark which simplifies a swap-out.
** Reynolds says he would prefer to re-sign with Colorado, but he is also content to not sign with anyone and spend more time with his family. But, he still lives in Virginia, which is nearly commuting distance to Baltimore. It never hurts to ask, right?
There are plenty of plusses:
** He used to be an Oriole. You might even have a box of his caps and jerseys tucked away somewhere. You save a few bucks and he’s practically turn-key!
** He’s funny. Which you can see here as he discusses the unsuccessful “Final Vote” campaign to send him to last year’s All-Star game. Being funny is an intangible. It won’t win you any games, but it will win you points with The Baseball Bloggess.
(I originally posted this video last summer. So? Still funny.)
** He’s a University of Virginia alum and in January he was inducted into the UVA Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class. This may be meaningless to you, but not to me.
15 HRs in 2002 are the most by a UVA First Year * 35 Career HRs are 2nd most in UVA history
** He strikes out a lot, which, admittedly, doesn’t seem like a plus. (He led the league in strikeouts in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.) Last year, he K’d 175 times, placing him at #10. He struck out 34 percent of the time.
But, Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis K’d 195 times last season, which was 40 percent of the time.
You do the math. No, really, you do it. I hate math.
** Sure, Reynolds is 34, which is 442 in squirrel years. That means he was born in 1983. Do you know what else happened in 1983?
The Orioles won their last World Series.
On the day Mark Reynolds was born, August 3, 1983, the Orioles defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-2.
Storm Davis got his 10th win. Eddie Murray hit a homerun and a double. Rookie Cal Ripken grounded into a double play.
Ummmm … That’s Uncomfortable.
The Orioles won and Mark Reynolds was born. The Orioles went on to win the World Series.
What could be more perfect than that?
Glad I could help.
Your Forever Oriole Friend, The Baseball Bloggess