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The O’s Have Continuously Dropped The Ball This Winter – The Latest Is The Grant Balfour Fiasco:

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL  deal - and justifiably so.  The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver.  So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future.  The O's are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city.  2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.

Grant Balfour has been throwing verbal jabs to the Orioles on XM Radio concerning the club bowing out of his 2 YRs/$15 MIL deal – and justifiably so. The Orioles are losing credibility around the league for this bow out maneuver. So, good luck on signing a Free Agent Pitcher in the future. The O’s are also reeling on the Free Agency Market, having not signed anyone of real value, while Brian Roberts, Scott Feldman and Nate McLouth have left the city. 2013 saw the club win 85 games, and that was part of a superhuman effort from Chris Davis.  The team is completely missing the ball in their chance to rundown a World Series Title by playing conservatively with their money.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Orioles have continued to stumble along in the offseason – meanwhile pissing off their fanbase.  The latest Grant Balfour fiasco is going to set the franchise back.

it is not just the future Free Agent players that will think twice about setting foot in Maryland for the sake of landing a deal, but this kind of move could definitely deflate attendance next campaign.

Up until the Buck Showalter era, this kind of move was vindictive of the 1999 – 2009 regime of the Baltimore brass.

Grant Balfour Deal with the O’s Negated.

The Orioles were atop of the attendance mark for the 1st 10 years of Camden Yards existence.  After the 2005 season, the 8th year the club didn't make the playoffs, the turnstiles really slowed down in Baltimore.From 2006 - 2011 the team wallowed in more self misery, before finally petering at 1.755 MIL fans.  During 2008 - 2011, the organization saw a streak of 4 straight years of under 2 Million fans.

The Orioles were atop of the AL attendance mark for the 1st 10 years of Camden Yards existence. After the 2005 season, the 8th year the club didn’t make the playoffs, the turnstiles really slowed down in Baltimore.From 2006 – 2011 the team wallowed in more self misery, before finally petering at 1.755 MIL fans. During 2008 – 2011, the organization saw a streak of 4 straight years of under 2 Million fans.  In 2012 the fanbase spoke loud – with going over the 2 Million Threshold, and they followed that up by spiking the attendance another 300K+ fans in 2013.  They were on a nice trajectory up, and people were confident in the team’s management.  Funny how a bad month has changed that.

In 2012, the team jumped out of the gate, rode momentum with a record streak of extra inning games, and made it to the ALDS via the Wild Card Game.

It ended 15 years of futility.  The management had built a team through brilliant trades and drafting.

Adam Jones and Chris Tillman were brought in the trade that saw the O’s get rid of troublesome pitcher Erik Bedard.

The club finally Matt Wieters in the Majors and contribute.

Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter were stolen in a deal for Koji Uehara.  It wasn’t the Uehara that pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2013, but a guy that struggled for the Texas Rangers.

So far in this deal, Davis has smacked 33 HRs in 2012, and in 2013, the Left Handed Slugger had an AL leading 53 HRs and 138 RBI.

Davis finished 3rd in the AL MVP Voting, and he also put up 42 Doubles and an OPS of 1.004 for the campaign. 

The First Baseman is Arbitration Eligible for the 1st time, and will be given a massive payraise in 2014.

One of the better deals for the franchise was also bringing in J.J. Hardy in a deal for prospects that have not worked out for the Minnesota Twins.

This club is ready to win right now.  Sure they had a rough spell in a tough AL East during the 2013 season, but I blame the management for not providing them with a #1 or #2 Starting Pitcher.

Even with saying that, the Orioles played one of the toughest strength of schedules in the MLB.

This city is ready for a winner.  But what has ensued in the last month is laughable.

First by having the idea to non-tender Jim Johnson is a major mistake.  Yes his 100+ Saves are more a product of opportunity rather than production, but trading him for a player that was not in the MLB last year is stupid.

Having the Grant Balfour contract being pulled back only illustrates the failed decision of trading away Johnson to begin with.

This team is penny-pinching in the very time they should be going all out for a chance to win it all.

The Yankees will have to reset their payroll in the next two years, and for that they will struggle.  For the suddenly cost conscious Red Sox, they are actually not breaking the bank to sign Free Agents right now, and are adhering to a set budget.

The Jays are not receiving enough bang for their buck (although I commend them for exercising all of their financial wherewithal to go for it last year, by spending an all time high on payroll).

The Rays will be considerably weaker this year (yes they seem to win 90 games regardless), but potentially losing David Price, and maybe not having their young Starters quite mature yet, has to catch up with them one year.

Baltimore should be spending money on top talent – in effort to take a run at the title.

The club is in the last year of having J.J Hardy, and every year now players like Chris Tillman, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters will become more expensive in Arbitration in the next few year.

Point being, this might be the last year the whole team is together for a big run.  Nickle and diming your way is a sure fire way to lose your faithful fans – who just went through a 15 year spell of mediocre baseball.

It is the perception of the loyal fans, and we all know that perception is reality.  So what now? Is the club going to bring a yo-yo Closer like Fernando Rodney?

Grant Balfour has authored 4 straight seasons with an under 3 ERA, and appearing in 50+ games. He has only aged with grace in that span.  Included in his last few years totals, was a 43 Straight Saves streak - that bested a Dennis Eckersley team record.  There has been no signs of this team slowing down.  The Orioles went about this negotiation the wrong way.  It has angered the fanbase, alienated future Pitchers from even thinking about inking a deal with the club, and has still left them needing a Closer.  The club looks really petty in this ordeal.  I mean, you would think the club could suffer even a few dollars risk.  Or maybe it is they were so tired of paying for Tyoshi Wada and Brian Roberts. If this was this case, they should have never offered the man a contract in the first place.

Grant Balfour has authored 4 straight seasons with an under 3 ERA, and appearing in 50+ games. He has only aged with grace in that span. Included in his last few years totals, was a 43 Straight Saves streak – that bested a Dennis Eckersley team record. There has been no signs of this team slowing down. The Orioles went about this negotiation the wrong way. It has angered the fanbase, alienated future Pitchers from even thinking about inking a deal with the club, and has still left them needing a Closer. The club looks really petty in this ordeal. I mean, you would think the club could suffer even a few dollars risk. Or maybe it is they were so tired of paying for injured players like Brian Roberts and Tsuyoshi Wada. If this was this case, they should have never offered the man a contract in the first place!

If that is the case, they will have to offer him Grant Balfour money like anyways.

All of us Pitchers that have thrown all our lives will tell you, there is never an MRI that will be perfect when you are a chucker.  Throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion, and it is not meant to be done over and over without breaking down.

Balfour has been DL free for 8 straight years, had 2 doctors verify that his results look identical to what his charts looked like 3 years ago.

it looks bush league that the Baltimore Orioles management brass acted this way with the Aussie.  I hope Balfour signs with the Yankees or Rays, to play 19 games a year versus them.

In the meantime, the Orioles can do some serious damage control if they pick up a few Free Agents.  Don’t be skimpy either.  A guy like a Matt Garza would be a great signing.

If not him, than a guy like A.J. Burnett may be able to log some innings for you.

Spend the damn money!  Your fans will come to the park and pay you back the gesture. You have seen attendance go up 700K the last 2 years.

If you head into the 2014 season with ‘status quo’ – you will not win, and this time the good people of Maryland will stay away from the ballpark again in protest.

Showalter magically pressed every right button in 2012 for the team, and people can even applaud his efforts in 2013.  However, this team owes it to him - by providing some prime talent to compete in the AL East - and against the other American League top notch teams. It is my opinion, that if this club does nothing before Spring Training, they will regress in 2013.  Once the Yankees reset their payroll, it could mean another 15 years of brutal play for the O's.

Showalter magically pressed every right button in 2012 for the team, and people can even applaud his efforts in 2013. However, this team owes it to him – by providing some prime talent to compete in the AL East – and against the other American League top notch teams. It is my opinion, that if this club does nothing before Spring Training, they will regress in 2013. Once the Yankees reset their payroll, it could mean another 15 years of brutal play for the O’s.  Usually in year 3 or 4 is when the Showalter “Magic” for his teams in the past have dissipated.  2014 will represent the Orioles best chance to contend for the foreseeable future, it is too bad the ownership and management don’t have this sense of urgency that most fans and baseball experts do.

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A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Chief WriterHunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured article.  Hunter is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports.

Hunter grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia and played baseball with Sheldon Bream (Sid Bream‘s son) at Liberty University in the NCAA.

His favorite player is Brian Wilson (how could you guess?), and he hates when people can’t think outside the box!

His favorite expression – is ‘ this At Bat is about ten seconds away from a Toe – Tag!

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Posted on December 26, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The O’s Have Continuously Dropped The Ball This Winter – The Latest Is The Grant Balfour Fiasco:.

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