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Blog Entry

Winter meetings: Parting shots

Posted on: December 9, 2010 7:23 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 7:25 pm
 

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If I hear one more plastic Christmas song over the irritating speakers here at the Walt Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort before heading to the Mouse City Airport for the trip home, I'm going to. ...

Sorry, lost my head there for a moment.

What I meant to say was, a couple of quick parting thoughts as the Winter Meetings wrap up. ...

IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Red Sox: It's not even close. The acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford make them more dangerous

RUNNERS-UP

White Sox: In U.S. Cellular Field, the country-strong Adam Dunn might hit 75 homers (OK, so I exaggerate, but just a bit). In the returning Paul Konerko, the White Sox have their soul back. Another nicely done job by the ultra-aggressive general manager Kenny Williams, his right-hand man Rick Hahn and, yes, owner Jerry Reinsdorf in arranging the funding to bring in both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko.

Diamondbacks: Turn new GM Kevin Towers loose for his first winter meetings in charge of the D-backs, and already Arizona's bullpen -- historically bad in 2010 -- is better. The Snakes signed J.J. Putz to close and acquired Daniel Hernandez and Kam Mickolio from the Orioles. And clearly, that's just the start.

LOSERS

Rays: The mass exodus has begun for the poor Rays. Left fielder Carl Crawford signed with Boston (seven years, $142 million), first baseman Carlos Pena with the Cubs (one year, $10 million), set-up man Joaquin Benoit with Detroit (three years, $16.5 million), shortstop Jason Bartlett was traded to San Diego and free agent closer Rafael Soriano is on deck to leave.

Of the eight pitchers who threw the most relief innings for manager Joe Maddon last year, seven of them are free agents. And of the total number of relief innings pitched, those seven accounted for 78 percent of those innings. Yikes.

Orioles: Not only did AL East-rival Boston become exponentially better, but the Orioles were stonewalled every which way they turned looking to acquire a first baseman (Pena, Dunn, Konerko). Then outfielder Luke Scott showed up at the winter meetings and shot his mouth off in a Yahoo Sports interview that started about his deer hunting and wound up with Scott saying he thought President Obama was born outside of the United States and that Obama "does not represent America. Nor does he represent anything what our forefathers stood for." The Orioles rushed to put out a news release distancing the club from Scott's comments. Not exactly your typical winter meetings strategy. On the other hand, the Orioles finally got a shortstop by acquiring J.J. Hardy from the Twins, and a third baseman by acquiring Mark Reynolds from the Diamondbacks.

Athletics: Reminiscent of Baltimore back in the day when then-GM Syd Thrift became so flustered at failing to land impact free agents that he said if was as he were trying to spend Confederate money. It was like that for Oakland when free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre essentially ignored a five-year, $64 million offer until the A's pulled it. Oakland also lost designated hitter Jack Cust, who signed with Seattle. The A's are desperate for offense. They likely will wind up with free agent DH Hideki Matsui, who is earnest and hard-working but can't play much anymore, or Vladimir Guerrero if he doesn’t return to Texas.

Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2010 1:46 pm
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

How can you possibly declare the Orioles were losers at the Winter Meetings?  The Birds are one of the few teams who actually acted to change the roster from the previous season for the better.   The Orioles took one, maybe two players who were all but certain to be on the 2011 roster along with some mediocre minor leaguers and turned them into a starting left side of the infield.  Mark Reynolds has the potential to come to Oriole Park and bash 40 HRs in 2011.  Last year's third basemen totaled less than a dozen homers.  J.J. Hardy arrives with the likelihood of being as equally skilled as a defender compared to last year's SS, Cesar Izturis, and he's most likely going to his 30 or 40 points higher.  How are those losses?

If you're declaring the Orioles losers because Boston got stronger, then why not list the Yankees and Blue Jays?  Last time I checked, the Yankees walked away from the Winter Meetings with no more new players under contract than when they arrived.  The resigning of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were going to happen regardless of the Winter Meetings ever taking place.  You can't chalk them up to visiting FLA.

What did the Blue Jays do that allowed them a pass?  Oh, wait they did sign someone during the Meetings.  I completely forgot about that monster signing of Winston Abreu to a minor league contract.
It sure sounds to me like you wanted to take a swipe at the Orioles for the comments of Luke Scott and management's attempt to distance themselves from his quote.  Whatever.  What Scott said has nothing to do with what happens on the field of play and doesn't mean a damn thing about a team being successful or not at the Winter Meetings.  Focus on the facts and try to be a quality writer instead of a tabloid-quality writer.



Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

How interesting that only one NL team was included.  And I guess signing Jayson Werth didn't even get the Nationals into Runner-Up consideration.  Nevertheless, activity among the AL teams demonstrates their frustration in losing an All Star game for the first time in forever.  



Since: Aug 16, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:42 am
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

Maybe I'm bias being an Orioles fan but how can you consider them losers here, they significantly upgraded on the offensive side. Plus they've been in contacts with the Brewers for a Prince Fielder trade. Also, they re-signed Koji Uehara who was incredible in the closer role late in the season last year. Plus, how is the Luke Scott story relevant? that has nothing to do with the moves being made by the organization. And why are the Diamondbacks being praised for landing three decent relievers while losing their biggest offensive asset? The Orioles are going places... I hope.



Since: Feb 6, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:53 am
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

“The World Series takes personal checks. Credit and debit cards, too. Score one for the Yankees, and their bankers….

“Maybe one day, players on the other 29 teams can grow up to become Yankees. Or, at least, perhaps one day they'll be lucky enough to have the Yankees purchase their contracts. For now, the Yankees are back on top and, as they'll be happy to tell you, all is right in the world.”

 

I just wonder... well, not really... if you will say similar stuff like you did after the Yankees won the 2009 WS (after their great off season after failing to make the playoffs) that you will say about the Red Sox during the year and after the post season if they are fortunate enough to win it all... I know you won't cause you are an incredibly easy read...





Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

I don't dispute that Obama was born in Hawaii. Whether is heart  belongs to the US is another matter.
I do agree with his other comments, and abhor the Orioles for going all ultra political correct or whatever you call it. Scott made comments he believes are true and from the heart. People have the right to disagree or agree, this is still America where the Bill of Rights gives each individual the Right of Free Speech.
Perhaps the Orioles should have said Mr. Scott has the right to his opinions, as do all our players, and we as a employer don't censor their speech  unless its to the detriment of our club or baseball.



Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2010 7:35 pm
 

Winter meetings: Parting shots

Luke Scott tells the truth.....


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