The Baltimore Orioles deserve their own episode of M.A.S.H. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Orioles, news came out that Nick Markakis underwent “significant” abdominal surgery late last week in Philadelphia. Maybe new VP of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette should skip free agency and spend the few dollars Peter Angelos drops out of his pocket on the best trainer Parsimonious Pete’s pennies can buy. Alliteration aside, welcome to rock bottom, O’s fans.
Markakis had an average season in 2011. He hit .284 with 15 home runs and 73 runs batted in. Not bad, but not great, and also not what you would expect from a guy you paid over $10 million in 2011 and is due $12 million in 2012. Markakis says he is “hopeful he will be ready by Opening Day.”
Maybe instead of changing their logo to the cartoon oriole, maybe they should have taken it one step further and changed their name to the Injury Bugs, because they were beat up bad last year, on and off the field. Brian Roberts is still iffy after sustaining a concussion last year, and players such as Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Derrek Lee (no longer an Oriole), and even J.J. Hardy all spent a decent amount of time on the DL last year.
This injury is certainly a setback for Markakis, who is looking to get back to his 2007 form when he hit 23 home runs with 112 RBI while hitting .300. His power numbers dropped three straight years—he reversed that trend in 2011, hitting 15 home runs, a slight improvement over the 12 he hit in 2010. Baltimore’s lineup is average at best, and if Markakis, a great situational hitter, is not in right field they seem almost hopeless.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also a report that the O’s watched Manny Ramirez take batting practice. This is the same Manny who failed a drug test back in 2009 and was suspended for 50 games. The same Manny who retired last April after failing another drug test and was to be suspended for 100 games. Now coming back out of retirement, Ramirez would only have to sit out 50 games, but one has to wonder, how is this even remotely a good idea?
Manny is a joke and a waste of time. What can he do for Baltimore? Manny makes Vlad
Guerrero look like a good idea. The only way I would want him around younger players is to tell them, “Hey guys, whatever he does, do the opposite.” I know Duquette was the one who signed him as a free agent while the GM in Boston, but that was a few years and suspensions ago. I would rather see them put a young player out there and see what he can do. If they do sign Manny, they might as well pack the team up and call it a day.
Here’s hoping Duquette was merely kicking Manny’s tires and will move along to another used slugger lot to buy.