TMS MLB Preview 2009: Baltimore Orioles

I think this is a picture of Radhames Liz


SO LONG: P Daniel Cabrera, SS Juan Castro, SS Alex Cintron, P Lance Cormier, 1B Kevin Millar, P Garrett Olson, OF Jay Payton.

WELCOME: OF Justin Christian, SS Chris Gomez, C Robby Hammock, P Mark Hendrickson, P Rich Hill, SS Cesar Izturis, C Chad Moeller, P John Parrish, OF Felix Pie, P Koji Uehara, 3B Ty Wigginton, C Gregg Zaun.

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Brian Roberts 2B
2. Melvin Mora 3B
3. Nick Markakis RF
4. Aubrey Huff DH
5. Ty Wigginton 1B
6. Adam Jones CF
7. Luke Scott LF
8. Gregg Zaun C
9. Cesar Izturis SS

Starting Rotation: Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Hendrickson, Koji Uehara, Rich Hill, Radhames Liz
Setup: Chris Ray, Jim Johnson
Closer: George Sherrill

My mother once told me that if I couldn't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. This would have meant an extremely short post on this sad team in a town full of blue crabs, heroin and critically-acclaimed HBO Dramas, and where's the fun in that?

Simply put: this team is awful. Dire. In the baseball universe, the Orioles would be the starving third-world country where flies are top of the food chain and the machete is the national currency. They're pathetic beyond the top 4 hitters, all of whom are prone to more severe hot/cold streaks than someone with influenza, and their rotation is full of people who belong in AA, or college, where indifference and ineptitude reign, mildly applauded by the hayseeds that pay three dollars to get in.

I wish I could write something nice about this team beyond "Hey, Nick Markakis is Greek, or has Greek parents at least, and I love their cuisine!", but the prognosis on all fronts is grim. Without even looking at their rotation or lineup, look at the in/out above that. There's an awful lot of names there, all acquired or traded with care and thought, and yet there's barely anything salvageable. All that effort to re-shape the roster, and somehow, miraculously, you got worse!

There's deadweight from Tampa Bay, a couple of overweight, entitled catchers with low expectations, another wretched failure of a Cubs CF, and an Asian pitcher, which in itself is fast becoming as en vogue as a celebrity adopting a child from a Malaysian orphanage.

Avoid this team like the plague, and pray for their souls that the law of probabilities enables them to heave across the 45-win mark for the season. They're a depressing team for a depressing town.

Hasn't Bawlmor suffered enough without having to sweat through a summer of watching this sewage in black and orange? Apparently, thanks to a vengeful God, it must get worse before it gets better. With Andy McPhail at the helm, that might take a while.

Mr. Sexy Time: Nick Markakis.
He is a glimmer of ability amid a haze of shittiness. With three seasons and a career BA of .299, if anyone is to drag this sorry collective out of the doldrums, it could be him.

Stephen King Award for the Unlucky Guy who must have pissed on an Indian Burial Ground to get this kind of bad luck: Rich Hill.
Didn't think you'd end up at the back end of the worst pitching staff ever assembled, did you? Well, it's really depressing to see a decent man cursed with such an awful circumstance, but that's what happens when you consistently fail to live up to expectations.

After a shaky start to last season, you lost your control faster than a retiree at a chili-eating contest, and after a poor rehab spell in AAA, you're in Baltimore.

Oh, and you suffered the added ignominy of being traded for a player to be named later. A PTBNL! That means we don't even give a shit what we get back for you, as long as you're gone. Shit, we probably got the groundskeeper or something.

That said, there is still hope for you. You're a lefty; you'll get traded around a few more times before your career is over. Get used to it.

America's Least Wanted Award: Cesar Izturis.
Hang it up, man, you're clearly not meant for this sport. Perhaps if science conspired to combine you and your brothers into one player, you might be somewhat useful, but it takes a real lack of skill to end up batting 9th for the Orioles.

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