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It’s unclear who is running the Orioles

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The 2018 Baltimore Orioles have lost 104 games already and will go down in history as one of the worst teams ever.

Not the worst team. There were a lot of teams that were bigger train wrecks than this crew. But they would be invited to the train wreck party. They’d have a seat at the train wreck adult table and would be more likely to help take the other guests’ train wreck coats as they arrived than they would have to ask where the train wreck bathroom was, for example. They could help themselves to the train wreck liquor cabinet without asking permission because, hey, they’re good.

OK, that metaphor was bad to begin, got worse as it went along with and needs a LOT of work to fix. But the same can be said about the Baltimore Orioles too. Fixing the metaphor only requires me to workshop it on my laptop a bit. Fixing the Orioles requires someone to take charge of a massive rebuild.

There’s only one problem with that:

As the Orioles barrel toward their worst season in franchise history, they need to decide more than just the futures of manager Buck Showalter and lead baseball executive Dan Duquette.

Major League Baseball wants to know who in the Orioles’ ownership group is running the club, and how the team plans to operate in the future, according to major-league sources.

That’s Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic, reporting that the league has not heard from Peter Angelos all year and wants to know who, in reality, is the control person of the club.

That’s a specific position within MLB hierarchy, by the way. Each team has a “control person” that answers to the league. Usually that’s easy to figure out — with the Yankees it’s Hal Steinbrenner, for example — but it’s pretty messy with the Orioles, as longtime owner Peter Angelos, 89, is reported to be in failing health. Rosenthal reports that his sons, John and Louis, are in charge, but it’s unclear who might have final word.

It’s probably more important for the organization to have someone clearly in charge than it is for MLB. Because, as noted above, the club needs to rebuild and, at the moment, both the manager and the GM are lame ducks. Neither of the Angelos sons are talking to the press however, and it’s unclear what’ll happen to them.

It should be a fun offseason in Baltimore.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.