Yes, they need the help

Faceoff

faceoff: will it hurt the orioles if they don't make a move at the winter meetings?

December 05, 2008|By Bill Ordine

Wait a minute, let me see if I remember this correctly.

The Orioles finished what last season?

68-93.

Fifth (as in last) place in the American League East.

In the dismal slog through September, manager Dave Trembley couldn't have been blamed if he had reached into the Camden Yards stands for his next starter - except there was no one sitting in them.

And there were times when he would have done just as well to stick a cardboard cutout of Miguel Tejada at shortstop.

The Orioles had a stretch run like Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes, meaning it was less of a stretch run than it was a stretch stagger - seven wins and 30 losses after Aug. 17.

The Orioles might have shown some grit through the opening three-quarters of the season, but by the end of year the holes in this team were gaping. And while help coming from the farm system might be promising, it's certainly not enough to make the O's a contender.

Clearly, the 162-game schedule has made baseball a game of attrition, especially when it comes to pitching, and the Orioles were exposed last season as having neither enough front-line quality nor marginally competent depth to make it much past the All-Star break.

So, for the Orioles to come away from the winter meetings and the offseason in general without restocking with young talent via trades or propping up the roster with veteran free agents - and preferably, they would find ways to do both - the results will be inevitable.

Further frustration on the part of an evaporating fan base and the likelihood of another 60-some-win season.

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