Consider other needs

faceoff: are the orioles doing enough to sign free agent mark teixeira?

December 18, 2008|By RICK MAESE

Candy, you must be spending too much time on the fishing boat. Out here in the real world, the economy is crashing harder than Amy Winehouse in detox. It's so bad, you can barely buy a Senate seat these days.

Look, one of my favorite things about baseball is how the fences are different in every park. Metaphorically, they're different for every team, too. The Orioles swinging for the fences is different from the Red Sox swinging for the fences.

All a fan in Baltimore can hope is that the Orioles chase a guy like Mark Teixeira in good faith, that they offer him a respectable offer. But you have to be reasonable and you have to expect the Orioles to work not only within their means but also within their needs. Breaking the proverbial bank for a one-time All-Star could symbolically be a cornerstone moment for a struggling franchise. It could also prove to be crippling.

If the Orioles wanted to blow other bidders out of the water and, for example, offer $200 million over nine years, that would leave the Orioles with less flexibility to address other needs. Candy, you cover the hell out of the outdoors for The Baltimore Sun, so you should know that when you go big-game hunting, you have to be sensible in your approach. The Orioles' biggest need is still starting pitching.

Their pitchers gave up more homers, more walks and nearly more runs than every other American League team last season. And last I checked, they've got just one bona fide starter lined up for next season.

If Teixeira could play first and then pitch every fifth day, I'd suggest taking out a second mortgage on Camden Yards. As it is, you offer as much as you can and hope he really misses his mom's home cooking.

As it is, the Orioles fan's biggest fear should be this: Is the Teixeira chase keeping the Orioles from hunting pitchers who would fill this team's biggest need?

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