Was Sunday's hard-luck loss Guthrie's last Orioles start?

July 25, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Jeremy Guthrie's frustration is understandable. If I was perennially among the league leaders in losses while being a staple at the bottom of the run support rankings, the water jugs in the Orioles' dugout would have to get a restraining order against me. But to Guthrie's credit, he usually just beats himself up after losses.

It was a different story, though, on Sunday afternoon. After the Orioles stunk away another quality start from their top starter, Guthrie snapped at reporters who were badgering him about the enemy scouts on hand at Camden Yards to watch him pitch and the trade speculation that is swirling around him.

“I only hear it because you guys bring it up every 3 1/2 minutes,” Guthrie said. “Most players don't hear the rumors, most players don't know. But I guess it's exciting for everyone else to talk about it, so we hear it through those avenues. They don't call us. I never got a call from another GM saying I'm being discussed.”

Contenders looking for a reliable starter for the middle of their rotations have been scouting Guthrie the past couple of weeks -- the Cardinals and the Tigers were there Sunday -- and the Orioles are said to be open to dealing him if the price is right.

But what is fair value for a starter who will usually give you 200 innings a season and an ERA below 4.00, but who has also lost 57 games and counting over the past three and a half seasons? That's what those scouts are trying to figure out.

I want to write a “Free Guthrie” post, advocating that the Orioles should spare him more anguish with a trade. And if I had the time, I would spray paint “Save Jeremy” on a water tower (or on front of the Warehouse) a la “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

But does he want to be traded? I don’t know. I think Guthrie wants to stay in Baltimore. And I think Guthrie wants to play for a winner. Ideally, he could do both simultaneously.

Then again, I would ideally look like Michael Phelps in a swimsuit.

Sadly, it doesn't look like either will happen.

It’s going to be a rough week for Guthrie, one with a few sleepless nights, leading up to the July 31 non-waive trade deadline. There is a chance that Sunday was his last start with the Orioles, and his response when a reporter pointed that out to him suggested that he might not be frustrated with just his own performance anymore.

“I guess it was kind of a perfect microcosm of my career in Baltimore if it did happen to be that," he said after another tough loss followed by another round of tough questions from reporters.

Hopefully Guthrie doesn’t want his final appearance with the O's to be a déjà-vu afternoon like Sunday, but who could blame him if he wanted his hard-luck Orioles career to simply be over with?

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