Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Andy McPhail has not made any blockbuster moves this off season but I'm ok with that. He has worked to fill needed holes in the infield and outfield. He ventured overseas to Japan to find a starting pitcher, Uehara. He found a solid short stop in Izturis to fill the most glaring infield need and picked up a few utility players while he was at it. While the starting rotation is still very much in the air the O's look like they are going to have a solid bullpen with hopefully some players maturing into a starting material.
McPhail is slowly and quietly making this a legitimate team. He has no intention of rushing minor league prospects. And it seems after being terrible for so long we might actually have prospects in our farm system. Maybe this year the O's will manage a winning season. I'm hopeful. I've come a long way from last year thinking the O's would be lucky to win 50 games. They managed to win a few more than that and I think this team has only gotten better. I don't see playoffs in their future for a couple more seasons, but I'd be happy still watching good baseball in August and September.
So far McPhail needs to be given a lot of credit. He is not looking for a big name player to be a quick fix. He really is trying to rebuild the team. He has made good moves so far. Take Miguel Tejada for example. He was traded right before his value dropped markedly. He was named in the Mitchell report only days later. Then it came out that he had lied about his age and was actually two years older. And now he is facing time in a federal prison because of the steroids and lying to Congress. In the course of one season he has lost a considerable amount of trade value. McPhail managed to get rid of him and take some of the bad press spotlight off of the Orioles and their players.
He also negotiated the steal that was the Bedard trade. So what if he didn't get Teixeiria, it would have been nice but he is only one player. The Orioles have made that mistake too many times. I'm happy to see a team being developed. Maybe I'll be cursing this team again in April. I'm fickle and I admit it. But I think McPhail has earned the fans' trust. We need to support his efforts to stay away from the big blockbuster names and find solid players to help win games. New uniforms, new season, new hope.
Here's hoping for some Orioles Magic.