PiR: All-Or-Nothing Offense Will Only Ever Get So Far

Chris Davis and Manny Machado give a low five after Machado's home run.
Getty Images/Greg Fiume

Reality: The Baltimore Orioles have won more games than any other American League team since Buck Showalter became the Manager of the team.

Perception: That fact has been lost to many fans. Maybe it was only in the heat of the moment last week, but there were so many Orioles fans tweeting that it was fine to fire Buck in the 24 hours after the loss to the Blue Jays in the Wild Card playoff game.

Heck, I thought Buck screwed up royally by not pitching a potential Cy Young winner in a “win or go home” playoff game. But that is not what cost the Orioles that game. How about the offense that only got four hits, and two runs? Showalter was just waiting for his offense to wake up so he could use his closer to do his job… close out the game for a win. Did the gamble of waiting pay off? No, and Buck admitted that.

But does that mistake mean it’s time to fire him? Okay, so let’s say it does… who are you going to hire to take the Orioles to the next level? The answer? No one.

The reason the Birds haven’t make it to World Series yet is more Dan Duquette’s fault than it is Buck’s fault. The all-or-nothing offense is not getting it done. Duquette needs to bring in players to get on base, to complement the home run hitters. The problem right now is most of the Orioles home runs are of the solo variety.

But, personally, I’m not ready to get rid of DD either. I’m okay with keeping both the GM and the Manager. The O’s just need to get one middle-of-the-rotation starter and a couple of guys who can set the table for all the power hitters. If they do that, they can take the next step, without having to find a lesser manager.

Reality: Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace has retired from “full-time major league coaching.”

Perception: Wallace left the O’s a few times throughout the season for “personal reasons” and that is pretty much why he is retiring. He wants more time with his family. But he said he would love to stay within the Orioles organization if things can be worked out… and that would be a great move for the Birds.

No matter how many fans scream “Fire the pitching coach!” Wallace has done a remarkable job with the lack of talent that he has been given. He helped turned a failed starting pitcher, in Zach Britton, into the best closer in the league and a Cy Young hopeful. Wallace helped develop Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Brach, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. He helped turned a mediocre relief pitcher, in Darren O’Day, into one of the best set-up guys in the game.

Wallace will be missed by the Orioles and Buck Showalter says they will look inside the organization to fill the job. Let’s hope that person can help develop young talent like Wallace did.

Reality: The player with the most home runs in baseball has resided in Baltimore for the last four years.

Perception: Home runs are good but they aren’t everything.

Five players with at least 25 homers. Seven players with at least 15. But only three players with a batting average above .270.

The philosophy of #BirdlandPowerCompany might be fun to watch when the power is on, but it’s not winning any championships.

The Orioles’ On-Base Percentage was 21st in the majors this season, 24th in 2015, 17th in 2014, and 19th in 2013. Duquette talks about wanting to improve that, but his signings have not backed up his words, except for Hyun Soo Kim and Michael Bourn. If the Orioles want to get better at the plate, it’s going to start with better discipline and looking to get on base… not just hit dingers.

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About Joe Polek

Joe Polek
Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters....more

One Cheer about “PiR: All-Or-Nothing Offense Will Only Ever Get So Far

  1. avatarJacob on said:

    Ok, how do you come up with this: “He helped turned a mediocre relief pitcher, in Darren O’Day, into one of the best set-up guys in the game.” Startling lack of baseball awareness and research exhibited there. In his 2 healthy seasons following his rookie year, O’Day put up ERAs of 1.84 and 2.03. He was just about as good in Texas as he’s been in Baltimore. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dave Wallace, and I like what he’s done. But you have to be realistic. Britton had the makeup to be an elite reliever before Wallace got here, and O’Day already was one. Gausmas has been, generally speaking, a bit of a disappointment. Give him credit for Tillman and Gonzalez, Brach, and certainly some other guys. But not a guy who came in as an elite setup arm.

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