National Media Differs On Orioles Quiet Offseason

Dan Duquette remains quiet in Orioles offseasonI don’t believe in any flukes in sports. Joe Flacco didn’t make the postseason five straight times because he continued to get lucky. He was a Super Bowl caliber quarterback who has now had more success at his age in the postseason than Peyton Manning and finally earned the ring to prove it.

The same is true for the Baltimore Orioles. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2012, bump out the Texas Rangers and take the Yankees to five games in the ALDS because they got lucky in a few one run games. They were a quality offensive team with an amazing bullpen that happened to be led by one of the best managers in baseball.

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to Sarasota and it appears the O’s offseason is essentially over, the media has begun giving their take on Dan Duquette’s quiet approach this offseason.

Of course, there are folks locally who think that the Orioles dropped the ball this winter and expected them to make a big splash in free agency to prove to their fans that they were for real. Guys like Grantland’s Jonah Keri agree with those local pundits.

Then there’s Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com who penned an entire column on why Duquette’s offseason makes sense for the Orioles.

They kicked the tires on Josh Hamilton. Zack Greinke was on their list. They talked about Adam LaRoche, Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse. They made an offer for Joe Saunders.

Some players were unrealistic for them. With others, they ultimately decided they didn’t want to give up the draft choice attached.

Duquette is salesman now, not thought to be his specialty (but he is getting better at it). He will point out the Orioles return a fine young nucleus. He’ll mention how the team that finished the season was much better than the one that started it.

This time they’ll have Manny Machado, McLouth and Miguel Gonzalez for a full year. They’ll have Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis, and yes, Brian Roberts, healthy.

Duquette and Showalter teamed up to bring in cost-effective defensive specialists Alexi Casilla, Travis Ishikawa and Chris Dickerson. In Boston, Duquette brought in Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez. Here, he does what he can.

I didn’t expect the O’s to sign Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton and don’t t think they need either to compete. I’m fine with the way the Orioles conduct business and would rather them keep their talent — which they’ve proven to do — than overspend on guys in an inflated market.

You can criticize the Orioles if they let Matt Wieters walk when he hits free agency in 2016. Until then, they’re a playoff team looking to get back with an improved, healthy roster.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

6 Comments

  1. MGW

    February 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Not sure what it will take for some in this town to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. It’s obvious that DD was blackballed because of his quirky personality. The guy built a winner in Boston and won here in his first season with a club 14 seasons removed from their last post season. As Buck stated, you don’t get lucky over a 162 game season.

    Also, with Buck essentially being a “free agent” going into the offseason, why would he choose to stay here knowing that other teams would aggressively pursue him after the year he had here? He obviously believes in this team, this GM, this ownership group enough to re-up for 5 mores seasons.

    Barring injuries, the O’s will be in the thick of this thing come September.

    • spy

      February 14, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Not sure I agree with you in total,,,,,,,,,,,,,Buck would have been a hot commodity no doubt but the O’s paid him well,,,,,,,,,,,,,as for being in the thick of it ,, if you mean the race for third , probably so , but Toronto has a lock on first and watch out for the new Yankees,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I belive the O’s should have brought back Joe Saunders and the lack of a quality first bagger will hurt them plenty , remember Reynolds played gold glove first base the second half of the year and that can’t be duplicated by anyone on their present roster,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I wish them well , but believe the O’s mised a golden opportunity to make a statemant this year and I’m afraid it’s back to the middle of the pack for them………………

  2. Dude

    February 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

    They brought back the same team as last year minus Saunders(effective basically in the postseason) and Reynolds(16 homers plus one fluke week of 7 homers and 220 avg). Those guys were helpful, but nothing to build a team on. Reynolds may have played a good first base, but to play for two months out of the season ain’t worth the money. How many times did that guy come to the plate with runners in scoring position and whiff. I’d rather give Zach the chance at hitting a baseball in those situations than Reynolds.

    Saunders was a class guy that got you experience in the postseason, but in a full season in the AL East, he’ll get shelled. his only pitches are a change up and fast ball that tops out at 90 – essentially a pitcher better used for padding the stats of the AL East hitters.

    Duq and Buck will do the same as last year, continue to place scrap heap veterans with the young guys helping them gain a little more experience, getting them closer to a winning mentality. Just look what last year did for this team, brought a majority of the team back before they’re supposed to be there. Word on the street down there is that these guys are pumped and excited to get back at it this year and are looking to build on last year.

    Before everyone starts with the diarrhea mouth, give Buck and Duq three years together and see what this team brings to town. it will be hard to top last year, but they’ll be competitive just as last year and they’ll do a 180 on their years of losing.

  3. MGW

    February 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Funny thing is all the guys the Blue Jays picked up were with the Marlins last year who stunk up the joint. Somehow moving them to the AL East will make them better?!?

    And Reynolds…most in this town were ready to run him out on a rail. He plays some good defense and now it’s as if we lost Babe Ruth.

    And yes, Buck did get paid well, but there’s probably 10-15 other teams that would have paid him as much or more.

    Funny, now we’re talking about the “big money” Buck got from the Orioles, who I keep being told are cheap?!?

    • spy

      February 15, 2013 at 8:44 am

      The Marlin transfers are with better players and will create synergism,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,It will be difficult to replace Reynolds at first,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,signing Buck was the big off season move , they had to sign him and gave him good money they weren’t going to give to anyone else , they are still cheap……………..

  4. Charles

    February 15, 2013 at 9:25 am

    The O’s had a outstanding year last year, but to think that they will repeat that performance without upgrading their present roster is a big gamble that i feel will land them in fourth place. You get what you pay for and we don’t have a down payment on any big bats for the middle of our lineup. My fear is that they will strand a lot of runners on base. Roberts and Reimold have been injured for the last 3 years so to pin your hopes on those two is a joke. My brother and i agree that this was the best opportunity for ownership to show the fans and the league they are serious about challenging for the American league east. We also agree that either Dan Duquett is a genious or and idiot. I tend to lean towards the latter.