Five games over .500 after 85 games, one trade for designated hitter under belt, more trades possible as Team — behind recently-minted general manager Dan Duquette — adopts philosophy that present is future.
Certainly it would be crazy for Team to adopt a losing attitude at this juncture, especially with extra (sort of kind of) playoff seating available.
So what do to? Stand pat and preserve current makeup, which consists of a strange brew of about six young, legitimate MLB stars, one Hall-of-Famer, five potential stars and some spare parts? Or move pieces in order to find a solid starting pitcher, left fielder or third baseman to bolt on to Big Club?
ANSWER IS QUESTION: What has gotten Team where it is now? And how can Team get more of it?
Many have tried to understand how it is that Team has had such success during first half. Lots of home runs, occasionally brilliant starting pitching and reliable bullpen are stock answers, and they’re quite correct, but there’s a more overarching reason as well:
Discipline. Since Mr. Buck took over, we’ve seen minimal horseshit from players. No hideous meltdowns on field or in media; few to no on-field incidents between Team and opposing teams; and fewer self-immolating, self-flagellating comments after losses.
In short Team plays more on even keel now than it has for some time. Buck, along with Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis — both known to be even-tempered guys — have instilled notion that temperament counts especially when grappling with tough competition and losing streaks.
Amid winning so far, we’ve only seen one really tough losing streak — that one was a six-game skid that began near the end of May and lasted into June.
So Blog would say any move Team makes should be done with an eye on what kind of player would be coming in. Would he be able to understand role and contribute? Or would he clash with the Three Guys mentioned above and be more distraction than addition?
Certainly you’d hate to give up young prospects in exchange for distraction.
As postscript Blog would say: Don’t give anything away lightly! If deal doesn’t happen, you kept your chips and lost nothing. Heck Team might get hot and start winning again all by itself with recent changes to rotation (who knows?) and pending return of Markakis.