false nOtes

As Team’s embarrassing, lazy, chiseling and fruitless off-season continues, and as we fans await help for solid core of hitters, pitcher(s) and defensive standouts, Blog undertakes to help others understand value of talent in Major League Baseball.

As pretext to said discourses, Blog takes notice of many and varied false notes sung by some (though by no means all) Baltimore faithful. These apologists sound on and on about a “crazy” or “overpriced” or “distorted” market price for free-agent talent.

[Subtext being that said players are best not added to Team because they are too expensive and that their demands presumably outpace said "market."

If a player demands too many years, he is too expensive. If a player demands to much money per year, our friends insist, he also is too expensive. Any combination thereof, in addition, counts in this over-posh category, in which Team cannot possibly partake.

All of this silly reasoning, of course, accepts as true the spurious suggestions advanced by Majority Owner of Team of Blog, who argues, again and again, that Team cannot possibly afford to bring on such risk (despite basic truth that Team must, necessarily, operate in world of risk.)]

As owner declaims Day to be Night, and Night Day, some non-negligible cross-section of apologist-fan accepts this as true. And Blog watches with occasional sickness, this off-season especially, as Team cedes on-field answers for on-field questions, even as direct competitors do opposite: replacing uncertainty with certainty.

Anyway, on to larger point: Blog wonders what advocates of Team’s chiseling ways understand the term “market” to be — beyond obvious notion that some things are cheap and others are expensive. So, a few basic facts about MLB’s “market” for ballplayers. In this market:

- the number of bidders is static
- the amount of free-agent talent is fairly static
- revenue throughout baseball is on rise
- revenue is projected to keep rising
- U.S. dollars are shrinking in value due to inflation
- owners are wealthy, and
- players, rightfully buoyed by a strong union, are commanding their share

That’s a “market” in which not buying anything seems a strange market strategy, especially in universe of 30 market participants all vying for the same goal, year after year, amid a limited number of legitimate commodities.

Just by contrast, here’s what this market is not:

- what Peter G. Angelos and / or Dan Duquette assert it to be
- what their apologists declare that it somehow should be

Blog has said it before, and will repeat it. Team has strong core. But it seems like a curiously poor market bet not to bullishly buy, or trade for, proven talent, thereby augmenting core’s chances.

One legitimate market choice for an owner beset by high costs, of course, is to cash out. Are you listening, Pete?

3 Responses to “false nOtes”

  1. Sponsort Says:

    What Peter Angelos and his disciples refuse to acknowledge is that baseball at the major league level is a zero-sum game. There just aren’t enough high-end players to go around. When 1 free agent is signed, it deprives all others of that irreplaceable asset.

    Angelos denies this fact with his phony efforts to fill his roster with “international” talent (a cheap diversion), or with “hidden gems,” unwanted by anyone else. Bloggers who want to idealize the Chris Dickersons of the world don’t get it either.

    Angelos also reveals a bizarre (given his profession) loyalty to his over-the-hill guys who can’t cut it any more. (The one exception to this was the Bedard trade – a great example of what can be done by an activist general manager.)

    Until the O’s braintrust shoves their money into the market, they will be unable to compete. And B’more will continue as Baseball’s Death Valley.

    Selling the team is something every O’s fan would applaud, whether or not the new owner is “from” Baltimore (whatever that means).

  2. Chris Says:

    The last time the Orioles made a big off season free agent signing was 2011. With Vlad Guererro. He got 7.6 million, had 159 hits and 120 of them were singles. The team’s Payroll was $81M that year. The O’s finished fifth behind the Rays who had a $41 million dollar payroll and the Blue Jays with a $61 million payroll. The Rays (with some help from the O’s) beat out the Red Sox that year who had a payroll four times as high. It does not matter who the owner of the team is. Ripping off huge contracts to free agents in the off-season means means exactly squat.

  3. the Wayward O Says:

    The Vlad contract (and the Derrek Lee contract) from that year are both great examples of fear-driven hiring that yields a less than dynamic (and losing) product. They were middling deals, for what now seem like quaint sums of money, for players who were shells of themselves.
    Whom did the Orioles deprive – which team did they make weaker – in signing Vlad or Lee?
    No. That logic doesn’t fly. Blog is talking about (and wishing for) a creative and dynamic front-office strategy that (yes) involves spending on free agents, but also involves a focus on winning, as opposed to dragging along the bottom rungs and hoping for miracles.