View Full Version : Orioles Settle for Moral Victories

05-07-01, 08:15 PM
Monday May 7 2:46 PM ET
Orioles Settle for Moral Victories


BALTIMORE (AP) - Stuck in fourth place with 13 wins in 32 games, the Baltimore Orioles are resigned to counting moral victories in this long overdue rebuilding season.

At spring training, the Orioles spoke optimistically about using a blend of experience and youth to make a run at a winning record. Thanks in part to several games against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Baltimore hovered around .500 through April.

Then the New York Yankees came to town.

The defending world champions completed a four-game sweep at Camden Yards on Sunday, using a solid performance by former Orioles right-hander Mike Mussina in a 2-1 victory.

Mussina, the ace of Baltimore's staff for years, is now the No. 3 starter with New York.

That says plenty about each team's talent, and that is why Orioles manager Mike Hargrove took consolation in Baltimore's ability to at least stay close to the Yankees in all four games. New York outscored the Orioles 20-13, winning twice by one run.

``You don't like the outcome of the last four games, but you've got to look at where our club is and where we're trying to get to,'' Hargrove said. ``We were very competitive. We can take some solace out of that and feel good about that.''

Here's something else to be encouraged about: After a day off Monday, the Orioles travel to Tampa Bay for three games.

Nearly half of Baltimore's wins this season - six of 13 - have come against the Devil Rays, the only team below the Orioles in the AL East.

After that, however, Baltimore is going to have to endure an unbalanced schedule loaded with games against the Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

The Orioles own the worst batting average in the majors (.226) and have hit the fewest home runs (20). Their starting pitchers are 7-15, and the bullpen is built around two rookies and 23-year-old closer Ryan Kohlmeier, who's already blown three saves.

In an effort to generate some offense, Hargrove has sent his players loose on the basepaths. The strategy backfired Sunday, when Cal Ripken was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a single and three runners were cut down attempting to steal.

``We're going to be aggressive on the bases,'' Hargrove said. ``We're going to push the envelope. We've been emphasizing that since Day One.''

It's tough losing a runner on the basepaths when so few get there in the first place. Ripken (.200 batting average), Delino DeShields (.202), Brady Anderson (.185), and Brook Fordyce (.173, 1 homer, 4 RBIs) are part of a struggling offense that has scored in double figures only once.

``I've tried to battle to get my swing down. I'm feeling better the last couple of days,'' Ripken said Sunday after his second straight two-hit game.

Maybe if the hitting heats up, so will the Orioles, who have lost five straight to dip a season-worst six games under .500.

``A player can get hot, and so can a baseball team,'' Anderson said. ``This team definitely has the capability of getting hot. We've been pitching well and have good defense. Those two factors alone lead to success.''

Not necessarily. The Orioles are 3-14 when scoring three runs or fewer.

``The difference in this series was a hit here and a hit there,'' New York's Scott Brosius said. ``In every game, we got the one that counted the most.''
AP (http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010507/sp/bba_reeling_orioles_1.html)

Slippery Elm
05-07-01, 09:26 PM
You see what the Orioles' advertising slogan is on their web site??

"Bring the kids to see the kids."!!


Hey. O's fans. . . :finger1:

05-07-01, 09:33 PM

Since when is Brook Fordyce a "kid" isn't he 31? And Mevin Mora what 28, 29?


05-08-01, 10:30 AM
In an effort to generate some offense, Hargrove has sent his players loose on the basepaths. The strategy backfired Sunday, when Cal Ripken was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a single and three runners were cut down attempting to steal.

I had to laugh when Ripken was caught stealing. I mean, c'mon...Ripken? Stealing a base?? :lol:

Re: "the kids" -- the commercials for the "Bring the kids to see the kids" ad campaign are pretty funny (Mike Hargrove teaching Jerry Hairston, Chris Richard, and Ryan Kohlmeier how to shave; Richard and Kohlmeier running through the sprinklers at Camden Yards; Boog Powell teaching Sidney Ponson, Mora, and Kohlmeier how to eat crabs, etc.). But only the historically geriatric Orioles would consider 31 year old Brook Fordyce and 29 year old Melvin Mora to be "kids." :rolleyes:

And Orioles fans wonder why Mussina left.......

05-08-01, 11:38 AM
I've seen the "Kids" commercials. They are pretty funny. Perhaps if they put as much thought into putting together the team as they did in creating the commercials they would be better off.......

Shel, the B-more Sun had a report of a lady wearing a Moose hat with antlers yelling in support of Moose on Sunday. I thought of you right away. :D:D:D

Stick Michael
05-08-01, 11:49 AM
I think Hargrove was justified in what he said. Realistically, the O's have no shot at making the postseason this year because they've FINALLY (and rightfully) decided to try to rebuild. Should he have said, "We just got swept by a better team. We suck."? Of course not! The core of their team consists of a bunch of 'kids'. He doesn't want to discourage them.

Personally, I'm grateful for the 4 Ws but Baltimore has nothing to be ashamed of. At least they're TRYING to get younger. Some of the guys will turn out to be players and some won't. From there it's just a matter of establishing their core players and building around them via trades and free agency.