For most of the 2007 season, the Orioles' bullpen has performed very poorly. As of today, the bullpen ranks 11th in the American League in ERA, tied for second for most blown saves, and first in most losses aquired.
Just about every time Orioles' relievers enter a game, they waste golden opportunities and turn promising and meaningful games into worthless ones -- just think the opposite of King Midas.
To put the horrible performances into perspective, O's relievers have been so terrible that they've made the Bad News Bears look like seasoned veterans. They've allowed the Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals, and Arizona Diamondbacks to look like championship contenders. And the bullpen even managed to make Augie Ojeda, a former Oriole farmhand himself, look like The Natural on Friday when Danys Baez served up another gift-wrapped home-run.
After yet another blown opportunity yesterday, somewhere Earl Weaver probably flipped his cap back and cursed in disgust.
Earlier today, though, the Orioles seem poised to do something about this underachieving group. The Orioles may lack strong-hitting position prospects, at least at this moment, in their farm system, but they do not have a shortage of promising young pitchers. After releasing Todd Williams and sending Baez to the disabled list today, the Orioles promoted relief pitchers James Hoey and Cory Doyne from Norfolk. Hoey has some limited major league experience but Doyne has none. Either way, both pitchers bring a refreshing change to a bullpen that's been ruining great efforts from an overachieving starting pitching staff all season.
While possible moves are limited because of the salaries handed out to pitchers such as Chad Bradford (3 years, $10.5 mil), Baez (3 years, $19 mil), and Jamie Walker (3 years, $12 mil), Sam Perlozzo has seemingly reached his breaking point and is tired of putting up with veterans who are just not performing. More changes could occur, but only time will tell.
Sidenote: At this very moment, the Orioles are in the 3rd inning and Daniel Cabrera has already given up three HRs (5-0 ARZ). This team just can't put everything together.
One final strange note about the bullpen though -- according to Baltimore Sun writer Roch Kubatko, "[Todd] Williams wanted to go on the disabled list, but the Orioles apparently weren't convinced that he was injured."
But Baez is legitimately injured? Or is his psyche just severly damaged after having Ojeda hit a HR off of him? Money surely had a huge part in that decision, even though Williams has been terrible. Baez needs to find out what his problem is and figure a way to start pitching effectively. The Orioles could really use an effective set-up man, let alone a reliever who can retire some batters and hold a lead.
Last Wednesday, Redskins' rookie safety LaRon Landry was injured while playing paintball with some teammates. Apparently experiencing what Redskins fans have been feeling for years by watching an underachieving team, Landry was shot in the groin during the fun.
No word on whether Landry's team won or lost the paintball matches was available.
According to several sources, the Orioles have been allowing Charlie Sheen to work with the bullpen over the last few days. After being informed that Sheen, who played Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn in Major League, wasn't an actual pitcher, head coach Sam Perlozzo said, "That's okay. He's already thirty times better than Danys Baez."
OK, I'm sorry, I made that up. But I bet you wish that it was true...