Keith Law did an interview with Steve Melewski that went up today, in which he basically echoed my thoughts about the Orioles (almost*) completely. I’m going to quote somewhat selectively (the things I agree with most), since you should read the whole thing.
* I do think he was slightly harsher than necessary, but I can understand taking the stronger position to get one’s point across.
“”The Orioles are not a club right now that is adding young talent, they have added veteran players to the roster. I don’t get it, they are not winning 85 games this year and even if they did, what is that going to buy them? A couple extra fans in the seats? It won’t put them in the playoffs,” Law said.”
They could win 85 games. It’s just very unlikely, in my opinion.
“”I feel like this is an offseason that may be coming from ownership or marketing, saying ‘we can’t lose 100 games again.’ In that situation the baseball operations department should say ‘do you want to win in the long term? Or do you want to just stink less in the short term?'”
I think fans largely don’t care about the long-term and want to focus on the short-term, until the short-term starts turning out merely OK (at best). Then they’ll want more focus on the “next” short-term. Just because one (or three or four) long-term type plans didn’t work out doesn’t mean that isn’t the correct model – you just need better plans.
“Law was just getting revved up when I asked him if he thought that one reason the O’s might have acquired some of the veteran talent is to help the young hitters in the lineup.
“I have heard that and I think it is complete nonsense,” the ESPN analyst said. “Having worked in a front office and seen some of that dynamic, I think it is ridiculous and outdated.”
Classic Klaw, with the blunt honesty. I love it.
“Law believes the Orioles could have spent their money more wisely over the past few months and that some of the cash should have been poured into player development.
“Yes, that would certainly be a better use of funds. Spend it in Latin America, where the Orioles have not been major players. Look at their top ten for their (farm) system, I think there is just one international player there, from Curacao…
I asked Law what he felt the club should be doing, if he disagreed with this approach. He believes the Orioles should be going all in with a youth movement.
“I think you have to. We are not talking about Wieters, he will catch on, no one is worried about him. But is Nolan Reimold an average regular? You are not going to know if he doesn’t get 400 or 500 at bats.”
Yep. That Klaw’s a pretty smart dude. Even does book reviews*!
* I’ve only read ~20% of his top 101, but #1 – The Master and Margarita – is indeed fantastic.