|Miguel Tejada wanted out prior to the 2006 season. Let's fulfill his wish before it's too late to get anything worthwhile in exchange. (AP)|
Remember when Miguel Tejada wanted to get out of Baltimore? Let's come back to that.
Tonight's loss was just another in a long line of pathetic Oriole defeats this season, as much if not more the team's own doing as it was their opponent being a better team. Steve Trachsel was competitive again. The lineup was mostly inept again. And, again, Chris Ray blew it when crunch time came.
Ray's 2006 was successful, though many (including Baseball Prospectus) noted the undeniable luck that factored into his numbers. Many of us, like myself, hoped and even assumed that Ray's natural talent would make up for the expected loss of good fortune in 2007. It hasn't turned out that way. Ray has been shelled on several occasions, and now sports a 4.70 ERA. He has five losses to his credit (and three wins, which is nothing to get excited about in your closer) and we're not even at the All-Star break.
Like Ray, setup man Danys Baez has been a headache. Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford -- the other major additions to the exciting revamped bullpen -- have been solid, but are often used poorly. John Parrish and Todd Williams are invitations to the other team to score runs.
While Erik Bedard has been good and Jeremy Guthrie a revelation in the rotation, the rest of the team outside of Brian Roberts has flat-out stunk, and that includes the team's lone star player, Miguel Tejada.
The former MVP shortstop has hit cleanup most of the season, and he's gotten his singles in. He's hitting .300 (though he's been slumping) and that's just super. But his power is gone. With seven homers and a slugging percentage below .430, Tejada hasn't come close to earning his money this season. At 31 years of age, it's unlikely we're going to see a return of the 30-homer Miguel Tejada.
So why not go ahead and put him out there? There are teams out there that would gladly take a shortstop with a .300 average and a track record like Miggi's.
It's time to trade Miguel Tejada. There is no reason for this team to hang on to him.
The pipe dreams that Mark Teixeira will come and save the Orioles, and that all the young guys will pan out (please, huh?), and that the Orioles will amazingly change their decade-long streak of utter incompetence don't excite me. This is a franchise that is rotten from the top down, and until this team actually goes out and wins 90 games, I won't believe they can do it even if they signed every one of the game's best players at every position on the field.
What good does having a declining Tejada do for the Orioles? They're in last place. This is not a team that can be salvaged. The owner is an infamous idiot. The manager has so quickly become the scourge of the fanbase that I think some of us wish Lee Mazzilli was still in charge. Leo Mazzone has managed to succeed with exactly one of his several projects in his first two seasons, and the rest have been a mess.
Melvin Mora and Jay Gibbons are albatrosses. Nick Markakis' second season has not been a success, though I am not really worried about Markakis. The clock struck twelve on Corey Patterson, and he's completely useless. Aubrey Huff, predictably, really sucks.
This is a horrible team, worse even than the record they sport that sees them seven games under .500 and in last place, which has simply been a long time coming. More or less, the Orioles in last place has just been a waiting game -- whenver Tampa Bay got their ducks in a row, this was bound to happen without some serious change. And serious change doesn't mean a handful of relievers that got overpaid, a washed-up Huff, and Jay Payton's singles. It also can't simply hinge on Mark Teixeira, as we've seen how Tejada has done in a similar situation.
Going back to Tejada being traded, the time is right simply because it might be the last time we can get a package back that will really benefit the team. Wait any longer, and you might not be able to sell Tejada as an All-Star shortstop. He's not the same hitter he was a couple of years ago. His power started dropping in the second half of 2005, and it has yet to recover.
I don't want to get into possible returns on Tejada, because that's not the point. I'm not here to play GM. I just know that this team is pointless, the same as the rest, and that the Orioles may as well accept it and not continue the same old song and dance where we pretend it's just a thing or two what needs fixin' before the team catches fire. Tejada is no help to this club. Let's let Miggi go free, and get back what we can. I don't really have anything against the guy, and if he goes, I'll be thankful for what he tried to do. It's obvious that he doesn't want to be here, and it's also very clear that it wouldn't really matter whether he was or wasn't. This team doesn't need his help to lose games.