*Any direct Jon Taffer and/or Michael Tipps quotes are originally from SpikeTV’s Bar Rescue. Please don't sue me, this is a parody.
Every year, dozens of baseball teams nationwide fail to make the playoffs. If something isn’t done soon, the Baltimore Orioles will become just another statistic. Under new general management, the Orioles reached great levels of success in 2012. But a recent cold streak leaves them just six short weeks from closing their doors for good… for the 2013 season.
Jon Taffer, from an SUV in Lot B/C: Alright there they are, the Orioles. I’ve had MASN cameras following them around for weeks. You know I love my Yelp reviews, let’s see what the people have to say about this team. "The closer sucks and the manager does things that don’t make sense." "The starting pitchers are inconsistent and tire early in games." "The offense is good but can’t get on the same page."
"Expert" Consultant: You can’t run a team like that, Jon. Everyone needs to pull their weight for things to go smoothly.
Taffer: I think I’ve seen enough. I’m going in.
Nestled inside the baseball shrine of Camden Yards in Downtown Baltimore lies the Orioles: A 25-man baseball team with a shaky bullpen, a top-heavy batting order, and an underutilized MVP candidate.
Taffer: Hello, my name is Jon Taffer. I’ve rescued over eight hundred baseball teams in my career. For the next few days, you guys work for me.
Buck Showalter: How did you get in here?
Taffer: Let me ask you something. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR STARTING PITCHERS IN THE GAME TOO LONG WHEN THEY GET INTO TROUBLE AND YOU HAVE A RESTED BULLPEN? WHY DO YOU KEEP PITCHING RELIEVERS MORE THAN ONE INNING WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO?
Buck: Take a step back, you're spitting on me. Do you work for Dan Duquette or something?
Taffer: DAN’S ASS IS ON THE LINE HERE. HOW DO YOU KEEP THROWING OUT JIM JOHNSON IN THE SAME SITUATION OVER AND OVER AGAIN, EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS?
Jim Johnson: Whoa, why are you dragging me into this?
Taffer: DON’T QUESTION ME, I’VE RESCUED OVER FOUR THOUSAND BASEBALL TEAMS IN MY LIFE. YOU’RE LUCKY I DON’T FIRE YOUR ASS RIGHT NOW. Now you guys know I don’t do this alone.
Chris Davis: Do… what, exactly?
Taffer: That’s why I’ve brought in Michael Tipps to give me a hand. Michael, take a look around and see what you can find.
Michael Tipps: Jon, this team is a mess. I mean, they keep bunting when they don’t need to. The batting order makes no sense. And look at this thing (grabs Nick Markakis’ bicep). No wonder he doesn't have an extra base hit in over a month.
Taffer: RESPONSIBILITY STARTS AT THE TOP, BUCK. AND LOOK AT YOU! HOW CAN YOU EXPECT THEM TO FALL IN LINE UNTIL YOU GET IT TOGETHER?
Buck: I mean, I’ve left a few pitchers in too long here or there but…
Taffer: I DON’T EMBRACE EXCUSES, I EMBRACE SOLUTIONS. I’M GONNA COME BACK TOMORROW AND THIS DAMN PLACE BETTER BE CLEAN.
Adam Jones: You mean like, we should clean the dugout? I’m lost.
Taffer: Alright everyone, we’ve come a long way since that explosive first day. I think I’ve left you with something that is going to turn your fate around. Everybody turn around on the count of three. 1… 2… 3!
Adam Jones: What exactly are we supposed to be looking at?
Taffer: Remember that old closer you had that wasn’t getting the job done? Gone. I got my buddies at Baseball Info Solutions to come in and replace it with a system that makes sense. We’re gonna rotate new guys in as the situation requires to keep things fresh.
Jim Johnson: Yeah, I’m actually okay with that.
Taffer: Nick Markakis is not getting anywhere near the middle of the order from here on out, and Chris Davis is batting third. Baseball is a science guys, and even if moving Davis up in the lineup only gets him a few more at bats this season, that 1% increase in efficiency could make a difference.
Buck: Hey, don’t tell me how to run my team. Why are you still here? Do you have an access pass?
Taffer: LISTEN TO ME, BUCK. I’VE BEEN IN THIS BUSINESS FOR THIRTY YEARS AND RESCUED OVER TWELVE THOUSAND BASEBALL TEAMS. The players need to do better if this team wants to have a shot at the playoffs, but you need to be a better manager too. I know you’re loyal, but you can’t keep letting your guys try to pitch out of trouble, because IT ISN’T WORKING. Stop bunting so much with one of the best hitting teams in baseball. Put the best hitters in the lineup where they are supposed to be, and keep it that way every day. This is a business. There’s no time for playing favorites.
Fixing a baseball team is easy. Fixing people is tough.