clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Russ Ortiz and Chris Ray

New, 20 comments

I think I just threw up a little.

The Orioles likely will show interest in veteran right-hander Russ Ortiz once he becomes a free agent today. The Arizona Diamondbacks released Ortiz last week, because he had been grossly ineffective since signing a four-year deal before last season.

Ortiz posted his only 20-win season under Leo Mazzone's tutelage in Atlanta. His agent, John Boggs, said he expects significant league-wide interest in the pitcher.

"I would like to think there is going to be a lot of interest. We're talking about an established pitcher here," Boggs said. "We're looking for a team that shows confidence in Russ and can give him an opportunity."

Boggs said Ortiz's familiarity with Mazzone can only help the Orioles' cause.

"Leo knows Russ and knows what he is capable of," he said. "In the case of Baltimore, it could be a perfect situation because he knows Leo. You go back to people you believe in. He's just trying to find the best place where he can be the pitcher he knows he is capable of being."

The 32-year-old right-hander signed a $33 million deal with Arizona but was 5-11 with a 6.89 ERA in 2005 and 0-5 with a 7.54 ERA this season. He won just one of his last 19 starts for the Diamondbacks, who still owe Ortiz about $22 million.

That's super, man! Superman! Because that Jim Brower stuff worked out really well.

Bad pitchers are bad pitchers. Leo Mazzone can't magically make them good, particularly if he's already magically made said bad pitcher useful before. I mean it's not like Mazzone's miracle fix guys -- your Hammonds and Holmses and Sosas and what have you -- have had continued success. They are flashes in the proverbial pans. Ortiz had a few years (and a couple before he got to Mazzone, so I shouldn't even be giving Leo any credit with Russ Ortiz) where he was a little better than the league average. That's really it. Last year he fell off the cliff.

So no, I don't think wasting time with Russ Ortiz is a great idea. I mean, the likely quotes from Leo, Perlozzo and the front office just write themselves here, don't they?

"Russ Ortiz has in the past proven himself as a major league starting pitcher. He's had some great success in his career, and is the type of guy that can chew up a lot of innings. Blah blah blah blah. We have supreme confidence. He worked with Leo Mazzone before! So on and so forth, Tippy Canoe and Tyler too."

And it's all BS. Rodrigo Lopez unfortunately had another good start last night so he's buying himself more time in the rotation, since we all know very well that it takes an extreme case for anyone within this franchise to do anything about shitty performance. (And I only say unfortunately because I expect this to continue the rest of the season -- bad start, bad start, bad start, maybe we should take him out of the rotation? Good start! Oh, hooray! He is sure to turn it around!)

So Ortiz would be moving out Loewen, probably, and while I don't necessarily mind that in the grand scheme of things, what's the point? Are we going to win 76 games instead of 74? And that's if Ortiz PERFORMS BETTER THAN HE HAS THE LAST TWO SEASONS, which might be a really big leap of faith to take.

But, whatever. Bad pitching is our game. I shouldn't be surprised.

Now, about Chris Ray:

Chris Ray watched from the bullpen as Rodrigo Lopez did a masterful job for seven innings against the Washington Nationals.

Ray remained seated as LaTroy Hawkins retired the side in the eighth. Then, as the Baltimore Orioles batted in the bottom half, the young closer began throwing -- hard.

Finally, when the game turned to the ninth inning, Ray trotted in from center field with one thought on his mind: redemption.

Word. Chris Ray's still the man.