A lot of baseball offseason rumors involve which teams are interested in which players and why. Sometimes you hear about why a team - such as the Orioles - is not interested in a player - such as recent Blue Jay Jose Bautista.
There are plenty of reasons not to want the Orioles to sign Bautista. He will cost their top draft choice. He is old, having just turned 36 this past season. He may be in decline, having just turned in his worst season since 2009, with only an .817 OPS in 116 games. He only hit 22 home runs. He was hurt. And he will cost a lot of money.
Those are all good reasons not to sign Bautista. The Orioles, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, offered a different reason to Bautista’s agent as to why they won’t sign him:
Orioles prefer to keep draft, too, but to explain why Bautista doesn't fit, they told JB camp: O's fans just don't like him— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2016
So, congratulations, Birdland. We are all collectively part of the reason why the Orioles are, at this juncture, telling Bautista’s agent that they won’t sign him.
There’s plenty to not like about Bautista, who has beefed with a few different Orioles over the last several years. Most Orioles fans probably have their own reasons. That doesn’t make it a good reason for the O’s to not sign him. But it is a hilarious reason, whether it’s true or not.
Maybe the Orioles just said that reason because they thought it would be funny, even if it wasn’t the #1 reason. I mean, honestly, wouldn’t that be a ridiculous thing if it was true? It would be ridiculous, but again, hilarious.
If a player comes to Baltimore and plays well for a good Orioles team, nearly all sins will be forgiven. Even for Bautista, who’s among the more disliked players from teams in recent years, that’s true. They’d probably be forgiven right around the first time Bautista hit a go-ahead homer.
There are worse things to contemplate than Bautista falling through the cracks of the free agent market and ending up in Baltimore on a one year contract with serious motivation to put together an Eff You season. It was never a very likely outcome.
Maybe hiding behind the fan dislike is a way of saying that Orioles players don’t like Bautista. Adam Jones or Darren O’Day, who are among those who’ve had words with him in the past, might not particularly want to suit up next to the guy. That would be a bit more understandable.
This probably doesn’t mean anything because it was never a very likely occurrence anyway. It’s probably really bad if it’s actually true. But even so: LOL