Thursday, January 08, 2004

O Crap.

I know the Orioles don't have much starting pitching, but according to this, the AL East is going to be one heck of a hitter's division next year. If what ESPN reports is correct, the Birds could very easily toss this out on April 5th:

Melvin Mora - 3b
Luis Matos - CF
Miguel Tejada - SS
Vladimir Guerrero - RF
Rafael Palmeiro - DH
Javy Lopez - C
Jay Gibbons - 1B
Larry Bigbie - LF
Brian Roberts - 2b

The order could change, but it seems pretty likely that all those players will be there. That's really something. Start with Matos and Gibbons, who both got their big kid pants last year, add a couple of MVP candidates in Miggie and Vlad, toss in a future HOF in Raffie Viags, and garnish with a solid catcher with 30 HR pop. Oh, also, Melvin Mora, who's coming off the best season of his life. I dare say there isn't much better out there. Unfortunately for the Baltimores, the people that throw the ball will look something like this:

Sidney Ponson (likely to return) - RHP
Rodrigo Lopez - RHP
Omal Daal (likely to stink) - LHP
Eric DuBose - LHP
Tracy Morgan - NBC's The Tracy Morgan Show

Ok, it will probably be Kurt Ainsworth and not T-Morg, but it's tough to predict how spring training battles will shake out. Their bullpen has some nice arms in Julio, Dejean, Parrish, and Ryan -- but that's not enough to make up for what will be a lot of 4 IP, 6 ER afternoons. Obviously there are holes here, but this team lost more than 90 games three years in a row, and in 2004 they're a lock for .500. I think. Irregahdless of it being irregahdless, that's some impressive GM work. Wait a few years, get some pitchers, they might just play a playoff game or two.

I'll take a one-way ticket to the AL Central please? Something with a window, not too close to the bathroom. Thanks.