Mets have blueprint for success in 2012 Orioles

No one had this recipe in their cookbook. The Baltimore Orioles haven’t made the playoffs, the past 14 seasons, has never operated as a ‘big market team’ payroll wise, and has been consistently been ranked in the lower ranks of organizational talent.

No, this was not the recipe for success.

We’re not going to offer up any magic spells here. No, we’re just going to break out exactly what Baltimore did in one season to turn this into the powerhouse they are now.

1. Change the Brain trust and Mindset of the Team – You want to be a winner? Hire winners: Named Rick Peterson director of pitching development; Mike Boulanger minor league hitting coordinator; Mike Bordick special assignment instructor, Bobby Dickerson roving infield instructor; Don Werner roving catching instructor; Butch Davis roving outfield instructor; Eric Cormell roving base running and speed training instructor; Scott McGregor rehabilitation coordinator; Dave Schmidt coordinator of Sarasota operations; Ron Johnson manager and Denny Walling hitting coach for Norfolk (IL); Jose Hernandez field coach at Frederick (Carolina); Einar Diaz field coach at Delmarva (SAL); Gary Allenson manager, Brad Komminsk hitting coach and Alan Mills pitching coach for Aberdeen (NYP); Larry Jaste; Sarah Gelles baseball analytics coordinator and Ben Werthan advance scouting coordinator. Promoted John Stockstill to director of player personnel, Tripp Norton to director of baseball administration, Ned Rice to assistant director of major league operations and Mike Snyder assistant director of scouting and player development.

2. Extend the heart of your team – CF Adam Jones (.288, 29-HR) represents the future of this team and his contract was running out at the end of the 2013 season. He now 85 million reasons to be happy eating crabs through the 2018 season.

3. Be Selective in Free agent signings – they signed P Wei-Yin Chen in the off-seaosn to a 3-year, $11.388mil contract through the 2014 season (12-9, 4.06)

4. Lock Up You Key Players – Six more key members of the 25-man have extended contracts that extend as early as 2014 (OF Nick Markakis, 2B Brian Roberts, and as long as 2015 (P Dylan Bundy)

5. Fill The Rest of The 25-man with One-year Contracts – they signed one via a trade (RHP Jason Hammel – with RHP Matt Lindstrom for RHP Jeremy Guthrie), five off the waivers list (C Luis Esposito – from Boston, SS Omar Quintanilla – from NY Mets, C Nate McLouth – from Atlanta, RP Joe Saunders – from Arizona, RP Randy Wolf – from Milwaukee) and 12 free agent signings (LHP Wei-Yin Chen – (3/yr deal), RHP Darren O’Day – (1/yr. deal – $1.35mil), RHP Jim Johnson – (1/yr deal – $2.625mil), IF Robert Andino – (1/yr. deal $1.3mil), IF Steve Tolleson – (1/yr. deal), RHP Steve Johnson – (1/yr. deal), RHP Luis Ayala – (1/yr deal $825K), RHP Tommy Hunter (1/yr. deal $493.5K), LHP Zach Phillips (1/yr. deal), RHP Pedro Strop (1/yr. deal – $482.5K), C Taylor Teagarden (1/yr. deal $489.5K), RHP Chris Tillman (1/yr. deal)

(I went to the official web site on 9-9-12 and the Orioles listed 34 players on their “active” (post-August) roster. 18 of them, or over 50% of the current active roster was obtained through one-year contracts, waiver deals or trades.)

6. Who Let The Dogs In? – Various relic ‘names’ came and went through the clubhouse looking for lightning to strike in the bottle…LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Joel Pineiro, OF Endy Chavez, LHP Jamie Moyer, RHP Matt Lindstrom, C Ronnie Paulino all had a locker at some point this season, and are now not part of the success.

7. Move Up and Play Your Primary Prospects – No one is ever going to accuse the Orioles as having a deep minor league system. This makes all this success even stranger this season.

There have only been 11 Baltimore draft picks since 2005 to play in the majors before SS Manny Machado was called up. They are, and where they are now, are:

2005 – 1st round – P Garrett Olson – Mets

2006 – 1st round – P Pedro Beato – Boston

2nd round – Ryan Adams – 89 lifetime at bats

3rd round – Zach Britton – 11-11, 4.51 lifetime Baltimore

4th round – Blake Davis – 59 lifetime at bats

6th round – Jason Berken – 10-17, 5.34 – CWS

2007 – 1st round – Matt Wieters

5th round – P Jake Arrieta – 16-14, 4.88 lifetime – Baltimore

7th round – Matt Angle – 79 lifetime at bats – Baltimore

2008 – 1st round – Brian Matusz

#4 round – Kyle Hudson – 28 lifetime at bats – Philly

2009 – no one

2010 – no one

2011 – no one

There really are only three “prospects” that have added anything to the current team

SS Manny Machado – called up late in the season – hitting .274

C Matt Weiters – 1st round (5th overall) – 2007 – 5th season in organization – signed 1/yr. $500K contract for 2012

LHP Brian Matusz – 1st round (4th overall) – 2008 – 4th season in organization –


I’m not suggesting the Mets should operate this way, though it does seem to mirror some of the same issues Flushing currently has (by the way, all this above was done at a salary range in the high-90’s, similar to the Mets also.

The key here seems to be the results derived from the players you have signed to a 1-year contract.

Nothing stands out team-stat wise… 8th in pitching (Mets 11th)… 10th in hitting (Mets 10th)… last in fielding (Mets 12th).

They just seem to score more runs more often than the team they are playing, regardless of how much they kick the ball around.

11 comments for “Mets have blueprint for success in 2012 Orioles

  1. Metsense
    September 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    It is apparent that the most cost effective way to build a team is through the farm system. Free agents of the high dollar multiple year contract are usually not a value. Free agents that are short term, like many of the one year pitching contracts signed during the winter of 2011, are less risky and serve the purpose of improving the team by filling a need for the upcoming season. In general, free agents should be signed as short term fill ins not long term solutions.
    Obtaining FA rentals at the trade deadline by taken on salary and only giving up second tier prospects seems to be the easiest way to surgically fill your needs for that particular season without mortgaging the future and interfering with the overall franchise plan.

    “Each year, free-agent-eligible players get about 75% of payroll, but they only produce about 30% of all WAR. The average team gets about 12 WAR from Auction-Market talent, but 26 WAR from Non-Market Talent. At the current price of free-agent talent, it’s effectively impossible to build a team out of auction-market talent alone.
    It’s possible to win big with NM WAR alone. You just need to be both very lucky and very good at scouting and development.”Matt Swartz – May 4, 2012 Fangraphs. Baltimore seems to fit this analysis. Baltimore may not be able to pull it off again in 2013 but look at the revenue it would have generated in Citi if the Mets had an Oriole like year.

    The Mets have an advantage over Baltimore: excellant pitching in the minor league system and some young “average” talent on the roster. It is the ownerships lack of capital investment (and I don’t mean high priced free agents) and the GM not doing anything constructive when the need was recognized.

    • NormE
      September 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Very Good!

  2. steevy
    September 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    The Orioles are a house of cards,playing 10 full games better than their pythagorean.They use a guy with a .280 OBP in the 2 hole every night.Next year they lose at least 90 games(if the roster stays the same).

    • Mack Ade
      September 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm


      I offer no opinion of the Orioles, be it this year or next. I simply break down what that are putting on the field right now.

      Today, they DFA’s Kevin Gregg and Ryn Adams and replaced them with Endy Chavez and L.J. Hoes.

      Again, just the facts, Steevy.

    • Just the Facts, Maam
      May 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Steevy…If Gausman performs, not only will the Os not lose 90 games, they may well win the division.

  3. Chris F
    September 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Mack, I think your number 1 point is the biggest thing out there. And so the blueprint cannot executed in Flushing. The very top of what you wrote is missing. Even if we shook up a lot of the coaching, we clearly have a failed owner that does not inspire success, nor appears capable of delivering success. We have a GM hamstrung by said owners. I would fire the coaaching staff up and down the chain on the big club for sure, and apparently by your story all the way down. By comparison the hiring of Dan Duquette to run baseball operations was a big plus in Baltimore and that ushered in a whole new era. By keeping Warthen and Hudgens the message was sent that no matter how bad you are, your job is safe. We have the worst pen in the bigs and have a team that cannot hit breaking balls (lefty v lefty or righty v righty—look at Wright flail against the low and outside stuff).

    The blueprint for success is simple, and in my opinion it is not in Baltimore. Rather, the blueprint for success is the Dodger model, where new ownership injects the much needed and life giving blood to the team. And then fire every single person in management.

    • Mack Ade
      September 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      I can’t prove it, but I truly believe that Sandy Alderson took this job thinking that Fred Wilpon would not survive the Madoff mess. Then, his good friend, the Commissioner, would administrate the team through a similar process the Dodgers went through. Alderson would have carte blance through this process to return this team to a winner.

      Didn’t happen.

      • NormE
        September 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm

        Speaking of things that can’t be proven, but might be believed, I believe that:
        1. The Wilpons screwed Alderson by misleading him on Jose Reyes. Alderson must have believed there was money to sign (and then trade) Reyes.
        Letting Reyes go as a free agent just didn’t meet the rational test, and Alderson is a rational person.
        2. The only thing stopping Alderson from quitting is his commitment to Selig. Sandy, like Bud, is loyal.

        • September 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

          My can’t be proven theory:

          Alderson knew exactly what he was getting into. He took the job as a favor and his reward would be to replace Selig as MLB Commissioner.

          Edit: And to rehabilitate the images of his pals DePo and JP

          • Mack Ade
            September 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

            Actually Brian, you’re theory is, what I understand, correct. Selig promised Alderson his job when he would step down at “the end of his term”. Then, he signed up again. which leads to to Norm E’s things that can’t be proven… doesn’t Selig owe Alderson and not the other way around?

  4. David Rubin
    September 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    There is one other thing that needs to be mentioned. Buck Showalter, not Joe Torre, was the man behind the Yankees mid-90’s success and beyond. Like Riggelman in Washington, he isn’t around to pick the fruits of his labor, due to wanting more input into player personnel issues then the Yanks braintrust wanted to give him (and it seems like he was wrong in wanting Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Williams, Rivera, etc…, huh?). Showalter has given back to the org, along with everyone else u named, the old “Orioles way” of doing things, which made them amongst the handful of most successful teams in the game from the mid-60’s thru the early 90’s. Showalter’s contributions can’t be minimized, as they usually are by the media that pigeonholes him as “hard for players to get along with” and his control-freak title. However, as you alluded to, the O’s are in a very similar situation as this current Mets’ team is, and with the right dash of young pitching (which we have in abundance) and one or three key signings next season, there’s no reason why the Mets can’t be the “surprise team” in the NL East next season…

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