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February 17, 2008

Soccer Dad: Different Directions

Posted by Soccer Dad

While Attila's away, I was invited to guest post here. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance until now.

Attila and I have a lot of shared interests, such as sports. Tennis playing bison for example. Another sport we both like is baseball. Truth is we don't discuss it much because, for me, it is quite painful. Since we've gotten to know each other, his team, the Mets has been pretty good and my team, the Orioles, stink. (Yes, I know that the Mets suffered a historic collapse last year and that can't have been fun to suffer through. But at least they collapsed from the top of their division to second place; the Orioles collapsed from barely adequate to positively hopeless spurred by a historic 30 - 3 drubbing.)

To make matters worse the Mets traded Kris and Anna Benson to the Orioles for John Maine. Benson provided the Orioles with one perfectly mediocre season before suffering an injury and Maine has gone on to be the Mets #2 or #3 pitcher.

Another sign about the relative strengths of our teams are the blockbuster trades they've made recently.

The Mets, with apparently fond memories of the Frank Viola trade, traded five prospects for Johann Santana of the Twins. Now Baseball Prospectus thinks that the Mets might be the best team in all of baseball.

The Orioles though - and still in that seeming passive aggressive mode - traded their best pitcher, Erik Bedard to the Mariners for five prospects. On one hand the team did the right thing. The Orioles were not going to be very good this year even with Bedard. Instead of attempting to reach .500 by signing the likes of Jay Payton or Aubrey Huff, the Orioles finally realize that they need to blow things up and start from scratch.

And that's what bugs. Sure it was correct to trade Erik Bedard and acquire a guy who might well be the second member of a top notch outfield. But there's something frustrating about a team that hasn't been able to operate competently for so long that it becomes necessary to trade someone like Bedard instead of keeping him and giving the fans someone to cheer about. Like Mike Mussina. (Whoops, they didn't keep him either.)