Major League Baseball
Tuesday, June 27, 2006; 2:00 PM
Washington Post staff writer Jorge Arangure Jr., who covers the Baltimore Orioles, was online Tuesday, June 27, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the latest major league baseball news.
The transcript follows.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Hey everyone, welcome to the chat.
Before I answer any questions here let me offer a clarification on today's story. When I wrote that there had been a link between Tejada and the Grimsley investigation there may have been an implication that: 1. I had seen the affidavit. 2. that there had been a public link to Tejada and the investigation.
Neither of those are correct. When writing that the two names (Tejada and Grimsley) had been tied together, I mistakenly implied that there had yet been a public link. There has not been a link established. It was a miscalculation on my part. A mistake. This needed to be clarified. After a discussion with several editors, we feel the best way to clarify this is to offer a correction saying there has not yet been a public link. And that's my fault.
I stand by the rest of the article.
Now if all of you are still interest we can chat about this clarification, the other parts of the Tejada article or any other Oriole or baseball topic. Let's go.
washingtonpost.com: O's Appear Willing to Trade Tejada, (Post, June 27, 2006)
Virginia Beach, Va.: At the Orioles/Nationals games last weekend, why were players wearing a small number 44 on their left jersey sleeves? Great chats . . . San Diego rocks!
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Let's go with an simple one here to ease our way into this chat. The quick answer is that the 44 is for former Oriole player and longtime bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks, who passed away in December. He is missed tremendously by the Orioles, though his number won't likely be retired because the team wants to stick to a policy of only retiring Hall of Fame player numbers.
Burke, Va.: Jorge, I always enjoy your writing and your music suggestions. This line from your article last week was particularly rich:
"With no outs in the fourth inning, Melvin Mora, in his ninth season in the majors, attempted to take third on a single by Miguel Tejada with Baltimore trailing by four runs. Mora was thrown out at third by Amezaga and Baltimore's rally fizzled."
What a great way to subtly let the reader know a vet like Mora should know better! Loved it.
My question -- how are the Orioles coming along in signing their draft picks?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Thanks for the compliment. It feels good to read that on a day when you know you screwed up.
To answer your question. The Orioles have signed a bunch of draft picks, but not their first rounder Billy Rowell. What was thought to be an easy negotiation might become a bit more cumbersome. Rowell is asking for $2.1 million while the Orioles are offering $2 million. That might seem like chump change, but to a high school kid the $100,000 is a big different. To the Orioles that amount shouldn't be considered too much. There seems to be a stand off at this point in negotiations.
Alexandria, Va.: Jorge, I did not see anything wrong with what you said about Grimsley and Tejada. I think the general public has come up with the same conclusion. Great piece. Keep up the good work.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Thanks for the support, but the problem is that there shouldn't be a link between the two names if one hasn't been proven yet. That is part of the problem of trying these cases in the media. Sometimes it's difficult to know what is an established link and what isn't and what we as reporters need to do to be fair to players and personnel involved. Like I've said before, I screwed up.
Orono, Maine: The Post said today that the Orioles would want a "Major League pitcher" in exchange for Tejada. Any idea who that pitcher might be? Will they be seeking a top-of-the rotation guy?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Any trade for Tejada likely has to include a top of the rotation type starter. But the problem also is that losing Tejada will obviously weaken the lineup. But if they get a top of the rotation starter then they can deal either Cabrera or Bedard for a bat. It's difficult to say who that starter is because no serious talks have taken place for tejada. But the Orioles are certainly willing to listen.
Silver Spring, Md.: In your column today you said that the O's appear willing to trade Miguel Tejada and that several teams have inquired. Do you have any info on which teams and what they may be offering in return?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Any talks at this point are in the early stages with no real substance to them. It's not worth yet printing names or teams since nothing serious has happened yet.
Ijamsville, Md.: Yo Jorge,
Ever since Russ Ortiz was released by the D'backs, one would figure that the O's would be interested in him. Sort of reminds me of what happened with Bruce Chen, (except Chen didn't have the numbers and salary of Ortiz) he was released and the O's picked him up cheap in 2004 and until Chen's bad pitching this year, it's a decent move for the O's. Hopefully Ortiz can turn it around with the O's.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: It's certainly worth a try. But one scout I talked to yesterday said he doesn't see much hope for Ortiz. It's hard to say at this point what he'll contribute. Perhaps Mazzone can do something to help him out. Maybe not. But he came cheap and by plugging him into the rotation the Orioles can allow Loewen to find some success in the minors.
Denton, Md.: Everyone was pleased when "nice guy" Sam Perlozzo was named to manage the team, but I'm wondering if they might not benefit from a more fiery type. Look what Jim Leyland has accomplished with the Tigers! With my usual bad timing, I saw the first and last game vs. the Marlins and then yesterday's loss to the Nats. I had never seen Dontrelle Willis pitch before, so didn't mind sitting through his near-complete game, but all 3 games were replete w/stupid baserunning gaffes, ineffectual pitching, just a general lack of hustle and a seeming disinterest in the game. I know it must be frustrating knowing they almost certainly have no chance to finish higher than 4th this season, but the way they are going they may well finish 5th, leaving those of us with a long drive to and from the park to wonder anew if we should continue our season ticket plans.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I think you have a wrong impression of Perlozzo. Though he is a nice guy, he can get pretty fiery when dealing with his players. I've written how earlier this year how he chastised a group of rookies playing cards prior to a game. Perlozzo is not always a nice guy and I still think he's a good fit for the team. The problem, as it was with Mike Hargrove and in some respects Lee Mazzilli, is the team needs to improve the talent level on the roster.
Coronado, Calif.: Do you consider the NL West race wide open? Where do you expect the Padres to finish, and what are their weaknesses?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I think there's no question the NL West is wide open. The Padres could finish first or last and at this point it's hard to know which. Obviously San Diego is a bad offensive team and it doesn't help they play at Petco park, which has been a pitcher's park since it opened.
Columbia, Md.: Is Baltimore ready for the return of Sal Fasano? Sal's Pals will be running wild tonight at the Yard!
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I'm looking forward to seeing Sal. He's a great guy and an honest guy. He had a sense of humor and he knew the game really well. It would not surprise me if he became a manager or coach some day. I'm not so sure about the fu manchu mustache though. I'll have to ask what he was thinking there.
Washington, D.C.: "Former Oriole player and longtime bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks..."
I'm not complaining Jorge, just merely pointing out that what you wrote while factually correct, doesn't begin to describe what Elrod Hendricks meant not just to the Orioles, but to Baltimore. Most Orioles fans from Baltimore are very upset that more isn't being done to honor him by the evil that is Peter Angelos. Just check out any Orioles fan blog at the time he passed away and you'll see how tight a family Baltimore really was.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: No doubt Elrod meant a lot to the team and community. It would be impossible for me to fit it in to a chat. And I figured most people here knew who Elrod was and didn't so much of an explanation.
Falls Church, Va.: What is the background music of the day?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Any suggestions involving music about screwing up?
Falls Church, Va.: Jorge, Ortiz? This has to say that the O's are considering trading Lopez and Benson. With Penn coming back you would think that the rotation could handle losing one of those guys without picking another washed-up guy.
Keep up the great work.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: The O's hope that Ortiz can become a successful part of the rotation but they're not basing their future decision on it. I don't think it would be prudent to count Ortiz is a dependable starter just yet. Maybe he'll flame out just like he did in Arizona. or maybe he does as well as he did in Atlanta. At this point the Orioles front office does not know.
Omaha, Neb.: Any chance you saw the highlights of the error that cost North Carolina the College World Series last night? The second baseman, Bryan Steed, was given a throwing error which cost the Tar Heels the game. He now has goat horns now that will last his entire life. BUT...it looked to me like the throw was only marginally offline and the 1st baseman, Tim Federowicz, was certainly equally, and perhaps more, responsible for botching the play. Do you have any insight on "official scoring" that might explain this miscarriage of baseball justice?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: It was a tough play to score and in reality I doubt either Steed or Federowicz cares who received the error. I'm sure their main concern was that the game was lost. I probably would have scored the play as the official scorer did.
A Fiery Manager for the O's...: ...I hear the Asheville Tourists' manager may be looking for work soon.
washingtonpost.com: Minor League Manager Leaves It Out on the Field, ( Post, June 27, 2006 )
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I still can't imagine what compelled that manager to do that. It was the best tirade I've ever seen, though I'm not sure it helps his chances of one day getting to the majors.
Music of the day...: "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion comes to mind...
Given the relatively satisfactory pitching over the last week, could the O's be turning a corner on that front, or is it just hopeful thinking? Also, is Miggy injured? The number of double-plays he's hit into is astounding.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: There's no doubt the pitching has gotten better but I remain skeptical. Let's see some consistency before we say the rotation is fixed.
I don't believe Tejada is injured. Grounding into double plays is something he's always done. sSme of the great hitters do. Let's remember that Cal Ripken Jr. holds the all time record for hitting into double plays.
Washington, D.C.: I was disturbed this weekend to see Tejada's lack of hustle on the base paths. How long has this been going on and is the manager doing anything about it?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: This is where i don't envy Sam Perlozzo. What is a manager to do? If he thinks Tejada isn't hustling then perhaps he benches him. But he can't really bench Tejada because of the consecutive games streak that obviously means a great deal to him.
RFK Section 212: Hey, San Diego-boy -
Statistical anomaly, or is the American League just better than the National League?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: The American League to me is clearly better than the National League. If you go division by division by division you'll see that few teams in the NL could compete in the American League. I mean I love the Padres, but do you think any of those teams in the NL west are much better than the Orioles? Probably not. If the Padres played in the AL East I'm pretty confident that they would slip to the bottom of the standings.
Baltimore, Md.: Glad you descended from Mount Olympus to take our questions, Jorge. Here's mine: It sounds like the O's are contemplating trading Miguel Tejada for younger players. Not a horrible idea on its face, but if that happens, then wouldn't the O's be faced with a gaping void at shortstop? They have no noteworthy middle-infield prospects in the farm system. And much as I like Brandon Fahey's pluck and grit, he ain't a major-league starting shortstop.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Mount Olympus huh? Some people are probably think I'm crawling from under a rock today.
The Orioles could afford to have a player like Fahey in the lineup if they had some offense somewhere else. If they could get a power hitting outfielder then it wouldn't matter so much to have Fahey hitting 8 or 9. Fahey's defense is terrific and that's a reason to have him there if the Orioles could get some hitting from elsewhere.
Re: background music: Go with Sonic Youth's new one. It helps get through the rough days!
Just one quick word. I'm more of a "Barry" fan because he writes for the right team (which is your first and major mistake). But I sincerely applaud your intro. Your accountability is so lost in today's "news". Very much appreciated....don't beat yourself up too much. It's not like you promised us WMDs would be found.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: You had me until the "Barry fan" thing.
Huntsville, Ala.: There seems to have been a substantial fall-off in Tejada's play this year. I hear comments that his range has decreased substantially, that he doesn't hustle down to first base, and his bat seems slower. What's going on?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Let's not forget that players age like the rest of us. I'm sure all you can't bend down as well as you used to. Perhaps what Tejada may want to do is have a better conditioning plan in the offseason. Just because he used to be able to take a lot of time off after the season doesn't mean he can do the same now.
Re: Tejada's Lack of Hustle: Are we sure it's not the nagging knee injury, and not a lack of hustle, that's causing him to run more slowly?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: It could be. Tejada won't admit that though. He doesn't talk about injuries and won't make excuses. But clearly he did appear a step slower this weekend.
New York, N.Y.: Has Baltimore responded in any way to your story? Will you go into the clubhouse today?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: There's no question I'll be in the clubhouse today like I would any other day. And when I see Tejada I'll apologize to him too.
washingtonpost.com: O's Appear Willing to Trade Tejada, (Post, June 27, 2006)
Ashamed to suggest it: "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I like the thought. But there's no way Cher would ever be the theme music of any of my chats.
Bethesda, Md.: What's up with Brian Roberts? He is hitting well, but has absolutely no power. What changed from last year?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: The difference he's explained is that the elbow injury kept him from participating in his normal offseason training routine. He couldn't lift weights while rehabilitating. His legs remained strong because he could run as usual, but he couldn't lift.
Keep Tejada: Only because I have no confidence that the bumbling front office and meddling owner can pull off a trade that would benefit the O's now and in the future. I'd rather have a sulking Tejada (who's still on pace for a monster year) than a bunch of mid-level prospects and a #4 starter. You know that's what we'd get in return.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I think you don't give the orioles front office enough credit here. You can't argue that their decisions to acquire Ramon Hernandez, Kris Benson and Corey Patterson have helped the team immensely. Now you can honestly say the team has solid foundations at catcher and center field.
Svlruga Falls, Ore.: Ha! Barry never retracts anything, -especially- when he's wrong! Shame on you, Jorge.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Barry never thinks he's wrong.
Detroit, Mich.: Jorge, with Tampa Bay having young and talented starts like Crawford, Cantu, and Baldelli, who do you think has a brighter future: the D-Rays or O's?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: The Devil Rays have better offensive potential, the Orioles have better pitching potential. It all depends on whether Markakis can become a true Major League hitter or whether the Devil Rays can develop some pitching.
Andrew (Baltimore, Md.): Is Corey Patterson going to continue to contribute, or will he regress to something closer to his dismal recent history?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I honestly think Patterson will continue his success. Those who have known him for years really think he's changed him game for the better. No longer is he swinging for the fences, they say, but instead he is trying to get on base with bunts and using his speed more. I think Patterson might have figured it out.
Somerset, Va.: Hello Jorge: This isn't Orioles related, but Sunday after watching Barry Bonds hobble around the bases, I just don't see him able to continue. Do you think he's close to calling it quits this season? Will he even make it to the end of this season?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I can't say I have any insight to what will happen with Barry Bonds but I can't imagine he can continue to play as long as he knee aches so much. What many have speculated, and it seems to make sense, is that he would be best served by playing in the American League as a DH.
18th and M: Before anyone gets carried away with how well the O's pitching was last week, remember that half of those games were against the Nats offense (with their best hitter slumping).
Is the O's stalemate with their first round pick just one more "notch" in the whole "Oriole's front office/ownership is difficult to deal with" belt? Seems to me this team will never get better until it starts dealing with players in a similar manner as the rest of the league. Angelos' dealings ever since Moose and Palmiero left (the first time) have really handcuffed this team.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: The Orioles dealing with their first round pick is confounding. It seems to me that $100,000 shouldn't keep the team from having their top pick start his professional career as soon as possible.
Washington, D.C.: In the past, reporters have described Daniel Cabrera as coachable, as perhaps listening to too many voices. This year, he seems to have listened to the wrong one. Is his problem physical or mental? Is he frustrated by the walks, the lack of control, the inability to go more than 5 innings, or does he seem satisfied with his performance? Have the Orioles considered consulting with Ray Miller about Cabrera (or the other wayward starters)?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I don't think any of Cabrera's struggles have to do with being "uncoachable." I just think he's a tall kid, 6-foot-7, who has problems mastering his mechanics because of his size.
RFK Section 222, Row 3: Jorge,
While not about San Diego, my question comes from just up the road - Anaheim (or Los Angels depending on your point of view). Will Jared Weaver (the more talented Weaver brother) be back up in the majors soon? The guy was lights out in the majors and has been mowing down the minors since getting sent down.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I have to imagine that Weaver's stint in the minors won't last too long. He was too good to keep him down there. The awkward part is if the Angels have to demote or release his brother Jeff to bring Jared back up.
Potomac, Md.: It seems that the O's attendance against the Nats, at Camden Yards, was a lot better than the attendance at RFK. What do you think that the Nats marketing department should learn from this disparity?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I'm not sure the attendance figures are an indictment to anything the Nats publicity people did or didn't do. I think the problem is, as it has been this year, with the ownership situation. Now that the ownership is settled perhaps fans will start believing they have a franchise to stay.
Toronto, Canada: What's up Jorge? You think there's any chance that the Blue Jays could catch the Red Sox or Yankees?
Jorge Arangure Jr.: I think there's certainly a chance the Blue Jays could catch both teams. Both the Yankees and Red Sox have been forced to rely on young players and that is always dangerous.
Jorge Arangure Jr.: Alright everyone, thanks for stopping by. Different type of mood for this chat than usual, but I think you'll understand considering the circumstances. We'll talk again soon.
Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.