MacPhail's message to the fans

I am not sure what is was all about, but a video of O's president Andy MacPhail appeared on MLB.com today. It seems to be his update to the O's fans. Here is the transcript of what he said and the video link.

"I wanted to take an opportunity to talk to you a little bit about where we are at this stage of the season. As you know, we've all had to endure a terrifically horrendous start. That first 18 games were terribly problematic for us and really a miserable way to start the season. I think the issues we had are pretty self-evident.

"The first was our bullpen. The back end really couldn't hold the leads. We had four one-run leads going into the ninth and only converted one of them, and then we've had a terrific problem trying to score runners in scoring position. I think our batting average at one point was even below the interstate in that category, a number that is so bad that you would think it would be hard to sustain.

"And then we were confronted with an extraordinarily difficult part of our schedule where we had the Yankees and Red Sox, Yankees and Red Sox and then had the first-place Twins for four, over a 16-game period which we fortunately have gotten through now in decent fashion, 7-9. But when you consider 10 of those games were on the road, that's probably not too horrific, particularly when you consider the start we got off to.

"Overall, I would say our starting pitching has improved measurably from what it was a year ago. It's still not great, but it's clearly an improvement over where we were a year ago by leaps and bounds.

"It looks like we've stabilized the end of the bullpen now thanks largely to this point to Alfredo Simon and Will Ohman and the jobs they were doing, and Koji's back and has been effective for us in the eighth inning to this point, which is all encouraging.

"The problem we still have is our offense. It's not contributing near what it needs to contribute. We have a lot of players that either are absent, in terms of being disabled or simply not producing to the level that they did a year ago, which needs to improve.

"We're not getting nearly enough out of first base and left field and designated hitter and center field for that matter. So those areas need to improve their offensive production for us to become the kind of team we think we can become over the course of this season.

"If we don't get improvement in those areas, we're going to have to try to make those changes we think make sense for us, working internally first, as we've done in the bullpen, and then eventually as the season progresses, there will probably be more external options open to us and everybody else in that regard. So we appreciate your support.

"Keep the faith. We're going to get this thing straightened out. We need our farm system and our scouting to be a critical component of this, and we need to give some of these young players who are going through their sophomore seasons an opportunity to get out of that sophomore slump. So we sure appreciate your support."

Here is the video feed.

Ballpark update: As of around 5 p.m. it is raining at the Yard. The grounds crew put the tarp on the field, ending batting practice early. Weather.com calls for an 80 percent chance of rain at 7 p.m, going down to 50 percent at 8 and 9 o'clock.

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