Before I start this blog, let me start by saying I am a BIG Luke Scott fan. In fact, he is probably my favorite player and person on the Orioles. I enjoyed every conversation I had with Luke this season, both baseball and non-baseball related, and I found him to be both interesting and intelligent and also one of the most passionate and dedicated players not only on the Orioles but in baseball.
So everything I say beyond this sentence is in no way a knock on Luke. Got it? Ok good.
Here it goes.
I’ve beaten the Adam Dunn horse to death. I want him in Baltimore. I think he is exactly what the Orioles need, on and off the field, and I think if he was willing to move to the American League, an enticing offer from MacPhail/Angelos could lure the big man up Rt. 95 North and into the lovely Charm City of Baltimore. But I have two words for that concept: Oh well.
I do believe he is out of our reach. And I say “our” because as a reporter for the Orioles’ flagship radio station and the team’s television network, we are all in “this” together.
And by “this” I mean this losing disaster. Now I know I wasn’t here for the last... what... 11 years, to witness your pain first-hand, but I got a true sense of your frustrations after just two short months of covering your beloved birds. I already said on The Scott Garceau Show I would kidnap Dunn and throw him in the back of my SUV, but I’ve accepted the fact that even that won’t work. If I had a billion dollars I’d buy you all a top of the line shortstop, third baseman, DH and first baseman (sounds like I’m dishwasher shopping) and also find you the equivalent of Mariano Rivera and Pedro Martinez in their primes. Bookend pitchers, if you may. Because lets be honest here, you all want to root for a winning team and we all want to work for and cover a winning team. I had the luxury of covering the World Series Yankees in 2009 and let me tell you, it was nothing short of awesome. So hopefully you all (and we) all can experience a World Series together... soon.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a billion dollars. If I did you probably wouldn’t be reading this column right now because I never would have written it. I’d be on some deserted island off the coast of Mexico like Tom Hanks in “Cast Away.” So all I can do is tell you who is out there and then we, together, put our faith in the powers that be.
Scott, coming off his best year where he led team in home runs with 27 and his 72 RBI were second best to Ty Wigginton’s 76, finished the year with a career-high .284 batting average (in over 300 at-bats). But you know what they say, you have to give up something good to get something good in return.
So here are the big bats on the free-agent market that could be a potential fit at Camden Yards IF the 32-year old Luke Scott were to be PACKAGED for an arm or in a trade to fill one of the O’s infield holes.
Vladimir Guerrero: So he can’t run and he can’t field, but coming off the World Series with Texas, Vlad brings six years of postseason experience and launched 29 home runs with 115 RBI in 152 games in his first year with the Rangers. Remember, we’re talking DH. Not right fielder.
Jim Thome: Age is not on his side but the 40-year-old did hit 25 home runs for the Twins off the bench in just 273 at-bats. So in every 10.9 at-bats, Thome went yard. He’s known as one of the “good guys” of baseball and could provide a great veteran clubhouse presence in place of Kevin Millwood, who if I had to guess would rather have his eyes ripped out with a fork than return to Baltimore where he had the worse season of his career. In the late innings down by a run or two, who would you rather have off the bench, Craig Tatum, Jake Fox or Vlad? Just askin’ ....
Hideki Matsui: Plagued with two bad knees, Matsui DH’d throughout the entire 2009 season with the World Champion New York Yankees where he hit 29 home runs and recorded 90 RBI. But he saved his most impressive performance for the Fall Classic where he drove in a record-setting six of the Yankees’ seven runs in Game 6 and fell a triple short of the cycle. Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman, however, opted for the bat of Nick Johnson over Matsui’s and the Japanese slugger known as “Godzilla” back home signed a one-year $6M deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who sat out of this year’s postseason. In his first year with the Angels, Matsui hit seven less home runs and six less than ‘09 RBI but kept his batting average the same (.274).
Manny Ramirez: Camden Yards is an offensive park that would be perfect for this guy but as we all know, Manny comes with baggage. A lot of baggage. And I’m willing to bet the last thing the Orioles need is a six-month migraine. Not to mention, because of his laziness and bad attitude he’s better suited on a winning team. Do I really need to list his numbers? I didn’t think so. Manny is Manny.
Thoughts? Remember... be kind. :)
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