Well, hopefully Peter Angelos is happy now that he can rid himself of Manager Lee Mazzilli with a clear conscience, since the Orioles have been on such a horrible slide. It's no secret inside the organization that Angelos has been itching to fire Maz. But, facts are, Maz did a good job even having this team in contention for so long. This is an average ballclub with only one slugger in his prime, Miguel Tejada, and a bunch of veteran players who have seen their best days. When this team starting getting bit by the inury bug (Brian Roberts, Javy Lopez, Erik Bedard, Melvin Mora) and the starting pitching went south ( Rodrigo Lopez, Daniel Cabrera, Sidney Ponson, Bruce Chen) the writing was on the wall.Mazzilli is not immune from any blame, but it was Angelos and the front office that failed to add any pitching help over the winter or before the trade deadline.
The rejected Phil Nevin for Ponson deal wasn't going to do squat for the team, except getting rid of a bad pitcher for another veteran hitter past his prime, with a big contract nevertheless.You must field a stronger staff than the aforementioned players to compete on a consistant basis with the Red Sox and Yankees. Even New York, who pick up every guy on the waiver wire with a decent resume, has a pitching staff that would be a major upgrade for the O's.Angelos was more interested in putting a few more butts in the seats, so he goes out and gets a player whose numbers have gone downhill consistantly the last five seasons, Sammy Sosa; 2005 will be the 6th straight year Sosa's stats have dipped.
He seemed more interested in making life difficult for the relocated Washington Nationals than making his team stronger.Now, it looks like the O's will be in-store for another makeover after the season. Older guys like Sosa, Javy Lopez, and the biggest name exposed steroid user, Rafael Palmeiro, may all be somewhere else next season. By the way, Palmeiro Night at Camden Yards has been put on hold; he was sceduled to be honored for getting his 3,000 last month.For a guy who wanted to fire the manager so badly, Angelos (true to form) probably has no plan or idea of who he'd like to put into the dugout in 2006; or what sort of moves to make this winter. More than likely, he'll write another big check for another hitter in his 30's off a career year.
Doesn't matter, this team won't all of sudden get better with just a managerial switch.Good luck to whomever Angelos chooses for the gig..John Onan (aka ego74) is sports writer/moderator at http://www.theopu.com and football writer for http://www.
realfootball365.com.He also does freelance work. He can be reached at email@example.com.
By: John Onan