Russ Smith is an Idiot.

Russ Smith thinks he has a pretty good grasp on how the O’s rebuilding is going.  I think Russ Smith is a fucking idiot.  Here’s why:

The Baltimore Orioles have had such a horrid run since 1997 that it’s not surprising that the occasional out-of-town sportswriter will churn out a story that suggests, all evidence to the contrary, that the O’s do indeed have a bright future.

True, it’s been lousy.  True, the future is bright.

It’s a swell fairy tale, one that I’ve fallen prey to previously, as recently as last summer,

Someone told you we’d compete in 2009 and you believed them?  You got poor information and you blindly followed it…that’s on you dude.

but the stark reality is that Baltimore’s baseball fans have as much reason for optimism as their counterparts in Pittsburgh and Kansas City.


Maybe less, considering the team is still owned by Peter Angelos. (If only Cal Ripken Jr. could head a consortium to buy the Birds, the clucking on message boards says, then the O’s would be in business! Truth be told, I couldn’t agree more.)

So because Angelos is still the owner we are going to be worse than we have been before?  I don’t follow the logic.  I would understand if you said we’ll be equally as shitty but you didn’t.  Besides, if we have nothing at all, at least we have Andy Macphail, choke full of baseball pedigree, running things.

The Yankees just completed a three-game shellacking of the O’s at Camden Yards—scores were 5-1, 9-6 and 10-2—

Shellacking, sure in the final score, but have you ever heard the expression, the game was closer than the score would indicate?  I think that’s fair in this case.  We had Guthrie (who’s having a sub-par season) and two rookies in David Hernandez and Jason Berken.  The Yankees sent Pettite (a juicer who owns Camden Yards) and two players the Yankee front office spent a half a trillion dollars on in AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia.  In the first match up it was close until the eighth inning.  In the second game it was tied going into the sixth.  And the final game was close all the way up to the ninth.

Common thread, the bullpen collapsed.  Possible reason: tired bullpen because the old assholes they had pitching before they called up the rookies couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning thus drainging the bullpen.

Finally, say what you want about professionalism, it’s harder to play when the games don’t matter.

All that being said, the Yankee’s are still supposed to win.  Every single game.  The Red Sox too.  If you spend a billion dollars on the best players, you should win and if you don’t you should be laughed at.

and while the Team That Jeter Built (the Yanks veteran, at 35, is having a terrific season, and, by my reckoning, is a lock for the American League MVP, more for “lifetime achievement” than actual performance, as the Twins’ Joe Mauer deserves the award) unfortunately appears to be riding a wave that will lead to a November parade on Broadway after winning the World Series,

Totally unnecessary and doesn’t do a thing for your argument, but I understand that you’re a Yankee fan you and you want to jerk off Jeter every opportunity you get (like A-rod)

You actually got so wrapped up in your yearning for Jeter’s hog that you wrote a sentence that makes no sense.  Here it is without the Jeter flirt:

and while the Team That Jeter Built unfortunately appears to be riding a wave that will lead to a November parade on Broadway after winning the World Series…

That’s not unfortunate for the Yankees.  Might I suggest:

while the Team That Jeter Built appears to be riding a wave that will lead to a November parade on Broadway after winning the World Series, unfortunately, Baltimore’s woes are far deeper than just dropping their last three games.

Shit, you could lose the unfortunately all together and it would still make perfect sense.

Baltimore’s woes are far deeper than just dropping their last three games.

True…but anyone who thought we weren’t going to collapse is silly.

On Tuesday, New York Times beat reporter Tyler Kepner, published a story headlined “Yet Another Year Pains the Orioles, but This Time There is Hope,” that I’m pretty sure was sincere.

Seemed to me it was too.

But Kepner, a fine baseball writer, just doesn’t follow the team enough to see that the cornerstone of O’s optimism—the young pitchers Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz, along with the superb right fielder Nick Markakis—isn’t nearly enough to get the team to .500 next year or even in 2011.

You know who isn’t a fine baseball writer?  You, Russ Smith.

You know who clearly doesn’t follow the Orioles enough?  You, Russ Smith, head of the Yankee fan club.

How do you leave Jones (all star), Wieters (baseball America’s number 1 prospect last year), Reimold (rookie of the year candidate, leads all rookies in HR and is close to everyone in average, OPS, RBI’s),  Pie (who’s on a tear right now), and Roberts (leads the league in doubles) off that list?

And you’re right, that isn’t enough to get them to .500.  Did Andy say that this was the team they would put out on the field for the next 10 years, no changes or exceptions?  No, it’s a work in progress.

Bergesen, for example, was impressive this season (until he went down with an injury) and for my money, the best of the lot. Nonetheless, even when he took the mound, maybe leaving after giving up three runs in six innings, the O’s bullpen is so atrocious that you can never put a “W” on the scorecard until the final inning is completed.

You saw him the most, so yeah he looked like the most polished.  Also, are you forgetting that Matusz was playing college ball last year? And never mind what all major league scouts have said is the ceiling for the three.

Bergesen, while a pleasant surprise, is not the best of the three.

Agreed, the bullpen was a wreck but they also got used a shitload.  I’m not going to look up the statistics because this is taking far too long.  I really didn’t anticipate having to go line by line through this Yankee propaganda but almost every sentence you write is outlandish, and thus I must persevere.  I know, now, why the FJM crew called it quits…this shit is time consuming.

Baltimore Sun sportswriter and blogger Peter Schmuck is more realistic, joking that even he, once the Ravens’ season gets going, will be an infrequent visitor to Camden Yards.

He’s not the only one.  Who in the world would watch games that mean nothing over games that mean something?

Schmuck also made the blunt observation that O’s manager Dave Trembley won’t be around to see his prized youngsters progress (or, as in the past, probably not). Reacting to the team’s president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail’s decision to shut down Tillman and Matusz for the rest of the season, Schmuck wrote on Sept. 2: “The only real question is what this means for Dave Trembley, whose future as manager was supposed to depend—in large part—on whether the young Orioles showed noticeable improvement over the final two months of the season. If that is still the barometer for his job security, then Trembley is a dead manager walking, and MacPhail has paved his road out of town with a series of decisions that have made it next to impossible for the club to avoid another end-of-season collapse.”

What does this have to do with the Orioles having a bleaker outlook than any year before this one?  We have a revolving door and have for the past twenty years.  Again, this will make us equally shitty, but not shittier.

Plus you’re putting a lot of stock in a guy who only wears Hawaiian shirts.  “There’s only two kind of guys who wear those shirts: gay guys and big, fat party animals…”  I’m not willing to guess one way or the other but Homer Jay rarely steers me wrong.

My only quibble with Schmuck’s analysis is that the (annual) collapse began after the All-Star break. (At least Schmuck, one of the few Sun sports survivors after a mass purge by parent company Tribune several months ago, hasn’t lost his sense of humor, either about his newspaper or the baseball team he covers. In his blog on Sept. 2, he quipped, “In case you missed it, or all the copies of today’s print edition are sold out in your area, I’ve got a column up today…”)

You didn’t follow up your opening statement with any supporting sentences.  Why is that your quibble Russ?  I need to know!

The whole rest of the paragraph, which didn’t need to go into parenthesis, just talks shit about the Sun.  Need a place to do that?  Go here Russ.

Trembley, I’m betting, gets canned a day or two after the season ends.

Ok.  Where can I bet you?  I think you’re wrong.  Andy Macphail is notorious for moving slow and methodically.  He’s a good GM.  Good GM’s think a few moves ahead. Bad GM’s claim a 60 million dollar player off waivers and say “Fuck, I didn’t think they’d just give him away!”

On the one hand, I feel bad for the guy, who toiled in the minor league sewers for some 20 years before getting tapped for the O’s job in ‘07;

Paying dues, which you should have to do anyway, especially if you never played professionally.

on the other, he’s a humorless fellow who is simply lost when it comes to making strategic pitching decisions.

Agreed on both points.  Although, since when is humor a pre-requisite for being a good manager?  Girardi must be a real crack-up.

Trembley told Kepner that there’s a “sense of pr ide” emanating from his squad’s clubhouse, which is pretty weird since the O’s are going to finish last (again) in their division and probably lose 95 games.

Look at Reimold.  The dude has a torn achilles and runs down the line like he’s at try-outs.  Jones, is pushing really hard to come back this year.  Pie, didn’t just sulk and give up when he got benched.  He worked hard and is making strides in the right direction.  The team isn’t just giving up.

I go to a lot of games at Camden Yards (even though I’m a Red Sox fan, which has its own drawbacks this year, the O’s park is still a great place to see baseball, and it’s affordable and not far from my house),

What!!?!?!  You’re a Red Sox fan?  Why was Jeter’s cock in your mouth?

I’m not surprised you’re a Red Sox fan that doesn’t live in MA, though.  Let me guess, you’re down somewhere close to DC?  I bet you became a fan, um, around 2004?

Your use of the parenthesis is still a little baffling.  Lot’s of muddled thoughts just kind of sandwiched together by parenthesis.  You realize that just because it’s in those little half-circles, doesn’t make it more readable, right?

and it’s difficult to see that “pride” on the field.

Already went over this.

Last Sunday afternoon, for example, even in a 5-2 victory over the Indians, most of the team seemed lethargic and going through the motions. When Adam Jones (now injured and probably out for the season), by all rights a five-tool player, took a half-hearted route on a ball hit to dead-center, and muffed it, my wife—an O’s fan who has a Jones t-shirt—stood up and screamed, “You’re a disgrace, Adam Jones!” it caused one of our sons and me to take notice of this uncharacteristic vehemence.

You have lost all credibility.  As a Yankee-loving Sox fan that lives in the MD area, your words carry no weight.  Not to mention you have made very few good points in this whole thing.

Your wife has even less credibility because she married such a demon.

Plus, we won.

Veteran Melvin Mora’s done with the team after this year, but he loafs as well,

You’re right, he’s done.  But he’s like sixty years old and has twenty kids.  The dude’s expectedly tired.

as does—and sorry for the heresy, O’s diehards—Brian Roberts, who was foolishly signed to an extension through 2013, even though he’s 31 and has previously expressed ambivalence about playing for a perennial loser.

Yeah, he’s made a few mental errors.

And yeah he is terrible at the plate.  What’s that?  Leads the league in fucking doubles!  What?  There’s more?  Roberts needs just one double to become only the 4th player in baseball history with three 50-double seasons joining the likes of Tris Speaker, Paul Waner, and Stan Musial, all HOFers.  No big deal.

Finally, and although this is apropos of nothing more than the general lack of cultural interest among baseball players, when one of those dumb in-between quizzes was flashed on the Jumbotron that Sunday, I just shook my head in disbelief. Nine Orioles players were asked what singer they preferred, Neil Young or Neil Diamond, who are roughly the same age and were performing before the athletes were born. Six of the nine chose the unspeakable Diamond over Young, which would be the rough equivalent of six Orioles in ’69 picking Lawrence Welk over Bob Dylan.

I agree, Young trumps Diamond, but this has no bearing on your argument.  Most of your sentences have provided no evidence that the Orioles are going to be worse than they have been in recent memory.

Jim Johnson may not have a future as the Orioles’ closer, but at least, unlike rookie sensation (still a work in progress as a catcher) Matt Wieters, he apparently prefers “Keep on Rocking in the Free World” to “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” As does Brad Bergesen, which leads me to believe, without any baseball horse sense whatsoever, that he’ll be a star.

More of the same bullshit from you.  But, this is the most telling of all your statements:

without any baseball horse sense whatsoever

I think this should have been the main point of your entry.  You haven’t got a clue about baseball, let alone the Orioles.

And then leave for a contending team as soon as he can.

Do me favor, ask Mike Mussina or BJ Ryan how that worked out for them.

~Kevin Lomax

readers – enjoy the off day…we’ll see you at the yard on Friday.  And Russ, if you’d like to meet up and discuss your article, just drop a line and let me know where you want to meet.


Filed under General Posts

6 responses to “Russ Smith is an Idiot.

  1. SoxFanInHiding

    This guy Russ is an embarrassment to all Yankee-pole-smoking Red Sox fans everywhere.

    Reading that, it just felt like he was stating the obvious. For example, if I were to attend Opening Day and yell “[your team] sucks!” that would only be appropriate trash-talking. If I wait until the last game of the season and say that to the worst team, then what’s the point?

    We all know the Orioles are having a terrible season–for many reasons–but why spend 4 hrs honing an article telling everyone about how bad it’s been?

  2. SoxFanInHiding

    I was reading in detail but then I threw up in my mouth it was so bad.

  3. Well-played sir!

    I was going to do a rebuttal myself but you’ve done the job much better than I could hope to.

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