The Birds Crash Into Reality—Hard

Books, Games, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players

All this hatred towards Kevin Gregg is misdirected.

He’s not any good.

It’s not his fault.

And it’s not as if anything more should’ve been expected of him. He’s wild and gives up too many hits and homers—totally unreliable as a closer.

Much like Gregg, I’m not sure why people believed that the mere presence of Buck Showalter would overcome youth on the pitching staff and an overwhelming sense of mediocrity for much of the roster.

The Orioles went 34-23 under Showalter after he took over last season; they got off to a 6-1 start this season.

All of a sudden, the Orioles were rising, rising, rising like a soaring bird freed from its cage…until reality set in.

Having beaten up on the slow-starting Rays and Tigers to begin the season, they then ran into the Rangers who won 2 of 3; then came the Yankees who swept a rain-shortened 2-game series (in which Gregg gacked up a lead with a towering bomb allowed to Jorge Posada); and the Indians (another team for whom reality will be cruel)  battered them in 3-game sweep.

Last night, the sliding Twins came to town and beat the Orioles too as Gregg turned a manageable 3-2 score into a 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning. The Orioles scored a run in the bottom if the ninth to make it 5-3.

Overall they’ve lost 8 in a row and no amount of Showalter attention to detail is going to gloss over the truth that they’re still rebuilding and in a nightmarish division with four teams that are far better than they are.

Thos who express their love for Showalter and lament having “missed out” on an opportunity to get a difference-making manager for their teams are failing to grasp an important point—no matter how good the manager is, he has to have players.

The Orioles don’t have the players, therefore they’re not going to be good.

They’re proving that right now.


I’ll be hosting a discussion group on shortly. The discussion will be baseball. My statements will be strong. And if no one joins in, I’ll just talk to myself.


Purchase my book, Paul Lebowitz’s 2011 Baseball Guide. It’s useful all year long.

I published a full excerpt of my book here.

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