The Baltimore Orioles don’t take risks when it coes to player personnel for the most part. And heres the thing; I respect that about them. These days it seems that playing it safe just for the sake of playing it safe is considered to be bad. People seem to want you to be out there taking risks and putting it all on the line.
And that’s all fine and dandy – so long as it works out. If it doesn’t work out, you’re really up a creek without a paddle. And in case you haven’t noticed, the general public isn’t exactly the most forgiving type when it comes to things that don’t work out.
Basically fans are clammoring for the Orioles to take a risk such as getting a top-of-the-line starter for big money. And in theory that sounds great; why wouldn’t they want to do that? Well, because it’s a risk.
When you look at the likes of Jimenez and Gallardo, those two signings didn’t exactly work out how the Orioles wanted them to. Now they’d be the first to tell you that they’re a far cry from the likes of a top line starter, however you get the point. When you commit that kind of money to a guy and it doesn’t work out, you tend to not want to go down that road again.
Again, I agree with this to an extent. It’s very easy to say this when it’s not your money and you aren’t the one putting your neck out on the line. And it’s not just signing players in and of itself; the Orioles don’t take risks on injuries among other things. Their critiques of physicals is well-known. However they’ve also tended to be right.
But by not taking risks, are the Orioles in a sense running a huge risk? There is such a concept as playing not to lose. In this case, they’re playing not to lose with regard to the off season and with money. They don’t want a player to turn into dead money if he doesn’t work out. But in spending on role players and watching superstars go elsewhere, are the O’s actually running a higher risk?
That might be a bit overly harsh, because the O’s have their share of superstars. But they’re unwilling to committ big money long-term to get a top line pitcher. But does that leave them at a disadvantage? While they’re winning financially, does that lack of willingness to take a risk hurt them on the field?
Tough to say. Again, you only get praised for taking a risk if it works out in your favor. Otherwise it’s a stupid move. Look at Gallardo and Jimenez; those signings were widely praised by writers like me across the local and national media. Howeve suddenly because the players struggled they don’t look so great. Nevermind the fact that they didn’t cost the Orioles too much, but fans are angry that those players are on the roster.
Heck, there are people out there who say that re-signing Davis was a bad move at this point. Mainly because he strikes out so much, however we all know what happens when he gets in contact with a ball. At the end of the day, it’s a catch-22 either way. Which is why the Orioles are probably smart just protecting what they’ve got for the time being.