Well, congratulations to the Nationals for taking two of three from the hated O's. Enjoy the bragging rights, Nationals fans--we deserve it.
My biggest impression though from these games is that it's amazing how much just two trades, the Erik Bedard and Miggy Tejada deals, appear to have helped the O's.
First, Houston's Ed Wade gave up LF Luke Scott, RHPs Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate, LHP Troy Patton, and 3B Michael Costanzo for two years of Tejada. Hmmm... a bad team going nowhere gives up a package of young, improving players with upside to get short-term rental of a flashy middle-infielder who can't really play his position anymore. Sound familiar, Soriano?
Then, worse yet, since-fired Seattle GM Bill Bavasi gave up CF Adam Jones, RHPs Chris Tillman and Kam Mickolio, and LHPs George Sherrill and Tony Butler for Bedard. Hmmm... team comes off over-achieving .500 year convinces itself it's better than it is and gives up package of young, improving players with upside to for a guy two years from FA coming off a career year he's not likely to repeat. Remind anyone of the FLop/Kearns deal?
I don't have to tell you what budding superstar Jones and Scott (.280 BA-14 HR on the year) did to us this weekend--you were there. Sarfate (2.86 ERA in 34.2 IP in '08) wasn't bad either. We didn't even see Albers (3.49 ERA in 49 IP), who's hurt. Sherrill gave up the game-winner today, but with 26 saves he's probably an all-star. And then there's Patton, a talented 22-year-old, rated by Baseball America as the 78th best prospect in baseball, and Tillman, a 20-year-old rated who made 67 on BA's list. Mickolio, Butler, and Costanzo aren't top prospects, but they're the kind guys, just talented enough that they could pan out, that bad teams have no business throwing away.
As a card-carrying Angelos-hater, it pains me to say it, but MacPhail is doing exactly what Bowden didn't do when he got here, and we're already seeing the difference. (And as a baseball fan with so little patience for bad GM-ing that I created a website called Fire Jim Bowden, let me say... wow! Wade and Bavasi really stink/stunk!!)
Now, you are probably thinking, "Wait a minute, that's not fair. Bowden didn't have anyone close to Bedard or Tejada when he came here."
Well, that's true. But what opportunities we did have, he squandered. Wilkerson, Vidro, and Cordero each could have fetched a nice package of prospects if they had been dealt at their peak value. Livo probably would have brought more if we'd moved him earlier.
The point is, JimBo, like Wade and Bavasi, sprinted in the opposite direction, shipping off what little young talent he had for his first two years here and in the process committing the team to at least 2-3 more years of losing than was necessary.