Waiting Impatiently

Because the world needs more blog posts about baseball. Seriously, it does. What else is going to keep us going until spring training?

Yesterday, Jackie bemoaned her Orioles’ ongoing inability to, you know, do anything to improve the team. In particular, the arch-rival* Red Sox went out yesterday and spent approximately eleventy-zillion dollars–about two thirds of what the Marlins spent on Giancarlo Stanton–to sign Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Meanwhile, the Os have signed, um, well, you tell me. It’s an immensely frustrating position to be in. The Mariners have been doing it to their fans for years.

* The Red Sox are the arch-rival of more teams than anyone except the Yankees. By my count, the Sox have twenty-eight arch-rivals, every other team in MLB except the Rockies. The Yankees count is currently 42: They’re so hated, they’re not only the arch-rival to every team in both leagues–including themselves–but football, basketball, and hockey teams are signing up to have the Yankees as arch-rivals. But I digress.

I mean, this is the off-season, the time when the fans of the teams that didn’t win the World Series get to say “Just wait until next year.” But how are they supposed to say it with any conviction if the team hasn’t added players to fill their needs? Or at least re-signed last season’s major contributors? It’s especially frustrating when you–the fan–seem to have a better idea of what the team needs than management does. As Jackie points out, at a minimum the Os need to re-sign Nick Markakis. Doesn’t ownership know that? If they do, why aren’t they doing it?

Then there’s Seattle. Every fan knows they need to nab a couple of solid bats. Seattle fans know better than anyone that pitching and fielding don’t win games. Watch Felix lose an endless string of 1-0 games, watch Brendan Ryan make an impossible defensive play and then ground out weakly, and you figure out quickly that your team needs to score at least an occasional run to win games.

So what have they done? Swung and missed on Victor Martinez, Billy Butler, and Adam LaRoche. But, hey, they’ve signed Kyle Seager to a long-term contract. That’s a good thing, no question. Seager was a big part of their success last year, and locking him up is a move they had to make. In a “well, at least they did something” way, it means that Mariners fans can lord it over Orioles fans because the Os haven’t done diddly. It’s still maintaining the status quo, not taking a step forward, and it means the Red Sox fans can lord it over the Mariners fans.

Pity the poor Giants fans, though. The Giants failed to re-sign the Panda, so now they have to replace probably the most-loved player on the team (apologies to Timmy’s fans). They need to take a big step forward just to stay at the same level. OK, so it’s a level that won the World Series, but it’s easy to argue that they wouldn’t have made the playoffs, let alone won the Series without Sandoval.

They’ve got some major names they need to re-sign or replace: Sergio Romo, Michael Morse, and Jake Peavy spring to mind immediately, but there are several more. What have they done so far? Pretty much the same as the Orioles.

Maybe we need a new rallying cry. Who wants to try “Just wait until the Winter Meetings!”