Orioles offense is boring
I must respond to the recent coverage of diminishing fan support for our Birds (“Declining crowds at Camden Yards concern Orioles, fans and businesses,” Sept. 21).
My jaw drops when no mention is made of the Orioles’ unexciting offense. Yes, unexciting. The pitchers should enter a class action lawsuit for non-support from Bird batters. Sure, we’re setting a long-ball record this year, and if you’re into the Home Run Derby, maybe you’ll keep attending. As often as not, our pitchers are keeping us in the game, but when we have high-profile, highly paid, idolized hitters who strike out in wholesale numbers — very often stranding runners on base — why wouldn’t fans get discouraged at low run production? And often they’ll stay home.
Note how few steals the O’s attempt and how rarely we bunt (even with a runner on third and less than two out). And then notice how infrequently the hit-and-run is tried and how often even no-name pitchers make our heavy hitters look silly with the bat on their shoulders or flailing at pitches out of the strike zone.
First, weneed to acquire reliable situational hitters and speed on the base paths. That’s General Manager Dan Duquette’s job.
In addition, the Orioles are saddled with an ineffectual batting coaching and hidebound management. From early spring training, the offense must practice over and over situational hitting — getting runners on base, aggressively moving them along and putting the ball in play after two strikes. And we need to utilize the bunt. We have speed in Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, Michael Bourn and others. Why aren’t they bunting and attempting steals? Our manager is not a risk-taker.
Unless there are real changes in strategy put in place, until some contracts expire, we’ll watch several more years of rather dull baseball before we have a division winner, much less a World Series contest, at Camden Yards.