Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Albert Belle, 1999 Stadium Club #315

Ugh, I don't even feel like talking about Mark Teixeira, but I suppose I should get it out of my system. I never truly thought he was coming to Baltimore, but as the Hot Stove talk droned on and the Orioles were consistently mentioned in the short list of teams that had legitimately made offers and had not been eliminated, I got sucked in just like everyone else. He wouldn't have made this team a winner, but he would have helped with his power bat, his glove, and even his feel-good local boy story. Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis would have had a more tangible reason to believe that this team's efforts to rebuild a winner were in earnest, making them more eager to sign contract extensions. Now, back to the more gradual methods and blueprints.

I couldn't care less if Mark wanted to play for a winner, but it would've been easier to take if he had stayed with the Angels. I didn't want him in Boston, but even that may have been preferable to the stinking Yankees. I don't know how Bud Selig can sit on his sweaty, withered hands and pretend that nothing stinks with baseball when the Yankees squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money out of the state of New York to build their garish, egalitarian stadium and then turn around and toss out $425 million to grab not only one or two, but the three most prized free agents in this year's class. I know they haven't won the World Series since 2000, but they are able to get a helluva head start on everybody year in and year out with their pocketbook, and that just plain sucks.

I suspected that Teixeira was blowing smoke when he was quoted periodically about his childhood Oriole fandom and his great desire to play in Camden Yards and to be close to home, but I wanted to believe that he was at least a bit genuine. Considering the reality of the situation, and agent Scott Boras' final call to Andy MacPhail to let him know that they were "going in another direction" without allowing MacPhail to make a final proposal, Mark has shown his true colors as another disingenuous mercenary in a long line of them. May he win as many championships in pinstripes as Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, and the rest of the multi-million dollar gang did.

Albert Belle was the last prominent free agent that the Orioles outpaced the Yankees in order to sign, and that turned out swimmingly. Two years of production followed by an injury-forced retirement. Buyer beware.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and I haven't lost sight of that. Come back for a much more pleasant discussion.


deal said...

Thats ok today is Festivus and you have engaged in the "airing of grievances"

shanediaz82 said...

Now who's up for the "feats of strength"?

Kevin, I could not agree more. I think it's disgusting. I'm a Red Sox fan and I even think their offer was ridiculous. The game needs a salary cap like the NHL and the NFL, but I don't think the players union would ever let that happen...

For one team to go out and drop over 400 million dollars on 3 players after using tax money to build their stadium is just plain wrong. I wonder how it feels to be a Kansas City Royals or Florida Marlins fan this morning?

William said...

I agree baseball is a greedy game [this argument has been raging for over a hundred years], but I love Mark Teixiera. In the summer of 2005 me and my brother went to a Phillies/Rangers interleague game and we waited by the Rangers bus to get 'graphs [my brother loves the Rangers] and after every Ranger walks inside without so much as giving us eye contact, one guy hops off the bus and signs for us and engages in some pleasant conversation -- Mark Teixeira. I'm not saying that makes him a nice guy, but he was a very warm person when we met him.

Kevin said...

William - Nice personal story about Tex. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he's failed a big test in the Baltimore Court of Public Opinion. :P

Shane - I was dreading the Red Sox signing him, but the Yankees are still the worst-case scenario.

Deal - If only there were a Festivus Miracle in the offing...