It's official. Brian Roberts will be having Tommy John surgery, which is bad news no matter how you look at it. After seriously tearing ligaments and dislocating his elbow against the Yankees on Sept. 20, Roberts saw his breakthrough season end and a nightmare season for the Orioles continued its hellish descent.
While there have been several success and comeback stories for players undergoing the procedure, most of them pitchers, it will be interesting to see not only how long it takes for Roberts to recover, but also how effective he will be upon his return. There's a good chance that Roberts will never be the same player that he was for a majority of the 2005 season, during which he established himself as baseball's best overall second baseman, offensively behind only Alfonso Soriano. Here's to a quick and complete recovery.
In other news, co-GM Jim Beattie today made known on 1300 AM WJFK that the Orioles need serious upgrades at several positions, blasted Eric Byrnes as a disappointment, and revealed that the team tried to re-sign B.J. Ryan last offseason, but failed. Talk about stating the obvious. Beattie, who is known to be as good as fired around all of baseball, should take all the blame he's been getting and more for the O's collapse this season, and I'll be glad to see him go, more because a change will give us a fighting chance for improvement. His favorite transaction seemed to always be the non-move, preferring to wait and ultimately do nothing.
The revelation that Ryan couldn't be signed last season reveals much. First, it says that the Orioles recognized Ryan was a talented commodity. Also, it unfortunately implies that: 1. Ryan will be looking for a big contract, which he deserves. 2. The Orioles will not be willing to offer a lucrative contract in order to retain him. This could be a disaster, because if the Orioles fail to re-sign Ryan, I guarantee that the Boston Red Sox will. They are in sore need of a closer, and they would much rather have Mike Timlin setting up games in the seventh and eighth innings. This would create the dreaded scenario of losing a dominant player to a divisional rival, and the team would potentially face a former teammate shutting the door on them several times next season.
Back to Beattie. I'll always remember him for saying "We don't want to make a move just for the sake of making a move." Well, maybe he should have tried that a little more, rather than failing the team when additions needed to be made at the trading deadline this past July. The overachieving and thin Orioles could have saved their season with more pitching and a decent outfielder, maybe not ultimately competing for the postseason, but if anything finishing above .500 for the first time since 1997. The bottom line is that Beattie's mentality and philosophy was ill-taylored for a front office where everything has to be approved by a egomaniacal (not to mention inept in the knowledge of baseball operations) owner in Peter Angelos. Maybe Beattie could never have succeeded in Baltimore, but the time for change is now, and the sooner the better.