Who could blame him for retiring, rather than endure another year?
By Christopher Heun
None of this is his fault.
And by "this" I mean the 22 hits (including five home runs), five walks and 17 runs Orioles pitchers gave up to the Devil Rays Wednesday night, for a grand total of 34 runs allowed for the three-game series. Plus the 30 runs in a single game not long ago. And the 11 runs in a single inning to the D-Rays in the previous series.
(I know nearly everyone reading this is probably well acquainted with these stats already, and repeating them here is just piling it on, but everyone else is doing it to Orioles pitching, so why can't I?)
Remember all the hope and optimism when Mazzone was hired before last season? For what he's been given to work with, I wouldn't blame him if he quit tomorrow and opened a lemonade stand.
Of course, after his run in Atlanta, he was supposed to be a genius pitching coach. If he can't fix Danys Baez or turn Paul Shuey and Brian Burres into dependable relievers, should we complain? I think so.
I don't want to see any of the following pitchers on the Orioles Opening Day roster next spring, unless there's a rash of injuries to the staff:
Liz and Olson are not ready for the big leagues. Shuey was released Wednesday, so that solves that. Burres gave a nice boost earlier in the season but has run out of steam.
And what should they do with James Hoey? He was the the top pitcher in the Orioles farm system last year but has allowed 27 baserunners in 12.1 innings this year.