Sun editors and writers, please become part of the solution to the
This is a crucial time, with Andy MacPhail possibly stepping down after five seasons. When Mr. MacPhail was hired, I rejoiced, not because he was the best general manager the Orioles could find but because he was the best we could hope
When it comes to hiring his replacement, The Sun will continue to play a large role in influencing Mr. Angelos' decisions. You may say that it's not your responsibility, that you are journalists, not fans. As a former sportswriter, I understand that position.
But The Sun has been and continues to be a large part of the problem. The Sun has one sportswriter who seems to understand modern baseball — beat writer Jeff Zriebec, who does not write opinion columns because that's not the way sports departments work.
The rest of your columnists would have fit right in at the Sun in the 1950s. I have interacted with them via email, and it irritates me that they brag about their lack of regard for statistics. I'm not talking about WAR or WXRL or other modern stats that good baseball writers understand these days; I'm talking about on-base percentage and, for Weaver's sake, earned-run average.
Your paper regularly trumpets buying "proven winners" like
Nobody at The Sun understands that the purpose of minor league teams is to produce major-league players. You run articles on minor-league players all the time with no discussion of their potential. Nobody at The Sun questions or writes intelligently about the Orioles' scouting or development. When Vladimir Guerrero was signed, national analysts suggested the $8 million would have been better spent on signing international free agents. But nobody at The Sun seems to understand baseball team finances. Perhaps the numbers are too big.
Just as the Orioles do, The Sun has to make do with the staff you have. It's too much to expect that you can get a younger, smarter crop of sports columnists, or that you can teach mathematics to the current crop.
This is where an editor's hand is necessary. Understand the limitations of your staff, as
And most importantly, be very thoughtful in your coverage of Mr. Angelos' decision on a new GM. Please, please don't allow your columnists to celebrate "proven winners."
The continuing failure of the Orioles lays at Mr. Angelos' feet, no question. But he has made steps toward acting smarter. The Sun has not, and you are the newspaper he reads.
You have a decision to make, just as Mr. Angelos does. You can continue to be part of the problem. I hope you will choose the other path.