Amidst Baltimore Orioles Lost Season, A Growing Concern Emerges

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 30: Craig Gentry #14 of the Baltimore Orioles is tagged out by Wilmer Difo #1 of the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 30: Craig Gentry #14 of the Baltimore Orioles is tagged out by Wilmer Difo #1 of the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Orioles made another inexcusable play in the Orioles-Nationals series finale, and this makes one wonder exactly what the Orioles front office is watching.

Many organizations, if you state you have a goal, and you don’t reach it, you are setting yourself up to lose your job, but apparently, that isn’t the case for the Baltimore Orioles.

For several years, Dan Duquette has preached the need to increase the Baltimore Orioles on-base percentage and helping make the offense less one-dimensional.

The Orioles have the worst on-base percentage in the American League, and only the Arizona Diamondbacks are worse in the entire major leagues.

More from Baltimore Orioles

Last year, the Orioles had the fourth-worst on-base percentage in the game, with only the Kansas City Royals behind them in the American League.

However, Dan Duquette keeps his job.

The Orioles told everyone the starting pitching had to get better this year. And, following a 5.70 ERA in 2017, that shouldn’t have been too hard.

Except, the Orioles have a 5.45 ERA from their starters so far in 2018. Only the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds are worse in baseball.

Both of those teams are rebuilding.

The Orioles were supposed to be competing for a playoff spot this season. The Orioles playoff hopes are now laughable since they are already a whopping 22 games out of first place. They are the worst team in the game.

But, what may be more frustrating is the failure to do things that players are taught at the tee-ball level.

The examples are endless.

A game earlier this season, Anthony Santander misses the cut-off man, allowing a run to score.

Hitting the cut-off man is one of the fundamentals of defense. Errors happen, errant throws happen, but missing a cut-off man can’t happen.

Manny Machado is one of the best players in the game, but almost weekly there is an example of him failing to run out a ground ball. He isn’t the only culprit.

If you watch enough baseball, some teams make every play close, and can sometimes get a hit when that speed catches the other team off guard.

The Orioles have a few players who do this, but not enough. I can’t count the number of times I have seen a ground out where it appears Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop, Machado or others seem to be nonchalantly making their way to first base.

Let’s be honest, there isn’t that much running in baseball, running 90 feet won’t tire someone out.

Then there is last night.

In case you already have stopped watching, let’s recap.

After Max Scherzer goes eight innings and allows just a few baserunners, in comes Sean Doolittle for the ninth.

Craig Gentry pinch-hits, and singles.

Adam Jones gets on with a gift single after a miscommunication. Two on, no out. Who is up?

Manny Machado. Great, right?

Then, Gentry inexplicably tries to steal and is out. You never commit the first out of an inning at third base. NEVER. But, Gentry, a veteran, did.

And Machado was at the plate! Both Machado and Schoop proceeded to get out, and the Orioles lost their fifth straight game.

After the game, manager Buck Showalter refused to place the blame on Gentry. I’m fine with that, he is a veteran who I’m sure knows what a mistake he made. But, the issue is there is no accountability.

Welington Castillo was pulled from a game just before his suspension for not running out a fly ball.

Bryce Harper has been pulled for not running out a ground ball.

There are other examples too. The blatant photo of Chris Davis not even looking at the plate on strike three is baffling.

Pitchers walking hitters with a five-run lead.

Where is the accountability in Baltimore?

No one has held Duquette accountable for his work in improving areas of the team that need to be improved.

No one has held Showalter accountable either. If he wants to improve the defense, then he should have the best defense on the field. Of course, that is hard to do when you can’t hit either.

I’m a fan of Showalter. I don’t think Duquette has been as bad as everyone thinks. Maybe these guys are just trying to get out of town with their dignity. Maybe they are fed up with ownership.

I don’t think anyone has any idea what is going on in the Orioles’ front office, and maybe even some of the members of that front office don’t know either.

However, this team is soon going to a young team, whether the Orioles do the right thing in trading away many of their veterans, or if they fail at that too.

Next: 5 Teams Manny Machado Could End Up On

While Buck likes to hold the team’s younger players accountable, something must be done to show this team that sloppy, careless play is unacceptable.

Lacking talent is one concern. Playing haphazard, or apathetic baseball is another.