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Corey Patterson Traded to the Orioles
by Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
January 14, 2005



Since 1987, I have worn the hat of a Chicago Cubs fan, worshiping the Cubs from afar. However, my favorite AL team in high school and beyond was the Orioles. I have to admit, I was taken with the way the Orioles outfielders (Brady Anderson, Mike Devereaux) would regularly jump over the fence in Camden Yards to rob players of homeruns. In fact, I can also admit that as a freshman in college I grew sideburns in homage to Brady Anderson!

Over the summer, I covered the Orioles and the Nationals while working an internship in D.C. In that time, I renewed my fondness for the O's, and experience a bit of despair as the O's failed to make any significant moves at the deadline to make a playoff run.

Now that I live in Alexandria, VA on a permanent basis, I have had no choice but to fan the flames of my affections for the local teams. It is because of this that I feel a certain melancholic reaction to the recent trade of Corey Patterson from the Cubs to the Orioles. On one hand, this is addition by subtraction for my favorite Cubs getting rid of Corey "Tools" Patterson insures that there will be competent defense, at least a league average OPS, and about 100 fewer strikeouts in the Cubs outfield in 2006. But at the same time, I have to wonder what in the world are the Baltimore Orioles thinking? For the second year in a row, the Orioles outfield will serve as the Chicago Cubs trash heap. After acquiring a rapidly declining and ill-mannered Sammy Sosa last year, this year the Orioles pick up a guy who, in his sixth season in the league, was sent down to the minors to work on fundamentals! CP put up a .215/.254/.348 season in 2005 when your OPS plus average barely tops .800, you are lacking fundamentals you should have picked up right around the time your dad was also your coach and was also your team's pitcher. Patterson has been nothing but unfulfilled potential for the Cubs, and has little chance of coming through on that potential with the O's

So really what are the Baltimore Orioles thinking? Last season, approaching August and in a playoff hunt, the Orioles were in desperate need of pitching but managed only to acquire Eric Byrnes for Larry Bigbie, a totally inconsequential move. Last off-season, in desperate need of pitching, the Orioles acquired Sosa for peanuts, and then Sosa proved he wasn't even worth that much. Two years ago, the Orioles signed Javy Lopez and Rafael Palmeiro, two aging, overpriced, and, in Lopez's case, inconsistent stars who have completely failed to live up to the preposterous billing that they arrived under.

Most recently, the Orioles were making amends with superstar shortstop Miguel Tejada, who reportedly wanted a trade to get out of Baltimore because he didn't like the direction the team was headed in. He reportedly says now that he does in fact want to remain in Baltimore. But with the acquisition of Corey Patterson, one would have to wonder why.

2006 Corey Patterson Prediction 19 HR; 57 RBI; 66 Runs; .233 AVG; .756 OPS; 22 SB

A Funny Moment Tonight
My brother Andrew and I are driving down the street, not having spent much time hanging out the last few days because of the baby being born. Anyway, we were talking about Andre Dawson once again not making it in to the Hall of Fame. Andrew poses the question "Do you think getting into Cooperstown is different from getting into Canton Ohio?"

A very interesting question, I told him, and then I went off. For no less than 20 minutes, I explored with him what it is that NFL Hall of Fame voters look for, vs what the MLB Hall of Fame voters look for. From there, I told him about the modern eras of baseball and football, as well as basketball. The modern era of baseball, I told him, began in 1920, while the modern era of football is really only the Super Bowl era, or even more narrowly, the post AFL-NFL merger era. Basketball's modern era probably began even later, as late as 1979 with Magic and Bird. Thus, when someone is up for the baseball Hall of Fame, they are up against 80 plus years of contemporaries, while NFL candidates are only up against 40 years of contemporaries, and only 25 years in the NBA.

After quite a bit of talking on my part, and listening on his, I said, "So, in that sense, it is probably more difficult to get into Cooperstown than Canton. That was a really good question."

To which he responded, "actually, I just meant do you think you have to be retired for the same amount of time in both sports, or are you eligible after just four years in football."

Oh.




Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher B. Chancey resides in Alexandria, Virginia, and can be reached at asher@baseballevolution.com.


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