Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Revolutionary Offseason

Santiago Arrojo is a strange man with strange ideas. A devout Marxist who allegedly funnels the bulk of his 9.8 million dollar a year earnings to the Cuban government and describes as his hobby in the Baltimore media guide, “copying passages from Das Capital to experience writing profound words”, Arrojo’s views on baseball are understandably overshadowed at times. They wouldn’t be if he weren’t such a weirdo. Arrojo sneers at the notion that a pitcher ought to aim for spots or even know where he’s going to throw the ball. Instead Arrojo subscribes to the original idea that a pitcher should operate on “feel”. “Baseball is not an intellectual game, that is a distortion”, claims Arrojo, “propagated by the capitalist media.” A relevant question at this point would be, how did this man get a big league contract? We don’t know either, but Baltimore is ruing the day they handed him the big bucks. They even went so far as to waive him this off-season, but, for some reason, there wasn’t any interest.

However, there was more to the Baltimore off-season than trying to shed the revolutionary wing of the team. Remember our earlier column describing the rush to the end of the track by the aging Baltimore roster, along with the prediction that the Einstein heirs in the front office would pull a rabbit or two from their collective fedora? Well, there weren’t any literal rabbits, but two young stars have suddenly appeared on the Baltimore roster, that, no matter how high and low we search, don’t appear to have been there before.

Roger Miller is a 23 year old jack of all trades. He can play virtually any position on the field (excepting flamethrower and backstop), and hit 29 home-runs to go along with 92 RBIs as a 22 year old last season on the worst team in the history of organized sport, the Colorado something or others. We’re trying to forget that they ever existed. He’ll start the season in center, but projects, long-term, as Baltimore’s shortstop of the future, the heir to the throne once it’s vacated by living legend and all-around demi-god John Witt. Davey Blanco, the other young stud picked from the pocket of a wannabe rival, projects as a Pedro Martinez like ace. Expected to start the season in AAA until, at the latest, September call-ups, Blanco is projected by the Baltimore scouting department (top 2 in the league) to have five (5!) viable pitches, be equally devastating against right and left handers, and to be feared and resented by the league quite akin to the manner in which the world once cowered before the Mongol hordes.

Life once again flows through the Baltimore roster, and it is expected to last well beyond this season.

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