The Orioles designated enigmatic outfielder Felix Pie for assignment on Tuesday, likely ending his tenure in Baltimore. The Orioles have 10 days to trade, release or put Pie on waivers. If he clears, he can opt to become a free agent or join Triple-A Norfolk, but expect another team to kick the tires on this talented 26-year-old.
Someone will look past the misadventures in left field and the mishaps on the base paths and see a former top prospect (in the Chicago Cubs system) that they can mold into an above-average outfielder. The Orioles saw the same thing when they acquired him in 2009, and they gave him every opportunity to succeed here.
Pie got a career-high 308 plate appearances in 2009, batting .274 with five homers and 31 runs batted in. Despite getting an opportunity in 2010 to lock down left field with Luke Scott battling a shoulder injury, Pie couldn’t do it. He batted .220 and his nearly-nightly mental lapses irritated the Orioles fan base.
"It's a business. I know that. It's better for me, because here I don't play. And I know I can play every day," Pie told The Baltimore Sun after getting the news Tuesday. "I showed the team I could play every day last year, and I did my job. This year, I tried to do my job, too. But it's difficult, tough not to play."
Manager Buck Showalter hopes Pie clears waivers on Thursday, but he said there is a chance Pie won’t.
It’s a sad day for this blogger, who has often said that for better or worse, Pie was the most entertaining player on the Orioles.
Depending on your perspective, Pie was either the most frustrating player in Baltimore or the finest physical comedian in baseball. For me he was both, which is why he was so much fun to watch.
I was optimistic that Pie would develop into an integral part of the Orioles. I also held out hope that he would release the rap album he said he was working on (he was going to call it "18 Cents").
Pie didn’t live up to his promise in either regard, and I can’t blame the Orioles for running out of patience.