The bar is open, but we are walking slowly and talking quietly in here today.
I have a baseball winter meetings hangover.
It’s impossible to explain the event unless you have attended it -- or worse yet -- covered it. I literally didn’t leave the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas from early Sunday evening to Thursday late afternoon; didn’t ever step outside. But I feel like I walked a marathon per day, wearing out a path from the media room to the two lobbies and back in the gargantuan hotel.
The winter meetings could have been held at the Hilton Siberia this year -- wouldn’t have mattered to me and my baseball-writing ilk.
Now, the cynics out there -- and I know we have a few in here, even on the other side of the bar -- will tell you I should have stayed home. That the Orioles did nothing but watch the Florida Marlins and the Los Angeles Angels (led by new Angels GM and former Orioles GM candidate Jerry Dipoto) buy star after star.
Meanwhile, the Orioles left Dallas with a minor league infielder and a journeyman left-handed pitcher. Not exactly the Angels’ haul of C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols.
Orioles new executive vice president Dan Duquette, however, believes he improved his team this week by acquiring lefty Dana Eveland and Rule 5 draftee Ryan Flaherty. He also believes the groundwork has been set for more trades and potentially some free-agent signings.
But there was no splash, no trickle even. And I am sure plenty of disappointment on the fans’ end. I don’t blame you -- but at the same time I’ve been trying to warn you that the Orioles wouldn’t be targeting the big-money guys. It wasn’t going to happen.
I still believe if the Orioles make a move of note this offseason it will be via trade. And it will involve Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Reynolds or both. The Orioles have little else to offer of value that they are willing to give up. But, yes, I still think something could get done. There’s plenty of offseason left and I still expect a trade and a couple mid to lower level signings perhaps.
Here’s what I want you to tell me: How did you react to the Orioles’ lack of major (or even mid-level) activity at the winter meetings?
Are you angry that nothing more occurred? Are you resigned that this club is stuck in neutral -- again – and you’ve given up hope of them spending for improvements? Or are you being patient, realizing that spring training is still two months away? I’m curious to see if the inaction spawned more frustration or apathy or no emotion at all.
For Ravens fans, I haven’t forgotten about you on this Prediction Friday (I’ve just been pre-occupied). Last week, the Ravens won 24-10 over the Cleveland Browns. There were so many people that were close to the final score that it’s basically a free drink for everyone. We’ll settle on a full free tab for Rob K and John Z, who each had 27-10, and Aaron, who had 24-13. Aaron and Rob both predicted a big game from Ray Rice as well.
The Ravens play the Indianapolis Colts at home on Sunday and I’m expecting Baltimore to treat the Colts more harshly than Paul Tagliabue treated Baltimore (hey, I’m allowed one bitter moment per Colts-Ravens game each year, right?).
I think the Ravens have found their offensive stride and will blow out the hapless Colts 31-10. Ray Rice is my hero of the game again with two TDs and 150-plus yards rushing and Ricky Williams also gets a touchdown.
Give me your winner, score and player of the game.
Daily Think Special: Prediction Friday: Ravens-Colts
Bonus Think Special: Your reaction to Orioles’ winter meetings: Anger, resignation, patience?