The Baltimore Sun

Orioles' MacPhail deserves credit for long-term success strategy

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has been criticized on his offseason moves to rebuild the club. This is because some fans don't understand the process of rebuilding.

To gain a successful and stable future, some of the present must be sacrificed. It's unrealistic to use limited resources to sign high-priced free agents because there are too many holes to fill. Therefore, veterans have to be traded to receive talented young players.

Many baseball experts have praised MacPhail for the return he has received on Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard. Two proven veterans were turned into 10 promising players - including a center fielder, a left fielder, a closer and plenty of good young pitchers who will restock a depleted minor league system.

Obviously, it's difficult to see the most accomplished hitter and the best pitcher on the team go, but realistically neither of them would have helped the Orioles to a championship in the years left on their contracts. In fact, not trading them would have significantly slowed the rebuilding process - or made it unrealistic.

Fans should look forward to watching the group of young talent MacPhail is assembling develop into major league stars. From Nick Markakis to Matt Wieters, and Chris Tillman to Adam Jones, there is reason for excitement.

Will Holmes


Don't compare 'Spygate,' Clemens

Bill Ordine's column Tuesday ("Watch it, now: Strong denials may draw Specter's ire") is another in an interminably long list of histrionic declarations by alleged sports pundits about the evil New England Patriots. In this edition, the so-called "Spygate" charade is compared to Roger Clemens' testimony before Congress.

Some important differences include:

Clemens, unlike Bill Belichick, is alleged to have committed an actual crime.

Belichick, unlike Clemens, upon investigation by the league immediately disclosed the scope and duration of the practice at issue and turned over evidence of the same.

Belichick, unlike Clemens, was subjected to the biggest fine in league history and the largest allowable under league rules for his actions.

Clemens, unlike Belichick, was investigated as the result of a league-wide probe rather than a witch hunt against one team.

The obviously under-employed Sen. Arlen Specter should be ashamed of himself for his self-aggrandizing actions. Instead of calling for a "Congressional Investigation into Why My Team Lost the Super Bowl" many years after the fact against a backdrop of war, recession and other national problems, he should find something useful to do with taxpayer money.

Michael F. Galvin


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