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On Ramon Nivar

Mar 31, 2005

In response to Sports Guy’s recent question about my thoughts on the Matt Riley for Ramon Nivar trade, I posted the following response:

I guess I would rather have… Not-Nivar.

In all seriousness, it’s tough to answer that question because I suppose that I would rather have both, or neither. There are a lot of variables to consider, including:

1) It’s always nice to have a surplus of pitching, but there comes a time when a surplus is bad… this case in point. It probably doesn’t make sense in the context of my ‘both’ position, but I am trying to look at it from a perfect-world point of view. In a perfect world, Riley would not have been rushed to the bigs in ’99, and probably would have been placed into the bullpen for a year or two after his surgery.. prior to this year. Placing him into the bullpen this year would have been foolish because: he was groomed as a starter from the beginning of ST, and he stunk up the field.

2) Likewise, I would imagine that over the past two seasons, given the depth of pitching that the Orioles have had, a few other savvy GMs may have been able to turn a package of those lost (Riley and Bautista to start) into something far superior to what we got. Just consider a package of Bauer/Riley/Bautista offered last year – not too shabby if you ask me. It probably would not be enough to land a super-star, but it would provide much more than a mediocre AAA ‘athlete’ and boring relief pitcher.

As it stands, I think that the Orioles painted themselves into a corner with this one and managed to make what they assumed was the best deal possible — and I wouldn’t disagree with them given that I do not think that Riley was worth very much at this point. However, the Riley/Nivar deal represents a scary prospect that I have been harping on with my disgust of the baseball ‘athlete’ and the hiring of Joe Jordan. To me, losing Riley through waivers would have given me a better feeling than reality.


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