Myriad O's Thoughts: Brotherly teammates; the strange catching situation; Mattingly and Buck - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Myriad O’s Thoughts: Brotherly teammates; the strange catching situation; Mattingly and Buck

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

One of the more interesting responses to the fallout from the Chance Sisco demotion, is that maybe this is just a publicity stunt to get the Joseph brothers together on a MLB diamond.

Maybe it’s a way to sell tickets.

I wanna say, ‘What?’ But past precedent shows the Orioles aren’t beyond that thinking.

In 2001, which was Cal Ripken Jr.’s last season, which should have been enough from a PR standpoint, the Orioles traded for Tim Raines Sr., in October so he could spend four games playing with his son, Tim Raines Jr., an Orioles rookie.

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It got some national coverage and we wrote about it locally, so I guess it worked. And the Orioles can forever claim Raines Sr., now a Hall of Famer, as one of their own — albeit ever so briefly.

This, of course, is a lot different.

Having Corban and Caleb Joseph together on the big league roster won’t exactly be national news, though brotherly teammates haven’t happened with the Orioles since Ripken and little brother, Billy, last played together in 1996. (It certainly was a huge deal in 1987 when the two were managed by Cal Sr.)

Anyway, this is a nice story especially given that both the Joseph boys have had to grind their way through their careers. Caleb spending seven seasons in the minors before his first call-up in 2014 and Corban going five years in between big league assignments (his debut was in May 2013 with the New York Yankees).

But no extra tickets are gonna be sold – at least not in Baltimore. In fact, given the Orioles’ roster carousel, there is no guarantee both will be with the team when it comes back home after a week on the road.

Although, there’s no better place for the Orioles to go this week for the Josephs than Atlanta.

The brothers grew up near Nashville, roughly a three-plus-hour drive to Atlanta. They also have extended family in Atlanta.  So, I’d imagine they’ll have a huge support group this weekend when they take on the Braves.

So, maybe this was a stunt to sell tickets in Atlanta.

End of a weird saga

The Orioles haven’t announced it officially, but with the demotion of Sisco, Joseph will be back catching for the Orioles, something he has done fairly regularly since 2014.

I’m still a little uncertain why Joseph was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk in mid-May anyway. True, he was hitting just .182 in 80 plate appearances, but that was primarily because of an awful April in which he hit .137. He was batting .269 with his lone home run in eight games in May when he was sent down. His defense wasn’t up to his standards, either, but that seemed to improve in May as well.

The thought at the time was that the Orioles wanted to give the full-time job to Sisco, and it was tougher to do that with the veteran Joseph hanging around. But Sisco never truly was given that everyday job. He made 12 starts in April, 14 in May and seven halfway through June.

There also was the sentiment that maybe the Orioles were trying to send a message to their struggling veterans that no one was safe. And Joseph was one of the few with a minor league option remaining.

But that certainly didn’t resonate, either. Joseph isn’t considered a high-salaried vet, not compared to most of those on the team.

And the Orioles were worse, record-wise, without Joseph.

They were 13-28 with him on the roster and 7-22 while he was in Norfolk. In other words, they were bad regardless.

Just another head-scratching move by the Orioles in 2018.

Mutual respect despite bad seasons for Mattingly and Showalter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly have been friends for a long time – they were first teammates for the Double-A Nashville Sounds of the New York Yankees’ organization in 1981, and later, in New York, Showalter managed Mattingly for four seasons.

The mutual respect is still there.

“I remember the first time I saw him in the minor leagues, I knew that I was gonna have to find another position than whichever one he chose to play or they chose for him to play,” said Showalter, who, like Mattingly, played first base and outfield in the minors. “He was a great teammate. Then as you get him as a player, you appreciate him even more. I have a lot of great Mattingly stories, all of them reflective of the character and the man.”

Now they are both big league managers for teams that are among the worst in baseball. They were together this weekend for three games – Mattingly’s Marlins winning two of them – but there were no tears shed about their current fates.

“We don’t sit there and commiserate. One thing that he and I, I know we share, is that we don’t sit around talking bad about players,” Showalter said. “Donnie’s not a guy looking for a sympathetic ear, and nobody wants to hear it. But they got the right guy to take them down that path, that’s for sure.”

Mattingly said the same thing about Showalter and the Orioles – he has empathy for him, but he’s not worried about his old friend and skipper.

“Buck actually went through (down times) when I was playing for him in New York early on, turning that thing around over there,” Mattingly said. “So, Buck knows what he is doing. He knows exactly what he is doing all the time. Empathy, yeah, but you know he knows how to handle it.”

 

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. deqalt

    June 19, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Someone explain to me why all the sudden Buck is considered not a good manager. I am reading so much about the fact that he should be fired. I get the team is having an epic season, but there is a laundry list of reasons and he is now in the top 10. This team has overachieved for 5 years now. Buck has won with a weak rotation and its caught up with them. Accountability is great but there are not 5 better managers in baseball right now.

    • Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

      June 19, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Agreed, 120%.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 19, 2018 at 10:38 am

      I think this smells of a bar blog.

      • deqalt

        June 19, 2018 at 1:12 pm

        Dan,

        You disagree that Buck is a good manager and should not be fired?

        • Bancells Moustache

          June 19, 2018 at 1:25 pm

          Top five managers don’t watch their ballplayers make the same fundamental mistakes every single day and change nothing.

          I look at Showalter the same way I do Tillman: you did a great job a few years ago, thanks for the memories… don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

          • deqalt

            June 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

            This is why sports fan are looked upon so poorly. People want Buck gone that’s their right as a fan. Treating him poorly and wanting to kick him out the door is disrespectful to someone who clearly had the fans of Baltimore in mind during his stay. In a era where players, owners, managers could care less we have a manager who does. You mention letting players make same mistakes over and over. Have you seen the roster? You are switching out crap for crap.

          • Bancells Moustache

            June 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm

            Yeah, but you are implying that Showalter has no input on the roster, which is ludicrous. The idea that he is some hardworking genius who would have won the last 8 Pennants if only evil Dan Duquette didn’t keep sending his agents of death to screwup the team OBP is flat out wrong. Angelos even offered him the job of GM when MacPhail left and he turned it down. Showalter has as much influence over the roster as any manager in the game, some reports saying he routinely goes over Duquette’s head to take care of “his guys”. That’s how you end up with Darren O’Day instead of Andrew Miller. When a team has a collapse of this magnitude, and this is as raging a structure fire as you will ever see, you can’t simply give the field manager a pass because the team was good four years ago.

  2. 54orioles

    June 19, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I really like your opinions on baseball but the this season is so bad that you are resorting to soap opera commentary as a means to fill a page.

    Sorry

    • Dan Connolly

      June 19, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Not sure I get your point on soap opera commentary. Unless some sarcasm missed its spot. Which happens, I admit.

    • 54orioles

      June 19, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Not sarcasm. Let’s talk baseball not who’s feelings get hurt or likes who.

  3. Orial

    June 19, 2018 at 8:05 am

    As much as Sisco’s star still has a little luster(though fading) it appears catching is becoming a qyagmire in this organization. Quick question— after seeing all the justifiable acholade being given Juan Soto and finding out he was an international signee, do you see any chance with the Angelos Sons and new regime possibly coming that the O’s will finally participate?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 19, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I dunno. But the fact is it is going to be a continual struggle without that piece. Period.

  4. Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

    June 19, 2018 at 9:48 am

    If that was a publicity stunt, it’s the lamest publicity stunt on record. The only people suddenly buying tickets to see Corban and Caleb all have the last name “Joseph”.

    Cisco was sent down because he was not playing well, not hitting well, not throwing well. He’s not shown to be a particularly effective receiver and grades low on pitch framing. Basically, he was not doing the job. As Dan noted, playing him every day at the MLB level is a nice idea in a lost season, but in practice it affects a lot more than just Sisco — it affects the pitching too.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Exactly. I think maybe my sarcasm did get lost a little. I’ll do better.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    June 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I, for one, spent a fortune today on tickets to every O’s game for the remainder of the season. I will one day tell my grandchildren of witnessing the immortal Corban Joseph in the flesh.

    Seriously, did Drew Dosch test positive for something we don’t know about, sticking him next to Steve Wilkerson on the list of ‘thou shall not promote”?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 20, 2018 at 1:12 am

      And boom. Wilkerson is up. You are a psychic Stache.

  6. Eldersburg Enigma

    June 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I heard earlier this week from a reliable source that the principal owner of the Orioles is suffering from a dreaded disease that impacts his mental faculties a great deal. His sons are fully in control of the franchise at this point. And my guess is that the owner’s deteriorating condition is why the MASN dispute has not been a front-and-center issue for a long time. I wonder if Manfred will convince the other owners to block transfer of the team to his sons. That would force a sale. I wonder if the team might move after the 30-year OPACY lease expires in a few years?

    • Dan Connolly

      June 20, 2018 at 1:13 am

      The Orioles aren’t going anywhere.

  7. Birdman

    June 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    The frustration (and apathy) of Orioles fans is not helped by the apparent lack of urgency on the part of the organization. We all know that there is no quick fix for this team, but its late June, the team is on pace for one of the worst seasons in MLB history, and the major personnel move so far is to bring up Corban Joseph from the minors. By the trade deadline, if not sooner, Machado, Britton, Brach, O’Day, Trumbo, and others, need to be moved for the best returns available.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 20, 2018 at 1:14 am

      O’Day is 10-5 now. You can’t trade him without his permission. The same with Jones.

  8. Ekim

    June 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    My question is (and has been) why the hell are Coolbaugh and McDowell still around? If it’s because they’re Showalter’s “boys” then they should all be gone… and send Douchette with them. While I’m at it, why is Wright still here? He is less than useless and always has been. He’s had more chances than he deserved. Go O’s… but come back when these losers are gone.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 20, 2018 at 1:15 am

      Ok. Then. Not sure what I can add here.

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