Dear Baltimore Orioles Employee,
While I am quite proud at the growth in readership ShysterBall has experienced since its debut back in April, it is not yet so wildly popular that I can't browse the hit stats from time to time, looking for interesting IP addresses to see who, exactly, reads this stuff. Once in a while, an interesting one sticks out. One assigned, for example, to an ISP named "baltimoreorioles.com," that landed here just before 3PM this afternoon. One that, based on how it found this blog, has given me great cause for concern.
Why am I concerned? Because, Mr. Orioles Employee, I know you didn't come here on purpose. I know that ShysterBall was just one of many search results for some information you were seeking. Some information that, if I were an Orioles fan, would inspire dread, fear, and loathing in copious amounts. This is the Google search that brought you here:
At the moment, the fifth hit for that search is this piece I wrote last week about free agents filers. The one in which I wrote "[Francisco] Cordero is probably a must-sign. Ray King is whatever the opposite of that is." The same Ray King who stunk up the joint most of the year, but especially once he went to Milwaukee in a desperate bid to help the Brewers. The same Ray King whose K/BB ratio has been decreasing at roughly the same rate his weight has increased, and who now can be counted on to allow something closer to two base runners an inning than one. In short, a guy you don't want to be considering to fill out your 2008 bullpen, Mr. Orioles Employee.
In writing this, I don't mean to criticize you for surfing the net in order to find some live arms for next year. Information is information, and you can find it anywhere, so good on ya for getting your Google on. But please understand sir, the Internet can be a dangerous place, and I'm sure that if you look hard enough, you will find someone somewhere, saying that Ray King may be worth a flier. Just keep in mind, Mr. Orioles Employee, that whoever says such a thing is probably on AOL dial-up and has Hamster Dance bookmarked. In other words, this is not someone to be trusted.
But I am, Mr. Orioles Employee. I am to be trusted because I know of, and even vaguely remember a time when the AL East was dominated by the Orioles, not the Red Sox or Yankees. I remember when a four game series against Baltimore meant my team was probably going to drop three rather than get well. I didn't root for the Orioles then and I don't now, but there was a certain comfort in knowing that Baltimore was going to cruise to 95-100 wins each year, because dammit, that was the world into which I was born.
Earl Weaver wouldn't have Ray King in his bullpen. For the sake of Charm City, Mr. Orioles Employee, you shouldn't either, so please, stop Googling Ray King.