1987 Topps Mike Boddicker
Yes, this is going to post late. How do I know? Because I'm watching the Orioles Thursday night game as I type this. Part of it is by design (wanted to wait till after the trade deadline), part of it is by circumstance (a friend was in town last night and we went to the Salt Lake Bees game) and part of it is because I was working on some hockey writing (check out Raw Charge tomorrow). Oh, and the typical laziness.
The MLB trade deadline went by on Wednesday and unlike last season the Orioles were not a serious player. In fact, they made all of one transaction. And it didn't even affect the major league roster. Dan Strailey was traded to the Phildelphia Phillies for everyone's favorite asset - cash.
So, Thursday's line-up is pretty much the same as Tuesday's. Trey Mancini is still there. Hanser Alberto is still there, snagging line-drives and flaring base hits into right field. Dylan Bundy will get a start this weekend and at some point we'll see Mychal Givens closing games out.
Mike Elias was undoubtedly on the phones trying to make some magic happen, but nothing materialized. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are the returns just weren't worth making the deals so he passed. Making trades for the sake of making trades is a good way to screw up a rebuild.
For now, they are still Orioles. Will that stay true through the winter? Possibly not. One thing to consider, all of the main trade pieces that could have been moved this week are still under Orioles control for another season. Now they have another two months to boost their trade value.
The Orioles were 12-12 in the month of July and put together their best string of baseball out on the West Coast. If they keep playing like this, it will be because Jonathan Villar is still hitting and Dylan Bundy is getting his workman like 5-inning starts in.
A team may have been interested in Givens, after all not everyone throws 95+ and has a sharp breaking slider. Still, he's struggled to put it together this season and dealing him in July would have been selling him low. If he can harness his potential through August and September, the Orioles may be able to pry a decent prospect out of a competitor.
With the deadline behind them, the players should relax a little and hopefully that translates to about 24 more wins. They're already within striking distance of last year's total and while they have a rough stretch coming up soon, there are also some winnable games on their schedule.
Why is Mike Boddicker staring at you? Well, back in 1988 the Orioles were not very good (starting off 0-21 will knock you out of the race pretty quickly) and Boddicker was a veteran pitcher garnering some interest around the league. There was some speculation that the Orioles wanted to move him to the Yankees for a young right-handed slugger named Jay Buhner.
Instead they dealt the soft-tossing righty to Boston for another young outfield prospect, Brady Anderson, and a double-A pitcher by the name of Curt Schilling. Imagine a world where Brady stays with the Red Sox and Buhner is launching home runs in Baltimore instead of Seattle. Well, for one thing, we would never have had this:
Or this baseball card:
Or this poster:
So, yeah it worked out ok in the end. As for Boddicker, he went 7-3 down the stretch for the Red Sox in 1988 averaging almost 6 innings a start as Boston won the AL East by a game over the Detroit Tigers. Things did not go well in the playoffs as Boddicker started Game 3 of the ALCS and didn't make it out of the third inning as the Oakland A's touched him for three home runs. Mark McGwire, Carney Lansford and Ron Hassey went deep as the A's scored six runs against him on their way to a 10-6 victory. Oakland would sweep the Red Sox before getting eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
Boddicker pitched two more seasons for the Red Sox before joining the Kansas City Royals as a free agent before the 1991 season. Brady Anderson had a pretty good career for the Orioles while Curt Schilling would be part of the Orioles most infamous trade - the 1991 deal for Glenn Davis.