05 August 2014

Positive Depot Articles in the Past Month

I usually try not to feed the trolls, but in this case, I'll make an exception. I've seen more than a couple commenters recently criticize Camden Depot writers for not falling over themselves to compliment the Orioles for the Andrew Miller trade. Basically, the insinuation from some is that we are not Orioles fans and are too negative.

We certainly do not always have positive things to say about things the O's do, but that doesn't mean everything we write is negative. That just isn't the case. We provide fair and critical analyses of the Orioles. Sometimes we're right; sometimes we're wrong.

Here are some Depot articles from the past month that could be classified as "positive." And it should be noted that most of the articles weren't really positive or negative; they were just posts about the Orioles.

Revisiting Adam Jones's Extension

Examining Steve Pearce's Fantastic, Unexpected First Half

Duquette's Trades in 20/20 (2012 Season)

Expanded Roster: In Defense of Ryan Flaherty

Expanded Roster: Zach Britton, Closer?

You could also include many of the trade suggestion pieces that ran in July, since most of them called for the Orioles to make moves to strengthen themselves to ensure that they would win the AL East. If you disagreed with a trade idea, that's fine, but that doesn't make it negative.

Right now, the Orioles are 63-48 and lead the East by 4 games over Toronto. That is reason enough to be excited. But our goal at Camden Depot is to make you think critically about things the O's do and don't do. All it takes to be happy about how things are going is to simply look at the standings.


Unknown said...


I don't think those people really "get" baseball. At least from the business standpoint or something.

Scott said...

I havent read you enough to know if you are positive or negative, you don't seem that negative to me at least; However - the Miller trade was certainly NOT a terrible, or even bad, trade for the O's. Thats is simply a fact.

You don't get something for nothing. The O's got a terrific reliever who can get guys out on both sides of the plate. They gave up a prospect. Sure - he may end up the next Cy Young....but I'd hate to dig through all your articles to find out how many of the guys who have come up the past 6-8 years to see how many you callec "can't miss".

Dollars to doughnuts there's a couple who didn't quite work out.

I can't believe you wouldn't want Miller for THIS year.

Pat Holden said...

I don't think anyone has labeled Rodriguez as "can't miss" if that's what you're saying.

There is a long string of comments on the Miller post but this one from Nate sums up the main point that I think has been voiced by the site...

"Just want to reiterate the point of the article, which may be getting forgotten as more comments come in (the comments are very much appreciated by the way). The post isn't saying that getting Miller was bad, and it's not saying that they should have kept Rodriguez.

The main point is that Rodriguez's value could have been better leveraged to provide a bigger improvement to the team than Miller. That's should be the take-away message."

Jon Shepherd said...

We have never called anyone a can't miss prospect. There are none of those. Ever. We kind of are all about probability here.

coast said...

There are a lot of "fanboys" or "homers" who read MASN who have commented here. People who will attack anyone who says any critique no matter how fair it is. For example, Markakis had a terrible year last year and so many people didn't want to say anything bad about him. Jimmy Johnson messed up so many games and again there were numerous fans who kept backing him. Showalter has made many questionable moves (including putting JJ back in again and again last year), but very few even question anything he does and treat him like a god. Using statistics to fairly critique is what a sports writer should do, and your site actually does that better than most any other. So, don't stop as it is really needed. Doing positive reports when appropriate and negative reports when appropriate--wherever the data leads. And yes, questioning the miller trade is appropriate. He is a 2 month rental. If the O's don't go far in the playoffs, he will be another one of the rental players the O's have traded for in the least couple years that wasn't worth it (Feldman, Krod, etc.).

Philip said...

Jon, Matt, Et al.
I don't think you need apologize at all for anything you've written, nor do you need to engage in any "damage control"
To my eyes, you often seem overly down on this or that guy, or you seem overly interested in bringing in a guy who doesnt appear to be an upgrade(Frankin and Barney come to mind) and occasionally, you don't scream and curse and complain as much as I think you should.
But I'm a layman, and I agree or disagree with a Layman's knowledge of the intracacies of the sport.
I enjoy this site very much, and I would think any interested party would as well.

Luciano said...

I really enjoy reading Camden Depot. You dont get behind the trends or wiining or losing streaks. Just trying to be objective.
In a first place team people tends to read a little bit more and so, when something looks like a critic to the team, they tend to get a little bit annoyed.

Having said that, I think Miller's trade has been very gooood. If you make the playoffs he can provide the difference between winning and losing the series.

Jim D. said...

"The main point is that Rodriguez's value could have been better leveraged to provide a bigger improvement to the team than Miller." - This is just speculation but it is stated like a fact. The Orioles front office likely had a much better idea of who they could have received in a trade of Rodriguez.

Nomad said...

"We have never called anyone a can't miss prospect. There are none of those. Ever. We kind of are all about probability here. "

Probability, and statistics, and numbers on top of numbers on top of numbers. Hyperinflated on stats it seems like to me, could use some O's magic :)

Otherwise though, that criticism of the Depot is spot on: writers here are and have been routinely critical of the O's. That might have been warranted a few years ago, but the kind of negativity that spews from here since 2012 is astonishing. They have been winning for some time now, I would think there are more POSITIVE things to say and reflect on than always criticism. Every time I visit this blog, I am expecting it to have something negative or critical. It's disappointing, because no other teams' blogs read as woefully as the Depot, even for losing teams. Why should a winner be so consistently criticized? Maybe its a matter of ego, or the politics of media on the web needing controversy to sell, or some other uselessly irrelevant aspect that drives this tendency. Whatever the case is, it's ridiculous and has been for a very, very long time.

The O's deserve more than whatever this place has to offer.

Anonymous said...

I think Rodriguez was the right prospect to trade, and Miller is a fine return, but I do wish that they had been able to package him with other players to make a more significant upgrade to the rotation. I suggested such a package including him for Sale or Hamels before the deadline

Matt Kremnitzer said...


There's a difference between an overwhelming amount of negativity and a lack of regular enthusiastic and glowing posts. As I noted in my post, we cover more than enough positive (or whatever you want to call it) topics, and much of what we write isn't so much negative as questioning or thought-provoking. We don't write game recaps, so we're not throwing parades every time the O's win.

The Orioles are on fire and now lead the East by 5 games. Obviously it's something we enjoy seeing; who wouldn't rather cheer for a winning team than a losing one? O's fans suffered for so long, and I still can't believe that they're winning all of these games, and I'm certainly not taking it for granted. But there are plenty of places to go to celebrate the O's winning. We'll run pieces every now and then discussing those wins and what it means going forward. We're trying to be objective as possible, and I'm not sure why that's woeful or ridiculous.

Unknown said...

I would say that this site is less positive than many other team blog sites. I would not say overly negative, just not overly positive. I consider this a good thing. There are plenty of outlets, like The Sun, which are massively celebrating our current success. And that is fine too. These guys just try to offer a less emotive outlook. I like having the variety. Having all available outlets be either ra ra ra, or stat stat stat would suck. A combo is good,and they do the work of being a more stayed and objective Os news outlet very well. By the way, GO OOOOOOOOOOs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim D. said...

Having read most of the posts on this site for awhile (primarily because ESPN references all of them on their Orioles team page), I think that tone of this site often feels not like "fair and critical analyses", but like Orioles fans who like to complain. The post "Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller" is a good example. The analysis used to support the conclusion stated in the title is quite weak. I am sure other teams were paying attention to Rodriguez's performance this year, and I doubt anyone currently considers him a top 100 prospect. Their are probably Red Sox postings titled "Red Sox Did Not Receive Enough for Andrew Miller". A "fair and critical" analysis probably should not lead with such a strong conclusion either way.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Jim D.:

You sound like a fan who just really liked the Miller trade and is upset that Camden Depot doesn't wholeheartedly agree with you. This FanGraphs article (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/orioles-land-andrew-miller-from-busy-red-sox/) and even Keith Law, among others, reached a similar conclusion.

Erik said...

I think the criticism comes from those that highly value short term gratification over long-term performance of the franchise. They are acting as if the Orioles have not been in the playoffs in 20 years, when they were in the playoffs a couple of years ago.

The new goal should be to win the World Series, not just get into the playoffs to get wiped out by really good teams. A real plan to win the World Series means building a really strong club for a stretch of years player-by-player to achieve a lot of depth for the regular season with key players such as an ace pitcher or two to get you through the playoffs.

Along the way, leave it to luck whether you make the playoffs or not. So far luck has been good to us (and bad to Toronto). After all, ask any of the Orioles whether they would rather be lucky or good, and I bet they answer lucky.

Jim D. said...

I never stated whether I liked the Miller trade at all, much less if I really liked it. It obviously helps the Orioles this year, but could hurt them in the long run. That is the chance the Orioles front office was willing to take. My issue with the post was the unsupported assumption that the Orioles could have received more in a trade for Rodriguez. I think it is likely the Orioles front office spent some time finding out who else might be interested in Rodriguez and what players they could get in return for him, and chose the Miller trade as the best option. Also, the Red Sox certainly received other offers for Miller, so the Orioles had to make a strong offer to beat the competition if they felt their priority was adding a top relief pitcher.

Jon Shepherd said...

Jim, a couple (as in two) evaluators have mentioned that Orioles could have gotten more for Rodriguez, but that they wanted Miller and Rodriguez could get them Miller. As in, they overpaid because they really wanted a guy. They both called it a "comfort move."

So...yes, the Orioles could have received more for Rodriguez if they were looking to maximize value. They were not. They were looking for a specific kind of talent. Now, those who do not know the people I know could easily come up with that because you can compare prospect levels with the kind of talent that prospect level was able to acquire.

This really is not a lot of hand waving.

Jim D. said...

If that is the case, then an article explaining the Orioles front office thinking would be more interesting than jumping to "Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller". The Orioles are obviously trying to improve their chances of winning this year, so it makes sense they would prefer Miller to a return of "maximum value" that may not help them as much this year. Really, if their priority was to get maximum value from Rodriguez, they would have just kept him.

Getting back to the tone of the article, statements like "Baltimore is not a team that was one bullpen piece away from being the prohibitive AL East favorites" is not exactly a quantitative analysis of the Orioles roster strength, or a good argument against the Miller trade. The Orioles should probably already be considered the favorite to win the AL East, and adding Miller should improve their chances of winning the AL East, so how is it possible to determine if it takes them from "favorite" to "prohibitive favorite" or not?

Jon Shepherd said...

Jim, on the first point. Eh, I don't really care what our readers find interesting or not. This site continues because we write about what we find interesting. If there is overlap between our interests and the readers, great. If not, so it goes.

On the second point, I think you are too sensitive about tone and are looking into for reasons to be upset. There is no problem with the language we have chosen. It is all defensible.

To add a third point, isn't everyone tired of this discussion by now? I have little interest in engaging a very small portion of our readership on their belief that somehow we are not being fair to the Orioles. Weekly, we are called homers and haters. Frankly, that is where we should be, right in the middle between to the two crazy sides of Baltimore fanaticism.

Jim D. said...

Honestly, I am not upset at all by anything I read on this site, I am just responding to the subject of this post, "Positive Depot Articles in the Past Month", which brought up the subject of readers criticizing this site for being too critical of the Orioles. I am just trying to provide some feedback as to why I think the post "Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller" resulted in so many negative responses in the comments, to which this post seems to be a response. If you "don't really care" what your readers find interesting or have "little interest in engaging" any portion of your readers, perhaps you should disable the comments feature.

robotosan said...

As an ex-patriot, I find the Depot to be a great way of keeping in touch with my Orioles. Living on the west coast also lets me have an objective view of what's happening. I don't find your critiques to be overly negative nor saccharine sweet. In this respect, I think from watching the last couple of games with Miller, he's a great pickup. SOLID. I was confused last night in seeing him struggle with control against RH hitters and be dead on killer against southpaws. A concern. I think he gives Showalter an almost absolute protection in that important 8th inning setup role. As far as being a 2 month rental, if he shows he can be this solid, PAY HIM. He looks good in orange and black.

Jon Shepherd said...

Disable comments? Do you only engage the world because you are worried about what everyone thinks about you?

Jon Shepherd said...

We shall see. I think Miller does not exactly hit his spots well. I hope he shines though.

Jim D. said...

I am not sure I understand the last comment about disabling comments. However, just as you do not hesitate to criticize the Orioles when you disagree with a move they have made, you should expect criticism from your readers when they disagree with a post, not call them trolls or dismiss them as not worth engaging.

A final point, just as you feel your readers should not assume you are unfair to the Orioles just because you are sometimes critical of their moves, you should not assume any reader who defends an Orioles moves that you disagree with are doing so because they unreasonably reject all criticism of the Orioles. I disagree with some moves the Orioles make and agree with others, I just happen to feel the argument presented in "Orioles Give Up Too Much for Andrew Miller" was flawed, whether Keith Law or other analysts agree with you or not.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Seriously, dude, you win. You said we are Orioles fans who like to complain. If that's not a troll comment, then I don't know what is. But you win. Congrats.

Patrick said...

I have been reading Camden Depot for quite some time now (ever since they took over the sweetspot link from the previous blog (weaver tantrum or something?). And the title of this article made me laugh immediately.
However, the comment section made me really sad, specifically the comments from your staff. I have in the past thought to myself that the site is a bit negative but over time I realized that I think the correct term is skeptical. Paired with some of the comments about being surprised by oriole success it makes sense. The long years of struggles and bad front office moves left some of its best and brightest fans ever vigilant to the possible pitfall that may wait.
This site offers a nice counter point to MASN and other sites and allows a fan to see multiple sides of the same issue, bridging the gap between the two sides of Baltimore’s intense fan base. It also seems to evaluate deals and performance in a vacuum (X = or =/= to y). I also really enjoyed the pitch f/x data that is posted from time to time (Also the Bat article was really neat). It has the feel of an insider site, like it is operated by people with their hands on the pulse of the organization (whether that is the case or not, I do not know) so I can see Jon D’s point. If I am not mistaken, I believe he is trying to say that the intent of the organization is often lost in the statistical analysis (i.e. Shepard’s point about the orioles wanting Miller and being willing to give up what was needed to get him). To me this point changes the entire idea of the story, even if it just seemed like a given to the writers of the site. Regardless, I wanted to address the comments made by the staffers to Jon D.
I have seen many a homer, and numerous people complain in comments and usually your responses are amusing and part of the fun of reading the site. Not only that, they are usually supported by facts and intelligent conclusions. In this case it seemed like you lumped this other guy in with some of the crazy homers and disregarded anything he had to say as “someone who liked the miller deal” and hated your article. More so you go on to go after this guy, say you do not care about what people think about what you write and do not want to engage in it. The final post of just telling him he won? I don’t think this guy was ever trying to win anything.

Patrick said...

It reminded me of when you offer up some criticism to a colleague and they just start spouting off at you and when you try to tell them you were just trying to help they tell you to go F*** yourself. In the end the person with the suggestion was trying to make a suggestion and then spent the rest of his time trying to justify his original point while being slammed. This was monumentally disappointing to me for several reasons. Also I realize two different staffers were commenting but I am just going to combine them.
Firstly, you posted the article and you said, “not trying to feed the trolls here but…” What did you expect to happen? Secondly, you do not care about what we think… This is such a lame, cop out “I’m frustrated” response and I really hope it’s not true. If x amount people come to your site every week and wait for you to post things take the time to read it, and offer you comments and suggestions to improve you work and you don’t care? That would be like a ball player saying well I did everything and I am the one with the talent so the hell with the fans. To someone who really likes this site it’s a slap in the face. Lastly, as a website that pride itself in objective analyses you do not seem to handle criticism well. Why wouldn’t you want suggestions to make your site or your writing better? If you do not like what they said, why say anything at all? Can you not step into the fans shoes to see what they would like you to add to the site? In this specific case, not redoing the website with sunshine and kittens but perhaps some perception of the what the organization was thinking for making an uneven deal(I digress, I do not want to get on the topic of the miller article as it’s not the purpose of this comment).
I am not going to make the cliché “I’ll never read your site again” because it’s probably not true and as you stated you do not seem to care. The point of my post is that maybe you should take a little glance at yourselves from time to time and decide why you started doing this work to begin with. In this comment section Camden depot seemed like the irrational flamer as the outsider took the role of calm, thoughtful debate. The entire think could have been avoided with a “thanks for the suggestion” or nothing at all.

Jon Shepherd said...

Thanks for the suggestion.