So I'm in the market for a new baseball jersey.
An Orioles one of course. And I'm having a hard time deciding. Ergo, I've decided to air my deliberations publicly and hopefully elicit some advice on who to purchase and why.
There's a lot that goes into decision making like this. For instance, I can lecture you for days on the purchasing of a recent draft pick's threads. You see, I once thought Heath Shuler was going to be the greatest gift from God, and bought that No. 5 as soon as it hit the shelves. Boy do I look stupid now. Can't believe I paid extra for rushed shipping.
My Duke Jason Williams jersey looked like a good bet for a few years, until he left for the NBA, changed his name to "Jay" and saw his career go down the tubes after a brutal injury. And who's wearing No. 22 these days? No one, that's who! Boo!
My Orioles spring training jersey looks nifty, but there's only so many ways you can wear orange.
So here I am, debating which player to buy and why, and a lot goes into it: will they be around for a few years? Will they have an acrimonious departure from the team? Will they cheat on their wife, or beat a dog? And do they have a prosperous future? You know...in that prosperous future where I'm not celebrating the fact that the O's are only 3-16, instead of 2-17.
Let the debate begin!
My number one complaint?
You try finding a picture of Craig Tatum in an Orioles jersey. With a number that doesn't have exponents after it.
Now I like the number 15, but as long as Tatum's the one wearing it, not so sure.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't an indictment on what I think of Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Hendrickson, Cla Meredith, Kevin Millwood, Garrett Atkins, Cesar Izturis, Julio Lugo, Miguel Tejada, and Luke Scott.
I dig all of you...I just don't dig that you won't be donning an O's jersey for the next five years.
But if you insist for a reason for each here they are:
Guthrie: I'm not smart enough to rock a Stanford alum's jersey.
Hendrickson: Waaaay too long to fit across my shoulders.
Meredith: I'm a Skins fan, no way I'm rocking Meredith, even if it's not Dandy Don
Millwood: I'm too afraid he's a one-and-done
Atkins: People would constantly point and say, "Isn't he a Rockie?"
Izturis: Better off putting "Isuzu"
Lugo: Better off putting "Izturis"
Tejada: No way I'm defaming Brady Anderson's name with a steriod user (irony!!!)
Scott: I like to wear my jersey all the time...not just for 10 game streaks
Simply put, I'd place each of these guys odds at about 100:1.
Reimold really has the best shot out of these guys, who include Jason Berken (No. 49), David Hernandez (No. 27) and Jim Johnson (No. 43).
But if he can't stay on the field long enough, he might violate one of the cardinal rules of jersey buying: NEVER buy a guy with injury history...especially when it's an Achilles tendon issue.
Hernandez is an intriguing option, but his first name kills me. I can't walk around and answer someone when they ask me his name and I'll say "David." And then they'll say, "Isn't he that stripper guy who was on American Idol?"
Can't have that. Sorry David.
And Johnson isn't sexy enough, AND just like Jones, there are a million Johnsons.
Odds for this group...50:1.
I think I could rock a Jones jersey. I do.
But I don't know what it is about the No. 10 that makes me leery.
Honestly, I think it's the name that throws me off. How many Joneses are there? Like, a gazillion. Type it into MLB.com and you get 30 players.
Not so sure about that.
And as excited about Jones' future with the team as I am, I'm not excited by his one walk to 20 STRIKEOUTS!!!
Hard to pimp out a guy who whiffs that much.
Odds on Adam...10:1.
I'm hoping he sticks with the No. 34 that served him well.
Let's assume it is...and by assuming that, we'll also assume that Kevin Millwood isn't pitching for this team in 2011 when Arrieta is a member of the rotation.
This would be tempting. I like the way "Arrieta" sounds coming off my tongue. It's almost like "ARRIBA!!"
If Arrieta gets No. 34, I'd put odds at 7:1.
My first concern with Matt Wieters No. 32? It looks so big on him.
Now I'm a pretty big guy (6'3'' and 215) but I'm afraid that No. 32 would swamp me, no matter what size I got it in.
In every other department though, Wieters looks promising.
First and foremost, and I don't know if you've heard this or not, Wieters is the s***! He's a can't miss guy, who is already looking like a five-year vet behind the plate, and like a .310, 25 home run guy at it.
Second, as the present and future backstop of this franchise, Wieters is going to be around for a long time. Probably longer than Nick the Stick. You can't deal away a guy who attracted a record crowd on his debut night, and another record number on his first t-shirt night. That would be bad for business. Can't sell jerseys that way.
Truthfully, my biggest fear with a Wieters jersey, is that I'm going to have to constantly correct all those people who check out the name on the back and say, "Who's Whiters?"
Then again, I guess I'd have that same problem with "Mar-cack-is."
Odds on Wheat-ers...5:1.
The obvious choice right?
He's young (26), good looking, and a heck of a hitter. And he has a cool nickname than I wish more people would start referring to him by (Nick the Stick).
Maybe if he wasn't hitting below .300 this season, and actually had a home run to go with his three RBI. He does have a cannon in right field, and he is a perennial fan favorite so odds are in Nick's favor.
He also has the added security of signing his name to a 6-year $66-million deal that will keep him in Baltimore until 2014...
...unless the Orioles continue to suck (a la 2010) and Nick can't find his HR stoke. In that case, Nick becomes trade bait, and the O's make room for a youngster like Ronnie Welty or Xavier Avery.
Despite that somewhat negative paragraph, I'd put Markakis' odds at about 3:1.
Not gonna lie, I was pretty keen on Matusz when he wore No. 52. I was almost ready to break the rules and wear a high digit number for my boy.
And then...Matusz switched to his college number...17. He had finally made it, and by made it, I mean, he had finally achieved the status worthy of a number under 50.
And he did all that in less than two months of work in the big leagues.
Matusz is on the verge of getting the nod here for several reasons:
1) His name: very cool, clean and it has a Z in it, which Zach likes for obvious reasons.
2) His game: he's 7-2 in 12 career starts, and has already made his reputation as a giant killer. Look out Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays.
3) His arm: he's a lefty, which is cool, and will make me seem as quirky as I'm sure Brian, the lefty, is.
4) He is going to be in this rotation for a very long time, which gives the O's plenty of time to get good.
Odds on Matusz...probably 2:1