The ongoing drama that is the fight for the fifth rotation spot has one less candidate tonight as one time top pitching prospect Matt Riley was taded to the Texas Rangers for another one time prospect Ramon Nivar, a OF/If who is slated to start in AAA.
WTF! Just when you think the Orioles would have done something stupid like putting Riley in the bullpen to give a rotation spot to Chen, they go and do something even more stupid and trade a golden left arm for a guy who will never play a game in an O's uniform.
So what if Riley had an attitude problem! Do you really think that Clemens, Pedro and the Unit were all nice guys who were humbled by their extrodinary talent? Hell no! They went to the mound with spunk and they knew their stuff was good. Maybe Riley was too hot headed off the field and that was a distraction but at the end of the 04 season, he put up the best numbers of his career.
Steve Davis on WBAL radio made one hell of a point tonight in regards to what I like to call "The Miller Effect". Ray Miller is arguably the best pitching coach in the bigs today. He was expected to turn a young, flailing staff into a solid 5 man rotation over a little more then half a season. Well, in 90+ games last year, he did just that. Riley pitched the best he ever had under the guidance of Ray Miller. In september he went 2-1 with a 2.46 ERA over 29 2/3 IP.
Sure 4 out of 5 of the teams were mediocre at best. Sure he gave up 3 runs to Boston en route to a ND, but regardless of the talent he faced, at the end of a season filled with so much promise and so much more dissapointment, he was a "ray" of light looking at a bright future.