Ugh, I hate to do this, stirring up old, painful memories, but … here is a list of the three worst acquisitions in the history of the Baltimore Orioles. Feel free to debate below in the comments.
1. Glenn Davis
This dude literally cost an arm and a leg … actually, two arms. Pete Harnisch, Steve Finley AND Curt Schilling. At the time, we thought it was amazing (though there were some skeptics). Arguably, all three had better careers. Finley and Schilling definitely had better careers. Harnisch and Davis might be considered equal value. The only problem is, both of them had their finest years not with the Orioles.
In three years with the O’s, Davis barely squeaked out the equivalent of a full year of playing time, with 185 games 24 home runs, 85 RBIs, and a crappy .247 average. Meanwhile, Harnisch had 111 wins, a 3.89 ERA, and 1,368 strikeouts. Finley played 19 years, had 304 homers, 1,167 RBIs, scored 1,443 runs, stole 320 bases, and had a .271 career average.
Then there’s Curt Schilling. Other than the fact that he’s crazy and kind of a douche, he won 216 games, had an ERA of 3.46, struck out 3,116 batters, and kicked ass in the postseason for both the Diamondbacks and the Red Sox (i.e., bloody sock).
The Glenn Davis trade was an epic fail not only in Orioles history, but all of baseball. It’s up there with the Red Sox unloading Bagwell, Phillies and Sandberg, Tigers and Smoltz, Mets and Nolan Ryan, Cubs sending Lou Brock to St. Louis, and the Yankees unloading both Fred McGriff and Jay Buhner. I’m trying to soften the blow by sharing these.
Little known fact … Glenn Davis and former Oriole Storm Davis grew up together. No, they’re not brothers. Glenn was from a broken family in Jacksonville, Florida and his parents divorced when he was six. He was essentially adopted by the other Davis family. The unrelated Davis boys dominated in high school and were both drafted by the Orioles in 1979. Storm signed, Glenn went on to play one year of college baseball at the University of Georgia.
2. Dan Ford
Who the hell is Dan Ford? He was a solid outfielder for the Twins in the late 70s and then an average player for the Angels in the early 80s. Then, we unloaded Doug DeCinces, who had a solid nine year tenure as the O’s third baseman, and threw in John Schneider to acquire Ford.
DeCinces went on to hit 130 home runs in six years, with 481 RBIs, and a .265 average. Schneider made his debut in 1981 and played his final game that same year, never making it to the majors with the Angels. Doug was also instrumental in the great 1986 season for the California Angels, almost making the World Series. To acknowledge his contributions to Baltimore, he was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2006.
However, since his playing days, his record hasn’t been so stellar. He was charged with insider trading in 2011 and ultimately paid $2.5 million to settle the charges.
Dan Ford hit a whopping 21 homers in four years, 104 RBIs, and batted .249. What a terrible addition. He did hit a home run in the 1983 World Series, so at least we got that out of him. What a disappointment.
BTW, DeCinces made $40,000 in 1977, his second full season in the majors. This year, Nick Markakis made $95,937.50 per game.
3. Albert Belle
This guy sucked on the field and as a person. What an unbelievably terrible acquisition he was. He wasn’t quite as bad as Glenn Davis, and he has some strong stats. But, he was such a jerk and his tenure was cut short with his premature retirement after the 2000 season with a degenerative hip condition.
I will admit that he was a strong addition his first year in Baltimore. And, his second year in Camden was still pretty decent. But the attitude, the occasional half-ass effort in the outfield was his death knell.
The O’s were terrific in 1996 and 1997. Easily one of the best teams in baseball. Belle was supposed to push us over the top. Unfortunately, his retirement pretty much sunk the team and was the albatross hanging over the team’s neck for the first half of the 2000s, which we worked to recover the second half of the decade.
After his retirement, the O’s were required to keep him on the 40-man roster for three more years as a condition of the insurance policy covering the remainder of his salary. We should have seen the warning signs. Any guy who has a clause in his contract that mandates being one of the top three highest paid baseball players is probably a jackass.
PS. Remember when we called him Joey Belle?
To ease the pain of these three, remember when we unloaded Mike Boddicker for Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling. That wasn’t so bad. We also traded for Frank Robinson, who went on to win a triple crown.