Reporting Bob Haynie
The Baltimore Orioles lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night. They also lost a heartbreaker on Monday night. How many more brutal losses will they endure before the move is made.
With apologies to Jim Johnson, it’s time for manager Buck Showalter to give the ball to Francisco Rodriguez in late-inning save situations.
K-Rod needs to be the closer.
While Jim Johnson leads the majors in saves (39), he also leads in blown saves (8). Johnson has blown two saves within the last week and has been on the verge of coughing up many others throughout the season.
I know his failures are magnified because he is the closer, but his job is to finish off games successfully. He just hasn’t been consistently good enough.
Johnson was brilliant in 2012. That’s all very touching. This is a new season and expectations for the Orioles are even higher than they were last year.
It is now August and Baltimore is in a pennant race. They can no longer afford to give away victories.
Rodriguez has experience as a closer, as he has led his league in saves three times during his career. He was a perfect 10-for-10 in save situations for the Brewers this season before he was traded to the Orioles.
He was brought in for a reason. Let’s put him to work.
Showalter is loyal to players who have helped the team achieve success. So, I understand that it would painful for him to have to remove Johnson as the team’s stopper.
Once again, however, the Birds are trying to win games.
Give Rodriguez the shot to help them do just that.
Give him the chance before it’s too late.