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rkelly7
12-25-2008, 11:14 PM
Alright guys, so we din't get any major free agents (luckily) and our best upgrade is a tossup between freel and izturis, what do we do?

Do: aquire a cheap innings eater like redding or looper, we need to make sure we dont tire out all our arms in the majors and minors, no garlands or sheets or anything costing more that 5 mill per year

Sign Markakis long term!!! do it do it do it, you cant lose out on him, i say 7 years 100 million, just get it done

trade brian roberts!!! we wont compete until 2012 or 2013, tillman matsuz and arrieta weont be instant aces, we all know that, so Brob will be like, 35 years old, trade him while he's worth a lot please!!!!!!!!!!!

Dont: get Adam Dunn, seriously, dont waste money on someone who wont even bring a crowd in, we are screwed for the next 3-4 years, so dont go paying people money who wont help the team long term

We need so save our resources and build the farm for a few more years, dont ruin and tire the arms, and trade aging vets

bshone
12-26-2008, 01:21 AM
Good stuff. I agree with your post 100%. The only thing I can add to your post is that I hope we make a clear effort to sign Markakis first and foremost - make it evident that he is our top priority. I also hope we trade Roberts well before the season begins. I think we should shop him like crazy in early 2009.

Eicholtz
12-26-2008, 01:58 AM
You say you don't want the arms tired out but if all you do is bring in one of the pitchers you named that is going to happen by April. There is Guthrie and a bunch of question marks. I never cared if they got Teixeira but I do care about the present pitching staff. The young arms they have will be ready in time so for now to get through this season and to avoid rushing the they could use some good pitchers. Who??? I don't know but not the bums I have been hearing. But with all that said I agree with just about everything you said. Especially about signing Markakis.

rkelly7
12-26-2008, 04:48 AM
You say you don't want the arms tired out but if all you do is bring in one of the pitchers you named that is going to happen by April. There is Guthrie and a bunch of question marks. I never cared if they got Teixeira but I do care about the present pitching staff. The young arms they have will be ready in time so for now to get through this season and to avoid rushing the they could use some good pitchers. Who??? I don't know but not the bums I have been hearing. But with all that said I agree with just about everything you said. Especially about signing Markakis.

yes, i agree with you completely, i forgot to mention adding other arms via free agency, but not quite the caliber of looper or redding, haha, not that they r good, but it would be nice to sign maybe looper/redding along with mark hendrickson and another no name that can pitch 150 plus innings, i really don't care if they have 5 era's, its not like we are a factor in the AL east for several more years, we should trade sherrill at the trade deadline if he is doing well

also, to add to my previous post

Do: Bring Chris Ray back as the closer, Sherill will succeed in a setup role more than as a closer, he did well until he tanked toward the end of last year and he would have been worth two pretty good prospects last july when i wanted him traded :cry: but who am i to talk? angelos is doing a great job......... :eyebrow:

sleewizard
12-26-2008, 08:48 AM
Just to add to what you said. We are, infact, in a pretty good position. Good young arms and a young talented prospect at nearly every position. But, if we do not succeed in trading Roberts or do not get the deal we are looking for, i think L.J. Hoes is being overlooked. I was intrigued by this guy coming into the draft, and the truth about him is, hes one of those high school prospects who will move fast. Hes 18, almost 19 right now, so by latee 2011 or 2012, he will actually be ready. Hes has good plate discipline which IMO is the most important thing to look for in an unadvanced highschool hitter. Hoes will move quickly and hes a better player than people realize.IMO he will be the Orioles 2nd baseman in 2012 and you can quote me on that.

nygiants242
12-26-2008, 08:49 AM
They NEED to lock up markakis right now

thegreatone08
12-26-2008, 09:24 AM
If they don't lock up Markakis and let him get away, I will officialy be done with this team.

Eicholtz
12-26-2008, 12:43 PM
If they don't lock up Markakis and let him get away, I will officialy be done with this team.

If something like that did happen I would be done as well. If they don't get a free agent..so be it usually they don't BUT if they let one of their own with talent leave for nothing or from a lack of effort and disrespect that will be it for me as well. But let's hope they get this done sooner then later and hope Markakis actually still wants to stay here.

rkelly7
12-26-2008, 05:36 PM
yeah, im tired of hearing BRob rumors and i get pretty bummed when angelos nixes deals, we just need to trade him to the cubs, all i want is:

Cedeno
Gallagher/Marshall

that will give us a solid middle infield prospect and a solid pitcher as well

and for the heck of it, we can throw in scott, it might look something like this:

Orioles Get:
Cedeno
Marshal/Gallagher
Pie

Cubs Get:
Brob
Scott
Low level prospect

please just pull the trigger angelos, we have done great this offseason (by not spending), so lets get the deal done to completely solidify our future, what will Brob be worth at midseason with 3 months left on his contract? or worse, what if he is older with a big contract that will be nearly impossible to move? Angelos will probably throw in a full no trade clause and half his law firm to keep him. Don't let pleasure interfere with your business angelos (no homo)

bal_ravens
12-26-2008, 11:58 PM
^^^ Dont like that trade.

We keep Scott. Im not impressed with Cedeno at all. I dont think the Cubs have anybody decent to get 3rd or second base wise.

rkelly7
12-27-2008, 04:58 AM
^^^ Dont like that trade.

We keep Scott. Im not impressed with Cedeno at all. I dont think the Cubs have anybody decent to get 3rd or second base wise.

I agree that cedeno is a big question mark, however im looking to the seasons 2012 and after, where scott will have nothing more than a bench role, so i think its worth the gamble to see if he turns out to be a decent player, worst case we can sign a FA middle infielder in 4-5 years

honestly, i dont care about the next two seasons, i dont care if we go 0-162 because for a few years, its gonna take 90 games to take the WC and they will be from the east every year

im optomistic about the future, but i dont care how bad we are right now, we are cleear dwellers, so lets do something about it! just lock up markakis!!! and dont make stupid signings that waste money and won't help us five years down the road

It would be nice to sign that japanese guy tho, i forgot his name :confused: just don't spend more than 8 mill a year on him

Dashtary
12-27-2008, 11:36 AM
i wouldnt really mind this trade, i think i would like it, although, i love scott and brob, he is really good, but we are going to have a log jam with the prospects coming up, notably reimold. We could put Scott at DH, but what good would that really do for us? He plays good defense, with hustle. Also, what good/value will brob have in 3-4 years? His value will be way down, and we would be pissed off that we didnt trade him. Im all for the youth movement, trade brob, maybe even sherrill, to bring in loads of prospects and mlb ready guys, these guys might still be in their prime, but their value will be really far down in 3-4 years, one guy i wouldnt mind bringing back, is millar, he wouldnt mind taking a bench role. My big question mark is huff, he is a great guy, but do we trade him, since his value is probably at its highest?

rkelly7
12-28-2008, 03:28 AM
i wouldnt really mind this trade, i think i would like it, although, i love scott and brob, he is really good, but we are going to have a log jam with the prospects coming up, notably reimold. We could put Scott at DH, but what good would that really do for us? He plays good defense, with hustle. Also, what good/value will brob have in 3-4 years? His value will be way down, and we would be pissed off that we didnt trade him. Im all for the youth movement, trade brob, maybe even sherrill, to bring in loads of prospects and mlb ready guys, these guys might still be in their prime, but their value will be really far down in 3-4 years, one guy i wouldnt mind bringing back, is millar, he wouldnt mind taking a bench role. My big question mark is huff, he is a great guy, but do we trade him, since his value is probably at its highest?

I agree, Millar is a great guy to have in the clubhouse, hopefully he would accept half the money he earned last year, however, everytime i see him in a "Bench" role, i feel he fails because he is a streaky hitter, meaning he needs regular AB's, which we can't give him unless we trade away Huff

I definately think we should trade Huff, he only gets like, 8 mill a year which is affordable to any team, he hasnt had a year as good as last since his days in TB, and he won't have a future with us in 3-4 years either, trade away:

Brob
Sherril (if he does well in the beginning of the year)
Huff
Mora (if anyone would take his contract and he waives his no trade clause, which he would probably never do :cry:)

And I also would not mind signing Ivan Rodriguez to a contract, maybe a 1 yr 5 million dollar contract, he is still one of the greatest defensive catchers in the game, and he sure could teach wieters a ton, he would be a great mentor, even if we overpay him, wieters will only get 400K for a few years, so we wouldn't be "overspending," besides, if wieters ends up slumping, IRod isn't a bad catcher to have as insurance, he helps pitchers also

catch212
12-28-2008, 11:04 PM
Close to a deal with Hendrickson. Not a big move, but it certainly can't hurt any.

rkelly7
12-30-2008, 02:15 PM
Close to a deal with Hendrickson. Not a big move, but it certainly can't hurt any.

Hey, its nothing to get too excited for, but its a lot better than bringing up tillman, matsuz and arrieta and having them all tank and need tommy john in 09, hell, i would even take back rodrigo lopez and bruce chen, just dont rush the big arms

and if we sign that japanese guy, we would have:

Guthrie
Japnaese guy (don't have a clue how to spell his name)
Hendrickson
Patton
Battle to 5th

Sure, its still the worst rotation in the AL east, however, thats at least 4 innings eaters, meaning rested bullpen, and we have a solid bullpen when they aren't overworked

We got:

Sherill
Ray
Albers
Baez
Walker
Johnson
Sarfate

This is a good core of guys to help end the game, as long as the starters average 6 to 7 innings a start

I think if we did this, for the first time, we wouldn't have to worry about the bullpen blowing the game, just the starters :p

ccpdt pro
12-30-2008, 02:58 PM
[QUOTE=rkelly7;7824470]Hey, its nothing to get too excited for, but its a lot better than bringing up tillman, matsuz and arrieta and having them all tank and need tommy john in 09, hell, i would even take back rodrigo lopez and bruce chen, just dont rush the big arms

and if we sign that japanese guy, we would have:

Guthrie
Japnaese guy (don't have a clue how to spell his name)
Hendrickson
Patton
Battle to 5th



I dont see 4 innings eaters in these names even assuming we sign a wildcard japanese pitcher. As much as I would love for Troy Patton to be a steady ML pitcher I am in the I-will-believe-it-when-I-see-it camp. A guy coming off of MAJOR surgery does not strike me as an innings eater. Olson as much as he is hated is much more likely to be a part of our rotation. I would trade liz for something off of the dollar menu.

Billy Griffin
12-30-2008, 03:04 PM
I usually don't like to be negative this time of year...
but this is what I see for 2009.
The Orioles will pick up anyone that's available for a cheap investment...
to fill the holes they have. :bs:
No one of any signifigant talent.
The big question from the front office will be......
will the Baltimore fans show up in 2009??
Or stay away in droves.:hide:
If they do.....
there will be major scrambling going on aroung June and July to satisfly the season ticket holders.

bigity b
12-30-2008, 03:07 PM
posted this in the all encompasing off-season thread -

SO, now that we lost out on Tex and most of the top FA are gone, whats the shopping list left for the O's. IMO its;

Sign Greg Zaun to back-up Weiters
Sign Ben Sheets
Sign backup 1B (assuming Huff is the starter and Scott is the DH)
IF the price is right and we miss out on Sheets, sign another pitcher to replace Cabrera? (among the list i like - Looper, Garcia, Colon, Byrd)

Any other suggestions? Anyone on the trade block from any other teams we're interested in? (IMO, dream scenario is Peavy opens up his list to include us and we work something out that sends him here. We can do it, they like Scott and that pitcher Olson...).

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?

ccpdt pro
12-30-2008, 04:15 PM
In a large part no...But look at the washington caps, two years ago you couldnt give tickets away. Winning games is what brings back fans. However for those who do show about Mayish and get to see the stud that is Matt Wieters will be in for a real treat. We are not signing colon he is awful, lazy, injury prone, and generally overpaid. If he wants a minor league contract have at it. Sheets costs too much for his injury concerns. The only pitcher maybe worth getting paid at this this point is Oliver Perez (great stuff and 27), but we arent looking for big contracts. Byrd we may sniff at, but i would expect tim redding/braden looper type signings (inning eaters on the cheap). The future of our pitching staff lies in Matusz, Tillman, and Arietta.. or so we hope.

vetoedbyangelos
12-31-2008, 02:25 AM
Okay, here it is.

Sign Sheets. Trade Roberts and Huff before Spring Training. Trade Luke Scott and Garrett Olson. Slot Baez in the rotation and see if his arm holds up. Use Sherrill as the set-up man (selectively), then trade him this summer.

We've signed Hendrickson. Take a flier on Freddy Garcia, resign Millar, and sign a right fielder who can DH. There are plenty of guys out there looking for jobs, and we can get some cheap production by making the move. Then sign either Zaun or Pudge as the Opening Day catcher.

That would give us Sheets, Guthrie, Garcia, Hendrickson, and Baez. Not very good, but at least two could contribute in 2010. If any of the other guys get off to hot starts, flip them while their value is inflated.

What prospects could we get for Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott, George Sherrill, and Garrett Olson? It might not change the AL East pecking order, but it's a start.

The Red Sox might be willing to deal for Huff, considering his flexibility and their needs. He'll be a free agent, so I don't care about dealing within the division. Roberts should probably go to a team with infield prospects, and Sherrill is the type of player that any team could use.

Doing this would keep our kids protected, cut our payroll, and give us an infusion of young talent. We also would have the number #5 pick in this year's draft, and probably a high pick in 2010.

What would I try to get for our veterans? I'd shop Huff to the Red Sox for Lars Anderson and maybe Michael Bowden. I'd then trade George Sherrill to the Brewers for Mat Gamel, and send Brian Roberts and Luke Scott to the Rays for Reid Brignac, Andy Sonnanstine, and Akinori Iwamura. After that, I trade Garrett Olson to the Padres for Chris Young, maybe package in Lou Montanez.

Here's what the team would look like:
LF Reimold
CF Jones
RF Markakis
3B Mora
SS Izturis
2B Iwamura
1B Millar
C Zaun/Rodriguez
DH (perhaps Adam Dunn, his stock is plummeting and he might take a one-year deal so he can try again next winter and get a big contract - it's worth a shot, otherwise, maybe Freel?)

SP Guthrie
SP Sheets
SP Sonnanstine
SP Young
SP Baez/Garcia

Hendrickson in long relief.

The staff is instantly upgraded, the offense would be dreadful - but Wieters should help by late May or early June. There's no pressure on our young arms, and we have the following prospects waiting in the wings:

Mat Gamel to take over for Melvin Mora at 3B
Reid Brignac to take over for Cesar Izturis at SS
Lars Anderson to take over for Kevin Millar at 1B

So, draft a 2B with one of the top picks (collegiate preferably) and get the ball rolling.

Imagine what 2010 could be like. We'd have Guthrie, Sheets, and Sonnanstine plus whoever was ready to join the rotation. We could let the excess arms walk, and field a team of young position players.

I think this stacks up pretty nicely:

LF Reimold
CF Jones
RF Markakis
3B Gamel
SS Brignac
2B Iwamura
1B Anderson
C Wieters
DH (maybe bring back Huff, depending on off-season options)

Izturis would be the defensive wizard on the bench, and we could sign a couple of retreads to back up the rookies.

rkelly7
12-31-2008, 03:52 PM
Okay, here it is.

Sign Sheets. Trade Roberts and Huff before Spring Training. Trade Luke Scott and Garrett Olson. Slot Baez in the rotation and see if his arm holds up. Use Sherrill as the set-up man (selectively), then trade him this summer.

We've signed Hendrickson. Take a flier on Freddy Garcia, resign Millar, and sign a right fielder who can DH. There are plenty of guys out there looking for jobs, and we can get some cheap production by making the move. Then sign either Zaun or Pudge as the Opening Day catcher.

That would give us Sheets, Guthrie, Garcia, Hendrickson, and Baez. Not very good, but at least two could contribute in 2010. If any of the other guys get off to hot starts, flip them while their value is inflated.

What prospects could we get for Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott, George Sherrill, and Garrett Olson? It might not change the AL East pecking order, but it's a start.

The Red Sox might be willing to deal for Huff, considering his flexibility and their needs. He'll be a free agent, so I don't care about dealing within the division. Roberts should probably go to a team with infield prospects, and Sherrill is the type of player that any team could use.

Doing this would keep our kids protected, cut our payroll, and give us an infusion of young talent. We also would have the number #5 pick in this year's draft, and probably a high pick in 2010.

What would I try to get for our veterans? I'd shop Huff to the Red Sox for Lars Anderson and maybe Michael Bowden. I'd then trade George Sherrill to the Brewers for Mat Gamel, and send Brian Roberts and Luke Scott to the Rays for Reid Brignac, Andy Sonnanstine, and Akinori Iwamura. After that, I trade Garrett Olson to the Padres for Chris Young, maybe package in Lou Montanez.

Here's what the team would look like:
LF Reimold
CF Jones
RF Markakis
3B Mora
SS Izturis
2B Iwamura
1B Millar
C Zaun/Rodriguez
DH (perhaps Adam Dunn, his stock is plummeting and he might take a one-year deal so he can try again next winter and get a big contract - it's worth a shot, otherwise, maybe Freel?)

SP Guthrie
SP Sheets
SP Sonnanstine
SP Young
SP Baez/Garcia

Hendrickson in long relief.

The staff is instantly upgraded, the offense would be dreadful - but Wieters should help by late May or early June. There's no pressure on our young arms, and we have the following prospects waiting in the wings:

Mat Gamel to take over for Melvin Mora at 3B
Reid Brignac to take over for Cesar Izturis at SS
Lars Anderson to take over for Kevin Millar at 1B

So, draft a 2B with one of the top picks (collegiate preferably) and get the ball rolling.

Imagine what 2010 could be like. We'd have Guthrie, Sheets, and Sonnanstine plus whoever was ready to join the rotation. We could let the excess arms walk, and field a team of young position players.

I think this stacks up pretty nicely:

LF Reimold
CF Jones
RF Markakis
3B Gamel
SS Brignac
2B Iwamura
1B Anderson
C Wieters
DH (maybe bring back Huff, depending on off-season options)

Izturis would be the defensive wizard on the bench, and we could sign a couple of retreads to back up the rookies.


While I admire your wishful thinking, much of what you said seems a long shot IMO

I do agree with trading huff, roberts, scott and sherill.
however, the rays will not have any interest in Brob, and the WILL NOT trade Brignac, so thats already out of the picture

Keeping Millar is important to me too, let him start for all I care, it makes him happy and we aren;t comtenders anyway, good club guy, so let him hit after we trade huff

I wouldn't mind signing zaun or pudge, i would prefer pudge as long as he isn't expensive, he could be a great mentor to wieters

I do not agree with signing ben sheets, he is a huge question mark, unless we could get him for 7 mill a year or less, im out

and trading for peavy would be so dumb, we are building, not buying

trading olson also would be stupid IMO, we aren't going to get chris young for him, so i say throw him back in AAA until he can prove he can pitch

and if the orioles sign adam dunn or fail to lock up markakis, im converting to a nationals fan because dunn cannot help our team for the money he would be getting, ahhhh, angelos!!!!!!!!!

The orioles just need to theink for the future (2012-2013) so signing ben sheets, or getting peavy or dunn would just be stupid, save now, spend later

vetoedbyangelos
01-02-2009, 04:49 AM
I did not suggest the Orioles try to get Jake Peavy. The price would be too steep, even if Peavy waived his no-trade protection.

Chris Young doesn't have a lot of value. He isn't durable, and frankly, he's arbitration eligible. The Padres are desperate to shed payroll and haven't been able to ship Peavy. Moving Young would save them cash and net them a pitcher they really like (Olson). I think that's pretty plausible. I also think Huff for Anderson is reasonable, although asking for Bowden is a stretch.

Sherrill for Gamel is fair. You can deflate Sherrill's value by saying he didn't pitch well in the second half, but Gamel is still JUST A PROSPECT. In fact, he probably doesn't have the defensive chops to stick at 3B long-term. Most scouts think he'll end up at 1B or DH in the AL. Probably not DH since he doesn't project as a slugger at the next level.

As far as Roberts is concerned, yeah, I really overestimated his value. It was a bad example. The Rays would be interested in Luke Scott, but maybe for Mitch Talbot and nothing more. That being said, I think Roberts needs to get swapped for at least one infielder. Just don't send him to the Cubs, because they don't have the prospects.

Maybe the Indians, I do like Asdrubal Cabrera. We could also add some depth to our system with guys like Michael Brantley, David Huff, and Beau Mills.

Also, Brignac isn't untouchable. The Rays drafted Beckham for a reason. Also, he didn't exactly tear things up in 2008. He also projects to possibly slide over to 3B, which isn't an option for them because of Longoria. Beckham is the guy being groomed for SS at Tampa Bay, not Brignac - although he may get auditioned at the position and traded before he outgrows it.

As far as Ben Sheets is concerned, take a look at his VORP in recent years. This is a guy who, despite injury problems, is far more valuable than anybody else on the free agent market. People keep talking about durability with Sheets, but you need the address the quality of innings you receive. Jon Garland will take the ball every fifth day, but he can't touch Sheets when it comes to stuff. Sheets is worth $13m a year, in my estimation. He's certainly no less of a pitcher than A.J. Burnett - and his injury track record is similar.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to pay it, but think about this: the Orioles need time to audition their young pitchers at the big league level. Sheets will give us quality when he's healthy, and if he gets hurt, we can try out one of the kids - just like if we signed some stop-gap replacement. Furthermore, if Sheets truly excels, which is a distinct possibility, his trade value to the Orioles would be enormous. It's not a bad investment, unless his arm falls off in 2009 - which you can never predict.

rkelly7
01-02-2009, 07:35 PM
I know you did not suggest the peavy trade, i just threw that in considering ive heard that crap shot across the O's forum several times recently

And i also realize beckham is thei rfuture, however they wont let brignac go unless they got something useful for him, and i wouldnt consider scott to be useful unless he was a pinch hitter in the NL

And while i do realize ben sheets is a great pitcher, dont get me wrong, i would say top ten when he is healthy, if we did sign him, he would be in his 30's by the time we even had a chance to compete and I fear he would become even less durable, i just feel sheets is more of a gamble for a competitive team, its a hit or miss

and i really would not want to take on chris young (the pitcher) unless the padres ate a huge chunk of his salary, at least half, i kinda like olson, i think he has potential

if we traded him ,he would win 10 games next year while pitching 180 innings with a 3.75 era

im already pissed we got rid of cabrera, he sucked, but at least he could reach 200 innings

Then we would have had:
Guthrie
Cabrera
Hendrickson
Albers/Patton
Baez

All i want is innings eaters, just dont spend more than 5 mill per year on them

I would like to see us sign Redding or Looper, and then someone like freddy garcia, a low risk medium reward option, worst case he tanks and we release him in may, just dont pay for garland, he is mediocre and would cost us at least 10 mill per year, and he only had one good year in chicago, which is why that bum made 12 or 13 mill last year!!!

I'd like to see our rotation like this now:

Guthrie
Redding
Hendrickson
Garcia
Baez

Then we could throw albers and patton in the pen, we would have a great relief core, especially with these young guys, im excited about next year, i just wanna win at least 55 games! :speechless:

rkelly7
01-02-2009, 07:37 PM
and you do pose an interesting point, sheets is more of an investment than a pitcher, cuz we could just flop him in july, but i dont see that happening unless somehow we signed him to a one or two year incentive laden deal, its a possibility, i guess i would be for it if we got him for 10 mill or less a year, north of that seems iffy IMO, and no more than 3 years!

vetoedbyangelos
01-02-2009, 10:48 PM
I agree with you 100% about Cabrera. I might be guilty of valuing Sheets too highly, and yes, Luke Scott isn't good enough to get Reid Brignac straight up - but I never suggested he was. Also, Chris Young isn't that expensive, and honestly, I don't like Olson's attitude.

You're right, he'd probably win 10 games with a 4.00 ERA in San Diego, but that's our luck and a pitcher's ballpark in a weak division. I don't think he's got the endurance to be innings eater now, however.

rkelly7
01-03-2009, 04:17 PM
I agree with you 100% about Cabrera. I might be guilty of valuing Sheets too highly, and yes, Luke Scott isn't good enough to get Reid Brignac straight up - but I never suggested he was. Also, Chris Young isn't that expensive, and honestly, I don't like Olson's attitude.

You're right, he'd probably win 10 games with a 4.00 ERA in San Diego, but that's our luck and a pitcher's ballpark in a weak division. I don't think he's got the endurance to be innings eater now, however.

thats fair enough, I never said we could get brignac for only scott though, I just don't feel like TB wants to mess up anything they have, I think they will just keep grooming young SP's in the bullpen and then selling them off, they halfway started last year when Price took a rotation spot and they shipped off edwin jackson

I guess we will see, I did notice an attitude problem with olson once now that i think about it, and he kinda looks like a bird if you take a good look :speechless: