Big League Stew - MLB

Somebody from the Baltimore Orioles front office needs to head down to the Eutaw Street promenade inside Camden Yards and extract Boog Powell from the barbecue pit. Pronto!

At 19-50, they're the worst team in the league by far. Look no further than first base for a reason why. The O's need a 1B who can hit, even if he's pushing 70 years old and lugging at least 350 pounds.

The franchise that gave us Boog, George Sisler, Eddie Murray, the pointy-fingered Rafael Palmeiro and, heck, even Randy Milligan, is suffering mightily at the not-so-hot corner.

The four guys who have played first base for the O's this season — Garrett Atkins(notes), Rhyne Hughes(notes), Ty Wigginton(notes) and Luke Scott(notes) — have combined to hit .219 with a .564 OPS.

Sounds bad, if in a nerdy sort of way. It gets worse.

No home runs. Not one. Summer has arrived and the Orioles STILL haven't had any first basemen able to go into a tater trot.

Atkins, acquired for his power, has a home run — but it came as a DH. Scott and Wigginton have positive stats, too, but while playing other positions. Once any of these guys slap on a mitt, their bats go totally limp.

Baltimore, without challenge, has the worst first basemen in the league. They are completely punchless at what's traditionally been the game's most powerful position — especially in the American League.

The formula is simple: Get a pudgy guy who can hit home runs and put him at first. Done.

The Mariners, Indians, Rangers, Blue Jays, Pirates and Rockies all have good reason to complain about their first-base production — it stinks, too — but at least they've all hit some home runs. The Rangers, Jays and Rox can even say they've contended despite suffering a power drain at first base.

What is temporary O's manager Juan Samuel to do in order to coax a homer from a first baseman?

• There's not much help in the minor league system.

Anthony Rendon is still in college.

• Boog really seems more into the BBQ biz these days.

Teams have gone full seasons before without getting homers from first base, but we have to go back to the Whiffle Ball Era for any evidence. You can't roll in the bigs these days without some pop at first base.

Andy MacPhail! Wake up and trade for some power.

* * *

Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave

Related Articles

Big League Stew

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog