The season may yet be a week away, but the race to the number one draft pick in 2010 is already heating up between the Orioles and the Nationals. Let's take a look at where they rank on the Suck Meter: Nationals. The Nats have been resting on their laurels so far, confident that the roster they've fielded is so hideously awful that there's nothing the O's could do to compete. A glimmer of hope came in the form of this MLB.com headline: "Martis, Zimmerman round out rotation." Sadly, however, the Nationals have not decided to add their only good position player to the pitching rotation, instead it's just another guy named Zimmerman.
The Nats' rotation is going to be John Lannan, Scott Olsen, Daniel Cabrera, Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmerman. A solid maneuver picking up the the Orioles' trash and plugging him into their No. 3 slot, but unfortunately Olsen actually has the potential to be a competent major league pitcher.
On the hitting side, the addition of Country Strong Adam Dunn to a terrible lineup means that there will be at least one legitimate baseball player in the field for DC. And despite the glaring flaws, everyone playing the field at least has tricked me into believing that they might be good at playing baseball one day.
The big news for the Nats lately has been the saga of Stephen Strasburg, the greatest baseball player who ever lived. The Nationals (naturally... nationally?) hold the first pick in the June draft but might not take Strasburg because he probably won't sign for less than a government bailout package. DC can't spend the money because... well, no reason really. They're just stingy.
Verdict: Terrible, but not otherworldly terrible. The Nationals rate as a 3.
Orioles. Now here's a team that is awfully good at being awful. The pitching rotation for the O's looks like the last few baseball cards you get in the pack. You know, after there's like a Barry Bonds and a 1985 Milwaukee Brewers commemorative card, there's five bums that you don't recognize. That's the essence of Uehara-Eaton-Penn-Hill. The "other" Japanese pitching import, two people I have literally nothing to say about, and a guy who has less control than Courtney Love at an all-you-can-smoke crack rock buffet. It's Jeremy Guthrie and pray for four days of rain.
But at least the Orioles have Hall of Famer Matt Wieters coming up to hit baseballs into stands and bring hope back to Baltimore.
In a move that surprised exactly no one, Wieters was reassigned to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday. Obviously it was due to his lack of a minor league pedigree (.355 batting average in the minors last year, minor league player of the year), bad spring (.333 batting average), and the fact that we've already got a guy.
Even though it's not unprecedented, it's still a shame to see a team putting the arbitration clock before the desire of the fans to see a baseball team that doesn't suck. For that, the Orioles are your early leaders for your I-95 Suckfest 2009 Championship.
Verdict: Overtly, disgustingly terrible. And I didn't even mention Cesar Izturis. 1.5.