Friday, October 24, 2008

Adam Loewen signs Minor League deal with the Blue Jays

Former Orioles first round pick Adam Loewen has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Loyalty. That is what the Orioles gave Adam Loewen. When they signed him in 2002 they handed him a $4.02 million contract and extended him an annointed place in the franchise. Injury after injury the team showed patience in his recovery, particularly this season. Every trip to the disabled list was joined with hopes for a recorvery again and a rise to the top of the O's rotation. He was the man of the future for the city of Baltimore. When his arm finally gave out for the last time, there was disappointment, but no complaints. The fan base understood, and rallied behind Adam once again wishing for a possible return to the majors some day, this time as a position player. I will spare you the rest of the mournful backstory, but the fact of the matter is that his history in Baltimore was long and marked with setbacks but constant patience and consideration.

The Orioles released Loewen earlier this week with full expectations of resigning him to a minor league deal. In fact, Adam even cleared waivers on his way to signing on to a minor league team in the O's system. As a free agent Loewen was allowed to sign with any team, but it appeared to be a formality that he would sign with Baltimore again. Instead his home country allegiance to Canada drew him north to sign with Toronto.

It is hard to be angry at Adam, but I am. I don't care what his childhood dream was. I don't care whether money was an issue or not. This is a unique case- Loewen as a starter gave this city nothing due to his injuries, but the organization gave him every ounce of consideration and care throughout his stay in Baltimore. They greeted his decision to give up pitching with a hopeful attitude, setting up meetings with hitting coach Terry Crowley and putting him in the instructional league to work on his hitting. The city of Baltimore and the Orioles fan base were optimistic that they would one day have their own Rick Ankiel...

...and after all that, at the first chance he gets, he bolts for north of the border without leaving so much as a thank you note.

You're welcome, Adam.

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