The Strange, Brief Tenure of the Undefeated Orioles Pitcher

Scott WilliamsonIf walk-ons are the victory cigars of college basketball, could Scott Williamson have been the white flag of Orioles baseball?

Three former Orioles were born on this date, Feb. 17. They are one-time Orioles second baseman and occasional outfielder Alan Wiggins, pitching coach Dick Bosman, and reliever Scott Williamson.

At the risk of reminding you of the 2007 season, let’s talk about Williamson, shall we?

Scott Williamson appeared in 16 games during his lone season (or part of one, at least) in Baltimore. It was the final season of his nine-year big league career. The 31-year-old finished the 2007 campaign with a 1-0 record. He was undefeated as an Oriole.

Okay, so it doesn’t tell you much of anything that a middle reliever went 1-0. Recent examples of the 1-0 reliever include Matt Lindstrom (2012), Troy Patton (2012), Luis Ayala (2013), and, just last season, Jason Garcia (2015). However, Williamson’s run is interesting in light of how bad the Orioles were at the time; they lost 14 of the 16 games in which he appeared.

Williamson got a win, a blown save, and a hold, but he never took a loss despite the team losing in nearly every game in which he appeared in 2007. If walk-ons are the victory cigars of college basketball, could Williamson have been the white flag of Orioles baseball?

Garcia is a good comparison, despite the fact that he played for a much better Orioles team. The O’s lost 18 of the 21 games in which Garcia appeared in 2015. Of course, in Garcia’s case the team was trying to outlast his Rule 5 status.

For Williamson, injuries were an issue, so much so that Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley couldn’t get on the same page about whether the pitcher was actually healthy when they released him in July.

Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post regarding Williamson’s DFA.

“I think he was able to pitch,” MacPhail said. “I wouldn’t have designated him if I wasn’t getting reports that he was able to pitch.”

Said interim manager Dave Trembley: “He wasn’t available. There is a difference between not pitching and not being available.”

Asked about the apparent mix-up, Trembley said, “I don’t know if confusion is the right word. I think it was more really thinking he was going to be ready.”

And that, in a nutshell, was your 2007 Orioles. You’re welcome for the memories.



About mptaylor11

Roar from 34, a Baltimore Orioles Blog. Humor. History. Homerism. Since 2006.
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