Saturday, March 31, 2007

Road Trip - O's vs. Nationals - Washington D.C.

Today, the second stop of my baseball excursion was in Washington D.C., the nation’s capital. It was a cool and blustery day in the city, but baseball was in the air as we are only mere days away from when the games finally count.

The Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals played today Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, and fans decked out their respective teams colors finally got to see their heroes play as sparse crowd of about 14,000-15,000 witnessed the O’s beat the Nats' 6-3.

The two cities are separated by a mere 40 miles away, and the seeds are being planted for a classic rivalry which will hopefully be on par with the Yankees/Mets in the future.

A good time was had by all, families and couples got to see an afternoon filled with baseball. I met some old friends at the ballpark, along with new ones, including Sister Daedalus of the Church of Baseball.

Hope you enjoy the pictures from batting practice and the game itself.

Orioles and Nationals - RFK Stadium - Washington D.C.

Road Trip Stop: Philadelphia, Pa. - Citizens Bank Park

Well, I have been around the country and have seen a lot of ball parks, but for some reason I never made it up to Philadelphia and their stadium, Citizen's Bank Park, although I am about 2 hours away from that great city.

Yesterday, I decided to leave work early and take in some baseball.

The Boston Red Sox looked good, and gave the Phillies a hard time. J.D. Drew (who got a lot of heat), Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis homered. I left in the eighth inning because I was cold and wanted to get on the road back home.

The park was not sold out, but there was major Red Sox representation in Philly.

I got glimpse of Daisuke Matsuzaka throwing and all, but I didn’t see anything much out of him because I could not snap photos and I was too busy running around (scroll to see my battery story).

However, few, if any players signed autographs coming in and on the field. I find that real of unsettling considering the amount of people there and support the teams.

My first impression of the ballpark was that it had a nice look and lot to offer and see; however, I found it a bit plastic and sterile. In light of that, there was a lot to do and there is not a bad area to view a game at in the park.

I sat along third base line about seven rows back and had a great view. The sound system in the park is great, and every park should consider getting the scoreboard they have in Philly (Atlanta has the best).

The park had a great vibe, and I really enjoyed myself.

I’m sorry I didn’t get more photos aside from the first 2 minutes of batting practice, but my SLR camera uses AA batteries, and I didn’t take the batteries I normally use, and bought some at some-hole-in-the-wall-gas station.

I bought 8 AA batteries. All were dead.

The park didn’t sell them, and I was a disappointed man.

All being said, I intend to visit Philly and Citizen's Bank Park at least a few times this 2007 season.

Quick Hits: O's News...

The Baltimore Orioles once again played the Washington Nationals, this time in Norfolk, Va, home the triple-A affiliate of the team.

The O’s won the game 6-5, and Chris Ray along with the bullpen held onto save the game. Jaret Wright struggled mightily in his start, and threw a lot of pitches in only a short time. However, Millar came through big with a double to help the Orioles win.

Jorge Arangure & Dave Shenin have an awesome baseball 2007 preview on the Washington Post website. They preview every team, and there’s a comprehensive look at the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles.

As we all know, the Orioles have had nine losing seasons. Matt Palmer of the Baltimore Examiner looks at the current image of the Orioles and steps they are taking to improve it. The team has a lot of work to do in my own eyes, as Baltimore is a proud sports city, but the onus of the consecutive losing seasons as led to fan apathy.

Well, fan apathy is a very dangerous thing. If something does not happen soon, a generation of fans could perhaps be lost. I think some of that has gone on around where I live in and Washington.

The combination of the bad teams, the perception of Peter Angelos, the constant beating the organization takes in the media, plus the steroid allegations have left a bad taste in the mouth of many.

It’s needless to say, the team needs to improve its fortunes and finishing above .500 would be the first step. As well, good baseball by the team will go a long way to erasing memories of nine losing seasons.

Simply put, the O's need to compete.

Matt Palmer once again has another great article in the Examiner, this time looking at Brian Roberts. Well, Roberts is now the face of the organization, as he is popular with both the fans and the media. For the most part, Brian has done everything right in Baltimore and has done a lot of great work in the community.

As one of the best second baseman in baseball, he’s a big key in the future success of the Baltimore Orioles.

Although I was kind of puzzled when the deal with was not made with Atlanta Braves for Adam LaRoche and Marcus Giles in which he and Hayden Pen would have been traded, Roberts has too many intangibles that are great for the Orioles.

All in all, you get a sense he loves playing in Baltimore, and wants to help the team win.

Ok, Mr. Palmer is on a roll today. He’s got yet another article in the Examiner, this time looking pitching staff, notably who I call the Big Three (Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen, & Daniel Cabrera). Everything starts with pitching in baseball, and if the Orioles are to make a dent in the standings, the rotation needs to step up.

Another article from the Examiner looks at Miguel Tejada and his outlook into 2007. He’s excited, rearing to go.

Spencer Fordin has a Q&A with Sam Perlozzo.

The Orioles are readying for the season, and the has a preview of the opener against the Minnesota Twins and Johan Santana. Also, there's a preview of the roster.

As well, there’s a piece on Aubrey Huff, the team’s main acquisition, by David Ginsburg.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Quick Hits - Fast O's News & the Rundown...

Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic ponders about Daniel Cabrera and his frame of mind going into the 2007 season.

Any real Orioles fan knows about Orioles Hangout. Well, site svengali, Tony Pente gives his take on former Oriole, Sidney Ponson and he does not like what is coming out of his mouth.

To be quite frank, Sidney needs to shut his trap. If you're famous and do stupid things, expect to be in the media.

Perhaps, Mr. Ponson might want to behave himself, cut down on the bottle, and get his lard butt in shape.

The great new O’s blog, Dempsey’s Army reports on the roster moves the team made this week, and really, really does not like the deal for Alberto Castillo (nor I). Sorry, you don’t trade talent for catchers on the wrong side of 30. The Oriole Report has more moves from this week.

Ben of Oriole Central takes a look at trade rumors swirling around the organization.

Press Box has a 2007 MLB Preview. As well, they have a preview of the Birds

The Roar from 34 Blog takes a look at some more useless preseason facts

Quick Hits: MLB Stuffage

You Go Girl, Ria Cortesto: Ria Cortesio became the first female umpire to work a major league exhibition game since Pam Postema in 1989 when she made calls on the bases Thursday as the Chicago Cubs beat an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad 7-4.

We touched upon the topic on the radio show, ‘The Hits Keep Coming’, and it’s not doubt a great moment in baseball. We are in 21st century, and baseball is a very much male-ingrained sport, but with women like Ria and Dodgers’ assistant GM, Kim Ng, women are making inroads in the game like never before.

She also gave Sooze of Babes Love Baseball some love as well. Good to know Ria checks out the net! That’s awesome.

George Mitchell:
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell has asked to start player interviews as part of his steroids probe and expects to complete his investigation. You'll get nothing done, Mr. Mitchell...

“You Got to Know When to Fold Em” – ‘The Gambler’, Kenny Rogers, on the DL”:
Well, former angry man, camera-man tosser and star of “Smudge Gate”, Kenny Rogers will miss at least one regular-season start after being placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a ‘tired arm’.

Eric Gagne on the DL:
Eric Gagne will start the season on the disabled list for the Texas Rangers, a move the team is making to give the closer more time to come back from elbow and back operations.

Scot Shields Given an Extension: Los Angeles Angels reliever Scot Shields agreed Thursday to a three-year, $14.6 million contract extension through 2010. Shields, the Angels' setup man, had agreed last month to a $3.4 million, one-year contract. The new deal adds salaries of $4.25 million in 2008, $5 million in 2009 and $5.35 million in 2010.

It’s a good move, and one of the best setup men have been locked by the Angels for the next few years.

Dan Johnson on the DL:
A’s first baseman Jan Johnson will begin the season on the disabled list after being diagnosed with torn cartilage in his left hip, manager Bob Geren said Thursday.

Mark Prior - "I'm Just an Employee...": What a shame for the Cubs and their organization. Just a few years ago, Mark Prior was the next big thing was supposed to be a savior for the Cubs.

Now, he's trying to find his way back.

Mark Prior reacted to his demotion to the minors with disappointment, humor and sarcasm.

"I'm just an employee," the former 18-game winner said Thursday. "The goal now is to go down and help that team win and try to make the Triple-A All-Star team. Maybe I can get invited to the Futures Game or something. I'm still 26." ... "It's part of the business. That's the way I look at it. There's not much I can say. I'm a controlled player. I do what I'm told," Prior said.

Wow. Not a happy man, and I'm sure it's an ego blow...

Quick Hits - Fast O's News & the Rundown...

Morning out there! We are less than a few days away from the upcoming season, and the Orioles and Nationals are barnstorming the Mid-Atlantic region playing one another until Saturday.

Yesterday, the Nationals and Orioles played to a 3-3 tie.

There’s more on the game from the Baltimore Examiner and the website.

Baltimore Sun beat writer, Jeff Zrebiec discusses the Orioles spring training and how the team looks going into 2007.

2007 is shaping to be a big year for Daniel Cabrera. For the Oriole to make a dent in the AL East standings, Daniel will need to get focused and fulfill his potential. As it stands right now, he’s the number two starter and it shows the Orioles have the utmost confidence that he’ll step up this season.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has a great article on Daniel Cabrera and his expectations for the season.

Ramon Hernandez loves to play – every day; however, you have to keep in mind that he’s a catcher. As well, there’s a Q&A with the bionic, ‘Razor Ramon’.

The injury to Jay Payton is making the decisions on the roster going into the season difficult to make.

American Idol: The Love of Sunjaya...

Ok. I really don't watch American Idol, but over the past few weeks, I have been hearing endless prattle about this kid Sunjaya Malakar and his run on the popular TV show. I tuned in this week since I was with my mother and my kid brother at home, and I was in shock. I saw his hairdo this week and asked myself "what the f**k"?

He reminds me of Michael Jackson, and not in a good way.

First, why is this kid still on the show? Second, he was not in the bottom three this week?

Now, I am going to thrash anymore. He sings a lot better than I do, and probably would win a karaoke competition.

Now, does that mean he should be in line for a recording contract? Um, no.

If he wins this show (he won't), the recording industry and American Idol is in big trouble. Things always have a way of working out, but it would be real scary if he won.

He can't sing, he can't dance, and has no charisma. Sadly, I think that's what's keeping him on. Well, he's a kid and in a way, I think people feel sorry for him and want to see him genuinely do well (although he's got no business on the show).

Now, the proclaimed 'King of All Media', Howard Stern is telling everyone to vote for the worst singer on the show to make the show look like a big joke via

Howard, I like you, but for the love of God, why?

America, please end the torture. He has to go.

He looks like a good kid, but please give someone more talented and deserving some love.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

For the Idiot File – CBA Coach Michael Ray Richardson

In life, if you’re in a position of authority, people tend to listen to you whether you have something to tangible and important to say or not.

This week, Michael Ray Richardson crossed the line.

Banned for life from the NBA for violating the drug policy three times in the mid 1980’s, he seemed to be doing well as a coach, until yesterday. He got suspended from the CBA Championships after what he said below:

From ESPN:

Before Tuesdays game against the Yakima Sun Kings, Richardson made anti-Semitic comments to two reporters in his office when discussing the contract general manager Jim Coyne had offered him Monday to coach his team in the CBA and USBL.

"I've got big-time lawyers," Richardson said, according to the Times Union. "I've got big-time Jew lawyers."

When told by the reporters that the comment could be offensive to people because it plays to the stereotype that Jews are crafty and shrewd, he responded with, "Are you kidding me? They are. They've got the best security system in the world. Have you ever been to an airport in Tel Aviv? They're real crafty. Listen, they are hated all over the world, so they've got to be crafty."

And he continued, "They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean?" he said. "Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people."

And the offensive remarks didn't stop there.

According to the Times Union, Richardson told a fan who heckled him early in Tuesday's game, "Shut the [expletive] up." And near game's end, he shouted at another heckler, "Shut the [expletive] up, you [derogatory term for gay men],"

In all seriousness, could this guy be anymore of a dumb ass?

Wow. You would think in the 21st century, people would learn to keep their mouth shut in public (especially when the media is around). This fool decided to expound on his intelligent opinions on Jews and homosexuals to some reporter, and in turn, he’s now disgraced.

Sadly, Mr. Richardson’s line of thinking is not out of line with what a lot of people think in this country and around the world. However, 99.9% people are not in a prominent enough position for their thoughts to be exposed to the media.

For example, Tim Hardaway is a perfect case study. A lot of people feel a certain way, but most won’t say how they feel as they know better than to do so.

In the end, I am quite glad Mr. Richardson decided to open his mouth, as people like him expose to world in what lies real deep in some people.

Are the O's After Reggie Sanders?

Are the Orioles after Reggie Sanders as a back-up outfielder?

According to the Washington Post’s Jorge Arangure:

The Orioles have a standing offer from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Reggie Sanders, according to a team source, but they've yet to decide whether they'll accept the offer. There is concern the team won't have enough playing time for Sanders once Payton is healthy or whether it's prudent to give up a young pitcher, such as Kurt Birkins or Brian Burres, in exchange for a 39-year-old outfielder in the final year of his contract. Kansas City has offered to take on most of Sanders's $5 million salary for this season. Such a decision could hinge on how long Payton will be out.

From the Baltimore Sun’s Roch Kubatko:

But the Orioles continue to look outside the organization. They've held more discussions with the Kansas City Royals about Reggie Sanders, who will make $5 million this season. The Royals want left-hander Brian Burres in return and would absorb a significant portion of Sanders' salary, but an industry source said the Orioles don't believe they could provide enough at-bats for the veteran, so a deal is unlikely.

The same source also said the Orioles have held internal discussions about signing Eduardo Perez, who was released Tuesday by the Chicago White Sox.

"We don't have to make a final decision on our roster until Sunday at 3," Duquette said. "It's still not settled yet. We still have a guy or two in camp, and we could still make a trade."

Well, do I think the going after Sanders is a good move? Um, I’d rather see the team get someone younger rather than spend umpteen dollars on a older guy, especially one who is nearing 40 (case study: Jeff Conine), plus in his walk. In addition, Sanders battled injury in 2006 and would just take up another spot in which I’d rather see a younger guy.

He’s got power and hits for average, but honestly, is he needed on this team?

Kansas City needs youngsters, and the Orioles have a few players, this trade would be useless for the organization. We have young guys in the farm system that can contribute down the road for us once they mature and develop, and I think we should hoard what we have.

If by chance (might be a complete aberration) if the Orioles are in the hunt for a playoff or wild card spot, Sanders might be a difference-maker.

However, for now, get a younger body in here. I say pass.

Realism and Perception: Where the Orioles Stand…

This morning, I was reading the Baltimore Sun and caught a piece by Sheil Kapadia titled What They’re Saying About the Orioles: A Roundup of National Press Coverage.

I decided to expand a little on the piece, add a few more quotes and give my opinion.

The Orioles did get a lot better; however, the team did not make the sexy moves like we here wanted. In light of it all, the Orioles will not be in cellar unless Tejada or one of the big bats ends up hurt for half the season.

I think a lot of these writers and so-called media experts have tunnel vision and have been looking way, way too much in the past.

Simply put, some of these people can not see the forest from the trees here. Over the past few years, the Orioles in the media have been burnt, toasted and burnt to a crisp thanks to some of the so-called experts in the media and on TV.

I am resigned to say we will not win the division, but the team is very much improved and a third place finish is not out of the realm of possibility.

Well, I am just going to put a few quotes that I got out of the piece by Sheil Kapadia, and then I going to add a few more I have found:

SI: Abandoning their usual offseason M.O. of falling for the biggest brand names in free agency (even if they're past their prime), the Orioles instead aggressively went after players who could fill actual needs. And this winter, as has been the case for the better part of a decade, they had more than a few of those.

When Baltimore was done spending, it had committed a reasonable $79 million to eight players who will give the Orioles a decent return on their investment -- even if, for the eighth time in the last nine years, the club doesn't escape the bottom half of the division. The front office fared so well, in fact, that its biggest critic, cranky shortstop Miguel Tejada, not only happily announced that he wanted to remain with the Orioles for the foreseeable future but also promised to show up for work on time from now on.

Quotes from Dayn Perry of Fox Sports: Long-suffering Baltimore fans should ready themselves for more suffering. The O's have some compelling arms in the rotation, and another year of Leo Mazzone could yield progress (although, they did give up almost 900 runs last season). There's also the deeply promising Nick Markakis in right. If things break their way, it's not inconceivable that they'll finish in third place. However, that's the absolute best-case scenario for this year's Orioles model. In reality, they're more likely to finish in last than ahead of the Blue Jays.

Unfortunately, the future isn't as bright for the Orioles as it is for the D-Rays. There's just not much in the farm system to inspire optimism. With the Yankees and Red Sox both possessed of better young talent and deeper coffers, the O's will probably be on this regrettable roll call for years to come. At least the stadium's cool.

Dayn, buddy, you make a few salient points, but you’re a little off-base.

Yet another point of brilliance from Mr. Perry…

The O's could get better this season (particularly if another year of Leo Mazzone improves last year's awful pitching staff), but they have no shot at contending. They've got a shot at third place, but the cellar is a more likely destination.

Here’s some more stuff:

Being that the owner remains Peter Angelos, you really shouldn't take this team seriously. Where the Orioles once stood for terrific fundamental baseball -- they and the Dodgers were models in the 1960s -- under Angelos they now stand for paralysis, little direction and dysfunction. Now, happy Opening Day. Hey, at least the bullpen should be better.

Sadly, this is reality. Things may improve if Angelos can let the front office do their jobs, but for right now, the perception of Angelos and his involvement with team is killing the organization in the press.

Any way you slice it, a rotation of Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera, Kris Benson, Jaret Wright and Adam Loewen cannot outpitch the rotations of the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays over the course of a season. And their lineup cannot outslug them. (Mike Chiappetta – NBC Sports)

This is another point I agree with (somewhat), but I think we match up with the Blue Jays well, and the writer forgets the Blue Jays took a huge step backwards!

Here’s what the Washington Times says about the Orioles:

The good news: They should be better and more competitive. The bad news: They're still not good enough to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, and maybe not even the Blue Jays. If the O's are going to have any chance, Bedard and Cabrera are going to have to develop into a pair of aces.

I am going to save Tom Boswell of the Washington Post for last. I have always respected him and his work over the years, but he’s now got a serious bone to pick with Peter Angelos and does not think much of the organization.

Here’s a little of what he says about the team.

“The Baltimore owner still vetoes major trades to keep his favorite players in town regardless of the preferences of the men he has running his team. He'll still blow up any deal, free agent signing or draft pick if he feels like it. And he'll do it for any reason that pleases him. For an owner who inherited a great franchise and turned it into a disaster with nine straight losing seasons, no confession is more damaging. All of baseball will read Angelos's latest words and shake its head in pity for the O's.”

Agreed. It’s the undeniable truth.

About the Roberts trade:

For a trial lawyer who is accustomed to speaking extemporaneously and being accountable for every word, this must be a career-worst summation to the jury. In the offseason, team executives Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette were considering a deal to "improve the ballclub." But Angelos squelched it because Roberts is a fan favorite who's great for the Orioles' image?

Ok, I think that Angelos is a meddler, but I think Roberts has many intangibles on and off the baseball field. Baltimore fans would have rioted (not me necessarily) if B-Rob was traded and I think that also plays into why he was kept around. However, I think the best move should have been done for the team, and I am 50-50 about this trade being nixed.

Quick Hits - MLB Stuffage

Trouble in Yankee-Land: It looks like Steve Swindal may be out of the Yankee organization sooner rather than later. Swindal’s wife, Jennifer, filed divorce papers this week which pretty much have ended his chance to head the Yankees.

Jennifer is George Steinbrenner’s daughter. Now it looks like since Swindal may be out, Steinbrenner has no intention of promoting him. However, Swindal is a partial owner, and may not be out of the picture completely.

Ugueth Urbina: Former Major League Baseball pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch, the Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday. Over his career, he pitched for former pitcher with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies.

Mark Prior: Former phenom Mark Prior was sent to the minors, and the Chicago Cubs hope he can make a come back. He’s been besieged by injuries and ailments the past several seasons.

Nomar a Papa: Mia Hamm, legendary soccer player and her husband, Nomar Garciaparra are the proud parents of twin girls. Congrats!

The Biggest Mercenary in Sports at it Again for the 1,005 time: Well in the constant game to keep his name in the press, and to whore himself out, Roger Clemens is not sure *again* when he’ll pitch.

Roger will not doubt look at the standings in May and decide. He more or less said it in an AP article:

Clemens hinted that he'll pick the team he thinks has the best chance to win the World Series.

"I need a solid reason to do this," Clemens said. When asked what a solid reason would be, Clemens said, "To feel like I could contribute and to win, to know we have an outstanding chance to win and to be a part of something special.

Clemens said he's healthy and ready to pitch, but still needs to mentally prepare for a season.

"My arm's not too far off, my body is not too far off," he said. "My mind's just not there yet."

Clemens is just 2 wins away from 350. I see him playing this game as long as he can for the next several years (if he does well) or his arm falls off. The money is too good, and honestly, look at the attention he’s getting.

C.C. Sabathia Getting Drilled: Cleveland Ace, C.C. Sabathia's forearm was bruised when he was struck by a line drive in his final spring training tuneup on Wednesday, putting in doubt his scheduled start in the Indians' season opener next week at Chicago. I am hoping the big man comes back sooner rather than later!

Finally, more Dice-K because the Boston Media is so obsessed with him: Jason from My Baseball Bias gave a heads up on this one, but Daisuke Matsuzaka like Angelina Jolie.


What man does not like her? She seems to be an excellent mother, travel the world make great pictures, and good lord is she beautiful.

Why is this news, I don’t know. I’d rather seem pitch a real game and then we can talk about him.

Quick Hits - Fast and Early O's News...

The Baltimore Orioles had split squad games yesterday. The A-squad lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1, and the B-squad ended up in a tie with the Nationals 2-2.

In yesterday’s start against the Cardinals, Erik Bedard allowed eight hits and three runs in four innings. In my opinion, it’s not a big deal. Bedard is ready for the season.

More on the A-squad game from Spencer Fordin of the

Outfielder Adam Stern was sent down to Triple-A Norfolk to start the season. The Orioles are settling on a final roster, and Freddie Bynum is in the mix for the final spot.

Jorge Arangure of the Washington Post has more on the roster moves and expectations of the Orioles heading to 2007.

Veteran reliever Paul Shuey will recover in the minors.

The Baltimore Sun has allowed fans who visited the various spring training sites to submit articles, and David Nichols pens an article that covers the spectrum of fans who come to see games in Florida.

Looks like our old friend, Russ Ortiz will be the fifth starter for the San Francisco Giants.

The Road Warriors:

The Orioles play today against the Washington Nationals in Columbus, Ohio (home of the Nationals Triple-A affiliate).

The two teams will play in Norfolk, Va on Friday, and Washington D.C. on Saturday.

The team will have a workout in conjunction with the annual Fan Fest on Sunday, and then travel to Minnesota and then onto New York City to begin the season.

Club Vice President Jim Duquette quips, "We have the worst travel schedule in all of baseball, if you look at it," (The Baltimore Sun).

Peter Schmuck thinks the road schedule for the team these next two weeks is bordering on the ridiculous, and I agree with him.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

‘The Hits Keep Coming’ - Episode Three

‘The Hits Keep Coming’ internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio just had it's third episode on the air tonight. Thanks to Ian and Jason for helping make everything go smoothly, as well as the conversation and taking out part of their evening to talk about the sport we love.

A special thanks to Chad Gramling of Chad Gramling’s Baseball Blog for joining us in the first hour.

The first was live and streaming; whereas, the second hour was just recorded after we got off the air.



Hour One: (Live)

  • Show Intro & News
  • Ugeth Urbina
  • DirecTV, John Kerry and Congress
  • National League Preview

Hour Two

  • National League Preview (continued)
  • Position Battles with Ian
  • Milestones for the upcoming season

Join us every Wednesday at 7PM Eastern Time for a live broadcast of the show.

Baseball Excursion Weekend... Three Games, Three Different Cities, Plus Orioles Fan Fest...

Well, this weekend, I am planning to take a little baseball excursion this weekend into early April.

Being that all hope is eternal before the season actually begins, it’s a good time as any to watch some baseball through the Mid-Atlantic region.

My first stop on the baseball tour will be in Friday, in the city of Brotherly Love and home of the some of the more psychotic fans I know -- Philadelphia. I’ll be up there on Friday night catching the Boston Red Sox versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

It should be an interesting time up there on Friday and considering I have never been to Citizen’s Bank Park (I am about two hours from Philadelphia) for a game.

On Saturday afternoon, I’ll venture into the Nation’s Capital and see my two hometown teams, the Baltimore Orioles and Nationals take on one another.

Then on Sunday, I’ll be hanging out at Camden Yards in Baltimore and checking out the Orioles Fan Fest. I’ll try to get as much as I can from it, and try to get an interview or two.

And finally on Monday, I’ll be playing hooky from work in the afternoon, as I’ll be catching the Fish from Sunny Florida (ok, the Marlins) take on the boys from the nation’s capital, the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium.

The following weekend, on Sunday April 8th, I’ll be heading to the Big Apple with some friends and will catch the beloved Birds of Baltimore (the Orioles) take on the Evil Empire (Yankees).

Should be an awesome time as we head into April, and hope to bring you as much as I can from my adventures.

ESPN Sports Nation Poll - The Orioles Did Not Do Too Well...

I just got done listening to the Anita Marks Show on ESPN 1300 here in Maryland, and just heard that ESPN's Sports Nation did a ranking for fan satisfaction with every team, which serves as a barometer as to how every organization in sports is managed.

The rankings range from 1 to 121.

Sadly, the Baltimore Orioles did not do too well.

In fact, the team ranked abysmal.

Out of 121 teams, the Orioles were ranked 105.

Here’s what ESPN Sports Nation said about the Baltimore Orioles.

“Even with the second-cheapest suds (per ounce) in MLB, Orioles fans are flying the coop. Last September, during the fourth inning of a Detroit-Baltimore tilt, a thousand filed out of Camden Yards to protest owner Peter Angelos. For his part, Angelos - who plunged 38 spots in our ranking - says it's tough to field a competitive roster in the AL East. Well, tough. Since there's no point in watching a loser, fans have responded by staying home. (Attendance has fallen 41% since 1993.) And with the Nationals' getting a new park next year and the O's showing little sign of improvement, remaining Charm City loyalists should continue to be less loyal.”

The organization is ranked near the bottom and much of it is due to nine consecutive losing seasons and the influence of Peter Angelos.

I think the Oriole Park experience is great as it is one of the premier ballparks in the nation, there are few bad seats in the park, and it’s affordable. As well, most of the time, the players are friendly and accessible, unlike in New York or Boston.

However, the performance on the field, Peter Angelos and the media perception of the Orioles has doomed the organization.

In comparison to our counterparts in the American League East, the Blue Jays are ranked 41st, the Yankees are ranked 48th, the Devil Rays are 86th & the Red Sox are 88th.

The Baltimore Orioles have a lot to do to rebuild their formerly stellar reputation in the public eye.

The Tony LaRussa Incident...

Last night, Sooze from the Babes Love Baseball and I were talking about baseball and various other topics, and the conversation turned to Tony LaRussa.

Unless you have been under a rock, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was arrested Thursday on a drunken driving charge after police said they found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light.

A day after, he issued this apology:

"I'm not sure what type of statement to give," La Russa said after his team's 2-1 spring training loss to the Florida Marlins on Thursday. "I've been scribbling stuff.

"Last night's situation is the opposite of feeling good. It was an embarrassment, so I apologize to anyone who is close to me, members of the Cardinals organization, our fans. I regret it, take responsibility and I'm not sure there is anything else I can say." (CNNsi)

So, he issued an apology. That’s great.

Tony LaRussa was not fired, reprimanded, or made an example of by the Cardinals or Major League Baseball. As it seems in my eyes, it was more or less that Tony LaRussa said, “sorry” and the media along with fans at this point will forgive and forget.

Let’s just say if it had been the average person, or I, there’s no way we would have gotten off free as he did.

To be quite honest, I would have figured a guy in a position, wealth and influence of LaRussa could called someone to pick him up, hire a vehicle, or make sure that he was taken care of.

I know that Tony LaRussa is a great manager, an advocate for animal rights and also has been a good guy in the community at large; however, when is a drunk driving incident just forgiven and forgotten?

Let’s say he was not asleep at the wheel, but actually driving? What if he drove his vehicle in a ditch, or maimed and injured someone, or the perhaps the ultimate consequence happened?

Why are people not up in arms over LaRussa’s conviction?

Well, I think people have an emotional tie to their sports heroes, emotional, personal or otherwise – especially, those who are winners.

I think the matter of us not caring about LaRussa’s lack of judgment is reflective our society. We think much differently towards or heroes and celebrities towards their indiscretions than those in society at large.

Seriously, in order for people to up be in arms over this incident, does someone in LaRussa’s stature need to commit a crime of O.J. Simpson’s level to get a reaction?

I find the lack of anger over this very pathetic and sad.

Quick Hits - Fast O's News...

The Florida Marlins beat the Orioles 5-3 in Grapefruit League action. I posted a little on this yesterday, so I am not going to repeat myself…

Brian Roberts signed an extension with the Orioles, because he believes the team is in position to win…

Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun has a great rundown as to how the Orioles can succeed this season.

The Baltimore Orioles are having their spring training home in Fort Lauderdale refurbished and rebuilt for 2009.

According to Jorge Arangure of the Washington Post, John Parrish is a lock to be a reliever on the team when the season begins.

In the same article, he also reports that the Orioles reassigned Mike Cervenak, Jon Knott, Ruddy Yan, Cesar Crespo, Steve Green, J.R. House, Andrew Mitchell and Terry Tiffee to its minor league camp. Cervenak, Yan, Crespo, Tiffee, Green, House and Mitchell will travel with the team for its exhibition games in Columbus, Ohio, Norfolk and Washington. The Orioles also optioned recently acquired pitcher Sean Tracey to Norfolk.

The Baltimore Sun has a quick Q&A with Melvin Mora.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'The Hits Keep Coming' - Episode Three - Wednesday Night 7PM EST...

Bloggers Ian of Random Thoughts and Jason of My Baseball Bias and I produce an hour long baseball show every week called, “The Hits Keep Coming” on Blog Talk Radio.

Every week at 7PM Eastern Time (6PM Central/ 5PM Mountain/ 4PM Western/Pacific) we chat, analyze and comment about the world of Major League Baseball.

If you’d like to call in, the phone number is 718-664-6564 or you can send us an instant message if you use AOL IM at hitskeepcoming20.

This week, our special guest hosts will be JD from Sport Tech Matter and Chad Gramling from Chad Gramling's Baseball Blog.

Hour One:
  • Ian with the News… (general stuff around baseball
  • National League Preview (East, Central West) - 45 minutes
Hour Two (30 minutes):
  • National League Preview (if it runs over)
  • Ian with key position battles
  • Carl Pavano
  • Opening Day stuff...
Every show will be available for replay and downloading for podcasting soon after the show goes off the air.

For a reply of last weeks show, just download from one of the links below:


Quick Hits: O's News and MLB Stuffage...

The Baltimore Orioles lost to the Florida Marlins 5-3 this afternoon. Starter Steve Trachsel had a really shaky first inning, but settled into a groove as the game progressed.

Spencer Fordin of the reports that Jay Payton may land on the DL, and be out for up to a month.

Well, in light of the Jay Payton injury, the Orioles need to fill a roster spot. Right now, the team is deciding whether to carry 12 or 13 pitchers, or perhaps carry an extra outfielder. Baltimore Sun reporter Roch Kubatko delves more into the issue.

As well, Roch updates his blog.

Cory Patterson, whose struggles against lefties is more than well known, hopes for more success in 2007.

The Orioles today acquired veteran catcher Alberto Castillo from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Cory Keylor.

Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic reports that Sam Perlozzo has set his rotation. As well, he’s got more on the Jay Payton injury.

Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun looks at an entry from Curt Schilling’s blog, 38 Pitches where he analyzes the Orioles rotation and as well goes over his outing on Friday. Also, Kevin Millar responds to Curt Schilling

Boy, is the internet possibly a dangerous weapon. We will be hearing from Curt Schilling – a lot.

Before I go, I want to give thanks to the great Orioles’ site Camden Chat for plugging the Oriole Post in a recent entry on their site. I appreciate it very much, and good luck going head to head with Roch in the polling in SI.

MLB Stuffage:

  • Sen. John Kerry attemped to get Major League Baseball on Tuesday to hold off on a deal to put the sport's "Extra Innings" package, which would only be available on DirectTV. Major League Baseball relented.
  • Washington Nationals center fielder Nook Logan is out due to a groin injury, but hopes to return for Opening Day.
  • For the first time in 20 years, a female umpire will work a major league exhibition game. Ria Cortesio, set to start the season in Double-A, will be on the bases Thursday for a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. Congrats Ria, you go…
  • Yankee great, Bobby Murcer's latest MRI exam showed his brain tumor has not grown, thus is in the clear for now. Get well, Bobby.
  • The San Diego Padres plan to release infielder Todd Walker on Tuesday, a little more than a month after he won a $3.95 million salary in arbitration and will owe him $971,311.
  • Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez, who has had a turbulent spring training, has a broken bone in his pitching shoulder and is expected to be sidelined until at least August.
  • Jorge Julio is a now a Marlin. He was traded by the Diamondbacks for Yusmeiro Petit.

Orioles Fan Fest - This Weekend at Camden Yards

Well, the long awaited Orioles Fan Fest is this weekend. From what I understand, it will be outside and in the club section of Camden Yards. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, as at this time of year, it could be either be 70 degrees out and sunny or 40 with rain.

Hopefully, it will be a fun time for all and get everyone in the Black and Orange ready for the upcoming season.


The Orioles today announced the former players who will participate in the team's FanFest Sunday at Camden Yards. The former players attending include:



All of the current Orioles players are scheduled to attend the event. Gates will open at 10:30 a.m. for Season Plan Holders and at 11:30 a.m. for the general public. The team will hold a workout on the field from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and then sign autographs from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

The two-hour autograph session will feature eight stations with at least three current players each set up along the warning track. Fans will select where they line up in the seating bowl to receive one autograph from each player in the chosen section. Former players will sign autographs throughout the day on the Club Level.

Other FanFest activities will be held on the main concourse and Club Level, including question and answer sessions with front office executives and media members.


Cost: Adults -- $10; children 14 and under/adults 55 and over -- $5

Tickets can be purchased at the Orioles' Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets, official team stores or by calling 1-888-848-BIRD or visiting Tickets from the originally scheduled FanFest (Jan. 14) will be accepted for admission.

White House Spokesperson Tony Snow's Cancer Returns...

Let's all hope the best for Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson.

I try to keep politics out of my blog, but sometimes I like to keep up to date and report what goes in the world.

According to CNN: "Surgery to remove a small growth showed that presidential spokesman Tony Snow's cancer has returned, the White House said today. Doctors determined that the cancer has spread to his liver, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Snow, 51, had his colon removed in 2005 and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer."

Tony Snow has beaten colon before, while he worked for the FOX News Channel. I have had family deal with the disease, and it is tough on everyone, but perhaps even more so when you're in the glare of the media.

No matter your political affiliation, let's hope the best for Mr. Snow.

*photo from

Quick Hits - Fast O's News & the Rundown...

Well, the Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 5-3 yesterday in Grapefruit League action. Adam Loewen once again looked great as he only allowed one run and three hits over 6 innings.

As well, former Oriole Sidney Ponson looked sharp, as he shut out the Orioles over six innings.

The Baltimore Examiner has more on the growth of Adam Loewen as a pitcher. In addition, Kelly Thesier of has more on Loewen and the game yesterday.

However, there came some bad news out of yesterday’s game. Jay Payton, who was expected to the starting left-fielder for opening day, may be out up to 3 weeks after straining his hamstring. Jay Gibbons will play left for now, and it may be an opportunity for him to step and finally deliver on what he says he wants to do (play in the field).

In addition, Payton’s injury may have also given Kevin Millar the crucial at bats that he wished for. Millar will most likely serve as the DH or play first on occasion.

There’s more from about the injury to Jay Payton.

Sam Perlozzo has named the starting rotation as reported by Jorge Arangure of the Washington Post. As expected, Erik Bedard is the number one starter, followed by Daniel Cabrera, Jaret Wright, Adam Loewen and Steve Trachsel.

In other news, Daniel Cabrera is officially the number two starter, and the Orioles know that Jaret Wright will have their back when retaliation is needed.

The Baltimore Examiner has a great piece on Aubrey Huff.

The Baltimore Sun has a Q&A with Jon Knott.

Spencer Fordin of has a piece on Sean Tracey.

Stan Goldberg of the Frederick News Post reports that the Orioles are glad to have moved their triple-A affiliate out of Ottawa, Canada and to warmer Norfolk, Va. As well, Stan is returning back to Maryland, and has been reporting on the progress both the Orioles and the minor league teams.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Peyton Manning, America's Number One Pitchman & Super Bowl Winning QB on Saturday Night Live...

Well, we now have learned why Peyton Manning is America's number one pitchman this weekend.

If you missed Saturday Night Live, I think you missed one of the best performances by a celebrity who is not an actor I have seen a quite a while.

The Peyton you saw on SNL was not the nice pitchman, but a harder edged, 'real guy'. I think what I saw was the real Peyton, a guy with incredible sense of humor, intelligence and a bit of a wild side.

Here are some awesome clips via Youtube...

Good stuff. Only a Peyton Manning could get away with this and look golden...

Wither Joe Theismann? QB out of Booth for MNF, replaced by Ron Jaworski

Joe Theismann may have been a favorite QB of mine and a former Redskin, but I didn't really care for him in the booth for Monday Night Football.

Today, he's been replaced. From the AP, CNNSI:

"ESPN is changing quarterbacks.

Joe Theismann will no longer be part of the network's Monday Night Football booth and will be replaced by Ron Jaworski, the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

"This new lineup will enhance our presentation of Monday Night Football, our most important property," Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for studio and remote production, said Monday. "Ron has covered the NFL from many different perspectives, and he is totally tied into the issues and trends from around the league."

Theismann, a former Washington Redskins quarterback, will be offered another analyst job with the network, Williamson said.

Jaworski is known for his studio analysis and ability to break down game tape for viewers. He will join play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Tony Kornheiser in the booth. Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya will handle sideline reporting."

Sorry, Joe. You'll be okay though...

Anna Nicole Smith - Autopsy Results

I have not spoken much about Anna Nicole Smith for the past few weeks, but today the findings on her death were publicized.

From CNN:

"A drug overdose killed ex-reality TV star and former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith, Seminole tribal police Chief Charlie Tiger said today. Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper said Smith was taking nine different kinds of medication in the days before her death, including a sleeping aid." (CNN LINK)

What a shame.

Maybe the death of her son was too much to bear, and she took the path of least resistance.

'The Hits Keep Coming' - Episode Three

Bloggers Ian of Random Thoughts and Jason of My Baseball Bias and I produce an hour long baseball show every week called, “The Hits Keep Coming” on Blog Talk Radio.

Every week at 7PM Eastern Time (6PM Central/ 5PM Mountain/ 4PM Western/Pacific) we chat, analyze and comment about the world of Major League Baseball.

If you’d like to call in, the phone number is 718-664-6564 or you can send us an instant message if you use AOL IM at hitskeepcoming20.

This week, our special guest hosts will be JD from Sport Tech Matter and Chad Gramling from Chad Gramling's Baseball Blog.

Hour One:
  • Ian with the News… (general stuff around baseball
  • National League Preview (East, Central West) - 45 minutes
Hour Two (30 minutes):
  • National League Preview (if it runs over)
  • Ian with key position battles
  • Carl Pavano
  • Opening Day stuff...
Every show will be available for replay and downloading for podcasting soon after the show goes off the air.

For a reply of last weeks show, just download from one of the links below:


Quick Hits - Fast O's News & the Rundown...

As we are less than a week from Opening Day, the Orioles every day roster is starting to take shape. Jorge Arangure of the Washington Post reports that the team will likely carry 13 pitchers, and only have 3 bench players when the season starts. For now, it looks like Jeremy Guthrie may be on the roster as a long reliever.

According to the article, pitchers Hayden Penn and Kurt Birkins and infielder Brandon Fahey were optioned to Class AAA Norfolk. Pitchers Rob Bell and Jon Leicester were reassigned to minor league camp. Reliever Sendy Rleal, nursing a sore elbow, was sent to the minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., to continue his rehabilitation.

Jorge also reports that pitcher Jaret Wright is indeed ready for the season, although he struggled and has been inconsistent at times during spring training. In the same piece, the Orioles also got a good look at the team’s newest acquisition, pitcher Sean Tracey.

There’s more on the cuts from the Examiner.

Stan Goldberg of the Frederick News Post also has a piece on the roster cuts. As well, he ponders whether he should be on the beach, or watching the game. He’s also got a piece on pitchers Garrett Olson and Radhames Liz, two guys who played the Orioles minor league system last year.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quick Hits and MLB Stuffage...

Today, I watched Georgetown University just systematically shut down North Carolina at the moment. To be quite honest, I have never seen a team like North Carolina just go cold and look that awful in overtime.

I’m up a little late and here’s my post for the evening.

The big news out of camp today was that five players were cut, including popular Brandon Fahey who struggled in camp, top pitching prospect Hayden Penn, pitchers Kurt Birkins, Jon Leicester and Rob Bell. Almost everyone will start the season on the minors, and it will be determined later if some of these guys will be called up later on.

Jaret Wright has been inconsistent, but the Orioles beat the Cardinals 6-5.

There’s a Q&A with Jay Gibbons.

The Examiner has an article on the emergence of Nick Markakis as both a player and a babe magnet (Thanks to Ian of Random Thoughts for the tip).

MLB Stuffage:

AL East Capsule: A Simulation...

I did a series of simulations a while ago for the various divisions in the American and National League. Anyhow, I decided to revisit doing them and see if things would be different enacting 5 scenarios rather than just one to get better results from the data.

The results of the scenarios are below, as well as the average win-loss record of the teams in the division.

American League East Standings:

Team W L

New York Yankees 96 66
Boston Red Sox 89 73
Toronto Blue Jays 82 80
Baltimore Orioles 79 82
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 71 91

Quick Hits: Early O's News...

Well, as mentioned in yesterday’s O’s entry on the blog, Tom Treblehorn is trying to balance his work as the bench coach along with caring for his ailing while, who is trying to recover from a stroke. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun in his article, Optimism, Hope Fuel O's Coach Trebelhorn's Labor of Love looks at the struggle that the coach has been through.

The Baltimore Sun has a Q&A with Vice President of Baseball Operations, Jim Duquette.

The Orioles took on the Dodgers Saturday in Fort Lauderdale and lost 4-2 after several fatal errors by Tejada and Ramon Hernandez. Daniel Cabrera was ‘off’ yesterday and a tad inconsistent unlike many of the outings he’s had in the spring.

More on the Orioles vs. Dodgers game by Spencer Fordin.

In a split-squad game, the Orioles took on the Mets in Port St. Lucie and won 2-1. Aubrey Huff was ejected and he flipped his bat over his shoulder after he was called out on strikes. Hayden Penn started the game and while he had control issues (he gave up 4 walks), only one hit was allowed.

More on the Orioles vs. Mets game by Charlie Nobles.

Roch Kubatko updated his blog with the happenings from yesterday.

Jay Gibbons is not happy as the DH for the Orioles at all. Through a series of unfortunate incidents, injuries and his mother’s death, Jay lost the everyday right-field position to the emergence of Nick Markakis. I like Jay very much, and hope does not get traded, but right now there is a surplus of outfielders and first-base/DH types on the team.

As well, right now, I think the Orioles are taking a great approach with Jay. He’s a bat with still a lot of untapped potential, and it’s vital he stays healthy.

Versatile Freddie Bynum is struggling, and may or may not be on the squad next week. Jorge Arangure, Jr. of the Washington Post has more on Bynum’s struggles.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thirty Plus Blogs -- Spanning the Internet

Ok, I was bored this morning, so I decided to read some of my favorite blogs this morning; therefore, I decided to post some of the ones I visit frequently. Enjoy and support them...

Ben of Oriole Central takes a look the recent news in Oriole land, including the signing of Sean Tracey. Birds in the Belfry takes a look at the world of Orioles baseball, past and present. The Roar from 34 Blog looks at some useless spring training facts. Demspey’s Army has a comprehensive look at spring training so far

Check out Knuckle Curve for the latest in baseball news.

Take a peek at My Baseball Bias for the latest baseball news and analysis of the AL East, along with Random Thoughts which take a look at Red Sox Nation and the world of baseball. The Lady at the Bat covers all things in Yankee-land and ponders more about A-Rod.

Pennsylvania boys, We Should Be GM’s takes a look at the world of Phillies baseball in a way that would make anyway laugh and also cringe at the same time.

The uber-cool Sooze of Babes Who Love Baseball and her tag team partner Lizzy (who is on vacation) cover the sport like no one else does. You have to check out their Haikus of each NL team.

If you’re a sports fan, check out Aaron Brazell’s Suicide Fan. Also, Aaron has a another site if you’re a techo-hound like I am, Technosailor. Signal to Noise does a splendid job covering the world of sports, as does the WBRS Sports Blog.

Write on Sports is gearing up for the baseball season…

The Pink Seats covers sporting life north of the border…

Check out Sami Ghazi’s, Going Deep. He has been talking a lot about the NCAA Tournament, something I have neglected to do last night until I was online with Ian of Random Thoughts going back with basketball commentary.

Dugout Diary by Joe Boesch is one the blogs I look at on a weekly bases and it’s a recommended read for any baseball fan.

Chad Gramling is a great resource for baseball enthusiasts., is an incredible community of blogs that cover every spectrum of sports imaginable and Evan Brunell takes a look at the growth of blogging and it’s relevance in baseball.

Check out Peter’s Red Sox Forever for all you need to know about Red Sox Nation.

The Pojo Dojo takes a look at the Cleveland Indians aka the ‘Tribe’…

The great Nationals blog, Capitol Punishment takes a look at baseball in Washington D.C.

Frank’s Field of Dreams looks at the world of baseball from an Asian perspective.

Check out the Church of Baseball which covers the sport from a unique, spiritual perspective and focuses on the Reds and Nationals.

Aaron Gleeeman takes a look at baseball and the Minnesota Twins, as does Bat-Girl. As well, check out Pat Neshek’s wonderful little blog…

If you want a greater perspective on sports, check out Valentine’s View on Sports. As well, check out Sports Babes for a woman’s perspective of the sports world.

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