Friday, November 30, 2007

R.I.P., Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

May he rest in peace...

Here's some video of the legend...

Quick Hits: Hot Stove Report: Book of Shadows Will Be a Movie, Hot Stove Report...

Book of Shadows A Movie?

Well, it looks like business is about to pick up for Barry Bonds, whether he likes it or not.

According to the AP, HBO Films is planning to turn a best selling book about the home run king’s alleged steroid use and the federal government’s wide-ranging probe into performance enhancing drug use in sports into a movie, one of the book’s authors said Thursday.


The Hot Stove Report:

* According to, Johan Santana has company on the trade market. According to league sources, the A’s, within the past couple days, have begun calling teams to seek interest in star pitcher Dan Haren, one of the better right-handers in the American League.

* It looks like Troy Percival has found a new home in Tampa Bay. He was signed to a two-year contract Friday, addressing a pressing need to improve one of the worst bullpens in the major leagues. The 38-year-old right-hander, who came out of retirement to go 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 34 appearances for St. Louis in 2007, will make $8 million during the next two seasons. In addition, he'll have a chance to earn another $4 million-plus in performance incentives.

* Free-agent infielder Cesar Izturis agreed Friday to a one-year, $2.85 million, one-year contract with the Cardinals. It looks like David Eckstein may be on his way out of St. Louis.

* The Gambler, Kenny Rogers decided on Friday to end his free agency and return to the Tigers for a third season. He agreed to a one-year deal with Detroit, with the terms and amount unspecified

* Spurned by the Mets, catcher Yorvit Torrealba is staying in themile high air in Colorado, agreeing Thursday to a two-year deal worth about $7 million with a mutual option for 2010.

Washington Nationals Get Lastings Milledge from the Mets for Ryan Church & Brian Schneider…

Well, it looks like the Mets' finally got another catcher they needed, and they rid themselves of gifted, but troubled, Lastings Milledge. The Washington Nationals rid themselves of two players who they felt struggled...

From ESPN: The New York Mets have dealt outfielder Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

The Nationals announced they would hold a news teleconference at 3 p.m. ET to announce a trade.

Milledge, in parts of two seasons with the Mets, has a career .257 batting average (90 for 350) with 40 extra-base hits and 51 runs batted in.

Church, in 144 games last season, hit .272, one point higher than his career average in four seasons with the Expos-Nationals franchise. Last season, he had 128 hits, including 43 doubles -- tied for the team lead with Ryan Zimmerman -- and 15 home runs, and 70 RBIs.

An eight-year veteran, Schneider hit .235 with 21 doubles in 2007. In the field he had 53 assists, six errors and a .992 fielding percentage. He has a career .252 batting average in 757 major league games.

I am going to be blunt -- The Nationals stole Milledge.

Why Minaya would trade him, I don't know; however, some fans in Washington are going to be devastated as two fan favorites are gone.

Both Schneider and Church are near 30, and Schneider despite his catching prowess struggled at the plate. Meanwhile, Church who did put up decent numbers in '07, could not be regarded any more than an average outfielder, perhaps even a 4th outfielder on some teams.

Alas, if Milledge takes off in Washington, he's solved the outfield issue and plus they've got a power bat for cheap and next to nothing.

The Story on Bedard; Stalled Contract Talks...

According to the Baltimore Sun's beat reporter, Jeff Zrebiec, the contract talks between Erik Bedard's representatives and the Orioles have stalled, which obviously increases the likelihood of a deal between some team possibly taking place.

'The Orioles already have gotten several trade offers for Bedard, who went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA last season and set a franchise record with 221 strikeouts. They figure to get more next week in Nashville, Tenn., though MacPhail said that the cooling of talks shouldn't be taken as a sign that the Orioles are ready to unload Bedard.

"I'm not concerned," MacPhail said. "My experience tells me that this isn't unusual. I'd be hesitant to read too much into it."

MacPhail said earlier this week that he and Pieper had been having "periodic" and "conceptual" conversations about an extension for Bedard, 28. MacPhail said that no contract figures were ever exchanged.'
We all have no idea if the Baltimore will indeed dangle Erik or just keep him in 2008 into 2009, but considering the state that the team is in, if a good deal comes along where you can exchange Bedard or any Oriole for good, young talent - do it.

Bedard would fit well with Oriole organization as he is right now one of the top left-handed pitchers in the game and he would be the ace of a young, budding pitching staff; however, since the team seems to be rebuilding completely, you might as well get as much value for a valuable piece like him as you can.

As well, there is one more tidbit from the piece:
'The New York Yankees, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers all have inquired about Bedard, who would be one of the most coveted pitchers available in a market that also includes two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana.

According to several industry sources, the Mets' offer for Bedard, which was rejected, included 21-year-old outfield prospect Carlos Gomez, reliever Aaron Heilman, 29, and a third player, believed to be right-handed starter Philip Humber, 24. Gomez, ranked as the Mets' third-best prospect by Baseball America, is clearly the headliner.'

As much as I'd hate to trade Bedard, this trade with the Mets should have been done, assuming it has been tabled.

Granted, we'd lose him, but we'll get three guys who look to be major league ready in return.

However, I'd not trade him to the Yankees at all - I just don't believe in trading premier talent within a division.

Roch Kubatko also had a take on the Bedard talks in his blog, 'Roch Around the Clock':
If you can get young pitchers Philip Humber and Aaron Heilman and elite outfield prospect Carlos Gomez from the Mets in exchange for Erik Bedard, you pull the trigger on that deal. And if you actually show even mild interest in Japanese pitcher (and Yankee bust) Kei Igawa, as the Orioles supposedly did, according to The Journal News’ Peter Abraham, you should be lined up against a wall and blindfolded before that trigger is pulled. No last meal allowed!

I appreciate team president Andy MacPhail making absolutely sure Bedard won’t sign an extension before any trade is consummated, but I think most of us would agree that the left-hander isn’t going to retire as an Oriole. Unless they overwhelm him with an offer – something in the Barry Zito range that only an idiot would turn down – he’s likely to test the free agent market. I’ll add that this is only my opinion. Bedard hasn’t pulled me aside and said, “I’m outta here!” But I’d wager heavily that he’s gone after 2009, so if the Mets want to hand over Humber, Heilman and Gomez, take them – unless the Dodgers, Mariners or Yankees can do better. And quickly, before the Mets change their minds.

Imagine Bedard wearing Yankee pinstripes. Now sit down and place your head between your knees before you pass out.

The Yankees have outstanding young pitching that I’d scarf like my Thanksgiving dinner if they were willing to give it up for Bedard. Toss in Melky Cabrera and we’re set. But I haven’t seen any signs yet that they’re willing to go that far – as in Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes far.
Roch is right, the Orioles have to take a risk and trade Bedard.

From what I have seen, unless I am completely wrong, he's not shown a willingness to stay in Baltimore and he may be a guy who just wants to go to the highest bidder.

For the good of the team, any good deal the Orioles yet, they need to consider it and do it. The fans may be upset, but right now, the long term future of the team needs to looked at, not just 2008.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A New Player In the Tejada Sweepstakes...


For those of you following the "Hot Stove" activity with the Orioles, it looks like there is a new player in the sweepstakes -- the St. Louis Cardinals.

From St. Louis Today: Three days away from formally extending or rejecting arbitration to former World Series MVP David Eckstein, the Cardinals continue to explore alternatives that include the Baltimore Orioles' Miguel Tejada, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Jack Wilson and free agent Cesar Izturis.

Tejada, the 2002 American League MVP, is considered one of the marquee names most likely to be dealt this winter, possibly at next week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. But any pursuit comes with strings attached.

Also reportedly coveted by the Los Angeles Angels, Tejada is unlikely to move before Saturday, when clubs must either offer or reject arbitration to their own free agents.

I think the Los Angeles Angels are far better trade partners with the Orioles than St. Louis, just for the fact they have far more attractive options. Tejada, I think could thrive in St. Louis with Pujols in their lineup, but what would Baltimore get in return?

The Hits Keep Coming Radio Show - November 28th, 2007

As we are into the Hot Stove & the week before the Winter Meetings, we chatted about latest and greatest in Major League Baseball.

* The Death of Joe Kennedy and Sean Taylor
* Santana: The Players, Let's Make A Deal?
* The Contracts Signed So Far...
* Torii Hunter & the Angels
* Hot Stove Report
* More Contract Talk

Give us a listen, take a whirl, and let me know what you think! We’re on Blog Talk Radio and MVN every Wednesday night at 7PM EST

The Words of Jason Whitlock: Black Culture and America

As the week has moved forth, the topic on every sports fan mind in the Washington region has been on the death of Sean Taylor. Almost every sporting website, blog, talk radio show and newspaper has looked into the lifestyle, family, and everything else can you think of about the fallen safety.

While I was on break at work, I read Jason Whitlock's provocative article titled "Taylor's Death A Grim Reminder For Us All", that looks how the pervasive images of black America and crime may have played a role into the death of Sean Taylor.

As much as we try to deny the issue of race in the death of Mr. Taylor - well, sadly it is an issue, whether we want to face the issue head on or not.

What I am trying to come to grips with as a black male is, "how close to this so-called world that Sean Taylor comes from correlates with mine & it is fair to swath everyone with the same brush?"

Maybe it is a coincidence that Mr. Taylor tragically lost his life, or maybe it isn't?

I'm going to post a few quotes that caught my eye:

The Black KKK claimed another victim, a high-profile professional football player with a checkered past this time.

'No, we don't know for certain the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death. I could very well be proven wrong for engaging in this sort of aggressive speculation. But it's no different than if you saw a fat man fall to the ground clutching his chest. You'd assume a heart attack, and you'd know, no matter the cause, the man needed to lose weight.

Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

When the traditional, white KKK lynched, terrorized and intimidated black folks at a slower rate than its modern-day dark-skinned replacement, at least we had the good sense to be outraged and in no mood to contemplate rationalizations or be fooled by distractions.'

I'd love to say that I disagree with him, but I don't. Although I live in the Maryland suburbs and I'd like to think I have very little connection to that inner city world, that numbers do not lie.

Statistically, in most major cities, African-Americans are victims of other African-Americans. Why? The glorification of rap music? 50 Cent? Movies? The lure of money?

'No disrespect to Taylor, but he controlled the way he would be remembered by the way he lived. His immature, undisciplined behavior with his employer, his run-ins with law enforcement, which included allegedly threatening a man with a loaded gun, and the fact a vehicle he owned was once sprayed with bullets are all pertinent details when you've been murdered.

Marcellus Wiley, a former NFL player, made the radio circuit Wednesday, singing the tune that athletes are targets. That was his explanation for the murders of Taylor and Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams and the armed robberies of NBA players Antoine Walker and Eddy Curry.


Let's cut through the bull(manure) and deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men. Period. Go check the coroner's office and talk with a police detective. These bullets aren't checking W-2s.'

This is more I agree with him about? Again, why?

And one final block of sentences:

'You're damn straight I blame hip hop for playing a role in the genocide of American black men. When your leading causes of death and dysfunction are murder, ignorance and incarceration, there's no reason to give a free pass to a culture that celebrates murder, ignorance and incarceration.

Of course there are other catalysts, but until we recapture the minds of black youth, convince them that it's not OK to "super man dat ho" and end any and every dispute by "cocking on your bitch," nothing will change.'

While I respect Mr. Whitlock's quest to delve straight into the problem and come up with certain thoughts as to why the way things are in the black community, his thoughts are just way too simplistic.

I don't see this as only black America's problem, this is America's problem.

I was an American History major in college and studied it in graduate school, and a lot of my work centered around Civil Rights. Well, it's only been about 50 years since African-Americans have had full rights on paper (that's even if some agree with me), and right now, there are just as many African-American men in jail as there are in institutions of higher education.

Why is it that way? While it may be easy to blame rap music, movies, TV, to point the blame there is way too easy.

What I do I blame? The lack of parenting, the poor social conditions that many grow up in, socioeconomics, and the violence that seems to exist in a lot of communities Whitlock alludes to.

The problem is so complicated and so deep that a columnist with all due respect to Mr. Whitlock and Mr. Wilbon can wrap around it in a thousand word column.

Sociologists, education experts, economists, historians, students, and government officials have been for decades trying to figure out how to get black America on equal footing with the 'general' culture.

I'm going to put the blame on history and circumstance; however, even that is too simplistic. I'd be spending the next week or more trying to write an essay on this, but I don't have the time to through proofread.

Now, let's go back to Sean Taylor. While all the talking heads in the media have said he's a product of "black culture" and whatever else they can come up with; alas, he sounds like came from a more 'typical' background. Remember, Sean Taylor went to a private school growing up. his father was a police chief, and from all accounts seemed like a "good kid".

Maybe his friends got him in a little trouble, or maybe he fell into some bad influences in college, or maybe he did some stupid things, but he sounded more like a knucklehead at times than a so-called "thug" as many like to portray him as.

In the end, I don't think it's fair to dissect his life and then come to a standard conclusion as to why the way things are. A person's life is more like an elaborate painting, than a simple three paragraph obituary -- there are so many layers to a person that some columnist can't just pack it all into a piece.

Right now, based on the facts I have seen, it's a little asinine to lump his life with those who are criminals, or more insulting lump into a group, or culture such as black America which has contributed so much good to the fabric of America.

I could go on and on, but I'm going to stop here.

More Orioles Photos 2007







Picture 211



Picture 053

Picture 200




Quick Hits: LaRussa Pleads Guilty to DUI; Another Twin Gone?; Wagner Slams the Mets; Rollins Makes Another Declaration......

According to ESPN, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pleaded guilty yesterday to driving under the influence Wednesday, eight months after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light and smelling of alcohol. The incident took place in Florida during Spring Training, and lest we forget, a few weeks later, relief pitcher Josh Hancock lost his life due to driving while drunk.

La Russa said he had decided to plead guilty to the misdemeanor because it was in the best interest of all concerned.

"I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again," La Russa said in a statement released by his attorney, David Roth. La Russa did not appear in court to plead guilty.

As part of his plea agreement, La Russa will serve at least six months' probation, pay a $678.50 fine, complete DUI school and any recommended treatment and complete 50 hours of community service, according to state prosecutors.

Hopefully, Mr. LaRussa has learned from his mistakes, and this brush with the law will not blemish an outstanding managerial career.


I was scouring the news, and I figure the Minnesota Twins will go through an off-season of changes. Considering the organization has always been one of most budget-conscious teams, they are relatively known as cheap & as well tend to know the value of their players, media reports out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul report that Joe Nathan, one of the best closers in baseball might join Johan Santana on the trading clock.

From It will be surprising if the Twins, after losing center fielder Torii Hunter to the Los Angeles Angels, don't trade closer Joe Nathan, perhaps to the Milwaukee Brewers, in the coming weeks.

The Twins also are expected to trade two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana before long, as well as lose starting pitcher Carlos Silva to free agency.

Nathan's future in Minnesota became clearer last weekend when the Cincinnati Reds signed free-agent closer Francisco Cordero, formerly of the Brewers, for a guaranteed $46 million for four years in a deal that includes a $12 million, fifth-season option.

Cordero is 32. Nathan, who can become a free agent after next season, turned 33 last week. Cordero had 44 saves for the Brewers last season; Nathan had 37 for the Twins. And it doesn't appear there will be an abundance of save opportunities for Nathan next season if he stays with Minnesota.

Nathan is signed for a bargain $6 million for next season. But at his age, it's highly unlikely that the budget-conscious Twins would be willing to extend his contract for at least four years for $40 million, which appears to be his market value.

I would not disagree with this one bit. I think the Twins might keep him during the '08 season, unless someone makes the team an offer they could not refuse in the off-season. I see him being dealt before the deadline in '08 if they Twins do not contend.

It really, really looks like Minnesota will have a vastly different team than in '08 from what you saw last season.


Well, the Mets highly-paid closer, Billy Wagner gave his two cents the other day to a reporter on the website and he is none too pleased the way the organization is conducting business during spring training.

Here's what he said about losing Glavine and potentially giving up some of their young talent...

"Someone asked me what I thought of our team," Wagner told "I said, 'What team?' We've lost 13 games (Glavine's 2007 win total), and now we are going to have to give up something to get those games back. I'm afraid we're just going to create other holes if we give up a (Lastings) Milledge, a (Mike) Pelfrey or a (Aaron) Heilman.

"I'm trying to be positive. I'm saying we have some good players. But I'm worried. The Braves are getting better, and the Phillies made a move (by trading for closer Brad Lidge). We've brought back some people, and that's good. But losing Tom is big. It's a lot more than the 13games he won. It's what he did for John Maine and Oliver Perez and how professional he was. People want to focus on one bad game or just the day-to-day stats. I do that myself when I read about football. But I'm involved in this, and I know how important (Glavine) was. We don't have him and we don't even get to the last game with a chance. He was one of the few leaders we had.

... and

Wagner also lamented Paul Lo Duca's ouster.

"Maybe he wasn't the best receiver. I don't know. But Paulie competed," Wagner said. "He battled every day, and we had some guys who didn't show up every day. They were satisfied if they got a hit and we lost.

"Paul was (angry) if he had four hits and we lost. And every one of the pitchers trusted him. He was a big part of what we did, and now he's gone, too. ...It just worries me that we're missing some important guys."

Wagner told the Mets' Web site it would be foolish to include Heilman in a trade. "It would be a big chance to take," he said. "... No way you can trade him."

And as for any consideration of putting Orlando Hernandez in the bullpen, he added: "(El Duque) pitches great for five games and then can't pitch for two weeks. If we put him in the bullpen, we're going to ask him to pitch three times a week. Can he take that?"

To be perfectly honest, in following the NL East and my knowledge of it, I cannot argue with anything that he says.

His criticism might be heightened by the Mets' dramatic fall at the end of the '07 season; however, this is a team despite it's strength and payroll that has quite a few weakness -- for starters, being the pitching.

Wagner has always been blunt (item: Philadelphia), but he's right on the situation with the Mets.


Well, the reigning MVP and a member of the NL East Champions, Philadelphia Phillies, Jimmy Rollins boldly said that his team would win the division and they did on the last day of the season.

Now he's made another one.

Jimmy Rollins didn't declare the Phillies the team to beat until a media luncheon last January. The Phils, of course, went on to win the National League East.

This time around, he's wasting no time in making his predictions bold and stern for next year.

"We'll win probably 100 games . . . 100 games will get us to the playoffs," Rollins told Comcast SportsNet last night, when asked for his forecast for next season.

"There's going to be fireworks, I know that much . . . and I plan on another celebration, but not just one," the MVP added. "I don't plan on giving up that title of NL East champions, I know that much. I don't know if we can make a run like the Braves did [14 straight division titles], but we've started."

Let's not discount Jimmy now...

Could The Tampa Bay Rays Be On The Way Up?

With the talk of Santana being traded, as well Joe Nathan, and the departure of Torii Hunter, the Minnesota Twins & Tampa Bay Rays made a blockbuster trade last night featuring two up-and-coming young players as the centerpiece.

The Rays exchanged Delmon Young for Twins' hurler Matt Garza as the centerpiece of the trade.

The Twins needs offense and an outfielder, and Tampa sorely needs pitching.

From ESPN:

'The Minnesota Twins weren't worried about Delmon Young's troubled past. They wanted his bat, and they wanted it badly.

Young was traded by Tampa Bay to Minnesota on Wednesday night as part of a six-player deal that sent right-hander Matt Garza to the Rays.

In a swap of promising youngsters that's been discussed for weeks, the Twins also gave up starting shortstop Jason Bartlett and minor league pitcher Eduardo Morlan while acquiring shortstop Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Jason Pridie.
The move obviously fills the needs for both teams; however, I cannot understand why Tampa would move Delmon Young considering what he in '07, and his contract status right now.

Buster Olney in his blog raises this crucial point...

'While Young's talent is extraordinary -- on Wednesday evening, one AL East executive compared his ability to make consistently hard contact to a young Vladimir Guerrero -- the Rays had to wonder, internally, about whether Young was ever going to grow as a hitter and make necessary adjustments while with Tampa Bay. Maybe he will learn to be a more selective hitter in Minnesota, while taking batting practice daily with Joe Mauer, but in Tampa Bay, he was surrounded by other very young players, the kind of structure that wasn't going to nudge him to change...'

We shall see what happens, but both teams needed to make to fill up some holes. I see Tampa's pitching greatly improving and they having a core of young starters growing together and they getting some more established talent. However, I think Minnesota, in the long run will be the big winners of the trade as they get a good young player in Young, who could be something close to a franchise star if he improves.

I saw enough of the Rays in Baltimore to know that their pitching, both starting and relief were weak, if not woeful. I think if they can improve their pitching and perhaps loosen the financial purse strings a little, Tampa is a team to watch out for.

Where does that leave the Orioles? Well, I think the days of Tampa finishing in last may be coming to an end, sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quick Hits: MacPhail & The Winter Meetings, Jose Guillen, Fan Fest, Mark Prior & The Rundown...

Well, not much is going on in the world of the Orioles; however, I expect with the winter meetings upon us, business will about to pick up. Right now, MacPhail has not done much; however, it looks like he's taking his time and seeing how the market is right now for both free agents and the trade market.

The has more on MacPhail and the upcoming winter meetings as does Allen McCallum of Press Box Online.

Both B and I have looked at particular deals and scenarios, so feel feel to delve through the blog for those.

First and foremost, I reported yesterday that the Orioles might be interested in Jose Guillen. That report kind of surprised me considering the state of the team and their goals; however, according to Roch Kubatko, the organization is not interested in him. Like I said, a deal with Guillen, despite he being a fine player, would not make sense for Baltimore right now.

As well, in Roch's piece & in also by Jeff Zrebeic, they both look at Melvin Mora and his situation now with the team. He reported at the moment, Melvin is playing winter ball in Venezuela (his native country) in order to learn the outfield once again (he played left field for both the Mets and the Orioles; however, he's not played the position since 2003). I don't know if it means that Mora is opening himself up to being a multiple-position man with the team, or if he's trying to make himself more marketable, but he deciding on this course of action could only help him.

Roch predicts Mora will be gone from the team; alas, I would not surprised if this move happened myself.


Drew Forrester of WNST rants about the Orioles' marketing and the team holding FanFest at Camden Yards, two days before the season starts. I agree with him about the date of FanFest, as it should be done a lot earlier and kept in January.

The blog will have more about the opinions of last year's FanFest, but for now it is scheduled for March 29th.

Meanwhile, Casey Willett of WNST thinks the Orioles should go after Mark Prior as the Cubs are now dangling him on the trade market. Personally, I think if he could be had for the right price, Prior might be worth it if he can regain some of his brilliance before the injuries took a toll.

The acquisition of Prior would be a low-risk, high-reward type of move. He's still young enough to make an impact for someone, and he can make a comeback, fans here would be pleasantly surprised.

Of course, it's assuming the Cubs and the Orioles make another one of their annual deals.


Also, in the Sun, the Orioles have now agreed to an extended lease on a new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. The move is obviously an important one as most young players who come through the major league pipeline these days are from that portion of the world.

Whether we like it or not for whatever reasons, that area is stocked with young, fertile, and yes, very cheap talent.

Mike Gibbons, who is part of the Babe Ruth Museum, has a great piece on Juila Ruth Stevens, who is the daughter of Babe Ruth in Press Box.


Although Babe Ruth is best known as a Yankee, he grew up in Baltimore, and still has a presence here with the Babe Ruth Museum only blocks away from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick Hits - Orioles Fanfest

I've been hearing this rumor floating around for a little while, and Roch's blog from the Baltimore Sun mentioned it as well. The Orioles have tentatively scheduled Fanfest for Saturday March 29, 2008 at Camden Yards, and plan on using the same format as last year. Roch joked that this schedule meant no interference with Raven's playoffs and was easier than working around the Convention Center's schedule as well.

Due to work, I didn't get to attend the new format at the park, but I've heard mixed reviews from those who attended. Many complaints were made about the weather - in Baltimore, it is not unusual for March to still be freezing cold outside, and snow on the ground. I remember last years' weather, and it was cold outside - not exactly conducive to standing around, waiting in long lines. Other complaints brought to my attention were the lack of 'Baby Birds' - meaning our minor league farm system - because of the event being held after Spring Training, and no real new news that goes in conjunction with Spring Training coming up, and what to expect in the upcoming season.

Now, I'm a little disappointed - I thoroughly enjoyed the event when it was held at the Convention Center in the middle of winter. I had something to look forward to, and it was fun to get to hear the different panels on what to expect to see in Spring Training and beyond. However, because I didn't go last year, I can't really say if I think this change is for the better or not. Obviously, the Oriole organization must have had enough positive feedback to warrant repeating this new format. For those of you who went, what did you think and do you think this change is a good thing?


More on Sean Taylor, Michael Wilbon, & The Media

As some of you may know, I live in the Washington-Baltimore area, am a Redskins' fan, and I whipped up a post about on the death of Sean Taylor this morning. I have also have been covering the tragic news of Mr. Taylor online and in my car on sports talk radio.

Well, in the hours since his death, I have seen the best and worst of the media in the coverage of this event. It seems within the last 12 or so hours I have heard every opinion, thought, speech said and read just about every word.

I'm not shocked by much in life anymore, and I'd like to think I'd not get too emotional about someone I didn't know.

In this instance, I have.

Seriously, how does one judge a person's life?

Do we just honor and pontificate the good guys, or do we just attack, nibble and go through everything with a fine tooth comb of people who may be so-called less than honorable.

Today, I never thought I'd be disgusted with an columnist who I respect no matter he what says, but I am. I'm pretty irate with Mr. Michael Wilbon, whom I thought would be above the fray; however, it seems that he might be quick to assume or judge.

This is what he said via a column from the Washington Post's Leonard Shapiro: My colleague, Post columnist and ESPN broadcaster Michael Wilbon was asked about Taylor during his weekly internet web site discussion Monday and said, "I've known guys like Taylor all my life, grew up with some. They still have shades of gray and shouldn't be painted in black and white.

"I know how I feel about Taylor, and this latest news isn't surprising in the least, not to me. Whether this incident is or isn't random, Taylor grew up in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce himself from it. He ain't the first and won't be the last. We have no idea what happened, or if what we know now will be revised later. It's sad, yes, but hardly surprising."

I usually do not go into my personal life on this blog, but I know a little bit about crime, and the so-called 'life' that Mr. Wilbon illustrates. My brother spent almost a year in jail for a drug problem, nearly drove my family in debt, caused many of us to have sleepness nights, and we all worried for his future.

Yes, my brother could have been six feet under, or spent 10-20 in a 6 by 8 cell; however, he decided to look himself in the mirror, change, and put family and God above everything.

I used to think like Mr. Wilbon; alas, considering the situation my brother got himself involved in and how it affected my family - I had to step back, think, show understanding and compassion as to why things happened the way they did.

What Mr. Wilbon fails to realize in his comments is this: In life, it does not matter how you start, it's how you finish.

Yes, Sean Taylor might have been classified as a "thug", "troublemaker", "spoiled athlete", "menace to society", or whatever adjective you want to use; however, from the owner of the team to his teammates to his family, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Taylor was trying to change his life.

He wanted to change because he had a potentially bright career; however, needed to do so because he had a family, and a life to live.

That's been snuffed away because of a sick, evil sin.

Yes, may have had trouble in his life, done things wrong and perhaps lacked proper judgment at times; alas, he was someone's son, nephew, friend and the media perhaps in this instance, has forgotten that from some of stuff I have read.

Some people wonder if his death is a racial issue or not, it should not be; however, the way are talking about it, we cannot discount it.

I will save that argument for another day. As a cynical person by nature, I'll look into that discussion down the road, but as a football fan and someone invested in some emotional aspect with the Redskins, this is reminiscent of those who remember Len Bias dying. This has shocked me and people, fans and non-fans alike in the region in a way that I have not seen in my lifetime.

We may or may not ever get the details or uncover the circumstances of Mr. Taylor's death, but this much is certain - a man with a bright future and a family has lost his life and he deserves to rest in peace.

Jose Guillen An Oriole?

I caught wind of this in a thread on Orioles Hangout and it was mentioned later this morning on Roch's blog, but it seems the organization has some interest in acquiring Jose Guillen.

Yes, the same guy who was found to have bought HGH recently from a pharmacy, has had problems in the past, and yes, has been with over nine organizations in his career.

Of course, this is all a rumor; however, if the Orioles for some reason sign him, I'll be scratching my head.

A while ago, the Seattle Mariners turned down a $9 million extension for Guillen and bought out his contract for $500,000.

The Kansas City Star has this posted:

"The Royals are dismissing reports from the Dominican Republic that say they are close to an agreement with free-agent outfielder Jose Guillen.

General manager Dayton Moore declined to comment on the matter, but indications suggest the Baltimore Orioles and at least one other team are showing strong interest in Guillen.

The reports linking Guillen to the Royals surfaced after he said he expected to join Licey of the Dominican Winter League in the near future after completing his contract negotiations."

and this is what Roch said on his blog earlier today:
"Jose Guillen is looking for $30 million over three years. He wears steroid allegations like a uniform jersey, with the hGH links a nice accessory. He’s been a headache for more than one manager because of his anger-management issues. He has a short fuse and a shorter shelf life. And ESPN Deportes has the Orioles in the running to sign him.

They must want him in left field – the same place where this rumor came from.

Don’t be shocked if it’s a figment of someone’s imagination.

Guillen, based only on his tools, would be a tremendous upgrade over Jay Payton. The guy hits for average and power, and he has a cannon for an arm. But it would take 27 bellhops to handle all his baggage, and they’d each have to make two trips.

This doesn’t sound like Andy MacPhail’s kind of guy, but it’s worth looking into. Nothing surprises me anymore."

Honestly, Jose Guillen is a good ballplayer, but is he what the Orioles need at this point? No.

From my time seeing him as a Washington National, he is good with the bat, and can definitely be an asset in the outfield, plus can hit for average and power.

The problem is that he's 32 and if the Orioles are serious about the rebuilding, the plan should focus their energy on finding the next star or youngster who can be part of the future, rather than signing a guy to fill a hole.

Guillen's checkered past does not bother me much - he's just not a good fit for the organization at the moment.

In addition, he wants $10 million per year and it's money I'd spend if I knew as GM my team isn't going to compete.

Sean Taylor; In Memorium, 1983-2007

Today, I woke up and read the unfortunate news that Star NFL safety, Sean Taylor, passed away in a Miami area hopsital before dawn after being shot during a home invasion in his native Florida.

As a Redskins' fan, I was shocked and utterly devastated that not only a star of the team died, but more importantly a 24-year old man who had a family, fiancee and a whole life ahead of him had it snuffed in an instant.

From the reports, it looked like he was trying to defend his family from intruders, but in the end, became a victim. Whether it was a vendetta, robbery, or there's something else to the story, I'm not sure of; however, we know that a young man lost his life.

It's too bad that most of the stories will have some sort of mention of his past incidents and transgressions; alas, it seems that he had made a concerted effort to turn his life around from what has been reported.

An incident like this in America happens each day when someone who is murdered for some reason, especially a black male; however, but today it got ink in the papers and considerable mention online because who the victim was.

Rest in peace, Sean.

What an unfortunate tragedy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Sox (1919 Chicago White Sox) Documents To Be Auctioned Off...: The Words of Torii Hunter...

A interesting piece of baseball history might be opened even further as a box containing thousands of rare documents, letters and memos that detail events surrounding the so-called Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series will be up for auction starting Monday.

If you need some background, the 1919 World Series ended in a scandal the rocked the world of baseball. Well, eight players from the Chicago White Sox allegedly threw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The players were acquitted of the charges; however, they were banned from professional baseball for life. The Chicago players included the great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson; pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude "Lefty" Williams; infielders Buck Weaver, Arnold "Chick" Gandil, Fred McMullin, and Charles "Swede" Risberg; and outfielder Oscar "Happy" Felsch.

From the New York Times: Experts say the material may offer more insight about the White Sox, whose actions during the Series against the Cincinnati Reds became one of the darkest events in baseball history.

“This could be a treasure trove,” the baseball author Gene Carney said.

It is unclear how the documents, whose existence were previously unknown, ended up together or where they have been for more than eight decades. Mastro Auctions in Burr Ridge declined to reveal the identity of the two sellers and said that they probably purchased the box without knowing exactly what was inside.

The papers, examined by The Chicago Tribune, appear to contain documents from the 1921 criminal trial against eight White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series as part of a gambling scandal. The papers also include documents from a 1924 lawsuit in which some of the players sued the team for back pay.

It well be known soon enough if the documents reveal anything new about one of the most infamous sports scandals in history.


Well, as we all know Torii Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels last week. Right now he seems to be more than happy joining the organization, as they are a perennial contender, and more importantly, they gave him the contract he wanted.

Right now, that's more than he can say for Minnesota.

Here's what he said to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Torii Hunter said he wouldn't have returned to the Twins even if the money was there because he doesn't believe they can compete with the more talented teams in the division.

As for his decision to sign with the Angels he said: "It was like a 24-hour decision. I could not leave Anaheim -- that's a nice place, a nice ballpark, they play the game right, they've got a chance to win every year. Because Arte Moreno is that type of owner, he wants to win."

Had the Twins' three-year offer for $45 million been five years for $75 million, he might have considered it, Hunter said, but on the other hand, he wanted to play with a winner. He said he doesn't think the Twins are going to have the talent to win in the future.

"Sometimes you're going to ask for a raise or whatever. And it just so happened that in major league baseball the market is up, it's way up." he said. "So, I was going to get what I was going to get. I just wanted to make sure that I was with a team that wants to win, that's going to try to win day in and day out. Whatever pieces to the puzzle that they need, they were going to go out and get it. I just didn't feel the Twins were that ballclub."

With Hunter gone, and Johan Santans possibly leaving the organization, the Twins may be set to rebuild and have to consider life without two of their most bankable stars.

Alex Rodriguez Will Be Even Richer; Torii Says Minnesota Won't Win...


Well, it looks like the rich will get richer down the road. Yesterday, the details of Alex Rodriguez's contract was divulged and this much will be certain -- he will be a supremely wealthy man when all is said and done.

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed on a $30 million marketing package based on home-run achievements that could raise the total value of his new contract to $305 million over 10 years.

Under the agreement, which remains to be finalized, Rodriguez could receive $6 million each for tying the home-run levels of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and an additional $6 million for breaking Bonds' major league record.

The Yankees could designate each level as a historic event, enabling Rodriguez to receive the added money in exchange for additional personal appearances and signed memorabilia for the club. That enabled the agreement to be allowed by the players' association and the commissioner's office. Baseball generally prohibits bonuses based on statistics such as home runs.

Despite not being universally liked by Yankee fans, fans in general and the media; alas, the Yankees are hoping that the cash registers ring when Rodriguez hits some important baseball milestones.

In light of the way he opted out, perhaps he did win in the end as they not only will come to a deal but will reward him.



Well, as we all know Torii Hunter signed with the Los Angeles Angels last week. Right now he seems to be more than happy joining the organization, as they are a perennial contender, and more importantly, they gave him the contract he wanted.

Right now, that's more than he can say for Minnesota.

Here's what he said to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Torii Hunter said he wouldn't have returned to the Twins even if the money was there because he doesn't believe they can compete with the more talented teams in the division.

As for his decision to sign with the Angels he said: "It was like a 24-hour decision. I could not leave Anaheim -- that's a nice place, a nice ballpark, they play the game right, they've got a chance to win every year. Because Arte Moreno is that type of owner, he wants to win."

Had the Twins' three-year offer for $45 million been five years for $75 million, he might have considered it, Hunter said, but on the other hand, he wanted to play with a winner. He said he doesn't think the Twins are going to have the talent to win in the future.

"Sometimes you're going to ask for a raise or whatever. And it just so happened that in major league baseball the market is up, it's way up." he said. "So, I was going to get what I was going to get. I just wanted to make sure that I was with a team that wants to win, that's going to try to win day in and day out. Whatever pieces to the puzzle that they need, they were going to go out and get it. I just didn't feel the Twins were that ballclub."

With Hunter gone, and Johan Santana possibly leaving the organization, the Twins may be set to rebuild and have to consider life without two of their most bankable stars.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Andy MacPhail Q&A With the Boston Globe


Earlier today, I posted an entry about Andy MacPhail, and through reading up on things before bedtime, I found a quick Q&A he did with a Boston Globe writer, Nick Cafardo. He mainly answered questions about the state of the Orioles, how the team can improve and also life in American League East.

Is this a complete rebuilding time for you in your first year in Baltimore?

AM: "I think it's a franchise that has economic wherewithal. If you do get a nucleus of players, it's not like they're going to be rolling off and we can't afford them, like a lot of these clubs. It's a tall order and maybe I didn't fully appreciate how difficult the position is. But that doesn't mean we can't do things a lot better than we've been doing them in the past. We really need to make a concerted effort to rebuild the franchise's foundation - scouting, player development - and be as good at those things as we can possibly be."

You've run the Twins (championships in 1987 and 1991) and the Cubs; are you incorporating the Twins model or the Cubs model?

AM: "The Minnesota model is a good one to use to the extent that you're a scouting-and-development-based organization. I told our guys when I first sat down with them that this is an area where you have to excel. You can't be adequate or average."

Does it seem overwhelming to look up and see Boston and New York?

AM: "When the Egyptians were building the pyramids, they didn't think about what they had to build, they just carried the rocks up. I think that's what we have to do. We have to bring the rocks up one at a time and stick with it. I mean, we do have the financial wherewithal, maybe not to compete on a one-on-one basis, but to make the investments once we have a foundation where we feel the investment will really pay off for us."

Does it make you crazy when you watch a game at Camden Yards, and there are so many Yankee or Red Sox fans in the stands?

AM: "I'd rather have all Oriole fans in there. I grew up in a family where the things that mattered first was that baseball was popular and that we need fans in there. At least there are people sitting in there, but I'd much rather they were our fans."

The Q&A didn't tell us all much new in terms of potential deals; however, it is always good to get what Andy MacPhail is thinking about first-hand.

A Blow-Up Concerto; Managers, Players & Coaches Alike...

I remember this vividly as a kid, this first video is of Royals' manager, Hal McRae of the Kansas City Royals goes nuts during a post game conference in 1993 after being asked a stupid question.

Possibly the most memorable rant ever...

Here's a concerto:

Jim Mora...

Dennis Green...

John Cheney vs. John Calipari

Coach Gundy is upset after the win over Texas Tech. The only comments after the game are about what was in a newspaper about one of his quarterbacks.

The king of blow-ups, Bobby Knight...

Allen Iverson goes over the merits of practice...

Mike Tyson goes weird...

Sweet Lou goes mad...

We all know this one...

For wrestling fans, this is the video of the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" - pro wrestling may be scripted; however, this is very much real.

Quick Hits: The State of the Orioles, Andy MacPhail and the Roundup...

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday out there and are enjoying the last remnants of the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Well, as of right now, much has not happened on the Hot Stove front with the Orioles at all. Understandably, that has some fans concerned and for a deal to be consummated quickly. However, we have a little less than three months until spring training, the organization should make a move sooner rather than later, and then rebuilding process will start to begin.

Keep in mind, I am going fathom that things are being held up mainly because of Florida's situation with Miguel Cabrera & Columnist Peter Schmuck of the Sun goes into it further in detail in his latest article. As well, I think some teams are waiting for the market to play itself out and as well pondering where a lot of big free agents (Rowand, et. al) and trade bait (Santana) end up.

This week, I and B have looked at some of the chatter involving Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard. For most, it is a foregone conclusion that Tejada will be an another uniform when the season begins, and the jury is still out on Erik Bedard.

Another very good reason for lack of activity -- or the perception of it is Andy MacPhail himself. It's not to say that he isn't doing anything, you just don't hear a whole lot from him. Well, in the past, he's built respectable, contending teams, so I am thinking he's just not releasing all his cards yet, keeping it within his inner circle and not releasing the details of any potential moves or deals.

At this point, I am just putting my full trust in him, as nothing else has worked the past decade.

I am sure a deal will be made one way or the other by the new year.

Heck, Roch Kubatko wants something done with the team, & Tony's Take wonders if the Orioles will go after Barry Bonds...

Spencer Fordin of the has a piece on the charity and community work that the team has done in 2007.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Neil Diamond Has Creeped Me Out...

Ah, "Sweet Caroline". It's a cute little song and every game at Fenway, Red Sox fans, young and old, boy and girl join in a sing-along of Neil Diamond's song in happy revelry. Of course, I being an Orioles fan, I cannot stand it when I hear the song now, and it can also be heard during games in Washington D.C., which unlike it being played at a Fenway Park is sickening.

Thanks to the Red Sox, the crooner has the song embedded in the lexicon of baseball fans around the country.

This week, Neil Diamond let the world know where he got the inspiration for the famous song.

Um, needless to say, it kind of creeped me out.

Neil Diamond has revealed the inspiration for his smash hit and karaoke favourite Sweet Caroline - President John F Kennedy's daughter.

The 66-year-old singer-songwriter unmasked his muse after finally getting the opportunity to tell Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg when he performed the song via satellite at her 50th birthday party last week.


The star explained how he had been a "young, broke songwriter" when he saw a photograph of the president's daughter in a magazine.

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," he recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."


Weird, in a kind a creepy way, in my honest opinion, although I can see him being amazed by a child. I still don't want to believe it just by hearing the lyrics. I assumed it was about an old girlfriend or a schoolgirl crush.

Alas, here are a few very out of tune Red Sox fans attempting to sing the song...

More Orioles Photos 2007


















Open Thread: Black Friday, Consumerism and Psychotic People in the Stores & On the Road...

Ah, Black Friday. The crazy, faux holiday devoted to a shopping day setup by the retailers and their parent corporations to bring people into the stores and spend money for stuff they may or may not need.

Yes, and the media feeds it.

There is nothing in the world that would make me ever wait out in the cold to save a few bucks, much less run into some psychos out there.

Ah, the joy of waiting outside after Thanksgiving just to shop - oh joy.

I, in my right mind would never participate in it, but my sister did and she said people were crazy.

I mean, normally rational, polite in public and sensible people go all buckwild for stuff and in some instances put their safety at risk.

The thing that is tad disturbing is that the retailers lure people with "doorbusters", ridiculously priced items to get people in the door. Of course, they have "limited quantities" of the cheap stuff, so unless you had been in line since Wednesday, you're not getting anything unless you are just beyond aggressive.

Thank God for the internet. People, you know technology has made life a l0t more simple these days...

That being said, I'd love to hear people's experiences - good or bad. Anyhow, here are a littany of videos I found on Youtube from yesterday.

Johan & Minnesota Don't See Eye to Eye; Francisco Cordero A Red For Big Money...


Well, it looks like Johan Santana remaining in Minnesota seems to be diminishing by the day. The Twins are attempting to keep one of the best arms in the game, but they are not getting cooperation from Santana and his people.

From "The Minnesota Twins recently offered superstar pitcher Johan Santana a four-year extension for about $80 million, has learned, leaving a sizable and significant gap in contract negotiations and perhaps even enhancing the chances that Santana may be traded this winter, possibly even by end of the Winter Meetings, which run from Dec. 3-7 in Nashville, Tenn.

The Twins have been telling people they will do their best to retain Santana, who is considered the sports' most dynamic pitcher and is still only 28. However, two executives on competing teams said they foresaw little likelihood the Twins could keep Santana long-term barring a stunning turnaround in negotiations, and one said he believed Santana is "out there'' already as a trade possibility."

The chatter should increase, and it looks like Santana not only wants a long term deal, but get paid -- and paid big time.

From "...While Santana's asking price isn't known, it is generally thought to be well in excess of the $126-million contract the Giants gave last winter to free agent pitcher Barry Zito, who isn't considered in Santana's league. It is believed that as a free agent next winter the lefthanded Santana could earn at least $150 million, or more, providing he stays on his current path of productivity. So the sides could be as much as $50 million apart, or even more."

Considering lack of reliable pitching and premier arms -- someone will pay him, rest assured.


The Cincinnati Reds had a horrendous bullpen in 2007, and on Friday they took steps to fix it.

With the market being as it is, the organization was proactive as they signed one of the best closers in the game in 2007.

According to ESPN: The Cincinnati Reds have reached preliminary agreement on a four-year, $46 million contract with closer Francisco Cordero, a baseball source confirmed Friday to

The deal, which includes a club option for a fifth year, is subject to Cordero passing a physical exam. The agreement was first reported by

Cordero, 32, has 177 career saves in nine seasons with Detroit, Texas and Milwaukee. He ranked second in the National League with 44 saves last season in Milwaukee and made the National League All-Star team.

I'm not sure if this is the most prudent move signing a closer for years with the amount of money offered; however, the best arms want long-term deals, and the Reds gave in.

He'd turned down a 4 year, $42 million dollar deal from Milwaukee.

Honoring Joe Kennedy, 1979-2007

As reported very early this afternoon, major league pitcher, Joe Kennedy passed away suddenly at his in-laws place in Tampa, FL. He was only 28 years old and left behind a wife and a young daughter.

Obviously, I being a year older than he, I was just shocked when I read the news appear on my RSS reader around lunch time. I was about to head to cover a basketball on the campus of the University of Maryland and the first words out of my mouth was, "oh, my God".

He was the second young player to lose his life this season, but when this happens to someone who seemingly had a dream career, a family and everything to live for, you often ask yourself, "why"?

For me, it does not matter if it's Joe Kennedy, or Joe Smith; no one that young, especially with a family should die in the fashion

From After going to bed early, Kennedy woke up at about 1:15 a.m. Friday and collapsed as he was leaving a bedroom at the home of his wife's parents, Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue took Kennedy to Brandon Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, she said.

"We were terribly shocked," Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey told The Associated Press. "From what we understand he was in Brandon ... to be the best man at a wedding today."

Godfrey didn't have particulars on the cause of death.

"Obviously, when a 28-year-old man dies, ballplayer or not, it's a terrible, terrible thing," he said.

In the end, it seems that Joe Kennedy was loved and appreciate by everyone, teammates, friends and family alike.

Mr. Kennedy, you might have left this world, but you are in a better place.

I really didn't know who he was, besides being a pitcher; however, to the people he mattered to the most, he was a lot more.

Rest in peace and God bless, Joe Kennedy.

I often shoot photos at games, not as a fan, but sometimes for an assignment. Anyhow, he are the photos I took of Joe Kennedy earlier in the spring. I cannot remember the details of the game, but here are a few photos that I had in my archives.





Friday, November 23, 2007

The Impact of the Torii Hunter Deal; An Overstocked Outfield and Miguel Tejada


With the signing of Torii Hunter by the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, they finally have the protection that was sorely needed in the middle of the order for their slugger, Vladmir Guerrero.

Now that Hunter is in center field, Los Angeles now has a loaded outfield with Gary Matthews, Guerrero, Garrett Anderson, outstanding youngster Reggie Willits, and Gary Matthews, Jr.

However, what happens with all the players they have accumulated?

I say one of them gets traded --- perhaps Willits. Alas, this is where the Orioles come in.

As I mentioned a few day ago in a post, the Angels have targeted Miguel Tejada as part of potential solution to the left side of the infield for the past two seasons. With the trade of Orlando Cabrera earlier this week, it looks Los Angeles is setting itself up for a trade to get Marlins’ slugger Miguel Cabrera, or perhaps get Tejada as a second option.

That being said, if the Angels do go after Tejada, who do the Orioles go after?

With players such as Brandon Wood, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders and younger talent in their system, Baltimore may be well served to trade Tejada.

However, there may be another player now part of the puzzle – Reggie Willits.

Although Willilts is not the big slugger that we all want and lust over, he’s an incredibly resourceful and talented ballplayer who batted .293 in his rookie year and was an on-base machine in 2007. In addition to his solid numbers, he stole 27 bases and would make an excellent spark plug in the order.

Well, he’s young and right now, real cheap; alas, he’s what the Orioles need, some young, good, plays hard, and isn’t afraid to get dirty.

The downside to having Willits is that obvious he’s not the sexy player fans want as he only slugged .346, and didn’t hit any home runs.

I don’t know is he’s the first player I’d choose from the Angels in a trade as there are more players with upside, such as Wood, Santana, Saunders and other young talent; however, Willits could be a serviceable player who would be part if the organization for a long time and for the most part, he looks like he could be a reliable piece of the rebuilding puzzle.

I would obviously include Willits as part of a package, providing we get sold pieces in return whether it is a pitcher, or a good bat.


Pitcher Joe Kennedy Dead!

According to ESPN, free-agent pitcher Joe Kennedy, who played for Oakland, Arizona and Toronto in 2007, died early Friday of undetermined causes, reports's Jerry Crasnick. He was 28.

Rest in peace, Joe.

Story here:

A Commercial Interlude: Jim Palmer In A Spot For Brylcream...

This ad is for a Brylcream Commercial featuring Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles. The video quality isn't great, but this spot I assume would have to be from before 1972, because you see Jim Palmer running the bases, bunting and um, actually looking like a well-rounded athlete.

Jim was always known as a ladies man, and this spot does nothing to dispel that notion. Ok, he does sound like a robot, but alas, it's good to find classic commercials like this.

The Bedard Rumors, Part Two

B, who has been a tremendous help on the blog and who has a great tab on the Orioles wrote a post on Bedard earlier this week and the interest he’s had on the open market.

The Orioles are right now trying to determine what to do with Erik as he’s a valuable piece not only on the field, but as potential trade bait. The latest rumor being thrown out there is that Dodgers are looking at getting him; however, they are preoccupied with a way to get the Marlins’ Miguel Cabrera via trade.

With Baltimore on the verge of a potential and lengthy rebuilding process, perhaps the best thing to do would be to trade Bedard considering the value he could get in return.

This evening, I read a interesting piece on Press Box’s column, the “Oriole Insider” and Craig Heist has a Q&A with Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and one of the questions center around Erik.

Here’s what Rosenthal opined: “... I think the only way to really gauge that interest is to make him an offer. Now, if I were Erik Bedard, I would not accept any offer right now, because two years from now when he becomes a free agent, the money could be totally outrageous as opposed to just normally outrageous. So, to me, if you are the Orioles, you kind of gauge his interest, see where he is, perhaps make him an offer, and then based on the response I think you have to at least consider the idea of trading him because of the limited free agent market, the great demand for starting pitching.

You don’t have to do this today. You could do it at the deadline next year. But his value will be higher today, and if he gets injured some time in the near future, you would be trading him at his peak. For all those reasons, I think it is a smart idea, and it would yield the maximum return, much more than Tejada or anybody else. You see what has happened with Tejada. They held onto him too long, and he will bring a minimum return.

There are several reasons I can think why we should keep Bedard and why the organization should not keep him.

First & foremost, left-handed pitching is hard to find – especially, good left-handed pitching. His numbers do show that he's one of the best hurlers in the game right despite his experience.

However, he's never really been healthy for a full season, he’s 28, and furthermore there are questions about his attitude, work ethic and desire to be an Oriole.

Let’s not forget -- he's still under our control for two more seasons, thus, we *don't* have to trade him. With Bedard, the O's have the upper hand -- they still have him for 2 years under their control. The team does not necessarily have to trade him; however, if he does not show a willingness to stay in Baltimore, he should be dealt.

Since it is shown that Baltimore is clearly rebuilding, do we keep him around in the hopes we get good or somehow have a miracle 2008, or do you trade him when his value his high (like now)?

It remains to be seen, but if the Orioles are truly rebuilding, I'd dangle him and see what it is out there. Well, I do think right now the Dodgers will give up one premier prospect for him, plus maybe one or two of their lower level guys. I’d only trade him if I could get a major-league ready guy, plus additional pieces.

If the team keeps him and for some reason he gets injured, or his numbers for reason end up worse than they were in 2007, the Orioles would have perhaps blown a precious opportunity to go in another direction.

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