Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: July 29th, 2007



New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles; July 29th, 2007

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: July 28th, 2007



New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles; July 28th

Congrats Cal & The Rundown: Orioles Lose 10-6 to the Yankees…

On a sunny day in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday, our own Cal Ripken was formally inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Apparently, Cooperstown was a sea of black and orange and lest we not forget, Tony Gwynn was inducted too, another class act…

Flanked by fifty plus living Hall of Famers, his family, and nearly seventy to a hundred thousand Orioles fans, Ripken spoke about in general about his time as an Oriole, his family, and his work with kids along with his business post-baseball life.

The speech was fairly general, in my opinion; however, it was great to see him emotional and talk about the bedrock of life – family.

After the Yankee-Oriole game, both Yankee and Oriole fans took out the time to view the Ripken induction on the video screen in centerfield.

There’s a video of Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame Induction on the Baltimore Sun website.

The esteemed Tom Boswell of Washington Post has a great article on the Iron Man, Cal Ripken, and Dave Shenin believes his career took on a mythical element…

***

In light of the induction, the Orioles lost yesterday to the New York Yankees, 10-6, in a game that saw Daniel have no focus in the first two innings, and with the combination of walks and hits, the boys in black and orange were in a deep hole.

Daniel Cabrera was nothing short of awful in the beginning of yesterday’s game and you have to wonder if this is the best he’ll get.

The O’s six-game win streak was snapped; however, the Orioles were able to take two of three from the New York Yankees.

Miguel Tejada returned this weekend, and played DH on Sunday – good for the Orioles to see.

Although the Orioles were able to come back within a run in the mid-point of the game, the Yankees lineup was too much and the Oriole bullpen could not hold the tight lead.

For the most part, the game was secondary as most O’s fans were in glee about Cal.

However, from the looks of it, Cal may be the last Oriole inducted for a long time.

For those of you who were able to make the trip up there, I’d love to hear about it.

***

The Baltimore Examiner has more on the events from Sunday in Cooperstown, and the Washington Post finds him to be a working man’s hero.

Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun believes that Cal Ripken is still shaping his legacy post-baseball career with all his ventures and work with kids. The Baltimore Examiner expounds on how Cal Ripken was able to save the game of baseball after the ’94 strike as well as redefined the shortstop position.

Meanwhile, Chris Ray’s elbow his passed a second test, and that’s a good thing…

Kevin Millar, in light of the lack of physical gifts has been able to become a great defender and leader on this team…

Peter Schmuck opines on Sunday, as it took us all away from the scandals of sports for a day.

The Orioles MLB site has an interesting article on Erik Bedard.

Rock Kubatko believes that Jay Payton will be traded at the deadline…

In other news, Jim Palmer got married this weekend in Cooperstown, New York – congrats Jim, and the Aberdeen Ironbirds played a game on Doubleday Field on Saturday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles; Images from July 27th



New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles

I'll have some thoughts from last night later, but I did cover the game for Oriole Magic!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Iron Man Celebrated, Honored and Hailed in Cooperstown Send-Off

Here's an article I wrote for the DC Sports Box about Cal Ripken and his send-off, hope you enjoy..

***

Although the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area is pretty much awash with the red, white and blue of the Nationals, lest we forget many in the area for about four decades rooted, cheered and followed the Baltimore Orioles.

Our neighbors to the north have not had a lot to cheer about for the past decade, as the Orioles have had nine straight losing seasons, a dramatic decline attendance, and fan dissatisfaction towards owner Peter Angelos.

However, on Tuesday night before a match-up with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, fans got a chance to relive the glory days of the past as the Orioles honored Cal Ripken, Jr. in a “send-off to Cooperstown” celebration.

A crowd about 43,000 strong celebrated a universally-respected man who was not only a great baseball player, but also a part of Maryland heritage.

The crowd last night was boisterous, decked in black and orange, and you saw the number "8" abound on jerseys, shirts and whatever else you could find.

With an elaborate display setup of a large inflatable jersey of Ripken’s number in center field, the number “2632” posted on the warehouse to commemorate the number of consecutive games that he played, along with a podium and seating in the infield, Tuesday was all about Cal.

Although the start time of the game was set back more than half-an-hour, dignitaries such as Baltimore mayor, Sheila Dixon; fellow Hall of Famers and former Orioles Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, and Earl Weaver were on hand to support and honor Cal Ripken.

Fans were shown a continuous loop of footage of the future Hall of Famer on the video screen in centerfield; therefore, as he was announced, Cal sat in a pristine Chevrolet Corvette as it drove along the warning track, waved to the crowd and tossed a few baseballs to a few lucky fans.

Like a scene out of a movie, fans watched and stood with amazement as they took photos, video and tried to get as close as they could to the field.

Cal addressed the crowd and spoke for about ten minutes with thoughts of his career, his upcoming induction to the Hall of Fame, and his work with kids via Ripken Baseball.

Afterwards, he threw out the first pitch of the ballgame to former teammate, Eddie Murray.

In addition, Orioles’ Chief Operating Officer Andy MacPhail presented a check for one million dollars to Cal Ripken, Jr. to help out the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, a non-profit foundation that provides baseball and softball programs to underprivileged children named in honor of his father.

In light of the Orioles being a second division team at the moment, Tuesday was an example of what could be -- or in better terms, what should be for the team north of Washington D.C.

Donovan McNabb Crosses Over to the Dark Side...

Guess who has joined the dark side...

Just kidding. I'm not a Philadelphia Eagles fan at all (my heart belongs with the 'Skins), but I respect and love Donovan McNabb.

Welcome to the world of blogging, Mr. McNabb.

His Blog: http://yardbarker.com/users/DonovanMcNabb

The Saga of Michael Vick: Boy, Are You Quiet...

Mr. Vick, was there absolutely any reason you could have not spoke for yourself yesterday? One would think that you would have PR team in place, your lawyers at hand and have the ability to defend yourself and proclaim your innocence in the public domain.

I mean, if I was your in position and was in a world of trouble, I’d be so defiant and would articulate my case that I’d shout it from the rooftops.

Instead, there’s no public statement by Michael Vick.

What a shame.

Quick Hits: O's Sweep Rays, Ripken and the Hall of Fame Weekend...

It’s needless to say that this weekend will be huge in the pantheon of sports, especially for those who root ardently for the Baltimore Orioles.

In light of an ugly sports week full of scandals and controversy, it’s a breath of fresh air to see Maryland’s own Cal Ripken enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

I will admit right now, Cal was never my favorite Oriole --- Frank Robinson was, followed by Brooks (ironically, I was not even born when both men played their last game), but I liked Frank as a competitor, and Brooks because he was amazing in the fiels and he is such a good guy.

Ripken may not have the lofty numbers (only a .275 career batting average), but he changed the position of shortstop forever, and more importantly, he went out and did his job day after day.

More importantly, with the outrageous salaries of athletes these days and the tendencies for a lot of them to be anti-social and limit their interaction with fans, Cal Ripken was a great exception.

Perhaps this is why I respect and honor him now more than I ever did.

When I see guys like Michael Vick, Adam “Pacman” Jones in the situations they are in now, sometimes we need to be reminded being a professional athlete is a privilege, not a right; therefore, although they may not think of themselves as role models – they are.

Millions of kids (some of whom do not have parental figures in their life) look up to athletes.

Some do not want to carry that mantle; however, guys like Ripken and Gwynn (cannot forget him) take it and run.

For that, I salute them.

These days, it’s hard to find people who do things the right way.

I will not be going to Cooperstown, because I went out to San Francisco and logistically, it would not work; however, for those of you who are going, have a blast and enjoy a special time. I’m sure there will be enough media, fans, and everything else to make the trip a memorable one.

If anyone has stories, etc, let me know and perhaps you can share them on the blog.

***
The Baltimore Orioles swept the Devil Rays this week, and it was a team they should have and did take advantage of. The O’s beat the Devil Rays 10-7 yesterday, and it was supplanted by Brian Roberts’ big-three run homer.

Steve Trachsel had a lackluster start as he could not get out of the fifth inning.

I think Tampa Bay has an awesome offense, but the team overall is still very raw and the pitching situation (outside of Kazmir and Shields is horrendous). If the Rays ever got pitching, or could spend more in the free agent market, they could very well me be an emerging team, much like the Indians during the past several years.

Next we, have the Evil Empire (I should say the suddenly resurgent Yankees) back in the fold. I thought the team might be done; however, they have a lineup built to win at stretches at time, and considering the makeup for their team, I did not think they would down for long.

The Yankees still have a good deficit to make up, but you have to give them respect for climbing out the gutter.

Tonight should be interesting, as the Orioles and Yankees will pick up where they left off from the game on June 28th which was suspended due to rain.

***
The Baltimore Examiner, Baltimore Sun, Oriole Magic, Orioles Hangout & Washington Post have a recap of the game.

Chris Ray has been put on the disabled list, and Cory Doyne is back up with the big club.

Matt Palmer thinks the Orioles have a chance to finish at .500 – I think Matt may be a little optimistic, and Baltimore has a tough schedule ahead of them, but the way the pitching has gone, they have a shot if the cards are played right.

There have been talks about Daniel Cabrera being traded (especially after his last start); however, I say do not do it unless the offer is so overwhelming that you cannot refuse it. Pitching is at a premium and I do not know many 6’9” guys pitching and that can top out in the mid-90s. Yes, Cabrera is in his 4th year, but right now he’s still young enough if he can reach his potential, the pay-off may be huge.

Also, could Bradford be dealt?

Miguel Tejada is set to return from the disabled list tonight, and he homered last night in a rehab start in the minors...

Former Oriole manager and legend Earl Weaver and Don Zimmer both reflect on Cal Ripken.

Columnist Peter Schmuck of the Sun opines that Cal’s induction this weekend is a welcome change from the scandal and ugliness going on in sports today…

Longtime Oriole employee and umpire attendant Ernie Tyler will not be at the Yard this season, thus ending his consecutive games worked at 3,769; however, he will be the quest of Cal Ripken at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony this weekend. The Baltimore Sun has more on Mr. Tyler.

According to the Baltimore Sun, some Comcast viewers may be out luck if they want to watch Cal’s induction speech due to a channel change.

Meanwhile, there was a Cal Ripken look-alike contest in Catonsville, Md – at a retirement home…

Outfielder Joe Nowicki who is in Aberdeen is making a dramatic turnaround.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Idiot File: Michael Vick


* photo from ESPN.com via Getty Images...

Seriously, need I say any more?

Whether or not you get convicted, plead guilty or whatever; Mr. Vick, you are at minimum naive and need to use much better judgment, at worst, you're a sociopath who probably deserves to be locked up.

Folks, one would think a man who has the sporting world at his fingertips had not better get himself into any trouble, and would keep those who are liabilities away from him.

That could be further from the truth. Time and time again, athletes in society are treated with kid gloves and are given chance after chance because of their talent and their ability to make money for their team, endorsers and themselves.

For you all people who love this guy -- do you know him? I mean, I am not trying to pass judgment on anyone (ok, I am in this instance), but hero worship is a dangerous thing and Mr. Vick is exhibit A, B and C.

He got away with alleged sexual assault (how we are more upset over dogs, I have no idea), walking through a TSA security check point with drugs along with flipping the bird in front of Atlanta Falcon fans.

Whether or not he wants to be a role model is fine with me; however, when you are the face of a league, a multi-millionaire and a professional athlete who represents a region, you have to carry yourself with more class than the average person.

Even though most professional athletes are decent, hard-working people who have a gift from God, Michael Vick's alleged behavior has given athletes a black eye.

At the point, it does not matter if he gets locked up or not, he's ruined his career, cost himself millions and the respect of fans all over the world.

If there's a shining light, consider Ray Lewis. Some people still look at him with disdain, but for the most part, he's come back and earned the respect of his peers, those in the media and fans.

Mr. Vick, everyone deserves a second chance, and if you get off the charges against you, perhaps the first thing that needs to happen is to consult Mr. Lewis.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(Pictures) Sharing the Love: Cal Ripken Send-Off, Oriole Park at Camden Yards



Cal Ripken Send-Off; Oriole Park at Camden Yards - July 24th, 2007

For my reflections, click here: http://oriolepost.blogspot.com/2007/07/sharing-love-cal-ripken-honored.html

ESPN Zone Reflections: Jeremy Guthrie

On a wonderful afternoon on Tuesday, fans got to meet amazing rookie sensation Jeremy Guthrie, as he held a Q&A & autopgraph session at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Tuesday.

Much like the rest of the events at the ESPN Zone, yesterday was especially packed, as fans decked in black and orange jammed the restaurant. There was a standing room only crowd in the facility as Jeremy questions from fans about the Orioles and also off the field items.

I will say, until this season I didn't know much about Jeremy Guthrie aside from he being a former first round draft pick; however, for those who did not attend the event, you missed out on something good.

If you match MASN or hear the radio broadcasts, everyone goes on and on about Guthrie, not only as a pitcher, but as a person. I sort of knew what to expect, but I even came off more impressed with him not only as a ballplayer, but an all-around person.

There are not too many athletes who I can say that about.

In addition to being comfortable with the crowd, he talked about his life before the Orioles; therefore, his time with Cleveland, his missionary work, but also his faith, a rare thing that athletes talk about.

Also, he challenged two fans to a basketball and an arcade game -- I found that awesome and very refreshing that a professional athlete would take out time from his day to mingle with fans.

The Q&A portion went on for a good half-hour plus, and fans who were able to play hooky from work or visit the ESPN Zone during their lunch hour got to get their memorabilia signed and get some face time with Jeremy.

Unlike some athletes who seem to live in their own sphere, Jeremy was very down to earth and very humble.

All in all, let's appreciate Jeremy Guthrie, he's a class act and welcome addition to the Baltimore Orioles!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I had to borrow a camera from work (I forgot the battery pack to my camera at home and didn't care to drive the 25 miles home...)

Photos:










Sharing the Love: Cal Ripken Honored...

Last night, I got to Camden Yards at 4:10pm, after a long day at the office.

From the moment I got there, I knew tonight was going to be unlike any other in recent memory. The were people waiting outside the gates, and the lines were long - very long. There was a buzz in the air that has not been felt in a long time at Camden Yards.

Well, Oriole hero and soon to be baseball Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken was honored in a "send-off" last night. Although yesterday evening was 'bobblehead night' (the second in a series of three), the main course was a dose of Cal.

A crowd about 43,000 strong celebrated a man who was not only a great baseball player, but also a part of Maryland heritage.

The crowd last night was boisterous, decked in black and orange, and you saw the number "8" abound on jerseys, shirts and whatever else you could find.

In light of the Orioles being a second division team at the moment, Tuesday was an example of what could be -- or in better terms, what should be.

For one night, the Yard was packed and beaming with Oriole pride.

Although the start time of the game was set back more than half-an-hour, dignitaries such as Baltimore mayor, Sheila Dixon; Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, and Earl Weaver were on hand to support and honor Cal Ripken. All the Orioles' players, especially Brooks, got a rousing ovation; however, I could not understand why Shiela Dixon got booed.

Ripken took the podium, not before stepping out a beaming Corvette that had gone around the warning track. He spoke briefly but was overwhelmed by the events coming up this weekend and the attention he's getting.

The Cal lovefest ended by he throwing out the first pitch to Eddie Murray, and he hopped into the Corvette again and continued his span around the warning track.


***


On that note, Daniel Cabrera won last night pitching a masterful seven innings of one-hit ball! It's just amazing the ability he has, and he did it against the Devil Rays, who are no slouches at the plate (at least, the same cannot be said about the pitching).

It was a tight game until the seventh inning, then things came apart for the Devil Rays. Huff singled in a run in the sixth inning; however, Tampa Bay pitching walked in two runs in the seventh and gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

That's what the team needed, and Jamie Walker earned the save.

Again, what an amazing night -- I got to see much of it up close from section 16, and moving around taking pictures.

My compadre, Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic has his take on last night, and yes, it was amazing to see that young trumpeter do his thing in front of all of those people - wow.

***


The Baltimore Sun has a recap of last night's Cal Ripken celebration and they have a video of it on their site.
The Washington Post has a recap of the events last night, as does the Orioles MLB site.

The Baltimore Examiner notes that Ripken was indeed sent off in sytle -- very special. Oh yeah, again, the Orioles did win 3-0 last night...

Rick Maese has a great piece on last night, and how it gave a chance for fans who are not going to Cooperstown to relive a glorious past and honor a man so special to the area.

Sean Welsh of the Examiner has another article on Cal, and Cal Ripken held a 5k race this weekend in Aberdeen, Md.


Bill Ordine of the O, By the Way Blog has his thoughts on last night including the pre-game stuff and Daniel Cabrera...

According to Roch Kubatko in his blog, Chris Ray is ailing, but Miguel Tejada is set to return. Here's a full article from Roch on the situation with the two guys.

Meanwhile, the Orioles MLB site reports that Chris Ray might be injured...

The Washington Post reports that Miguel Tejada is on the way back...

Jeff Zrebiec has a great piece on Jeremy Guthrie, and having the chance to meet him yesterday, I'll give my take in an upcoming post on him later on today.

In a special to the Baltimore Sun
, Benjamin Stoehr has a piece on what Cal meant to him and the first time he saw Ripken...

Spencer Fordin of the Orioles MLB site has a new mailbag, one of the questions being will Kris Benson return?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Guthrie is the Man; O's Blank A's 2-0, The Rundown...




If anyone in the beginning of the season picked Jeremy Guthrie to be an emerging pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles, I have a $100 bill I'd like to give you.

Just kidding.

Well, Jeremy Guthrie once again showed why he should deserve Rookie of the year consideration. In perhaps his best start to date, he threw seven shutout innings, allowed two hits and struck out six.

The O's won 2-0 thanks the amazing effort by Guthrie, Chad Bradford holding things in check and Jamie Walker saving the game.

The runs for the black and orange were driven in by Kevin Millar and Jay Payton.

Although the O's are 14 1/2 out from first and all but out of contention, if we have to look back at one good thing from this year, it's Guthrie.

Beltway Baseball on MVN: Honoring Cal Ripken


As we all know, this week will be a special one for those who are baseball fans, as our own Cal Ripken is being enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with the San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn; thus, I chatted with James Baker of the Baltimore Flock on this week’s edition of Beltway Baseball that goes in depth about Cal.

Both James and I give our thoughts and celebrate a man who is Oriole baseball and symbolizes what is right about the game.

(The conversation on Ripken starts around the 38th minute of the podcast...)

To give the show a listen, click here!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

O's Lose to the A's 4-3; More Ripken, the Rundown

IMGP1102

Last night the Orioles put up a valiant effort against the Oakland A's, but could not muster the win against one of the best pitchers in baseball, Dan Haren.

In the end, the boys in orange and black would end losing to the A's by a score of 4-3 on the left coast on Saturday. Haren would show how solid he is as he struck seven in a little more than 6 innings of work. Alan Embree would earn the save, his tenth.

Thanks to a former Oriole, Jack Cust (who put the nail in the coffin for Baltimore), Oakland just won it's second game in about two weeks.

Corey Patterson once again continues his hot streak, as he went 2 for 5 with an RBI, and Kevin Millar doubled in 2 runs.

Steve Trachsel went a little more than five innings, and yielded four runs in the loss. This was his first start off the DL.



The Orioles try to hit paydirt again on Sunday as Jeremy Guthrie counters against Dallas Braden in the rubber game of the series.

***


This week will be a huge one in Baltimore and the surrounding with the impending induction of Cal Ripken into the National Baseball Hall Fame, and a parade was held in his honor in Towson, Md. Cal enjoys and savors the attention, and Sun blogger and beat writer, Roch Kubatko has his thoughts on the event from yesterday in his blog.


Oriole legend Jim Palmer praises Erik Bedard in an article on the Orioles MLB site. In the same piece there's news on prospect Hayden Penn and more on Miguel Tejada.


As noted prior, Orioles centerfielder, Corey Patterson is on a tear; however, his future with the organization is up in the air. He says he wants to return and his play the last couple of weeks is not hurting his cause.


Tony Gwynn is on a Wheaties box; meanwhile, Cal is not. As well, Cal's mom, Vi, was in the Cooperstown parade held on Saturday in Towson and the Examiner's Sean Welsh has a Q&A with her.


David Steele of the Baltimore Sun believes that most outsiders who focus on Ripken's career miss the big picture of his body of work (as we all really know about the 'streak' now) and forget his accomplishments in the game.


CNN.com has a great article on Cal Ripken and what he has done post-career; however, I think the piece may be a little dated (perhaps done in early spring).


As of now, the human vaccum, Brooks Robinson had the largest crowd at a Hall of Fame induction, and thay may change with Cal; however, Sun writer Mike Klingaman looks back at the induction of Mr. Robinson with an interview with the man himself.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Words, Thoughts and Observations of Barry Bonds and the Home Run Record...

For those of you who have been reading my blog since day one, you all know I have no love lost for Barry Bonds, as a person.

However, as an athlete, he’s perhaps one of the best baseball players of this – or any generation.

Recently, I went out to San Francisco and caught the All-Star events out there. Knowing I was going to be in the epicenter of the whole Barry Bonds and BALCO hoopla, I always took a moment to ask what Giants fans felt about him.

For the most part, most fans out there loved him with great reverence and it was irrelevant to them whether or not he cheated or not. They appreciate a guy, no matter how he was perceived by the media, as one who was loyal, brought them great joy and more importantly has made history time and time again in front of their eyes.

Well, unless you have been away from the television or the internet, Barry Bonds is on the cusp of breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. In that respect, most fans outside of San Francisco and even the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, are looking towards the historic moment with incredible disdain & indifference.

Most ask themselves, how could the sport let Bonds who at times could be ornery, rude and bitter allow him to approach the record that the larger-than-life Babe Ruth held once and the dignified and quiet Hank Aaron currently holds?

The moment is fast approaching us; however, I am going see he forest from the trees on this issue. It may be a little different from what you have heard in the media, but it’s what I feel.

Simply, there are other forces than Barry Bonds at play.

In my heart of hearts, if drug use in sports really wanted to be stopped, it would have been done long, long ago. If baseball, much less any other sport wanted to stop illicit use of drugs, then Bug Selig and others in position of authority would have the gumption to style the drug testing program held by the Olympics.

To be even more blunt, Bud Selig, baseball and even the players themselves could have nipped the problem in the bud, long, long ago; however, are the three reasons why.

The answer is simple: Money, ratings and power. Now, if fans were really that upset over drug use, they'd stay away and demand changes to occur. We still pay X amounts of dollars to see our heroes play & we’ll go to the ends of the earth to get an autograph and get close to our favorite athletes.

Again, someone remind me, how long has cheating been in sports, most especially baseball?

I have opined if Barry Bonds, McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro were using performance enhancing drugs, then some of fringe and every day players have to be doing it.

Human beings will do they need to get ahead, and athletes are no exception. Cheating has been going on since the beginning of time and we live in a culture that actually rewards infamy.

We are all that surprised that cheating still goes on, and is widely accepted?

On Friday, Milwaukee had a sold out crowd to see if Barry Bonds would make history. Every time at the plate, there was a reaction – whether fans booed or cheered.

Thus, this is why were are here at this point with Barry Bonds and why the public is reacting with such indifference and anger towards the home run record.

We live in a different time – the world is not vanilla anymore. Back when Hank Aaron broke the record, there were three main networks; however, now there are hundreds, and you can turn the internet, satellite radio and 24-hour news for the latest and greatest in the world. These days, we now reward infamy; case in point – Paris Hilton or Michael Vick.

To be quite honest, a friend and harked back to when Charles Barkley asserted, “Athletes are not role models, parents should be…”

I have now stopped looking at athletes are role models as heroes or icons, & instead I look at them as entertainers. I see athletes today like wrestlers, who have a persona that may or may not be real, but I look at them as what they are – human beings paid to play a kid’s sport and do it the best they can.

To be honest, does anyone care about track and field along with cycling except during the Olympics and the Tour de France?

Does anyone get on Lance Armstrong for winning 7 straight Tour de Frances, although there having been allegations of him in the media doping?

This is why I’m indifferent to the home run now, it’s not solely because of Barry Bonds – thus, world is different, or morals are different, and more importantly, it’s become harder to decipher the truth from reality. I am not defending Bonds in any way for cheating; however, we need to separate the forest from the trees to get down to the truth.

When we stop having a Pollyannaish view of athletes, we can finally see sports for what is in today’s America – entertainment, and a way to forget our problems for a few hours.

Let’s stop seeing athletes as role models, but rather those who served country in the armed forces or law enforcement, teachers, doctors, our parents, and those who really do something tangible for the world and stop getting our emotions so wrapped up in the home run chase.

Bedard Rules, O's Win 5-1; News and Stuff...

IMGP3132


The quiet, sometimes anti-social, but hell of an ace Erik Bedard is on a roll. Last night, he won his 5th straight game, struck out 11, and had a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the O’s beat the A’s 5-1.

The boys from Baltimore took advantage of an Oakland team in a tailspin, as every starter had a hit; Brian Roberts drove in two runs, and Nick Markakis, Kevin Millar, and Luis Hernandez each drove in a run.

The two teams continue the series on Saturday and Sunday.




***


The Orioles MLB site, Baltimore Examiner, Washington Post, & Orioles Hangout have a recap of the game last night.

Let’s face it folks: Aubrey Huff has been extremely underwhelming as a player, and has not lived up to expectations. His batting average is decent, but he’s not been the power force that the team needs. Despite the struggles, Huff is trying to remain upbeat

The Baltimore Sun has more on Aubrey Huff

Roch Kubatko has no sympathy for Nick Swisher who has destroyed the Orioles

Tony Pente of Orioles Hangout, is leaving the site for a few, but he’s a good guy, runs probably the best fan site out there, and I have attended his events a few times, so let’s wish him luck…

Meanwhile, Steve Trachsel has come off the DL.

For all you Ripken fans, a DVD of his career has just been released

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jeremy Guthrie at the ESPN Zone Tuesday; Q&A and Autograph Session...

IMGP1593


Our friends at Formula PR just forwarded me this...

"Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie will be at ESPN Zone on Tuesday, July 24 for a question-and-answer session with fans. Along with responding to questions and signing autographs for Orioles fans, Guthrie will share his thoughts on the ball club, including how the Orioles can improve their roster before the trade deadline."

Here's our chance to meet exciting rookie Jeremy Guthrie in the flesh!

WHEN: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 12 pm EDT

WHERE: ESPN Zone, 601 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Ripken, the O's and the Rundown...

Before I go into the news and rundown, Stan Charles' wonderful site, "Press Box" are selling license plates via the the web to celebrate Cal Ripken being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I'm going probably purchase mine in a few days, and it's a cool idea if you want to expound on your love for Cal Ripken even further. Also, all proceed from the license plate sales go to the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. The Baltimore Sun has more on the story...

Meanwhile, Cal is waiting for the magical day to take place next weekend...

Yesterday was an off day for the Orioles, and this weekend they play in Oakland.

First off, Garrett Olson was sent back down to the minors to make room for Steve Trachsel. To be honest, I thought Olson did a decent job while he was up, but could have used a bit more seasoning. I figured he might be used in the bullpen, but it would be best if he worked on a consistent basis in the minors to not only improve, but work on fine tuning his repertoire. As well, pitcher Jon Leicester was released by the team.

The Orioles MLB site has more on the news.

The Oriole bullpen is impressed with the way they have been used under Dave Trembley.

Tom Verducci of CNNsi.com has a column about Dave Trembley and his status along with what the Orioles need to do to get better...

Columnist Rick Maese has a great article on what Ripken may or may not mention in his speech, and how he is dealing with the process.

Ray Frager of the Sun notes that while WBAL Radio and Comcast SportsNet are honoring Ripken, they cannot use much archival footage due to rules by Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles. It looks like anything much you'll will be on MASN, WHFS and ESPN 1300, and it is kind of a shame, because I listened to WBAL and watched Comcast SportsNet on a regular basis when I coming up (in fact, I could get WBAL at certain times when I was in New York).

As well, Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic has more on the issue, and he's not happy about the coverage. To be quite honest, I agree with him...

Kevin T. Connor has a great profile on Andy Etchebarren, manager of the Aberdeen Ironbirds.

Mike Hall of Press Box Online wonders why Kevin Millar would want to stay with the Orioles...

Spencer Fordin has a great piece on the rise of Jeremy Guthrie.

Amber Theoharis wonders who will fill Cal Ripken's shoes as a hero and a role model. Honestly, I think no one can since Cal was a once in a generation athlete and person, as well the world of sports has changed so much along with society, that hero worship is not the same anymore. I see athletes more or less as entertainers and celebrities, rather than role models or someone to emulate. There are very few athletes who I'd want my younger siblings to pattern themselves after, thus let's look to the real models -- soldiers, teachers, law enforcement, doctors, and yes -- good parents.

Allen McCallum wonders when Vladmir Guerrero signed with the Angels in the 2003-04 offseason, did the Orioles bubble pop?

Stacy Wolfson reports that Dave Trembley is trying to shuffle his lineup to ease the pain of injuries that have afflicted the Orioles.

Latino night was held last Saturday at the Yard, the Orioles advocates raised money, & also collected used equipment from fans to donate to Latin America; specifically, the Caribbean area.

Oriole Central has the greatest and latest from Oriole-land, as does Dempsey's Army, Orioles Insider, & the Wayward Oriole...

The roar from 34 looks at what former Oriole John Maine is doing in the NL -- sigh...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The O's Lose 6-5 to the Seattle, Dave Trembley and the Rundown...

Daniel Cabrera started on three days' rest for Baltimore in place of Erik Bedard, who was scratched with a stiff neck.

The O’s lost 6-5.

He pitched five innings, giving up eight hits and five runs. Granted, he started on three days rest, but his command and inconsistency continued.

Which Daniel Cabrera will we see from game to game?

The bullpen for the umpteenth time, the bullpen lost another game as Chad Bradford gave up the winning run by walking Adrian Beltre in the 8th inning.

Corey Patterson has been hot as late, as he had 3 hits and a run driven in, plus Jay Payton had a solo home run. Nick Markakis, Chris Gomez and Jon Knott drove in runs for the Orioles.

The O’s face off in Oakland against the A’s this weekend, starting on Friday.

***

The Baltimore Examiner has a recap of the game last night, as does the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun & Orioles Hangout website.

Bill Ordine of the O, by the Way Blog has more details from last night. As well, he believes in another blog entry that the O’s can make life miserable for the both the Red Sox and Yankees.

There are more details on Bedard’s condition from the Washington Post, but he’s expected to start Friday against Oakland. The Baltimore Sun has more.

According to Sean Welsh of the Examiner, Andy MacPhail still plans on using July 31st as a timetable whether or not he wants to find a new manager or not. Honestly, just let Dave Trembley finish out the year and go from there. I think he deserves a shot, and furthermore is almost senseless to yank a guy from his position when the season is almost over. The team seems to be responding to him, so let’s see how it works out long term.

I don’t know, this kind of goes against what he said at the “State of the Orioles” meeting. Stay tuned, as is what the fans are told is different than what goes on behind closed doors?

Could Miggy be back soon? He took batting practice the other day

Former Angels’ shortstop, Gary DiSarcina recalls fondly the day Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s all-time consecutive game record.

The Baltimore Orioles are set on honoring Cal Ripken on July 24th, the day of the bobblehead giveaway.

I work a lot with Mike Boehm of Oriole Magic, and he’s fairly upset about the plans for the 24th of July, Cal’s send-off on part of the team and the media coverage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Game Last Night; O's Lose 4-2, the Rundown

Sorry everyone, but I had a day full of commitments at work and for some other outfits I do stuff for, so I have not been able to update the blog until now.

The Orioles lost 4-2 last night, and I wonder if Brian Buress will now find himself in long relief.

Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound tonight against the phenom, “King” Felix Hernandez.

***

The Baltimore Sun has a recap of the game last night, as does the Baltimore Examiner, and Washington Post.

The Orioles MLB site wonders if the loss last night could send Buress back to the bullpen.

Slugger Miguel Tejada has rejoined the Orioles and is starting rehabilitation.

Blogger Roch Kubatko has some news on prospects Nolan Reimold and Val Majewski.

The Baltimore Examiner has a little more on the “State of the Orioles”, town hall meeting on Sunday.

Chris Ray has been mixing up his pitches better, and as of result, he’s not blowing as many games of late.

Bill Ordine of the O, by the Way Blog has his thoughts from last night’s game.

The Baltimore Examiner has a piece on Danys Baez, and his trip back to becoming a viable part of the Oriole bullpen…

As mentioned yesterday, Kevin Millar insists that he wants to remain in Baltimore

Columnist Peter Schmuck believes that now that football training camp and the season is among us, the Orioles will become irrelevant in the weeks to come as they are heading into their 10th losing season. It’s sad, but true.

As the Ironbirds are drawing well at the gate, the city of Aberdeen wants the Ripken group (who own the Ironbirds) to re-negotiate their deal with the stadium. The city is struggling to make payments on the stadium, and it is killing their budget; thus, they want Ripken to help them out.

A lot of the pitchers at the lower levels have been inconsistent, but the organization is not too worried…

As we all know (or may not know), Brian Roberts is a great advocate for sick kids and is a man who does a lot of community service, and the Baltimore Examiner takes a look what drives his charity work.

Adam Loewen visited the team the other day in Baltimore

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles; Game 3 - Sunday, July 15th



Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles; July 15th, 2007

Here are shots of the game Saturday.

Send me comments and let me know what you think...

Click on the link above to see more images!!

Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles; Game 3 - Saturday July 14th



Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles

Here are shots of the game Saturday.

Send me comments and let me know what you think...

Click on the link above to see more images!!

The Oriole Ushers and One in Particular...

Over the past fifteen years, the ushers at Camden Yards have had anything but a stellar reputation, and while a lot of the staff are great wonderful people and perform their job with professionalism, some need to work on their people and interpersonal skills.

This year, the ushers have become more liberal, and in a park that can barely fill the stands to half the capacity, it's a nice gesture on part of the organization.


Well, after half the damn season (remember, I am a 6′4 -5″ guy and not that hard to miss), the friendly usher who looks like he's been around since the days of the Model-T Ford(who has seen me probably every game I have attended this year, upwards of 20 plus, as I sit the same seat perhaps 2-3 innings per game) in section 20 took the time to throw me of the section. He knows who I am an he never gave me trouble, but he decided to spoil the experience.

I decide to talk to him diplomatically and explain what I was doing. He was not interested and didn't care to hear me out.

He assumed I was probably some punk kid, who was moving up from the $9 seats to the wine and cheese seats. I have a 13 game deal behind home plate, and a 29 game plan near third base, all at $45.

On Saturday, I decided to try to take shots of Chris Ray during the 10th inning, and the he decided to give me a hard time — this time crossing the borders of professionalism and general courtesy. He rushed me to take my pictures and when I stuck around there for a minute too long, I was promptly told to "get out and go" in a loud, aggressive tone.

He did not know I was 2 sections (16) over in the second row, because I didn't have tickets that night and wanted to take pictures of the Chicago White Sox series.

I’m going to talk with the supervisors, and will also write a letter of formal complaint to the organization and perhaps approach MacPhail via letter or in person.

It’s asinine that someone behaves that way on their job, and I have decided to at least make someone aware of it if they want to keep me as a paying customer.

Well, I will not stop going to the Yard, but I'll buy a ticket now on his section as close I can to make him squirm, miserable and call him out on his behavior. Folks, if he acts up, I'll post a video of it.

I ordinarily would let this go, but as a paying customer and fan for a team that has had a decade of losing; furthermore, since fans stay away now in drones, this behavior should be the last thing one should to alienate fans.

If he acts up again, his name and likeness will be posted on the blog.





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Orioles Win 5-3, Garrett Olson Wins His First MLB Game, the Rundown...

Well, it was good weekend for O's fans as the team took 3 of 4 from the struggling White Sox, and saw a glimpse of perhaps the future of the Orioles as Garrett Olson won his first major league in a solid start on Sunday.

The O's won last night 5-3 for their third straight win, and I covered the game for Oriole Magic! yesterday

Pictures, etc. will be coming in a bit.

The O's start a series in Seattle tonight into Wednesday.

***

First of all, the team held a "State of the Orioles" meeting yesterday at the stadium for season ticket holders. Dave Steele of the Baltimore Sun has an article on the event yesterday morning and all in all, manager Dave Trembley and Andy MacPhail came off very good to the fans yesterday and handled themselves with confidence.

Second of all, I’ll give the front office and the organization credit; as much criticizing, moaning, griping and complaining we do with the Orioles, they at least took the initiative to hear fans out. Furthermore, MacPhail and Dave Trembley have gone out of their way to make themselves accountable to some degree to the fans.

The meeting went about an hour, and although there was not anything earth-shattering or no new revelations made.

***

The Baltimore Sun has a recap of the game as Garrett Olson won his first start in the majors.

The Baltimore Examiner, Washington Post, and the Orioles MLB site.

Corey Patterson was hot this weekend at the plate, and Steve Trachsel is on his way back to the big club.

Once again, Nick "the Stick" has gotten hot in the second half...

Right now, it is undecided if Steve Trachsel or Garrett Olson will be the fifth starter.

Kevin Millar wants to be in Baltimore, and enjoys playing here everyday. Well, two weeks ago, I would have said trade him, but with the injuries to Mora and Millar, he's not doubt a leader on the team right now, and with his hot streak at the plate, he's doing wonders for the club.

There is more on the thoughts of Millar from the Examiner.

Press Box Online has a great piece on the success and personalities of Erik Bedard and Jeremy Guthrie.

Amber Theoharis thinks Dave Trembley is a perfect fit with the Orioles.

Now that we are in the second half, Stan "the Fan" Charles has his mid-season report card - it's so-so, and really needs improvement.

Bill Ordine of the O, By the Way Blog, has this thoughts on last night's game and also notes that the Loss Column is wanting fans to take back the Yard on September the 8th.

The Baltimore Sun has a question for Brandon Fahey...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quick Hits; O's Down the White Sox, 2-0; Rundown...



Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles - July 13, 2007

Well, I was the game last night and here are some shots! Anyhow, the Orioles won 2-0, thanks to the masterful pitching of Erik Bedard and homers from Corey Patterson and Nick Markakis.

The Orioles should consider themselves fortunate that they won against the ever tough and efficient Mark Buehrle.

Bedard struck out 8, Paul Shuey held the game, and Chris Ray saved it; however, Ray did make things real interested via two walks, but was able to get out a jam.

The two teams take on each other again tonight and Sunday.

Well, after half the damn season (remember, I am a 6′5″ African-American guy and not that hard to miss), the friendly usher named Luther (who has seen me probably every game I have attended this year, as I sit the same seat perhaps 2-3 innings per game) in section 20 took the time to throw me of the section. He knows who I am an he never gave me trouble, but he decided to spoil the experience.

I’ll manage, but that was an awesome spot. I’ll try it again on Sunday and see what happens.

***

The Baltimore Sun & Washington Post have a recap of the game.

Roch Kubatko has news and bits of Oriole land in his blog, Roch Around the Clock.

Columnist Peter Schmuck of the Sun believes that the lack of depth by the Orioles at most every position is putting the team in a weak spot. It's no doubt that the problems with the team run deeper than the offense, as without a deep bench, the team has very little chance to win unless their pitchers throw shut-outs. The fact of the matter is without offense, much less a bench, the Orioles have little chance in contending in American League at all.

Matt Palmer of the Baltimore Examiner has a real interesting article about Dave Trembley.

As I figured, Melvin Mora will probably be put on the DL. The Orioles MLB site is reporting that Mora may be shelved for a week, Washington Post & the Examiner has more on the situation.

In light of the success of the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Ripken Stadium, the city is having serious problems making rent payments.

If you get a chance, you must stop by the display at Camden Yards of the Negro Leagues!

***


The above shot is of two fans I met last night who finally caught their first game live at Camden Yards, and trekked all the way down from Harrisburg, Pa., good Oriole country smooshed right in between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Tim Schildt, pictured on the left and his buddy Dave are featured and I was kind enough of to snap a photo at their request.

Thanks, guys!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Orioles Lose 9-7, the Rundown...

Last night, the Orioles lost to the Chicago White Sox, 9-7.

Jeremy Guthrie was off, and the White Sox scored 4 runs in the first inning. As well, they took advantage of a woeful Jay Gibbons in left field.

My Sunday partners Tony and Pug are going to celebrate when I say this, but anyone besides Jay Gibbons should be in left field, including Brandon Fahey.

I caught some of the game when I got home and it was pitiful to Gibbons out there.

Guthrie allowed six runs, five earned, and nine hits in over three innings of work, by far his shortest outing of the season. He's been nothing short of awesome, and hopefully what happened last night was just a bad start as he had not given up any more than for runs in any of his starts.

The Orioles nearly came back, scoring five runs in the ninth, but alas, it was not enough.


***

The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, and Baltimore Examiner have reports from last night's game...

Rick Maese of the Sun believes that Dave Trembley has at least earned the opportunity to finish out the rest of the season, and I agree. There's no point trotting anyone else in at this point considering the Orioles are out of contention and he simply deserves his shot.

Often maligned pitcher, Danyz Baez returned to the team and Miguel Tejada will do some light hitting once he returns to the squad reports Roch Kubatko of the Sun.

Also, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has more on Miguel Tejada.

Candus Thomson and Monica Lopossay have an article about the new Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles, the Norfolk Tides.

The O, By the Way Blog has thoughts from last night's game...

Roch Kubatko reports that Melvin Mora might be injured more seriously than previously thought in his blog on the Baltimore Sun website.

The Orioles held open tryouts this week in Glen Burnie...

- photo from the Examiner


Thursday, July 12, 2007

All-Star Celebrity Softball Game Photos



All Star Celebrity All-Star Softball Game

Here are photos from the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game, primarily of old school athletes from the Bay Area, MLB and perhaps B-level, C-level stars...

Hope you enjoy!

I've go to run, but there will be photos of FanFest and the Futures Game upcoming...

2007 All-Star Workout and Home Run Derby Photos



The All-Star Workout and Home Run Derby - July 9th, 2007

Here are shots of the 2007 All-Star Workout and Home Run Derby...

Send me comments and let me know what you think...

Click on the link above to see more images!!

2007 All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade Photos...



The All Star Red Carpet Parade - AT&T Park, San Francisco

Here's the All-Star Red Carpet Parade. I had gotten up real close this year, front and center.

Hope you all enjoy!

Click on the link above to see the full gallery of pictures!

2007 All-Star Game Photos...



The 78th Annual All-Star Game; San Francisco, Ca

Here are photos from the 2007 All-Star Game -- more photos to come. Hope you enjoy and send comments my way, if you like them!

I shot these from the upper deck, since I could not get down low and the ushers at AT&T Park were awfully stringent about checking tickets, etc.

Be well. Red Carpet parade shots coming up.

Click on the link above to see the full gallery of pictures!

Quick Hits: News and the Second Half...

Well, I am on my way back east, and back to Maryland. What a week it has been. I got my laptop fixed out here, while working on the second one, so things are okay.

Anyhow, we shall see what the second half of the season brings to us baseball-wise. I'm curious to see who will stay and go on the Orioles and the various other teams in the majors.

Pictures from the All-Star Weekend coming up.

***

The second half of the season begins today for the Orioles as John Garland of the White Sox takes on steady Jeremy Guthrie. The O's lost on Sunday 2-1, but if there was a moral victory, the last game of the first half might have been it.

Daniel Cabrera is extraordinarily lucky that he did not give up more runs and works his way out of jams, but he needs to stop walking guys and allowing inherited runners.

As for my opinions about the first half, it's been very underwhelming. The starting pitching has done well, with the exception of Cabrera and not withstanding the injuries to Loewen, Wright and Benson.

In light of the track record under Flanagan and Duquette, give them credit for stealing Jeremy Guthrie and unearthing Brian Buress. The Orioles' starting rotation looks promising, and even Tom Boswell of the Washington Post has an opinion and feels the team is heading in the right direction.

As well, we will see if Garrett Olson is the real thing and is ready for the next level.

However, the Orioles deserve at least a D everywhere else. The offense aside from Brian Roberts, and perhaps Nick Markakis has been putrid, and the bullpen -- sigh.

It's been a bust, and it's a shame that a corps that looks so good on paper just has flat-lined.

Will a few days off recharge the Orioles' batteries? Who stays and who goes? What will MacPhail do?

We shall see.

***

To start off the news parade, the Baltimore Examiner's Sean Walsh wonders if the Orioles can recover? I say at this point, I think it may be irrelevant. I'd rather spend this time by seeing the Oriole just play hard and see what the youngsters can do. The positive is it looks like we have a young staff to lead us into the future.

In the past few days, the Baltimore Sun had a comprehensive look at the Orioles' season so far. Beat writer Jeff Zrebiec notes that the Orioles are looking to rise up after a lackluster first half of the season.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says that Andy MacPhail is positive about the second half for the Orioles. Fellow columnist Rick Mease thinks that MacPhail ultimately is the guy to watch in the organization in the months to come.

Meanwhile, the organization has a lot of decisions to make. Jeff Zrebeic of the Sun has a report card for the Orioles.

The Orioles MLB site also has a piece on the second half of the season for the team, and they also have a mid-season report on the team.

Also, Adam held a chat on the WashingtonPost.com site yesterday about the State of the Orioles.

Meanwhile, Dave Trembley is looking for a surge in the second half from the Orioles, and the team may not be real active in the trade market as the deadline is fast approaching...

Down in the farm, the Orioles are not hitting either.

Matt Palmer of the Baltimore Examiner has his predictions for the second half...

Our own Brian Roberts played in the All-Star game, and Mark Bowman looks back at his role in the event. As well, as the team's lone representative, his play speaks for him, not his words.

Kevin Cowherd of the Sun wonder what it would look like if the Orioles are winning...

Peter Schmuck of the Sun thinks to sign Erik Bedard, the Orioles would have to give him a huge payday -- case in point, Mark Buerhle.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are still negotiating with Matt Weiters via Scott Boras...



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