Friday, May 30, 2008

The Roundup; Andy MacPhail, Oriole News and Thoughts

Recently on the website there was a Q&A posted in which Andy MacPhail answered a few questions from fans. I would not say that there was anything earth shattering that was divulged and it covering a myriad of topics from drafting players to Daniel Cabrera to both the performances of Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta in the minors.

The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec also looks into what Andy MacPhail can possibly do at the trade deadline. Despite the start by Baltimore, I see many changes coming on the horizon and the team on the field may not be necessarily the one that finishes up the season.

It sounds like even he was surprised the team's solid start:

"Look, I was pretty forthright in painting a pretty bleak picture, so I am surprised," MacPhail said. "I would have thought that after the things that I did, that we would struggle more than we have. I think this group is doing it out of tenacity. They're laying it all out on the field and that's all you can ask for. And the things that really matter, the things that they can control, they've really excelled at. I don't really know what's going to happen the next two-thirds [of the season], but the players are the ones that are actually doing it."
Well, in light of his statement and the obvious team chemistry on the field and in the clubhouse, the great start, and whatever else -- he sees the big picture -- the Baltimore Orioles need to get better, and there's not anyone who he will not deal (perhaps Jones or Markakis) to contend.
"I went into the clubhouse and [Nick] Markakis has an Adam Jones T-shirt on, Guillermo Quiroz has a Markakis T-shirt on," MacPhail said. "I don't know what's going on exactly with that or the hats or the video. But those are all signs of cohesiveness. Regrettably, it takes more than cohesiveness to win the AL East. But I think the people that have watched us, they have to be satisfied with some of the subtle things we've shown."
By the end of July, I really expect a few deals to go down. It sounds like he doesn't even expect his guys to compete and his focus is on rebuilding -- not building a contender.

Meanwhile, you cannot underscore the importance that Daniel Cabrera has had with the Orioles starting off so well. Spencer Fordin has a great piece on the tall righty and his numbers along with his approach on the mound have shown that the things have changed for Daniel. I figured he'd have a huge role in how the Orioles would develop this season, and I think he may have finally come around.

As well, you cannot discount the job that rookie Jim Johnson has done coming out of the bullpen, as he's been nothing but clutch in the mount in key situations. He's obviously not only made an impact on the fans and media -- but as well within the franchise. Lest we not forget about too George Sherill, the Baltimore closer...

Heather Irvin of Oriole Magic has her thoughts of the upcoming draft; Emily Agueda of WNST notes that the Orioles have failed in marketing & the station is also holding a King of Baltimore sports contest; Ben of Oriole Magic Central marveled at Tuesday's comeback as did Roy Firestone of Orioles Hangout; Scott Hoffman has a piece on Garrett Olson; Scott Christ has his thoughts on MASN; HRB of Dempsey's Army takes issue with Nestor Aparicio; and Roar From 34 mentions a promotion that the York Revolution is having throughout the year...

Finally, a portion of I-395 in Baltimore now has signs on it officially designating it "Ripken Way"...

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