Tuesday, July 22, 2008

About Last Night; Our Young Arms & Markakis

The Orioles with a little less than 13,000 of their closest friends in attendance defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-3, on a sweltering summer night.

Despite the heat, they used the long ball — supplied by Adam Jones and Ramon Hernandez’s home runs — along with a timely Melvin Mora hit to come out victorious. Right now, we have to be really impressed with Jones as he’s developed as a hitter (based on where he started off in April versus now) and the ability to take his game to the next level.

After losing again on Sunday, the win last night was a welcome change. Our starting pitcher Radhames Liz was not great — in fact, he was quite mediocre — however, he got the win going a little more than five innings, but finding himself in trouble more often than not. Even with six walks, he only yielded three runs, but seemed to lack control and command.

It does not matter how hard he throws — if the ball cannot be spotted, he’ll be lucky to survive in the majors. The thing we are seeing with the young pitching is that the offense is basically saving them, because they are not looking that good. Right now, it looks like Olson and Liz are over matched, but the only way they can learn is to be thrown into the fire.

On a side note, the Orioles and Nick Markakis once again started contract talks around the All-Star break and then tabled it.

What does this mean? Right now, not much as they still have him for three years, but as the money keeps going up, a lot of teams are locking up their youngsters earlier. When you look at it, I figure Markakis and his agents are going to be after what the market has offered his peers (Fielder, Tulowitzki, Braun) — however, the Orioles are not biting — at least for now.

Will this piss off Markakis? Maybe, but Baltimore is not doing anything unethical. Based on his numbers the past several years — Nick will get his money in arbitration (if the team and he choose to go that route in the offseason).

Alas, the fan base and I’m sure would be happy to get a deal that keeps him in a Baltimore uniform long term and obviously gives him the financial satisfaction he wants.

Either way, he’ll get paid. Obviously, the longer it takes the Orioles to sign him to a long term deal, harder it will get; however, we have a lot of time, and we should not be ready to jump off a cliff yet.

Finally, it looks like Jay Gibbons may be headed back to the majors if he can prove he’s still got it in the minors

Anything you want to discuss, the floor is open...

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