Thursday, October 30, 2008

Burnett Spurns The Yankees?

The World Series is over, and now the talk amongst fans, the media, and executives across the sport of baseball will be the discussion of free agency, trades, and what moves will be made.

After an 11th consecutive losing season, the Baltimore Orioles are looking forward to the future and there's talk in amidst the rebuilding that the organization is looking to spend some money. Now, that may involve bringing in some big ticket items -- one which obviously involves talks with Mark Teixiera -- but one other name thrown around has been A.J. Burnett, another Maryland native.

The Baltimore Examiner -- via a report in the New York Post -- noted that the right hander, who is expected to opt out of his contract with the Blue Jays, will probably not want to the join the Yankees.

And now word is spreading that A.J. Burnett will shy away from The Bronx, too.

If Sabathia and Burnett don't want the Yankees' money, the Yanks will be left to dance with Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Ryan Dempster and Oliver Perez.

Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, denied his client has ruled out the Yankees.

"That is 100-percent wrong," Braunecker said. "If he does indeed opt out of the deal [with Toronto] he will see if the Yankees are interested."

Burnett, who went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA and fanned 231 in 2211/3 innings for the Blue Jays this past season, can opt out of the final two years ($12 million each) of his contract following the World Series.

While the Blue Jays hope they can keep him - even after he files for free agency - it's likely that the career 87-76 right-hander lands in another uniform.

Texas and Washington expressed strong interest the last time he was a free agent with the Nationals, the only team to offer a fifth year. Tired of losing and watching the Rays join the Red Sox and Yankees as AL East powers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is talking about going after first baseman Mark Teixeira and Burnett. Each is from Maryland.

I'm going to take all this with a grain of salt. Although Burnett has shown some affinity to playing in Maryland and for the Orioles, the organization is going to have to make an offer -- one that would most likely pay at least eight digits a year.

If you compound that with his injury history, you've got a potential expensive powder keg on your hands. Assuming Burnett can stay healthy, he's one of the better pitchers in baseball and that could be a boon for the Orioles; however, at this point I'm not going to read too much into the news and it's buyer beware for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Your World Series Champs -- The Phillies

After all the rain, wind, cold and debate over Bud Selig’s decision to suspend Game Five of the World Series, action resumed a little after 8:30 tonight.

Folks, America has finally crowned a World Series Champion – the Philadelphia Phillies – as they beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3.

Tampa was upended by a Phillies team that hustled its way to a win.

The shaky Rays’ bullpen once again came unglued as J.P. Howell served a double to Pat Burrell with the score tied at three; thus, after he was taken out of the game for a pinch runner – Eric Bruntlett – Pedro Feliz plated him and the Phillies took a 4-3 lead.

And then the amazing Brad Lidge came into the game, and it was all said and done. The Rays got on base in the ninth as Dioner Novarro reached on a single and Fernando Perez ran for him and stole second; however, pinch hitter Eric Hinske struck out to end it all.

Needless to say, Lidge has finished the season perfect in save opportunities -- in both the regular season and playoffs -- thus, he's left the vestige of a sad ending to 2006 behind.

The Rays looked awful – I mean awful – when the game resumed. Geoff Jenkins started off the frame with a double off reliever Grant Balfour, and then he scored when Jayson Werth’s bloop single which careened off Akinori Iwamura’s glove to give them a 3-2 lead.

As soon as the Phillies took the lead – the game was suddenly tied at three in the next frame. Rocco Baldelli sent the ball over the left field off a pitch from Ryan Madson to make things interesting, but Tampa would end the inning not doing much.

The city of Philadelphia has a championship finally to savor, and I’m sure it will be a wild time up there the next couple of days.

You have the give all the credit in the world to the Rays – sort of the little, small market engine that could – however, they were completely over matched, and shut down. They will be a force to be reckoned with, and seeing them in the AL East 18 times a year, I know I'll be looking forward to seeing them, but also scared to face their lineup and great arms.

Tampa has a bright of future under the tutelage of Joe Maddon and after finishing above the Yankees, deposing the White Sox and Red Sox in the playoffs, I though they could it.

However, it is the Phillies time now.

It's crazy to think that Philadelphia has only won two titles in 126 years; however, enjoy the win, savor it, remember this season, and be safe.

Then again, after the booing of Bud Selig, the Rays, and anything else not being invoked with the Phillies...

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Rally in Baltimore on November 12th for the Orioles...

Well, I have not done much Orioles news as of late because...

a) my real job has taken over for the last month...

b) there frankly has not been a lot to talk about as we are waiting for the season to end...

However, I took a quick look at Pete Schmuck's blog on the Sun site, and if you'll be in the area on November 12th, there's an O's related rally taking place.

I have no idea if I'll be there, as I have no idea what my job will entail from day to day...

Don't get your hopes up. It's a little late for the Orioles to rally now, but the team is planning a big fan rally on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at Harborplace and has sent out invitations to season ticket holders. There has been a lot of speculation on the various O's message boards that it will be to unveil the team's new uniforms, the road version of which will -- as reported in The Baltimore Sun this summer -- have BALTIMORE on the front.

We've done a little poking around and determined that some of the posters and bloggers around here are pretty smart. Indeed, the rally will be to launch the new uniforms, which will feature some other changes along with the return of the geographical designator on the out-of-town jerseys.

The Orioles are pretty mum on this because they don't want to let the cap out of the bag, so to speak, but there are rumors they've come up with a new, fiercer bird logo. That would be interesting. I've included the current ornithological bird logo on the right. I guess you could try to imagine it as a blood-thirsty, talon-baring, hawk-like creature, but we're getting way ahead of ourselves. The bird makeover is just a rumor.
I'll looking forward to seeing this -- and why not, it will be cool to see what new the jerseys look like and as well what surprises are in store.

I've never been one to be real big on uniforms (unless they are ungodly hideous), but I'm curious to see the roadies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Game Five Suspened; World Series Reflections...

It was wet and wild in Philadelphia last night, almost to the point it was beyond ridiculous as to why Major League Baseball allowed Game Five of the World Series to be played.

After both teams played for quite a while in whipping wind and a downpour, the brass in Major League Baseball finally got to their senses and stopped the game in the sixth inning with both Philadelphia and Tampa tied at two.

There was a strong prospect that the World Series could have ended last night when the heavy rains came down; however, in the sixth inning, B.J. Upton -- who beat out an infield single to get on base -- stole second and was plated by a Carlos Pena base hit to tie the game.

It looked like Philadelphia would meet up with destiny as they scored twice in the first inning via a single by Shane Victorino that plated both Chase Utley and Jayson Werth; however, Tampa pitching shut down the Phillies and got out of quite a few jams.

Tampa's first run came off an Evan Longoria single that plated Carlos Pena.

Hamels was good -- but not dominant -- thus, you have to wonder if the weather and he getting hit on the hand off a foul tip hindered him in any way. Kazmir started off the game rocky, but settled into his own, and the Rays bullpen got him out trouble in the sixth inning.

Speaking of Longoria -- it's nice that he and Carlos Pena finally broke out of a depressing slump to bring some life back into the Rays. Simply put, if they had continued their drought into Monday night, the trophy would have been driving down Broad Street sooner rather than later.

In the end, the game got suspended -- for the first time ever in Series history. I don't think the game would have been called if the Phillies had the lead, simply because this is the 'World Series' and not any other game. An event of this magnitude should allow both teams every opportunity to play each and every out -- not matter how long it takes.

We will see if both teams can play tonight; however, according to the weather reports, it does not look promising as well.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Phillies Make The Rays Uncomfortable, Take 2-1 Lead in World Series

It looks like no one in America is really watching this World Series; however, if you're missing it – you're missing some interesting baseball. The Phillies are now up 2-1 in the 2008 World Series as they beat the Rays, 5-4, thanks to a weak infield single – a dribbler along third bases – with the bases loaded by Carlos Ruiz that plated Eric Bruntlett.

The frame started as J.P. Howell hit Bruntlett, and then he was relieved of by Grant Balfour. Only a minute later, Balfour would throw a wild pitch and Bruntlett advanced to second. After two intentional walks to both Shane Victorino and Greg Dobbs, the game would end a few minutes later.

With the score tied at four, Evan Longoria tried in vain to scoop the ball and throw it home; but the ball sailed over Dioner Navarro's head and Bruntlett tapped home plate.

The matchup on Saturday featured the sometimes overly emotional 24-year old Matt Garza versus Jamie Moyer, who should at 45 years old be considered a living legend. The matchup did not look good on paper – in fact, I thought the Rays would take advantage of Moyer – however, the elder fellow showed why he was 16-7 and still effective in the big leagues.

If you counter Moyer with Matt Garza, who looked fidgety and never comfortable on the mound on Saturday – it's even more remarkable what he did. He went 6 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on three hits; meanwhile, Garza went six innings and gave up four runs – three of them solo home runs to Carlos Ruiz (second inning), Chase Utley (sixth), Ryan Howard (sixth) – but, J.P. Howell took the loss as he and the Rays just fell apart in the ninth inning.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Chase Utley plated Jimmy Rollins with a groundout; thereafter, in the next frame, Carl Crawford -- who'd gotten on base via a double, and then stole third – scored off a Gabe Gross sacrifice fly to tie things at one.

The Phillies took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning, but the train came off the tracks thanks to bizzare a play – a missed call – that open things ups for Tampa. Carl Crawford reached a on a bunt single; however, it looked like he was out as Jamie Moyer mad an acrobatic throw from the dirt and it seemed the Ryan Howard caught the ball – with his bare hand! – before Crawford hit the bag, but umpire Tom Hallion called him safe.

The next batter, Dioner Navarro doubled; thereafter, Gross would plate Crawford with a groundout and then Navarro would be plated by Jason Bartlett.

Tampa tied the game at four in the eighth inning thanks to some aggressive base running by B.J. Upton. The Tampa center fielder reached on a infield single, and then promptly stole second and third. Upon stealing third, the ball thrown by the Phillies' Ruiz hit Upton in the back, and careened away from third base allowing him to score.

Last night's game showed why Tampa may lose – as it is not for a lack of talent – but because of their inexperience. Like I said prior, Garza looked uncomfortable and at times the team looked real shaky in the field.

Philadelphia has not been good, but lucky and if Tampa keeps giving them opportunities like they had in game three, they will win the World Series.

One more thing, boy did the Philadelphia fans go out of their way to make the Rays uncomfortable – from the silly song that they had the Tampa team run out in the pre-game celebrations to the fans calling Evan Longoria “Eva” – last night America got to see why they are the most infamous, crude, but passionate fans anywhere.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Loewen and the Jays

Upon reading today's Sun article on Adam Loewen signing with the Blue Jays, I don't think anyone can begrudge him.

I respected the kid because he was a bulldog on the mound and seemed to work hard; however, it looks like wanted for play for Toronto, simply because he is a Canadian and rooted for them growing up.

I'm sure a lot of fans and people will miss him in the organization, but he's got a hill to climb in order to transition from pitching to become a big league hitter.

"I don't think it's about money," MacPhail said. "The way it was explained to me, it's all about playing for his national team in Canada and it's not about terms or anything. The way it was explained to me is he grew up there and it's his lifelong dream to play for Toronto. I have no interest in having Baltimore become part of Canada. We're proud members of the United States, and there isn't much we can do about it."
It was assumed Loewen would re-sign with the Orioles -- until the Jays looked into getting him...

That apparently changed when Toronto came calling. Loewen said he and his representation told the Orioles there were "other offers on the table and they knew fully that there were other teams interested.

"It has been something I've been struggling with ever since I got put on waivers and the possibility presented itself," Loewen said. "[The Orioles] fully did what they had to do and I was aware of that. They did everything on their part that they could do to try to sign me back. I love playing in Baltimore and I loved the coaching staff. Even when I went to instructional league, the coaching staff was outstanding. There was no animosity at all. I just thought this was an opportunity that doesn't come along very often. It was tougher than I could say. I'm excited to be a Blue Jay, but I'll never forget my time in Baltimore."
Sports is a huge business, and no matter what we think, if Loewen struggled horribly -- he could have been released anyway. However, it looked like the Orioles were going to have him every chance in the world to succeed.

The ball was in Adam's court, but instead, he wanted to play for the Jays, and we shouldn't judge him. This move will be simply one the Orioles could afford to not get emotional about -- he was not going to help the team in 2008, 2009 or perhaps beyond.

I'll be rooting for him to make it back to the Big Leagues.

Adam Loewen Now Part of The Blue Jays...

I seriously thought that Adam Loewen would resign with Baltimore; however, things have changed as he was put on waivers a few days ago.

Now he's part of the Toronto Blue Jays.

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays acquired two of the top four picks in the 2002 draft on Friday, signing converted pitcher Adam Loewen to a minor league contract and claiming right-hander Bryan Bullington off waivers.

Bullington was selected by Pittsburgh with the top overall selection and Loewen was taken fourth by the Baltimore Orioles. Neither player has panned out so far professionally.

Baltimore released Loewen on Monday, but had hoped to re-sign him to a minor league deal. Loewen, a native of Surrey, British Columbia, acknowledged leaving the Orioles was "extremely difficult," but said the chance to join Toronto was too good to pass up.

"I grew up watching the Blue Jays and was a huge fan all my life," he said. "This is a great opportunity. I'm really excited to get going."

Loewen's pitching career ended in July because of recurring stress fractures in his left elbow. Loewen worked with Baltimore batting coach Terry Crowley in September before joining the Orioles' instructional league team. He went 8-8 with a 5.38 ERA in three years as a pitcher.

Loewen, who will attempt to reach the majors as a first baseman/outfielder, said he has no regrets about giving up pitching.

"If you gave me a brand new left arm and I was able to do what I used to, I don't think I'd take it," he said.

Too bad. That's just the risk the Orioles took releasing him and not putting him on the 40-man roster.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rays Tie Series at One

Last night, in Tampa-St. Petersburg, the Rays upended the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-2.

The Rays scored four runs in the first four innings to earn the victory, as they scored in two runs in the first inning off groundouts by Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria; thereafter, in the second inning, B.J. Upton plated Dioner Navarro with a bases-loaded single and they tacked another run in the fourth due to a Jason Bartlett groundout.

Philadelphia got on the board after little used Eric Bruntlett homered in the eighth, and scored again in the ninth as Jason Werth scored off a Longoria; however, the game was all Tampa's.

James "Big Game (sorry, Tampa fans I strongly disagree with this)" Shields lived up to his moniker as he went 5 2/3 innings and gave up zero runs for the win. The Tampa bullpen held on, and David Price kept things in order by pitching the last 2 1/3 innings although he gave up two runs -- only one earned.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Brett Myers went seven strong innings to get the victory; however, he got saddled with the loss as gave up four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits.

When all was said and done after Game Two, the Phillies should be down 2-0, rather than have a tie. Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard have not much, and they seem to always be waiting for the big hit rather than manufacturing runs. They strikeout too much, and can't seem to do the little things right -- the exact opposite of what Tampa did in game two.

If the Phillies can't get their act together -- unless Cole Hamels in on the mound -- I don't see where they will win the Series.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Phils Take World Series, Game One

Last night, the Fall Classic commenced in Tampa-St. Petersburg, and the Fighting Phils thanks to the golden arm of Cole Hamels and Chase Utley's two-run homer in the first inning lead them to victory, 3-2.

After a week off, the Phillies sure were not rusty; while the Rays seemed to be pressing.

Hamels went seven strong innings, and gave up two runs on five hits to earn his fourth win of the postseason. The kid is a master, with the ability to mix-up his fastball and breaking stuff to get guys out. Brad Lidge got the save -- the 47th in 47 chances including the postseason -- that helped Philadelphia hold on to their narrow margin of victory.

The Rays were able to get two runs off of Hamels courtesy of a Carl Crawford solo homer run in the 4th inning, and a Akinori Iwamura that plated Jason Bartlett in the fifth.

Carlos Ruiz's groundout to score Shane Victorino made the difference for Philadelphia.

Kazmir, was good, but not great and took the loss despite what he did in game five of the ALCS. He went six innings and gave up three runs.

It was nice to see Tropicana filled with fans -- Rays fans -- and you've got to think despite the loss, they still have the significant advantage at home.

As for the cowbell -- not a fan of it. Just scream and shot, but please no cowbell.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

O's Make Moves; Release Adam Loewen


If you all have not heard, the Orioles made a series of moves Monday afternoon, the biggest being the release of Adam Loewen.
The Orioles conducted some offseason housekeeping on Monday when they released former first-round Draft pick Adam Loewen and outrighted five players to Triple-A Norfolk. Loewen, who has retired as a pitcher due to recurring elbow injuries, is attempting to reignite his career as a position player, and he likely will ink a Minor League contract with the team some time soon.

Loewen missed virtually all of the 2007 season with a stress fracture in his left elbow, an injury that took an operation to repair. The southpaw went through all the requisite rehabilitation, but he suffered the same injury last season and was told it would take 18 months to recover from another surgery, a realization that spurred him to try his hand at hitting.

In addition to the Loewen move, Baltimore outrighted pitchers Randor Bierd and Rocky Cherry, infielder Brando Fahey, outfielder Jeff Fiorentino and catcher Omir Santos to Norfolk. Fiorentino was lost on a waiver claim last winter and subsequently returned to the organization via the same process during the season.
Although Loewen was released, the move may just be procedural -- he may re-sign with the team in a minor league deal and try to find his way back into the majors as a hitter. He's obviously not a major league pitcher anymore; thus, it does not make any sense to pay him as if he was one. I surmise he would be exposed to waivers; however, I don't see him being picked up by anyone.

I hope Loewen makes it back to Baltimore, or anywhere in the majors. Considering his work ethic, and how many have spoke about him with such reverence, he very well could become another Rick Ankiel.

He more than likely not even see if the majors -- that's even if he makes it -- for perhaps several years and if so, does he just become a bench player or a full-time regular?

Right now, he cannot help out the Baltimore Orioles in the near future, so it is best he work on his hitting tools and learn to be a position player.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yes, America --- The Rays Are Headed to the World Series...

The Rays are in the World Series! If anyone picked them in March to play for it all -- you're lying. It seems like all of America -- aside from Red Sox fans -- were picking them to advance to the promised land, and finally, it looks the doormats of the AL East and the laughing stock of baseball for so many years has made it.

What can we say about David Price! This game was his coming out party, and did he literally save Tampa Bay from eminent disaster by pitching 1 1/3 innings -- striking out J.D. Drew with the bases juiced to the end the 8th -- and struck out two in the final frame to get the save.

Matt Garza pitched the game of his life, earning the win -- along with the second of the ALCS -- and making only one mistake -- Pedroia's first inning solo home run. Aside from that, Garza was a good as you could get. His counterpart on the mound, Lester was good -- going seven strong and giving up three runs -- but, it was not nearly enough.

The Rays were on, and it showed after two devastating losses in the ALCS.

Evan Longoria tied the game in the fourth inning to plate Carlos Pena, and they took the lead in the follow frame as Rocco Badelli plated Wily Aybar with a single. In the bottom the seventh, Aybar hit a solo home run -- an important insurance run -- to put them ahead for good.

Both bullpens kept their team in it, but Tampa held on and got the monkey off their back.

After ten years of futility, being made fun of, and being the doormats of baseball, the Rays have made it to the World Series, and it's just unbelievable.

You've got to give it to the Red Sox -- they took the Rays to the limit and nearly came back, but it was not enough this time around.

The Tampa team making it to the Series gives teams like the Baltimore Orioles and small market hope that if they manage and scout talent carefully, stick to a plan -- your finances and market size should not make being successful insurmountable.

Again, I can't believe I am saying this -- the Rays are the American League Champions and are headed to the World Series.

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Joba Sorry For Getting Popped For A DUI

As report yesterday on the blog, Yankee stud Joba Chamberlain was stopped in Nebraska for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Today, he apologized for his actions.

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain apologized for "an error in judgment" on Sunday.

He was arrested early Saturday in Nebraska on suspicion of driving under the influence, speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

"I want to apologize to the New York Yankees and the fans for an error in judgment and for putting myself in a difficult situation," Chamberlain said in a statement released by his agent, Randy Hendricks. "I intend to properly resolve this situation, and do not intend to be in such a situation again. My goal is to focus on pitching for the Yankees in the 2009 season."

Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said the team would give Chamberlain that chance to make good.

"If he needs help, we'll certainly give it to him," Steinbrenner told the New York Daily News.

"It happens," he said. "Everybody deserves a second chance -- or even a third chance."

"He's 23 years old. He's just very lucky that nothing more serious happened," said Steinbrenner. "We're talking about a really good kid here, and that's what counts."

Let's hope it doesn't happen again with Joba. He should thank the Gods above that he's got a golden arm, or he might find himself unemployed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Idiot File: TBS, You Fucked Up

I was at home tonight, and having the world of cable TV available to me, I grabbed my plate of General Tso's Chicken and steamed rice, and headed to my room at 7:50 to prepare to watch the game against the Red Sox and Rays.

Well, when I flip the channel to TBS, they are showing an old episode of 'TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes'.

I was like 'ok', where's game six?

Then at 8:00, expecting to see a game, TBS is showing a classic episode of the 'Steve Harvey Show'. Why? How? What in the hell is going on?

Well, since MLB.TV blocks us here in the United States from watching the game live on the computers, I had to turn into their service.

At this point, the thought in my mind was "what the fuck is going on."

This is the reason:

From Due to what was termed a "router failure" at TBS headquarters in Atlanta, viewers all across America were unable to see the start of tonight's pivotal affair between the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Media outlets and cable providers were flooded with calls demanding an explanation as viewers expecting to see the Sox and Rays fight for a trip to the World Series instead stumbled upon the aforementioned network sitcom.

Apparently, nobody was laughing.

Though TBS repaired the problem late in the first inning, viewers missed the first six batters of the game. The game started at 8:08 p.m., but the broadcast didn't begin until 8:28 p.m. By that point, Tampa Bay already had claimed a 1-0 lead courtesy of a colossal, solo home run by Rays center fielder B.J. Upton that struck the "C-ring" catwalk in left center field.

After TBS issued an apology and fairly generic statement during the game, Turner Sports director of public relations Jeff Pomeroy briefly took questions from reporters during the sixth inning of play. Pomeroy said that TBS suffered a failure of both "the main router and the backup router," the latter of which exists exclusively for such instances where the primary source fails.

Said the network statement: "Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped causing the master router and its backup -- which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound -- to shut down. This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage."

Nice. Considering I had the TV on for 15 minutes before I even saw a warning is completely unacceptable and just makes me wonder if there are monkeys in the TBS network control room.

Down here in Maryland, I was pissed but was able to improvise for about 20 minutes before I got to see the game. Too bad everyone missed the B.J. Upton homer.

I could only imagine the scene in any bar within metropolitan Boston (especially) or Tampa-St. Petersburg for those who wanted to see their teams play.

TBS, you really fucked up on this one.

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The Red Sox Head to A Game Seven Against The Rays; Eh, Could It Be Any Other Way?

I knew it was going to come to this -- the Red Sox are too good and they smell fear. Just a few minutes ago, the Red Sox extended the ALCS to Game Seven as they downed the Rays, 4-2, thanks to a clutch home run by Jason Varitek (did he ever need something to happen), and an insurance RBI by David Ortiz.

B.J. Upton was once again a thorn in the side of the Red Sox, by hitting his ninth homer of the postseason off starter Josh Beckett in the first inning; however, after all that it was all Boston.

James Shields -- dubbed 'big game James' -- was not as sharp as he went a little over five innings and surrendered four runs (three earned) for the loss. Beckett, who has struggled in the '08 postseason got his mojo back by going five innings, giving up two runs and earning the win. The Red Sox bullpen anchored by Okajima, Masterson -- and ugh, as always Papelbon kept things in order.

Well, after assuming the Rays would dispose of the Sox in Game Five, the boys from Boston have stormed back and showed why they were the favorites all year long to win another title.

Meanwhile, you've got to think that the loss from Game Five is in the heads of Tampa Bay. Literally, they have not looked the same since then, and seem to be pressing; thus, perhaps their inexperience and ability to handle pressure is showing.

Jon Lester is on the mound in Game Seven, and one has to think now that Boston has the undeniable advantage -- but let's remember what happened in Game Four.

For the Rays, the pressure is now on them. Please win.

Joba Popped By The Cops For A DUI


Oh well, just because you throw the ball hard real well does not mean you're a role model or some demi-god.

Not that it matters to Yankee fans that Joba got in trouble...

The wunderkind reliever-starter got popped by the cops in Nebraska for driving under the influence in Nebraska earlier today.

From the Asbury Park Press: New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning near his hometown of Lincoln, Neb.

Deborah Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska State Patrol, said that the 23-year-old Chamberlain was pulled over after being observed speeding in a 2006 BMW 75i shortly after 1 a.m. on U.S. 77.

Chamberlain was arrested after an odor of alcohol was detected and an open container of alcohol was observed on the front passenger seat. Chamberlain was taken to the Cornhusker Place Detox and booked on charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol and speeding.

Oh well, no big deal, eh? Seriously, no matter if you're the town drunk or professional athlete, driving drunk is a big deal, and he's lucky he got caught. I shudder to think what would have happened if he hit someone or something, had his career in peril for stupidity, or even worse hurt or killed another person or himself.

Joba is talented, and although he's young, he's a role model to many; thus, let's hope it's a one time thing. Though I don't care for the Yankees, I'd hate for this guy to face anything that would harm his career and image.

Thanks to Ian from Sox and Dawgs for the notice...

Has The Bidding for Teixeira Already Begun?

(take my blog post article title with a grain of salt -- teams officially cannot talk with free agents until after the World Series...)

Well, it looks like Steinbrenner II -- Hank Steinbrenner -- has once again opened up his mouth and announced the Yankees grand plan to get back into the playoffs. Aside from the obvious targets for their desire -- A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia, and Derek Lowe -- they want one other big name ticket item for their trophy case.

Mark Teixiera.

Needless to say, there's no doubt that they were going after the Maryland first baseman, considering they have millions upon millions coming off their books and Giambi will not most likely be re-signed.

From The Yankees' interest in Teixeira seems to make clear that longtime Yankee Jason Giambi will not be brought back. Even if the Yankees fail to sign Teixeira, they have determined they want to upgrade their defense at first base. The Angels, Orioles and perhaps the Giants and Mariners are among teams expected to show interest in Teixeira.
Baltimore needs the bat -- we need a Grade A first baseman -- however, will the organization spend the money when they are more than a couple of pieces short to be a contending team. Furthermore, he will demand a huge contract -- a nine figure one -- and if the Orioles don't improve (presuming he even signs with the team), will he want out much like he did in Texas?

I have no idea if the Orioles will attempt to sign him -- maybe they will, maybe they won't -- but the price will be high, and more so the case as Teixiera's agent is Scott Boras.

I've been on record as saying it would be a complete waste of resources to sign him, but we might as well gauge his interest and see what comes of it. If the likelihood of he signing with the organization isn't good -- let's spend the money somewhere else.

The Manny Being Manny Show Coming to Baltimore?

Paul Heyman of Sports Illustrated ponders on Manny Ramirez will be heading since the playoffs are done -- well, at least for him. It's interesting one of the places that are possibly (and I mean loosely) in the mercurial, dreadlocked slugger.

Charm City, believe it or not.

From The Orioles are another team that has been suggested as a possible landing spot, but they are more than one player away from competing in the ultra-tough AL East. Besides, new baseball chief Andy MacPhail appears to be getting away from the big-ticket buys of the Orioles past, and if they do go for a major free agent, it's more likely to be Severna Park, Md., native and Angels star Mark Teixeira. The Angels make some sense for Ramirez, but are more likely to try to keep the much younger Teixeira, whom they love.
I think that Heyman may be pulling this out of his head, or this might be some strange rumor, but I don't see him ever playing in Baltimore unless it is on the visiting team.

Honestly, a Manny Ramirez signing would go against the M.O. of Andy McPhail and what he wants do with the organization, plus would he be a good influence on the young guys, or would he pulls the same antics he did in Boston if he's not pleased?

As well, although he'd no doubt fill some seats, is he worth the money we'd sign him for, and would he we have give up draft picks if he were signed?

I say pass.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Ramon Or Matt?

On top of the pitching concerns, and the debate over what free agents to sign, there's one other issue that's been on my mind -- perhaps on the minds of other fans as well.

Who will man behind the plate?

Aside from Daniel Cabrera, one of the other guys who left me distressed during more than any other is Ramon Hernandez. Despite a year where he improved with the bat, his play as the starting catcher for the Orioles left very little to the imagination.

At times he lacked focus -- almost to the point where he was lazy -- others, he just seemed unable to block balls and showed very little hustle behind the plate.

For the reason alone, we might as well give someone else a shot -- Matt Wieters.

The guy's story of his time in the minors has become nothing but a folk legend amongst the most ardent of fans, so why not see if he can cut in the majors?

Recently, Spencer Fordin of the pondered about Matt Wieters after he answered a question about him in his latest mailbag...
Will Matt Wieters be starting for the Orioles on Opening Day? And will there be any other significant Oriole prospects that may have a role on next year's team? -- Mike V., Rochester, N.Y.

Wieters, who's on the short list for best prospects in baseball, represents an interesting quandary for the Orioles. If they bring him up on Opening Day -- and he's provided every indicator that he'll be ready by then -- they run the risk of losing him to free agency a full season earlier than they would if he spends the season's first month at Triple-A Norfolk.

That didn't bother the Orioles when their previous top prospect, right fielder Nick Markakis, took the team by storm in Spring Training. Baltimore elected to start Markakis in 2006 despite the fact that he had never played at Triple-A, and had just 33 games at Double-A under his belt. And after some initial struggles, he became one of the team's best players.

With Wieters, the fifth overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, the Orioles may elect to play it safe. The catcher didn't sign until moments before the deadline to come to terms or go back to college, and Baltimore can expect a similar tussle when free agency rolls around. In this case, it pays to be careful, even if it means waiting an extra month.
While I see where Spencer is coming from, I don't think the issue of service time should come into play -- especially when he have someone seemingly as talented as Wieters in the wings.

However, the big issue is with Hernandez's contract. I would fathom at this point, since Ramon has one year left at I think $8 million plus, the Orioles would attempt to move him this off-season.

I say let Wieters play for a job in Spring Training, and if he tears it up, he should be behind the plate for Opening Day 2009.

Willie's Second Chance -- The Washington Nationals?

I read this online last night from 'We've Got Heart' - a Washington Nationals blog - and needless to say, I was surprised.

From the Baltimore Sun: The Washington Nationals are interested in adding former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph to their coaching staff, Newsday reported. Washington, which fired five of its coaches after going 59-102 this season, would like Randolph to serve as a bench coach or thirdbase coach under Manny Acta, who served as Randolph's thirdbase coach with the Mets in 2005 and 2006. The Mets fired Randolph this season.
Interesting — I would not think Randolph would come to Washington just for the sake of having a job — however, the impact he could have with the Nationals could be profound. A proven winner, a multiple time champion, respected throughout the game (he got a raw deal in NYC, IMO).

But would he coming to Washington be contingent on let's say -- a managing job -- if the Nationals come off the tracks like they did in 2008?

I’d think he’d want to manage, or perhaps score a front office gig with an organization perhaps a little more conducive to winning at this stage. I like the guy a lot, but I cannot imagine him in Washington at all.

Manny Getting Paid Even When He Loses...

Nice. Sometimes even when you lose, you get paid -- that could not be anymore true for Manny Ramirez.

Manny Ramirez spent the playoffs in Dodger blue. But he'll still get a share of Boston Red Sox playoff green.

The Boston Herald reported that Red Sox players last month voted Ramirez a two-thirds share of playoff money, reflecting the fact that Ramirez played two-thirds of the season in Boston before he was traded at the July 31 deadline to Los Angeles.

Only players who were on the roster for the entire season were eligible to vote, according to the report. For players who did not spend the entire season with the team, voting players first determined whether the players in question would get a payout for exact time on the roster, or a larger percentage, reflecting their contribution to the team.
Seriously, this all sounds like a fair deal. Although he left the organization on less-than-favorable terms, his contribution to their organization the past seven years cannot be understated.

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The Sox Do It Again -- They Comeback From The Dead In An LCS...

Around 10:30pm, with the Rays up 7-0 up on the Red Sox -- losers of three straight games in the ALCS -- I all but pronounced amongst friends I was chatting with online -- including Ian from Sox and Dawgs along with a couple of baseball fans -- that Boston's season was over, done, kaput.

Hell, even everyone on TBS felt the Sox were done.

The Red Sox staged a miraculous comeback as they beat Tampa, 8-7, thanks to a walk-off single by J.D. Drew in the bottom of the ninth inning.

For much of the series, Tampa has destroyed Boston pitching when it has come to the plate, and the theme repeated itself for the first 2/3 of the game. The triumvirate of B.J. Upton, Pena, and Longoria homered again, thus their barrage sent starter Daisuke Matsuzaka -- who'd previously whipped the Rays in Game One -- to the showers early.

Then in the seventh inning, the magic came alive. Thanks to a Pedroia RBI and David Ortiz -- who finally broke out of his herrendous slump -- hit a 3-run homer in the seventh; thereafter, in the next inning, J.D. Drew hit a two-run shot and Crisp singled in a run, all was tied.

In the end, it was only one loss and the Rays head back to the dome in St. Petersburg; however, they have to let this loss be purged from their minds and focus on Game six.

The Boston media railed on Joe Maddon for even putting Scott Kazmir on the mound in Game Five, but man, did he even look like a genius -- however, thanks to a shaky bullpen, the Rays' ticket to the World Series didn't get punched.

As we have seen with the Red Sox -- especially, in October -- anything can happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Playoff Reflections: Philly Goes to the World Series...

It looks like FOX will not be getting its dream World Series match-up of the Dodgers and Red Sox, since the Phillies took the National League pennant last night.

Now, the Rays just have to won tonight.

Cole Hamels dominated as Philadelphia found itself playing for a championship as they downed the Dodgers last night, 5-1. They used offense -- and a whole lot of Dodger miscues -- including three errors from Rafael Furbcal (in one inning) to earn an easy victory.

Chad Billingsley was awful, and Greg Maddux sadly may be ever so-close to retirement after his painful outing.

So, the first time since '93, they find themselves playing for only their second World Series victory (they only have one in their existence - 1980). For the Dodgers, it was a fun a little run they put together and they made the NLCS exciting; however, one man -- Manny -- does not make a team, and perhaps if everyone else had done their jobs, they would still be playing.

Finally, I just really, really, liked this photo...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Fighting Phils Are In the World Series

Your National League Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Now, may the Rays (the most likely victor of the ALCS) or Red Sox beat you...

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Yes, America - The Rays Are Just One Game From the World Series...

Yes, America. It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays are just one win from making into their first ever World Series after having excatly zero winning seasons in their existence until this year.

I always knew the Rays would be close or finish slightly above .500; however, if anyone says they expected them to win 97 games and be one step away from the World Series, I would suggest you start playing the Lottery.

The Rays bushwhacked the Red Sox in Game Four of the ALCS, 13-4. There was not much to be said for last night if you're a Boston fan -- Wakefield got his arse kicked, despite having 16 days of rest and Tampa outplayed them.

For everyone that's shocked -- don't be. Being an Oriole fan, I have seen enough of the Rays to contend they are for real. I thought the Red Sox would come back and mount a challenge, but now they are looking lost on the mound and the plate (especially David Ortiz, Ellsbury, and ugh -- Varitek), while the Rays look young, energized and not stressed at all.

Homers by Willy Aybar, Carl Crawford (who was 5 for 5) -- and yes, Longoria -- again, led Tampa to victory. They had an offensive onslaught that the Red Sox have not been able to match, and Andy Sonnastine's golden arm led them to victory.

It was weird seeing a quiet Fenway, and it looks like despite the grea job Francona has done managing Boston, they are just no match -- literally -- for the Rays.

If there's any solace in seeing the Rays in the series after all theor losing for the past decade, it gives teams like the Orioles, Pirates, Royals, Nationals and Reds hope. You need a little bit of luck, but a whole lot of planning, great management and a commitment to development to get to the next level.

Another case study: the Brewers.

Money can help solve and cover up some problems (ala the Yankees); however, you need a plan and you need to stick with it, no matter how tough or rough the road may be.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Kevin Millar has been a mainstay of the Baltimore Orioles for the past several years, and every once in a while, he posts a blog on the MLB Orioles site chronicling his life in the majors.

In perhaps his final entry on the site (a very long one), he talks about his time in Baltimore and how he still wants to be part of the organization despite the rebuilding.

Here’s an excerpt:

From the It’s just one of those things, but this team is not as far away as some people think. We just have to find a way to get some more starting pitching, and that’s not easy. It’s the organization’s plan to add some arms, and they’ll move from there. But aside from finishing last in the standings, you have to see some bright spots. You look at George Sherrill and Adam Jones and what they meant to us, and you look at Dennis Sarfate and Luke Scott, the guys they got back in some of the trades from last winter. Aside from the record, there were a lot of bright spots for whomever is willing to look for them.

Personally, my situation is the same. I’ve made it known that I’d like to come back here. I’ve made it known that I enjoy bringing energy to this clubhouse and I’ve enjoyed the three years that I’ve played here. It’s been phenomenal. Hopefully, they know who I am, but I’m angry at myself and I’m almost embarrassed at the way I finished. I did not swing the bat well the last six weeks, and the reality is that you’ve got to hit in this league. I scuffled, but they know I fight tooth and nail every day. I know it’s general manager Andy MacPhail’s job to go out and test the market, but if things work out, I’d love to be the first baseman here. I have a lot of work to do this offseason to prove something and to personally swing the bat the way I’m capable of.

For anyone who had watched the team for the last couple of seasons, it’s obvious that Kevin brought some fun, mentoring, and well-needed leadership at times to the Baltimore Orioles.

At this point, though — does he even deserve to be on the 2008 roster?

Well, he was a good soldier; however, at this point, it’s time for the Orioles to move on and perhaps find a younger, power bat — can we say, Mark Teixiera — or have Huff at first. But as a fan, I enjoyed having him around and maybe if there’s a fit, he should come back. Sadly, at this point, we have to look at the road ahead and get some new blood in.

The organization has enough men already on the wrong side of thirty, and the team may not need another one.

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The Idiot File: PacMan Jones Suspended By The NFL...

Well, sometime people don't learn, and "Pac-Man" (no, not the Orioles Adam Jones) Adam Jones, of the Dallas Cowboys is in trouble again, and has been suspended -- indefinitely -- again.

What a dumb ass.

From ESPN: ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The verdict is in: Pacman is out again.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has been suspended for at least four games for his most recent violation of the league's personal conduct policy, the NFL announced Tuesday.

The league said Jones was involved in an alcohol-related incident at a Dallas hotel on Oct. 8. Previous reports indicated Jones was involved in an alcohol-related scuffle with a bodyguard assigned to him by the Cowboys, and that hotel employees called the police.

Jones will not be paid during the suspension. Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the ultimate length of Jones' suspension after Dallas' Week 11 game against Washington on Nov. 16.

"He does need to address the kinds of things that seem to be with him at various times and one of those that he's dealt with for a really long time, he needs to address in a way that most of us might understand -- alcohol issues," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told's Pat Yasinskas.

When you're given a second chance in life, you take it and do your best to not screw up.

Pacman Jones screwed it up royally. Nothing ever good happens after mid-night as I always would say to my younger brother, and too bad someone in the position of Jones can not figure it out.

Now, he's going to pay literally. Of course, as long as he's got talent, there will be someone knocking on the door to have him sign a contract to play football.

Some people never learn. Did you all really think he found Jesus considering his rap sheet?

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Phillies Upend Dodgers; Rays Shock The Formerly Invinicble Jon Lester

The 2008 NLCS seems close to being wrapped up as the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to late homers by Shane Victorino -- who has seemed to be in the middle of everything -- and Matt Stair's long shot in the 8th led them over the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-5.

Tuesday's action had none of the drama of the previous night, and Philadelphia staged a dramatic comeback as the knocked up the Los Angeles bullpen in the latter half of the game. Derek Lowe was strong -- especially giving up two runs in the first inning -- and went only five innings; however, he kept the Dodgers in the game long for them to take the lead in the bottom of fifth by taking a 3-2 lead.

Now, why he was taken out by Joe Torre early -- who knows (maybe it's the fact he pitched on 3 days rest); however, that decision might have cost the Dodgers.

Joe Blanton -- the starting pitcher for the Phillies -- went five innings and gave up three runs, but it was Chad Durbin who opened up the flood gates by giving up a 2-run-homer to Casey Blake in the sixth to put the Dodgers up 5-2.

Both bullpens were taxed, but in the end, it was Philadelphia who reigned supreme. The reliable Dodger bullpen imploded and could not hold the lead.

They tied the game at three in the sixth at Ryan Howard plated in a run off Chan Ho Park; thereafter, two innings later they added a four spot thanks to 2-run homers by each Victorino and Stairs.

The Dodgers must win game five, or the season is over -- plus, I will not be able to use my tickets for game six...

There's an off-day for the NLCS on Wednesday (maybe to have the Red Sox in prime time); however, Philly will play for all the marbles on Thursday.


Tuesday's afternoon game had the Rays -- yes, the Rays -- whoop on the Red Sox and the previously invincible Jon Lester, 9-1.

Tampa touched up Jon Lester sail to the easy win. Lester only lasted a little over five innings, gave up five runs and his teammates could do nothing but watch the carnage.

B.J. Upton, and Evan Longoria homered early, while Rocco Baldelli's shot (what an incredible comeback story this kid has had), and Carlos Pena's homerun in the ninth has now sent Red Sox Nation thinking collectively, "Are you serious that Tampa could beat us?"

Yes, I am. I still think the Red Sox will come back and take it, but folks, these are the old Rays -- or Devil Rays -- they have the athleticism and power to beat anyone.

Matt Garza, who did not look too hot in Chicago during the ALDS, threw six innings of one-run ball for the easy win.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Fight Night -- Well, Maybe The Appearance Of It; Playoff Reflections

It was fight night at Dodger Stadium in Sunny California as Manny Ramirez and the Los Dodgers kicked some major Philly arse, 7-2. The Dodgers are still down 2-1, but could make it even tonight if they can get past Joe Blanton.

Plus, I need them to win so I can use may tickets for Game Six in Philadelphia.

After the Dodgers disposed of Jamie Moyer early by torching him for five runs in the first, things got interesting -- very interesting.

It nearly became fight night -- well, in a theatrical sense -- at least.

Since I am at work, and pressed for time -- I'll let Jayson Stark tell the story, since he was there, and could tell it better than ever I could.

A 94-mph Hiroki Kuroda cannonball whizzing behind the noggin of Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino in the third inning of Game 3.

Before that pitch, this was just baseball. After that pitch, we didn't just have a series anymore. We had …


A benches-emptying, fingers-wagging, neck-veins-bulging, coaches-jawing, Manny Manny-izing, crowd-shrieking, live must-see drama kind of series.

So this is from all of us must-see October drama fans to Hiroki Kuroda: Thanks for livening up the week.

When the day began, the Phillies were in total charge of this series, up two-games-to-zip. Now -- one game, and one 7-2 wipeout of the Phillies by the Dodgers later -- this is a whole different deal.


Manny Ramirez, in fact, proved to be a particularly engaging conversationalist. Heck, he was so engaging, it took a swarm of Dodgers to hold him in one place just so he could keep his gesticulations inside the 323 area code.

In the end, as major sporting donnybrooks go, it barely out-fracased your average Kimbo Slice fiasco. But as Phillies reliever J.C. Romero so astutely assessed it: "It's part of the game. The ratings are up. Everybody is happy."


From the second Brett Myers offered to trim Manny's dreadlocks with a straight-from-the-salon four-seam fastball in Game 2, it was only a matter of time before some sort of fun-filled imbroglio busted out in this series.

Dodgers players have been muttering about it for two days. One affectionately referred to Myers, between games, as a "wacko." And only a couple of hours before Sunday's game, right up there on the interview-room podium, Derek Lowe, L.A.'s Game 4 starter, suggested that it might be time to address this situation "Nuke LaLoosh style."

Sweet. I just know that last night was some great theatre, because there's nothing like multi-millionaire ball players getting hurt, getting suspended in the playoffs, and costing their teams a championship; thus, nothing was going to happen.

Oh, and Manny... you've got to read this.

He not only drives in the first run of a game the Dodgers have to win Sunday night, but when Hiroki Kuroda throws a pitch over the head of Shane Victorino, he moves all the way from left field to shortstop, and this from a guy who supposedly doesn't like to run all that hard.

"I was there in case something happens," he says.

Later, when both benches empty, he sprints from left to the first base line to stand in front of every one of his teammates, the new leader of the Dodgers screaming in Spanish and English, or "Spanglish" as he later describes it.

"I was just yelling," at anyone dressed in red, he says.

But talk about despicable -- he admits later he didn't give it his all before really charging the Phillies -- waiting for Russell Martin, Delwyn Young and coach Bob Schaefer to grab him.

"I didn't want to get thrown out of the game or suspended," he says with a grin, so he makes it look Hollywood good, fighting as if it takes everything Martin, Young and Schaefer have to hold him back.

Three months ago the Dodgers would've had to call a team meeting to determine who the team leader might be, maybe Jeff Kent stepping forward but the kids not following.

But here's Ramirez, who still insists he really doesn't care that Brett Myers threw a pitch behind his head in Game 2. "It's not me," he says, while noting he wasn't the only one forced to duck in Philadelphia.

"I was mad because it wasn't taken care of in Philly," he says. "We just want to send a message that we want to play the game right. It's not only me -- we're a team. And it's nothing against Victorino. He's a good guy. There's no bad blood."

But Ramirez appears so upset, later walking up the dugout steps when Martin is plunked again.

"Hey, I'm not a fighter," he says. "I'm a lover."

I still think he's a dick for what he did to the Red Sox fans, but man, is he ever entertaining. My lord, is he ever that much more exciting with the Dodgers than he ever was with the Red Sox.

Please, I am ever so praying for a Red Sox-Dodgers World Series.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Playoff Reflections: What An Ugly God-Damn Game last Night; All is Written For The Dodgers To Take Game Three...

Well, the Rays won last night in a long, ugly, but exhilarating game in the Tropicana Dome. The game didn't end until long after 1am, as B.J. Upton plated Fernando Perez -- who was even gutsy for even attempting to score -- on a sacrifice fly to end the contest.

Dustin Pedoria -- all five-foot-right (I say five-foot-six) -- hit two homers and showed why he's an MVP candidate plus giving all short guys hope that they can make it in Major League Baseball, along with homers from Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay.

Meanwhile, for the Rays, Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton both homered for Tampa.

Josh Beckett nor Scott Kazmir looked good, as each got touched up -- and touched up badly. it looks like both men are tired, needless to say. Both need to be on their game to really help out their teams, for sure.

Tampa had a 8-6 lead, until allowing the Red Sox to come back late. Rookie call-up David Price got the win, while long-term veteran Mike Timlin took the loss.

It's needless to say that the Rays needed to take Game Two and tie the series heading into Boston. I think the Rays will make this a close series by taking at least one game in Boston (most likely Game 4 when they face Wakefield), but the Red Sox right now seem to have a killer instinct and determination on their side.

The Rays, no doubt, are inspired to win too; however, it looks like the Red Sox are playing like men possessed...

Ah, Game three of the NLCS is upon us -- this is all tailor made for the Dodgers to whoop up some Philadelphia arse. Moyer is on the mound versus Manny and company at home -- I say L.A. wins big -- in a huge blowout.

The Manny factor will be too much, and the troops will help him out on Sunday.

Did It Have To Be This Way...

The other day, I had gone to get an eye exam and I had an interesting conversation with doctor about baseball – specifically, the Baltimore Orioles.

I took part of the day off, decided to dress casual that day and wore a throwback Orioles cap (the one they wore in the late 60’s/early 70’s).

Long story short, the good doctor still follows the team; however, he’s not attended a game up in Baltimore in several years not because of the losing, or the bad teams, but because of solely one reason.

Peter Angelos.

He qipped, “I like the direction the team is going, the trade for Adam Jones, George Sherrill by getting rid of Bedard; that new guy — um, McPhail –he seems to know what he’s doing, but – I will not give Peter Angelos any of my money and I will only go to games again when he dies.”

“Oh, that’s a shame,” I said. “As painful as it is to watch them lose, I just can’t do it. I guess I love baseball too much.”

He says, “I know, but I got tired of his meddling, and the way the team is run.”

I said, “Yeah, I don’t blame you.”

He followed up by saying, “Yeah, I hear he does a lot of good, giving money away and everything — perhaps that should be more important than just baseball; um, but I still won’t go up there (to the Yard).”

I’m always surprised when I hear this. It seems like the community still cares for the Oriole and people still follow it; however, when it comes to opening up their wallets or spending the time and energy to head out to the park, they won’t do it.

Again, I don’t blame people for not going out the Yard. Why should one spend their emotional and financial investment in a product, if it will fail you time and time again?

Well, in the end, the one who is paying the biggest price, aside from the fans is Peter Angelos.

In the end, it won’t matter if he made his money the old-fashioned way – a Horatio Alger story of a man of modest means who becomes a billionaire by working hard, getting an education, a profitable career (I’m not going to argue the merits of it) – who also gives back the community; however, he’ll be known for one thing.

For killing (allegedly) baseball for Oriole fans everywhere.

I’m not going to begrudge a man who has carved out the American dream for himself; however, the hatred of Angelos amongst many just tells you how important sports are in the hearts and minds of people.

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