Thursday, April 30, 2009

Angels Sweep Orioles; Disputed Call Perhaps Makes the Difference...

The Orioles skid continued this week as they got swept by the Angels in a quick two game series that took place this afternoon and on Tuedsay night.

A few hours ago, the Orioles lost 3-2 as Koji Uehara looked strong, but took the loss; however, he may may be out a few days as he was a victim in a real scary incident. After giving up a pair of home runs to Kendry Morales and Torii Hunter in the seventh inning, he was hit hard in the chest thanks to a Gary Matthews line drive. There was no sign of internal damage; however, he did a have a bruised sternum, but in hindsight, he may have dodged a serious bullet. The Angels scored their first run in the fourth inning as Kendry Morales had an RBI triple.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Texas Takes Three of Four from Baltimore

The Orioles started off well on Monday night in their final contest of a four game series; however, the bullpen could not hold onto to an early lead, and the Texas Rangers offense piled on Baltimore late. In the end, the Rangers defeated the Orioles, 6-4, last night at Camden Yards taking three out of four games during the weekend series.

Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie had to work hard to get five innings of work in, as he threw nearly forty pitches in the first frame, but he gave up three runs -- all earned -- and struck out four. Matt Albers could not hold onto the 4-3 slim lead the Orioles had against the prodigious Rangers offense. Texas made Baltimore pay in the sixth inning as Matt Albers was not on and he allowed Blalock to reach basse on a single, issue a free pass to Chris Davis, then young Taylor Teagarden plated Blalock; thereafter, Albers would walk Kinsler. Moments later, David Murphy drove in both Davis and Teagarden and Texas raised their elead 6-3.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Adam Jones Hits a Three-Run Homer to Lift O's Over Rangers, 8-5

After losing one-run games on Friday and Saturday night, the Orioles bounced and back defeated the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon, 8-5. Brad Bergesen got knocked around in his second major league start; however, he avoided the loss as Danys Baez came through when needed as he threw three scoreless and Adam Jones' home run in the sixth -- a three run shot -- made the difference.

Bergesen -- who was so successful against the White Sox in his first start -- suffered as he gave up three homers which accounted for all of the runs Texas scored on Sunday. He allowed a two run homer to Chris David in the second, a David Murphy solo homer in the fifth, and another two-run shot by Hank Blalock in the same frame. Despite his challenges yesterday, Bergesen still threw strikes; however, he left a lot of pitches over the plate and high, therefore, the Texas sluggers crushed some of the offerings they received.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Michael Young Homers off George Sherrill Late; O's Lose, 5-4 -- Pictures Included & Fans Jumping on the Field?

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles; April 24th, 2009

Despite another solid start by Koji Uehara, the Baltimore Orioles were stunned in the ninth inning thanks to a two-run opposite field homer by Michael Young off a pitch by George Sherrill. The Orioles weren't able to comeback in the ninth inning and lost a close one to the Rangers, 9-4. They held a razor thin one-run lead until the deciding frame.

Sherrill had gotten two outs in the ninth inning, as well as stopped a threat in the eighth, but allowed Kinsler to reach first on a single before Young brought him in. Sherill took the loss on Friday, while Uehara allowed two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Impact of RSN's on Baseball and the Orioles...

I spent the afternoon doing some reading, mainly on financial stuff, and I came a piece on the Forbes Magazine website about the growth of regional sports networks (RSN's) and the disappearance of games from broadcast or free TV. The Orioles have had MASN for several years now covering their games along with the Nationals, and from what I know pretty much every regular season game will be shown on the network, and occasionally -- mostly on weekends -- games are showed on broadcast TV.

However, one has to understand how important these RSN's are to teams -- and, yes it all ties down to money. I have been following this topic for the past few years, and it's no surprise that the financial power of the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox are to these networks, while the small market teams are buying into RSN's to keep up with the big boys. therefore, as much as baseball -- good or bad -- likes to promote the wholeome image of the game, yes, it's a business and a huge one that.

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Eaton Surprises; O's Beat White Sox, 6-2

I have said that Adam Eaton would not inspire confidence in me this season, and he may be borrowed time in Baltimore. Well, I guess I was wrong and sometimes show how little I know at times. Out of the blue, Eaton surprised everyone, carrying a four-hitter and winning his first game as an Oriole as they beat the White Sox, 6-2.

Before the game, Dave Trembley gave Eaton a full vote of confidence despite his failures on the mound before Thursday night.

The performance justified comments made Wednesday by Orioles manager Dave Trembley, who stressed Eaton had a spot in the rotation and was not going to be judged on two April starts.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is Your Franchise Worth? Yes, Baseball Was Not Hurting in 2008...

Poking around Forbes Magazine this morning, they have their annual list of baseball franchise values and more; therefore, I decided to spend some time and poke around the site as well as look at their list. Although it's yet to be determined how the economy will affect the balance books and profitability of many teams, this much is certain at face value -- teams made money last year, and it will be hard to convince me that teams will really suffer *that much* this upcoming year.

From what I can predict, if a team loses money or sees their revenue/operating income go down, it will be made up somewhere else -- trust me.

The Yankees are the sport's most valuable franchise at 1.5 billion; however, interestingly enough they seem to $3.7 million in the red as well -- perhaps because of the new stadium and the investment in that. Still, I am sure they are making money elsewhere, including TV and what not, so let's not feel sorry for them. The value of their franchise keeps going up, and there's so much prestige behind the Yankee name that whatever happens, they'll come out just fine.

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O's Lose to the White Sox; Simon Out for a Long Time...

Last night, the Orioles could not replicate what they did the day before and got beat badly by the Chicago White Sox, 8-2. Baltimore faced a tough customer in John Danks and he brough it on Wednesday as he tossed seven innings, and alllowed just one run on four hits. Amazingly, he retired 19 out of the last 21 batters he faced, and it seemed that the Orioles were not going to get anything from him at all to really hit.

After looking good for the first two weeks of the season, Jeremy Guthrie did not look good again after seeing the Red Sox this weekend. Guthrie allowed the White Sox to score in the top of the the first, and allowed two more in the second inning. The Orioles fell behind 4-0 as Jim Thome took the Baltimore starter deep. Dennis Sarfate gave up a two-run homer in the seventh inning and another run to put the game out of reach for the Orioles.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bergesen Delivers; Huff Daddy Hits Two Bombs, O's Down White Sox, 10-3

Last night at a cool Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles snapped a five game losing streak, and perhaps a potential mainstay of the rotation may have been introduced.

The Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox, 10-3, as they broke a five-game losing steak and the offense also came alive again as Aubrey Huff delivered with two home runs and Nick Markakis -- who leads the American League in RBI -- had a perfect night at the plate with four hits. As well, Luke Scott went 3-for-4.

More importantly, Tuesday's game was so important because it brought forth the introduction of Brad Bergesen. The righty, who pitched well out of Spring Training, but didn't make the squad because he had not pitched above Triple-A found himself inserted into the rotation after Alfredo Simon went on the disabled list for an elbow injury.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Changes, Changes and Ozzie-Ball Comes To Town...

It's no surprise that Lou Montanez and Brad Bergesen were recalled from Triple-A after Ryan Freel headed to the disabled list after being in the head and Radhames Liz was sent after back-to-back performances in the big leagues.

Lou Montanez -- who probably should have been rightfully brought up to the majors to begin with -- should be perhaps be the 4th outfielder, or come off and serve as a pinch hitter. The boy can hit, and did his job well in Spring Training; therefore, let's hope he stays up in Baltimore in the long term.

Meanwhile, Bergesen will start against the White Sox tonight. A lot of fans have been clamoring about him, and he does one good thing well -- throw strikes and pitch to contact; however, his problem is that he doesn't throw hard. The fact he doesn't hard throw should not hinder him at all, but if he's not on -- the scoreboard could get ugly.

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Orioles Q&A with Chris Ray Tuesday, April 28 at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor...

The ESPN Zone and the Baltimore Orioles will kick off their annual Orioles Q&A series at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. At the free event, Orioles relief pitcher Chris Ray will field questions from fans.

Ray, who has made a strong return to the mound after an injury sidelined him last season, will share stories from the clubhouse and talk about his healthy return to Camden Yards. He’ll answer questions about all things baseball, talk about the Orioles’ hot start to the season, the pressures of playing from the bullpen and news from around the league.

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John Madden Retires from Broadcasting...

John Madden has decided to retire this morning from broadcasting after doing pretty much everything conceivable in the booth with all the networks. He's been in the field since 1979, and before that was a legendary coach of the Oakland Raiders where he won Super Bowl XI.

Godspeed, John. Thanks for your service and the memories.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Baltimore Lit Up By Boston Again; Swept By the Red Sox

We knew the Red Sox were going to be tough, and I figured that the Orioles would show some fight; however, it was anything but the case. After their slugfest on Saturday, Baltimore has not put up might of a fight against Boston offensively, and they lost again up at Fenway, 12-1. Justin Masterson won for Boston, and the Orioles only managed five hits on the day and when you see players in the lineup -- Cesar Izturis, Gregg Zaun, Ryan Freel along with Felix Pie (both who I will get to in a minute) -- batting below the Mendoza line, the results are not going to be good.

It was painful to hear clips and bits on the radio as Mark Henderickson pitched ok -- he went five inning and allowed three runs -- however, Dennis Sarfate and Radhames Liz got lut up for nine runs in only 1 1/3 innings, therefore, waisting a solid effort by Hendrickson and making what was a competitive game into a laugher.

Dustin Pedroia led the way for Boston with four hits and three runs driven in, Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, David Ortiz and Mike Lowell drove in two, and Jason Varitek hit a long home run off Hendrickson in the third inning. Baltimore's only runs came in the first inning as Izturis plated Robert Andino with a single.

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Baltimore Tries to Avoid Sweep Against Boston

It goes without saying the Orioles have run into a road block this weekend as the Red Sox again won up at Fenway, 2-1, on a cool Sunday. Koji Uehara, who started the game for Baltimore, was solid and perhaps had his best start in the majors to date, giving up two runs in only seven innings. Mike Lowell drove in a run in the second inning, and Dustin Pedroia drove one in during the fifth. The offense could not lift Uehara, and as a result, he took the loss - his first in the majors.

Baltimore seems to always struggle against the Red Sox, and Jon Lester was nothing short of brilliant, as he threw seven shutout innings, struck out nine and just allowed four hits. Baltimore's only run came off reliever Takashi Saito in the ninth inning, as he gave up two hits and allowed Nick Markakis to score, but got the final two outs to end the contest.

The Orioles will try avoid the sweep today, but right now, they are down 3-1 to the Red Sox as Mark Hendrickson is on the mound. Making matters worse on the injury front, Ryan Freel left Monday's game after getting hit in the face with a ball during a pick-of attempt; meanwhile, Adam Jones is sitting out today due to pulling a hamstring in Sunday's game.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eaton Struggles Again; O's Lose 6-4

Adam Eaton has not instilled much confidence in me as a pitcher, and he continued that trend on Saturday night. He only lasted four innings, and gave up six runs as Baltimore lost to Boston again, 6-4. This is their third straight loss, in which the starting pitching has suffered and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The Orioles have lost five in row overall against the Red Sox.

Boston scored once in the second, and then four times in third thanks in large part to a Kevin Youkilis three-run homer along with a Mike Lowell RBI. Eaton allowed all of Baltimore's runs, and the bullpen pitched three scoreless innings in the loss. Baltimore had a four run fifth inning highlighted by an Aubrey Huff two-run double along with a Nick Markakis bases loaded walk; however, the Boston offense was too strong again on the evening.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Red Sox on Deck

Ah, the Red Sox -- or as I call them, the Evil Empire 1A -- are on the docket us this weekend. They are currently 3-6 on the season, and are four games out of the division lead in the AL East. Well, Boston has struggled out of the gate, but showed some signs of life this week as Tim Wakefield threw a near no-hitter on Wednesday and they earned a victory.

What concerns me about Boston is not so much their hitting, but pitching. We have to face Brad Penny, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester (Monday's starter has not been announced) -- all in order, and Penny seems to be healthy and throwing heat again, while Beckett and Lester have always done fairly well against Baltimore. While the Red Sox offense isn't as fearsome as it was since 2008 because of the departure of Manny Ramirez and the decline in David Ortiz's numbers along with his early season struggles, they are still formidable as you've got to contend with the pesky Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell and Jason Bay.

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A Cause for Concern? The Pitching

So far, the Orioles have played in three series to start off, and have won each one taking two our of three games.

A 6-3 to start 2009 is indeed nice and rounds up to an 108 win season; however, does anyone expect Baltimore to win that much, if ever finish above .500? No.

As I see it, we can slug with anyone at the plate, we might have a decent bullpen (well, if Brian Bass wasn't in ut), but our starting pitching is -- um, still suspect.

Jeremy Guthrie has put aside all the talk about a potential decline, but everyone else is on watch.

Our Japanese buzzsaw, Koji Uehera, who was so good against the Yankees had his hands full with the Rangers on Monday. He looked very much off, the pitches were not hitting their spots, and against an aggressive Texas team whose offense is built for the park they play in -- teed off of Uehara. He will need to have pin-point control or location, or his outings on the mound -- much like against the Yankees -- have the potential to be very ugly. If Baltimore wishes to move back to respectability, they'll need this guy on.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Orioles Get Whipped, 19-6 by the Rangers: Simon on the DL...

Just bad. Plain bad. It was bad for the Orioles as they lost 19-6 to the Rangers. It goes without saying the Orioles were bad in the field -- two errors in total -- and Mark Hendrickson paid for it as he only lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs -- only TWO earned -- my lord.

Radhames Liz, who was just called from Norfolk looked bad as he gave up four runs on five hits in only an inning of work; thereafter, Brian Bass and Matt Albers came in as sacrifical lambs giving up seven more runs -- six earned -- in the final three innings.

Former Oriole Kris Benson -- a real nice guy who until last week had not pitched in a big league game since 2006 -- got the win, while Hendrickson took the loss.

Ian Kinsler hits for the cycle, drives in four runs and has six hits on the night. Marlon Byrd went for 5-for-6 and drove in three runs, and Nelson Cruz drove in six.

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Baltimore Whoops up on Texas Late, 7-5 Jones Comes Through, Scott Drives in Three...

The Orioles and Rangers didn't engage in a slugfest; however, it was another close game as they defeated them, 7-5. Alfredo Simon didn't make it two innings, and valiant effort by the bullpen along with a late homer by Adam Jones led Baltimore to victory along with a third consecutive series win.

Is Jones on his way to superstardom or what? This man does not even remotely look like the same player he was in 2008 -- I've said it over and over, but has he ever come into this own in the first two weeks of the year or what?

As well, Brian Roberts had three hits, and Luke Scott drove in three with a home run. The Orioles took advantage of a Ranger bullpen that imploded in the tenth inning and got the win; however, Texas rallied and scored twice in the bottom of the tenth thanks to a shaky George Sherill who made things way too exciting, but he pulled it out. The final two outs looked like deep fly balls that could have gone out, but they stayed in the park.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych Passes Away

On a even more somber note today, I just read that Mark "The Bird" Fidrych passed away today. According to various reports, he was sadly discovered by a family friend underneath a dump truck that he had been working on at his home in Northboro, Mass. From the looks of it, he seems to have been a victim of an unfortunate accident.

"The Bird's" career was fleeting, but memorable as he drafted in 1974 by the Detroit Tigers and made his MLB debut in 1976 where he took home AL Rookie of the Year. He packed the house in Detroit when he was on the mound and became a national phenomenon due his antics and eccentric nature. His career was cut short due to a rotator cuff injury in 1980; however, it goes without saying he's not been forgotten by anyone who saw him perform.

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BALTIMORE Plays 1st Game in New Road Unis! O's Win a Slow-Pitch Softball Game Against Rangers; Uehara Tagged for Seven Runs

Seeing "Baltimore" or the road uniforms last night on MASN was a wonderful thing, and what was even better is that they beat the Rangers, 10-9. Many people -- fans and those in the media (WNST especially) -- have been waiting for this night for years now, and it finally came on Monday.

In a game that resembled a roller-coaster or better yet a summer beer league softball game, Baltimore gave Koji Uehara ample run support to win his second major league game; however, he was not good at all as he gave up seven runs against a Texas team that can slug with the best of them.

The Orioles had 16 hits -- a high on the brief season so far -- and Aubrey Huff led the way for Baltimore with a 4-for-5 night with three runs driven in. Nick Markakis and Ty Wiggington each had two runs driven in, while Brian Roberts went 2-for-5. Felix Pie finally broke out as he hit his home run as a member of the Baltimore franchise. He too had three hits, but still looked very, very shaky in left field defensively.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Here Come The Rangers...

After taking two from three from the Rays, we have the free swinging and powerful Rangers -- who were swept by Detroit this weekend.

Since my girlfriend is a Rangers fan from Dallas who believes the Orioles suck, I'll say this -- Baltimore will once again take two out of three from an opponent and Texas will be the victim. Well, the Rangers have Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and a bunch of other mashers; however, their pitching is suspect -- very suspect. We'll miss ace Kevin Millwood, but we'll have Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy, and old friend Kris Benson.

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Rest in Peace, A Legend, Harry Kalas: 1936-2009

I was in Washington for the Nationals Opening Day this afternoon and everyone in attendance heard about the untimely passing of Harry Kalas, longtime announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies and NFL Films. Well, I just got home, listened to some memories of him on WFED -- the flagship radio station of the Nationals -- and I was even more shocked to learn that he died in the broadcast booth at Nationals Park literally a few hours before game time.

Fans of his in Philadelphia and around the world have lost a voice that can surely never be replaced. Although I heard his voice from time when it came to baseball, his beautiful voice made NFL Films broadcasts -- which I love to watch -- so interesting and enthralling.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

O's Spanked by Rays, 11-3, Finish Homestand 4-2; Pictures

After winning the first two games against the Rays in the three game series, the Orioles ran into a brick wall on a cool Easter Sunday. The Tampa offense came alive and they beat Baltimore, 11-3.

It was ugly as Adam Eaton -- who Ihad very little confidence in -- lasted only four innings and gave up four earned runs. He labored through the start, and by the time it was all over, Eaton threw 100 pitches in his outing; moreover, he was all over the place and found himself in trouble again and again. One would think if Eaton has another outing or two like this, he won't be an Oriole for long.

If Eaton was bad, his replacement was even worse. Brian Bass who was horrible on Wednesday, sucked badly on Easter as he became Baltimore's sacrifical lamb as he went 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on right hits all earned -- including four home runs. Dennis Sarfate closed out the game by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Orioles made things fun as they scored twice off reliever Grant Balfour in the ninth -- who could not get anyone out and was charged with three runs given up; however, J.P. Howell saved the Rays and finished out the game. Adam Jones continued his hot start with two hits, and Luke Scott along with Felix Pie each drove in a run with bases loaded walks.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

O's Shutout Rays; It's Been Five Games, But Riding High So Far...

The Orioles continued their winning ways as they beat the Rays again, this time shutting them out, 6-0. Melvin Mora had a huge night, as he hit a decisive grand slam in the very first inning off Tampa rookie Jeff Neimann -- who settled after a crazy first inning and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs, all earned -- and Nick Markakis also drove in a run that inning, plating Brian Roberts. It looks like Mora is still hot and has not slowed down from his amazing second half in '08.

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O's Down Rays on Friday Night, Pictures

The Orioles defeated an AL East rival and yet another tough in customer in the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4 last night at Camden Yards. George Sherrill earned the save despite a late inning home run to Tampa catcher Dioner Navarro, and pitcher Mark Hendrickson had an solid debut in black and the orange going 5 1/3 innings and yielding a run. Ageless Melvin Mora drove in three runs in the victory;

Baltimore jumped on Andy Sonnastine as he gave up all the runs the game on eight hits, but they came back into the game in the eighth inning as Jim Johnson gave up a two run home run to Evan Longoria -- who had two on the night, the other coming off Hendrickson in the first.

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What's Ahead: The Tampa Bay Rays; Twitter Again...

After taking two from three from the Bronx Bombers, we have the tough Rays -- who took two of three from the Red Sox, and by the way are reigning league champions this weekend in Baltimore.

If anything, this weekend's series may show where the Orioles really, really stand in terms of their talent level and how they stack up against the American League Easy. Unlike the Yankees, who may have some age and questions about their lineup, the Rays do not have that problem as they are young, athletic, and most important -- good.

  • Friday: Hendrickson (0-0, 0.00) vs. Sonnanstine (0-0, 0.00)
  • Saturday: Guthrie (1-0, 4.50) vs. Niemann (0-0, 0.00)
  • Sunday: Eaton (0-0, 0.00) vs. Shields (0-1, 8.44)
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Angels Pitcher & Maryland Native Nick Adenhart Gone Too Soon

This morning, Los Angeles Angels hurler and Maryland native Nick Adenhart tragically had his life taken from him along with two of his friends due to a horrific car accident in Fullerton, California after last night's Athletics-Angels game. A suspected drunk driver smashed the vehicle he was in just hours after the rookie made his first start of the season.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yankees Get the Best of the Orioles, 11-2

The New York Yankees got a respite from the negative headlines and they trashed the Orioles, 11-2. I'm sure it's a relief to Yankee fans that their team finally won, and the media might sell a few less papers without the brutal headlines, but they finally got things together on the mound and at the plate.

Finally, a pitcher for the came through as A.J. Burnett -- another player who spurned Baltimore for the riches and the mystique of the Yankees -- delivered for the Bombers as he went 5 1/3 innings, struck out seven and gave up two runs. Yankee reserve Nick Swisher went 3-for-5 with five RBI's along with a two-run homer, and Mark Teixiera -- the most hated man in Baltimore -- had two hits including a 410 foot blast for his first home run of the season.

Meanwhile, Alfredo Simon took the loss as he gave up four runs in five innings of work. He started off fine; however, ran into a Yankee lineup ready to do damage as Simon gave up three runs -- two via home runs by Teixeira and Swisher.

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Videos of Teixeira Being Booed; Nationals VP Stan Kasten Urges Philly Fans to Invade Washington

Found this on Youtube, if you really cared to know how bad the booing and the vitrol was towards Yankee Mark Teixiera.

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ESPN's Colin Cowherd Rips Birdland

ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd on Tuesday gave his two cents on Orioles Opening Day -- well, more specifically the treatment that fans gave to Mark Teixiera and also the perception of the team itself -- and perhaps he sort of went over the deep end with his comments.

Some in the national press have decided to rip Oriole fans for expressing their disdain of local boy Mark Teixiera joining the Evil Empire and spurning the home town team for riches and a potential world title.

I listen to Cowherd when I can, and while he comes off as a blowhard at times who makes comments just to fire up his listeners, I also find lot of what he says at times insightful.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Koji Uehara Has Quite the Debut; The $200 Million Dollar Yankees are 0-2...

Yes, Mark Teixiera was booed for the second consecutive game; however, the Orioles thanks to timely hitting downed the Yankees, 7-5. Koji Uehara made quite the debut in Baltimore, going five strong innings, giving up one earned run on five hits. He had pretty good control, and while he ran into a little trouble in the fourth inning, his defense helped him out and he was able to send Yankee bats to the bench when he needed to. He threw strikes and that's been a welcome change from the past several seasons.

It seems that $200 plus million doesn't buy you much as the Yankees are 0-2 to start the season, and one has to imagine what the New York rags will conjure up in the morning to put on their covers.

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Teixiera Given Baltimore Love, Biden Too...

Tuesday, 07 April 2009 18:44

Well, if we needed to be reminded about the reception Mark Teixiera got in Baltimore yesterday at Camden Yards, our friends on sports talk, ESPN, and the MLB network let us know about it. I was listening to the radio -- particularly 105.7 off and on all day -- and the topic of Mark Teixiera got beaten to death.

Well, honestly I don't like that Teixiera is a Yankee, but I don't hate the guy and I have not gone as far as some people to show their hate. I wish the guy well, but the way he handled his free agent negotiations in the off-season was nothing short of ornery. However, baseball is a business and Teixiera made the decision that was best for his career and family -- that was sadly becoming a Yankee.

The guy obviously wanted to go to a winner, and the Yankees along with their payroll fit the bill. The Baltimore Orioles were never in the hunt, and while they could have offered him $30 million per year to play in the black and orange, he was not coming to Camden Yards.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thoughts and Reflections from Orioles Opening Day 2009

Baltimore Orioles Opening Day; O’s vs. Yankees, April 6th, 2008

The 2009 Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles was one to remember as the bats came alive, and the rumors of Jeremy Guthrie's demise were unfounded as they defeated the New York Yankees, 10-5. Newest Oriole Cesar Izturis capped off the day by depositing a pitch for a two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Orioles added two more runs to put the game away for good. Interestingly enough, Cesar's homer was close to being an interference -- as it looked that Johnny Damon (left fielder for the Yankees) perhaps may have had a fan make his job difficult -- but we'll take it.

Baltimore ace, Jeremy Guthrie -- was not great, but Lord did he look better than he ever did in March -- as he went six innings and gave up three runs. Aubrey Huff drove in three runs, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis drove in two runs each to help the Orioles. The bullpen nearly coughed up the game as Chris Ray gave up a two-run homer to Hideki Matsui, but they kept things in order.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day, T-Minus 5 or so Hours Away..

Opening Day is here, and while it is not a picture perfect day -- frankly, it looks ugly out right now from my window in Annapolis -- baseball will hopefully be played today. I have been looking at the website off and on throughout today, and while it is pounding here, let's hope it passes through.

Today, our ace Jeremy Guthrie will counter against the large and rotund C.C. Sabathia at Camden Yards. We all know Guthrie has been beaten around on the mound; however, he says he's healthy and ready to go. His performance during Grapefruit League action and the World Baseball Classic says otherwise, but we'll take the Stanford grad at his word.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Opening Day and Mark Teixiera

As we all know, Opening Day is Monday afternoon at Camden Yards against the Evil Empire, aka the New York Yankees. Well, I am in the camp that Opening Day seems a tad over-rated, and perhaps corny, but it makes the official start of Spring in my eyes, and also lets me know that warmer days are ahead. In addition, there's nearly six month plus worth of baseball to watch, and I'll be there -- god-willing -- through the good, the bad and perhaps the ugly in 2009.

Yes, Baltimore will more than likely have their 12th losing season in a row in 2009, but I'm looking to seeing mainstays Brian Roberts, Jeremy Guthrie, Melvin Mora and Nick Markakis in the lineup, but also the return of Chris Ray, and also the development of Adam Jones and Felix Pie. I'll probably catch some minor leagues at Bowie, and may take the ride up I-270 to Frederick to catch a game or two.

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Orioles FanFest 2009

The Orioles once again held their annual FanFest at Camden Yards on Saturday. I'll say the place was packed (the team estimated 10,000 fans showed up), and once again the organization had activities for everyone, from forums where experts talk about the team -- from the majors all the way down to the minors -- to autograph signings with players and old school Orioles, vendors selling various items, stuff for kids to do, and watching the 2009 Orioles workout on the field.

Well, the event I look forward to the most would be "The State of the Orioles" with Andy MacPhail and manager Dave Trembley (hosted by MASN's Jim Hunter). All three men spoke about the team, and fans asked various questions; therefore, most of the questions centered obviously on the development of the team -- specifically the young pitching -- along with moves made in the offseason.

Overall, it was good to see the fans out and about, the Orioles actually back home, meeting with friends and fellow season ticket holders, along with the park which looks spectacular as always!

Orioles Fan Fest - April 5th, 2009 - Photos

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Baltimore Sun Looks at the Spring Training Facilites Down in Florida...

If you get a chance, today's Sun is a must-read about the Orioles Spring Training site resolution, and more importantly the current team complexes down in Florida. Um, it's not good, and if you take into the account what some players have to contribute along with some personnel from other organizations and the team, something needs to be done and soon.

The candid responses from the players about the conditions in Florida are nothing short of galling. It's an incredibly detailed, well-written investigative piece, and if anyone doesn't think that there's a problem with the team's situation in Florida -- there probably is now.

Another interesting view of the situation comes from WNST's Drew Forrester and Nestor Aparicio -- love or hate him -- that points out the deficiencies the Orioles have with their camps in Sarasota, and their spring home in South Florida.

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O's Down Nats, 6-2 in Norfolk; Eaton Named 5th Starter...

The Orioles are on their way back north to Baltimore; however, they made a detour in Norfolk and faced their neighbors to the south, the Washington Nationals. This afternoon, the Orioles faced a former teammate -- Daniel Cabrera -- and defeated them, 6-3.

Of course, with Cabrera, the more things change, the more they have stayed the same. He issued five walks and five runs in five innings, as well seemed to be all over the place at the plate.

Koji Uehara was solid as he went six innings and allowed two runs on a single hit. Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer off Uehara in the fourth inning to tie the game. The only other run the Orioles allowed came in the eighth inning as Lastings Milledge hit a solo shot off Matt Albers.

Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Cabrera and in the fourth inning Cesar Izturis plated Melvin Mora to break a 2-2 tie; thereafter, Chad Moeller plate Brian Roberts and Ryan Freel with a single. Oscar Salazar drove in Baltimore's last run in the ninth inning.

Remember, Fan Fest is tomorrow at Camden Yards, and then they travel to Washington in the afternoon to face the Nationals again.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Guthrie Lit Up, Is He Hurt, Etc.?

The Baltimore Orioles got shelled by the Florida Marlins, 12-2, and the big concern heading into Monday is that status of starting pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie.

Right now, the results out of the exhibition season and the World Baseball Classic for the team ace has not been good. Guthrie only lasted four innings, and gave up eight runs -- all earned -- on ten hits. I watched the game on MASN in the evening, and while he looked good at spots, he got hit hard.

As it is, Guthrie has given up 24 hits and 18 runs in four Spring Training outings -- extremely scary considering the fact he will starting on Monday against the powerful Yankees.

Could he be hurt, the result of the World Baseball Classic, not prepared (I don't think this is the case with Guthrie considering how he is), or just going through a spell of bad luck?

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Hayden Penn out of the Baltimore Organization; Andino an Oriole...

The big news from yesterday -- perhaps minor in the wide of scheme of things -- is that formerly prized prospect, Hayden Penn was traded to the Florida Marlins for infielder Robert Andino.

What's the big deal with Andino? Not much. He's simply a nice, slick fielding fielder who's your typical 'all glove, no bat' type of guy. Obviously with Hanley Ramirez at shortstop and Dan Uggla at second, he would seldom find himself on the field; plus, he's also out of minor league options. As a result of the trade, veteran Chris Gomez was released, and he's not done much with bat in Grapefruit League action; furthermore, the move all but signifies that the Orioles are indeed getting younger and trying to find players who fit in the general plan.

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