Monday, November 30, 2009

Liz to Padres, the Hall of Fame...

Well, this week, the Orioles decided to put pitcher Radhames Liz on waivers and the San Diego Padres picked him up. It's safe to assume that Liz was no longer going to be in the Orioles plans for the future as once the young arms -- mainly, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman -- emerged, he was an after thought. I'm not sure if Liz is a 4A pitcher, but he's got good stuff in his arsenal and while he performed in the minors, he could not hack when given the chance with Baltimore.

I wish him luck with the San Diego organization. Right now, I don't envision him as a starter, but as a a potential reliever.


  • A few former Orioles are up for Hall of Fame bids and they include Harold Baines, David Segui (yeah, right), Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Pat Hentgen and Roberto Alomar. Of the names listed, Alomar is obviously a no-brainer, while Raines has a decent a shot for a bid. Harold Baines was one hell of a hitter and a nice guy; however, he being a designated hitter for much of his career really hurts his chances of getting in.

  • Aside from former the former Orioles who are up for Hall of Fame bids, other prominent names include Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Dave Parker, Fred McGriff, Andres Galarraga, Barry Larkin and Don Mattingly. I say that Blyleven has a great shot of getting a bid this year, as well as Dawson and Larkin.

Sorry for the lack of posts for the last month, I've needed to take some time off and deal with some personal issues. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed the food, although I would not have liked to have been out at the stores on Black Friday. Then again, I'd rather have played Texas Hold-Em Online with people I didn't know than deal than endure long-lines and people with short tempers!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let the Free Agent Games Begin...

The free agent period starts today and the Orioles based on their results last season need all the help they can get. After 11 losing seasons and finishing in the second division (again), I'd be curious to see what the team does on the open market.

It's safe to assume the Orioles won't get John Lackey (he's going to get paid and go to a contender), nor Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, but they'll have their pick of the second and third tier free agents.

It's widely assumed that Baltimore will try upgrade one of the corners -- first or third, or perhaps both -- plus a veteran arm to compliment Guthrie, Matusz, Tillman or whoever is inserted in the starting rotation in 2010. Of course, let's not forget the bullpen that teetered on awful at times (especially at the end of the season).

Let the games begin. Here are a list of free agents provided from the Baltimore Sun also has their list of prospective players that the team is targeting.

Obviously, I don't have a crystal ball, but a few of the names that the Sun mentioned are Pedro Feliz, Adrian Beltre (he'd be a good glove, but his heyday with the Dodgers are long gone), Carlos Delgado (intriguing, but his age scares me), and guys like Rich Harden and Erik Bedard.

I guess other players I could see the Orioles targeting are Russell Branyan, Chad Tracy, Joe Crede, Ben Sheets (a guy with red flags all over him, but with great upside), or Adam LaRoche (a K king with no discipline at the plate).

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rookies of the Year Decided, Bergesen and Reimold Come up Empty With Votes...

The Rookies of the Year for both leagues were announced yesterday, and Chris Coghlan, who plays for the Florida Marlins won for the National League and Andrew Bailey (Oakland's young closer) won for the American League.

Congratulations to both men on winning the award. However, perhaps the two Orioles who might have merited some considersation for the award -- pitcher Brad Bergesen and outfielder Nolan Reimold -- didn't garner any votes.

As we know Bergesen missed signficant time after being hit on the leg with a comebacker, but if he actually finished ths season, he would have gotten some recognition. It's a little disheartening to see Nolan Reimold not get any votes, but with a strong class of rookies in 2009 such as Elvis Aundrus, Rick Porcello, Jehh Niemann, Gordon Beckham all in the mix, it's easy to see why he was overlooked.

At this point, let's just hope things get better in Birdland.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Adam Jones Wins A Gold Glove, O's Get Another Arm & Sammy Sosa...

Congratulations to Adam Jones for winning his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award. I'm a bit surprised he won, considering he plays for a last place team and only appearing in about 75% of the games as he was injured in the final weeks of the year.

Jones was solid in the outfiield, as he made quite a few amazing catches during the season; however, I thought he was far superior in 2008. He did also make quite a few mistakes out there, but overall, he was much better than average out in the field.

Now, one must wonder if Nick Markakis will get the recognition that he deserves for his play in right field.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Matt Holliday

Jay Trucker of the Baltimore Examiner website has an interesting piece based on what Brian Roberts said in his weekly spot Tuesday afternoons on The Fan pertaining to one free agent.

Roberts mentioned Matt Holliday.

The veteran mentioned the need for a starting pitcher, though he admitted the market for a strong arm would be tough, but he did have a suggestion for bolstering the Orioles lineup—Matt Holliday.

Holliday and Roberts know one another personally and have spoken this offseason. Holliday, 29, finished the 2009 campaign with a torrid 2nd half performance in St. Louis. Roberts said that in their conversation, Holliday told BRob that he liked St. Louis but was filing for free agency and ready to test the free agent market.

In 6 years of big league experience, Holliday spent five seasons with Colorado before splitting ’09 between Oakland and St. Louis. He has a .318 career batting average and a .933 OPS, though he struggled in his brief AL stint with Oakland.


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Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Orioles, The New Jersey Turnpike and Yankees on Parade...

This weekend, I decided to go to Maine for a wonderful weekend (it is ever cold here), plus work on a potential deal here. However, on the way up there on I-9, I ran into Yankee fans in Tony Soprano Country.

A lot of them.

I stopped at two rest stops in New Jersey and just saw Yankee paraphernalia everywhere – hats, caps, and all. There were tons of families all decked out in navy blue who wanted to see the happy little parade in Manahattan, and I decided to chat it up with them briefly. Honestly, I was bored, surfing the nets, checking work email and had another 9 hours to drive, so I introduced myself and said congrats to them, plus hoped their kids savior the experience along with a hooky day from school.

The fellow who did most of the talking was from Swedesboro, NJ and grew up in the Bronx – needless to say, he is a huge fan. I told him was an Oriole fan and we chatted really quickly about the series, and then the conversation moved into the talent level of the Yankees.

I don’t remember word-for-word what I said, but while I believed they bought their team, they deserved it as for a change the Yankees spent their money very wisely.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Three Birds Granted Free Agency, Links...

It looks like the Orioles are already making personnel decisions when it comes to the roster.

Three Orioles refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk and instead elected to file for free agency on Tuesday.

Left-hander Rich Hill, outfielder Jeff Fiorentino and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez all filed paperwork with Major League Baseball and have informed the O's that they will become free agents, a team spokesman confirmed.

Right-hander Alfredo Simon, limited to just two starts this year and coming off Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, accepted his assignment.

All four players were taken off the 40-man roster last week.

Hill, Fiorentino and Rodriguez could all re-sign with the O's this offseason, but the filing allows them to talk to other organizations, as well.

Really, neither of the three agents are the 'future' of the team. I was looking for a lot more from Rich Hill, as he had promise with the Chicago Cubs, but struggled mightily in Baltimore. Hill showed some skill, especially with his curveball, but never seemed to hit a stride in Baltimore and more often than not was shelled on the mound.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Re-Sign Hendrickson

We all know that the Baltimore bullpen was a mess at times last season and with the off-season looming, one would think changes would be made. However, one member of the bullpen, Mark Hendrickson was a source of strength last season as he often pitched in long relief and was a spot starter.

Well, it looks as if he wants to come back to Baltimore and doesn't want the decision to drag on.

When the World Series ends, the Orioles' exclusive 15-day negotiating window with would-be free-agent pitcher Mark Hendrickson will begin. And while that period usually comes and goes for most free agents without any serious negotiations, Hendrickson's agent is hopeful that his client's experience with the Orioles will be different.

"We won't wait just for the purpose of waiting," said Joe Urbon of CAA Sports. "They have an exclusive window to talk and try to get something done, and I would hope that they'd use it because I know that's what Mark would like.

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