Thursday, March 13, 2014

What to Buy the Man who already has Everything

Guys are notoriously challenging to buy gifts for and several men just seem to have everything, everything that they really want anyhow. There are actually only numerous bottles of aftershave and pairs of socks you can buy before you start to get just too predictable.

So how do you find the inspiration for the interesting gift for the man in your life that actually does have everything? The trick is to take into account his hobbies and interests - and if he doesn’t have any find him some.

I don’t like to generalize but most men like sports, cars and sex - often in this order. I can probably help you out together with the other two, though you can use your imagination for the last one, this is not that type of article.

Sports gifts for men 

Baseball team, hockey team or football team then you’re home dry, when your man is a particularly avid fan of some soccer team. These sports teams never miss a marketing opportunity and bring out new designs on old themes season in and season out. Even if several of the items are somewhat pricier than you would normally spend you could always find a tie, a tie pin or perhaps a pen blazoned with his favorite team.

Some men not simply like to watch and support sports, they also like to participate in them. This opens up a new world whatever sports or hobbies your man is interested in. How about deciding on a nice new bowling bag or couple of bowling shoes for men and if it isn’t his passion, you need to take him bowling for a birthday treat and soon it is going to be. There are many terrific gifts available at Bowlers Paradise -

There are plenty of gifts to choose for avid golfers too - there’s far more to golf than a pair of clubs you already know. I know one specific golfer in need of a constant flow of new golf balls and tees - he has a tendency to misplace them on a regular basis, one-by-one. Other golfing inspired gifts include sweaters, towels and umbrellas and caps - even those cute little hats for that golf clubs.

There are loads of gifts available for men with a passion for cars too - in reality some men combine both and love racing cars. Baseball caps, team strips, driving days at a nearby sports track . . . all are accessible for the man who has everything.

How about a once in a lifetime experience? Lots of the more unusual birthday gifts these days feature a ride in a hot air balloon or something similar. Although spa weekends will be more generally considered to be a ladies type treat there’s no reason why the guy in your life wouldn’t enjoy being pampered to get a weekend - massaging away the stresses and strains of the working week.

Check online for several of the more unusual and unique gift ideas for the man in your own life - you can find hundreds to pick from. How about some astronaut ice-cream or a user’s guide to the air guitar - just a couple of crazy examples of the particular gifts available today. If he hasn’t got the real thing, there are even kits for the man in your own life to “grow his own sports car” -.

The truth is that no man has ever got everything so you just have to use a little creative imagination and come up with something he would never think of himself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Guaranteed Thrift Store Treasures For Less Than $10

Thrift store shopping is the best, you can always get some scores that no one will believe were found for cheap at a thrift store.  Anyone can take their paycheck and head to the mall and get a whole new wardrobe, a whole new look. But it’s the savvy shopper that can actually find amazing things at the second hand store.  If you have a limited budget, it’s a great idea to go to the second hand stores in your neighborhood and find some great gems of articles of clothing and accessories to accent your new look.

1.  Necklaces


Yes, necklaces are a great thing to shop for at the second hand store.  Someone unloaded thousands of their grandmother’s necklaces and other jewelry at the store, and it’s yours for the flipping through.  You will absolutely find something that has way more perceived value and that you love.  Heck, it may even become a family heirloom for your progeny in the future, but for the present, at least you’ll have a great new necklace to hang around your neck.

2.  Ironic footwear


Second hand shoes are tough because they are often worn out and worthless after a few wears. But sometimes you can luck into a great pair of shoes for under ten bucks. And sometimes the shoes are bad but can use a cheap repair and have a whole new life. If you’re looking for a vintage retro look, you can often find women bowling shoes sort of like the ones you can get new at but they’re the real thing. I guess back in the day many more folks were buying their own shoes before hitting the lanes. Perhaps there wasn’t such a shoe rental market back then.

3.  Linda Ronstadt albums


One thing you will find almost everywhere is the complete works of Linda Ronstadt on vinyl.  It’s hard to believe, but she used to be a high selling recording artist and to be honest, her albums aren’t that bad.  Since there are so many of these things lying around, you can get them often for 99c or even less, maybe even 3 for a dollar.  They’re pretty good records and you can have them for cheap at almost every thrift store in the entire world.

4.  Artwork for the New Home


When you’ve just moved in somewhere, you have to deck out the place so it seems lived in, and like a home.  Eventually you can accumulate artwork that’s actually meaningful and pretty, but in the meantime you can fill the empty walls with artwork from the thrift stores.  You can get some cool stuff in frames (that you can even reuse down the road when you discard the art itself).  It can be fun to deck out the new house with items from the thrift store, which can be under ten bucks. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Extremely Expensive Bowling Balls that You Probably Couldn't Afford

Some of us are willing to spend a lot more money on our favorite pastimes than others. Traditionally, bowling is not considered to be a particularly expensive endeavor. A new ball will usually set you back between $50 and $150, and then you might need a pair of bowling shoes and a good bowling bag, like the ones you can find at Overall, it requires a small initial investment and then just the price of maintenance plus the cost of renting a lane at the bowling alley. However, there are ways you can drive the costs up by getting a very expensive bowling ball like the ones in the list below.

1. Yoda Bowling Ball

There are tons of bowling balls out there that feature custom designs and they are all more expensive than regular balls. However, the exact cost will depend on the intricacy of the design. A perfect example is one bowling ball which has a very detailed portrait of Yoda from Star Wars on it. The workmanship alone will drive up the price, but then you also need to consider that just about anything with Star Wars on it is considered a collectible by many.

2. Skull Ball

The price of this ball goes up because it is a movie prop. It was used in the 1999 superhero movie Mystery Men by The Bowler, a character played by Janeane Garofalo. The movie wasn’t a hit, but it became a cult classic and still has a following.

3. Rose Ball

Kingpin is the most iconic bowling movie ever made and in it the main villain played by Bill Murray had a distinctive bowling ball with a rose inside it. This ball later went to auction and it was reportedly sold for around $20,000. BowlingBag-9-3.jpg

Whenever you are in need of quality bowling products such as bowling bags, visit and you will find a large selection available to you at affordable prices.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Photo of the Year far.

Baltimore Sun : Karl Merton Ferron

From the Baltimore Sun, this might be one of the best baseball photos of the year. Homeplate Umpire Greg Gibson clears the plate so Chris Dickerson can officially score his game-winning walk-off three-run homer.
Amazing. Great shot by Sun photographer Karl Merton Ferron.

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Tragedy at Camden

Writing a baseball blog is supposed to be a fun hobby. I get to write about my favorite team, post funny memes and basically faff about on the internet in between responsibilities both professional and personal. But every so often something happens that I simply cannot ignore and I have to take a detour in the world of politics and my general disdain for most of humanity.

Today is one of those days.

Last week the forces of machismo, alcohol, rivalry, idiocy, and adrenaline combined in the stands of Camden Yards. When these things happen it is never a good thing, and it does happen often but it rarely ever ends in anything significant. Last week it did. At Wednesday’s Orioles – Nationals game Matthew Fortese from Hagerstown was with a young lady on their second date. Matthew made the, apparently, cardinal sin of wearing a Yankees hat at a baseball game and thus incurred the wrath of Gregory Fleischman and Michael Bell, a couple of 20-somethings from the greater Baltimore area.
The complete circumstances of what transpired throughout that night will likely never be entirely known. What we do know is this: The two men are accused of harassing Fortese and his girlfriend most of the night. This culminated with a full beer being lobbed at the couple. Fortese then stood up and confronted the two men. A punch was thrown, Fortese stumbled and fell backwards over the railing of their section. He landed on the concrete five feet below fracturing his skull in the process.
He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma center. Bell and Fleischman are out on bail.

We now have to have a discussion on fan behavior at games.

First and foremost let us dispatch with the fake shock over this. Allow me to channel my inner Claude Raines when I say I am shocked, SHOCKED, to hear someone got seriously hurt at a baseball game fight. And please, do not mistake my flippancy for callousness. I have nothing but the deepest sympathies for the Fortese family and friends and I genuinely wish him the speediest and full recovery. I also have nothing but pity for the pathetic pair of boys that are charged with the assault. The bottom line is they did not intend to seriously hurt this man. Sure, they seem to be the guys who started it and one of them threw a punch but I do not believe that in their wildest dreams they expected something like this would happen.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

What a night; Chris Dickerson's walk-off homer helps Orioles defeat Tigers, 7-5

What a week for the Orioles. After their come-back-from-behind victory on Wednesday, I didn’t think much else could have topped what I saw then.

Well, what happened at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Friday may have topped that. As you all probably know by now, the Orioles pulled an amazing win, defeating the Detroit Tigers, 7-5, in the first contest in a three game series.

With Baltimore down by three, 6-3, in the ninth, Detroit brought in Jose Valverde to close out the game. He was basically unemployed at the start of the season; however, Detroit brought him back – because they had no one else really to close out games!

Anyhow, if there was a closer the Orioles could come back against, it was Valverde.

Then it happened.

Nick Markakis led off the frame with a home run, and then Adam Jones along with Chris Davis followed up with back-to-back singles. The Tigers got two outs thanks to horrible at-bats by Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy; however, the next batter, Chris Dickerson decided to end things with one swing of the bat.

He took a Valverde offering and deposited it into right centerfield, ending the game. The sold out crowd of 46,249 who stayed until the end were in frenzy, and it felt like the Orioles had won a playoff game or something. It felt like a rock concert and you were surrounded by thousands of your best friends dressed in orange and black.

Most of the fans didn’t leave the stadium after the Orioles secured their 31st win of the season – at least until they saw Dickerson pied the face with shaving cream by Jones and Alexi Casilla.

Everyone stayed on the feet from the Markakis homer until the very end. It was quite a sight to see and just amazing how the community has responded to the Orioles finally becoming a winning organization.
Opposing teams have to know by now that no lead they build by now is safe with the Orioles, and that they will fight for all 27 outs.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Is Chris Davis for Real?

Designated hitter Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles high-fives teammate Nick Markakis #21after hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals during an interleague game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Orioles won, 9-6.

At this point, in my life as a sports fan, I’m often not surprised by much.

So far this season, Chris Davis has me wondering if what I am seeing from him is for real based on his track record.

I was not sure if he could replicate what he did last season at the plate, especially towards the end coming into 2013; however, is exceeding that and a whole lot more.

His nickname among fans and the media is “Crush”, based on his power at the plate, size and physique, and since Opening Day, he has been doing just that.

Last night, he willed the Orioles to their 29th win of the season as he went 4-for-4 at the plate and hit two home runs against the Washington Nationals.

The Orioles won a thriller by a score of 9-6.

Davis put on a show on his t-shirt night and made sure that the 39,000 fans who attended last night’s game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards got their money’s worth.

He completely upstaged Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who had three home runs on the night off Baltimore starting pitcher Chris Tillman.

I attended the game last night with family and friends. We just sat back and enjoyed a show in Charm City that got more exciting as it developed.

Right now, he is hitting everything in sight and has greatly improved his batting eye. He clearly does not strike out the same level as last season and reminds me of Barry Bonds - at the turn of this century - during the first two months of the 2013 season.

>>> Read More

Garcia delivers big time; Orioles take three of four from the Nats

The Baltimore Orioles for the past year and half have been a team full of surprises and revelations.

When the organization signed Freddy Garcia, I knew we had a veteran who has been around the league, had some success and was at the twilight of their career.

Freddy Garcia was once a fireballer, but now he is a guy who relies on finesse and command to succeed.

There’s a reason why guys like him seem to stick around forever, and a prime example of that notion was shown on Thursday during a sweltering May night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Last night, he delivered a performance that the Orioles sorely needed. He threw shutout innings, gave up only three hits and struck out six as the Orioles defeated the Washington Nationals, 2-0.

The Orioles took three of four from the Nationals, and their record stands at 30-24.

Back to Garcia: the burly veteran kept the National bats quiet by mixing up his pitches and using his splitter to get guys out. Even more impressive, he retired 14 straight at one point and ended the night with seven consecutive outs.

Unlike the slugfests we’ve all seen this week, Thursday’s game resembled a pitching duel from back in the day.

The Washington squad seemingly had no chance against Garcia. Dan Haren pitched well for them, but their offense could not produce anything at all. They were expected to be contenders for a World Series spot during the winter; however, they are only 27-27 and have had offensive struggles all season.

>>> Read More

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chris Davis and the Orioles put on a show against the Nationals last night; They win despite 3 homers from Ryan Zimmerman...

Last night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was simply an amazing experience from a usual game there. I had family over from out of town and decided at the spur of the moment to catch a game in Charm City.

We would not regret the decision. It is hard to believe only two years ago, the Orioles were a perennial doormat. Now, in 2013, the Orioles are a contender, and do they ever win in an exciting fashion.

As we all know, the Orioles won, 9-6, last night at Oriole Park against the Washington Nationals. There were a little over 39,000 fans in downtown Baltimore to partake a ballgame on a humid night and it felt like a playoff game in late May. It felt like a big party, as I decided to sit in the upper deck for change, rather than down in the lower sections.

Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals stands on deck before batting in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles during an interleague game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 29, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Zimmerman did not hit a fourth home run after hitting three at three other at bats. The Baltimore Orioles won, 9-6.
It looked like the Nationals were running away with the game as Jordan Zimmermann was masterful on the mound – for about half the game; meanwhile, Ryan Zimmerman cranked three home runs off a shaky Chris Tillman and Roger Bernandina also went deep.

The game looked to be just about over; however, as opposing teams have figured out – no lead is safe against the Orioles.
Chris Davis #19 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 11, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, down 6-3, the Orioles struck back. They scored six runs in the frame thanks to a long ball by Steve Pearce,  Chris Davis’ second homer of the night (he hit one in the 4th), and RBIs from Manny Machado and Nick Markakis.

Once again, the Orioles used the long ball to secure a victory and pounded out 13 hits. It is safe to say that the offense has been carrying this team for much of the year. On that note, Ryan Flaherty – maligned by the fans due to his slow start – returned to the Orioles from his minor league stint and pounded out two hits.

And the fans cheered…

>>> Read More

Garcia delivers big time; Orioles take three of four from the Nats

The Baltimore Orioles for the past year and half have been a team full of surprises and revelations.

When the organization signed Freddy Garcia, I knew we had a veteran who has been around the league, had some success and was at the twilight of their career.

Freddy Garcia was once a fireballer, but now he is a guy who relies on finesse and command to succeed.

There’s a reason why guys like him seem to stick around forever, and a prime example of that notion was shown on Thursday during a sweltering May night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Last night, he delivered a performance that the Orioles sorely needed. He threw shutout innings, gave up only three hits and struck out six as the Orioles defeated the Washington Nationals, 2-0.

The Orioles took three of four from the Nationals, and their record stands at 30-24.

>>> Read More

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Orioles to raise awareness "4 ALS"

Orioles to raise awareness "4 ALS"

May is national ALS Awareness month. To continue baseball's long-standing commitment to raising awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Major League Baseball and all 30 Clubs are once again teaming up for "4 ALS." On Thursday, May 30, the Orioles will host The Brigance Brigade Foundation. The Brigance Brigade Foundation, founded by former Baltimore Ravens player O.J. BRIGANCE and his wife Chanda, was created to equip, encourage and empower people living with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, an illness from which Brigance himself suffers. The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life of ALS patients and their families by providing much-needed equipment, resource guidance and support services, as well as funding for various ALS research initiatives. Chanda, accompanied by O.J., will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Orioles' game against the Washington Nationals. The Orioles have donated 100 tickets for Thursday's game to the Brigance Brigade Foundation for ALS patients and their families, as well as Foundation volunteers.
O.J. Brigance is a championship football player who is one of the few players to have won both a CFL and NFL championship and the only player to accomplish this feat in the same city, Baltimore. In 2000, Brigance played for the Baltimore Ravens and made the first tackle of their win in Super Bowl XXXV. After his retirement as a player, Brigance returned to Baltimore to serve as the Director of Player Development for the Ravens, and since 2010, Brigance has been the Ravens' Senior Advisor to Player Development.
For additional information on ALS awareness and ways to help those suffering from ALS, fans can visit the Community Booth at Oriole Park on Thursday.
On Thursday, May 30, Orioles first baseman CHRIS DAVIS will appear at Catonsville High School from 12-1 p.m. on behalf of AT&T to educate students and faculty on the dangers of texting while driving and generate awareness for AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign. AT&T will present to students a 10-minute documentary, "The Last Text," which recounts stories of families and students who have lost loved ones or been involved in accidents as a result of texting while driving. This event is open to the media. Catonsville High School is located at 421 Bloomsbury Ave, Baltimore, MD 21228.
As part of the ongoing OriolesREACH partnership with Baltimore City Schools, Orioles pitcher JASON HAMMEL will meet with over 500 students from Curtis Bay Elementary School on Thursday, May 30 from 11 a.m. to noon to talk about the importance of regular attendance. This appearance is one of a number that Orioles players and the Oriole Bird will participate in to support the City Schools' initiative to promote three core pillars of success among students - attendance, diversity and teamwork -- over the final month of the school year. These pillars were identified as core character traits for students by Baltimore City Schools. Hammel will speak as a reward for those students who have reduced their absences by 50% through the "FAN"tastic Attendance Program. Students in grades K-8 will participate. Curtis Bay Elementary is located 4301 Tenth Street Baltimore, MD 21225.
Beginning this homestand, the Orioles have partnered with Southwest Airlines to offer the Southwest Airlines Check-in Offer Sweepstakes, to award one fan each homestand two Southwest Airlines round-trip tickets. Beginning today when the Orioles take on the Washington Nationals, fans may enter the sweepstakes by checking in at Oriole Park at Camden Yards via the At the Ballpark mobile application. One winner will be selected for each of the Orioles' next six homestands through Sunday, August 25, and each will receive two Southwest Airlines round-trip tickets.

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Welcome to the Big Leagues, Kid; Davis and Machado

We all know by now that the Baltimore Orioles got killed by the Washington Nationals last night, 9-3.

After a lengthy rain delay, the game featured two starters that were in Double-A only about two weeks ago. One guy – Kevin Gausman – was making his second start in the majors for Baltimore; meanwhile, Nathan Karn for Washington was making his major league debut.

The game itself was not pretty to watch, as you got the feeling, “ok, at any point, no lead is safe”, based on what both teams were doing at the plate in the first half; however, for Gausman, the results were not good at all.

The 22-year-old only lasted four innings and gave up seven runs – all earned. He allowed three long balls and is now 0-2 with an 11.00 ERA in two starts.

Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman #37 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the first inning during an interleague game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 28, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The youngster left his pitches up in the zone. They were fastballs and were crushed by major league hitters. Gausman may get away with those pitches in the minors, but not in the majors, nor against a team that was christened as World Series bound in the spring.

At this point, most front offices would send a pitcher like Gausman back to the minors. However, that will not be the case as manager Buck Showalter announced he would make his next start on Sunday.
Um, against the out-of-this-word Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hammel and Johnson

We all know that Jason Hammel has struggled this season on the mound despite a 6-2 record.
For much of the first two months of the season, the tall righty has been unable to go deep into games. More often than not, the bullpen, along with the offense has to bail him out.
On Monday, the Hammel that we as fans saw for much of the first half in 2012 re-emerged in Washington, D.C..

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel #39 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch in the first inning during an interleague game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 27, 2013 in Washington, DC.
He went eight strong innings, only allowed two runs and struck out in Baltimore’s 6-2 win over Washington.

Monday's game is the first in a two-game set in the Nation's Capital. The two teams play in Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Washington Nationals have been injury riddled and were without young phenom Bryce Harper in the starting lineup. The Orioles took advantage of it.

The tall righty was aggressive against the Nationals and just seemed to be a very complete pitcher yesterday. He mixed up his pitches and kept the opposing team at bay all afternoon. Of course, the offense came through for him with a three-run fourth inning and they kept going from there.

Manny Machado had three hits; Nick Markakis and Yamaico Navarro drove in two runs and had two hits. Adam Jones and Steve Pearce also drove in runs. Baltimore was able to pound 15 hits, and got Washington starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez out the game after 5 2/3 innings.

Again, the story of the game was pretty much Hammel. The Orioles, considering how much their bullpen has been relied upon on all season, need a start like this from one of their pitchers. It could be the beginning of something, or just a very good start during a very long season.

Baltimore’s main problem despite their 28-23 record as of this morning has been their starting rotation. In order to still stay in the hunt for the division – or a playoff spot – they’ll need more outings like this from Hammel and the rest of the staff.

If you want to look up the odds of the Orioles winning tonight, learn about the Bookmaker bonus here.

Jim Johnson #43 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers a pitch during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 26, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Finally, I was listening to the radio driving into work and there was a debate on whether Jim Johnson should be the closer for Baltimore.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Those Damn Yankees

How do the Yankees do it? Seriously, year after year the seemingly ageless New York Yankees continue to be at the top of the division. This year has been the worst of it. The lineup is essentially spare parts and Robinson Cano. Lyle Overbay routinely bats clean-up. The rusted behemoth Travis Hafner sits behind him and then it is a collection of backups and stopgaps as the normal travelling all-stars nurse various and sundry injuries. This was supposed to be the year that the Yankees’ age and dollars catch up to them. It was not a n uncommon belief to think that the Yankees might even finish at the bottom of the AL East. And, yet again, here we all are looking at the Yankees with 30 wins before June.

As a Baltimore fan watching the Yankees do this year after year causes me a special kind of pain. My first game of the year was the contest against the Yankees this past Monday. I was given a remarkable ticket by a colleague of mine. Sitting in section 42, which is a grandly significant number for those of us who always know where our towel is at, I noticed immediately that I was, of course, surrounded by fans of the hated pinstripes.

Maybe it is something about the uniform that makes the Yankees just be. I know that there are only a few things that I see that cause me such a visceral reaction of disgust: seeing those symbols elicits a physical reaction of dread and revulsion. The point of that little meander is this: the Yankee uniform carries with it the game’s greatest histories and the souls of its greatest players. The interlocking NY, as much as it makes me want to wretch every time I see it, carries with it a certain power. And the players know that. How else do you explain a guy like Vernon Wells?

Wells was left for dead in Los Angeles. He comes to New York and suddenly he is playing like he did five years ago. Same can be said for Hafner. Or how about players like Francisco Cervelli, who should never be as good as he is, or Lance Nyx, or Melky Cabrera for that matter? Players that on any other team you know would be also-rans and benchwarmers come to New York, are thrust into the spotlight while wearing that uniform and they suddenly succeed.  I know for a fact that I am not the only non-Yankee fan in the world that is repulsed by the sight of the team when they come to town. And the team knows it to, I am sure the hatred fuels this team on some level. Why else would they be called the Evil Empire?

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Chen and the Starting Pitching

Wei-Yin Chen #16 of the Baltimore Orioles delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 12, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Baltimore Orioles had another successful weekend, taking yet another series against the Minnesota Twins.

They won two out of three games, thanks to the offense and work by the bullpen. The starting pitching has not been great; however, on Sunday, Wei-Yin Chen was rolling and perhaps headed another brilliant performance until the fifth inning.

Towards the end of the frame, Chen looked to be in pain. From media accounts, he exited the game with an oblique strain and it is unknown the severity of the injury at this time. It was a moment that made me wince and say to myself, “oh s**t, please tell me he’s not gone for a long time…”

So far, Chen is the one starter who can be counted on to go deep into games. The other arms in the rotation – while they have not been horrendous – have not been nearly as consistent as Chen.\

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Resiliency and the DH Spot...

Last night’s game looked lost for the Orioles. I was listening to the game on my way to western Pennsylvania and it seemed liked they were headed to a loss against the Minnesota Twins. Jason Hammel – who started the game – was off; the Orioles were mired in a six-run deficit and shutout in the first six innings, plus the offense seemed to be non-existent.

However, business started to pick up for Baltimore in the final two-thirds of the game. The offense woke in the latter third of the contest and they scored three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to tie things at six; then, in the tenth inning, the Orioles plated in three runs and decided the game once and for all.

The bullpen – T.J. McFarland, Tommy Hunter and Jim Johnson – pitched six innings of relief and helped Baltimore earn their 22nd win of the season. They have won seven out of their last eight series and are doing their best to keep up pace with the New York Yankees and Red Sox.

The offense pounded out eighteen hits last night and every batter – except Matt Wieters – had a hit. Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis each had three hits; meanwhile, Mick Markakis, Nate McLouth, Alexi Casilla and Chris Dickerson each had two.hits.

The league knows now that the Orioles will play every out in the game and not give up.

That is what winning franchises do and the Orioles are for real. They are maturing and becoming a force in the American League. The Birds have moved far away from the losing culture of the past and are now expected to compete.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

On Dealing with Success

The Baltimore Orioles are successful. They are a successful baseball team. They are winning consistently, honestly, and they are doing it with ease. I sit here on a beautiful overcast Baltimore morning and the Orioles are currently tied with the Boston Red Sox with the best record in the American League.

How do I process this?

How does a long suffering Orioles fan deal with success?

I am used to failure, I am used to struggle. I am used to talking about what moves need to be made for the immediate and long-term future.

Last year the Orioles exorcised the demons of a decade and a half of misery. Broken promises, busted players, bad decisions, and downright bad luck were the hallmarks of this team. Still, many did not believe this team was ACTUALLY good. They were simply the luckiest team in baseball history because that fit the narrative. The narrative being the Orioles stink and are perpetually playing for five years down the road. There was no way in the world that the Orioles could have actually turned the corner, that can’t happen. They would most certainly come back down to Earth with a cretaceous-like explosion.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Miguel Gonzalez Heads to the DL

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez #50 of the Baltimore Orioles sits in the dugout before taking the mound against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Too bad to see about this about Miguel Gonzalez; however, it is probably for the best at this point. It is early in the season and better to rest him now with the blister issue than later.

Gonzalez being lost could be a minor blow to the team considering how well he pitched last season. I would not be too alarmed as the Orioles have depth right now in their system and are playing very well at the moment.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fans invited to attend exclusive fundraising event for Shannon's Fund on May 18

Fans invited to attend exclusive fundraising event for Shannon's Fund on May 18

Pre-game event to include visits from BRADY ANDERSON, MIKE BORDICK, DAVE JOHNSON, a current O's player and other former Orioles

Prior to their game against the Tampa Bay Rays next Saturday, May 18, the Orioles will host an exclusive fundraising event for Shannon's Fund, an endowment at the University of Maryland Medical Center that provides financial assistance to hospital patients in need. For $50, fans will receive a left field lower box game ticket and enjoy a pre-game party on the Roof Deck that will include visits from BRADY ANDERSON, MIKE BORDICK, DAVE JOHNSON, a current Orioles player and other former Orioles. The deadline to purchase tickets for this event has been extended to Tuesday, May 14.
The Oriole Bird will also pose for photos with fans attending the event, which will take place from 1:45-3:30 p.m. Light refreshments, including two complimentary drink tickets, will be included, along with an Orioles gift bag for each guest. Tickets for the Shannon's Fund event are available at The Orioles' game against the Rays will begin at 4:05 p.m.

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O's took a chance and gamble with Machado has paid off

Third baseman Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to first base for the second out of the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during their 5-4 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 16, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.

In August of 2012, the Baltimore Orioles were in the wild card hunt and desperate to solve a problem – third base.

As we all know from last season, former Oriole Mark Reynolds despite his power was struggling at the hot corner, and executive vice president Dan Duquette, the front office, along with manager Buck Showalter were looking for a solution.

In the middle of that month, the Baltimore Orioles did something bold and head-scratching at the same time. They promoted Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie to the majors.

At first, I was bewildered at the news. I wondered why they would promote a 20-year-old who was only hitting .266 at the time with eleven home runs in 400 or so at-bats at Bowie?

Furthermore, the organization announced Machado would play third base – a position he manned only twice in the minors. When I heard that, I too shook my head; however, if Machado could play much better than Reynolds at third, then why not?

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