Today’s Spare Change

April 12, 2010 |

What a weekend it was!

It all began with a beautiful day on Friday for the Orioles home opener, then the excitement of the Masters and the Tiger vs. Phil drama kept us going, and then just when most of America was going to bed last night the New York Jets acquired Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers for only a 5th round pick.

When I read the initial story coming out of New York’s 1050 AM that the Jets were in the midst of acquiring Holmes I was completely baffled and honestly thought that it was a joke.  How could the Steelers trade Holmes for only a 5th rd pick?  The Steelers initially selected Holmes in the 1st round of the draft, he won the Super Bowl MVP two seasons ago with them, and looked as if Santonio was ready to take over as the Steelers #1 WR once Hines Ward moved on.  So why would the Steelers trade a player of this value for “spare change”?

While personally it doesn’t make much sense to trade such a gifted player for almost nothing, as a Raven fan this move was music to my ears.  Santonio Holmes was a Raven killer as a Steeler and who can ever forget the play two seasons ago at M&T Bank Stadium when Holmes caught the game winning touchdown on a play that needed replay to determine if Holmes’ toes actually made contact withthe ground.  That “touchdown” by Holmes as ruled by the officials cost the Ravens the AFC North Title and the Steelers eventually went on to win the Super Bowl that year (Holmes was the MVP).  So now with Santonio Holmes out of Pittsburgh, there’s one less WR the Ravens will have to cover when they play the Steelers at least twice a season.

This trade was just another big move by the Jets this off season.  Clearly the Jets and Rex Ryan enjoyed the smell of the AFC Championship game so much last season, that this year they are pulling out all the stops to try and get back there again this season.  The Jets off season began with them adding Antonio Cromartie, signing LaDanian Tomlinson, trading Kerry Rhodes for draft picks, and now by picking up Holmes the Jets have to be the winners of the off season Super Bowl, an award that the Washington Redskins usually take.

The immediate good news for the Ravens is that Holmes is out of Pittsburgh and the Ravens play the Steelers twice during the regular season.  However the bad news is that the Jets have made themselves stronger in the AFC and with a top rated defense led by Ryan, an improving young quarterback in Mark Sanchez, and all these improvements this off season, the Jets will be a tough opponent in the playoffs.

Speaking of playoff smells, get ready because the Washington Capitals are about to begin their Stanley Cup run this Thursday at the Verizon Center as they’re matched up against the Montreal Canadiensin the 1st round.  This will be a big opportunity for Caps goalie Jose Theordore, as he’ll be returning to the team that he once won the Vezina Trophy for, this time returning as the Caps #1 goalie entering the playoffs.

During the regular season the Caps and Habs (Canadiens) split the season series 2-2, however all but one game was decided by only one goal, and half of those games went to over time.  In my opinion, this isn’t the best match-up for the Caps because they’ve historically struggled against Montreal’s goaltender Casey Price and Montreal’s fans are hockey obsessed, which means the road games are going to be tough.  Taking care of business at home for Washington and setting the early precedent will be very important for the Caps to start the series.  With their sights set on winning the Stanley Cup, the Caps will have to find a way to finish off some of these early series in less than 7 games, especially the first round series.  In the last two playoff appearances for the Caps each series they have been involved in has gone the distance (7 games vs. Philly in ’08, Caps lost, 7 games vs. NY in ’09, Caps won, 7 games vs. Pitt in ’09, Caps lost).  Throw the razors away, let the beards grow, as the Caps will begin their “Cup Quest” on Thursday in DC against the Canadiens

From the good we go to the bad…

The Orioles are still looking for their 2nd win of the season as currently their 1-5 record was not the way those in the warehouse hoped the 2010 would begin.  Tonight the Orioles welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to Baltimore for a three game series before the O’s hit the road for their first west coast road trip of the season.  With Brian Roberts now on the DL, things are getting worse in Birdland before they’re getting better and the O’s better be careful or else they’re going to be stuck on one win for the season for a long time. 

Here’s tonight’s pitching matchups and O’s batting order:

Matt Garza: (1-0), 1.13 ERA

Jeremy Guthrie: (0-1), 4.26 ERA

  1. F. Pie
  2. A. Jones
  3. N. Markakis
  4. M. Tejeda
  5. M. Wieters-moved up from 6th
  6. L. Scott DH-moved down from 5th
  7. G. Atkins
  8. J. Lugo
  9. C. Izturis

Tonight’s home run prediction: Garrett Atkins