Tag Archive | "american league"

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Your Monday Reality Check: I told you I’d be excited and now I’m excited

Posted on 17 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

After the Orioles took two of three from the Detroit Tigers two weeks ago at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I could sense a particularly significant level of satisfaction in Baltimore.

Fans took to social media to make statements along the lines of “biggest series win of the year” and “proof the O’s are the best team in the American League” and many more.

It was a fun series and a nice series win against a potential playoff opponent. But on that Monday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, I ruffled a few feathers by suggesting I wasn’t as enthused as many others were. My reasoning was simple. It was a nice series victory, but whatever the Orioles do against the Tigers wasn’t nearly as important as what they do against AL East opponents.

As always, there was a minority who said “this is typical. Someone at WNST is trying to marginalize the Orioles.” The rest of us know how idiotic that group is, but are forced to accept their existence.

I made sure to fortify my statement a few days later when the Orioles were crushed by the Astros on a Wednesday night in Houston. Before we knew the Birds would go on to win the series Thursday afternoon, I made sure to clarify that I wasn’t concerned if the Orioles won the series or not. What the Orioles did against an AL West opponent simply couldn’t carry the significance of a series against AL East opponents.

I didn’t waiver on those opinions the following weekend, as a series loss to the Tampa Bay Rays (even if they avoided a sweep) lead to me offering critical comments this past Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check.”

I said then that the Birds couldn’t just beat teams elsewhere in baseball and assume they would be able to make a run in the postseason. Callers told me things like “the whole division is just going to beat each other up” but none had much of a response when I said back “in order for that to happen, the O’s have to beat up SOMEONE.”

So I made it clear on Monday’s show-“if the Orioles spank the Boston Red Sox this week there will be no negativity. There will be no downplaying. I might well throw a parade!”

It’s with that in mind that I ask you to collect some ticker tape and meet me on Pratt Street at 3:30 or so. But if I’m running a bit late, feel free to start without me.

Kidding aside, I’m absolutely THRILLED with the results of the Orioles’ series against the Sox this weekend at OPACY. The second base debacle aside, it was a very important weekend for the Birds-easily the most significant series they’ve claimed in 2013.

There are currently four teams in the American League who have records over .500 (the Orioles, Rays, first place Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees). There are only three others in the entire American League (the Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers) who similarly find themselves with more wins than losses at the moment.

We’re far enough into the season to now that none of the four teams in the AL East is simply going to go away, no matter how many times we’ve tried to justify the potential in our own minds. The Yanks have done it despite injuries, the Rays have done it without David Price actually being David Price and the Red Sox have somehow managed to forget 2012 ever happened. For what it’s worth, the Toronto Blue Jays linger just four games under .500. But we won’t include them in the conversation until (and more likely “if”) they need to be.

All of these teams are going to be in this thing. The Orioles will not be guaranteed a postseason berth even by playing above .500 ball in the AL East. As some had wondered aloud before the season, there is a CHANCE all of these teams are finishing the season above .500. It’s far from a likelihood, but it is most certainly a possibility.

It’s with that in mind that I continue to tell everyone just how important it will be to win the games against the teams you’re competing against for the AL East crown and/or two Wild Card spots.

The Orioles play nearly half of their games (73) against division opponents. Coming into the four game set against the Sox, they had played 21 games against the three other teams above .500 in the division; holding a 10-11 record in those contests. A simple math lesson from Perry Hall High School’s Mr. Radcliffe will tell me that that record could have been anywhere from 14-11 to 10-15 after the weekend.

Follow up with Mr. Radcliffe about this, but I’m reasonably certainly 13-12 is a good bit better than 10-15…or even 12-13.

The Orioles didn’t wrap up their first division title since 1997 over the weekend. They most certainly didn’t guarantee they’d make a second consecutive trip to the postseason either.

What they did is take another significant step in that process with three gutty victories over the team sitting at the top of the standings.

That simply cannot be understated and I will not even remotely attempt to do that.

In fact, I’ve already got my “Chris Davis’ monkey” float parked outside the ballpark. It’s exactly what you think it is.

-G

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 4 Thursday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.

THIS IS FOR GAME 4!!! If the game is NOT played, we will issue full refunds!!!

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall  seven (7) hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to THURSDAY, OCT. 11th — GAME 4 if necessary

A limited supply of Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $215.70

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 3 Wednesday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall  seven (7) hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10th — GAME 3

A limited supply of Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $215.70

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
Mobile contact #

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Join us on WNST Miller Lite Roadtrip to The Bronx (Game 5 Friday)

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Trips

Join the WNST crew as we we take our first-ever Baltimore baseball playoff roadtrip to New York to see the Birds battle the Pinstripers in The Bronx on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.

THIS IS FOR GAME 5!!! If the game is NOT played, we will issue full refunds!!!

WNST has been in existence since 1998. We’ve taken more than 11,000 Baltimore sports fans on roadtrips over the years and we’ve NEVER taken a playoff October on-the-road-to-the-Series trip until now!

We’re very excited about the opportunity to see meaningful baseball at Yankee Stadium in the fall!

Our WNST orange charter bus will depart White Marsh Mall seven hours before game time to ensure that we arrive in time to savor the rare opportunity. We’ll provide transportation to and from The Bronx.

Our trip will return 45 minutes after the last out and we should be back in Baltimore three hours later.

WNST Miller Lite Orange Playoff Trip with “Crabs & Beer” To The Bronx includes:

Roundtrip motorcoach transportation provided by Gunther Motorcoach

One outfield seat to FRIDAY, OCT. 12th — GAME 5 if necessary

A limited supply of cold Miller Lite, soda and light snacks

Classic baseball videos to enjoy all of the October memories

Fun & games on the bus with prizes and trivia

A full two-hour pre-game tailgate with legendary, softball-sized Box Hill crab cakes, salads and all the trimmings.

PRICING:

COMPLETE TRIP (w/upper deck reserved game ticket): $240

BUS TRIP ONLY (ride, food, beer, NO GAME TICKET): $115.70

Game 3
Mobile contact #

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Game times set for potential ALDS Games 1 and 2 in Baltimore

Posted on 05 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Should the Orioles win the American League Wild Card play-in game against the Texas Rangers on Friday night, we now know when they will play the New York Yankees in the first two games of the AL Division Series.

With Major League Baseball switching to a five-game format in which the lower-seeded team hosts the first two games and the higher seed hosts the final three games of the Division Series, the Orioles would welcome New York to Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sunday and Monday.

The league announced Game 1 would begin at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday evening. Game 2 would then take place on Monday night with an 8:07 p.m. first pitch. Both games would be televised on TBS.

The final three games of the series — with Games 4 and 5 only being played if necessary — would take place at Yankee Stadium Wednesday through Friday.

Times have yet to be announced for those contests, but all three would again be shown on TBS.

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Justin Verlander's Comments Show Players Still Do Not View the MLB All-Star Game as Important

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Justin Verlander’s Comments Show Players Still Do Not View the MLB All-Star Game as Important

Posted on 11 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson

Justin Verlander clearly has a set opinion about what he thinks the MLB All-Star Game is about, and it isn’t about galavanting off with Kate Upton, instead to him it is nothing but a glorified exhibition.

Ever since baseball established the idea the All-Star game should determine home-field advantage in the World Series, the two leagues have played some pretty fascinating games. Tuesday’s game was anything but interesting and was a snooze-fest almost as soon as it started. Of course, the major guy to blame for it was Verlander himself.

In the first inning, Verlander gave up five runs to the National League, was wild and, despite not getting much help from Jose Bautista in right field, could not keep the ball even remotely close to the infield. His performance was out of character and made many wonder what was up with last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner. Later in the evening, Verlander would explain the rough outing and poor command with a quietly alarming opinion.

“I know nobody wants to see me throw 90 mph” Verlander said, via MLive.com. “They like to see the 100 mph fastball. So, hey, I gave them that.”

Clearly to Verlander then, the game isn’t about winning and getting home-field advantage, it is instead about trying to put on a show. It is no secret, casual fans may like to see the high-heat and silly curves he throws, but not the hardcore ones. And what if his preseason favorite Detroit Tigers find themselves in the World Series? Suddenly I imagine he might wish he had painted those corners a little more.

Although, if you know Verlander, he might just want more opportunities to get his first career major league hit this year.

Verlander’s comments may not earn him another All-Star Game start, nor should it, but it does begin to beg the question about how much the players really care about the game. Sure, there was the video of Chipper Jones telling the NL he didn’t want to go out with a loss. If other players are like Verlander though, I doubt his speech stuck in any of their hearts.

In one slip of the tongue, Verlander seems to have unraveled baseball’s marketing line from the last few years of “this time it counts.” Since, if it doesn’t count to the players, who ultimately might have to play in the World Series, who does it really matter to then? If the opinion Verlander offered up is wildly held by baseball players, chances are the whole making it count idea is nothing but a marketing ruse by Bud Selig and the MLB to sell ads and seats.

Sure, people will always tune into the game. It isn’t hard to imagine though, that a few more fans have watched the last few years after seeing the return of close games after 2006 and the NL’s now three-game winning streak. It will be interesting to see if people will think of the game the same way next year, knowing what they know now.

If Verlander’s comments stick around, you have to think many are going to think of the game as just a way to watch players they don’t normally see demonstrate what are essentially the equivalent of cheap baseball tricks. The game should be known for fun competitive baseball, but if it isn’t anymore, then we are back to square-one, with it being meaningless.

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Jones just behind Bautista in AL All-Star voting

Posted on 18 June 2012 by WNST Staff

FROM PRESS RELEASE:

Center fielder Adam Jones has jumped up to fourth place among American League outfielders. He is still the top-ranking vote-getter among Orioles players with 1,959,207 votes and is closing in on Toronto’s Jose Bautista (1,996,940 votes) for the final starting OF spot.

Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy are both in third place among their positions with 1,242,247 and 968,963 votes, respectively. Other Orioles in the running include Robert Andino, who is in fifth place among second basemen and Nick Markakis ranks 13th in the AL outfield race.

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.

Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.

Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.

I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.

The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”

It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.

Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.

Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.

But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Orioles agree to six-year extension with center fielder Adam Jones

Posted on 25 May 2012 by Luke Jones

(Saturday 6:45 p.m. update — The Orioles have completed the deal and will announce it on Sunday, according to MASNSports.com. Jones’ agent Nez Balelo remained in Baltimore over the weekend to finalize details with executive vice president of baseball operations.)

In what would be a benchmark moment for the future of the organization, the Orioles are reportedly close to a club record long-term extension with star center fielder Adam Jones.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Baltimore was closing in on a six-year agreement for money in the neighborhood of $85 million as of Friday morning. That contract would trump the franchise record $72 million contract the  Orioles offered to Miguel Tejada prior to the start of the 2004 season. A new agreement would buy out Jones’ final year of arbitration before he was scheduled to become a free agent following the 2013 season.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has remained mum on the topic of a Jones extension, dodging questions about it in several local interviews, but it appears the Orioles will make a long-term commitment to the 26-year-old outfielder.

Jones is hitting .311 with 14 home runs (tied for second in the American League) and 29 runs batted in this season in what’s easily been his most productive start to a season in his seven-year career in the big leagues.

Reports indicate Jones has already taken a physical as the two sides iron out final details for the deal on Friday morning.

The center fielder is making $6.15 million this season and would likely become the highest paid player on the team with a deal certain to surpass the six-year, $66.1 million extension signed by right fielder Nick Markakis prior to the start of the 2009 season.

With the Orioles set to welcome the Kansas City Royals to town to begin a three-game set, Friday could prove to be a memorable night in the history of the organization.

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iowastate

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

Posted on 21 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. I have no concrete proof that Towson University is building a statue for Rob Ambrose, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

A lot of people are surprised by the Tigers’ success, but not me. I’m so effing stunned I’m still not a hundred percent certain it actually happened…

There’s no way anyone…in the world…could have ever seen a CAA Championship coming this season. This team still has more work to do though. They won’t feel incapable of beating anyone they play in the NCAA playoffs, starting with Lehigh December 3rd at Unitas Stadium.

Seriously…this is Towson we’re talking about. This can’t be real.

2. I thought I was happier to see the Washington Redskins lose when they play miserably, but I think I was even happier to see their fans suffer heartbreak Sunday.

I will admit that I thought those a-holes in DC were done after Tony Romo hit Jason Witten from 59 yards away…

…but somehow Mike Shanahan’s team stayed in the thing long enough to have a kick to win in overtime. Graham Gano of course missed the kick and DeAngelo Hall channeled DeAngelo Hall to help the Cowboys survive.

I celebrate your misery, clowns. May you never win another game…unless for some reason you play the Steelers. Even then, I dunno.

3. Tony Sparano is giving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross something very similar to what Lou Brown gave Rachel Phelps.

Does anyone remember earlier this year when the Buffalo Bills were good? No? I swear I thought they were…

Stephen Ross started interviewing coaches before bothering to fire Sparano. Sparano used that to fire up his team, convincing them to win in order to piss off the ownership there that wanted to get new players and coaches. Suddenly Matt Moore and Reggie Bush are playing like real National Football League players and there’s a problem on South Beach…at least for now.

It’s very similar to what Lou Brown did back when he was managing the Cleveland Indians…

Did we ever find out if Brown won American League Manager of the Year that year? He was a hell of a skip.

(Side note. Every time the Orioles tried to hire a General Manager this offseason I assume the calls went awfully similar to that time when Charlie Donovan called Brown at Tire World to offer him the gig with the Tribe.

“How would you like to be the Birds’ GM?”
“Gee. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is your chance to be a Major League Baseball General Manager!”
“Let me get back to you, will you Peter? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”)

4. Andrew Luck has an impressive lateral motion towards the Heisman Trophy.

Do you get the feeling the Stanford quarterback is saying to himself, “Well, if no one else wants it…”?

I’d show you something from the Cardinal’s win Saturday night over rival California, but there wouldn’t be anything that would convince you Luck has locked up the award.

Instead, here’s Lee Corso dropping the “f-bomb” on ESPN’s College Gameday Saturday morning from the University of Houston. There’s no real reason to share the video, other than the fact that it includes the f-bomb.

5. If ANYONE has put their name back in the Heisman mix, that person is Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

The Bears’ QB almost singlehandedly made sure next weekend’s “Bedlam” game was uninteresting to the rest of the country by throwing (and running) all over Oklahoma Saturday night…

It’s probably too little, too late as far as the Heisman is concerned-but it is certainly a reminder that RG3 has been one of the most entertaining players in the country all season. This TD pass to Kendall Wright however is probably not one he should take credit for…

Also humorous? Erin Andrews took the worst of a Gatorade shower intended for Griffin…

AND…in the hysteria on field after the win in Waco, America fell in love with a gal rushing the field on crutches…

6. At times, Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the world.

But if he did this more often the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have to make dramatic second half comebacks week in and week out like they did Sunday against the Carolina Panthers…

This game also involved Lions TE Tony Scheffler invoking an AT&T Flash Mob commercial in a TD dance…

And a note to Fantasy Football owners: Lions RB Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards in this game. The physics of that alone are stunning, really.

I’m well aware it’s a different guy, but can we talk about this picture for a second? I say this as a HUGE Silent Bob fan. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Are those shorts? Is it some sort of jean skirt? Is it a denim quilt? Holy hell.

7. No one knows how to pronounce his name, but Chris Ogbonnaya had himself a fine day Sunday.

Well, I feel like a bit of a silly goose for taking fantasy advice and playing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense against the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

The only meaningful highlight in this one came from Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who invoked Cleveland “hero” LeBron James by tossing powder in the air after scoring a TD…

And in an unrelated story, here’s a 6 year old kid crying about the New York Jets after their loss to the Denver Broncos the other night. He has an awful mother…

El oh el.

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