Tag Archive | "Baltimore"

D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 highs, lows of Orioles’ first half

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 highs, lows of Orioles’ first half

Posted on 15 July 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles entered the All-Star break in first place for the first time since the 1997, creating plenty of excitement as they try to advance to the postseason for the second time in the last three years.

In honor of this, The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 examined what things went right and what went wrong in the first half of the 2014 season. Luke Jones handled the positives while Drew Forrester took a look at the negatives as the Orioles own a four-game lead over second-place Toronto and are 52-42 on the season.

Luke Jones’ Top 7 Things That Went Right …

7. Kevin Gausman
KG

Even with the Orioles bouncing him back and forth between the majors and Triple-A Norfolk, the 23-year-old pitched to a 3.29 ERA in seven starts and will finally have a chance to remain in the rotation for good in the second half.

6. A 9-3 record in extra-inning games
NH

An incredible 16-2 record in extra innings was a trademark of the magical and surprising 2012 Orioles, but this year’s club has done almost as well in extra frames with one of the best bullpens in the American League.

5. The consistency of Adam Jones
Jones

For all the handwringing over his plate discipline and inability to draw walks, Jones overcame a rough April to post a .301 average with 16 home runs and 54 runs batted in while teammates such as Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy struggled in the first half.

4. Steve Pearce
Pearce

Most wouldn’t have expected the 31-year-old journeyman to have even made the team in spring training, but Pearce has become an everyday player with a .316 average, 11 homers, 31 RBIs, and a .383 on-base percentage in 209 plate appearances.

3. Zach Britton
Britton

The lefty entered the spring with no minor-league options remaining and no clear role, but he not only became a critical piece in the bullpen but eventually replaced closer Tommy Hunter to collect 15 saves and post a tiny 1.30 ERA.

2. Nelson Cruz
Cruz

A one-year, $8 million contract was all it took as Cruz is second in the majors with 28 homers and carried an up-and-down offense for large stretches of the first half while others battled injuries and inconsistency.

1. A 26-18 record in an underwhelming American League East
redsox

The Orioles deserve full credit for taking advantage, but the weakest AL East we’ve seen in years has Baltimore poised to win its first division crown in 17 years with just one other team above the .500 mark at the break.

CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE FOR DREW FORRESTER’S TOP 7 >>>>>

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Showalter reveals post-break rotation for start of challenging West Coast trip

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Luke Jones

Entering the All-Star break in first place for the first time since 1997, the Orioles won’t receive any breaks to start the second half with a 10-game West Coast trip and three clubs with winning records staring them in the face.

Manager Buck Showalter revealed his starting rotation to begin the second half with Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Kevin Gausman pitching in the three-game series against the Oakland Athletics next weekend. After that, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez are expected to be recalled from the minors to make starts against the Los Angeles Angels on July 21 and July 22 before Tillman starts the finale in Anaheim.

Injured starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will not be activated during the road trip as he continues to work his way back from an injured ankle suffered last week. Showalter said the plan is for the struggling right-hander to make a minor-league rehab start on July 23, which would put him in line to be ready to be activated when the Orioles finally return home on July 29.

Jimenez was still favoring his ankle when he tried to work on Sunday.

“He was trying to protect it and we kind of shortened it up a little bit because it wasn’t getting any better and we didn’t want him to have a setback,” Showalter said. “They have X-rayed I’m pretty sure. He’s had a history and anybody who’s had that ankle, it gets a little weaker each time you do it or it’s more susceptible to it. Obviously, he’s got some [discomfort] in there that we’re going to have to clear up before we can pitch him.”

Catcher Steve Clevenger and relief pitcher Preston Guilmet are expected to accompany the Orioles to the West Coast and remain with the club until Norris and Gonzalez are recalled.

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Orioles prospect Harvey tosses scoreless frame to help US win Futures Game

Posted on 14 July 2014 by WNST Staff

By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer

Joey Gallo let loose his powerful left-handed swing on a too-good-to-pass-up pitch over the plate, producing a soaring two-run homer to give his team the lead for good.

The real damage was done during batting practice, though, before the All-Star Futures game. One of Gallo’s head-turning drives in warmups whacked the top of the windshield of a promotional pickup truck parked on the concourse beyond right field.

The glass was shattered.

Soon, if Gallo continues his trajectory toward the Texas Rangers, the 20-year-old third baseman will be able to make his mark on the majors.

Gallo was picked as the MVP of the annual showcase for baseball’s best minor leaguers, for his long ball in the sixth inning that sent the U.S. team to a 3-2 victory over the World squad on Sunday afternoon.

“This one’s definitely the most memorable,” said Gallo, the assumed successor for four-time All-Star Adrian Beltre with the Rangers.

Gallo, currently with Double-A Frisco, has 31 homers and 73 RBIs this season in 85 games. This one-out drive on a 2-0 pitch from Houston Astros right-hander Michael Feliz was estimated at 419 feet.

“Good pitch for him. This guy has really good power,” Feliz said.

That was evident before the game. Gallo, who grew up in Las Vegas, had his parents here to watch. His mother even sent him a picture, with her posing next to the damaged vehicle. He got an even better message after hitting the real home run, from offseason workout partner Troy Tulowitzki, the captain of the National League team in the home run derby Monday night.

“He was telling me I should hit for him,” Gallo said. “I was like, ‘Aw, I wish I could, man. That’d be a lot of fun.’ Obviously I can’t do that.”

Someday.

Gallo followed a two-run homer in the top of the sixth by Javier Baez against Washington Nationals right-hander Lucas Giolito.

With so many bad teams in recent seasons, the Chicago Cubs have been collecting a tantalizing bunch of potential stars, with Baez and Kris Bryant at the top of the list. Baez, the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and Bryant, the second selection in 2013, comprise the left side of the infield for Triple-A affiliate Iowa.

So when Baez rounded the bases, he jogged past his buddy Bryant.

“I just said, ‘You’ve got to save those for the season,’” Bryant said.

Baez pointed at his family members, seated near third base, as he headed for home.

“I feel good that I showed what I can do,” he said.

Bryant went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts while playing third base for the U.S team, which has won five straight Futures games and raised its record to 10-6 since the exhibition began in 1999.

Until the Baez-Gallo home run derby that broke out in the sixth, this was much more of a showcase of pitching prospects, mirroring the major league trend toward more dominance on the mound and shrinking slugging percentages.

The first five U.S. pitchers tossed scoreless innings, starting with Henry Owens, the Double-A lefty for the Boston Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Meyer, who could soon be pitching on the same mound for the big league team, needed only four pitches for the fourth. His fastball reached 97 mph.

Meyer, acquired from the Nationals in a trade for center fielder Denard Span, has 103 strikeouts in 89-plus innings for Triple-A Rochester.

World team starter Jose Berrios, another Twins prospect, taken with the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, struck out center fielder Michael Taylor of the Nationals to start the game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

Julio Urias, a native of Sinaloa, Mexico, currently at Class A Rancho Cucamonga for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was the youngest player on display at age 17. He struck out Taylor with a 94 mph fastball in a perfect fifth inning.

New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who started the game last year at his future home, Citi Field, got the save.

Twins fans in attendance also had World team first baseman Kennys Vargas to cheer, the David Ortiz clone who hit a double in four at-bats in the cleanup spot.

The U.S. team was supervised by former Twins manager Tom Kelly, currently a special instructor for the organization. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, who played for Kelly on the 1987 World Series-winning club, managed the World team.

In an ode to his Dutch heritage and class-clown personality, Blyleven presented the lineups before the game while wearing an oversized pair of yellow wooden shoes.

(Former Orioles first round pick Hunter Harvey struck out two batters while allowing a walk and a hit in a scoreless fourth inning for the U.S. side. Bowie Baysox OF Dariel Alvarez went 0-2 for the World team.)

 

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Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct

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Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct

Posted on 13 July 2014 by Luke Jones

The latest chapter of a difficult offseason for the Ravens occurred Saturday night as starting cornerback Jimmy Smith was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to The Sun, Smith was cited for failing to obey a lawful order of a police officer in an incident at The Greene Turtle in Towson. The 25-year-old was assisting an intoxicated female who was unconscious in the bathroom when Baltimore County police arrived on the scene.

Smith told police that he and the woman had taken part in a photo shoot together earlier in the evening. According to the police report, officers found a small bag of what was believed to be cocaine in the woman’s purse.

After medical personnel arrived, Smith allegedly refused police’s requests to step aside, insisting he was trying to help the woman. The defensive back was then arrested after becoming argumentative but did cooperate after being taken into custody. Smith was released at approximately 11:15 p.m. Saturday night after being issued a citation with a court date pending.

This marks the fifth arrest of a Ravens player this offseason, joining running back Ray Rice (felony aggravated assault), offensive lineman Jah Reid (misdemeanor battery), wide receiver Deonte Thompson (felony possession of marijuana), and rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (misdemeanor destruction of property, drunk and disorderly). Rice and Reid were accepted into pretrial intervention programs while the case against Thompson was dismissed. Taliaferro has a court date scheduled at the end of the month.

Despite a checkered past at the University of Colorado that included at least one reported failed drug test and citations for underage drinking and third-degree assault, Smith hadn’t been in trouble with the law since being selected in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Ravens.

After two injury-riddled seasons to begin his career, Smith blossomed to become one of the Ravens’ best defensive players in 2013, collecting 58 tackles, two interceptions, and 15 pass breakups in 16 starts. In his career, Smith has accumulated 112 tackles, four interceptions, and 26 pass breakups.

Veterans report to Owings Mills for the start of training camp on July 23.

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Gonzalez joins Norris in being optioned to minors over All-Star break

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Gonzalez joins Norris in being optioned to minors over All-Star break

Posted on 12 July 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — After matching his season high with eight strong innings in his start against the New York Yankees Friday, Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk a day later.

Joining fellow starter Bud Norris in being sent to the minors for a start during the All-Star break, Gonzalez will be eligible to return for his next major league start against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim on July 22. He is slated to pitch for the Tides on Thursday before rejoining the Orioles on the West Coast.

Gonzalez is 4-5 with a 4.04 ERA in 89 innings this season and has completed eight innings in each of his last two starts after failing to do that in any of his first 13 starts.

The club recalled catcher Steve Clevenger from the Tides to take Gonzalez’s spot on the roster. He will provide another left-handed bat off the bench for the time being and was hitting .328 for Norfolk after hitting .243 with the Orioles earlier this season.

Norris was optioned to Double-A Bowie on Thursday to shake off some of the rust he showed in Wednesday’s start against Washington upon being activated from the 15-day disabled list. Manager Buck Showalter plans to send Norris to the hill against the Angels on July 21.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and Showalter have enjoyed the benefit of having four starting pitchers with minor-league options to add an extra bullpen arm and a third catcher for a few games while preventing Norris and Gonzalez from having extended layoffs.

Though no official order has been set, the Orioles are all but guaranteed to give starts to Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Kevin Gausman against the Oakland Athletics when they begin a three-game set there next Friday to begin the second half of the season. Struggling starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will officially be placed on the DL to make room for the returning Gausman to pitch against the Yankees on Sunday night.

The only possible drawback would be a short-term injury or illness to any of the scheduled starters in the Oakland series with Norris unable to come back until July 20 and Gonzalez ineligible until July 22 without someone else being placed on the DL. Of course, the Orioles could likely use lefty reliever T.J. McFarland as an emergency starter in a pinch.

 

 

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Jimenez going to disabled list with freak ankle injury

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Jimenez going to disabled list with freak ankle injury

Posted on 11 July 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — A freak ankle injury has brought the first half of Ubaldo Jimenez’s first season in Baltimore to an end with the Orioles placing the starting pitcher on the 15-day disabled list.

Manager Buck Showalter announced Friday that the 30-year-old rolled his right ankle stepping in a hole in a parking lot two days ago, forcing the Orioles to send Jimenez to the DL and recall right-hander Kevin Gausman to start against the New York Yankees on either Saturday or Sunday. Chris Tillman is likely to pitch on Saturday after initially being scheduled to start on Sunday night with Gausman taking the hill for the final game prior to the All-Star break.

“It’s pretty puffy [and] taped up,” Showalter said. “He tried to take a workday [on Thursday]. We were hoping it would resolve somewhat today. It did not. It’s real sore today”

Jimenez injured the same ankle while pitching in 2012 and is eligible to return on the sixth day after the All-Star break, according to Showalter. Because the Orioles will be recalling Gausman to take Jimenez’s place, the Orioles can only backdate Jimenez’s time on the DL to the day after Gausman was optioned on Monday, meaning he is eligible to return on July 23.

The news ends a difficult first half of the 2014 season for the right-hander as he has a 3-8 record with a 4.52 ERA and leads the majors with 60 walks in his 99 2/3 innings over 18 starts. Jimenez signed a four-year, $50 million contract in the offseason, but the veteran hasn’t lived up to the high expectations that accompanied the long-term investment.

“It is what it is. I understand how things work with people that make a living making light of things like this,” said Showalter about the nature of the ankle injury. “He’s pretty frustrated by it, but we’d rather have him healthy and pitching. If it wasn’t for the All-Star break, we might wait a couple days [to see if he'd heal quickly].”

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Guilmet brings fresh arm to Orioles bullpen

Posted on 10 July 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Thursday that they have recalled RHP PRESTON GUILMET from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RHP BUD NORRIS to Double-A Bowie.

Guilmet, 26, has posted a 5.79 ERA (9.1IP, 6ER) in nine games with the Orioles this season, striking out 11 and walking two.

Norris, 29, has gone 7-6 with a 3.96 ERA (91.0IP, 40ER) in 15 starts for the Orioles this season.

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Orioles send Norris to Double-A Bowie for work over All-Star break

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Orioles send Norris to Double-A Bowie for work over All-Star break

Posted on 10 July 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Having a desire to not only add an extra arm for a taxed bullpen prior to the All-Star break but to get extra work for starting pitcher Bud Norris, the Orioles optioned the right-hander to Double-A Bowie.

Right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to take Norris’ place prior to Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Norris struggled in his return from the disabled list on Wednesday, allowing five earned runs in four innings in a 6-2 loss that was his shortest outing of the season.

The Orioles chose not to send Norris on a rehab assignment prior to activating him — he threw a simulated game in Boston last weekend — and he hadn’t pitched in 17 days since leaving his June 20 start with a groin strain that landed him on the DL. The original plan was for Norris to make two starts before the break until Tuesday’s game in Washington was postponed due to rain.

Manager Buck Showalter mentioned the possibility of Norris pitching in relief on Sunday before the transaction was made, but the 29-year-old was looking at a minimum of eight days between starts even if the Orioles had put him at the top of the rotation to begin the second half.

“That’s something we’d like to stay away from,” said Showalter about Norris having another long layoff. “He’s already had his All-Star break.”

Norris is expected to make a start for the Baysox early next week and would be eligible to return from his option assignment as early as June 20, the final day of the three-game set against the Oakland Athletics.

The Orioles have manipulated their roster over the All-Star break before, optioning Chris Tillman to the minors over the break in 2012 and summoning him when he was eligible in the second half.

Norris has been regarded by most as the club’s best starting pitcher in the first half, going 7-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 15 starts.

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Former Ravens center Birk named NFL director of football development

Posted on 10 July 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

Former Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens center MATT BIRK has been named director of football development, the National Football League announced today.

Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, was a standout center for the Vikings and Ravens from 1998-2012, concluding his career by helping Baltimore to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII. He spent the 2013 season working as an NFL-NFLPA appeals officer.

In his new role, Birk will assist in developing the game at all levels of the sport, from players to coaches to front office personnel. He will also assist in the administration of NFL game day operations.

Birk will guide the continued evolution of the Scouting Combine and Regional Combines as well as the annual all-star games for aspiring NFL players, such as the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game.

“I’m very excited to begin this next chapter of my football career,” says Birk, who becomes the eighth former player to take a job at the NFL office, joining Merton Hanks, Dwight Hollier, Patrick Kerney, James Thrash, David Tyree, Troy Vincent and Charles Way. “It’s a real honor for me to be entrusted with developing the game in so many different ways.”

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Birk will play a leading role in the continuing evolution and emergence of the Career Development Symposium, oversee the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program and NFL-NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy initiative.

“Matt’s experience as a terrific NFL player, a model citizen in his community and a reputation as a forward-thinking leader make him ideally suited for this role,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations TROY VINCENT. “There is no doubt he will continue to make a positive impact on our game and be a trusted advocate for those who play and coach at every level.”

Birk, who will also serve as a liaison for the Football Operations department on the international development of the game and assist in further strengthening the NFL High School Player Development program, will be based at NFL headquarters in New York.

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in economics, Birk was the recipient of the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for his excellence on and off the field, including his commitment to emphasizing the importance of education through his H.I.K.E. Foundation (hope, inspiration, knowledge and education).

Birk and his wife, Adrianna, are the parents of six children.

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Baltimore again among top rated viewing markets for Brazil/Germany match

Posted on 09 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Highest-Rated Non-U.S. World Cup Match Ever on ESPN/ESPN2

ESPN’s telecast of Tuesday’s Brazil vs. Germany FIFA World Cup semifinal match – a 7-1 German victory and Brazil’s first loss in a competitive home match in 63 games (since 1975) – ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup semifinal match ever on any U.S. network, according to Nielsen. Brazil-Germany averaged a 4.2 US household rating and 6,643,000 viewers, based on fast nationals. ESPN’s television coverage peaked in the final half hour of the match (5:30–6 p.m. ET) with a 4.6 rating and 7.5 million viewers.

The previous best World Cup semifinal was a 3.4 rating (5,850,000 viewers) for Germany-Italy on ESPN during World Cup 2006 in Germany. Yesterday’s match also represents increases of 56 percent (2.7 rating) and 58 percent (4,204,000 viewers) over the comparable Uruguay-Netherlands semifinal four years ago in South Africa.

Excluding U.S. team matches, Brazil-Germany is the highest-rated World Cup match ever on ESPN/ESPN2, surpassing the 4.0 rating for Mexico-Netherlands (6,571,000 viewers) from the Round of 16 (June 29).

Top 10 markets for Brazil-Germany: New York (7.5), Hartford/New Haven (6.4), Washington, DC (5.8), San Francisco (5.8), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (5.6), Boston (5.5), West Palm Beach (5.5), Los Angeles (5.0), Baltimore (4.9) and Richmond/Petersburg (4.8)

To date, the highest-rated markets on the ESPN networks are: Washington, DC (4.6), New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Los Angeles (3.7), San Diego (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.6), Orlando (3.5), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (3.5), Richmond/Petersburg (3.4) and West Palm Beach (3.3)

Significant TV Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006

Through 61 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are averaging 4,233,000 viewers and a 2.6 US household rating per match. The 2014 audience marks increases of 43 percent (vs. 2,967,000 in 2010) and 107 percent (2,042,000 in 2006) in viewers, and 37 percent (vs. 1.9 in 2010) and 86 percent (1.4 in 2006) in ratings. (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)

ESPN Digital establishes new highs for World Cup semifinal match

2.1 million unique viewers watched the Brazil vs. Germany semifinal on WatchESPN for a total of nearly 90 million minutes, the highest numbers ever for a non-U.S. team soccer match, providing a 10 percent lift to ESPN’s English-language television viewership.

ESPNFC.com had 9.8 million video starts, up more than 2,000 percent over the comparable day for World Cup 2010 and the best ever mark for that platform. Also, ESPN’s SportsCenter app had 3.6 million unique users, a 484 percent gain from the comparable day in 2010.

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