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Cruz named American League Player of the Week

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles named the American League Player of the Week

Baltimore Orioles outfielder and designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 1st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

Cruz batted .476 (10-for-21) with three doubles, four home runs, four walks, eight RBI and five runs scored in seven games to grab his second career weekly honor, last accomplishing the feat for the week ending May 23, 2010 while with the Texas Rangers. Nelson led all Major League hitters in slugging percentage (1.190) and was second overall with 25 total bases. Amongst his A.L. counterparts, Cruz was tied for second in batting average and homers, and was third in RBI and on-base percentage (.556).

On Tuesday, Cruz went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and two runs scored as the O’s were edged out by the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, at Miller Park. The right-handed-hitting Cruz was also issued a free pass in the loss. On Wednesday, the 33-year-old slugger launched a pair of solo homers, his second two-homer game of the season (also April 23rd at Toronto) and the 12th of his 10-year career as Baltimore fell to the Brewers, 8-3. It was the fifth time this season that Cruz launched blasts in back-to-back games. Moving onto Houston on Thursday, the Dominican Republic native continued to swing a hot bat for the Orioles with his third consecutive two-hit game, but the Houston pitching staff kept the Orioles in check as the Astros won, 3-1, at Minute Maid Park. On Saturday, the two-time A.L. All-Star went 2-for-2 with a double, a homer, a walk and three RBI to lead the Orioles to a 4-1 victory over Houston, snapping a four-game losing skid for Baltimore and extending his season-long hitting streak to 12 games (snapped on Sunday). Over the string, Cruz batted .476 (20-for-42) with six doubles, eight homers, 15 RBI and 14 runs scored.

Cruz has started off his first season with the Orioles in stellar fashion, leading the Majors in slugging percentage (.672), total bases (137), homers (20), RBI (52) and fewest at-bats per home run (10.2), and he is second overall with 33 extra-base hits. Cruz, who leads A.L. designated hitters in All-Star balloting for the 85th All-Star Game, is fifth in the league with 39 runs scored, sixth with a .384 on-base percentage and seventh with a .314 batting average. At the start of the season, Cruz became just the fifth Oriole to homer in his first two games with the Club, and in addition set new Baltimore records for RBI through the month of May (52) and home runs during the month of May (13). Cruz’s power display has helped him reach the 20-homer plateau for the sixth straight campaign.

Other noteworthy performances in the A.L. last week included Oakland’s Josh Donaldson (.393, 4 HR, 12 RBI) and Scott Kazmir (CG on 5/28 vs. DET); Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion (.417, 5 HR, 10 RBI) and Mark Buehrle (2-0, 1.84 ERA, 6 SO); Seattle’s Roenis Elias (first-career SHO on 6/1 vs. Detroit) and Chris Young (2-0, 2.19 ERA, 11 SO); and Chicago’s Chris Sale (CG on 6/1 vs. San Diego).

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Nelson Cruz will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

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Bovada improves Orioles’ World Series odds to 25/1

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

Odds to win the 2014 World Series  (Teams in red have longer odds, teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same) 

Odds on 5/1/14             Current Odds

Detroit Tigers                                        13/2                  6/1                   

San Francisco Giants                            14/1                  7/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                            15/2                  8/1

Oakland Athletics                                  12/1                  9/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                10/1                  9/1

Toronto Blue Jays                                 25/1                  10/1

Atlanta Braves                                       11/1                  12/1

Washington Nationals                            11/1                  14/1

Boston Red Sox                                   14/1                  16/1

Los Angeles Angels                              20/1                  16/1

Milwaukee Brewers                                14/1                  16/1

New York Yankees                                10/1                  16/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   33/1                  25/1

Texas Rangers                                      16/1                  28/1

Cincinnati Reds                                     40/1                  40/1

Colorado Rockies                                 66/1                  50/1

Kansas City Royals                               33/1                  50/1

Seattle Mariners                                    50/1                  50/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   20/1                  50/1

Chicago White Sox                                75/1                  66/1

Cleveland Indians                                  50/1                  66/1

Miami Marlins                                        150/1                75/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  50/1                  75/1

New York Mets                                      66/1                  100/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               75/1                  150/1

Minnesota Twins                                    150/1                200/1

San Diego Padres                                 100/1                200/1

Chicago Cubs                                       500/1                250/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          200/1                500/1

Houston Astros                                     500/1                500/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL Pennant            

Detroit Tigers                                        3/1

Oakland Athletics                                  9/2

Toronto Blue Jays                                 5/1

Los Angeles Angels                              15/2

New York Yankees                                15/2

Boston Red Sox                                   9/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   14/1

Texas Rangers                                      14/1

Kansas City Royals                               25/1

Seattle Mariners                                    25/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   25/1

Chicago White Sox                                33/1

Cleveland Indians                                  33/1

Minnesota Twins                                    75/1

Houston Astros                                     250/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL Pennant           

San Francisco Giants                            3/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                15/4

Los Angeles Dodgers                            4/1

Washington Nationals                            11/2

Atlanta Braves                                       13/2

Milwaukee Brewers                                15/2

Cincinnati Reds                                     20/1

Colorado Rockies                                 22/1

Miami Marlins                                        40/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  40/1

New York Mets                                      50/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               66/1

San Diego Padres                                 75/1

Chicago Cubs                                       125/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          200/1

 

Divisional Odds

Odds to win the 2014 AL EAST   

Toronto Blue Jays                                 7/5

New York Yankees                                5/2

Boston Red Sox                                   4/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   9/2

Tampa Bay Rays                                   12/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL CENTRAL           

Detroit Tigers                                        1/10

Kansas City Royals                               12/1

Cleveland Indians                                  12/1

Chicago White Sox                                12/1

Minnesota Twins                                    28/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL WEST  

Oakland Athletics                                  1/2

Los Angeles Angels                              5/2

Texas Rangers                                      8/1

Seattle Mariners                                    10/1

Houston Astros                                     250/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL EAST   

Atlanta Braves                                       5/6

Washington Nationals                            6/5

Miami Marlins                                        10/1

New York Mets                                      25/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               28/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL CENTRAL          

St. Louis Cardinals                                5/8

Milwaukee Brewers                                9/5

Cincinnati Reds                                     9/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  14/1

Chicago Cubs                                       100/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL WEST

San Francisco Giants                            1/2

Los Angeles Dodgers                            8/5

Colorado Rockies                                 12/1

San Diego Padres                                 50/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          100/1

 

MLB Awards Odds

Odds to Win the 2014 AL MVP   

Mike Trout (LAA)                                   8/5

Miguel Cabrera (DET)                            7/2

Josh Donaldson (OAK)                          5/1

Nelson Cruz (BAL)                                 7/1

Jose Bautista (TOR)                              10/1

Victor Martinez (DET)                             12/1

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)                      15/1

Alexei Ramirez (CWS)                            25/1

Melky Cabrera (TOR)                             25/1

Jose Abreu (CHW)                                 25/1

Robinson Cano (SEA)                           25/1

Albert Pujols (LAA)                                33/1

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)                         50/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL MVP  

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)                             3/1

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)                         4/1

Andrew McCutchen (PIT)                        6/1

Yasiel Puig (LAD)                                  7/1

Justin Upton (ATL)                                 9/1

Ryan Braun (MIL)                                   12/1

Carlos Gomez (MIL)                               12/1

Chase Utley (PHI)                                  16/1

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)                         18/1

Freddie Freeman (ATL)                          20/1

Yadier Molina (STL)                               20/1

Charlie Blackmon (COL)                         25/1

Justin Morneau (COL)                            50/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 AL Cy Young          

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)                         4/1

Felix Hernandez (SEA)                           11/2

Mark Buehrle (TOR)                               13/2

Yu Darvish (TEX)                                   13/2

Max Scherzer (DET)                               15/2

Chris Sale (CWS)                                   15/2

Sonny Gray (OAK)                                 8/1

Justin Verlander (DET)                           12/1

Corey Kluber (CLE)                                12/1

Scott Kazmir (OAK)                               15/1

James Shields (KC)                               16/1

Jesse Chavez (OAK)                              25/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                                   33/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL Cy Young                 

Adam Wainwright (STL)                          3/1

Johnny Cueto (CIN)                               5/1

Zack Greinke (LAD)                               7/1

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)                          7/1

Kyle Lohse (MIL)                                   9/1

Madison Bumgarner (SF)                       10/1

Julio Teheran (ATL)                                12/1

Tim Hudson (SF)                                   12/1

Michael Wacha (STL)                             12/1

Stephen Strasburg (WAS)                      12/1

Josh Beckett (LAD)                               16/1

Hyun-Jin Ryu                                         20/1

Cliff Lee (PHI)                                       25/1

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP – SERIES PRICES    

Miami Heat (Series Prices)                                 +105     (21/20)

San Antonio Spurs (Series Prices)                      -125     (4/5)

 

NBA PLAYOFFS – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #1         

Miami Heat                                +3½

San Antonio Spurs                     -3½

Over/Under                   199

 

 

NHL PLAYOFFS – STANLEY CUP SERIES PRICE                        

New York Rangers (Series Prices)                      +150     (3/2)

Los Angeles Kings (Series Prices)                      -170     (10/17)

 

NHL PLAYOFFS – STANLEY CUP GAME 1                  

New York Rangers                     +140     (7/5)

Los Angeles Kings                     -160     (5/8)

Over/Under                   5 Goals

 

 

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Cruz passes Ortiz in All-Star voting among American League DH’s

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Cano overtakes Kinsler, Cruz passes Ortiz in second American League balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

Bautista Gains on Trout for Overall League Lead; Melky Cabrera Surpasses Ellsbury, Beltran to Join Outfield Leaders

Seattle Mariners five-time All-Star Robinson Cano, who has been voted the American League starting second baseman in the Midsummer Classic in each of the last four seasons, and Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, a two-time All-Star, have joined the A.L. leaders in the second balloting figures for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota, it was announced today. The second National League balloting results will be announced tomorrow.

In the closest battle for a starting assignment, Cano, who has drawn 726,158 votes has pulled in front of Detroit Tigers second baseman and three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler, who has accumulated 649,926 votes. Cano, in his first season with the Mariners, is aiming to become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Rod Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Roberto Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). In addition, Cano would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history, and could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Cano currently ranks third in the A.L. with a .327 batting average, is tied for third with 22 multi-hit games and is tied for seventh with 67 hits.

Cruz, who leads the Majors with 20 home runs and 52 RBI, has received a total of 888,855 votes to surpass nine-time All-Star David Ortiz (766,631) of the Boston Red Sox at designated hitter. Cruz, who is attempting to end Ortiz’s run of three consecutive fan-elected starts at designated hitter, would become only the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Jose Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Vladimir Guerrero (2010). Cruz, who set an Orioles record for RBI before the end of May (52), has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games since May 13th, batting .403 (27-for-67) during the stretch with 10 walks, seven doubles, 10 homers, 22 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim two-time All-Star Mike Trout remains the overall leader in the A.L. with 1,361,649 total votes, but Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays has closed the gap and narrowly trails for the top spot with 1,351,896. Trout, who last year at 21 years old became the youngest A.L. position player to start the All-Star Game since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993, is currently riding a season-best 11-game hitting streak in which he is batting .417 (15-for-36). The 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year, who is bidding to join Carew (1979-84), Fred Lynn (1982-83), Reggie Jackson (1982-84) and Guerrero (2004-07) as the only Angels in history to earn consecutive fan-elected All-Star starts, has reached base safely in each of his last 23 games. Bautista, a four-time All-Star and a three-time fan-elected starter (2011-13), is seeking to become the second player in Blue Jays history to receive four fan-elected starting nods, joining Alomar (2B, 1991-94). The 2011 MLB leading vote-getter, who is tied for fifth in the A.L. with 14 home runs, has hit the most homers in the Majors since 2010 (166) and his 116 home runs prior to the break in that span are 19 better than the next closest player. Bautista has reached base safely in 56 of his 58 games played this season and he leads the A.L. with a .442 on-base percentage. Bautista’s Blue Jays teammate Melky Cabrera (743,208), a 2012 N.L. All-Star, has joined the outfield leaders after surpassing New York Yankees teammates Jacoby Ellsbury (625,206), a 2011 All-Star, and Carlos Beltran (565,554), an eight-time All-Star. Cabrera, who ranks second in the Majors with 74 hits, would become the fourth different Blue Jays outfielder in history to receive a fan election, joining Bautista, Joe Carter (1993-94) and George Bell (1987). Bautista and Cabrera are trying to become the first pair of teammates to start in the A.L. outfield since Boston’s Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in 2005, and it would mark the 17th Midsummer Classic in history to feature starting teammates in the A.L. outfield.

Thirteen-time All-Star and eight-time fan-elected starter Derek Jeter of the Yankees leads all A.L. shortstops in balloting and ranks third in the league overall with 1,007,968 total votes as he looks to join his former teammate Cano up the middle at the Midsummer Classic in his final season. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,367 hits, would become the seventh A.L. player in history to earn at least nine fan-elected starts with one team. The others include Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 with Seattle); Ichiro Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, bidding for his first career All-Star selection, trails Jeter with 867,156 votes.

Rounding out the A.L. infield at the corners is Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, has garnered 962,138 votes as he vies for his second consecutive fan-elected start following his start across the diamond at third base last year. The reigning two-time A.L. MVP (also 2012), who is currently third in the A.L. with 49 RBI and ranks fourth with a .325 batting average, would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Ivan Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history. Cabrera, who leads the A.L. with a .418 batting average with runners in scoring position, is followed at first base by Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu (602,628) and nine-time All-Star Albert Pujols (569,211) of the Angels. Donaldson (956,811), who is bidding for his first All-Star nod, continues to lead three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Evan Longoria (589,621) of the Tampa Bay Rays. Donaldson, who is batting .325 with 23 runs scored, eight home runs and 24 RBI over his last 21 games, would become the first A’s third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, and the first Oakland player overall to receive a fan-election since first baseman Jason Giambi in 2000. Donaldson leads the Majors with 48 runs scored, is tied for third in the A.L. with 15 home runs and ranks fourth in the league with 48 RBI. With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.

Behind the plate, Orioles backstop Matt Wieters (842,775), maintained his lead over Yankees catcher Brian McCann (605,941). Wieters, who is bidding for his third All-Star selection and first starting assignment, would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election. Wieters, who is currently on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, is batting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI on the season. Along with Cruz, the duo is aiming to give the Orioles multiple starters in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB’s 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

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B&B Big Story Banter: Orioles Making Moves

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B&B Big Story Banter: Orioles Making Moves

Posted on 30 May 2014 by Brett Dickinson

BD: Well the Baltimore Orioles had an eventful week, as they made the first splash of the season.  After the uncertainty on catcher Matt Wieters health status for the rest of the season, the front office made a trade with the San Diego Padres for catcher Nick Hundley.  In return the Padres received relief pitcher Troy Patton.  But this move has simply raised more questions about the Orioles All-Star backstop.  What do you make of Baltimore acquiring a catcher and what is Hundley’s long term value with the team?

BK: The decision to acquire a veteran catcher who can handle the lion’s share of catching duties was a wise one. The Troy Patton for Nick Hundley trade was a classic example of shortage and surplus. Following his 25 game suspension, Patton was unable to carve out a role in the Orioles’ bullpen, which features two dependable left-handed relievers in Brian Matusz and Zach Britton. In San Diego, Hundley was relegated to third catcher status behind starter Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera. Because Baltimore was able to turn a relief pitcher for a fill-in starting catcher, the Orioles get the edge in this trade.

Acquiring a player like Hundley did not surprise me; the roster decision to send C Steve Clevenger down to Triple-A Norfolk instead of Caleb Joseph was downright shocking. Clevenger was doing an admirable job handling the pitching staff, and his bat showed some life that the team hasn’t received from a backup catcher in quite some time. Meanwhile, Joseph kept his spot on the roster despite his sub .100 batting average. By demoting Clevenger, Hundley became the starting catcher by default. For a team that still has David Lough and Ryan Flaherty on the roster, it should not come as a huge surprise that a player like Joseph gets to stick with the club.

Hundley is a veteran of a perennial losing franchise in San Diego, a career .238 hitter, and has little to no familiarity with the Orioles’ pitching staff. From the time that the Orioles placed Matt Wieters on the disabled list until the team acquired Hundley, the combination of Clevenger and Joseph went 4-9. The team is 2-4 with Hundley as their everyday catcher. If Wieters winds up missing a substantial amount of the season, the Orioles must equally split up the starts at catcher between Hundley and Clevenger. In a division that is currently being dominated by the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles’ front office should feel more of a sense of urgency to win now and capture a division that is up for grabs. Quit worrying about the major league time of Clevenger, and do what is best for the pitching staff and the entire organization.

Speaking of pitching staff, a report from Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago) earlier in the week stated the Orioles are the lead team to be interested in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. In the midst of a career year, there is no question that the price for a pitcher of his caliber will be steep. Brett, are you surprised to hear that the Orioles could make a move for Samardzija, and should the team part ways with one or multiple top prospects for his services?

Jeff SamardzijaBD: It is definitely uplifting hearing the Orioles are looking to still improve their pitching staff.  And Samardzija has agruably been the best pitcher in baseball for the first couple of months. He currently sports a 1.68 ERA and 1.067 WHIP, but has received little run support in Chicago, holding only one win.  Samardzija has another year left of team control as well, making him a very valuable commodity, especially notoriously cheap teams like the Orioles.

If they acquire him, it would fill out their rotation, while improving the bullpen as well. If he handles the top spot, everyone else is moved down to their appropriate pitching role. Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez now have less pressure, as the respective two and three starters.  While it also bumps wither Wei-Yin Chen or Miguel Gonzalez into the bullpen.  The depth that creates would allow Buck Showalter to seriously consider Zach Britton as the long term closer as well.  But with this organization, it always comes down to what is the cost?

Now if the Orioles were to make a deal it would have to involve one of their top players they covet.  A deal with Kevin Gausman seems least likely, since he is the top prospect in the organization and could help the big league club in the coming weeks.  But if the team decided that winning now is most important, with the small window for the current core, then pitcher Dylan Bundy could be the centerpiece to a trade. He injury issues may make him expendable, as he has not proven anything in the major leagues in his short career. Either way other pieces would have to be involved as well.

The other options would involve moving some of their proven players like Wieters or Adam Jones or exclude Bundy, but give up the next four to five prospects in the system.  Both are completely unrealistic because it does not improve the major league roster or depletes an already thin farm system.  So do I think the team will eventually bite the bullet and send Bundy backing for a proven front line starter? No.  But if the team is serious about making a run within the next two seasons towards a World Series, Samardzija could be the missing piece. This is the ultimate decision to win now or build for the future.

Besides, I bet the Ravens are hoping he makes his way to Baltimore considering their questions at wide receiver. Maybe he could run a couple deep routes on Sundays like he did a two-sport star while attending Notre Dame.

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re starting to approach the midway point of 2014. There’s absolutely NO WAY you don’t know how this works, right?

We are celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. As Dave Chappelle (playing the role of Rick James) might say…..you know what, maybe that’s not appropriate for here. You all know where I was going. If not, “Dave Chappelle” and “celebration” in Google will probably be fun for you.

Every week here at WNST we’re looking back on a “water cooler” topic that we’ve discussed during our 16 year run. After we think over it, we appoint a WNST personality to put together a definitive list about the topic. We call it the #WNSTSweet16. Yes it is pretty awesome, thank you for noticing.

We’ve made it through 19 weeks thus far. If you missed any of our lists, we encourage you to look over them here.

Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

It’s Drew Forrester’s turn again to take over the reigns of the #WNSTSweet16 this week.

Earlier this year we recognized the “underappreciated” former Terps. We’re venturing down that path again this week for a different team.

We all know who the greatest Baltimore Orioles are of all-time. In some order you’d find Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray and obviously Felix Pie.

(I just can’t resist.)

But in recognizing these players as the greatest in franchise history, we also likely disqualify them from this week’s topic. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 Most unsung Orioles of all time”.

There are a few names that jumped out at me as I considered this list. The first was Dave McNally-who will never be a Hall of Famer but finished his career with a 3.24 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while pitching 13 of his 14 career seasons with the Birds. McNally had a remarkable career but his name is likely completely unknown by a younger generation of Birds fans.

Other names that came to mind included Don Buford, Scott McGregor, Melvin Mora, Gregg Olson and BJ Surhoff.

I’m not really sure how “underappreciated” and “unsung” are actually different. I’m sort of convinced we just wanted to come up with two different terms when we started mapping out the lists at the beginning of the year. For the record, the definition of “unsung” is “not celebrated or praised”. Do with that what you will.

So who’s on your list?

Drew wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (drew@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Drew will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

Which players in Baltimore baseball history just haven’t received the recognition they deserved during the course of their career? Who are the most unsung players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

 

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Orioles add veteran reliever Bell to minor league deal

Posted on 17 May 2014 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Orioles perhaps added another turn to their already tumultuous closer situation Friday.

The Birds added veteran reliever Heath Bell via a minor league contract according to a report from FoxSports.com. The 36 year old is expected to report to AAA Norfolk Saturday after passing a physical.

The three time All-Star has 136 career saves now in his 11th major league season. Bell made 13 appearances for the Tampa Bay Rays this year, allowing 14 earned runs over 17.1 innings pitched.

The decision to sign the hard-throwing righty was likely aided by the recent struggles of O’s closer Tommy Hunter. Since last Saturday, Hunter blew saves in each of his two appearances-including the Orioles’ 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night.

Hunter appeared to have been replaced in the role by lefty Zach Britton Thursday night. Britton retired the side (something Hunter has not done all season) in protecting the team’s 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Manager Buck Showalter has been non-committal about the situation in recent days.

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Orioles, Astros to don Negro League unis for Civil Rights Game

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Orioles, Astros to don Negro League unis for Civil Rights Game

Posted on 07 May 2014 by WNST Staff

MLB and the Houston Astros announce details of the 2014 Civil Rights Game and ancillary activities

The Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles to Wear Negro Leagues Uniforms of the Houston Eagles and Baltimore Elite Giants, Respectively. Additional Details Include Ballpark Giveaway, Musical Performances, Roundtable Participants, Event Sponsor and More. 

Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros today announced details for the 2014 Civil Rights Game at Minute Maid Park and ancillary activities, which include the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon and the Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion. Tickets and information for each event and the Civil Rights Game are available at MLB.com/civilrightsgame and Astros.com/civilrightsgame.

The 2014 Civil Rights Game will be played between the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park on Friday, May 30th, airing nationally on MLB Network and called by MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds and Sam Ryan.

Houston & Baltimore Negro Leagues Uniforms to be Worn During the Civil Rights Game

  1. Houston Eagles - The Astros will wear the uniforms of the “Houston Eagles,” which played for only two years (1949-1950) and was the only team from Texas in Negro Leagues history.
  2. Baltimore Elite Giants - The Orioles will wear the uniforms of the “Baltimore Elite Giants,” which played from 1938 through 1950.
    1. NOTES: The uniforms and caps were produced by Majestic and New Era, respectively. Both designs were approved by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Civil Rights Game Cap Giveaway, Ballpark Fireworks

  1. Cap Giveaway - 15,000 fans to enter Minute Maid Park for the Civil Rights Game will receive a special commemorative “Civil Rights Game” cap.
  2. “Motown Fireworks” - Following the Civil Rights Game, the Astros will host a special fireworks show, presented by Marathon Oil Corporation, that will have a “Motown” theme.

Musical Performances

  1. Aloe Blacc - The chart-topping singer/songwriter will perform his hit songs “Wake Me Up” and “The Man” on-field at Minute Maid Park prior to the Civil Rights Game, with the “The Man” airing LIVE on MLB Network. Additionally, he will perform “Eyes of a Child” earlier in the day at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon at Hilton Americas Houston.
  2. Miri Ben-Ari - The Grammy Award-winning violinist and UN Goodwill Ambassador will perform her song, “Symphony of Brotherhood,” featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech, at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.
  3. “National Anthem” - Actress, dancer and singer, Jadagrace, will perform the National Anthem prior to the Civil Rights Game.
  4. “America The Beautiful” - Grammy nominee and platinum recording artist Jeffrey Osborne will perform “America the Beautiful” during the 7th inning stretch.

Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion – Thursday, May 29th at 12:30 p.m. (CT), Union Station at Minute Maid Park

A panel of prominent individuals will discuss the pivotal role Baseball played in the civil rights movement and the game’s continued presence as a social institution, as well as present-day social issues affecting the country and the world. The Baseball & Civil Rights Movement Roundtable Discussion, which will be moderated by Harvard Law School Professor Dr. Charles Ogletree, will be streamed on MLB.com and Astros.com prior to the Civil Rights Game. The following are the participants scheduled for this year’s Roundtable Discussion:

  1. Ernest Green - Member of the “Little Rock Nine”
  2. Linda Alvarado - Member of the Colorado Rockies Ownership Group; Chief Executive Officer of Alvarado Construction
  3. Bob Kendrick - President, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  4. J.R. Richard - Houston Astros Legend
  5. Harold Reynolds - MLB Network Analyst; two-time MLB All-Star

MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon – Friday, May 30th at Noon (CT), Hilton Americas Houston

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig will speak at the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon, which will be held at Noon on Friday, May 30th at the Hilton Americas Houston. At the event, MLB will honor best-selling author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou, founder of Motown and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Berry Gordy and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown. The triumvirate will each receive an MLB Beacon Award, which recognizes individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement, and will be recognized on the field prior to the Civil Rights Game. Additionally, Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” will be the keynote speaker. Two Houston-based charities, the Houston Area Urban League and Change Happens!, will be the charitable beneficiaries of the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.

  1. NOTE: MLB and the Astros will pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at the MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon.

Principal Sponsor of the Civil Rights Game and Ancillary Activities

Houston-based law firm Andrews Kurth LLP will serve as the principal sponsor of the 2014 Civil Rights Game and ancillary activities. Recently, the firm was named a local recipient of the 8th Annual Jackie Robinson Day “Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner” Award from MLB, acknowledging the firm’s ongoing commitment to excellence and diversity.

Since 1902, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that “straight talk is good business.” Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm’s relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With more than 400 lawyers across 10 offices worldwide, Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in multiple industries. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit andrewskurth.com.

 

ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS GAME

The Civil Rights Game and its ancillary activities are a series of events developed by MLB to pay tribute to those who fought on and off the field for equal rights for all Ameri­cans. This year’s event is another example of the Houston Astros supporting MLB initiatives geared toward high­lighting diversity throughout baseball.

The 2014 Civil Rights Game is the eighth installation of an annual event that began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati (2009-2010), then Atlanta (2011-2012) as regular season contests, and last year was hosted in Chicago by the White Sox. While much of the south was deeply affected during the civil rights movement with violence threatening the well-being of many, Houston played a vital role in achieving peaceful desegregation, making it a crucial part of the overall civil rights effort.

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Machado has huge offensive night in first rehab start at Frederick

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Machado has huge offensive night in first rehab start at Frederick

Posted on 26 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado went 3-4 with two doubles, a triple and two runs scored for the Frederick Keys in his first rehab appearance Friday.

Machado received his first organized at-bats since his 2013 season ended abruptly due to a knee injury.

The All-Star worked as the Single A (Carolina League)’s Designated Hitter in a 5-3 loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Birds had hoped to have him play in the field Friday night but rainy conditions at Harry Grove Stadium scrapped those plans.

The team’s former first round pick was pleased with the work he got in his first outing but realized it did not put him on the fast track to a return to the major leagues. Here is what Machado told MLB.com after the game Friday night…

“I feel good at the plate. I feel good overall, running the bases, which is the most important thing.”

“First game under the lights, first game in front of a big crowd like this, so it’s definitely a big obstacle we’ve crossed and hopped over. So hopefully we can continue it, and as soon as possible get back out there.”

“If I would have hit four home runs, I’m not going to go tomorrow and play in the big leagues. It’s not how it works. I wish it was that easy. But this is just a process. It’s not how many hits I get or how many plays I make. It’s more getting a feel for it, playing nine innings, being on your feet for the whole game. There’s a lot of things that come into play before just having a good game.”

MLB.com also reported Machado is expected to play nine innings at third base for the Keys Saturday and will stay with the team through Sunday before being re-evaluated. The next step would likely see Machado joining the Orioles’ AA (Bowie) or AAA (Norfolk) affiliate to make final preparations for his 2014 big league debut.

Machado had been playing in extended Spring Training games in Sarasota for roughly the past week.

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Brooks Robinson expected to file lawsuit against Seminole tribe

Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson (Baltimore Orioles) is expected to file a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe after he suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a stage at the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2012. He was on the property to attend a fundraiser for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.  However, Mr. Robinson’s attorney Jack Hickey said Florida’s Tribal Sovereignty compact might prevent Robinson from receiving fair compensation to cover his medical expenses for his multiple and debilitating injuries.

At the heart of this story is a national consumer issue. With the proliferation of gaming facilities with added attractions such as ballrooms, hotels and concert venues, visitors are not protected if they are injured while they are not gambling. In other words, if you are on property “for gaming purposes” there is a waiver of the immunity allowing you to bring a claim and get full compensation. If you are not on property for gaming purposes (for example a fundraiser or concert) and you are hurt through the Tribe’s negligence, they have tribal immunity in which their liability is limited to the $200,000 statutory cap imposed on governmental entities by the Florida Legislature.

Mr. Robinson’s attorney said this is a horrible injustice to the public and should be addressed during this legislative session.

Here is a PDF of the demands letter.

DEMAND LETTER. 001 (REVISED)

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

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And for Easter week, the #WNSTSweet16 should be a nice “treat”

Posted on 13 April 2014 by Glenn Clark

This is the part of our weekly #WNSTSweet16 introduction where I remind you that we’re celebrating our 16th anniversary here at WNST. I feel like you should probably have caught on to how we do these things by now.

To celebrate our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader, we’re discussing various “water cooler” topics from the WNST era every week and defining them via a list. We’re calling it the #WNSTSweet16. It’s been a lot of fun. You should probably call your family and friends and let them know they’ll want to be a part of this thing.

We’ve already hit 14 topics this year as part of our #WNSTSweet16 celebration. Did you miss any of them? (Shame on you if you did.) Here’s a quick recap.

(The “Sweet 16″ is driven by our friends at Jerry’s Automotive-Jerry’s Chevrolet & Jerry’s Toyota Scion!)

Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

The Nasty One himself, Nestor Aparicio is in charge of the Sweet 16 again this week.

As you may be aware, I’m a fan of a nice Easter treat. I prefer Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs to Cadbury Creme Eggs and I DEFINITELY prefer Starburst Jelly Beans to Jelly Belly Jelly Beans (and if you disagree I hope you’ll do the right thing and just leave the country); but I at least respect all treats equally.

As Baltimore sports fans, we’ve been “treated” to some awesome things in our lives. Some of them have been individual games-games we’ll remember forever and we can recall details about no matter how far away we’ve gotten from them.

This week’s list is meant for those games. These are the games that made us sit on the edge of our seat, the games that made us sweat as if we were actually playing in them. The official topic is “Sweet 16 Games we’ve been treated to”.

While it seems like the 1958 NFL Championship Game will be hard to beat on this list, I wonder if the factor of time will play a role here. While the game has come to be known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played”, much of the aura surrounding it is based on the significance of the game and less about the game itself-although we certainly know the game was quite good.

But what are the greatest games in Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles history? Until 2012 I think I would have declared the win over the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 NFL Playoffs (January 2001) the best game-but how can you argue against the Mile High Miracle and 2OT thrilling nature of the Wild Card win over the Broncos?

I’m hard pressed to tell you what the greatest game in Orioles history might be. We all remember great hits, great moments and great plays-but what was the most dramatic game? If this were my list, I’d be needing a ton of help.

To me the greatest Maryland basketball game I’ve ever seen was the thrilling Elite 8 contest against UConn in Syracuse back in 2002. I’ve shared my feelings about the game more than a few times, including a love letter I wrote on the 10th anniversary of the game a few years back.

And perhaps the most difficult part for Nestor will be remembering that the area team didn’t have to win the game in question. This list isn’t supposed to be for the greatest wins in local sports history, it’s meant to be about the greatest games. It can be any combination.

What needs to be on the list? This is where you come in.

Nestor wants your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email him via nasty@wnst.net. We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Nasty will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew and Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours”.

What games still give you chills when you think about them today? Let your voice be heard!

-G

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