Tag Archive | "Cesar Izturis"

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My 3-part “Orioles in review” series begins with…the report card

Posted on 05 October 2010 by Drew Forrester

With baseball season over in Baltimore – once again, five weeks too early – it’s time to spend a few days reviewing what happened and what lies ahead.

I’ll start my 3-part “Orioles review” with the 2010 Report Card.

When your team only wins 66 games, it’s easy to hand out a bunch of C’s and D’s, but I was a little more kind than that given the club’s outstanding play in August and September.  They took what MIGHT have been a 50-win-campaign and turned it into just another bad season.  And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.  20 years from now, folks will look back at 2010 and say to themselves “well, they were bad that year…”.  Had they gone 50-112, folks would remember that FOREVER as one of those historically bad seasons for ANY club in baseball history, not just Orioles history.

Winning 66 games was a miracle based on where the team was when Buck took over in early August.

Here are the grades:

Pitchers

Brian Matusz (C+) — Didn’t get off to a great start, but came on strong in Aug/Sept and showed he’s here to stay.  Could wind up being next year’s version of this year’s David Price (Tampa Bay).  At some point, it’s all going to come together for this kid.  He has a bright future, for sure. Let’s hope it’s in Baltimore.

Jeremy Guthrie (B) — Was the team’s best pitcher and, honestly, their best PLAYER all season.  Take away the 2009 season when the club cut his salary in pre-season and he’s put together three VERY good campaigns in Baltimore since arriving in 2007.

Brad Bergesen (C) — Another pitcher who responded well to the arrival of Showalter.  He still has a propensity to get involved in a big inning on occasion, but his stuff is as good as anyone’s on the staff and he’ll be in the rotation to start 2011.

Chris Tillman (D) — Sprinkled in the occasional good start, but for the most part he remains overmatched with his lack of control and little movement on his fastball.  Hopefully not a “AAAA pitcher” but that’s what it’s looking like more and more — hitters can’t touch him at the AAA level but he can’t get hitters out consistently enough at the big league level.

Kevin Millwood (D) — Wasn’t nearly as bad as his final numbers showed, but the bottom line is that he appeared disinterested from the start and that lack of enthusiasm translated into the worst season of his career.

Jake Arrieta (C-) — Control problems continue to plague him (52k/48bb) at the major league level, as they did in the minors, but he occasionally showed flashes of good stuff and should contend for a starting rotation spot in 2011 spring training.  WHIP (1.53) and BAA (.271) were way too high, but as a first year contributor, he had some decent moments.

David Hernandez (B-) — Accepted his bullpen role well and turned out to be impressive in his non-starter-work.  Could eventually compete for a starter’s spot again, but his lack of durability was an issue in his previous efforts to start.

Jason Berken (B-) — Was arguably the team’s most consistent pitcher – out of the bullpen – before getting hurt.  Like Hernandez, might not have been good enough to a consistently good starter, but he seems to have settled into his bullpen role with enthusiasm.

Koji Uehara (B-) — When healthy, he’s good to very good.  When not healthy, he’s not helping.  The question isn’t whether or not he can pitch and be effective.  He can be.  The question is “can he stay healthy?”.  Had some success as the closer, but also gave up several big home runs in that role.

Jim Johnson (C) — Injury-riddled 2010 didn’t give him a chance to do much.  Will be interesting to see what role Showalter gives him.  Was at his best as the 8th inning set-up man.

Mark Hendrickson (C-) — The journeyman left hander figures to NOT return in 2011.

Matt Albers (C) — Trade bait, perhaps?  He’s been OK in Baltimore, but with Hernandez and Berken (and maybe Koji?) coming back, where does he fit in?

Alfredo Simon (C-) — Too inconsistent to be counted on.  Experiment as the closer didn’t work.  He can’t start.  So what do you do with him?  Teach him to pitch left-handed?

Michael Gonzalez (C) — Didn’t really get enough work to justify any grade, but on the whole, he was just OK, at best.

Field Players

Ty Wigginton (B) — Should have been the team’s MVP, truth be known.  Carried the team in April and May when they were horrible.  Had an off-month in June, but rebounded nicely under Showalter and looks to be Buck’s kind of player.  Get used to seeing him, he’ll be back next year.

Luke Scott (B) – Blossomed into the team’s best – and, maybe, only – real power hitter.  If not for that 3-week injury where he hurt himself jogging around the bases, he would have enjoyed, perhaps, a VERY good season.  The only knock on him?  Where do you play him in the field?  He was OK at first base…better than I thought he’d be, but he can’t play left field every day, that’s for sure.

Adam Jones (C+) – He is, without question, the club’s most mysterious player.  One week he’s red hot and has that big-player swagger and the next week he’s swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, grounding into double play-after-double play, and watching fly balls sail over his head.  Personally, I think he’s the player with the most potential on the roster.  But his 2010 was just “eh”…some good, some bad…mostly “eh”.

Nick Markakis (C) — Hard to give Nick much better than a “C” when a lot of his numbers were down across the board.  That said, I really believe the power drop-off can be attributed more to where he hit in the lineup than anything else.  Still remains one of the game’s best defensive outfielders and with solid additions to the lineup, he could once again be a .300, 24 HR, 100 RBI guy without question.

Felix Pie (C) –  An incredibly gifted athlete who certainly improved over his injury-riddled 2009, but he’s still not nearly the 5-tool player that everyone imagined he’d be when he came up through the Cubs system.  His blemishes are obvious — not patient enough at the plate, not enough power  and prone to the mental mistake more than you’d like.  But there’s plenty of good with him as well.  Improved defensively, for sure, and looks to be more comfortable against left handers.  It wouldn’t hurt the club to make him part of trade talks in the off-season, but if nothing else, he’s a valuable role player going forward.

Corey Patterson (B) – For what he was – a minor leaguer out of a job in the spring – Patterson turned out to be a more-than-adequate 4th outfielder in 2010.  He probably won’t be back in 2011, but it wouldn’t be a bad decision to bring him back if he’s willing to settle for the part-time role again.  He is what he is — a decent professional player.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But he had a good year in 2010.

Cesar Izturis (C-) – Outstanding defensive year was tempered by the expected offensive fizzle.  He’s better at the plate than given credit for — but the numbers don’t lie.  The Orioles need to do better at the shortstop position, that’s for certain.  Will they?  I’m not so sure.  I have a weird feeling Buck likes him…and that he might be back on a 1-year deal while the team figures out what they’re going to do at the position long-term.

Brian Roberts (C) — Tough to assess him based on the fact he missed 100 games.  As expected, the team benefitted greatly when he returned, but it wasn’t “the old” B-Rob for the most part.  15 RBI in 59 games?  Wow.  4 HR in 59 games?  Ugh.  14 doubles in 59 games?  Eye opening.  But let’s assume his early season injury contributed to his lack of production.  At this point, though, you would figure the Orioles are starting to think about “life after B-Rob”.  It’s coming sometime soon.

Josh Bell (D) — Wasn’t ready.  Period.  Overmatched.  Period.  53 strikeouts in 53 games.  2 walks.  A .214 batting average.  Was OK in the field, and that’s being kind.  Just not big-league caliber yet.  But it also means the Orioles will be in the market for a 3B this off-season.

Matt Wieters (C-) — Seemed to pick it up when Showalter arrived, but it wasn’t a good sophomore season from “Mauer with Power”.  His defense was questionable at times and his long, loopy swing was victimized throughout the early part of the season by fastball pitchers.  A .249 batting average clearly isn’t good enough, but the more eye opening stat was 11 HR in 130 games.  Not time to panic yet, because he’s a year and a half into his career — but we all probably expected more at this point.  Patience, young grasshopper, patience .

Julio Lugo (D) – Not much there.  Nothing memorable stands out, which is why he won’t be back next year.

Craig Tatum (C) — He’s the back-up catcher, but an adequate enough one.  Was actually decent defensively.  Not dangerous at the plate, but back-up catchers rarely are.

Staff

Andy MacPhail (C-) — Rescued from a “D” or even “E” grade with Showalter’s August-September impact.  All four of his off-season acquisitions were basically either non-contributors (Atkins, Gonzalez), not motivated to succeed (Millwood) or not good enough (Lugo).

Buck Showalter (A) — Nothing else to say.  Easiest grade to give.  Gives everyone hope for 2011.

Dave Trembley (D) — Game after game, there were always “next-morning-questions” about his strategies and in-game decisions.  Was never given a decent roster to work with, but he turned out to be overmatched as the head honcho.

Juan Samuel (B-) — I thought he was better than Trembley, for sure, and the questions about strategies and what not weren’t as prevalent as those involving Trembley.

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Orioles sign Manny Machado — and now the debate begins

Posted on 17 August 2010 by Drew Forrester

The 11th hour nearly became the 12th and final hour for the Orioles last night in their pursuit of #1 draft pick Manny Machado, but the Birds made a last minute deal with Machado and agent Scott Boras and all’s well that ends well.

And it ended well for the Machado/Boras combo — to the tune of $5.25 million to put his name on the bottom of the contract.  It also ended well for the Orioles, who would have faced great scrutiny and, perhaps, even more criticism had they allowed Machado to remain unsigned, thereby losing the rights to him.

Everyone got what they wanted.

Machado got paid even though he’s never done anything – which happened a lot around baseball yesterday – and the Orioles forked over enough money to show that they aren’t going to let a million or so dollars get in the way of progress.

Let’s hope they won’t let $90 million get in the way of their pursuit of Carl Crawford this off-season.  I assume it will.  But that’s a story for November.

Today, we celebrate the fact that the Orioles came through in the final moments and signed Machado. While they were in a no-win position (lose him and you’re not willing to do what it takes to win — sign him and you absolutely pay more for him than you feel he’s worth), losing out on Machado would have been far more damaging than signing him and watching him turn into Manny Alexander instead of Hanley Ramirez.

Personally, I don’t think signing kids right out of high school is smart.  But that’s not me making a judgment on the Orioles and their drafting of Machado, because lots of major league teams take high school players.  That’s me making judgment on kids who haven’t made a car payment in their life.  A lot can go wrong with an 18-year old.  Depending on their upbringing, it might take until age 18 for a young boy or girl to discover such unique things as…sex…rock-n-roll music…marijuana…staying out late…alcohol…and the rest of that stuff you did when you were younger and didn’t know about the real world and mortgages and cable TV bills and health insurance premiums.

I would hope $5.25 million worth of found money would keep someone like Machado from wrecking himself and setting fire to that investment the Orioles made in him.  But kids will be kids.  Just ask Maurice Clarett.

It’s a slippery slope indeed when you write a young man a check for $5.25 million and he’s never swung at a pitch in anger in his life.  It’s also that way in college football or college basketball, but the level of play at the intercollegiate closely rivals that of the pro game.

High school baseball, even at its highest level, is a juiced up version of really good Little League and nothing more.

For OUR sake, in Baltimore, we need Machado to be the real deal so he can replace Cesar Izturis in a few years.  Most draftniks have Machado not being major league ready until AT LEAST 2014.  That’s a lot of Cesar hitting .241.  Too much, if you ask me.  And as we’ve seen with the likes of Josh Bell, tearing it up at AAA and coming north to Baltimore and lighting it up in the majors are two different things.  Only  the band “When in Rome” had less hits than Bell.  But if Machado fulfills his A-Rod-Lite comparisons, we’ll all be thrilled to death when he shows up in a few years and starts replicating #13 in both style and substance.

Let’s hope Machado doesn’t pick up on that “other” A-Rod habit…if you know what I mean.

Giving a high school kid $5.25 million.  Right thing to do?  Wrong thing to do?

We won’t know for three years or more.

By then, that money will be spent.

Let’s hope the kid is worth it.

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I was out of town yesterday-but had an outstanding experience. I poked my head into a random farmers market (for security reasons, I’ll leave the location undisclosed), and it was a magical experience. A friend of mine (I think for future reference we’re going to call her “Boomer Sooner” here) made a delicious concoction of beeksteak tomatoes, feta cheese, a multigrain baguette, lemon basil and pepper.

Seeing as how my meals are usually made up of frozen pasta or Chick-Fil-A, it was a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately my phone was dead, so I failed to Twitpic the experience. I’m sorry everyone!

But as I pointed out yesterday on Facebook (search “Glenn Clark” and add the guy who is drinking orange kool-aid and shaking his head because he lost a bet to Ed in Park Heights), the highlight of the event was the fact that this vision of food took place in direct earshot of a group called the Second String Band. I wish I had their version of “If I Had a Boat” available, but instead you’re going to have to settle for Dave Matthews’ version. No offense to Lyle Lovett, it’s just that everyone else does his song better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap1ruVdAwl8[/youtube]

And while we’re here, let’s go ahead and post Dave Matthews (& Emmylou Harris) covering “Long Black Veil”-most famously from Johnny Cash. I mean, as long as we’re here…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCLqphW77aA[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net says Peter Angelos directly involved with Ravens, MASN divorce

My initial response? “Surprise, surprise.”

It’s frustrating to read this story, but it is by no means stunning. MASN has been nothing short of a trainwreck since it’s inception (that’s not a low blow), even when one Glenn Clark was briefly part of the programming. In fact, if you ever needed proof that MASN was a trainwreck from the go, the fact that Glenn Clark was ever part of it has to be absolute proof!

The good news that comes from the MASN/Ravens divorce? We’ll NEVER have to watch Tom Davis have to talk about a franchise he so clearly despises. The guy was almost comical in his snide comments regarding the organization-which was a bit interesting considering his over-the-top love affair with the Major League Baseball team in town. You know, the Major League Baseball team that employed him.

There was a sense that the Orioles finally came around to working with the Ravens out of necessity. The Ravens pep rally and giveaway nights at Camden Yards would attract the biggest crowds of the season; and it was always fun to see the likes of John Harbaugh, Steve McNair and Willis McGahee throw out the first pitch at a game.

I hope the Orioles don’t really think they don’t “need” the Ravens anymore. I hope they’re not foolish enough to think that they’ve fixed their problems and don’t need the help. I’m as excited as anyone else about the 5-1 start under a new manager, but this is still a desperate situation.

2. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Tavares Gooden, Chris Carr amongst Ravens who missed practice Sunday

The good news? Tavares Gooden returned to practice Monday, according to our own Luke Jones-who is reporting from the practice field at McDaniel College.

The bad news? Chris Carr did not practice again Monday morning. He wouldn’t answer questions about the injury (believed to be his hamstring) after practice Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, and John Harbaugh dismissed questions as well.

I’m not sure what there is to know, but I know that an injury to Chris Carr is reason for concern. With Domonique Foxworth out for the year and Lardarius Webb on PUP, Chris Carr is a very important part of this football team. Hopefully the injury is not significant.

Luke passed along a few more notes from this morning-as OL’s David Hale & Stefan Rodgers as well as safety KJ Gerard WERE practicing, while Ramon Harewood, Tony Moll and Marcus Paschal were again NOT practicing.

Talking about football is just so great…

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says ‘cutting down penalties’ area of concern for Ravens in Training Camp

An area of concern for Glenn Clark? Finding more pictures of Nikoleta Rali (Thanks Don Chavez!)…

nikoleta

And a few more Ravens notes before we move on…

-Remember, today and tomorrow are the only days this week you can go watch the team practice at McDaniel College. The team will have a walkthrough Wednesday that is closed to the public, and are off Friday following Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

-Our own Luke Jones is back out in Carroll County all day today, keeping you updated with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider every hour on AM1570 WNST.

4. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jeremy Guthrie out-dueled Mark Buehrle as Orioles topped White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Who in the hell are these guys?!?!?

I had a TERRIBLE feeling when Ramon Castro crushed the home run in the 9th off of Alfredo Simon to make it 4-3. But much like when I had a terrible feeling as the team tried to blow a 9-1 lead against the Los Angeles Angels last week, the team managed to hold on.

And with that in mind, I say “Buck Yeah!”

koolaid

It doesn’t REALLY matter what happens in these games the rest of the way as the season ended before even Memorial Day; but it is nice to actually win some of them anyway. What happens from April-June of NEXT year will be significantly more important, but I’ll continue to enjoy it for now. It certainly beats the alternative.

5. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of another win

And once again, I’m left without my tag line here.

Guthrie was absolutely stellar, allowing one run on 6 hits and just one walk over 8 innings. Felix Pie homered, and just about everyone in the lineup (including Cesar Izturis) had a double.

I CANNOT figure out who these guys are.

But just to keep up appearances, take a look at the numbers and THEN take a look at this picture of Shanna McLaughlin hanging out in the Central Florida locker room. I don’t know why she did it, but I’m glad she did. Thanks Busted Coverage!

shanna

6. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Troy Patton optioned to Norfolk, Craig Tatum expected to take his place on O’s roster

Apparently Buck Showalter went to Andy MacPhail and said he wanted another position player for the bench. I’m sure Andy MacPhail was happy to have someone offer him thoughts about personnel.

When Tatum officially gets called back up, make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service. You’ll find out the news as soon as it happens.

I’m guessing Jake Fox will be happy to not have to catch anymore. Or at least I am…

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter wants to give Jason Berken ‘a break’

And given how he’s struggled recently after lighting the world on fire earlier in the season, it is apparent that his workload (leading the league in innings pitched) has caught up with him.

Now it is a bit strange that the team would option Troy Patton at the same time that they’re giving Jason Berken a break-but I will admit that the starting pitching has been pretty good recently. When Kevin Millwood wasn’t hammered in the first inning Saturday night, I thought it a minor miracle.

That doesn’t mean that I’m convinced that the starting pitching is somehow “fixed.”

I have a bad feeling that the team will end up getting at least a few rough starts soon (maybe not against the Cleveland Indians-they’re terrible; but possibly against the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend despite the fact that everyone else has no-hit them this season). It is probably a risk worth taking though, and hopefully Berken will be ready to go before too long.

8. NorfolkTides.com says Zach Britton roughed up in Tides’ loss to Louisville Bats on farm

And a few things before we move on from the Birds…

-They’ll close up their 4 game series with the Pale Hose tonight at OPACY, Brian Matusz takes the hill against Edwin Jackson. First pitch is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Did you miss Jay Jaffe from Baseball Prospectus this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Mark Kelso (Buffalo Bills Color Analyst)-as Drew continued to preview the teams on the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule this season
  • Rex Hoggard (Golf Channel)-who broke down Tiger Woods’ struggles in Akron and previewed the PGA Championship this weekend
  • A live check-in from Luke Jones this morning from Westminster at Training Camp
  • John Harbaugh’s Sunday press conference
  • Lomas Brown (ESPN Analyst and former NFL O-Lineman)-who joined Eric Aaronson to look around the league.

Now you have your day planned. You can thank me later.

9. UMTerps.com says 22 Maryland freshmen reported to College Park Sunday before practice begins Tuesday

Overheard from Ralph Friedgen’s tour of the area Sunday…

“This is Route 1. Never go here. I know you will anyway, so when you do-don’t act like an idiot. Don’t let me find out how stupid you are. Don’t get arrested at Cornerstone. Don’t bother women at Bentley’s. PLEASE and Thank You.”

Hopefully the young Terrapins were listening.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps trying to break streak of 6 straight seasons scoring 25 or fewer points per game

You know what would help this team offensively? A little photographic inspiration. May I suggest Pia Muehlenbeck? (Thanks Guyism!)…

pia

And finally, I leave you with this.

As I said yesterday via Facebook, I’m not sure if it even technically counts as a board game, but I know what the greatest board game of all time is…

connect4

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles Sweep Angels, Face New Test Against Ozzie’s Sox

Posted on 06 August 2010 by Jay Trucker

If the Orioles finish the season undefeated during the Showalter regime, they will be a respectable 89-73.

It doesn’t seem entirely impossible since the Orioles began the Showalter era with a sweep of the L.A. Angels of Anaheim in California near Santa Cruz. Jake Arrieta logged a strong 7 and 2/3 and it looked like the club was going to cruise to a 4-1 series-ending victory before Jason Berken gave up a three-run dinger to Torii Hunter in the eighth inning.

For a moment the club seemed destined for familiar losing territory, until Cesar Izturis knocked in Julio Lugo, pinch running for Matt Wieters, to win the game 5-4 in regulation. The Angels put five players in the infield to defend against the light-hitting shortstop.

That would never fly in beer league regulations. Stand behind the cones!

Anyway, the Angels are now two games under .500 at 54-56, uncharacteristically stuck in third in the West. Friday, the Central-leading White Sox will come to town for series two of the Showalter era. The Sox overcame a slow start and are now 62-46. They’ve won eight of their last ten and play over .500 on the road.

Will Showalter Magic continue at The Yard? It’s not as if the team has played flawless baseball. They nearly surrendered the lead Wednesday and Thursday. Brian Roberts bobbled at least two balls on Thursday and looked visibly displeased following the second, an inning-extending mangled double play. Yet, the club has seen a clear uptick in productivity. In this series alone they’ve had 36 hits, a walk off single from a shortstop the Angels didn’t even respect enough to defend with three outfielders. It will be interesting to see how the rejuvenated Birds fare against the likes of Chicago’s Danks, Floyd, and Buehrle.

They’re still a long way from the 89 win season.

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Orioles: Two months to go, nothing to play for…except these 5 things

Posted on 31 July 2010 by Drew Forrester

A week or so into the Orioles 2010 season – marred by a pair of 3-game drubbings at home by Toronto and Tampa Bay – I was already baseball’d out.

48 hours into Ravens camp and I’m already “injury’d out”.

So rather than write what everyone else is writing – “everything’s going to be just fine” or “the sky is falling, we might not win 6 games” – about the Ravens, I’ll go back to the well one more time and offer a few observations about our orange feathered friends.

With the debut of Buck Showalter as manager on Tuesday, I figured it’s time to take a good look at the remaining two months of the season and list some of the things that REALLY matter between now and the end of September.

As we know, the 2010 baseball season in Baltimore is over.  But the 2011 season is sort-of starting right now, for several players have “something to prove” in the final 60 days of the campaign.  I’m not talking about how Adam Jones finishes the season (he’s going to be on the team next season and start in center field) or how Matt Wieters finishes (he’s the catcher here…period) or whether or not Brian Roberts ends his season next week or finishes the year playing regularly (he’s going to be the 2nd baseman on opening day next year).

I’m talking about the unknown.  These are the things we don’t know…and things that matter over the last two months as it pertains to the start of 2011.

1. Who’s the closer? I’m not saying this because Alfredo Simon coughed up the game last night, but I don’t think he’s the closer of the future for the Orioles.  You know what you get with him.  A guy who usually puts at least one runner on base in a close-out situation, if not more.  Some nights, he escapes, some nights, he doesn’t.  I’d like to see the club use David Hernandez in the closer role and give him a legitimate shot at either earning the job heading into 2011 or throwing it up for grabs.  He, like Simon, is prone to the occasional walk, but I think he has better command of his fastball than Simon and, to me, he’s just more dependable.  I think the club has some “live arms” in the bullpen.  Let’s use the last two months to figure out which one is best suited to close in 2011.  And before you say it…no, it’s NOT Mike Gonzalez.

2.  Can Luke Scott play first base? In a short sample of work (21 games over two season), Scott has been adequate at first base, with three errors in all.  With each game, he seems a bit more comfortable to me.  Here’s what I DO know:  Luke can’t play left field.  Here’s what I DON’T know:  Can he play first base on a regular basis (meaning, 120 games) and still be productive at the plate and field the position well enough to justify earning the status of “starting first baseman”?  I’d use the last 55 or so games to really figure that out and if Scott handles the situation decently, I’d be willing to look at him as the incumbent first baseman next year.  That is, unless we go out and buy a big free-agent first-baseman/quality hitter in the winter.  Never mind, you already know the answer to that.  Let’s see what Luke can do.

3.  What’s the Pie factor? Since the All-Star break, Felix Pie has become Felix Pie again, hitting roughly .190 and striking out more times than Clinton got monthly visits from Monica.  At times, Pie looks like a project worth keeping around.  Despite his recent struggles, he’s become more selective at the plate and his power potential looks better than it did a year ago.  But he’s still not done enough to warrant earning a full-time role in the outfield, no matter what happens with Nolan Reimold in the minor leagues.  If I’m the Orioles, I think long and hard about Carl Crawford regardless of what Pie does between now and the end of the season (and if that means shipping out Reimold in a deal for something of quality, I’d think about that, too).  But in the meantime – not knowing what Crawford will do and assuming the Orioles won’t pay him, anyway – I’d go ahead and keep playing Felix every night in left field and use the last 55 games to figure out whether or not he’s the man in 2011.  It would be nice if he could stay healthy for longer than 6 weeks, too.  We’ll have to see about that.

4.  Can the Bell ring? I don’t have much to go on, granted, but I’m not “feelin’ it” with Josh Bell so far.  He’s a wild, free-swinger at the plate and I don’t see the natural athleticism in the field at 3rd base.  That said…he’s in the January of his major league career and he needs time to show if he can do it or not.  With Tejada gone, it’s obvious that the Orioles are going to go with Bell throughout the remainder of the season.  But I hope they’re not just playing him to play him.  I hope they’re evaluating him as well.  If he doesn’t show enough quality in the field, there might be a need for some off-season shopping to bring in someone at the hot corner.  And no, I don’t mean Miguel Tejada Visit #3.  I mean a real 3rd baseman. If Bell is decent in the field and shows improvement at the plate, he’ll be the starter in 2011.  I’m not feelin’ it yet, but I’m willing to give him more time.

5.  Izzy worth one more year? Face the facts, we’re an organization that doesn’t spend a lot of money on players, so ANY opening that requires a check to someone – particularly a big one – might be met with a patchwork effort.  That’s how Cesar Izturis got here in the first place…MacPhail didn’t want to spend real money on a high-profile shortstop.  Anyway, two years later, Izturis is again a free agent and the Orioles will enter the off-season without someone to play that position in 2011.  This “Izturis debate” would be moot if we had someone in the wings waiting to come up and take the gig.  We don’t have that player.  So…in his two years here, has Izturis done enough to warrant a new deal?  Maybe.  I’d use the last two months to really look at him, study the numbers and decide if it’s worth bringing him back for ONE more year (assuming he’ll take a one-year deal) and use that money to try and lure Crawford to Baltimore in the off-season.  I know Izturis isn’t a great player.  But he’s a dependable defensive player and an occasionally adequate offensive contributor.  He’s been more involved in rallies and wins this year than you’re willing to give him credit for, I can assure you of that.  I’m not saying DEFINITELY bring him back.  I’m saying it might be worth CONSIDERING bringing him back and I’d use the last 55 games to give him a quiet audition.  One more thing about the benefit of having Izturis around:  When you fill out the lineup card, SOMEONE has to bat 9th.

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O’s swap Ohman for VandenHurk Before Deadline

Posted on 31 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Andy MacPhail and the Baltimore Orioles made one additional move before Saturday’s 4pm trade deadline, swapping left-handed reliever Will Ohman for Florida Marlins righty Rick VandenHurk.

Ohman posted a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings pitched this season for the Birds (51 appearances) and did not factor in a decision at all. VandenHurk went 8-4 with AAA New Orleans in the Marlins’ system, posting a 4.68 ERA in 98 innings pitched. For his MLB career, VandenHurk is 8-9 with a 5.96 ERA in a career spanning parts of 4 seasons. He’s pitched 155.2 innings at the big-league level, all with the Fish.

VandenHurk worked with Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz while the two were together in Miami in 2007. New manager Buck Showalter told The Sun this weekend he was hoping to keep the coaching staff in tact at least for the remainder of the 2010 season.

The O’s dealt 3B Miguel Tejada to the San Diego Padres Thursday for RHP prospect Wynn Pelzer, but were otherwise quiet before the trade deadline. Potential trade chips like Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Hendrickson, Julio Lugo and Cesar Izturis remain on the roster. Players could still be dealt before August 31, but would first have to pass through waivers.

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because the Bowie Baysox are celebrating “The Dude” tonight at Prince George’s Stadium. And I’m sure all other “Big Lebowski” fans are with me in thinking “Who better to celebrate???” (Edit from GMC: Video VERY MUCH NSFW.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED4VL7W6VdQ[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Terrence Cody passed conditioning test, returned to Ravens practice

Like I said yesterday, “thank God our long civic nightmare is over.”

I’m not particularly worked up about a failed conditioning test. I am a BIT more worked up about the thought that we’ll have to worry about Terrence Cody’s weight/condition for the next few years.

I’m sure there are others (John Harbaugh comes to mind) that are even more concerned about it. Having Haloti Ngata give him a nickname like “Cheeseburger” doesn’t exactly bode well. Of course, it’s not like they didn’t know what they were getting when they picked him in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. It’s also not like the nickname doesn’t fit.

If I was more of a comedian, I’d have a better “hopefully he’ll be our Cheeseburger in Paradise” Jimmy Buffett-type joke to use here. Instead, I’ll opt to offer a picture of the Boston Blackie Burger from Blackie’s in Chicago-a spot I visited for the first time in my life on the 4th of July. It’s a winner…

blackies

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Texas coach Mack Brown believes Sergio Kindle may have fallen due to narcolepsy

Which could VERY WELL be a legitimate reason.

There were reports around the time of the NFL Draft that Kindle may suffer from narcolepsy and ADD, and had fallen asleep during meetings while he was with the Longhorns. We hadn’t necessarily heard that sleepwalking was an issue; but there is certainly at least a CHANCE it’s true.

If so, it’s probably a less concerning explanation than some other potential explanations that had been thrown around. We won’t know what REALLY happened until Sergio Kindle is able to talk to the media-and even then there will be some who will still wonder exactly what happened last week in Austin.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Jared Gaither reported to Training Camp ‘on time’ Wednesday, Terrell Suggs reported ‘slimmer’

I understand that they’re going to say the right thing here; but John Harbaugh said on Monday in the lobby of the Westminster Best Western that he was “looking forward to seeing (Gaither) today.”

Maybe the team didn’t require Gaither to report to Camp early because of his foot injury, but Coach Harbs certainly suggested that he was expecting to see Jared on Monday. Could be a simple miscommunication, could be that the head coach wanted Jared in earlier in the week because he missed OTA’s and is expected to play a different position this year.

The reality is that it doesn’t really matter. Gaither’s in Camp, and as long as he’s on the practice field tomorrow-everything is fine. If he’s still battling the foot problem tomorrow, there will be one more recent drama the team will be dealing with.

You know, because they needed another distraction. Remember when they were having a fairly quiet offseason???

As far as “T-Sizzle” is concerned, it will be interesting to see what he looks like on the practice field as well. As far as defensive improvement is concerned, it is clear that all of it surrounds what type of season Suggs has, especially considering the help that was supposed to come on the pass rush from Sergio Kindle now may well not be there.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ed Reed spouted off about Baltimore media on Cleveland radio station

I’m finding it hard to find much of anything else to say about Ed Reed right now. He can be as mad as he wants to be at Mike Preston or anyone else in the Baltimore media; but everyone heard his comments-and no one forced a microphone in front of his face in any of his radio interviews; including the first one he did July 2 with us that started this ball rolling.

I’ll leave it alone for now.

The Ravens are off today as they hold an “administrative day” with veterans now in the house. They’ll put the pads on and his the field at McDaniel College for the first full team practice of camp tomorrow morning at 8:45. Luke Jones will keep you updated at the bottom of every hour with Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson and Nestor Aparicio.

5. The AP says Brad Mills shut down Orioles in 5-0 win for Blue Jays at Rogers Centre

Remember when Forrester bet me that the Birds would win AND cover 2.5?

I hope lunch is at PF Chang’s.

If I was surprised that a pitcher making his only start before being sent back down to the minors baffled the O’s, I’d tell you. The thing is…I’m not surprised by it at all.

How could I be?

The Orioles are the absolute worst team in baseball, and one of the worst teams in the history of baseball. How could I be surprised by any of this?!?!?

0-12 against Toronto this season. 31-70 for the season. I can’t make these type of numbers up.

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Jeremy Guthrie was actually pretty good last night. It probably won’t make you feel much better, but it happened. I’d like to think that it would improve his value at the Trade Deadline, but I saw what the Arizona Diamondbacks got for Dan Haren. Dan Haren is better than Jeremy Guthrie. The market just isn’t in the Orioles’ favor.

Despite Guthrie, you don’t want to look at the numbers-which include a combined 0-8 with 2 K’s and 5 LOB from Luke Scott and Adam Jones. Instead, look at Cameron Russell from Guyism. We’ll re-group after that…

cameronr

7. MLB.com’s James Hall says Juan Samuel will stick with Bergesen, rest of rotation this time through

Which means you’ll have to wait to see Zach Britton; not that you would have necessarily canceled your Saturday night plans to see him pitch anyway.

Clearly the Birds are hoping their roster decisions will be made for them with the trade deadline. Should they figure out a way to deal Guthrie (or Kevin Millwood), they could bring up Britton (or Chris Tillman) to replace them in the rotation. Should they deal Will Ohman or Mark Hendrickson, they could move Bergesen into the bullpen and move one of the others back into the rotation.

The problem with all of this is that I’m not even sure Andy MacPhail is going to be able to trade ANYONE. Guthrie is the best chip, but this is a year where the pitching market is top-heavy (Cliff Lee and Dan Haren already dealt, Roy Oswalt available); meaning the value for the secondary market is lessened. There have been years where Jeff Suppan and/or Sidney Ponson were the best pitchers available. If this was that type of the year, the market for Guthrie would be better.

The Birds will be lucky to get ANYTHING for Millwood; and the rest of their chips (Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, Julio Lugo, Cesar Izturis, Ohman, Hendrickson) aren’t going to get them much more than a B-level prospect or player to be named at best.

The only real hope they have to get something is Luke Scott, who despite a tough night last night has been hot recently. The Orioles aren’t going to get a lot for him, but they might be able to get SOMETHING-which is more than they could get for much of anyone else.

8. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell, Nolan Reimold homered in Norfolk Tides’ win on farm

Before we move on from the on-field Orioles, a couple of things.

-The O’s head to Kansas City to face the Royals tonight; with Brian Matusz going against Kyle Davies. First pitch from Kauffman Stadium is on MASN at 8:10pm. There’s no reason the Orioles couldn’t win this game…but I’ll pick KC. Sean O’Sullivan, Zack Greinke and the great Bruce Chen are scheduled to finish the weekend against Jake Arrieta, Bergesen and Millwood. With a mircale, they’ll split.

-Soren Petro from 810 WHB in Kansas City joined Drew this morning on “The Morning Reaction” to preview the Royals series. If you missed it, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests included:

  • Jerry Crasnick (ESPN.com)-who discussed the trade deadline, as well as surprising teams in baseball
  • Jason La Canfora (NFL Network)-who discussed Terrell Owens, the AFC North, Dez Bryant and more
  • John Perrotto (Baseball Prospectus)-who went around the world of baseball

It’s all up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault as well.

9. Fanhouse’s Greg Couch says former O’s 1B Jim Gentile finally credited with winning 1961 RBI title

Which you would know if you heard my “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers” segment this morning on AM1570 WNST. It’s in the Audio Vault if you missed it.

Apparently Lee MacPhail had told Gentile that he would have gotten $5,000 more if he had won the RBI title-which Greg Couch thinks Andy MacPhail should offer to pay him as a kind gesture. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

As a kind gesture from myself to Jim Gentile, I will offer pictures of Daniela Freitas. (Thanks Busted Coverage/Totally Crap!)

freitas

10. UMTerps.com says WR/Specialist Torrey Smith, LB Alex Wujciak named All-ACC

Technically they have THREE all-conference selections, as Torrey Smith was named as both a receiver AND specialist. As I was reminded yesterday-Virginia Tech only had ONE all-conference selection (Ryan Williams), so take that Hokies!

The problem is that beyond these two, this Terrapins team has as many question marks as my Chapel Hill Elementary School 2nd grade English class. Of course, I rarely paid attention in my 2nd grade English class-as I spent more time paying attention to my “girlfriend” Michelle Hensley. Anyone know how she’s doing?

The joke I missed here was that Maryland only had two more wins than Chapel Hill last year. Damn! Sorry everyone…

11. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland to play William & Mary (in football) again in 2012

I remind you that it’s “in football” because it isn’t surprising to see the Tribe come back to Byrd Stadium. Now if Gary Williams were to invite them back to Comcast Center after what happened last year, I’d be absolutely stunned. In fact, I’m a little surprised Gary doesn’t have a “no-fly” zone for W&M over College Park entirely.

Maryland regularly plays one FCS (former 1AA) per year; and they have Morgan State this year, Towson next year, and Rhode Island in 2013. This year’s other non-conference games are Navy, West Virginia and Eastern Michigan; next year’s are Notre Dame, West Virginia and (I believe) Temple.

12. Sports Network’s Craig Haley says Towson picked last in CAA

I stopped by CAA Media Day yesterday, and I have to admit that the oatmeal raisin cookies and potato chips at M&T Bank Stadium were DELICIOUS.

It’s hard to pick Rob Ambrose’s Tigers anything BUT last considering the year they’re coming off and the strength of the CAA; so I doubt they’re particularly disappointed.

As a consolation prize, I offer a photo of Katherine Jenkins. (Thanks Don Chavez!)

kjenkins

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know I already named a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week (“Cornbread” by Dave Matthews Band), but I’m sure there’s been a week where I forgot to name one; so I’m naming another. Hey, it’s my blog. Enjoy “Shutterbug” by Big Boi from Outkast…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWsvkW6rKkQ[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because my roommate’s girlfriend (“The Luckiest Dang Roommate’s Girlfriend on the Face of the Planet”?) dropped off a gift at our apartment (“Summer Camp”) last night. Let’s just say it was thoughtful…

berger

And while I’m at it, my roommate and I are currently searching for a new home base-looking for a bit more space than our current 2 bedroom apartment. I asked this on Facebook yesterday, but I might as well ask again here. Does anyone rent townhouses in Baltimore County?

I’m looking for something with a little space and fairly priced. There’s only two of us, so I can’t pay $1600. I’ll take a nice place in a solid neighborhood, or I’ll take a dump with THIS in the basement…

microbrewery

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens DT Terrence Cody failed conditioning test, missed practice Tuesday

Argh.

Look, this ISN’T the earth-shattering news some folks in town wanted to think it was. Players fail the conditioning test in Westminster every year. Is it a BIT more concerning because the biggest issue Terrence Cody has faced in his life IS conditioning? Sure. But this isn’t a “stop the presses” type of issue.

My guess is that Terrence Cody will take the test again in the next day or two and will pass. After that, he’ll hit the practice field at McDaniel College after that.

My other guess? This won’t be the last time Terrence Cody’s conditioning is questioned while he’s in Charm City.

Just guesses.

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-I was right. Cody passed his test and returned to the practice field Tuesday morning. Our long civic nightmare is over. And the news was first reported…by Fabian Washington on Twitter. Of course it was. They call Fabian “the most trusted name in news”, don’t they?)

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Cody, Ed Reed, Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb amongst 10 Ravens on Training Camp PUP list

No one on this list is particularly surprising-I don’t think we knew much about Oniel Cousins’ throat surgery; and I’m not really sure what’s going on with Prince Miller or Rodelin Anthony (and both are likely longshots to make the roster anyway).

And as our own Luke Jones wrote later last night, it is IMPORTANT to remember that this ISN’T the “miss 6 weeks of the season” PUP list-just the active list to start Camp. As these guys are ready-they’ll practice.

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-Prince Miller returned to practice today as well. Thank God!)

I’m just grateful the team didn’t end up putting Asimina Koutsounouri on PUP. That would have been devastating (Thanks Don Chavez/Totally Crap!)…

Asimina

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Steve Bisciotti should be considering contract extension for John Harbaugh

And I’ll go ahead on the other side and say…and the end of the season.

There’s no question that the organization CANNOT allow Coach Harbs to go into next season with it being the final year of his contract (see: Trembley, Dave). That being said, there’s no reason to necessarily do this right now, as the focus should be on the team and trying to reach the Super Bowl.

Of course, the opposing argument would be “but then what do you do if everything goes wrong this season and the team somehow ends up 5-11? You either reward him for a bad season or you allow him to enter the final year of his contract.”

That would be the issue, yes. Let’s worry about that when it happens.

4. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cam Cameron thinks Troy Smith-John Beck decision will be ‘pretty obvious’

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-Two more practices for the Ravens today, with this afternoon’s session scheduled for 3:30pm. After the morning session; John Harbaugh, Terrence Cody and Ed Dickson are scheduled to meet with the media. Sergio Kindle was originally scheduled as well-but it’s safe to say that won’t happen. Luke Jones is on the scene, he’ll be checking in with reports throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Nestor Aparicio on AM1570 WNST.

-Brian Baldinger (NFL Network) said Haloti Ngata was the 5th best player in the entire NFL. Sorta makes me look silly for saying he’s the #3 guy on the Ravens’ roster… (Joe Flacco, Michael Oher).

5. The AP says Jose Bautista homered twice as Blue Jays crushed Orioles in Toronto

Thank God Jose Bautista only plays the Birds 18 times a year, or the Hall of Fame folks would already be working on his plaque in Cooperstown.

I will be forced to admit that I turned the game off after Bautista’s 1st inning homer. Why the Orioles let Kevin Millwood even pitch in the first inning is beyond me. It just isn’t going to go well.

Remember when we thought Kevin Millwood was going to have trade value? I still think he does, I just think they need to lower their expectations for what they can get for him. In fact, their best bets may be Isuro Tanaka and/or Rube Baker from the Cleveland Indians.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXjmoEhO0VI[/youtube]

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Nick Markakis went 2-4 with a double and RBI…BUT…Felix Pie, Jake Fox and Cesar Izturis combined for an 0-fer with 2K’s each.

You know you don’t want to look at this.

My recommendation would be to look at Nikoletta Ralli instead. (Thanks Busted Coverage/Brosome!)

ralli

7. MLB.com’s James Hall says Zach Britton rumored for Saturday start vs. Royals, Juan Samuel doesn’t want to send Bergesen back to Norfolk

I’m going to try my hardest to say something here besides “I don’t really care”, but it’s hard for me to think of much of anything else.

If Bergesen stays in the rotation, he’ll probably get hit around. Kansas City stinks, but they can still hit. There’s nothing about his performance recently that suggests he’ll suddenly come alive. I don’t know that he REALLY gains anything from going back to Norfolk, but maybe he does.

Zach Britton probably ISN’T ready to reach the big league level yet-but it would be a pressure-less situation on the road against a terrible KC team at a time when no one in either town is particularly concerned about what’s going on baseball-wise.

My gut says Bergesen makes the start-and my gut says that’s probably for the best right now.

My gut ALSO says that the 3rd Berger Cookie was a bad choice last night. I rarely listen to my gut.

8. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Britton solid in Tides’ loss, Billy Rowell solid in Frederick Keys’ loss on farm

Before we move on from the on-field O’s, a couple of things…

-The Orioles are back in action tonight, wrapping up their 3 game set in Canada. Jeremy Guthrie (who MIGHT have some trade value) goes against the Jays’ Brad Mills (who will be making his first start). First pitch at Rogers Centre is at 7:07pm, and the game can be seen on MASN2.

-If you missed Bowie Baysox 1B Joe Mahoney today on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester on AM1570 WNST; make sure you check out the chat with the Eastern League Player of the Week in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net. Other guests this morning were:

  • Clark Judge (CBSSports.com), who went around the NFL with Drew-discussing Terrell Owens, the Ravens and who he liked in the AFC.
  • Ovie Mughelli (Atlanta Falcons FB, former Raven), who discussed his recent trip to the Gulf Coast and football in general with Drew.
  • Luke Jones, who checked in live from the practice field at McDaniel College with news about Terrence Cody, Matt Birk, etc.

They’re all in the Audio Vault as well if you want to check them out!

9. ESPN.com’s Matt Lindner says Birds should consider racing Muppets at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Why did I include this in Crabs and Beer? Honestly, I have no idea. Probably because it’s a funny read (and we can use something like that when we talk about the Orioles); and it gives me an excuse to include this classic version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JruqUIjl5Sw[/youtube]

10. FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman says Gary Williams got ‘new lease on life’ when Debbie Yow left for NC State

Which would surprise…like…no one.

Jeff will be on with Thyrl at 10:40am today to talk about this story and other college basketball-related items. Check it out live or later today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

Also make sure you check out this week’s edition of the “D1scast”, as myself and Patrick Stevens (D1scourse) discuss everything going on in the world of college sports-including a wrap of this weekend’s ACC Kickoff event in Greensboro. You can listen to the D1scast in the Audio Vault as well.

I got a new “lease on life” myself when I saw pictures of Carolina Baldini over at Guyism this morning…

baldini

And finally, I leave you with this.

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I was reminded that the Harford County Farm Fair gets underway tomorrow. Which reminds me-I need to run out and pick up some chewing tobacco today. Not for me to actually use, just to help me feel more comfortable.

Much like the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, there’s one simple thing that I enjoy most about the Hazzard County Fair. Plain and simple…PIG RACES…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQaxImm9zoY[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I decided to spend the weekend out in the heat; going to see the Beach Boys with the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark Saturday night at Pier Six Pavilion; and hitting up Dave Matthews Band Friday night at Nationals Park with “The Artist Formerly Known as The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet.”

I apologize if you’ve already seen this on my Facebook page (search “Glenn Clark” to add me as a friend; I’ll be in a picture at Artscape wearing a Derrick Mason Dan Wilcox jersey); but I thought it was worth sharing again. I’ve seen Dave Matthews channel Willie Nelson for “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away” a handful of times in my life, but I will admit that it was BETTER with Zac Brown along for the ride…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjkPpX0cAZA[/youtube]

Yeah, I managed to enjoy myself despite the fact that I was surrounded by insufferable folks from Washington. At least I had 4-5 guys come up to me during the night and yell “Go Ravens”, which I certainly appreciated.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle stable after hitting head in accidental fall down two flights of stairs in Austin Thursday night

I hate to start such a laughable blog with such a serious topic; but clearly this is the most significant story of the weekend locally.

As I wrote yesterday, the news is “troubling” at best. We still don’t know many details surrounding the incident or a timetable for Kindle’s return; which only allows for more speculation from folks in the area.

What we know is that Kindle is at the University Medical Center Breckenridge in Texas, where he’s expected to make a full recovery after falling down two flights of stairs. What we DON’T know is how he managed to fall down two flights of stairs. Was it a fight? Was alcohol involved? Were drugs involved? Was it a simple accident?

It’s hard to ignore the troubles Kindle dealt with during his time with the Longhorns; but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should expect the worst here. As I said the night the Ravens selected him and Terrence Cody; they knew what they were getting themselves into. The pair had immense talent, but plenty of red flags to match.

The bigger question is what will it mean going forward. We’re hoping to find out more about that this afternoon when John Harbaugh addresses the media at the Best Western in Westminster. Make sure you’re tuned in to Nestor Aparicio this afternoon (he’s just filling in for Rex Snider this week, calm down everyone) to hear from the coach-hopefully with news on a timetable for Kindle’s return.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark breaks down 81 players on Ravens roster before Training Camp opens

As of this moment, I have David Hale as the last player MAKING the cut and John Beck the first player MISSING the cut. Want an explanation? You’ll have to click the link to check it out; as well as a breakdown of the other 79 players who are preparing to open practice at McDaniel College.

It’s really fine work from this particular writer; and I would know a thing or two about fine work. For example, I saw this picture of Shakira over at Don Chavez…

shakira

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrell Suggs’ shape, health of Lardarius Webb & Fabian Washington worth watching out for in Westminster

Also worth watching to see if Luke Jones and I melt in the heat.

Rookies (except Sergio Kindle), quarterbacks and select veterans (players recovering from injuries, practice squad guys, etc.) are all reporting to Westminster today; with the first practice of the year coming tomorrow at 8:45am.

It will certainly be worth watching to see what type of participation the two corners can offer (I’m assuming both will be reporting today) as they return from knee injuries; as well as players like Brandon McKinney-who hasn’t fully participated since suffering a back injury last season.

It will also be interesting to hear from Troy Smith, who is reporting to Camp as the #3 quarterback on the roster for the first time since his rookie season in 2007-when Steve McNair and Kyle Boller were ahead of him on the depth chart.

As we get to Thursday & Friday we’ll be able to take a look at the veteran players like T-Sizzle who have some question marks surrounding their arrival at Camp.

The good news? There’s football to talk about this week. OH.THANK.GOD!

4. The Sun’s Rich Scherr says Baltimore Mariners topped Wyoming Cavalry at 1st Mariner Arena to win first AIFA Championship Bowl

Awesome stuff. I’m well aware that it is the AIFA and not the NFL; but it is still a Championship. It’s particularly fulfilling in a year when the Baltimore Blast surprisingly DIDN’T win a Championship-as it guarantees the city of Baltimore a title of some sort this season.

Just awesome stuff all around; and an entertaining game whether you attended, listened online or simply followed our updates via Twitter (follow us @WNST.)

If you missed Mariners LB Fearon Wright this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

-Stacey Long (Camden Chat); who joined us in-studio to break down the end of baseball season in town
-Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus); who took a look around MLB with Drew
-Ross Tucker (SI.com, GoBigRecruiting.com); who previewed NFL Training Camp season.

They can all be found in the Audio Vault today as well.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says graduation important to Maryland WR Torrey Smith, who’s on pace to finish school in December

It’s natural to compare Torrey Smith to Darrius Heyward-Bey; although he hasn’t shown ANY of the leaping ability that DHB did during his brief run in College Park. Worse than that, Hey-Bey clearly has yet to live up to his Top 10 NFL Draft status during his time with the Oakland Raiders.

However, should Torrey Smith have a big junior season-he would put himself in the position to at least consider a jump to the NFL; even if he isn’t destined to be a Top 10 pick like the the previous Terps receiver ended up being.

So how do the Terrapins keep Torrey Smith in school if he has a big year? I’d suggest they tell him Jessica Hall would be impressed by that (Thanks Busted Coverage/F-Listed!)

jessicahall

Patrick’s in Greenboro for the ACC Football kickoff; make sure you check out his site (D1scourse.com) and follow him on Twitter (@D1scourse) for updates. We’ll discuss it in depth on this week’s “D1scast.”

6. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jake Arrieta rocked as Orioles fell to Twins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

After not watching a single game for the better part of a week; I actually sat down and watched the game yesterday.

I should’ve switched over to the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” marathon they had on E!

You can wonder how things might have been different had Arrieta been able to retire Jason Kubel instead of giving up a 2 out grand slam; but it’s fruitless. He was playing with fire and got burnt. I’m certainly not panicking about Arrieta; but it has to be at least a bit concerning that he could only go 4 innings yesterday.

Luke Scott had a couple of doubles; which will hopefully help his potential trade value as we rapidly approach Sunday’s deadline.

Andy MacPhail can use all of the help he can get in that area. Hopefully Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie will be a bit more inspired on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Orioles hit Canada; as they could BADLY help this team.

7. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Corey Patterson added 2 hits (including a double), as did Felix Pie. Cesar Izturis added a couple of RBI in the 9th inning; which was nice as well.

But trust me-you REALLY don’t want to look at this. Instead, look at this photo of Alessandra Ambrosio from What Would Tyler Durden Do. We’ll regroup after that…

ambrosio

8. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Matt Wieters activated, Craig Tatum sent back down to Norfolk

Which is weird-because I remember a certain Drew Forrester saying to me last week “They’re NOT sending Tatum down.”

Sorta like a guy I knew who said about Maryland football last year “they’re not losing to Duke.”

I don’t like having Jake Fox as a backup catcher. But then again, I don’t like Jake Fox. Of course, I have to keep in mind that the choices in this situation are garbage and garbage; but I think Craig Tatum has at least performed at a more respectable level than Jake Fox this season. If garbage can be respectable that is.

Sorry guys, it is what it is.

9. Baysox.com says Steve Johnson pitched Bowie past Richmond Flying Squirrels on farm

And before we move on from the on-field Birds; a couple of things:

-The Orioles are back in action tonight; as they head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Brandon Morrow is at 7:07pm on MASN. The Jays are 9-0 against the Orioles this season. It’s hard for me to imagine that changing tonight.

-With the baseball season now OVER in Charm City; we named our first ever “Apologist of the Year” this morning; with “The Great Arbitrator” making the final call. The nominees were:

  • MASN’s Steve Melewski
  • Post-game hosts Jim Hunter & Rick Dempsey
  • Chris Stoner
  • “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army
  • The Sun’s Peter Schmuck
  • 105.7′s Tom Davis
  • Our pal “Roar From 34″
  • The man in charge-Andy MacPhail
  • “Neal S” from The Loss Column
  • Our own Drew Forrester

And after careful deliberation; we are proud to announce that our first ever “Apologist of the Year” is……fellow Perry Hall High School alum Steve Melewski!

Amazingly, the news has traveled quickly in the PHHS circle; and our alma mater’s Wikipedia page has already been adjusted to reflect the honor.

GO GATORS!!!

10. MLB.com’s Kyle Maistri says former O’s PBP Voice Jon Miller honored with Ford Frick Award at Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown

I’m just going to leave this alone for right now, other than to offer this YouTube classic (Thanks Sam Angell!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j40hUOlXDc[/youtube]

Congratulations Jon!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After seeing DMB Friday night; I think I’m gonna go ahead and give “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” honors to “Cornbread.” It’s so great…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUGhuzsLN_E[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 23 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because despite the fact that I have to go to the cesspool that is Washington DC to do it, but I AM going to see Dave Matthews Band tonight.

With DMB taking off next summer, I’m planning on it being 24 months until I can see them again. I no longer consider myself to be some sort of obsessed Dave Matthews fan, but I HAVE seen them just about 50 times in my life. So as far as tonight’s show at Nationals Park is concerned, I’d like to request a few tunes for the band to play before they take this hiatus. I’ll limit it to three requests.

First, “Louisiana Bayou” would be great even without Robert Randolph…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idkddlChfRE[/youtube]

Second, “Seven” was the best song on Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King. I’ve yet to see them play it, as Barry Aparicio and I wandered in about 3 songs late to Camden, New Jersey last September…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HvR9duHljg[/youtube]

And it’s a long shot; but if there’s ANY chance of it happening; I’d absolutely LOVE to hear “So Right” tonight…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgoCo3VPJLQ[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Carl Pavano shut down Orioles as Twins cruised to 5-0 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

I’ll get to the ejections.

In the meantime, Kevin Millwood was once again terrible in the first inning, the Orioles offense did NOTHING (including an 0-8 from Felix Pie and Miguel Tejada at the top of the lineup) and there was little or no effort at any point during the game.

Carl Pavano would probably run away with the Cy Young Award if he got a few more games against the Orioles this year.

Ugh.

The sad part is that I looked at the Twinkies’ lineup before the game (without Justin Morneau obviously) and thought to myself, “this is a totally beatable team. They just benefit from playing in the AL Central.”

The flip side that we don’t want to really admit is that the Orioles COULDN’T take advantage of the AL Central. They’d be in last place there too.

You know what I haven’t mentioned in awhile? It really sucks to be an Orioles fan these days.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Jake Fox had a double. So did Cesar Izturis.

And that’s about that.

Look, we all know what I’m going to do here. You don’t want to look at this. Instead, I offer this photo of Jillian Beyor from NextRound.net. This will be a much more pleasurable experience for you…

beyor

3. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Ty Wigginton, Juan Samuel, Rick Kranitz all ejected in Birds’ loss

And with that in mind, I’d like to congratulate Rick Kranitz on his first ever “Apologist of the Morning” award, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester…kinda.

“Yeah you know I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but you know, you get frustrated. Especially when Kevin’s been on the mound, crazy things have happened when he pitched. And he was on a pretty good roll on the time, it was reaction, shouldn’t have happened.

“Crazy things have happened” when Kevin Millwood has pitched, huh? Crazy things like the dude not being able to get anyone out in the first inning?!?!?

The fact is-Gary Darling DID get the call wrong at first base. BUT-there was absolutely no reason for Ty Wigginton (and then Juan Samuel) to lose their minds the way they did, other than the fact that they both play for the Orioles-which is the type of slow torture I wouldn’t wish on much of anyone.

If you haven’t seen the video yet-here it is courtesy of MASN and DailyMotion…

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe4g9x_samuel-kranitz-and-wigginton-ejecte_sport[/dailymotion]

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Brian Roberts ‘likely to return’ to O’s lineup this weekend

B-Rob, we love you and trust me when I say we’ve missed you.

That being said-are you sure this is a good idea?

I mean, there are PLENTY of other things you could be doing with your time this summer. You could go to Pier Six Pavilion tomorrow night like I am (with my parents) and check out the Beach Boys, or you could even go to the movies. I mean, “Ramona and Beezus” opens this weekend. How could you miss that?!?!?

The point is-nothing good is happening here. There’s just no reason for you to be in a rush to get back to this mess. If today you decided that you wanted to go to Dewey Beach instead of Charm City; no one would be resentful towards your decision.

As far as who would be sent down if Brian were to be called up today? I’ll say Matt Albers or Scott Moore. Make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service, as we’ll send out the info as soon as it’s available.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Nolan Reimold had big night, Zach Britton struggled for Norfolk Tides on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a few things…

-Game 2 of the 4 game set between the Birds and the Minnesota Twins is tonight at OPACY. First pitch between Brian Duensing (who replaces Nick Blackburn) and Jeremy Guthrie is at 7:05pm; and the game can be seen on MASN. I’ll take the Twins-mostly because they’re playing the Orioles. The other pitching matchups this weekend are Scott Baker vs. Brian Matusz tomorrow and Kevin Slowey vs. Jake Arrieta Sunday.

-Did you miss Twins color analyst Bert Blyleven on “The Morning Reaction” today on AM1570 WNST? Yes, we invited him on DESPITE the fact that he was on the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates team. You can hear it in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net. Other guests this morning were Bowie Baysox SS Greg Miclat and NBCSports.com “HardballTalk” MLB writer Craig Calcaterra. Both are in the Audio Vault as well.

-Juan Samuel is still the manager. Buck Showalter is still unemployed. Just in case you were wondering.

-Does anyone want to man up and admit that this was you? It’s fine by me. Actually an impressive time! (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffWxVvHLwXM[/youtube]

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens CB Cary Williams suspended two games for violating personal conduct policy

Given the fact that the Ravens acquired Walt Harris and Travis Fisher this offseason and Prince Miller is going to compete as an undrafted free agent; it seemed unlikely that Cary Williams would end up making the roster anyway.

He’ll still have the chance to make it, and the organization says they were aware this was an issue before they even signed Williams; so it shouldn’t make much of a difference as far as his chances of making the roster are concerned.

If the Ravens do end up letting Williams go-I’d really like for them to consider Mafalda Teixeira. Mafalda appeared on the cover of GQ in some sort of foreign country, and is proof that you don’t need to hate everyone with the last name Teixeira (Thanks Brosome!)…

mafalda

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says John Harbaugh standing by Ed Reed

Established.

Me personally, I’m over all of the Ed Reed stuff. I saw the WBAL interview with him saying that the team wouldn’t give him game film to watch. I was unmoved. I don’t know what to make of ANYTHING Ed Reed says.

I wouldn’t be surprised if halfway through Training Camp, Ed just said “you know what…I can’t do it anymore.”

I’m just done with “Ed Reed week” at this point. He’s a goofy dude. I was surprised when he told us 3 weeks ago today that he wanted a new contract; but I let it go after I realized the team wasn’t going to give him a deal. All of the other interviews he’s done since then have just been…well…maybe even goofier.

8. BaltimoreMariners.com’s John Wolfe says Lenny Moore will serve as honorary captain for Sunday’s AIFA Championship Bowl

Don’t forget-the game is Sunday at 4pm at 1st Mariner Arena. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster. It’s going to be a great time, and I can’t recommend you head out and root the Mariners on to what would be the 1st indoor football title in Baltimore history.

And again-what else would you be doing this weekend? Watching the Orioles? I didn’t think so…

9. San Antonio Express-News’ Jeff McDonald says former Towson guard Gary Neal signed with Spurs

This is just absolutely awesome. A Harford County kid (Aberdeen to be exact) who as far as I know does NOT root for the Steelers who put in tough years with the Tigers and then on forward to Europe now gets the chance to play in the NBA with what appears to be a guaranteed three year deal. As Gary himself said on Facebook yesterday…

“Today was one of the best days of my life…”

That’s awesome. And hey, you can “like” WNST.net on Facebook or “friend” myself (just search “Glenn Clark”). I’m not quite as cool as Gary Neal, but I DO know soon-to-be TV celebrity and celebrated Perry Hall Gators alum Daniela Pane…

daniela

(Edit from GMC: She’s on the left. Like it matters…)

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says RB Caleb Porzel will transfer from Maryland due to academic issues

And if you’ve been listening to the “D1scast” weekly (why WOULDN’T you be?), you would know that Patrick has said on multiple occasions that it was very possible Porzel wouldn’t be part of this team this season. Turns out he won’t be part of the team AT ALL moving forward.

The frustrating part here (as I said last night on Twitter-follow us @WNST) is that Porzel (Good Counsel) is CLEARLY talented. He was never going to be an every down RB in the ACC; but he had the potential to be a guy that could make an impact in multiple ways…on the ground, catching the ball out of the backfield, and in the return game.

Ralph Friedgen’s Terrapins didn’t need bad news this season. There’s really no other way to say that…

And finally, I leave you with this.

As I mentioned-I’ll be headed to Pier Six tomorrow night with the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark to see the Beach Boys-and will be equally excited for “Kokomo”, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Be True to Your School.” I’ll be MORE excited for John Stamos-who will be sitting in with the Beach Boys this weekend.

Why will I be MORE excited? Are you kidding? Full House? Jesse and the Rippers?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD6v3QyFuxU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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