Tag Archive | "Dave Trembley"

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In a new half of baseball, same old Birds showed up

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Peter Dilutis

Last season when Dave Trembley was fired and Juan Samuel took over, I argued (an argument that was met with much criticism from our morning show hosts) that the O’s had a chance at a new beginning.

They were stuck in a rut. The trend couldn’t be bucked.

I’m a big believer in a changed variable being a potential spark that pushes a group of people or a team forward and out of their fixed ways. While I was wrong about the Samuel hire being much of a jolt, even though the team did play a tiny bit better under his leadership, that theory was proven right a little over a month later when Buck Showalter led one of the worst teams in baseball to a 34-23 clip to end the season.

In 2011, things seemed to be rolling along fairly okay during the first two months. The games were close, the team was respectable, and the fans still somewhat cared. Then came the annual June swoon and July tailspin, and now the Orioles are staring down the barrel of a totally lost season here in the middle of July.

The All-Star break came at a great time for the O’s. In the games leading up to the break, Buck Showalter talked often about just needing to get to the break for an opportunity to regroup.

With three games off, Showalter could have come back with a new something. New lineup, new rotation, new bullpen roles, new left fielder…anything. He changed the lineup a bit, but nothing too dramatic. (Vlad was hurt, so we’ll see if he hits cleanup when he comes back)

Even without any earth-shattering changes, the O’s had a chance for quick fresh start. It wouldn’t be out of the question for them to regroup and come out for the second half with renewed energy, confidence, and purpose. Jeremy Guthrie, the O’s best, most consistent pitcher over the past few seasons, was on the mound. They returned home for a long home-stand against a good but not unbeatable team.

If the O’s were going to make one final, last-ditch run, this was going to be the time to do it.

I wasn’t home in time for the first pitch Thursday night, but I have “ESPN ScoreCenter” on my iPhone. The game started at 7:05. By 7:11, the Orioles were down 3-0.

Same story. Bad pitching. Getting down early. Having to adjust how they hit because they are down in such a big hole.

Nothing changed. Nothing.

Three days off. No difference.

Any slight renewed interest that fans may have had after a three day relief from O’s baseball was crushed after six minutes. Seriously…six minutes.

It’s a new half of Orioles baseball, but the same old Birds showed up. The same Birds that have been showing up for 14 years.

Lucky Baltimore.

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Picking up the pieces for the Orioles’ second half

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Picking up the pieces for the Orioles’ second half

Posted on 13 July 2011 by Luke Jones

Despite rumors to the contrary and the wishes of many, the Orioles will play the remaining 74 games of the 2011 season.

Over the Orioles’ current stretch of losing 21 of their last 27 games that’s left them 18 games behind first-place Boston, I’ve constantly thought back to the spring of 2009. Former manager Dave Trembley made proclamations of the cavalry being on its way, labeling Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta as “three legitimate top-of-the-rotation talents.” He gushed over the development of wunderkind catching prospect Matt Wieters, coming off a historically-great minor league season in 2008.

The Orioles were coming off their first last-place finish since 1988, but with young pitching and the club’s best prospect since Ben McDonald, fans finally had hope that didn’t center around aging veterans, middle-of-the-road starters, or reclamation projects. The fortunes of 2011 or 2012 looked more promising than at any other point since the Orioles’ last winning season in 1997.

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Questions remained, but there was real hope.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

Over two years later, Matusz and Tillman find themselves languishing in the minor leagues — along with Zach Britton as a result of a service-time decision — and Arrieta tries to fight off elbow inflammation while posting a mediocre 4.90 earned run average. The group has more closely resembled the Mets’ failed “Generation K” of the mid-1990s than the Atlanta Braves’ staff of the early 1990s.

Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, Britton, and Brad Bergesen have pitched to a combined 5.05 ERA in 340 2/3 major league innings this season.

Wieters was just named to his first All-Star Game and has displayed excellent defense, but anyone in the organization would be lying if they weren’t disappointed with the catcher’s slow development offensively. Though far from a draft bust, the Orioles didn’t give Wieters a $6 million signing bonus in 2007 for great defense and slightly above-average offense.

Instead of getting better after a 34-23 finish under Buck Showalter in 2010, the Orioles entered the All-Star break with the second-worst record they’ve had over the last 14 seasons. Only last year’s team — on a historically-terrible pace over the season’s first four months — was worse.

As many have pointed out, morale is at an all-time low, which is no simple feat for a fan base seemingly hitting rock bottom as often as a basketball dribbled against a hardwood floor.

Dreams of a .500 season and avoiding a 14th straight losing season are all but dead, but the Orioles have issues to resolve and questions to answer in the second half. Much will hinge on the ability of the young pitching to get up off the mat and start fighting back to salvage the remains of this season — and beyond.

None of these will turn around a lost season, but here’s my list of what needs to happen in the second half:

1. Decide what to do with Hardy

Shortstop J.J. Hardy has clearly been one of the bright spots in a very deflating season. Emerging as the leadoff hitter in the absence of Brian Roberts, Hardy (13 home runs, .836 OPS) has provided the Orioles with their best all-around play at shortstop since the early stages of Miguel Tejada’s first tenure in Baltimore.

However, Hardy is set to become a free agent after the season and represents the Orioles’ most valuable trade chip. Despite his stated desire to remain in Baltimore, it’s hard to envision the 28-year-old signing a reasonable two- or three-year contract when he can simply wait until the off-season when several teams will be after his services.

On the other hand, the oft-injured Hardy may find it too big a risk to play out the rest of the season and has cooled considerably in July (6-for-40) after a blistering June. Hardy’s injury history has to weigh on the mind of Andy MacPhail or any other general manager looking to lock up the shortstop long-term.

One factor that shouldn’t be overemphasized is 19-year-old prospect Manny Machado. As the Orioles have painfully learned with the collapse of their young pitching, you can’t look too far ahead in lieu of helpful short-term options. The youngest player in the Carolina League at Single-A Frederick, Machado should have two more years of development before becoming a realistic option in Baltimore.

If the Orioles are unable to extend Hardy prior to the July 31 deadline, they could simply elect to have him play out the season and take the risk that he might leave as a free agent, which would then bring draft compensation. With that in mind, if Hardy’s interest in signing an extension is lukewarm, the club shouldn’t be willing to just give him away for spare parts at the deadline, either.

2. Clear out the dead weight

Despite a brilliant career, Vladimir Guerrero’s time as a middle-of-the-order hitter has come to an end. Showing little power since the first half of last season with Texas, Guerrero ranks seventh (.700) in OPS among Baltimore regulars and has been little more than a singles hitter despite manning the cleanup spot all season.

Showalter said he would consider dropping Guerrero in the order following the All-Star break — Mark Reynolds would be my choice in the cleanup spot — but the club must look to move Guerrero as soon as possible in a dignified way. Considering his pedigree and how admired he is in the clubhouse, it’s a delicate situation for the organization to handle.

Paying a large portion of his remaining salary may allow the Orioles to fetch a long reliever for the future Hall of Famer, but a 36-year-old who can’t run, play the field, or hit for power isn’t exactly an attractive option for even the most desperate contenders.

Assuming he returns from the disabled list, Luke Scott would become the regular designated hitter after Guerrero’s departure, completely freeing up left field and protecting Scott’s injured shoulder.

The same argument about Guerrero can be made for Derrek Lee (.666 OPS), but the veteran has at least provided good defense at first base. If Lee is able to be moved — in a similar Aug. 31 waiver deadline deal — the Orioles could elect to give Scott extended time at first or give a starting audition to Brandon Snyder to see if he can stick as a bench player in the future.

Continued on next page >>>

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 4

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 4

Posted on 02 April 2011 by Luke Jones

As we begin the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut
14. Griffey’s Warehouse shot
13. Sparring with Seattle
12. Davis defies the odds
11. Hoiles’ slam stuns Mariners
10. Game 6 of 1997 ALCS
9. 1993 All-Star Game
8. Moose misses perfection
7. Eddie comes home
6. Bonilla’s slam in first playoff win
5. The first Opening Day

4. Postseason downsizing of the Big Unit – Oct. 5, 1997

If he wasn’t the best pitcher in the game at the time, the Big Unit was certainly the most intimidating.

Randy Johnson

After drawing 20-game winner Randy Johnson and the Seattle Mariners in the best-of-five American League Division Series, the Orioles were thought by many to be the underdog despite finishing with the league’s best record in 1997. Starting the series in Seattle under the now-defunct first-round format — which had benefited the Orioles the year before against the Indians — didn’t help as Baltimore would likely have to face the tall lefty twice in a short series.

However, long before the infamous “B-team” lineups trotted out by Dave Trembley failed miserably on Sundays, 1997 American League Manager of the Year Davey Johnson used unconventional thinking against Seattle’s dominant starter, resting all of his left-handed hitters except leadoff hitter Brady Anderson.

That meant Jerome Walton — and his 74 total at-bats in 1997 — started at first base in place of Rafael Palmeiro, who had hit 38 home runs that year.

Jeffrey Hammonds took the place of regular left fielder B.J. Surhoff.

And all-world second baseman Roberto Alomar — normally a switch-hitter but relegated to hitting exclusively from the left side due to a shoulder injury — was replaced by utility infielder Jeff Reboulet.

Really?

Davey Johnson

National baseball pundits crucified the Orioles skipper, insisting he needed to stick with his left-handed stars in the postseason, even against the man who tortured hitters from that side of the plate. The strategy, however, worked like a charm in Game 1 when the Orioles clobbered the 6-foot-10 hurler for five runs in five innings in a 9-3 win in Seattle.

After beating Jamie Moyer in Game 2, the Orioles returned to Baltimore holding a 2-0 lead. The Mariners won Game 3, setting up a Game 1 rematch between Johnson and Orioles ace Mike Mussina.

The unorthodox lineup couldn’t possibly work for a second time in five days, could it?

With a chance to see the home team close out a playoff series at Camden Yards for the first time, Orioles fans were delirious with excitement as the junior-varsity lineup took their hacks against Johnson. In the bottom of the first inning, the scrawny Reboulet — with all of 13 career home runs in his first six seasons in the big leagues — lined a Johnson pitch into the left-field seats, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Reboulet

Overall, the Seattle pitcher fared better than he did in Game 1 against the Baltimore lineup, but Mussina was far superior, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings against a powerful Mariners lineup that included five hitters with 20 or more home runs that afternoon.

A Geronimo Berroa homer in the fifth increased the Orioles’ lead to 3-1 as the game moved into the late innings. Armando Benitez pitched a scoreless eighth, setting the stage for closer Randy Myers to close out the series.

Myers struck out Edgar Martinez and Roberto Kelly to begin the ninth before Jay Buhner came to the plate. With 48,766 going berserk, Buhner hit a grounder to shortstop Mike Bordick, who handled it flawlessly to throw him out and send the Orioles to victory and the American League Championship Series.

It was an electric moment as fans shouted, “Bring on the Yankees!” in anticipation of a rematch of the 1996 ALCS when the Yankees had knocked the Orioles out of the postseason on their way to a World Series title. However, New York blew a 2-1 series lead and was ousted by the Cleveland Indians, a deflating outcome that might have led to an emotional letdown as the Orioles suffered a crushing six-game defeat to the Indians.

Regardless of what happened thereafter, the Game 4 win over the Mariners was the finest team-centric moment in the history of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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For O’s fan like myself, Christmas-and hopefully a New Year-begins next week

Posted on 25 March 2011 by Ryan Chell

In the last month at WNST and in the sports world, most of the talk has been surrounded by the ongoing labor situation in the NFL(recently flaring up in a lockout by the owners threatening the 2011 season), disappointment from Terps basketball as yet another year with no NCAA Tournament aspirations, and various other sports topics of discussion-most of them negative.

But, I was surprised at the start of baseball season to see so much optimism toward the hometown Baltimore Orioles-mind you a team that has not had a winning season since 1997.

And of course, you can trace that optimism back to last summer, when veteran manger Buck Showalter-who built three franchises to the level of World Series participants-took over as manager of the Baltimore Orioles on August 3rd and led the Orioles to a 34-23 record-best in the AL East for the last stretch of the season.

Showalter’s arrival showed the impact of what a veteran manager (guys not named Dave Trembley or Juan Samuel) who knows the game of baseball along with evaluating key personnel can put wins on the board.

But frankly, it could also be said that Showalter was blessed with the healthiest Oriole team of last year, having both his leadoff hitter in Brian Roberts and his reliever in Koji Uehara healthy for the final run of the season.

Still, what Showalter did last year energized the displaced and beaten Oriole fanbase.

And I was one of them.

Last season, I went to one game before Showalter took over as manager of the Orioles-this coming from a former regular to OPACY.

I always enjoy going to Orioles games growing up. Baseball is my first love. My dad and I have been going to games since I was eight years old (I’m 23 now).I have so many fond memories of going to Oriole Park as a growing lad.

I remember when I was younger sitting in the club seats on the first base side when my dad got them from the car dealership he used to work for.

I still have my Orioles cards I received one night at the ballpark featuring the likes of Chris Hoiles, Cal Ripken, Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson, Brady Anderson and more.

I loved emulating Cal Ripken’s hundreds of batting stances and Mike Mussina’s trademark way of checking the runner at first base by bending down and looking through his legs.

One of the first games I ever went to at Camden Yards, I puked due to eating so much of the food there. (Not one of my finest moments but I can safely say I’ve never hoarded out since).

In 1997, my dad and I went to Game 1 of the ALCS verus the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles won that night with Scott Erickson on the mound, and we sat in a filled-to-the-brink Camden Yards in the back row of the left field bleachers.

I remember being in the fifth grade (my teacher also went to the game that night) and looking back behind me and just seeing a chain-link fence and a huge drop behind me. I was terrified. And even I wasn’t worrying about that, I couldn’t see much of the field or the players even with the binoculars I brought.

It was kind of a bummer for a ten-year old kid.

My dad was “well-off” at the time, but his reasoning for the nose-bleed seats were to save for the eventual World Series tickets.

Unfortunately…that never came.

And after 14 years of losing, the Orioles continued to test both my and my dad’s patience so much so that our journeys to Camden Yards dwindled and dwindled till we stopped going completely.

There’s only so much of an emotional roller-coaster ride you can take. Right O’s fans?

I would still watch the games on television religiously for 80% of the year until the usual August slide occurred post All-Star break, and then it was on to football.

It was part of the routine for the last decade-plus.

But things are different now. For the first time in years, the Orioles FINISHED well and on top of that, we might not have football to rely on this year Baltimore.

After Showalter put a spark into the team, that renewed sense of optimism put my dad and I back in the ballpark on several occasions. It was the first time in almost a decade that my dad had been at the park and for me, I could count on one hand how many times I had gone solo or with a group of friends to an Orioles game that wasn’t student night or giving something away.

The Orioles management in the off-season tried their best to keep that salivation going on the part of the Baltimore fanbase by  getting some new toys  for practically nothing, and with little risk involved.

They traded away David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio-two pitchers who had the chance to be non-tendered by the club anyway-for a 30 home run third basemen in Mark Reynolds who had an off-year due to injuries in 2010.

The same could be said for former Cubs/Marlins/Braves first baseman Derrek Lee-once on track for Triple Crown numbers several years back with Chicago, and an offensive upgrade at shortstop with J.J. Hardy forcing Cesar Izturis to the bench.

And the club reached out to the competition and stole the closer of the Toronto Blue Jays from last season in Kevin Gregg to hopefully do the same for the Orange and Black.

But ultimately, the icing on the cake came when the Orioles finally reached out to former AL-MVP Vladimir Guerrero and signed him to a one-year deal.

Guerrero-who was sought by the Orioles years ago when he first hit free agency in 2004-was a huge part in the Texas Rangers reaching the World Series last year, and even if he has an off-year, I’ll take a drop-off from 29 HR, 115 RBIs and a .300 batting average any day of the week.

People say he’s injury prone, but he did play in 152 games last year as a DH.

I’m right along with Buck Showalter right now in wanting to just get this thing started.

I’m the kid at Christmas waiting for his parents to come downstairs so we can get started opening them.

The enthusiasm has to be there. How can you be disappointed in what the Orioles did in the off-season?

They went out and addressed needs-and with short-term solutions-maybe even guys who turn their careers around and become a piece of the U-turn in Baltimore.

You have to crawl before you can walk. You have to show the superstars out there-guys like Prince Fielder-that this team is going somewhere before they are going to make a commitment.

And if they don’t work out? They won’t be here. This isn’t Miguel Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro, and Javy Lopez where they’re stuck with these guys for several seasons paying them for mediocrity while holding someone else back.

And while all the talk about earning a wild card spot, reaching the playoffs, and even getting to .500 this year is all good and nice, sorry Baltimore-this is where I have to lay it down like it is.

Even with the moves they made from a year ago, it’s going to be near-impossible to improve by 20+ wins in the standings. They still have relatively the same pitching staff from a year ago, some injury concerns, and a similar bullpen in many aspects.

So hold off on the-”We’re gunning for you Boston and Baltimore”-especially you…Buck Showalter.

But I will say this. I don’t care how they finish right now. And if even if the consecutive losing streak continues this year, it’s not going to be because they started out with just two wins on the year in the first three weeks.

They’ll be exciting to watch and competitive.

We’ll be in April soon. Everyone will have a clean slate and on Opening Day, everyone will be on the same level,  identical records and have common ground is in place.

The best thing in the world of Orioles baseball would be for this team to get off to the tremendous start the team got off to in 2005-going 42-30 under Lee Mazzilli while enjoying first place-but this time staying there with another former Yankee leading the way.

And I’d be there to watch it.Now let’s get started.

WNST is ready for the Orioles 2011 season! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 17

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 17

Posted on 19 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Counting down to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

Previous selections:
20. Matt Wieters’ debut
19. Hideo Nomo tosses the only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston

17. 30-3 – Aug. 22, 2007

final score

Sometimes a picture tells you everything you need to know.

It was a historic moment in baseball history, even if it came at the expense of the hometown team.

Perhaps the most remarkable part of the Texas Rangers’ absurd 30-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader was the fact that the Orioles led 3-0 heading into the fourth inning. If only they could have quit right there.

With a score that looked more like a Cowboys-Ravens’ result — if not for the Ravens holding a 3-0 all-time record against Dallas — the Rangers became the first team in 110 years to plate 30 runs to set modern major league and American League records. It was the second-most runs scored all-time, behind only the Chicago Colts who scored 36 against the Louisville Colonels on June 29, 1897.

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After starter Daniel Cabrera was chased from the game after giving up six runs in five innings, his work would be the best of the day as Brian Burres, Rob Bell, and Paul Shuey combined to allow an incredible 24 runs in four innings of relief. The Rangers’ production included a nine-run sixth and a 10-run eighth as the Orioles staff allowed a team-record 29 hits.

The result was more lopsided than the Rangers’ 26-7 win over the Orioles in Arlington in 1996, but at least there was no sign of Manny Alexander taking the hill in the late innings. The Orioles bullpen provided enough comedy — and agony — on its own without handing the ball to a position player for mop-up duty.

“I knew we’d get the bats going, but I never expected anything like this,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said after the game. “When the faucet is on, you want it to stay on. You never want to cut it off.”

That faucet more closely resembled Niagara Falls with Ramon Vazquez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia — the Rangers’ eighth- and ninth-place hitters that day — each hitting two homers and driving in seven runs. To add further insult to injury, Texas took the nightcap of the doubleheader, 9-7.

The most amusing part of the 30-3 debacle? Rangers reliever Wes Littleton pitched three scoreless innings to earn the easiest save in big league history.

On a day in which he should have been happy after the Orioles announced he would return to manage the club in 2008, then-interim manager Dave Trembley was instead asked how you respond after such a humiliating defeat: “You have a real short memory and you let it go.”

Perhaps the result was a terrible omen as Trembley would manage the club to a 187-283 record (.398 winning percentage), though he had very little to work with in his four seasons.

Never was it more evident than that evening at Camden Yards.

final score

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 18

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 18

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Leading up to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

Previous selections:
20. Matt Wieters’ debut
19. Hideo Nomo tosses the only no-hitter in Oriole Park history

18. Orioles stage greatest comeback in team history – June 30, 2009

Another merciless pounding at the hands of Boston, or so it seemed.

The Orioles had lost eight straight to the Red Sox, and their unruly traveling fans were basking in the glory of a 10-1 lead in the seventh inning. Most fans watching at home had given up on the massacre and flipped to reruns — hey, it’s hard to resist The Office — on a midsummer night of television. Nobody knew it, but the Orioles were about to thrill the few hometown fans remaining in the ballpark and stun the Sox supporters taunting those making their way to the exits.

By the time the Orioles went to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, starter Rich Hill was long gone after giving up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings and Boston veteran John Smoltz had missed his chance for a victory after a lengthy rain delay forced his exit in the fifth. As a result, a battle of the bullpens commenced, with the Orioles about to supplant a club-record eight-run comeback set in 1956 — against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

A five-run seventh made the deficit a reachable 10-6, with the key blow being a three-run homer from pinch-hitter Oscar Salazar. The home fans who stuck around for the early bludgeoning perked up, but realized a comeback remained very unlikely against the Red Sox bullpen.

However, Hideki Okajima had finished the seventh for Boston and remained on the mound for the eighth. Though one of the best lefty specialists in the American League, the hapless Orioles — of all teams — had owned the Japanese reliever for nearly two years.

It was about to continue.

Okajima would surrender four straight hits without getting an out, leaving the game with the bases loaded and Boston holding on dearly to its 10-7 lead. Two batters later, the score was 10-9 and Red Sox manager Terry Francona desperately turned to closer Jonathan Papelbon to prevent the record-setting Orioles comeback.

It was too late.

Nick Markakis’ two-run double to deep center plated pinch-runner Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts with two outs in the bottom of the eighth as the Orioles had amazingly come all the way back to seize an 11-10 lead.

Roberts

Euphoric Orioles fans howled in laughter at obnoxious “Sahx” fans as George Sherrill recorded the save in the ninth, securing the greatest comeback victory in franchise history. An amazing 13 of Baltimore’s 16 hits that night came in the seventh and eighth innings.

“That was probably the best game I’ve been involved in, right there,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said after the game. “That was absolutely tremendous. When you talk about playing all 27 outs, that’s tonight.”

Ironically, the Orioles would be on the receiving end of that lesson the next afternoon, squandering a 5-1 lead in the ninth and falling 6-5 in 11 innings. Perhaps it was the baseball gods’ way of restoring order as the Orioles would lose 11 of the 12 remaining games with Boston that season.

But for one night, at least, the Orioles got the better of the hated Red Sox.

And, in case you were wondering, I flipped back to the game just in time to see the comeback.

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Tuesday 3-Pointer: Buck Show-Wieters, Prime Time Reimold & Beefing Up Riley’s Angels

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Tuesday 3-Pointer: Buck Show-Wieters, Prime Time Reimold & Beefing Up Riley’s Angels

Posted on 01 March 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Tuesday 3-Pointer

 #1 – Buck’s Biggest Impact: Walks on Water or Wakes Up Wieters?

 

While it’s easy to get caught up in the inherent euphoria of the Buck Showalter experience so far, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago I’m having a hard time envisioning Showalter (or anyone for that matter) possibly living up to the expectations set forth by the team’s stunning turnaround since his arrival, set to the backdrop of historical ineptitude in the midst of 14 straight miserable seasons. At least part of the Orioles success under Buck could be attributed to an expected “market correction” of sorts, another to the infusion of Brian Roberts, Koji Uehara and other key contributors arriving at the end of the season with Showalter. Still, to this point Showalter has seemingly garnered most of the credit (deservedly or not) and will likely take more than his share of the blame too if things go south (again deservedly or not).

 

My reasoning for trying to minimize Showalter’s impact is simple, it seems to me that even if Buck Showalter had the right answers to every question that seemingly vexed these Orioles before his arrival, it still seems inconceivable that he could have imparted all of that wisdom on his new charges quickly enough to have had the impact that we saw by way of the team’s turnaround last year.

 

If there was a place however, that Buck may have been able to implement his own philosophy on the fly, it was through catcher Matt Wieters. Pretty much immediately after Wieters’ arrival with the big club, Dave Trembley made it known to the fans and media that he’d be charged with calling his own game, how true that was is still actually anyone’s guess. If Showalter’s arrival though brought with it simply a better called game through Matt Wieters, either by changing his approach in calling pitches, or by calling the pitches himself from the dugout, that’s the one place where I’d be prone to believe that Showalter could have had an immediate and sizable impact.

 

After beating the Texas Rangers last year on July 11th, the Orioles were 29-59 on the year (32.9%). In games caught by Craig Tatum at that point however, they were 10-13 (43.4%). Maybe the biggest single factor in the O’s struggles last year was the game being called by Wieters. It’s inconceivable that Showalter taught nearly every pitcher on the team how to throw more effectively, but it’s highly conceivable that he taught Wieters how to set them up better for success themselves. If that is indeed the case, I can’t wait to see what he can do for him with the bat in his hands this season.

 

#2 – Prime Time Reimold

 

Nolan Reimold started his 2011 campaign off much better than he left off 2010 with a solo shot off of Pittsburgh’s Paul Malolm in his first plate appearance of the spring. The acquisition of Vlad Guerrero immediately led me to believe that the O’s would be shipping Luke Scott (and his big mouth) to anyone willing to make an offer, so far that hasn’t been the case. As long as Scott remains an Oriole, and the rest of the outfield and Guerrero remain healthy, Reimold looks to be the odd man out. That may not be the worst thing in the world though.

 

One big spring game does not a comeback season make, and Reimold has work to do to bounce back from last year’s disappointment. As the only player in that mix with an option remaining on his contract, Reimold is likely to be shuttled back and forth between the minors and the big club as needs arise throughout the upcoming season. Getting everyday at bats in triple A is probably more beneficial for Reimold and his development anyway than filling the 4th or 5th outfielder role and playing once a week in the majors.

 

What Monday’s line from Reimold reminded me of though, and the impression that I hope he leaves with Showalter no matter where he winds up beginning the year, is all about his mature approach at the plate. After the big shot to start his season, no one could have blamed Reimold for getting aggressive and expanding his strike zone looking for another bomb, especially in the first game of the spring. Instead Reimold compelled 3 walks to compliment the dinger on his line, and scored another run to boot in the O’s 6-4 victory over the Pirates.

 

The day I grew to appreciate Reimold as a hitter is one I’ll never forget. It was the afternoon of May 27th, 2009 against Toronto. The O’s were down 8-3 to the Jays and Roy Halladay after 7 innings. Reimold entered the game for Felix Pie in the 8th and struck out swinging with the bases loaded against reliever John Carlson, still the O’s rallied in the 8th to tie the game at 8. In the 9th Reimold came to the plate with runners at first and second in an 8-8 game and was called out looking on a Jason Frasor pitch that seemed to be a terrible call by home plate umpire Rob Drake. After surrendering a 10-8 lead to the Jays in the top of the 11th, Reimold came to the plate with 2 men on and delivered a game winning 3-run shot for the O’s, delivering the win. Despite feeling gypped at the plate all night by Drake, Reimold never adjusted what he knew to be his strike zone, as a result he came through in the clutch, Reimold seemed at that moment, clearly disciplined beyond his years in terms of approach.

 

I’m sure Buck will grow to love and appreciate the patience of Reimold, if he hasn’t already. Hopefully that patience will translate to patience regarding his relative place in the hierarchy of O’s outfielders. After last seasons disappointment, no one could blame him for being antsy about getting past it, just like no one could have blamed him on that day in 2009 in the bottom of the 11th, having already struck out twice. Let’s hope his approach is the same.

 

#3 – Riley’s Angels Beefing Up

 

With the passing of the NBA’s trade deadline, and the wave of bought out contracts, the last official migration of NBA talent for the season is set to take place, as bought out players can now align their services with the team of their own choosing for the stretch run, provided of course that the team’s interest is mutual.

 

The Heat look to be the early winners here, as the attraction of playing with Riley’s Angels, and their apparent need for someone to steer the ship and someone to take care of the dirty work make them a compelling destination for players not only looking to pick up some hardware as hired guns, but also seeking an opportunity to be the difference maker, the player who puts them over the top. It looks like Troy Murphy and Mike Bibby will be answering that call for the Heat in the next couple of days. It wouldn’t be surprising if San Antonio got a lot more interested in Bibby with the news that Tony Parker may be out for a few weeks, but for now the Heat looks to be his likely destination.

 

In Murphy the Heat may find the front court difference maker that they’ve been looking for since Udonis Haslem went down for the season, in fairness he’d project to be a lot better for the Heat than Haslem ever was, and surely better than Erik Dampier has been. Murphy would finally free up Chris Bosh to be the pick and pop power forward that he was made to be. Bibby, sadly doesn’t seem to be the player that he once was anymore, and probably won’t make much difference in how far the Heat can go this season. He surely doesn’t bring with him as much potential as Murphy in Miami’s system.

 

Ultimately if the Heat hope to be successful they’ll have to find a way to beat good teams and to win close games, they’re 2-6 in games decided by 3 points or less, and 14-15 against teams that are above .500. Maybe Sunday’s showdown with the Knicks shows the biggest reason why. Given a last shot at a tying 3-pointer against New York, LeBron James put a move on a defender and launched an off balance 3 from the top of the key, instead of looking to DeWayne Wade who looked to be wide open and looking for the ball on the wing for 3.

 

When this triumvirate of excessiveness came together the biggest early question was who will get the big shots, now the Heat have to find themselves wondering who can make a big shot in a critical moment for them. If their struggles in close games continue, I fully expect the “who gets the shots?” questions to appear again with renewed fervor, maybe from within the Heat’s own locker room too.

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Better than the Monday paper: I love hearing Buck talk, but wins must follow

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Drew Forrester

Words, challenges and wishful pre-season plans of “taking care of our business”.

I like the talk, actually.

Without question, it’s better to hear Buck Showalter play the tough-guy role than to hear Dave Trembley mumble something about the team giving it everything they had and other funny post-game chatter like “it’s always fun to play in a good, competitive baseball game like the one (we lost) tonight.”

Showalter talks the talk, for sure.

And I like it.

But all of that talk won’t mean squat if he can’t get his 25 players to perform in 2011.  We can’t have another last place summer of dread.

That’s why words and challenges don’t mean much.  After 13 years of losing here in Baltimore, I hope Buck understands that we all just can’t blindly buy his yapping…hook, line and sinker.

We want to, for sure.

But we can’t.

Too many scars.  Too many burn marks.  Too many unfulfilled promises.

Too much losing.

I’m not sure if the announced FanFest crowd on Saturday (reportedly 2,000 LESS than a year ago) had anything to do with the asinine “adult autograph policy” or the fact that for some strange reason, the Orioles and the Special Olympics (Polar Bear Plunge) decided to both plan significant community events on the same day.

I don’t know why Saturday’s FanFest crowd was off by 15% or so.

But I do know this, because – as a diehard myself – I was there.  The folks who managed to make their way down to the Convention Center on Saturday were overflowing with confidence in Showalter and the team in general.  Count me among those who think this Orioles team will finally escape the American League East basement and threaten a .500 record or better in 2011.  Call me nuts if you want, but that’s what I think.  I know a lot of the diehards ( …continued)

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because A-I haven’t gone all Vincent Van Gogh yet and cut off my ear despite the intense pain.

And B-It’s time to name a few “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” First is the “new” version of the honor, which you’ll probably make fun of me for. There’s no reason for me to like the song “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna and Drake, but damnit-I really do…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kCXaPcW3Js[/youtube]

As far as my “retro” version of TGSOATTW is concerned, I offer an ode to two things. One, the Black Crowes are at Rams Head Live tonight. Two, with the Baltimore Ravens headed to Atlanta to face the Falcons this week, I remind everyone that the Black Crowes are (along with Outkast) amongst the most significant musical contributions we’ve received from the A-T-L. Hard to believe their version of “Hard to Handle” is over 20 years old…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09WlrVnramo[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens want improved red zone offense for trip to Georgia Dome

As I’ve stressed, there is no simple solution here.

The best Red Zone scoring team in the NFL is the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions just so happen to have a 6’5″ star receiver (Calvin Johnson) who has grabbed 8 touchdowns already this season. (They’ve also made a few less trips to the red zone than the Ravens, who are 24th in the league in finding paydirt from inside their opponents’ 20.)

The Ravens just don’t have a 6’5″ star receiver they can lob the ball up towards in the red zone.

This is actually fairly scientific. When you enter the red zone, the field shrinks vertically. There isn’t as much space to find receivers, defenders have less space to cover.

Therefore, teams have to find space in other ways. The best way to do that is to find space ABOVE the ground. That’s where receivers like Calvin Johnson (and Larry Fitzgerald…and Andre Johnson…and Vincent Jackson, etc.) make such a significant difference.

Todd Heap is 6’5″, but just really doesn’t leap like he did at one point in his career. TJ Houshmandzadeh is 6’2″, but plays more like he’s 5’11″. Anquan Boldin is 6’1″ and Derrick Mason is 5’10″.

Without that jump ball threat, it won’t be so easy for the Ravens to improve their numbers in the red zone. Ed Dickson (6’4″) could be the wild card, but he has to continue to earn the trust of John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron just to be on the field.

I don’t expect the Ravens to have another one touchdown in seven trips performance as they did Sunday, but I don’t know that there is a simple solution either.

Of course-limiting penalties would certainly help.

2. WNST.net’s Chris Pika says Ravens-Falcons could be ‘Super Bowl XLV preview’

If I’m a betting man, I’d bet AGAINST this happening.

That being said, both teams are tied for the best record in their respective conferences, and have the one factor that is most necessary to win in the NFL this season…balance.

You can’t help but notice the similarities between Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco to the Falcons’ Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. You can’t help but notice how the teams have running backs that are similar in style in Ray Rice and Michael Turner.

They’re both really good teams who I have no doubt will be playing in the postseason. But if I was a betting man, my money would say they don’t face off again in Arlington to finish the season.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice admitted he made ‘bad decision’ in taking to Twitter after being pulled over

Thank God Twitter didn’t exist when I was in college. Can you even IMAGINE how many dumb things I’d say? I said enough dumb things on MySpace and Facebook over the years, so I’m just grateful I didn’t have Twitter to worry about as well.

Clearly Ray Rice should have never mentioned that he got a break from an officer and gave him an autograph no matter what the circumstances were. That being said, this is really not a big deal at all. Rice has been a model citizen during his short NFL career, and as long as he gets his window tinting taken care of, he’ll be abiding by all rules again.

This is just a quick lesson in not needing to pass EVERYTHING along via Twitter. A lesson we probably all need to learn at some point.

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Josh Wilson could be in line to start Thursday night

At this point, Greg Mattison and the Ravens don’t have much of a choice but to start Wilson over Fabian Washington at this point.

That being said, I have to wonder if they’ve considered all options. For example, was Nicole Craner considered? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

craner

5. ESPN.com elevates Ravens to 1st in power rankings

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-The Ravens are back at work at 1 Winning Drive today, but today’s walkthrough is CLOSED to the media before they depart at 2:30 for “Hotlanta.” We’re not departing just yet, so we’ll still have Ravens Reports throughout the day on AM1570 WNST.

-Did you miss Ravens DE Paul Kruger with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today at WNST.net to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Andrew Brandt (National Football Post/Former Green Bay Packers Executive)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Steve Gorman (Black Crowes Drummer/host of “Steve Gorman Sports”)-who talked sports and rock & roll with Drew Wednesday
  • Dave Archer (Falcons Color Analyst/Former QB)-who previewed the Thursday Night Football showdown with Drew Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights III)-who previewed Saturday night’s event at 1st Mariner Arena with Drew Wednesday
  • Plenty of audio from Owings Mills Tuesday, including Harbaugh, Flacco, Rice, Wilson and DT Haloti Ngata
  • Urijah Faber (WEC Fighter)-who joined Rallo and Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Tim Strachan (Maryland Football Analyst)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown with the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” with Thyrl Tuesday
  • Chris Knoche (Maryland Basketball Color Analyst)-who talked 2K Sports Classic with Thyrl Tuesday as well
  • Ovie Mughelli (Falcons FB/former Raven)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Thursday night’s game
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked all things Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve somehow managed to plan your day AGAIN. This is getting totally out of hand…

6. MLB.com’s Evan Drellich says Orioles to reduce seating capacity at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, improve sightlines

And if Andy MacPhail and company had come to Glenn Clark and said “how do YOU think we could improve sightlines at OPACY?”, here’s how I would have responded.

“IMPROVE WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT!!!!!!!!! If I had a bad sightline for the Mona Lisa or a good sightline for a piece of cow manure, I’d pick the bad sightline all day.”

Of course, Peter Angelos and company haven’t asked me for an opinion since…well…ever.

(Edit from GMC: For the record, I think this is a good idea. I just want so many things fixed that one good idea doesn’t suddenly leave me completely thrilled.)

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says former O’s manager Dave Trembley accepts minor league gig with Atlanta Braves

Good for Dave Trembley, honestly.

I doubt Trembley will ever get back to the managerial level in Major League Baseball, but this should be a good role for him.

And no truth to the rumor that the Braves only hired Trembley after being turned down by New Orleans Saints cheerleader/Louisiana middle school teacher Chastity McLemore. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

chastity

8. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with College of Charleston at Comcast Center

Here’s what we know.

While they DID blow out Seattle in their opener Monday night, the Terps were quite sloppy in the victory. Turnovers, missed free throws and failed finishes were all issues against the Redhawks.

The Cougars are going to have familiarity with Gary Williams thanks to Bobby Cremins’ background at Georgia Tech. On top of that, this is a C-of-C team that managed to knock off North Carolina a season ago.

I don’t think the Terps are at risk of losing tonight, but I certainly don’t expect this to be a walkover either.

No matter what, we’ll have the “Turtle Power” chat going tonight at 7pm (the game can be seen on ESPNU with Rob Stone and Jay Williams on the call), Luke Jones (and perhaps Glenn Clark if he can survive his ear infection) will be live from College Park to provide companion analysis.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins CB Avery Graham and S Desmond Kearse remain out, TE Dave Stinebaugh has not been ruled out for Saturday’s trip to Virginia

Despite Stinebaugh being a proud Perry Hall High School Gators alum, I will be the first to admit that Stinebaugh is not the difference in winning and losing.

That being said, a team that has dealt with so many injuries at skill positions can certainly use a player like Stinebaugh back on the field.

And speaking on behalf of PHHS grads everywhere-we don’t really have a lot of guys worth rooting for around the world, so we need him on the field too. It just makes all of us look better.

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs missed practice Monday and Tuesday with slight concussion

Apparently Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo expects Dobbs to return to practice today, so he shouldn’t really be at risk of missing Saturday’s Central Michigan game.

And while Kriss Proctor would probably do a more than admirable job of filling in for him should he miss the game, I would implore the Mids to make sure they consider all options before settling with Proctor. For example, I think Karol Jaramillo might make a good option as well. (Thanks Guyism!)

jaramillo

And finally, I leave you with this.

Apparently this play from a High School Football game in North Carolina last week lead to a penalty. It should have lead to a penalty for being an effing awesome idea…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh-FYmzhMyE[/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 06 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I again get to name a couple of “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” I live for this stuff.

The NEW TGSOATTW is “Runaway” by Kanye West and Pusha T. He did the song on Saturday Night Live this past weekend…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaGT26DZFdE[/youtube]

And here’s the RETRO song…John Lennon’s version of “Stand By Me.” I saw a commercial last night for the “Power to the People” issue that’s hitting stores and it featured this song prominently. His version is REALLY underrated…

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

Of course, the greatest EVER version of “Stand By Me” is the one the Playing For Change gang did…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Ravens cut CB Prince Miller, signed OL Scott Kooistra

This was clearly the move Ozzie Newsome and company had intended to make to get Trevor Pryce back this week. Of course, that was before Rex Ryan (rightfully) jumped in.

Scott Kooistra likely won’t be active Sunday when the Ravens face the Denver Broncos. If I’m guessing-unless there’s an additional injury along the O-Line, Scott Kooistra doesn’t get active at all this season. But he does give the Ravens some flexibility, which is much needed at this point.

As far as Prince Miller is concerned, the team wanted him on the practice squad when they originally cut the roster to 53. Unfortunately, the New England Patriots stepped in. It looks like they’re going to make it work this time; which will allow the undersized corner to develop; and will give them a reserve returner should Tom Zbikowski (and/or others) get hurt.

Logical decision. Not life-changing, but logical. I could use a lesson in this type of decision-making.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says OT Jared Gaither not cleared to play in visit to California back specialist

So…more good news, huh?

The word is that after visiting Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles; Gaither is “improving”, but will remain week-to-week.

GREAT.

John Harbaugh and company will eventually have to make a tough decision regarding Gaither. If he doesn’t REALLY show improvement in terms of getting back on the football field (one day of limited practice doesn’t represent improvement), they’ll have to consider placing him on Injured Reserve.

If I’m guessing, Jared Gaither will play for the Ravens at some point this season. But I’m certainly not getting the type of response that makes me feel good about that guess.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says DE Paul Kruger confirmed to miss at least two weeks

He’ll be missed, as Greg Mattison will have to flip around Haloti Ngata, Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney to adjust to not having Kruger.

And since the Ravens could use the help at rush end, I have to suggest they consider Lucia Dvorska. I mean…just take a look. (Thanks Guyism!)

dvorska

4. ESPN.com has Ravens 6th in power rankings

As we discussed on the show this morning, this is particularly tough. The reality is that power rankings JUST DON’T MATTER. Like…at all. This isn’t college football’s AP poll. Power ranking can have no bearing on what happens in the NFL whatsoever.

But with that being said, it is ABSOLUTELY a bit goofy that the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets are ranked ahead of the Ravens despite the Ravens having defeated both teams on the road this season.

Not getting worked up about it. It simply doesn’t matter. It’s just a bit goofy, that’s all.

5. b’s Matt Vensel says RB Willis McGahee romantically linked to “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star

So now you know.

A couple of things before we move on from the Ravens…

-We’ll be out in Owings Mills today, as the Ravens return to work at 1 Winning Drive. We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and others; as well as conference calls with Kyle Orton and Josh McDaniels. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates throughout the day.

-Make no mistake-the Pats trading Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick is GOOD NEWS for the Ravens. They’re much better off not having to face Moss when they wander up to Foxborough for a Week 6 showdown at Gillette Stadium. It doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily win, as the Pats will STILL have Tom Brady under center-but it does make matchups a bit more in the Ravens’ favor.

6. MLB.com’s Thomas Boorstein says Adam Jones believes ‘accountability and credibility’ reasons why Orioles improved under Buck Showalter

The question is-why does Adam Jones think there wasn’t accountability under Juan Samuel or Dave Trembley? If he’s simply trying to blame those managers and not accept responsibility for himself and his teammates, he’s not being fair.

The other question is-why was Adam Jones touring Bristol, Connecticut; New York; and Seacaucus, New Jersey Tuesday? Why was Adam doing appearances on MLB Network, ESPN Radio and SI.com?

Is it because the O’s have such a hold of the Charm City market that they simply don’t need the promotion? It’s good promotion for ADAM-no doubt about that. But how did it help the Birds?

It’s a legitimate question.

7. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester gives highest O’s grades to Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott, Jeremy Guthrie and Corey Patterson

As I told him this morning, it’s a bit laughable to give Ty Wigginton and Corey Patterson the same grades as Luke Scott and Jeremy Guthrie; but I’m all for Drew looking dumb.

My highest grades this year? They mostly went to Molly Simms. (Thanks Don Chavez!)

mollysimms

8. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly say Juan Samuel to interview with Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates

I’ll be rooting for Juan Samuel…but my guess is that he’s not REALLY a good manager. It will be much harder if he ends up in the Steel City than if he ends up in Milwaukee too.

Did you miss former Orioles broadcaster Buck Martinez (now with TBS) previewing the Rays/Rangers series and talking playoffs in general with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Jeff Passan (Yahoo! Sports)-who went around the postseason and also discussed his new book “Death of the BCS” with Drew Wednesday
  • DJ King (Washington Capitals enforcer)-who previewed this weekend’s start to the regular season with Drew Wednesday
  • Jon Ladd (Baltimore Municipal Golf)-who discussed Ryder Cup and breast cancer awareness with Drew Wednesday
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Josh Thomson (Strikeforce fighter)-who previewed his Saturday night clash against JZ Cavalcante in San Jose with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Pete Prisco (CBSSports.com) and Gary Mihoces (USA Today) who each joined Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss what they saw at Heinz Field Sunday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve got your day planned out again for you. YOU’RE WELCOME BALTIMORE!!!

9. Winston-Salem Journal’s Dan Collins says Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe won’t pick starting QB between Tanner Price and Skylar Jones for Saturday’s Navy game until later in the week

No matter who plays QB for the Demon Deacons, Ken Niumatololo’s Midshipmen MUST get going offensively. This was supposed to be the best group of talent they’ve had since the Roger Staubach era. It hasn’t looked like it thus far…

10. UMTerps.com says Maryland soccer topped #2 UConn as Ludwig Field

Awesome. But then again, awesome is basically what we expect from Sasho Cirovski’s Terrapins.

To celebrate a big Terps win, here’s a completely unrelated picture of Jewel Santini! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

santini

And finally, I leave you with this.

Thanks to both former WNST intern Meredith Morris and my sorta-roommate Aubrie Veydt for pointing this out on Facebook (search Glenn Clark, add the best looking guy you find). I think the kid’s name is Keenan Cahill. He’s a YouTube superstar.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVSsYvC6O8s[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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