Tag Archive | "David Hernandez"

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments Off

Friday on “The Morning Reaction”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday on “The Morning Reaction”

Posted on 09 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Hey guys, Ryan Chell here filling in the big shoes, wearing the big pants for Glenn Clark today. I’m substitute teaching. I’m coming in from the bullpen. Off the bench. Just think of me as Chris Tillman, who most likely will be starting for the Orioles on Saturday in Kevin Millwood‘s spot in the rotation as he went on the DL earlier this week.

Chris Tillman

The phones are buzzing this morning, so I guess if I didn’t know how to answer phones here at WNST, I certainly know now. I wonder why they’re buzzing this morning…is it because the Orioles came back in the eighth last night to win against the Rangers, guaranteeing they have at least one pitcher with at least four wins before the All-Star break…?

Last night’s game had me worried at first. When Tommy Hunter had a number of strikeouts through three innings, it had the makings of an ugly game at the start. Good to finally see another team’s bullpen choke for once.

Tommy Hunter

And for David Hernandez to finally get four wins and have us escape history, it is a breath of fresh air to see that the Orioles will escape the bad side of the record books.

David Hernandez

But did you think that at this point in the season, David Hernandez would be leading the team in wins?

Ubaldo Jimenez won his 15th game of the season last night against Chris Carpenter and the Cards last night. A horrible series for the Cardinals to say the least, but man Jimenez has been outstanding this year.

Ubaldo Jimenez

He went 8 innings last night against the Cards in his 18th start of the year. He likely will get 14 more starts so he probably wont get to 30 wins, but he is likely to end the season with around 25, which would equate to half of the wins the O’s may have as a team at the end of the year-on his own. (Insert joke here O’s fans)

Baltimore Orioles struggling

And what’s even worse is that the rich get richer, as multiple media outlets are buzzing about the trade that might be happening between the Yankees and the Mariners involving Cliff Lee.

Cliff Lee

Lee pitches tonight against the Yanks, and given his track record lately, he is going to through a complete game. He’s already done it against the Yanks in the last couple of weeks. The proposed deal would be Lee going to the Yanks for top prospect Jesus Montero, who is slated to replace Jorge Posada behind the plate, and probably some other prospects.

That also may mean the end of the road for Javier Vazquez in New York (twice).

Javier Vazquez

Seriously though, with LeBron James making the decision last night to follow Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to Miami, another triumvirate has been built in the Eastern Conference. Miami’s Big Three is going to rival Boston’s Big Three in Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, and could immediately put Miami back on top, at least on paper right now.

The only issue is now, with these three max free agents coming in, the Heat are going to have to move some more payroll to fit under the cap. And it’s already begun, as the Heat are shipping local product Michael Beasley to the Timberwolves for a 2011 second round pick.

Michael Beasley

At this rate, Bosh, Wade and LeBron may be playing with this guy as opposed to top-5 draft talent like Beasley.

Bad Basketball

The buzz around the country, or at least in Cleveland, is just like it was 15 years ago, when the Browns left Cleveland to come here to be the Ravens in Baltimore. Art Modell is a curse word up there in Ohio now, and it’s a shame because that decision will probably keep Modell out of the Hall of Fame. Check out Nestor’s blog regarding the weight that may have just been lifted off Art’s shoulders…

Art Modell

I don’t think LeBron’s decision to go to Miami will keep him out of the basketball Hall of Fame though. And in reality, they are not the same. Modell moved the team out of Cleveland because he wasn’t getting support for the team; LeBron had all the support and backing from the fans.

Art did it for a money issue; LeBron left close to 30 million on the table by not signing with the Cavs.

But now we’re hearing it could be a money thing too, because Florida is one of seven states in the country with no state income tax.

And I’ll tell you what…talking about owners…Cleveland Owner Dan Gilbert’s letter to the fans regarding “King James” is some strong stuff, and it actually just popped up for me just trying to go to Clevelandcavaliers.com

Strong stuff. He’s got balls. The only issue is now, he doesn’t have any players.. We’ll see how good Moe Williams, Antawn Jamison, etc. are without James. It’s real simple. Without LeBron, the Cavs are just the Wizards up a little on the map latitude-wise.

Pete Caringi, soccer coach at UMBC, called into the show to talk about the World Cup Finale. He had Spain from the start, and to be honest, I think that’s the safe bet here.

David Villa

The game is on Sunday at 2:30. Tune into WNST and WNST.net for expanded coverage of the World Cup as this thing is almost done for another four years. Aww….

Walt Harris came on to talk with Drew about being around the league, and bringing his experience to the Ravens until Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington come back from their knee injuries. We are getting him at his best, as he is coming off a Pro Bowl year in 2006, when he had his first year with the Niners.

Walt Harris

Harris has actually been in the league for the same amount of time as Ray Lewis, and was actually drafted 12 picks in front of Ray in the 1996 Draft by the Chicago Bears.

Check the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault for his interview with Drew…it was a good chat…

We couldn’t get in contact with Len Elmore, but big props to Craig Calcaterra from NBC Sports-HardballTalk for moving around and being flexible with us. Good timing for him to come on, because he was able to give some light on this “maybe” trade of Cliff Lee to the Yankees that I eluded to earlier. Check the Audio Vault…

If this does happen, just hand the Yankees the trophy. I would say what a joke, but they are beating the system. If there was one team that I wanted to see get Lee, it was either the Rangers or the White Sox.

The Rangers have some good pitching this year( as evidenced by Tommy Hunter last night against the O’s) but a legitimate ace on the staff like Lee would probably give them an MVP candidate in Josh Hamilton, along with the Cy Young winner in Lee.

Josh Hamilton

And for the White Sox to be winning 23 out of their last 27 games or something like that, and now they’re losing Jake Peavy for the rest of the season, they needed someone like Lee to keep the ship afloat. Unless there is a big prospect to fill Peavy’s spot, the White Sox’s almost perfect pitching rotation took a big hit-at least until the trade deadline. Keep an eye out for what GM Kenny Williams is going to do-and what Ozzie Guillen will say about it afterward.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6tiHb5uxtw[/youtube]

To wrap up the show, Sean Deveney from The Sporting News came on to talk with Drew and Thyrl about this shift in power in the Eastern Conference. He gave us a lot of insight regarding the Heat’s moves from this point on, including reaching out to Mike Miller as a shooter.

But he did believe this was premeditated by LeBron, Wade, and Bosh as far back as the All-Star break, and this was the only serious option for “The King”.

Glenn will be back here on Monday, and all will be status quo. I’ll be sent back down to the minor leagues of sports radio on Monday, probably just like Tillman over the weekend when they don’t need that fifth starter.

Have a good weekend sports fans!

Comments Off

Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 08 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I realized earlier this week that I forgot to post the AMAZING 4th of July scene from The Sandlot. I know I’m 4 days late, but deal with it. This is the greatest 4th of July moment in pop culture history…

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdwnck_the-sandlot-4th-of-july-tribute_people[/dailymotion]

And yes, while I was out on Navy Pier Sunday night watching the fireworks in Chicago; I DID put “America The Beautiful” by Ray Charles on my IPod. Immediately followed of course by “This Is Our Country” and “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp. Don’t try to tell me I don’t love America.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Larry Lage says Scherzer, Tigers shut down Orioles to finish sweep at Comerica Park

And as I said last night on Twitter (follow us @WNST)…

“At least the Orioles didn’t bother wasting too much effort in this one.

It’s really hard to put a wrap on this one last night. Max Scherzer was really good, and the Birds really never had a chance. Brad Bergesen gave up 14 baserunners and was fortunate to only be charged with 4 runs.

It was exactly the type of effort you’d expect in Birdland. And by that, I mean it was a loss.

They’re 25-59 now. So…there you go.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of sweep

Hey, Felix Pie tripled! And Adam Jones doubled AND tripled, even after he fell down rounding first base!

But really…you DON’T want to look at this. Trust me on that. Instead, look at this picture of Francoise Boufhal from Guyism. We’ll regroup after that.

boufhal

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chris Tillman likely to start Saturday in Texas

Which everyone knew, but will still wait for it to be official. The only other real options were to either let Jason Berken or Mark Hendrickson make a start. With both of those guys having been effective, it makes no sense to screw with what they’re doing right now.

And…ummm…”the cavalry” doesn’t have anything else left. Zach Britton will almost certainly reach the MLB level EVENTUALLY, but he’s clearly not ready yet.

Tillman gets the chance to prove he should stick, at least for one night. Of course-facing a lineup with the likes of Vladimir Guerrero, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz may not be the best way to do that.

4. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says O’s could become first team to have no pitcher with four wins before All-Star Game

This is almost impossible.

It really is almost impossible.

Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, David Hernandez and Matt Albers all have the chance to get their 4th win this weekend in Arlington…but…ummm….is anyone confident that they will???

Orioles Baseball 2010: You never know what might happen. As long as you know that what’s going to happen is bad.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Troy Patton won, Nolan Reimold homered for Norfolk Tides in win over Gwinnett Braves on farm

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

-The O’s are back in action tonight; opening a 4 game series against the Texas Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington. Jeremy Guthrie faces Tommy Hunter at 8:05 tonight on MASN2. Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta go the rest of the weekend for the Birds against Scott Feldman, Matt Harrison and C.J. Wilson.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, WNST.net’s own Tom Clayton. Tom suggested the Orioles package Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara or Julio Lugo to get Chris Davis from the Rangers. I couldn’t agree more. Of course, I’m reasonably certain ol’ Koji would first have to prove that he could SURVIVE the Lone Star State to make it happen.

Sadly, the Orioles just don’t have the veterans required to obtain high-level prospects from anyone in baseball. They have the exact opposite: they have prospects that could HOPEFULLY land them some established veterans from other teams. Credit to Tom Clayton for already accepting the award, as picked by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ravens made Walt Harris signing official

Like I said when the teams first agreed, I know the Ravens needed CB help. I just don’t know that a 5’11″ corner that turns 36 during Training Camp qualifies as the “help” the team needs.

Of course, I’m not exactly even keel in all of this. I was hoping Ozzie Newsome would acquire Anna Sedokova, who already had a helmet! (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)

sedokova

7. ProFootballTalk/NBC Sports’ Mike Florio says WIP’s Howard Eskin linked Troy Smith to Philadelphia Eagles

This would certainly make sense for Philly, as they are in a tough spot when it comes to Michael Vick. They are probably going to HAVE to acquire another quarterback; and Troy Smith’s game is probably more similar to Michael Vick’s than a lot of other QB’s the Eagles could acquire.

That being said, Troy Smith CLEARLY doesn’t have Michael Vick’s size, speed or arm. It’s a significant drop-off in natural talent from Michael Vick to Troy Smith.

But it’s still a logical move. And it shouldn’t be a move that costs the Eagles much. After signing Marc Bulger, the Ravens are going to have to move a QB; and they know John Beck isn’t getting them anything. The Ravens MIGHT be able to get a 6th or 7th round pick because they sense the Eagles have a need, but the Eagles know the Ravens have to make a move.

It won’t be easy negotiating for either side.

8. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ed Dickson given $662,500 signing bonus

And also yesterday, the team announced that they finalized a 3 year deal with 6th round pick Ramon Harewood; which they agreed to last week.

Sergio Kindle and Terrence Cody remain unsigned, but with the New York Jets signing 2nd round pick Vladimir Ducasse yesterday; we should start to see the dominoes fall amongst 2nd round picks; and those deals should be done well before the Ravens report to Westminster.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says experience could pay off for Terrapins OT Justin Gilbert

I hope so, because Ralph Friedgen needs SOMETHING to pay off on the Terps’ O-Line this season.

And…you know…just about everywhere else on the field.

And speaking of “experience paying off”….here’s a picture of Jessica Hall (Thanks Busted Coverage/Don Chavez)

jessicahall

10. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Maryland AD Search Committee to hold first meeting July 15

Of course, with no President in place; I’m not sure what exactly the search committee will be doing. The word is they’ll be discussing the qualities that make up a good Athletic Director. I get the feeling Gary Williams’ first addition to the conversation will be “they won’t be Debbie Yow.”

College Park isn’t the only place where they’re looking for an Athletic Director. They’re looking for one at Towson as well. If you missed Tigers interim Athletic Director Ted Zaleski Jr. today 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 guests this morning included:

-Catonsville’s own Jeff Nelson (XM Radio), who went around the world of baseball
-Former Orioles Play by Play voice Michael Reghi (now with WKNR Cleveland), who gave us the pulse of “The Comeback City” before LeBron James potentially rips the heart from the town
-PFT’s Mike Florio, who talked all things NFL-including Ben Roethlisberger and JaMarcus Russell
-and Baltimore Municipal Golf’s Jon Ladd-who previewed our upcoming putting contest.

And finally, I leave you with this.

For all of you weirdos who have been clamoring for it, here’s the video of me shoving 12 hot dogs down my gullet in 10 minutes. Some of you still owe us money for Harbor Hospital and Rex Snider’s “Curing Cancer One Call at a Time” marathon next weekend; PLEASE make sure you get it over here to 1550 Hart Rd. I can’t “stomach” the idea of having done this to myself in vain…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVqIvM8Wbas[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because for the first time in my life, I finally tried it…

trout

And of course…I loved it. I’m not sure that I PREFER it to a chicken box, but when it comes to dining with a Half and Half…I can get behind some lake trout.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP/STATS’ Brett Huston previews Orioles-Padres series starting tonight at Petco Park

There’s some real buzz in San Diego today about former Toreros pitcher Brian Matusz coming back to town.

There’s some real buzz in Baltimore today about having a baseball team that feels like being stung by a million bees over and over again.

I hope the players enjoy their weekend in one of the country’s best cities. I also hope they actually find a way to win a game (or more)…although I think their only real chance to do it is Sunday when Jake Arrieta faces Jon Garland.

Geez…the team didn’t even lose yesterday and I’m dejected talking about them.

Ugh.

Jack Cronin from XX Sports Radio in SD joined us today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to preview the Pads. If you missed it, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today and check it out. Other guests this morning included…

-A trip around MLB with our buddy Craig Calcaterra from HardballTalk at NBCSports.com
-An update of U.S. Open action at Pebble Beach from our buddy Rex Hoggard from The Golf Channel

It’s all up there in the Audio Vault here at WNST.net, make sure you check it out!

2. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Markakis thinks O’s “all bad right now”

Which simply means Nick Markakis has been watching Orioles baseball.

How many people sent a message to tell Nick he was being “too negative”, by the way?

Nick is really the only player on the team who can speak out when it comes to the organization right now. Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and David Hernandez haven’t performed nearly well enough-and are hoping that if they’re forced to deal with it, they’ll at least get good contracts.

Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Hendrickson and Will Ohman have all been merely okay this season-and wouldn’t want to piss off the guys that could actually deal them to a real team before July 31st.

Cesar Izturis, Lou Montanez, Garrett Atkins, Corey Patterson, Julio Lugo, Frank Mata, Craig Tatum, Matt Albers, Jason Berken, Alfredo Simon and Scott Moore aren’t relevant enough.

Jake Arrieta just got here. Brian Roberts is hurt.

Markakis is the only player who has MOSTLY (save for the power numbers) kept up his end of the bargain AND has a contract. In that way, he NEEDS to be vocal. He NEEDS to stand up. I know it’s not in his nature-but he’s the only guy who can do it right now.

Or…the team can just keep losing-and those of us who follow them can wonder if they really care. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear from Nick, as the organization needs to be reminded by ALL parties (not just Nestor Aparicio’s blog this morning) that what’s happening here is NOT okay.

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Andy MacPhail not planning on unloading at Trade Deadline ‘for the sake of moving payroll’

If MacPhail is hoping to fleece someone in exchange for Kevin Millwood, he’s crazy. If these guys are going to be dealt, they’re probably going to be dealt for disappointing returns. The bulk of the guys that are available on this roster might as well have “for a player to be named later” attached to the end of their name.

That’s what happens when you have a bad team with bad players.

Hopefully Andy will go ahead and part with some of these guys despite the fact that he might not get the returns he wants. There’s no reason to force Ty Wigginton to suffer like this. He had a good month. Reward him for that.

But knowing the pace Andy works at, he’s probably still trying to figure out how much he can get for Sidney Ponson.

4. Virginian-Pilot says Nolan Reimold’s 2 run double lifted Norfolk Tides to win on farm

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

-The Birds ARE back in action tonight, with Matusz facing Wade LeBlanc and the Fathers at Petco Park. First pitch is at 10:05pm on MASN2.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”-Steve Melewski from MASN. Steve took the time to beat up Bobby Valentine for having a .510 winning percentage and only one playoff appearance. If the Orioles were .510 and had a playoff appearance in the last 13 seasons; we’d probably have a parade!

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed former Pro Bowl safety Ken Hamlin, unable to agree to deal with Walt Harris

Unless he just doesn’t think he can make the team out of Training Camp, I can’t FATHOM a reason why Walt Harris would pass on a chance to join this team in Westminster.

You’re unemployed, and a good team wants you. You say NO?

Maybe he’s holding out for an offer from the Kansas City Chiefs-a team that he would feel more comfortable about being able to stick with-but this still kinda boggles me.

Ken Hamlin provides the Ravens an insurance policy for Ed Reed, and could end up providing the team with some depth at safety-although I struggle to see how the team could afford to keep 5 safeties.

Of course, they might keep 55 Defensive linemen, so what do I know?

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ravens released Ashton Hall, Brad Jones, Courtney Smith, John Fletcher, Daniel Sanders

I’d say they’d be forgotten, but I’m not sure anyone was particularly aware they were here….other than the Cincinnati fans that tried to convince me Brad Jones was an impact player.

And with these players now gone, I once again implore Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh to consider making an addition. How about Jessica-Jane Clement??? (Thanks Guyism!)

clement

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Oher to receive Congressional Award Gold Medal

I really have nothing else to say about this other than “Congratulations” to Michael, who has been a tremendous representative to both the team and Charm City. We’re very proud.

You know who else deserves a Congressional medal? Roxy Louw. (Thanks Barstool Sports!)

louw

No, I DON’T care that she’s from South Africa. Why would I?

8. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says after declining interview at Maryland, Cornell coach Jeff Tambroni accepted Penn State job

Which really IS kinda stunning.

The easy assumption is that the folks in State College had a boatload of money to offer (whereas we know the folks in College Park have been dealing with some significant budget issues in recent years) thanks to the Big Ten Network TV money they’re getting. As my pal Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) pointed out to me, the Nittany Lions also recently hired the great Cael Sanderson as their wrestling coach, so they’re certainly taking more sports seriously.

Does it reflect poorly on the Terrapins that Tambroni wouldn’t even interview but then took a lesser job? Sure. But the relevance is only as significant as the performance of their own hire John Tillman. If John Tillman succeeds as head man for the Terps, it won’t matter that Jeff Tambroni didn’t interview.

If Tillman struggles-everything Tambroni, Paul Cantabene, Marc Van Arsdale, Don Zimmerman, Leland Rogers, Gary Gait, Scott Marr, Lars Tiffany, Lars Ulrich and Gary Larson does in the future will be an issue.

(Edit from GMC: Lars Ulrich was GREAT in “Get Him to the Greek” by the way.)

(2nd Edit from GMC: Patrick wrote something really good about new Gary Williams assistant Bino Ranson this morning. Read it. You’ll be better for it.)

9. The Towerlight’s Colin Stevens says Mike Hermann resigned as Towson Athletic Director

Which you would have already known had you been following us on Twitter (@WNST) or listening to Drew Forrester Thursday morning on AM1570.

I think Mike Hermann did a good job during his tenure at Towson; but the Hermann era will be remembered as a time when Pat Kennedy’s basketball team struggled, Gordy Combs’ football team struggled so much he had to be fired, and Tony Seaman’s lacrosse team didn’t necessarily live up to expectations. There was progress made at Unitas Stadium, but they never did get the new arena underway to replace the Towson Center.

That being said, I don’t think the Tigers are better without Mike Hermann than they were with him.

10. InsideMDSports.com’s Jeff Ermann says heralded freshman LB Javarie Johnson left Terrapins due to ‘academic and personal issues’

Which clearly reflects poorly on Ralph Friedgen, but sometimes these things happen.

To replace him…maybe Sophie Reade? (Thanks Don Chavez/Busted Coverage!)

sophie


And finally, I leave you with this.

I love interns. In fact, we have a great group of interns working with us over here at 1550 Hart Rd. this summer. One of my favorite games to play with interns is the “Formal Friday” game. When an intern comes in, I let them know that while some places of business have “Casual Fridays”, we do things the opposite way. During the week we’re allowed to dress casually (and trust me…we do), but on Fridays we look more presentable.

Our midday intern…we call him “Young Howard” due to his resemblance of Howard Stern from years past in the movie “Private Parts”…told me that he didn’t work Fridays. Therefore, I let him know he’d need to do it on Thursday. He did…

logan

And then of course we have our morning show intern “Ryan Dundee”, who even one-upped Logan this morning…

ryan

I couldn’t even IMAGINE having a real job.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because for some reason, folks keep sending me awesome viral videos this week. The BP Coffee Spill is amongst the best…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AAa0gd7ClM[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Jake Arrieta strong, David Hernandez finished it up as Birds topped Giants in San Francisco

Can these two just pitch every game the rest of the week in San Fran? And then maybe all of the games this weekend in San Diego?

Being completely fair, we’ve desperately needed something to be excited about in Baltimore. Only 3 wins here in June, and Arrieta has two of them-with Hernandez finishing both of those. It’s unbelievable to consider that a guy who has been on the roster for less than a week has been responsible for more than 10% of the team’s wins on the season. But…it’s true.

Enough with the negative stuff, the Orioles won! I might not get to say that again until Jake Arrieta’s next start (or later), so I’m celebrating. Cue Kool & The Gang!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M[/youtube]

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

Two RBI groundouts from Ty Wigginton, two doubles from Nick Markakis (who combined with Corey Patterson and Miguel Tejada to produce SEVEN hits at the top of the lineup) and even a home run from Adam Jones! What’s not to like???

Spare me any comments like “how bout having the team do it with some sort of regularity.” I know they stink, I’m just celebrating today.

Going back to Hernandez for a second, I’ll follow up on something Roch Kubatko mentioned on his blog last night. I know Juan Samuel continues to say that Alfredo Simon is in the mix at closer, but I don’t know why. David Hernandez has shown EXACTLY what the team should want from closer; as he’s been confident in his appearances and has been overwhelming with his stuff-especially his velocity.

If Hernandez ISN’T the primary option as closer right now, he should be.

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds will remove Chris Tillman from rotation at least for now

And after his most recent batting practice session, this seems to be a bit of a no-brainer right now. The word is that the team will use the off days tomorrow and Monday to make it a 4 man rotation, then re-insert either Tillman or Brad Bergesen against the Nationals next weekend.

I guess you HAVE to be concerned that Tillman was promoted again without being ready-but we have to keep the perspective that he’s only 22 years old; and has at times shown the signs that he could very well turn into a solid major league pitcher.

That being said-as of right now, he’s clearly behind Arrieta and Brian Matusz.

4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Bobby Valentine had more questions than Andy MacPhail during interview with O’s

NOTHING surprising about this. While some managerial candidates will certainly come to Baltimore and be ready to say all of the right things in hopes of finding employment (most of us are assuming Eric Wedge is one of those guys), but Bobby V isn’t one of them. Valentine is one of those guys who would need exactly the right circumstance to get back into the game (a la Brian Billick in football). When Valentine comes to Baltimore (or anywhere else), he wants to know that the situation IS perfect.

I’m guessing that working for Peter Angelos probably ISN’T that type of situation.

This brings us to our “Apologist of the Morning.” Steve Davis is currently filling in for Mark Viviano over on 105.7. When a caller suggested yesterday that “no one” would want the Orioles managerial gig, he responded by saying “anyone” would want the Orioles job. He even included Phil Garner on the list of guys who would jump at the chance to manage the team.

Apparently Steve wasn’t listening when Phil Garner was on with “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester last week. Garner was less than excited about the chance to come to Charm City.

I hope everyone understands that. This ISN’T a desirable gig. It’s a managerial graveyard. Only Mike Hargrove has gone on to get another MLB managerial gig since the organization began their 13 season era of losing in 1998. This isn’t a place that ANY realistic managerial candidate looks at and says “yeah, I think that’s a great gig.” No one is excited about MacPhail’s “plan.”

This is the reality of the situation. Someone will take the job, because there are a slew of managers in the world who just want a gig. But most of those guys are guys who want a gig ANYWHERE…not necessarily Baltimore.

You can spin it however you want, including trying to describe it as a coveted job. It just isn’t.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Tim Bascom, Rhyne Hughes struggled mightily in Norfolk Tides’ loss on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of notes.

-The Birds and Giants wrap up their 3 game series this afternoon at AT&T Park. First pitch on MASN is at 3:45pm. Jeremy Guthrie goes to the hill against Tim “Cy Young Award” Lincecum. No pressure Jeremy!

-Apparently Brian Roberts is going to be able to return in 4-6 weeks. I have a funny feeling we’ll hear the word “setback” in the next 4-6 weeks myself.

6. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Harvard coach/former Navy assistant John Tillman to replace Dave Cottle as Maryland lacrosse coach

Okay then….he’s the guy.

Am I jumping up and down as a Terrapins alum about the hiring of John Tillman? Not exactly. But will I be rooting like hell for John Tillman to succeed in College Park? You better believe it.

Hopefully Tillman’s background in the Ivy League will help his attempts to get MIAA kids. It’s certainly not a slam dunk-but he clearly knows how to talk to privileged kids/families; and he knows the area from having coached in Annapolis. Those are both good qualities.

Rumors are that he got a 7 year deal. That seems like a bit much, but if it’s what it took to get the right guy, that’s fine.

Me personally…I’d give Minki van der Westhuizen a 7 year deal if she wanted one. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

minki

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Towson finalized three year deal with Tony Seaman

And while this isn’t necessarily “news” considering it was finalized weeks ago, we’re still happy for Tony, and think this was a great move by Mike Hermann and the Tigers.

I know a thing or two about great moves, myself. For example, I spent the better part of my day looking at pictures of Izabel Goulart over at Guyism…

izabel

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrence Cody, Sergio Kindle aren’t considering Training Camp holdout(s)

Nor should they be…ESPECIALLY considering they were both 2nd round picks in the NFL Draft. There’s no reason it should even take too long to get the deals done.

If you missed Ravens rookie CB Prince Miller (UFA out of Georgia) this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

-Former Ravens DT Tony Siragusa (who compared Anquan Boldin to a LB at WR)
-DC United midfielder/striker Santino Quaranta (the former Archbishop Curley and part-time USMNT player as well; who went around the World Cup and talked some MLS)
-Former Terps Forward Landon Milbourne (who discussed his workouts with the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers as he prepares for the NBA Draft)
-and MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken (who discussed his potential candidacy to replace Dave Trembley)

They’re all in the Audio Vault if you want to check them out.

9. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Jim Zorn hoping to turn Joe Flacco into Pro Bowl caliber, Super Bowl winning QB

And as far as I’m concerned…I hope he does.

That being said, Joe had a very good relationship with Hue Jackson-and Zorn will have to work to earn a level of faith.

It would take faith for me to have a relationship with Nathalia Melo, who is over at Barstool Sports and looks like she could kick my ass…

melo

10. The Sun’s Lorraine Mirabella says Inner Harbor ESPN Zone closed last night

And to think…I had 5 bucks left on my card! I could have played another game of Daytona USA!!!

And finally, I leave you with this.

In honor of our upcoming “My Italian Dinner with Bruno Sammartino” event, I figured I’d pass along this Bruno Sammartino-Freddie Blassie gem from YouTube. Can’t wait for the event…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t89xWOg23t8[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because this happened yesterday…

crabs

Need I explain more? The “Luckiest Dang Little Sister on the Face of the Planet” had a birthday, and I reaped the benefits.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Kevin Millwood roughed up as Orioles swept by Mets

I decided to peek at Stephen Strasburg for a bit yesterday over on MASN2 as the Nats played in Cleveland-just because I didn’t want to be the only guy in the world NOT talking about him.

By the time I realized I had forgot to flip over and watch the start of the Birds game, it was already 5-0 in the first. At least it made it easier to stop watching and head outside for crabs and Moosehead.

I’m well aware that the game got back to 5-3 at one point; but the Orioles really DIDN’T ever have a chance. A special thanks to Mark Hendrickson for making sure it wasn’t AT ALL interesting at any point after he came in.

I’d like to say something poignant here to wrap this up. I think I’ll go with “The Orioles stink.” How’d that sound?

2. WNST.net/The AP provide numerical evidence of sweep

The crazy thing is that the team has been getting some hits recently. Over the last 6 games, they’ve collected 62 hits. Sadly, they’ve rarely turned into runs.

Of course, when you let the one RBI producer you have go (Aubrey Huff) and don’t replace him with someone who’s an acceptable replacement (like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay); this is what you get. It’s been piss poor all season. I don’t know why I’d bother being frustrated by it now.

I don’t know if you can tell by my tone early on, but this wasn’t exactly fun this weekend. I was hoping the World Cup would help to improve my spirits towards sports in general-but I got a bit too much sun Saturday, and then my allergies came racing back yesterday.

I still blame the Orioles. Why wouldn’t I?

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says with sweep, O’s now continue historic poor pace

There is no doubt that over the next few months, there will be plenty of attention paid to the Orioles’ potential assault of the 1962 New York Mets’ record for futility. I’m not the type of person that hopes they DO pursue the record down the stretch just to keep the season entertaining-as I don’t really want to have any part of that. The Mets have that record. I hope they keep it.

That being said, those that support the Orioles going on to finish with the worst record in baseball so that the team can finish with the #1 overall pick in next year’s MLB Entry Draft-I can probably get behind that. I won’t root for them to lose (of course, I can’t bring myself to watch the games at ALL half the time anyway), but I understand that losing games could help the team more than winning can after the All-Star Game.

This just keeps getting more and more depressing. Let’s take a look at a picture of January Jones (who may or may not have been involved in a car crash?) from over at WWTDD and then we’ll regroup and move forward.

janjones

4. MLB.com’s Noah Rosenstein says Birds activated Alfredo Simon, sent down Brad Bergesen

So we’ve got that much going for us, which is nice. Juan Samuel says he’ll use Alfredo Simon primarily as the closer. I’d probably prefer to keep using David Hernandez myself, but I think I’ll just accept EVER having another save situation again first.

As far as Brad Bergesen goes; this is a numbers game. Of the 4 young pitchers in the “cavalry”, he’s got the lesser pedigree of the bunch. It probably goes Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta then Bergesen. With the other 3 up and both Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie having not been dealt yet. That’s 6 guys for 5 spots. While Hernandez is probably best suited for the bullpen in the long term, Bergesen should probably remain a starter. In order to do that, he has to go to Norfolk, at least for now.

5. Baysox.com says Pasadena native Chorye Spoone matched MLB pitcher Ross Detweiler in Bowie’s win over Harrisburg on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a couple of things…

-A reminder that the Birds are back in action tonight, facing the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. First pitch between Chris Tillman and Jonathan Sanchez is at 10:15pm. The other starters for the Orioles this week are Arrieta and Guthrie; the Giants counter with Joe Martinez and Tim Lincecum. The hopes for a Madison Bumgarner-Jake Arrieta showdown were nice, but appear to be all but gone.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, a former winner-”Neal S.” from The Loss Column. Neal was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. For a change, today’s winner didn’t win because of “apology”, but instead for being an apologist yet having the stones to say the right thing. Neal said…

“I’m getting frustrated with Andy MacPhail’s ultra-conservative, deliberate approach. I’m not getting at any larger point, necessarily, it’s just what it is. Frustration with an approach that seems to be growing less effective by the day.”

It’s time the uber-defenders of “The Plan” wise up and accept facts. The fact is, the manager has been fired but the team still stinks. Either that means there are two bad managers, or the general manager put a bad club together. I think I know which one it was in this case.

I don’t think Peter Angelos should FIRE Andy MacPhail, but I ABSOLUTELY believe his feet need to be held to the fire to MAKE THE TEAM BETTER.

I hope others will join Neal S. in having the courage to stand up and say “this isn’t okay.”

-While Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge remain the only managers known to have interviewed for the job, I think there’s an obvious choice for the next interview. As I posted Saturday on Facebook, the recent meltdown from one time would-be Arizona Diamondbacks manager Wally Backman HAS to earn him an interview, correct?

(Edit from GMC: This video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work at a place that has the F word in the name of the company. If that’s the case, I would imagine the video is probably okay.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJJUc2u0bs[/youtube]

6. The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens S Nakamura ‘well ahead of schedule’ in return from injury

The organization has to be happy with the quick returns from injury not only for Nakamura-but also for Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb. Washington & Webb still aren’t 100 percent, but all of these players have remained ahead of schedule. That’s good news for ALL Ravens fans.

A reminder that we will NOT be out at 1 Winning Drive for Passing Camp this week-because the NFL took away Passing Camp this week. The Ravens are still doing formal work with their rookies, but there is no availability for us. But as any news comes from Owings Mills, we’ll be sure to get it to you via Twitter (follow us @WNST), WNST.net and on air at AM1570.

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says only ‘money’ would make sense in potential Terrapins move to Big Ten

This is a great read from Patrick regarding the entire conference situation. I have said a few times that I don’t think it helps the Terps to go to the Big Ten, and I won’t waiver on that. That being said, if Big Ten commish Jim Delaney has $20 million a year to throw at the University for free, it would have to be considered by C.D. Mote or whoever replaces as him-even if it ends up going against the wishes of Debbie Yow.

We talked some college sports this morning on “The Morning Reaction”, as Morgan State Bears head coach Todd Bozeman joined the program to respond to the news of recent scholarship losses. If you missed the chat, you can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to listen, as Drew and Todd also discussed the Boston Celtics’ 3-2 lead on the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Other guests this morning were Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe and UMBC Soccer Coach Pete Caringi-who recapped the United States-England match, as well as all other things World Cup.

8. Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns has Maryland 5th, Johns Hopkins 11th, Loyola 15th in ‘way early’ 2011 lacrosse poll

The Dave Cottle defenders of the world pointed out that he deserved the chance to coach one more season, as this Maryland team is arguably the best he would have had.

Maybe so, but that’s of course not an option anymore. Speaking of which, nothing new on the Maryland lacrosse search front this weekend.

Speaking of which-if we’re going to put together ridiculous lists at the wrong time, I want to make a list of “gals from Australia who made the cover of Ralph Magazine and I would like to get to know better.” Gianna Pattison is number 1. (Thanks Guyism!)

gianna

9. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival part of “World Cup fever” coming over Charm City

If you didn’t come out to Patriot Plaza in Towson for the event Saturday, it was a GREAT time, even if the match ended in a fairly fortunate draw. Here’s a look courtesy of WNSTv…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJQ6uakWUQs[/youtube]

We will be out at Amicci’s in Little Italy this afternoon for Italy-Paraguay. The food is GREAT, the beer is cold, it’s going to be an awesome day. Forza Azzurri!!!

10. BaltimoreMariners.com says Mariners topped Erie on last second FG

Thankfully their long snapper isn’t named Matt Katula.

I’m kidding!!!! Matt’s a good man, and hopefully has moved past his elbow issues. Hopefully.

You know, I completely forgot to mention this when we were discussing World Cup, but have you seen Cristiano Ronaldo WAG Irina Shayk? Thanks Busted Coverage…

shayk

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t been paying attention to WWE Raw, you might not have noticed that they’ve been having guest hosts on the show every week. Some of been great (notably Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Barker), others have been Ashton Kutcher. My buddy Brandon Holthaus started a group on Facebook to try to get Kevin Smith to host the show. Check the group out here.

And how can THIS guy NOT make a good host? (Edit from GMC: Once again, this video is ABSOLUTELY NSFW. Unless you work for Kevin Smith. Or the WWE presumably.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-xKUU5sWS4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

O-mazin’ Orioles swept by Mets as chase of history is on

Posted on 13 June 2010 by Luke Jones

It’s fitting the Orioles concluded a forgettable 2-7 homestand against the New York Mets this weekend.

For it was this same Mets franchise that set the modern record for futility with a 40-120 record as an expansion team in 1962, and the Orioles’ biggest—if not only—storyline is quickly becoming where they might land among the worst teams in the history of major league baseball.

With the Orioles falling 11-4 on Sunday and now holding an appalling 17-46 record (on pace to lose 119 games), it’s getting harder and harder to ignore a potential date with history, though not the kind anyone wanted to see in Baltimore this season—or any season for that matter.

Those “Amazin’ Mets” lost their 63rd game of the season, giving Casey Stengel and the feeble Metropolitans a 17-46 record, the same mark the Orioles hold as they embark on a West Coast trip to San Francisco and San Diego this week. But unlike the Mets, expectations were far higher for an Orioles club many hoped would be far more intriguing—and successful—than any Baltimore has witnessed in 13 years.

The decision to fire manager Dave Trembley was made in order to ignite a spark for a baseball team struggling in nearly every facet of the game. Instead, interim manager Juan Samuel is 2-7 since taking charge at the beginning of the homestand on June 4. The offense continues to be downright offensive, the pitching continues to wilt, and the club is on the verge of falling 30 games below .500 before Father’s Day.

The managerial change has not only failed to ignite a spark, but has appeared to add kindling to the fire of a catastrophic season. In his defense, Samuel’s first opportunity to manage in the big leagues comes under impossible circumstances with an all-around beaten team having virtually no hope of turning it around.

“I’m trying to stay as positive as I can for these guys,” Samuel said after Sunday’s loss. “My job is to keep these guys going and keep them focused, continue to improve in some areas we think we can improve, like running the bases. Just doing the little things. Playing a different style of baseball when we have the chance to.”

The Orioles were 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position in the three-game sweep to the Mets and are just .217 for the entire season. The offense managed just two homers in nine games at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.

At least someone is benefiting from the club’s offensive struggles as the opposition has now made quality starts in 16 of the Orioles’ last 17 games.

And it doesn’t get any easier as the Orioles now go to San Francisco to face a Giants pitching staff with a 3.33 ERA, third in the majors.

Miffed Millwood shelled again

The season continues to spiral out of control for Kevin Millwood who fell to 0-8 after giving up five runs in the first inning, including home runs to David Wright and Chris Carter. Millwood gave up eight earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and has seen his earned run average balloon to a season-high 5.16.

Millwood’s lack of run support is well-documented, but it appears to be wearing on the veteran righty who has a 7.21 ERA over his last seven starts. Though he remained stoic in describing his performance on Sunday, it’s clear the frustration of a winless start is impacting his performance.

“A little confused, you know, I feel like I’ve been trying so many things,” he said. “I have a million things running through my head instead of just trying to execute pitches. That’s nobody’s fault but my own, so hopefully I can kind of get a clear head and just go back to throwing the ball instead of worrying about my mechanics so much.”

Millwood gave up a third home run in the fifth inning, a shot by Jason Bay on a 3-1 pitch. It was the third time this season Millwood has allowed three home runs in a game (April 11 vs. Toronto and May 13 vs. Seattle).

His 19 home runs allowed is most in the majors.

Bergesen back to minors

With Alfredo Simon set to return from the disabled list, the Orioles optioned right-hander Brad Bergesen to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday’s game.

Samuel and the club wants to give Bergesen the opportunity to start every fifth day to work out his mechanical issues and believed keeping him in the bullpen with irregular work would not help the 24-year-old get back on track.

Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.50 ERA in 12 appearances, 10 of them being starts. This will mark his second stint with the Tides this season after he was optioned to Norfolk in April after three ineffective outings to start the season.

“You know, it’s a numbers game sometimes,” Bergesen said. “They told me they want to get me the innings and right now I’m not getting the innings. Of course, I’m not happy, but what’s done is done. There are no grudges held here. I’ll go down and work my butt off to get back here.”

Interleague Ineptitude

The Orioles are now 1-5 in interleague play this season and 102-133 all-time since regular season play against the National League began in 1997. Baltimore is now 9-16 all-time against the Mets.

Interleague play will continue with a six-game road trip against the Giants (35-27) and Padres (37-26), two teams battling for supremacy in the National League West.

_________________________________________________

BALTIMORE — Good afternoon from a sweltering Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles conclude an interleague three-game set with the New York Mets at 1:35 p.m.

Despite a strong eight-inning effort from Brian Matusz Saturday night, the Orioles lost 3-1, giving the Mets their first road series win of the season and dropping the Orioles to 17-45. It’s the exact record the infamous 1962 Amazin’ Mets had after 62 games. Those Mets, a first-year expansion team managed by Casey Stengel, went on to lose 120 games to solidify themselves as the worst team in big league history since 1900.

For those wondering, those ’62 Mets lost their 63rd game of the season to the Milwaukee Braves, 9-4.

The Orioles clearly have 100 games to avoid the embarrassing 120-loss mark, but the possibility is sadly becoming more realistic with every passing loss. It doesn’t figure to get any easier this coming week as Baltimore travels to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres, both in the thick of the National League West race in the middle of June.

Kevin Millwood (0-7) goes to the bump for the Birds this afternoon, desperately trying to pick up his first victory of the season. The veteran righty pitched extremely well over the first seven weeks of the season but has struggled in his last six starts, going 0-3 with a 6.34 ERA.

It won’t be easy for Millwood as he’ll be opposed by Mike Pelfrey who has pitched exceptionally well all season but particularly over his last three starts. Pelfrey has allowed just two earned runs over his last 24 innings, including a 2-1 complete-game victory over the San Diego Padres in his most recent start.

Here are this afternoon’s lineups:

New York
SS Jose Reyes
CF Angel Pagan
3B David Wright
1B Ike Davis
LF Jason Bay
DH Chris Carter
RF Jesus Feliciano
2B Alex Cora
C Henry Blanco

SP Mike Pelfrey (8-1, 2.23 ERA)

Baltimore
LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
2B Scott Moore
SS Julio Lugo

SP Kevin Millwood (0-7, 4.64 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this afteroon at 1:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 1:35 p.m.

______________________________________

12:25 p.m. — With a modest piece of good news on the injury front, reliever Alfredo Simon threw from the mound at Camden Yards earlier this morning and will be activated for Monday night’s game against the Giants if his injured hamstring holds up as expected.

Simon faced live hitters in his batting practice throwing session as pitching coach Rick Kranitz observed closely. Interim manager Juan Samuel envisions a return to the closer role for Simon with David Hernandez—who picked up the save in Thursday night’s win over the Yankees—receiving opportunities when Simon is unavailable.

Of course, it’s tough for the Orioles to create save opportunities for one closer, let alone a second guy capable of filling the role. If you’re wondering who had the last save for the Orioles prior to Hernandez on Thursday, the answer is Simon on May 22 against the Washington Nationals, two days before he suffered the hamstring injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list.

If you’re wondering what the corresponding roster move might be if and when Simon is activated, my best guess would be Brad Bergesen being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The young sinkerballer needs to pitch regularly, and I just don’t see enough opportunities for him out of the bullpen in a long-relief role.

Comments Off

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because 1-I’ve got Arrieta fever (and the only way to fix it is more cowbell?), 2-The World Cup starts today, so for the first couple of weeks anyway, I’m more of a patriot than Lee Greenwood…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-9_fDEsv-Q[/youtube]

…and then of course after Team USA is eliminated, it’s Forza Azzurri for me!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw3i1Wrlhvw[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Arrieta, David Hernandez give Orioles fans ‘moment of hope’ in win over Yankees

Jake Arrieta wasn’t exactly “Strasburgian” last night, but since the Orioles have beat the Yanks recently about as often as I’ve been called an “all around good guy”, I understand the excitement.

To be fair, Arrieta probably should have been here earlier-but I don’t care if it took too long for him to get here as long as he keeps pitching well while he’s here. He certainly had ice in his veins when he struck out Marcus Thames…but then again…it’s Marcus Thames.

I guess the word is that Juan Samuel intends to stick with Alfredo Simon as closer when he gets healthy, but I think David Hernandez has a MUCH better pedigree for a potential closer. That being said, I’m not entirely certain the team will have another save situation before the All-Star Game. If they do, I think they should let Hernandez try again.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

With an O-fer last night, I’d like to thank Cesar Izturis for winning me a dollar in a bet with Drew Forrester. It feels much better to win that type of bet in a Birds win. Frankly it feels better just to say the words “Birds win” in any sort of reference.

Scott Moore hit a home run last night. I wonder if I’ll ever type those words again in my life. I feel as though it might be more likely that I’ll type the words “and that’s how my date with Angel Locsin went” in the future than typing that again. (Thanks Busted Coverage/FHM!)

locsin

3. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Luke Scott acted like a ‘loser’ in O’s win

Hard to argue with that.

If you missed it, in the 7th inning; Scott lifted a fly ball to right field that Nick Swisher couldn’t find until it hit the wall. Scott thought he had hit a lazy fly ball for an out, but ended up with a triple. It would have been an inside the park home run for SURE had Scott actually been running out of the box, but instead he pouted and leisurely jogged towards first base before taking off.

Gary Thorne LOST HIS MIND. Scott would wind up scoring on an Adam Jones double; and when he got to the dugout-he heard it from Juan Samuel. Thorne (and Jim Palmer to a lesser extent) was enraged to see the two of them laughing in the dugout. For as much as I appreciated Thorne getting animated, I had the feeling John Angelos (or Peter Angelos or whoever else is paying attention to MASN right now) might be cringing while it was happening.

Thorne was right though. After Scott failed to hustle this weekend against the Red Sox and then failed to hustle again last night against the Bronx Bombers; there’s clearly an issue. It has to be addressed. Luke Scott has a role on this team, but the lack of hustle is completely unacceptable.

4. The Sun’s Dan Connolly and Don Markus say Bobby Valentine to interview with Andy MacPhail today

Rumor has it Bobby V will NOT come to the interview dressed this way…

bobbyv

Bobby Valentine certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for the gig-but if he can make the team win, I’d take him. He really loved his gig in Japan, it will be interesting to find out if he still has the passion to make things work in MLB.

Selfishly, I kinda want Skeeter Valentine from “Doug” a little bit more than Bobby Valentine…

skeeter

5. Virginian-Pilot’s Jared Diamond says Tim Bascom very good for Norfolk Tides, but couldn’t top Chris Resop’s 1 hitter for Gwinnett

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

-A reminder that the Orioles are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with an interleague visit from the New York Mets. First pitch between R.A. Dickey and Jeremy Guthrie is at 7:05pm. For the rest of the weekend, Hisanori Takahashi faces Brian Matusz and Mike Pelfrey (how in the hell is HE 8-1?) takes on Kevin Millwood.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, caller Bryce from Park Heights. If you’ve never heard a call from Bryce you might not understand-but he’s pretty special. He was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” or “Mr. Fair” if you will-Drew Forrester.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff both nailed 60 yard kicks on final day of Passing Camp in Owings Mills

Look, a 60 year field goal at 1 Winning Drive in June does not compare to a 50 yard attempt at M&T Bank Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers in December, but it’s certainly still fun to see these guys pushing each other.

If you missed Shayne this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included new Maryland Terrapins assistant hoops coach (and St. Frances alum) Bino Ranson, Former Terps/Blast/USMNT player Desmond Armstrong (who helped us preview the World Cup), Bowie Baysox 3B Joel Guzman, and Craig Calcaterra from HardballTalk over at NBCSports.com, who went around MLB with Drew. All interviews, plus Rick from Reisterstown’s “call” of the final race in our “Month of Jerks.”

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens cut WR’s Chris Hannon, Maurice Price

And as I pointed out yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Maurice Price had to know something was up when the team assigned Shayne Graham his number (17) and never bothered to give him a new one.

Hannon and Price were guys who had no real chance of making the team, and the team still has PLENTY of WR’s to use during Training Camp this summer in Westminster.

Here’s a question for you. With these guys gone, is there room for the team to consider acquiring Katrina Law and/or Lesley-Ann Brandt from the show “Spartacus” on Starz??? (Thanks BarStool Sports!)

spartacus

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh happy with tryout from DB’s Ken Lucas, Walt Harris and Ken Hamlin

Thanks to my buddy Derek Arnold from WNST.net, Charm City Current and of course B-More Birds Nest for reminding me about the unquestioned highlight of Ken Hamlin’s career…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGRUNJorz8[/youtube]

No word if Hamlin still gets Christmas cards from Le’Ron McClain.

9. The Sun’s Glenn Graham says Baltimore County World Soccer Festival amongst best places to watch World Cup

Who’s buying my first Peroni???

It’s going to be a great day tomorrow at Patriot Plaza in Towson. I won’t be there at 7:30am for the Greece/South Korea match, but I’ll stroll in at some point before 2:30. Save me a beer…or 37.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says former Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle hasn’t heard from Penn State

He’d be a great hire for the Nittany Lions, which is why I hope they don’t hire him. I don’t much care for anything in State College myself.

Meanwhile, after contacting Virginia assistant Marc Van Arsdale, there is nothing new happening in College Park as the Terps try to hire a new coach. Still no contact with Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene and no progress towards Albany’s Scott Marr either. I’m starting to think they should consider Roxanne Pallett for the gig. (Thanks Guyism!)

pallett

And finally, I leave you with this…

I’m not sure what I like more from the world of sports yesterday. The pronunciation of Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Nate Robinson from the Boston Celtics being like “Shrek and Donkey”….

shrek

Or Lady Gaga flipping off Mets fans at Citi Field…

gaga

I’ll be doing the same thing Saturday night at OPACY.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arrieta, Hernandez provide rare moment of hope in lost season

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Luke Jones

We’re all looking for something positive to grasp onto as the Orioles enter the summer on pace to finish with the worst record in franchise history.

But searching for positives in a 17-43 disaster of a season is kind of like pointing out the luxuries on the Titantic before that pesky chunk of ice got in the way.

A daunting task, but that’s what we’re left with having a baseball team 22 games out of first place in the second week of June.

It was a far cry from the franchise-changing evening that occurred in our nation’s capital earlier this week with Stephen Strasburg’s historic debut for the Nationals, but Jake Arrieta and David Hernandez provided a brief moment of optimism on Thursday night in a season of epic failure.

Arrieta, making his major league debut, wasn’t tremendous, but he pitched six tough innings against the defending world champions to collect his first victory, beating the New York Yankees, 4-3. The 24-year-old struck out six Yankees—including Marcus Thames to end a scoring threat in his final inning of work—and allowed only four hits while displaying good movement on his fastball and an impressive slider.

He displayed a stronger sense of poise than most pitchers’ debuts we’ve witnessed in recent years, particularly in the sixth when the Yankees were threatening to tie and take the lead with the bases loaded before fanning Thames with a low-and-away slider.

“It’s real satisfying to throw well in my debut and get a win against these guys, it feels good,” Arrieta said. “I just wanted to make pitches and not let the adrenaline get the best of me. I think through the first three innings, at times, it did. But I kind of got into a groove from the fourth on and got out of a jam in the sixth. There were a lot of positives out of tonight.”

Another positive came two innings later when Hernandez, gaining more confidence with every appearance out of the bullpen, earned his first major league save, pumping fastballs at 97 miles per hour as he preserved the victory for Arrieta. Having struggled as a starter, Hernandez was disappointed in being moved to the bullpen but has allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings of relief.

Thursday night’s performance against the Yankees was a brief sample of why so many scouts projected Hernandez as a late-inning reliever with closer potential as he worked his way through the minors. Of course, it’s only one outing, but it was an impressive first act.

“That definitely probably ranks right up there with making my major league debut,” Hernandez said.

The only thing more disappointing than the Orioles’ record is the overwhelming part in which the supposed future core of players has played in the losing. In reality, it matters little what Ty Wigginton or Miguel Tejada or Kevin Millwood do, unless you’re hopelessly wishing a desperate team will throw a bunch of prospects at the Orioles’ feet for their services at the trade deadline.

The performance—or lack thereof—of the team’s young players is the only thing that truly matters at this point, and the results haven’t been there. Not even close.

Matt Wieters, expected to be baseball’s next big star behind the plate, is hitting .241 and has driven in a measly 17 runs.

2009 All-Star Adam Jones continues to flail away at low-and-away breaking balls with a .251 average and 19 RBIs when he was hitting .335 with 37 runs driven in on the same date last year.

Nolan Reimold, a candidate for Rookie of the Year in 2009 before suffering an Achilles injury, is hitting just .179—at Triple-A Norfolk.

And Brad Bergesen was demoted to the minors earlier in the season and now resides in the bullpen with a 6.75 ERA, trying to regain the effective sinker that made him the team’s most effective starting pitcher as a rookie in 2009.

Even if this season wasn’t really about wins and losses, despite what we were told last fall by general manager Andy MacPhail, it’s been a season of regression instead of development.

So forgive us if we take a tiny sliver of satisfaction from the accomplishments of two young pitchers on Thursday night—especially when they come against the Yankees.

“It’s always good to do well against a team like that,” Hernandez said. “They’re a team that knows how to win.”

The Orioles are clearly a team that does not, evident in both their record and the way they conduct themselves after a rare victory with the now regular—and ridiculous—occurrence of a shaving cream pie for the key contributor. It’s just another sign that this team fully expects to lose every night and parties like it’s 1999 when it does pull off the scarce win.

Make no mistake, laughter and music in the clubhouse are common occurrences and are well deserved after a win, but after venturing over to the New York clubhouse after its 4-2 win over the Orioles on Wednesday, the differences were night and day as Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and the Yankees were all business after doing the job they fully expect to do every night.

Win.

Of course, the difference in talent is night and day too.

And so is the mindset.

Despite this, the Orioles beat the superior Yankees on Thursday night behind the arms of Arrieta and Hernandez.

We can only continue to watch and hope for more of these small signs—and a willingness to open the checkbook in the offseason for some prime talent—as the Orioles painfully move through the remainder of a horrid season.

There’s no saving this season, but small signs for the future will have to do for now.

And Arrieta and Hernandez provided just that.

**Go to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Jake Arrieta and David Hernandez about their performances in Thursday night’s game.**

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Live from Camden Yards: Arrieta to make MLB debut Thursday

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Good evening from a dreary, damp Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (16-42) prepare to battle the New York Yankees (36-22) in the second of a three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Chris Tillman will make his third start of the season, but another young pitcher grabbed the headlines this afternoon when the Orioles announced Jake Arrieta will make his major league debut Thursday night instead of the speculated Saturday game against the New York Mets. Jeremy Guthrie’s scheduled start will be moved to Friday night, giving the right-hander an extra day of rest.

Arrieta is 6-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 11 starts with the Norfolk Tides this season, striking out 64 while walking 34. Arrieta’s biggest struggle in the minor leagues has been limiting walks, which will present a challenge against the patient New York lineup. However, interim manager Juan Samuel showed no hesitation in sending Arrieta to the hill against the 2009 world champions.

“Hey, we don’t get to pick who we play,” said Samuel, citing how well the 24-year-old as pitched at Triple A and the need for Arrieta to gain experience.

With Arrieta’s promotion, it likely means Brad Bergesen will remain in the bullpen for the foreseeable future as he tries to work out his mechanics with the sinker. Samuel would not rule out a return to the minor leagues for the struggling Bergesen, and he could even be the one optioned to Norfolk to make room for Arrieta tomorrow.

In other bullpen news, Samuel revealed he and Rick Kranitz have discussed the possibility of using David Hernandez as the closer should game situations call for a left-handed situational reliever, a spot previously held by Will Ohman before he was moved to the closer role since Simon went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Alfredo Simon threw 25 pitches and completed some light agility drills without any problems today. The right-hander will throw 30 pitches tomorrow, and Samuel hopes it will be against live hitters.

Felix Pie took swings off a batting tee and completed some long toss without any pain.

Corey Patteron’s sore groin appears to be close to 100 percent as Samuel declared him ready to go despite the left fielder again being out of the lineup on a rainy night.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

New York
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
DH Jorge Posada
CF Curtis Granderson
C Francisco Cervelli
LF Kevin Russo

SP CC Sabathia (5-3, 4.14 ERA)

Baltimore
2B Julio Lugo
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
DH Garrett Atkins
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Chris Tillman (0-1, 7.71 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this evening at 7:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m

Comments Off