Tag Archive | "Garrett Atkins"

Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because someone found a YouTube video of a guy holding an AK-47 and lip-syncing or singing a karaoke version of “Hello” by Lionel Richie. There’s absolutely no reason for me to enjoy this video, but yet I do…

I have no idea WHY I’d enjoy this video so much, but for some reason…yeah…this…this is just fine.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGBu6wYYkI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Jason Berken, Ty Wigginton, Nick Markakis likely All-Star Game candidates for Orioles, Juan Samuel supports Adam Jones

And with that, congratulations to the Birds’ interim manager for winning his first ever “Apologist of the Morning” honor, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I’m well aware that Adam Jones is on an absolutely TORRID pace right now, but hitting well for a few weeks does not a season make. (How was that for poetry?)

Jones’ OBP is just .296. I know he’s hit 12 home runs this season, but he has just 8 walks. Those are NOT All-Star numbers. If the team had done anything before the last 5 days, I’d say he should be a candidate for American League Player of the Month; but getting hot quickly doesn’t qualify you to be an All-Star. Sorry Juan Samuel. Wigginton is in a similar boat. Hitting well to start the season and then falling off the face of the planet doesn’t qualify you as an All-Star either.

The reality is that if the player who has been the best for the O’s all season were to go to Anaheim, it would be Berken. He’s given up 8 earned runs all season, with just 12 walks and 32 strikeouts. He’s absolutely been fantastic. Does he have the pedigree of an All-Star? Of course not. But has he been the team’s “best” player this season from Opening Day until June 29th? I think there’s no doubt about that.

My choice to go to Angel Stadium remains Markakis. As far as someone who “belongs”, Markakis fits the bill. He’s been consistent throughout the season, although he clearly has lacked in the HR and RBI department. The fact remains that this team SHOULDN’T have an All-Star representative, but rules dictate that someone has to go. If someone has to go, I would certainly feel most comfortable with that player being Markakis.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Garrett Atkins not interested in accepting AAA assignment to Norfolk

And as Drew stated so well via Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), the Tides reportedly responded by saying “Somehow, we’ll survive…”

In fairness, Norfolk already has a few Garrett Atkins’ on their roster in Nolan Reimold and Brandon Snyder. I’m not sure that this organization really needs another Garrett Atkins around. It just didn’t work here. For all parties involved (especially one Andy MacPhail), it’s probably best that the sides part ways cleanly.

As a note, I saw the Sun report that Brady Anderson is working with Nolan Reimold. I don’t know that it will make Nolan Reimold a major league baseball player again this season; but I certainly see no reason why it wouldn’t be a good idea. Having the likes of Brady Anderson, BJ Surhoff, Mike Bordick, etc. around is a perfectly good idea in my eyes.

3. The AP/STATS’ Mike Lipka previews O’s-A’s series starting tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

First pitch tonight at OPACY is at 7:05pm, with Dallas Braden facing Brian Matusz. If you’re like me and not really interested in dealing with the heat; you can check the game out on MASN2. As Drew and I discussed this morning; the amazing thing here is that despite the fact that we’ve already seen Oakland 6 times this season-I still can’t name more than 5 or 6 position players off the top of my head.

Rajai Davis can ground out into a triple, I know him. Kevin Kouzmanoff has as many letters in his last name as he does significant hits in his career. Daric Barton is the only human being on the face of the planet with the name Daric. Kurt Suzuki is a worse option to hit cleanup than anyone Baltimore has trotted out this season. I’m pretty sure they have a Sweeney as well…Ryan Sweeney if I remember right.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Is Mark Ellis still on the roster? I know Eric Chavez got hurt, I used to be able to name him. I know the A’s pitchers have been pretty good this season. But in reality, the Birds still have a realistic shot at winning a few more games this week.

Of course, I’ve found myself thinking that before.

4. Virginian-Pilot says Chris George rocked in Tides’ loss to Louisville Monday night on farm

You know what else got rocked? MY MIND when I heard WWTDD had pictures of Kelly Brook from her vacation…

kellybrook

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens 6th round pick (Morehouse State OT) Ramon Harewood agreed to 3 year deal

This now leaves the Ravens with more SIGNED picks (Harewood, Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones and David Reed) than they do UNSIGNED (Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson). Nothing surprising here; as I’ve stated before that there’s no reason to think the team will have any trouble getting their picks signed this year.

As far as where Harewood fits in with the Ravens; he’s going to have an uphill climb to be on the roster Week 1 when the Ravens face the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. Michael Oher and Jared Gaither (who I’ve said before is expected to be on the roster come Week 1) are entrenched at the starting tackle positions. Behind them, Oniel Cousins has shown himself to be the #3 guy. Marshal Yanda’s flexibility kept Tony Moll from dressing much last season, but he was on the roster all season after being acquired from Green Bay.

The simple answer would for me to say that Harewood is competing with Moll for a roster spot. That’s not entirely true. Moll has some ability to go inside, which makes him more valuable on Cam Cameron’s offense-even if his natural ability isn’t at the same level as some others on the roster. Harewood is also going to be coming off a knee injury suffered in minicamp when he reports to Westminster. There is ABSOLUTELY a chance that the team could try to store him on IR or the practice squad.

Stefan Rodgers and Joe Reitz are also options at Tackle, and Harewood would have to stay ahead of them to have a shot at making the 53 out of Training Camp. I had him JUST off the bubble on my initial mock roster, I doubt that will change as we get closer to reporting to McDaniel College.

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Greg Mattison thinks Tom Zbikowski playing like Ed Reed

And there isn’t much of anyone better in the world for Zbikowski to model himself after. Similarly, I try to get my girlfriend (you may be familiar with her-”The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”), to try to be more and more like Mallilany Malin (Thanks Guyism!)…

malin

7. Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole says Ravens have 2nd best D-Line in NFL

With the Minnesota Vikings at Number 1, I can’t possibly argue with either of the rankings. Clearly the line with Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen HAS to be considered the best in the National Football League; but the Ravens have built something that deserves recognition as well.

Clearly the Ravens’ D-Line is anchored inside out; with the likes of Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody and Kelly Gregg holding down the middle. The depth the team has built inside with the likes of Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens behind that.

The reason the Ravens couldn’t really even be CONSIDERED ahead of the Vikes is the lack of a true premier rush end. There was a time that Trevor Pryce WAS that guy, but he isn’t anymore. The team believes that Pryce and Cory Redding can combine to anchor the position moving forward; and I don’t doubt that they can. There’s still a hope that Paul Kruger can develop into a true rush end; but obviously he isn’t there yet.

8. UMTerps.com says Randy Eaton named interim Athletic Director at Maryland

Which is a MUCH too logical decision for the University to make. Eaton has been VERY involved with the program in the role of CFO in recent years, and has been hands on in important decisions with finances, scheduling and personnel. There is no question that if there is someone on staff who at least deserves CONSIDERATION for the job permanently, it would be Eaton.

If you’re interested, Eaton will join Drew Forrester tomorrow morning at 9:00am to talk about his new role. I think Eaton will do a great job in the role, which he could have to fill for some time. With no timetable to complete the search to replace C.D. Mote as University President, the search to find a new Athletic Director could certainly extend into the academic year.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Debbie Yow will make basically same salary at NC State as she did in College Park

If you missed Debbie Yow’s appearance this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, it is absolutely worth the listen. You can head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net now to check it out.

Maryland soccer coach Sasho Cirvoski joined the show to go around the World Cup, and Washington Capitals GM George McPhee recapped the NHL Entry Draft as well. It’s all there in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

Also, the new weekly episode of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens is also available now in the Audio Vault. We talk at length about Debbie Yow, Randy Eaton, Greivis Vasquez, the NBA Draft, and the great 4th of July scene in “The Sandlot.” It’s must listen…if you must.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says former Terrapins lacrosse coach Dave Cottle has interviewed at Harvard

I have no idea if Cottle would be a good fit in the Ivy League. Regionally, he has no coaching experience in New England-but he IS a hell of a coach.

As sad as he was to leave his players, do you get the feeling Dave Cottle felt WORSE about leaving when he found out that the girls in the Undie Run were hanging out with Testudo???

undierun

And finally, I leave you with this.

If you haven’t picked up Drake’s new disc “Thank Me Later”, I suggest you do. I’m FEELING “Miss Me”, even if I’d fight Drake over his desire to marry Nicki Minaj…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84N0xXE_WjM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The Orioles 2010 All Star and Un-Star Representatives

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Jay Trucker

With the All Star game fast approaching, it is time for the obligatory speculative blog to determine who will and who should represent the Orioles. Despite their four game winning streak, it’s still safe to say a team with a record this pitiful does not deserve an All Star. However, since each team must have at least a single representative at the Midsummer Classic, someone wearing the O’s cap will make the exhibition club.

By the way, why didn’t anyone mention the “each team must have an All Star” rule to Adam Jones? He certainly doesn’t seem aware of this in his omnipresent MASN commercial, in which he talks proudly of “earning the title All Star” while squatting an unimpressive 235 lbs.

Someone on the horrendous 25 man roster had to “earn” the title All Star, Adam. It’s like being the smartest kid to repeat the eighth grade.

Anyway, I wouldn’t look for Jones to repeat as the O’s lone All Star this year. He is on an eight game hitting streak, but his defense has been suspect at times, and he spent most of April and May whiffing at breaking balls. Time to up your squats, Jonesy.

Ty Wigginton was an early season favorite, as he got off to a hot start that nearly makes up for his pitiful 2009. But he has leveled off recently, hitting .266 on the season with no homers in the past month.

A few local writers are pulling for Jason Berken, but he’s a little-known middle reliever on a bad team. He has about as much chance of making the All Star team as you or me.

Miguel Tejada could act like he’s been there before because he’s been there before. Tejada is hitting .287 while making the move to third base. I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see him get the nod, if only for his name recognition.

The Oriole truly deserving the All Star nod is Nick Markakis. When he’s not calling out his underachieving teammates or dining with Peter Angelos, Markakis has been hitting .306 while exhibiting his usual stellar defense in right field. With only 3 home runs on the year, Markakis has not rediscovered his power stroke, but he is walking at a higher ratio than last year, posting a .398 OBP on the season. Most criticism of Markakis is due to the fact that he is a natural number two hitter forced to hit in the number three spot for this undertalented team. Hopefully his fifth season in the bigs will bring him his first of many All Star nods. He’s been one of the only bright spots both on and off the field this season.

While Markakis is the clear choice for the All Star game, a doppleganger “Unstar” game would have several Baltimore Orioles candidates. Here’s a partial list of underachievers.

Garrett Atkins – Gone but not forgotten. Atkins told The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, “Taking my [batting practice] and stuff the last month or so, it’s been pretty good. I’ve been driving the ball well. I just haven’t been able to transfer it over to the games.” You hear that, New York Yankees? Atkins is doing great in BP. Now if only he could hit in games.

Mike Gonzalez – An Andy MacPhail offseason pickup who may be the only Oriole to ever get booed in his Camden Yards debut. Last seen giving up home runs in short season A ball for Aberdeen. Seriously.

Brian Roberts – In year one of a four-year $40 million deal, Roberts had only 16 plate appearances in 2010 before going on the long-term DL. He can be seen giving video updates on MASN from local dog parks. Seriously.

Koji Uehara – another waste of money and roster space, Uehara’s most impressive achievement to date is his ability to hop on and off the disabled list. Enjoy ingthe humidity, Koji?

Matt Wieters – Nicknamed “switch-hitting Jesus,” Wieters is hitting .238 on the season.

Let’s hope that Nick Markakis’ name is called for the real All Star game. The real question is, who is your Orioles Unstar?

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because after a weekend in Ocean City, I spent the evening literally BATHING in aloe vera. I’m not kidding, I think I looked like Justin Bartha in “The Hangover”…

justinbartha

The thing is, it doesn’t hurt until you’re sober.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Miguel Tejada singled home winning run to lift O’s to sweep of Nationals

I didn’t think it was possible.

I especially didn’t think it was possible after Julio Lugo doubled with one out in the 8th and then proceded to get picked off 2nd base by Wil Nieves.

Shows what I know.

I’m well aware that it was the Nats, but it’s still a sweep. Around here, that’s almost as good as winning the World Series.

It’s been particularly nice to see the Birds put together some rallies and come back from early deficits in these games-but it would be nicer to see starting pitchers be a bit more effective. We’ll get back to that.

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

Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t bad yesterday. 6 innings, 3 earned runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. He certainly wasn’t GREAT, but he wasn’t bad. Compared to some of the other starting efforts we’ve seen at Camden Yards recently, it was really good.

Only Tejada had two hits amongst Orioles players yesterday, but that’s all that was needed. Maybe these guys are hitting better because Nick Markakis called them out publicly. Maybe they’re hitting better because they know the July 31 trade deadline is coming up and this is their chance to get out of Charm City.

I don’t really care why they’re hitting better. I just want them to keep doing it.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Buck Showalter told ESPN Orioles have ‘some great pieces’

Yeah…like Markakis…and….ummm….Adam Jones for a week?

Clearly having watched the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks win World Series titles AFTER he left has made Showalter badly want another MLB gig. Of course, if he thinks he’s going to reach that level under Peter Angelos, he’ll probably be disappointed.

You know who DOES have some great pieces? Zaira Nara. (Thanks Guyism/Remix Magazine!)

zaira

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Andy MacPhail finally cut ties, DFA’ed Garrett Atkins

I’m trying to figure out the right way to say this. Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts were here before MacPhail got here. Adam Jones has been marginally successful. Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta all look like they’re talented but haven’t necessarily shown it yet.

As far as a “face” of the MacPhail era is concerned, umm….Atkins is about as good a choice as any.

This was a failure from Day 1. It represented the fact that the team decided to sign a lesser player instead of going out and actually signing a real impact player. That’s the real impact of the MacPhail era.

Maybe the marketing folks at the Warehouse should put together a “Mt. Rushmore”-type photo of Atkins, Rich Hill, Adam Eaton and Koji Uehara (who returned with the Atkins DFA). Could be a hot seller this Christmas. If I was better at Photoshop, I’d do it for them.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Felix Pie 2-4 with RBI, two runs for Frederick Keys on farm

Me, I’d put Felix Pie on the “Mt. Rushmore”, but someone would try to convince me that his 8 hits earlier this season mean he’s a good player. If Jake Fox was an offseason acquisition, he’d make it for sure. In the meantime, a few more things before we move on from the Orioles…

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army is no stranger to the AOTM-but this morning he received the award for citing Fangraphs in opining that Juan Samuel was wrong for trying to have Matt Wieters bunt last week. I don’t often credit Drew for being funny, but labeling a group of people as “Fangraph-sexuals” was pretty damn humorous.

-The Orioles are off today, but return to action tomorrow night opening a 3 game series against the Oakland Athletics at OPACY. Matusz, Kevin Millwood and Arrieta take the hill for the Orioles; Dallas Braden, Ben Sheets and Trevor Cahill go for the A’s.

-Thanks to Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus for joining us this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to talk some baseball. If you missed it, head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests this morning were SI’s Jon Wertheim (live from Wimbledon) and UMBC soccer coach Pete Caringi (who went around the World Cup). It’s all up in the Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens without Ed Reed would be like Pittsburgh Steelers without Polamalu

As a commenter eloquently scribed after Bowen’s piece (why do all of the good commenters post at NFP?), the Ed Reed situation really IS the “elephant in the room.”

If the Ravens are going to be Super Bowl contenders (and I believe they will be), it is hard to imagine them doing it with Dawan Landry and Ken Hamlin at safety. They need Reed to be some sort of difference maker in the secondary.

My assumption remains that Ed does intend to come back, and will sit out the majority of Training Camp-part for health reasons and part because he probably doesn’t have that much interest in spending his August sweating it out in Westminster.

We know Ed WANTS to return. It SEEMS like he’ll be healthy enough to return. Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that he IS.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says new LB coaches Dean Pees, Ted Monachino making impact in offseason

Maybe so, but even the Arizona State connection couldn’t help Monachino get Terrell Suggs to Owings Mills this offseason.

You know who’s REALLY made an impact this offseason? Wendy Braga. (Thanks Don Chavez/Busted Coverage!)

wendy

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Maryland 68th in offseason college football rankings

Boy.

I have had a bad feeling about this Terrapins club since the end of last season.

I know that luck played a role in 2-10 last season. I know that they lost close games throughout the season, and certainly had a chance to beat the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, Virginia, Duke, etc. That being said, they still have a real lack of talent at crucial spots (namely O-Line and D-Line), and Jamarr Robinson is unproven at best under center.

There is talent on this team. A team with as many decent running backs (Da’Rel Scott, Davin Meggett, Caleb Porzel, D.J. Adams, Gary Douglas) and WR’s (Torrey Smith, Emani Lee-Odai, Tony Logan, Quintin McCree, LaQuan Williams, Ronnie Tyler, Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey, Kerry Boykins) as Maryland does, they should really be better offensively.

If this IS Ralph Friedgen’s last season in College Park-it COULD be a long one.

9. Testudo Times’ Ben Broman says Eric Hayes will join Washington Wizards’ Summer League roster, Landon Milbourne joins Atlanta Hawks’ Summer League roster

And as I passed along yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes will join Greivis Vasquez with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. I should also know about Jermaine Dixon (who graduated at Pitt but is from Baltimore and is the younger brother of Juan Dixon) and his NBA future later today.

I will obviously be rooting for all of these guys this summer, but understand it will be a longshot for any of them to end up on a roster (other than Vasquez of course). The one thing that could help Hayes or Holmes is if their respective squads just simply want a player who can come off the bench and provide deadly accuracy from beyond the arc. I don’t know how those guys would do defending NBA guards, but I certainly know they can shoot against anyone.

And geez-the ‘Zards have Quinton Ross and James Singleton on their roster. You mean to tell me Eric Hayes isn’t better than THEM?

10. The AP’s Samuel Petrequin says Michael Phelps received ‘wakeup call’ at Paris Open meet

I’d personally prefer my own wake-up call in France to come from Emanuelle Chriqui from “Entourage” (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

chriqui

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know that Team USA’s loss to Ghana in South Africa really limits the excitement fans have about soccer; but I’ll pass along these YouTube clips anyway for the 4 or 5 of you who haven’t already seen them.

Here’s the epic “world reaction” to Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria. ABC used it in the setup for the Ghana match…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbn3rOPmR9w[/youtube]

Now here’s Andres Cantor calling the Donovan goal…

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

Is the awesome Andres Cantor GEICO commercial available on YouTube yet? I could really use it.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The Garrett Atkins Era Is Over

Posted on 27 June 2010 by Jay Trucker

He arrived in Baltimore with sagging statistics and high expectations, another member of a growing list of disappointing Andy MacPhail free agent signings.  Garrett Atkins, released on Sunday in order to make room for fellow low-achieving Oriole Koji Uehara, will walk away with $5 million dollars from a team for which he accomplished very little.

We’ll always remember that one home run. In 140 at bats, Atkins hit only one dinger, posting a pitiful .214 batting average. Often looking confused and completely powerless, Atkins had recently been relegated to the bench as the Orioles looked to improve their offensive punch. In the last 28 days, Atkins had made only 18 plate appearances.

Unless the once-formidable righty completely reinvents himself, his career is likely over. He spent most of 2009 and 2010 embarrassing himself at the plate and inciting the ire of irate fans, first in Colorado, then here in Baltimore. He will walk away $16.5 million richer than he was before his MLB career.

The true mystery, however, is not how Atkins lost his ability to play baseball. His numbers had been declining for three consecutive seasons prior to his signing this offseason.

The true mystery is why the Orioles would sign a 30 year-old with very little glove and decreasing stats to make the transition from the cushy confines of Colorado to the unforgiving stage of the AL East.

Garrett Atkins may be gone, but the people who signed him to a one-year deal with a buyout for 2011 are still here, and they should be packing their bags and splitting a cab to the airport along with Atkins.

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Garrett Atkins says “go ahead, make my day”

Posted on 26 June 2010 by Drew Forrester

A guy hitting .214 with 1 HR and 9 RBI in 44 games should just be happy to have a job.

Then again, when your $4.5 million salary is guaranteed, why worry anyway?

That said, Garrett Atkins offered one of the all-time great quotes on Friday.  Atkins, in case you’re not following the Orioles these days (and most of you aren’t, I know) is the above-referenced player, with 1 HR and 9 RBI this year.

Andy MacPhail promised us all he was going to buy the bats last off-season.  He bought…Garrett Atkins.

Anyway, Atkins has been rumored to be on his way out for the last week or two.  With several players returning to the team through either minor-league call-up or injury rehab, Atkins figures to be in the final stages of his all-too-brief Orioles career.

You would assume that bothers him, right?  The prospect of getting cut in mid-season…a veteran player…brought to Baltimore with great expectations…making a decent salary.  It should irk him a little bit that he’s on the verge of getting jettisoned, right?

Wrong.

Atkins was quoted on Friday as saying being released by the Orioles now would be a “welcome opportunity” and that he wouldn’t look at it like a negative.

I guess when the team you’re playing for is 21-52, getting out of Dodge might be not be such a bad thing.  Then again, your poor play is one of the reasons the team has the worst record in baseball.

Garrett Atkins – like Private Santiago in A Few Good Men – is apparently begging for his release.

He would consider it a “welcome opportunity”.

I would too.

If someone can wake Andy MacPhail up from his summer nap, pleaes pass along to the boss that one of his off-season additions would like to move on to greener pastures.

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Live from Camden Yards: Jake Fox to O’s, Tillman optioned to Norfolk

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — As reported earlier today, the Orioles have acquired infielder/outfielder Jake Fox from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Ross Wolf and cash considerations. It’s a move that’s sure to excite few but isn’t a bad gamble if you take a look at Fox’s career minor league numbers. And, oh yeah, he’s a former Cub, which Andy MacPhail seems to like for some reason.

Interim manager Juan Samuel intends to use the 27-year-old Fox in a utility role off the bench and as a third catcher to help spell Matt Wieters—who could then be the designated hitter on occasion—and backup Craig Tatum. That’s fine for now, but Fox needs to receive regular opportunities at some point. Regardless of whose playing time suffers as a result, there’s no such thing as “stepping on anyone’s toes” when the club is 19-50.

“He’s an added bat,” Samuel said. “We’re going to do everything we can to get him in there and get some offense. That’s just an extra guy to help us off the bench, to pinch hit if we need to throw him in against a left-hander. … I’m going to try to play as many guys as I can here.”

Fox will wear No. 47.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Fox, the Orioles have optioned struggling pitcher Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk and have designated Cla Meredith for assignment. With Tillman now with the Tides and ineligible to return for 10 days (except in the case of an injury), we can safely assume Brad Bergesen will be recalled to make Saturday’s start against the Washington Nationals.

Meredith was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA (15 innings pitched) in 21 games for the Orioles this season and 1-0 with a 13.50 ERA in five games for Norfolk.

In other news, Felix Pie was the designated hitter for the Gulf Coast League Orioles today and experienced no problems, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Mike Gonzalez threw 19 pitches for the Gulf Coast team and struck out three while displaying consistent velocity at 90 to 91 miles per hour.

Koji Uehara threw a side session of 30 pitches in Sarasota with no setbacks.

When asked about Garrett Atkins’ lack of playing time, Samuel said he called the first baseman into his office during the San Diego series to chat with him. Atkins is a strong candidate to be released on Saturday when the Orioles will need to clear room for a starting pitcher, presumably Bergesen.

“I told him I haven’t forgotten about him,” Samuel said.

At least someone hasn’t.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Florida
LF Chris Coghlan
1B Gaby Sanchez
SS Hanley Ramirez
DH Jorge Cantu
2B Dan Uggla
CF Cody Ross
RF Mike Stanton
3B Wes Helms
C Ronny Paulino

SP Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.22 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 Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 3.97 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.
————————————————-

5:55 p.m. — Head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear Jake Fox’s comments about his new home and what he hopes to bring to the Orioles.

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Orioles Exchange A Wolf For A Fox

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Jay Trucker

According to The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, the Orioles have acquired infielder Jake Fox from the Oakland Athletics. Fox hit eleven home runs in 216 at bats for the Chicago Cubs last season, but he was struggling in his first season in Oakland, batting .214 with a .264 OBP.

Fox was designated for assignment on June 14th.

In parts of three season, Fox has played 38 games in the outfield, 30 at third base, 14 as DH, 11 as catcher and 8 at first base.

In exchange for Fox, the Orioles sent pitcher Jake Arrietta and catcher Matt Wieters to Oakland.

I’M KIDDING. I’M KIDDING.

They traded away AAA pitcher Ross Wolf.

The Sun is speculating that Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman may be sent to the minors to make room for Fox, who should be in uniform for The Birds tonight. However, another move would have to be made shortly, as a fifth pitcher will be needed to at least briefly take the mound for the Orioles on Saturday.

I think Fox should silently follow Garrett Atkins around the ballpark these next few days, staring at him widely.

Oh, and Zrebiec also points out the Fox is the eight billionth former Cubs prospect Andy MacPhail has brought to Baltimore. Because, you know, that’s worked out really well.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because it’s about time for another “Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” With Robert Randolph & The Family Band’s new disc “We Walk This Road” hitting iTunes yesterday; I’m going to pick “Traveling Shoes”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVHNgOb1Je4[/youtube]

If you don’t love Robert Randolph; you and I might not be capable of being friends.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP/STATS’ Anthony Giornalista previews Orioles-Marlins series opening tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

With no offense to baseball fans anywhere in Miami or elsewhere in Florida, there’s nothing imposing about the Marlins. Other than Josh Johnson that is-and he doesn’t pitch in this series. Well, the Dan Uggla-Hanley Ramirez combo is pretty good. And Jorge Cantu, Ronny Paulino, Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan have been solid. And Mike Stanton looks like he’ll be pretty good in the future.

Okay, fine. The Fish are actually a half decent team, despite the fact that they are currently 3 games under .500. They just don’t SEEM that imposing at first blush. However, when you’re the worst team in Major League Baseball (and the Orioles are by a LONGSHOT), all opponents are fairly imposing.

They kick the series off tonight at OPACY, with Jeremy Guthrie facing Anibal Sanchez. First pitch is on MASN2 at 7:05pm. I’ll say Orioles win. Not because I really have a good feeling about whether or not the Orioles will win, but more because I’d just really rather not having to talk about a 19-51 team. Or a 19-52 team. Or a 19-55 team. Or a 19-90 team. You get the point.

2. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Birds trying to avoid historic failure of 1962 New York Mets

What was the New York Mets’ record through 69 games in 1962?

19-50.

Unless this team plays really good baseball for some stretch of time this season (which I GUESS is possible?), we’re going to be discussing this right up until win number 41. If we get past that, we’ll be talking about it until (if?) they surpass the 54 wins posted by the 1988 Baltimore Orioles-the worst team in franchise history.

Yep, it’s an exciting time! Head on down to Birdland tonight and welcome home the Orioles! You never know what might happen! For example, the Orioles could be the first time to strike out 4 times in 1 inning in one game! If it happens and you’re not that, you’re really going to beat yourself up!

3. ESPN.com’s Tristan Cockroft names Matt Wieters to ‘All-2014 Team’

Well….I hope so….

With no offense to Matt Wieters (or our friends at MattWietersFacts.com), ummm….this is still a bit of a leap of faith. I still think Matt Wieters is going to turn out to be a good player, but maybe the immediate comparisons to Joe Mauer were a bit unfair.

It’s not that I’m clamoring for Wieters to be sent back down to Norfolk or anything like that. I’m NOT. He’s been very good defensively and poor offensively. He’s on a poor offensive team. I’m just trying to keep my expectations a bit more realistic. Like, instead of thinking Matt Wieters is going to be the next CJ Gibson (Thanks Busted Coverage/Next Round!)…

cjgibson

…I’m now just hoping he’ll be the next Luisa Corna. (Thanks AGAIN Busted Coverage and Plunder Guide!)…

luisacorna

…You see the difference, right? Right?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bergesen solid, Felix Pie struggled for O’s on farm Monday night

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

-With Felix Pie now rehabbing, there has been some conjecture about what the Orioles will do roster-wise to make room for him. I can’t honestly believe anyone thinks there is another option (I’ve read a few comments about Corey Patterson) than Lou Montanez, but I guess some folks down don’t think it’s such a slam dunk. Montanez HAS to be the guy. I’m sure Andy MacPhail will give Juan Samuel (or whoever is managing the team at the time) the edict that Pie HAS to play everyday-which will make a lot of people not named Glenn Clark pleased. Glenn Clark will remain in the Dave Trembley camp of “I think you should play….just as soon as you stop routinely screwing up.”

-As far as Edwin Encarnacion is concerned, put him on the Jake Fox list of “whatever.” If the team gets rid of Garrett Atkins, someone has to play first base. Neither of these guys are any good. But the Orioles are full of players like that. In fact, they have so many that one of them (Ty Wigginton) has managed to confuse some folks into thinking he IS a good player. If the Orioles add Edwin Encarnacion to the roster, “whatever.”

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. I don’t know who Noah Rosenstein is or what his role is with MLB.com, but with headlines like “Talent overflowing at Double A Bowie” and “Few hurdles left for (Zach) Britton before joining O’s”, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Gee, Yankees.com doesn’t have any Double A stories posted today…”

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens agreed to 3 year deal with 5th round pick (Syracuse) DT Arthur Jones

While Arthur Jones is probably breathing a BIT easier today, he still has to go up to Westminster and make sure he actually makes the team. The roster is chocked full of D-Linemen (Trevor Pryce, Cory Redding, Kelly Gregg, Terrence Cody, Haloti Ngata, Kelly Talavou, Brandon McKinney, Paul Kruger, Lamar Divens, Jones and Albert McClellan), and he’s going to have to make sure he locks down a spot during Training Camp.

As I said when I mocked the roster a few weeks back, I truly believe Arthur Jones WILL make the roster. I know that he has a big fan in John Harbaugh, and I know that he “looks like a Raven” the way Talavou and McKinney did a season ago. That will help him, but he has to do the rest at McDaniel College.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens reached 3 year deal with 4th round pick (BYU) TE Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta likely feels much more comfortable than Arthur Jones today, but 4th round picks have been left off NFL rosters before. He appears to have a clear path to make the roster behind Todd Heap (and probably behind 3rd round pick Ed Dickson), but 2nd year TE Davon Drew is in the mix as well.

It’s safe to assume he’ll be the team’s #3 Tight End (with a chance to be the #2 guy). Pitta absolutely reminds you of Todd Heap OFF the field, and has some similarities on the field as well. The biggest thing Cam Cameron hopes he and Dickson will bring is the chance to allow Heap to rest a bit more next season; as the team believes Heap may have played upwards of 1,000 snaps.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a reminder that new Ravens safety Ken Hamlin joined Rex Snider Monday afternoon on the “Rex and Ray” show. If you missed it, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out today.

7. The Sun’s Mike Preston says former Ravens LS Joe Maese now working as firefighter in Howard County

This is a REALLY cool story that’s worth checking out. Joe Maese was a popular guy in Owings Mills, and it is VERY cool to see that he’s doing good work for the folks at the Long Reach station.

I don’t really have any other “analysis” to offer here about Joe. It’s just a really cool story that’s worth the read today. You know what else is a really cool story? Lily Cole on the cover of Arena Magazine (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

lilycole

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins LB Alex Wujciak named to Watch List for Bronco Nagurski Award

There’s no hiding the fact that Wujciak is probably the Terps’ best player, and will have high expectations on a defense that will need to play well again this season for Ralph Friedgen’s team to have any success in the ACC. Don Brown knows what to expect from his LB’s, which is good-because there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of other positions on the team that the coaches are feeling quite so comfortable with.

If you’re Jonesing for some Maryland football talk, Patrick (follow him on Twitter @D1scourse) and I posted the second edition of the “D1scast” yesterday. Head back over to the Audio Vault to check it out. We preview Maryland’s special teams unit, recap the lack of movement in conference realignment, discuss the departure of Javarie Johnson at Maryland and Mike Hermann at Towson, and even bring up the great “Batman Returns.” There’s also a look at the college lacrosse coaching carousel. Speaking of which…

9. Washington Post’s Christian Swezey says Ryan Moran, Kevin Warne expected to join John Tillman’s lacrosse staff in College Park

I would first like to take the time to welcome both coaches to College Park, and wish them the best of success in their Maryland tenure.

I would then like to just ask…was there no room for Maxim Italy cover girl Melissa Satta on the staff??? (Thanks Guyism!)…

italy

10. Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins says former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez worked out with Magic Monday

I know I’m not the first person to say this, but this would be an unacceptable destination for the senior from Venezuela to end up in the NBA Draft. Orlando is where JJ Redick plays. I don’t much care for JJ Redick. I don’t much care for anything related to Duke. In fact-as I said on Twitter (follow us @WNST) after seeing photos of the RimRock Auto Arena in Montana destroyed by a tornado…

rimrock

…the only thing I could think to myself was “Dear God, why this place instead of Cameron Indoor Stadium?”

Eric Hayes recently worked out with the Chicago Bulls, he joined Drew today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, head on over to the Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included…

-IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard, who gave us all of the details for next year’s “Baltimore Grand Prix” downtown.
-Fox Sports Florida Pre-Game host Craig Minervini, who previewed the Orioles-Marlins series
-Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick, who went around the World Cup

It’s all in the Audio Vault, make sure you check it out!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After his big plug during ABC’s NBA Finals postgame show from the floor of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, I’m sure everyone was waiting for the debut of LA Lakers star Ron Artest’s new single “Champions.” No? Screw you guys, I don’t have anything else prepared. (Thanks Deadspin!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRrN4pmEuQA[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles managerial search: Now, later, or both?

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Luke Jones

With Buck Showalter scheduled to interview with the Orioles on Wednesday and Eric Wedge receiving a callback in the near future, the search continues for a permanent manager while Juan Samuel steers a sunken ship for the time being.

Bobby Valentine whisked through town with an apparent “thanks, but no thanks” after taking a glimpse at a team currently 31 games below .500 and 24 games out of first place on the first day of summer.

It’s no secret this job is an incredibly difficult—if not impossible—sell to any experienced name attached to the managerial search. And with Andy MacPhail proclaiming the organization’s preference for an experienced skipper, the Valentines, Showalters, and Wedges of the baseball world would need an incredible amount of hubris to willingly jump aboard now to manage a team on track to become one of the worst in the history of the game.

Waiting until the off-season would not only provide an expanded field of candidates but also remove the stigma of having the eventual manager attached to whatever the final record will be for the 2010 edition of the Orioles. However, with Nick Markakis’ recent comments questioning the direction of the organization, stretching the process into October could create even more disillusionment for all parties involved.

Should MacPhail hire his permanent man now—if he even can—or exert the patient approach he always does and wait until after the season?

Perhaps the best choice is somewhere in between, as I’ve wondered aloud for quite some time and baseball writer Ken Rosenthal recently suggested.

Though a bit unconventional, the Orioles’ best solution might be to hire their new man now but keep him away from the dugout in 2010. Not only would this keep the new manager at an arm’s length from the bad vibes of a disastrous season but it would give him an opportunity to evaluate all levels of the organization, from Baltimore to Bluefield.

Sure, it’s likely to create an awkward situation for Samuel and the rest of the coaching staff for the remainder of the season, but no one should be very comfortable at this point anyway. The coaches could be evaluated for the future, as either potential members of the new manager’s staff or, more likely, for other positions within the organization.

Players would know their competing for jobs next season with the new skipper watching and evaluating—from afar—every pitch, at-bat, and chance in the field.

Using Showalter as merely a case study, the strategy would be similar to his hiring in 1996 to take over the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks that didn’t begin play in 1998. At the time, it gave Showalter a chance to evaluate the minor leagues, tweak player development, and develop a vision for the new franchise.

With such a timetable and cooperation from the front office, Showalter would get a far better picture of the minor league system than an October hire would get watching only the Arizona Fall League and video in the offseason.

Whether it’s Showalter, Wedge, or another name yet to interview, it’s far more important for the new manager to know the players at Frederick, Bowie, and Norfolk than it is to give Julio Lugo a pat on the back in the dugout or explain to Garrett Atkins why he’s not in the lineup again.

It’s the opportunity and power that just might attract an experienced manager to town.

Regardless of when MacPhail and the Orioles select their next manager, far bigger questions will remain in the offseason as the heat will be on to—finally—spend significant money to acquire talent.

Pulling the trigger on the right manager now won’t be easy, but some creativity could land the right man to lead the franchise.

And with the hellish season we’re witnessing, being bold and innovative would be a welcome change.

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While other teams run a pennant chase, O’s trying to run away from history

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While other teams run a pennant chase, O’s trying to run away from history

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

2010 Orioles-the worst ever?
Most of the time when you’re trying to make history, it’s a good thing. Unless you’re on the path to being historically bad.

With the Orioles 9-4 loss to the Padres on Sunday, the Orioles are now 19-50, the worst record in the major leagues, and they are on the same pace as some of the worst teams in baseball history record-wise.

And the bad stats just keep piling on. They are last in the American League in runs scored with 223, doubles with 100, and on-base percentage (.300). They have the worst ERA in the AL, and have only converted half of their saves this year with the platoon of closers they have thrown out the mound this year. Only the Diamondbacks in the NL have given up more home runs than the Orioles.

These are all stats that the Orioles and their fans do not want to see.

They also don’t want to eye their record in the standings, because while all these stats may be little things, but at the end of the season, they could be remembered for being bad for a long time.

The worst record in one baseball season in the modern era belongs to a team the Orioles played in the last two weeks, the NY Mets. In 1962, the Mets finished with a 40-120-1 record, the worst at that time in almost 60 years.

1962 Mets

Before 1962, the worst team ever to play baseball was the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in 1899, when the sport was growing. The Spiders finished 20-134, and were a whopping 84 games back in the division.

There is a Baltimore connection to those Spiders. Bear with me. The owner of the Spiders, Frank Robison, felt like his other team he owned, the St. Louis Browns, would be a more profitable team, so he sent all the Spiders’ All-Stars, including some guy named Cy Young, to the Browns.

The St. Louis Browns eventually got to taste their own medicine, as the team also had less than 45 wins twice after that season. And what team came to Baltimore in 1954? The Browns.

It would be another 41 years till there was a team that would challenge the Mets’ 1962 mediocrity, when in 2003, the Detroit Tigers finished with a record of 43-119, playing one more game than the Mets. They were poised to break the record during the last stretch of the season, but winning five out of their last six saved them from going in the history books, but in a bad way.

The Orioles though, might not be as lucky to save themselves. Through 69 games, the Orioles (19-50) are on the same pace as the ’69 Mets, and that is not a comparison the Orioles will like to be associated with right now. The Mets also got off to a bad start like this year’s 2-16 Orioles, but  a 17-game losing streak from the end of May into June put the Mets in a bad spot.

The Orioles’ had the liberty of at least splitting their big losing streaks into two parts, including a nine-game losing streak (4/9 against Blue Jays-4/27 against Boston) and a ten game losing streak from May 25 against the A’s to the 5th of June against Boston.

In another comparison, the 2003 Tigers started out 3-25, but an 11-18 May helped “even” their season out.

Now with about forty percent of the season in the books, the Orioles would like to put themselves on a better pace to finish out the year, so that they are not forever known for being historically bad.

The Orioles are most likely going to have to endure their 13th straight losing season, second most in the majors to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The hope is that they get 41 or more wins, so that teams from this point on don’t say “Well, at least we’re not as bad as the 2010 Orioles.”

If one to were diagnose the troubles with the Orioles’ bad start, or to make excuses for it, the list is probably twice as big as the number of wins Baltimore might expect this year. The team has had no offense what so ever, no legitimate ace of the pitching staff, injuries to its lead off hitter and closer, regression on the part of some of its young players, and some poor free agent signings (Garrett Atkins, Mike Gonzalez).

The Orioles have also had a brutal schedule to play. All but five of the teams the Orioles have played this year have winning records (Royals, Indians, Mariners, Oakland, Washington), and minus the Indians and the Royals, the other three teams had winning records when they went up against the Orioles.

The O’s have also played more games in their division than any other AL East team this year, and with every other team in the division having not only a winning record but huge payrolls, the Orioles just have not been able to compete. They are 2-10 against the New York Yankees, 1-5 against Tampa Bay, 0-6 against the Blue Jays, and are 5-4 against the Red Sox this year due to a three-game sweep against Boston back in May.

It seems like the “Bizzaro World” for the Orioles, who before this long stretch of losing seasons, the Orioles were not only the best franchise in baseball statistically, they were the most successful team in professional sports.

There is another reason why the Orioles would like to follow the 2003 Tigers, who were able to escape history. It may be hard to say, “lets be like that team that won only 43 games, had the first 20-game loser in 60 years, and was outscored by 337 runs.”

The next season in 2004, the Tigers went on a 33-game improvement, finishing 72-90, the best improvement over the one season since the 1989 Orioles (54-107), who had the worst start ever going 0-21. But then it was two years after that the Tigers brought home a World Championship AL Pennant with 11 of the 25-man roster from 2003 still on the 2006 World Series team. This included three members of the pitching staff, two of which had the 19+ losses in the rotation in Mike Maroth and Jeremy Bonderman. Future All-Stars in Carlos Pena and Brandon Inge were also members of that team.

Carlos Pena

And with a lot of young talent on the 2010 Orioles, guys like Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Nick Markakis, and Adam Jones, this team could very well be like that young Tigers team that turned it around in two years. But the O’s have a bigger hill to climb facing the Yankees and the Red Sox for 50 games a year as opposed to the Indians and the Royals as of late.

But this year, it might be the only reason to watch the Orioles-to see if they do, or do not, make history.

Tune into ‘The Morning Reaction” Monday through Friday 6-10 AM on 1570 WNST!

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