Tag Archive | "gregg"

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Monday Bloody Monday: Ravens set to part ways with Heap, Mason, Gregg and McGahee

Posted on 25 July 2011 by WNST Staff

The action came fast and furious and with shocking force on Monday afternoon as the Ravens — via many sources, agents, players and media — are set to part ways with a bevy of big-name stars as the 2011 free agent period comes like a tsunami. Veterans Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg and Willis McGahee were all informed of the termination of their contracts almost immediately following the NFLPA ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Several sources inside Owings Mills said that Heap and Mason will be offered a chance to return to the team at a lower salary. Gregg could also be offered a reduced role and a lower salary. Many other teams around the NFL are expected to release veterans in an attempt to lower their 2011 salaries and free up cap space.

It promises to be an unprecedented week of news, information and free agent signings.

For full, unfolding coverage you can always follow us in real time on Twitter @WNST.

WNST will have full coverage of all of the information and pending changes in Owings Mills all day Tuesday at WNST.net and AM 1570.

Ravens players are expected to start appearing the Owings Mills headquarters as early as 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

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First aid & Band aids don’t aid Ravens’ Festivus run

Posted on 30 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

As a card-carrying, eternal purple optimist, I suppose today is a day when my lavender heart gets tarnished. I’m going to do the unthinkable and be rational in my observation of where the Ravens are and where they could be heading between now and Jan. 3 in Oakland.

After seeing how this works over the last decade, since the Ravens really became a competitive squad in 1999, I think the NFL really boils to one thing – talent not withstanding – it’s injuries.

And this is why I think the Ravens are doomed this year, why they aren’t a good bet to make it through this minefield of games against the mostly lousy NFC North:

The most injured team in December loses. The healthiest team – with talent and key positions in tact – in January wins.

Right now, after watching them the past few weeks and after walking into the Ravens locker room last night, my veteran sportswriter eyeball test tells me that any purple Festivus miracle this year is a major, major uphill battle.

Part of why the team stinks right now is because they’re battered and bruised and the locker room looks like the walking wounded.

And it’s not just the devastating Terrell Suggs, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Fabian Washington injuries, it’s more about the walking wounded right now who are playing at far less than 90% and giving it all they have but just can’t perform at a Pro Bowl level with a variety of limiting injuries.

Let’s address the gimpy infirmary, not to mention the other aged players like Matt Birk, Trevor Pryce and Derrick Mason on the Ravens:

The three best players on the Ravens – and I’ll take any argument here – are Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and Haloti Ngata. Right now, they are the “Purple Hearts,” if you will.

Let be honest – the NFL is all about speed. It’s the most significant attribute any player can have and it’s universal. Why do you think they spend so much time on 40-yard dashes at the combine every year? Speed kills. If you don’t have it, you don’t win.

Ray Lewis has a bad foot. Joe Flacco has a bad ankle. Haloti Ngata has a bad leg.

Lewis has shown it less in his gait than Flacco or Ngata (and the naked eye can tell from just watching them take normal walking steps in between plays what’s going on there) but he’s just as bad off from what we can tell and his several days of missing practice last week would tell you all you need to know. Lewis LIVES for practice. He loves it!

Flacco just looks like a mess right now. He’s all heart, but it’s pretty clear he’s gimpy and he got rolled up on again last night. Planting, moving, having a busted play become a big gainer – all of that is questionable on any given play. It also looks like his throws are sailing because of these subtle adjustments he’s making on the fly with monsters trying to tear his head off.

Ngata, another one with a heart the size of his own giant girth, is only playing on select downs and is about as banged up as any guy I’ve seen in my years of doing this who is still going out there on Sundays. Kinda reminds me of the year Peter Boulware played with one arm. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is mixing up the units and keeping Kelly Gregg, Justin Bannan and Brendan McKinney fresh, but there’s a major difference between a healthy Ngata and the rest of these guys – especially if you’re talking about 60-70 snaps a game.

This, my friends, is bad for the purple business and the Ravens aren’t going very far for very long with the trio of Lewis, Flacco & Ngata on the hobble.

How long will it take them to heal? Will they heal in the midst of five more games, three more roadtrips and 15 more hours of the physical hell the NFL game wreaks on the framework of these massive bodies?

We’ll see. But I wouldn’t take odds that any of these injuries are going to miraculously heal. They’re nagging, prolonged bouts.

It’s not that I don’t think the Ravens are “good” enough. Properly assembled and with less injured personnel, I’d think they Ravens would be a division winner – and that’s just if they had a kicker who was NFL-caliber the first half of the season.

But right now, at 6-5 with trips still pending to Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Oakland, the road is fraught with more bumps and bruises.

Coach John Harbaugh will downplay all of this. These guys won’t even address their injuries when we ask them on Wednesday’s media day. That’s fine. They shouldn’t talk about it.

But any astute observer would tell you that the Ravens are among the most banged up teams in the league and all at key positions. And banged up teams don’t fare well in the cold having to go on the road. And this is before we address the obvious shortcomings this 6-5 unit has as a whole.

They’re weak on special teams returns and magic. They’ve been previously weak on kicking and the team missed another 54-yarder that could’ve won the game on Sunday night. The offense has been nothing special and the wide receivers have been MIA some weeks. The pass rush has been less than we’ve known it for a decade and don’t get me started on the secondary, which is also playing with spare parts now that Washington is on IR and Frank Walker and Chris Carr continue to get exposed in key situations.

Sure Ray Rice has been explosive. And there have been times, especially early in the year, when the offense looked like it was in sync and could dazzle us with 30 points every week. But that’s not what we’ve seen in large part since September.

If Bill Parcells coined the phrase, “You are what you are!” than the Ravens of 2009 are the embodiment of that expression. They’re 6-5.

I want to believe. I’m going to pick them to win every week. I’m going to travel to Green Bay with a bus full of purple zealots on Sunday and Monday. We’re going to root hard and hope for the best.

But this injury thing, for me, it’s unshakeable. The late-season, winning NFL teams are usually much, much healthier than the Ravens appear to be here on Dec. 1.

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Zaun traded to Tampa on waiver claim

Posted on 07 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Gregg Zaun trade is official:

The Orioles today announced that CA GREGG ZAUN was assigned to the Tampa Bay Rays via a waiver claim in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations and selected the contract of CA CHAD MOELLER from Triple-A Norfolk.

Zaun, 38, batted .244 (41-168) with four home runs and 13 RBI in 56 games for the Orioles.  He signed a one-year contract with a team option for 2010 with the Orioles as a free agent on January 21, 2009.  It was his second stint with Baltimore (1995 & ‘96).

Moeller, 34, batted .200 (10-50) in 15 games with the Orioles earlier this season.  He was designated for assignment on May 29 when the team selected the contract of MATT WIETERS.  Moeller batted .203 (24-118) in 35 games with Triple-A Norfolk.

2:34 p.m. — Even though we’re the “banned” media outlet — mainly because we believe in free speech — we still manage to scoop the rest of the world on Orioles breaking news. We’re hearing that Gregg Zaun will be ending his stay with the Orioles and will be moving on to the Tampa Rays later in the day. No word on compensation just yet…

Stay tuned for more details…

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As Trembley rolls under the losing orange bus, I’ll defend him…

Posted on 02 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Watching the post-game press conference with Dave Trembley today has been illuminating. The Orioles are really reeling. The pitchers gave up 23 hits today. They used six pitchers who gave up a collective 18 runs. Their No. 1 starter in the on the disabled list. Next up, they’re apparently bringing in their No. 1 prospect in the organization, Brian Matusz, for Tuesday night and the manager is taking massive heat.

Today they were beaten 18-10 and swept while nearly 100,000 Red Sox fans rolled into Camden Yards this weekend and booed his young players while they floundered.

Before the game, his all-but-washed up veteran and emotional third basemen rolled him under the bus in a pre-game tirade that will go down as legendary.

Melvin Mora went on and on about “respect.” It was about as bad of a thing as you could possibly do to a manager in the middle of a bad stretch.

But I can’t blame this mess on Dave Trembley at this point.

As a matter of fact, since I’ve called for some clarity on his situation a few weeks ago I’ve honestly been tremendously impressed with how he’s conducted himself publicly amidst the losing.

I almost feel sorry for him. But for some reason, he’s not as testy in his post-game press conferences and I’m actually learning a lot as a fan. He’s been honest, decent and even-keeled during this stretch showing patience and concern and sharing real information and real management skills publicly.

You learn a lot more about teams and players and people when teams lose. Everyone’s a helluva winner.

Right now, Trembley’s team is losing and he’s taking the heat with dignity and respect for the media and the fans.

He’s explaining things and doing it honestly. That’s all I can ask for.

Melvin Mora says he deserves more respect. In my opinion, Dave Trembley and the Orioles fans deserve more production.

Here are some of Dave Trembley’s post-game quotes from today:

“I’m just glad our guys didn’t quit. I’m real pleased about that. We didn’t pitch well. To say we didn’t pitch well is an understatement. It wasn’t our day. Had some great at bats. Ran the bases well. They hit the cover off it.

“We’ll get it figured out. I had to extend some guys today. Hendrickson threw 30 pitches last night, gets extended today.”

On Jason Berken: “It’s been hard on him. I’m sure it’s been real difficult situation for him. He’s stuck and we’ve gotta do something to get him out. He’s in neutral and we’ve got to help him.”

On today’s strike zone and the umpires: “I’ve been suspended and paid an awful lot of money. I’m not going to comment on that.”

Zaun: “Who wants to lose your catcher in the 3rd inning of a game? It was a quick trigger.”

On the losing and the poor play: “It’s a lot tougher for them than it is for me. They’re doing the best they can. They didn’t get it done. I’m sure they feel absolutely terrible.”

On Mora and whether they’ve reached an understanding: “I don’t know. I don’t talk through the press. Here’s where I’m coming from: You show up to the ballpark and expect to play. And you do the very best you can all the time. And if you don’t play, you stay prepared to play. It’s about the team and it’s never about one guy.

And all of you people are very sharp and know how we do things. I’m not going to talk through the newspaper or the TV.”

“You pull for your guys. You want them to do well.

“We’ve got a bunch of young guys here. Don’t let the performance and the bad numbers make you think that you don’t belong here or that you shouldn’t be here or you should take a step back. Learn from it and prepare to pitch in four or five days.

“They know what their stats are. They know their performance. They know it better than you and me. And they’re reminded of it constantly. We’ve got to do something to help Berken and try to do something in the best interest of the team.

“You do what’s in the best interest of that person and the team.”

ON THE ENTIRE MORA SITUATION, PRIOR TO THE GAME

“I’m disappointed that he feels that way,” Trembley said.

“Melvin’s been a very good player for a long time. We don’t show disrespect toward anybody.

“I don’t look at things from that side. I don’t look at things from the negative or bad side. I try to do what’s best for the team. I try to do what’s best for each individual, but for the team, as well.

“It’s too bad that people’s feelings are hurt or feel disrespected and all that. That has never been my intent. I’m going to do the best I can for the team. I’ve never taken that stance to be personal toward anybody, and I think everybody understands that.

“I’m trying to help people. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. If I give a guy a day off, guys who are up there in age, they’ve played a long time, guys who are struggling, I’m trying to help them. I’m not looking to hurt them.”

TODAY’S BOX SCORE

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A funny, memorable night in Philadelphia…

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I’m just getting my sea legs under me on a Sunday afternoon from a long night of rain, baseball, cheese steaks, hideous Philadelphia sports fans and Miller Lite drinking with the Orioles and 50 awesome orange Kool Aid drinkers at Citizen’s Bank Park. We had a blast!

(And that was before the fireworks from Gregg Zaun and Brian Roberts…)

The video is just about done and I’ll get it up onto wnsTV so you can check out all of the mayhem. It was a funny, funny evening with lots of laughs, twists and turns and an a memorable outcome for the Birds.

I had at least 500 Philadelphians “remind” me that they’re the World Champions, many on video. It was as much fun as I’ve had at a ballgame in a long time.

The video will tell some of the story…

Is that an orange broom in a red ballpark or are you just happy to see me?

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Rain drops Koji: Birds lose to Mariners 6-3

Posted on 11 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

My new favorite Oriole, Matt Wieters, was the featured Bird tonight but didn’t play. Koji Uehara looked pretty good until the rain came. The Orioles lost again.

Mired in an offensive slump, tonight’s Birds lineup was another head-scratcher with Ty Wiggington, Gregg Zaun and Robert Andino at the bottom of the order. To their credit (and perhaps Dave Trembley, who filled out the card) they combined for 3 of the Orioles’ 7 hits tonight in a 6-3 loss.

Uehara gave up three runs in the sixth inning and another in the fifth, while Brian Bass pitched 1 2/3 of rocky relief.

Uehara looked like he was affected by the rain and Trembley’s postgame indicated that as well. He said the hamstring wasn’t an issue.

The Mariners got a big night from Russell Branyan, who hit a home run off Bass further than any ball I can remember, landing the last row of the bleachers below the scoreboard in deep, deep right centerfield. They called it 450-feet. They said it’s the sixth furthest shot in the history of Camden Yards. I don’t believe it. It looked like it was at least 475 and was just amazing.

The Orioles had a semi-rally in the first inning that got them two runs but could’ve been much worse. Former Oriole Garrett Olson was on the ropes yet survived five innings and got his first win of the season, which must’ve tasted good coming against the team that shipped him out for lowly Felix Pie back in January. After Luke Scott homered in the first, Olson settled down and did enough to survive.

Trembley lamented in the postgame about the offensive struggles of the team. “When it rains it pours” is how Trembley put it. “You stick with your guys, you back them up and there’s not a whole of other things you can do.”

As an aside, I think Ichiro Suzuki is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever seen. He exciting to watch, even when he strikes out looking silly at the hands of Brian Bass. I wish he was an Oriole!

The Orioles will welcome the Atlanta Braves to Camden Yards for three games.

Please feel free to join Bob Haynie at The Next Friday night before the game for an ice cold Bud Light.

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Orioles can make all Moms happy today with Yanks series win

Posted on 10 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Orioles have the chance to make all orange Moms smile today with a potential series win over the Yankees at Camden Yards after an impressive 12-5 win last night.

Once again, the middle of the lineup is sizzling and even on nights when they give up a less-than modest five runs, they can beat around mediocre pitching with the likes of Phil Hughes, Edwar Ramirez, Jonathan Albaladejo and Brett Tomko. (Makes you ask, “Where have you gone Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton?”)

Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are both batting .353 now, and have been rock stars since Opening Day. They are both now making a strong bid to be in St. Louis for the All Star Game. Aubrey Huff hit a homer last night and I’m not convinced last year was an aberration. Go back and read my blogs. He was one of my favorite “non Orioles” to watch when he was in Tampa Bay. He always put up big numbers and I think with ducks on the pond so often this year, he’ll be productive. Even if he still thinks Baltimore sucks as a place to party after dark.

Hey, even my boy Gregg Zaun is batting .221 all of a sudden. Luke Scott is one hit away from .300. And at some point relatively soon, you’ll be getting the WNST Text on Matt Wieters getting promoted.

The pitching is still beyond shaky – especially when every first five innings is an adventure nearly every night and they won’t be having 8-run second innings like they did last night – but beating the Yankees is always a nice treat.

Even when the Yankees clearly aren’t “the Yankees” we used to know.

Koji Uehara takes the hill on what looks to be a glorious, stunningly beautiful day for baseball at Camden Yards. I’m just wondering how many Yankees fans will take over the place today?

P.S. Ray Bachman got thrown out of Orioles Park at Camden Yards last night. He has quite a tale to tell.

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O’s are slip, sliding away…

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

It seems that no one noticed over the weekend while the NFL Draft was going on, but the Orioles are still playing baseball. And they’re actually fun to watch most nights. It’s been a strange start to the season in a lot of ways.

Just the crowds — one night there’s a “friends and family” gathering of 5,000 or so like last night, and then on Friday and Saturday night the place was almost full — are kinda strange. But so is the weather these last few days. Global warming at work, no doubt.

It’s 2:52 a.m. and I’m watching the end of the replay of the Orioles game in HD. I fell asleep on the game at 8:35 and again at 9:10 earlier this evening in low definition. I woke up, and it was the 3rd inning all over again, this time in HD.

They lost again. They blew a 4-0 lead again. With the “Number 1” starter on the hill in Jeremy Guthrie an early four-run lead wasn’t nearly enough. This time it was Matt Albers’ turn to take a spanking, getting shelled for 3 earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

Tonight the Angels come to town for two quick games. The Orioles have lost three of four and are now 9-11.

Matt Albers stood at his locker and took the heat. He seems like a stand-up kid (and I remember many nights in that locker room where “run and hide” guys were more the norm).

Guthrie’s pitch count — he was nearing 90 pitches in the fourth inning — did him in and he walked off the hill after the fifth with a slim 4-3 lead. Albers’ blow-up was only answered in the 9th inning when the Orioles threatened with two on and two out before Robert Andino struck out swinging. (He, too, answered questions after the game, which I respect.)

So it’s another night when they’ve blown a huge lead, which is becoming a trend en route to a habit. Look, no one expects them to go to the World Series, but at least play capably and keep it interesting for us in 2009!

But it’s so frustrating and bad, it’s almost comical. It’s like a Greek tragedy. You just wait on bad things to happen it seems after 12 years. And then — voila — once a week Adam Eaton will throw a gem or they’ll score 12 runs and hit four homers, and you’ll be shocked that they can win.

Every night you can count on the top of the lineup to hit the ball. Every night the pitching is an adventure. And even when they get behind, they have shown an ability to score runs 4 or 5 at a time. Even tonight, they were two runs down and Andino represented an opportunity to win the game.

But that’s part of the problem. This team has no “bench” to speak of, which is embarrassing. Opposing bullpens and managers never have to worry about any late-game adjustments. What decisions does Dave Trembley even have to make? Insert Felix Pie to pinch hit? Or Andino? Or Chad Moeller?

If the team were serious about winning this year they’d have Matt Wieters up here just to get his stick in the lineup so they could score more and so the fans will have a reason to go to the ballpark.

Brad Bergesen looked pretty ordinary on Sunday. Gregg Zaun is hitting .120. Pie, who they’re married to for a while it seems, is hitting .167. And virtually every pitcher on the staff has had issues along with the marvels of the rare gem, like Adam Eaton’s effort last Thursday.

I still think Koji Uehara is going to be pretty decent, which is saying something for any “outsider” who has ever come to the franchise. Most of the imports have just stunk. I think Koji will keep them in most games and won’t be taking third-inning exits as frequently as some of his co-workers.

But I’ve been watching and watching a lot. No one has been calling my show to even discuss the team, which makes me wonder if anyone is actually watching the games or just reading the boxscores. Or maybe not even noticing when they play or how they’re doing in the standings.

Tonight’s crowd was a disgrace by any measure, especially on a 80-degree “Short sleeves” kinda night.

It’s been a bit of a lost weekend for the O’s, even when the Ravens pimped them and spent a ton of cash buying more than 14,000 tickets for Saturday night’s game and providing only 10,000 of those fabulous purple hats. (Why they didn’t give away 45,000 of them, I have no idea…??)

Everyone in town was watching the draft and dissecting the selections on Saturday and Sunday.

But I’m still watching baseball and the Orioles. Sometimes, it’s on “DVR-delay,” like when I watched Bergesen pitch “Sunday Night” baseball after I caught up on the Caps and the NFL Draft, which have become a priority for me as a sports fan this week.

But I’m watching the Orioles. I care. Do you?

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Birds get complete effort, beat White Sox 10-3 to get Bergesen a debut win

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Orioles looked like a different team tonight. A great start from a promising young draftee after five years of striving to get this opportunity. The meat of the lineup produced big-time, the bottom of the order chipped in and the bullpen was perfect. End result: Orioles 10, White Sox 3.

Brad Bergesen gets the win. Aubrey Huff hit two homers. Nick Markakis and Luke Scott were terrific. And despite the long-ish rain delay, it still was a memorable night.

Drew started blogging during the rain storm. I picked it up in the sixth. Hope you enjoy our coverage, especially if you missed the game.

11:17 p.m. — Huff continues to pile on. He’s hit two homers and driven in four and the rout is now three outs away from being over. It’s 10-3 and they’re icing down the champagne for Bergesen, who did a nice job.

11:03 p.m. –So just who is the star of this one? Bergesen who is going to win his ML debut? Or Markakis who is 4-for-4? Or Luke Scott who is 3-for-3? Or Aubrey Huff who hit a tape-measure dinger an hour ago? Lots of stars tonight. Heck, even Zaun and Izturis have contributed tonight and the bullpen has been spotless over almost three innings so far…

10:56 p.m. — Both Gregg Zaun and Cesar Izturis have chipped in here in the 7th, the latter with a two-RBI double down the RF line. Luke Scott is 3-for-3. The Orioles have played a great game tonight. Waking up the bats at the bottom of the lineup would surely pay some dividends on this home stand. And it looks like they’ve found a young pitcher who can take the ball every five days and keep them in games.

10:47 p.m. — Nick Markakis is now 4-for-4. He’s hitting .389 on the season. Pretty spectacular start for him after signing for the big bucks. Meantime, the bottom of the order continues to just drag:

Gregg Zaun is hitting .108. Felix Pie is hitting .139. Cesar Izturis is leading the group at .163.

It’s amazing they’ve en route to be a .500 team and 7-7 with this happening on a nightly basis.

10:39 p.m. — I’ve been watching all night but I’m now coming out of the bullpen for Drew, who has to wake up at 4:30 a.m. I have to hope there are more people who care than are at the ballpark tonight. It was a long rain delay and I’ve been watching the game in delay all night. Sad to Bergesen’s family at the ballpark watching their boy make his big-league debut in such a lonely environment.

Brad Bergesen was very composed, as predicted. Aubrey Huff and Nick Markakis continue to rip the ball. This has been a nice night to be in line to break a five-game losing streak. And Bergesen’s line should bring about some hope until Sunday, when he should take the ball again vs. Texas.

Bergesen: 5 2/3 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, just 1 earned run, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. A helluva start. These are the kind of numbers that Mark Hendrickson and Adam Eaton won’t acheive on a nightly basis every fifth day.

Drew’s running blog from the first six innings is here…

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The Future is Coming!!!

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Nicholas Miskelly

The Future is Coming!!!

 
This was a very tough weekend for all of us Orioles fans out there.  We started the year playing good ball, getting timely hitting, and enough pitching to break out of the gate to the tune of a 6 and 2 record.  You figured that they would lose game 3 in Texas because, well, that was the pattern.  Win the first two games of the series and then lose the finale as we went for the sweep.  Hey, I can handle that.  This O’s team was going to win 66% of the games and the Orioles were going to win 107 games when Gregg Zaun started and then they would lose 55 games when Chad Moeller was the starting catcher.   

We were heading into Boston and hoping that this pattern would continue.  It looked good as we saw Zaun in the line-up.  Everyone knew we were going to win.  Okay, that might be a stretch.  Zaun is not that good and I gain no confidence that our team will win just because he is lined up behind the plate.  In fact, I was quite concerned heading into Boston.  I was really hoping we could split. Boy, things started out great. 

In game one of the series the Orioles jumped all over Brad Penny as Nick Markakis and his GRAND start to the game gave the Orioles a seven to nothing lead after just 2 innings.  This was great.  We had Guthrie, our number one starter, on the mound and we gave him a 7 run lead in the second!!!  The Orioles got off to a great start in Boston and they were going to take game one.  Now I start to think about the possibility of maybe taking one of the remaining three and there you go.  We might sneak out of Boston splitting a four game series.  Well…… 

The second inning of Friday night was the only time I felt good about this team as they humiliated themselves in Boston.  What started out so promising ending with everyone looking around and asking the question, have the Orioles thrown in the towel already?

That maybe a bit of an overstatement but one thing is for sure, the Orioles did nothing right.  With the exception of Uehara, this trip to Boston was a complete embarrassment.  I honestly did not expect the Orioles to do well.  I surely am not excited about the team’s chances to succeed this year.  The future is what has me excited.  But with all that said this weekend really turned me off to the Orioles.  It was not the fact that they got swept by a much better team; it was the appearance that this team never got off the plane from Texas.  I do not know where their heads were for this series but they sure did not seem to be in Boston.   

The pitching was atrocious.  Take out Uehara’s good start in game three and the pitching line for the remaining three games looked like this: 

24 innings pitched

28 runs

39 hits

17 walks 

That is terrible and I did not even mention the 19 runs Orioles pitching gave up in the last game of the Texas series.  You can not expect to win with outings like those from your pitching staff.  The problems did not stop there.  Nobody on this team looked like they knew or understood the concept of defense.  We are talking about routine plays that the Orioles used to film an adult version of the Bad News Bears.  Where is Billy Bob Thornton when you need him?  The defense was horrid and it goes well beyond the numbers. 

After determining that this team could not pitch or field in Boston, it was clear that the offense would have to carry them yet again.  The only problem is the offense showed up for only 2 innings in a four game series.  The Orioles scored 7 runs in the second inning of game one and then 4 in the fifth inning of game 2.  In the remaining 34 innings of the series the Orioles managed a whopping 3 runs.  You are not going to win any games when your pitchers don’t pitch, your fielders don’t field, and you hitters don’t hit.  That is a fact.

 
But as I mentioned early I knew this team would be bad.  There was no way this team with this pitching staff was going to compete.  What does bother me is that so far the fundamentals are missing.  They were supposed to be a team based around a solid defense and good fundamentals.  Where has that gone?  Well that is a topic for another day.

 
As I was saying, I knew this team was going to lose but yet I was still excited about Orioles baseball.  And the reason I was, was the future this club might have if the young guns can develop and play well.  I will watch tonight with lots of excitement and anticipation as one of the first pieces to the future that I incidentally still see as a bright one, makes his debut.  That’s right, Brad Bergesen will begin the new phase of the Orioles tonight as he is the first, of what I hope to be many, young Orioles to debut for the big league club.  He had a great spring and looked good down in the minors and I can’t wait to see how he does tonight.  I am not trying to put too much pressure on Bergesen but please, please give me something to hang my hope on.  We will all be watching tonight’s game and Bergesen. And with a good start to his big league career he could really put this season into perspective for us.  He can remind us that it will be ugly at times, hopefully not worse than the last 5 games, but help is coming and the future will be bright. 

So Brad Bergesen I leave you with this:  We are counting on you to not only win tonight but to renew our hope that the future for this once great organization will be bright again.    

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