Tag Archive | "guthrie"

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Towson makes first postseason appearance since 1991 Wednesday at USC Upstate

Posted on 18 March 2014 by WNST Staff

Tigers making first postseason appearance since 1991 NCAA Tournament

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Towson will make its first postseason appearance since 1991 when the Tigers visit USC Upstate on Wednesday in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.

The game, set to tip at 7 p.m., can be heard live on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Damon Lewis calling the action. Fans can also sign up to watch this game and all the CIT games by going to the tournament’s website.

Towson (23-10) hasn’t played a postseason game since the 1991 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will look to continue the CAA’s impressive run in the CIT. CAA squads have a 9-4 record all-time in the CIT, with Old Dominion winning the championship in 2009.

Towson is led by two-time CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon, who leads the nation with 21 double-doubles and leads the Tigers in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks. All-CAA Third Team selections Marcus Damas and Rafriel Guthrie, along with Mike Burwell make up one of the most important senior classes in Towson history.

USC Upstate (19-14) posted the second-most wins in its school history during the Division I era with 19 wins in 2013-14. The Spartans opened the season with a thrilling 64-63 victory at Virginia Tech to post the schools first-ever win over an ACC school. Upstate went on to knock off South Carolina 74-68 later in the year for its first-ever win over a team from the SEC.

The Spartans finished 11-7 in conference play and reached the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament for the second straight year, falling to eventual champion Mercer in double overtime.

Upstate seniors Torrey Craig and Ricardo Glenn each earned all-conference accolades at the conclusion of the season. Craig was named to the All-A-Sun first team after leading the league in scoring while ranking fourth in rebounding. Glenn paced the A-Sun in rebounding, offensive rebounds and field goal percentage on his way to a second team selection.

Wednesday’s game will be the first ever meeting between Towson and USC Upstate in men’s basketball.

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Guthrie leads way as Towson wins exhibition finale

Posted on 30 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Towson Tops Mansfield, 85-65

 – Senior Rafriel Guthrie tallied a game-high 32 points to lead the Towson men’s basketball team to an 85-65 victory over Mansfield in the Tigers’ exhibition finale on Wednesday night at SECU Arena.

Guthrie shot 8-for-13 from the field and made 14 of 18 free throw attempts as the Tigers won their second of two exhibition games.

Towson shot 51.1 percent from the field and made 49 trips to the free throw line, making 33. The Tigers had 15 assists on 24 made baskets and outrebounded the Mountaineers, 45-30.

Seniors Jerrelle Benimon (16) and Marcus Damas (11), and sophomore Four McGlynn (10) joined Guthrie in double figures for the Tigers. Benimon shot 6-for-8 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds.

Towson sophomore Jerome Hairston dished out a game-high six assists while freshman John Davis posted seven points and a game-high nine rebounds.

After Mansfield scored the first bucket of the game, Towson scored 11 straight to spark a 32-10 run that gave the Tigers a 20-point advantage at the 8:45 mark of the first half.

Mansfield battled back to make it an 11-point game on a Joe Bell three-pointer that made it 38-27 with just under six minutes to play in the opening stanza. Bell tallied a team-high 16 points for the Mountaineers.

Towson responded by scoring 10 of the next 14 points to boost its lead back to 17 and the Tigers would own a 51-35 advantage at the intermission.

Less than three minutes into the second half, Mansfield cut the Towson lead to 53-39 but the Mountaineers would get no closer the rest of the game. The Tigers led by as many as 22 in the second half.

Towson will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 8 against Navy. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. inside SECU Arena.

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Towson seeks 5th straight win at JMU Tuesday

Posted on 12 February 2013 by WNST Staff

Game To Be Televised on Comcast SportsNet

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Towson men’s basketball team will be seeking its longest winning streak since 2000 when the Tigers travel to James Madison on Tuesday night to take on the Dukes at 7 p.m.

The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet with John Castleberry and Charlie Woolum calling the action. Fans can also listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti on the call.

Towson (14-12, 9-4 CAA) won its fourth straight game with a 90-82 overtime victory at Georgia State on Saturday.

Junior guard/forward Rafriel Guthrie came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points and dish out a career-best six assists in the win.

The Tigers have boasted two four-game winning streaks this year but haven’t owed a five-game streak since the 2000-01 season.

James Madison (14-12, 8-5 CAA) will be looking to avenge its worse loss ever to Towson, a 73-47 setback to the Tigers on January 19 in Maryland.

The Dukes have won five of seven since that loss and are currently fourth-place in the CAA standings, just a game behind the second-place Tigers.

Senior forward Rayshawn Goins leads the Dukes in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg), while senior guard Devon Moore leads the CAA by averaging 4.5 assists per game.

In the first meeting between the squads, Towson forward Jerrelle Benimon led five Tigers in double figures with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Towson outscored James Madison, 42-19, in the second half.


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How can Baltimore simply allow the Orioles to rot like this under Angelos’ greed & profiteering?

Posted on 01 April 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

There’s no sense in shirking the responsibility here in Baltimore — the facts that show this community has been complicit in the damage done during this baseball free fall on the field and profiteering being done off the field by Peter Angelos via MASN. The truth is this: we get the government we deserve.

And the truth is that we get the Major League Baseball team that we tolerate as a community.

The Orioles are about to enter their 15th consecutive year of irrelevance and losing. Fans in Baltimore have turned away from the stadium by the millions instead of demanding a better product and an owner with the integrity to run the team in the best interests of the community.

The judges allowed this to happen by allowing television moguls to pass along unavoidable, mandatory charges you never know about and you vote for these judges.

Comcast (or your local cable TV provder) has passed along the “Angelos Tax” to you and you simply keep paying the bill.

The politicians allowed this to happen to the heart of Baltimore on summer nights and you elect the politicians. You elect the politicians who allow Major League Baseball an almost inarguable anti-trust exemption and public financing for stadia while they pad their pockets and Angelos shirks his “sacred responsibility” here in Baltimore to attempt to field a competitive team that stimulates interest and economic impact to the local economy.

Many local businesses and business owners – intimidated for one reason or another – all talk dirty out of the corner of their mouths to me at cocktail parties all over Baltimore yet no one except me and this radio station and web entity that I own have spoken up over the years and reported the dirty facts.

I am very proud of Free The Birds. I’m proud of being the only one to speak the truth and report the facts. I sleep well at night knowing that I’m TRYING to make a difference and get this corrected for the community.

WNST is the only free media company in the marketplace that is banned from covering the team while CBS Radio, The Sun, WBAL, Pressbox, etc. all have continued to exchange corporate media backrubs and “partnerships” while not demanding accountability from Peter Angelos.


Many others — from intimidated former Orioles players who need the autograph money to local fans, former season ticket holders and businesses who previously wrote a direct check to the Baltimore Orioles to sponsor the franchise — all now cough and “look the other way” while the city has been emptied of more than 2 million people every summer. The Ravens’ and their everlasting prosperity seems to only make it easier to turn away from the Orioles.

How can it be possible that local businesses downtown and at the Inner Harbor simply await the arrival of visiting fans from Boston, New York and Philadelphia in order to turn a profit off the fortunes of the Baltimore Orioles?

It’s unspeakable, shameful and YOU should be ashamed of our community for allowing it happen.

When all of this cowardice and the collective “turning of the heads” stops, perhaps the fate of the Baltimore Orioles will change?

Here’s what WNST.net is doing about this Thursday and Friday night as we hold a candlelight vigil and an Opening Day protest of the ownership and the way the team has been run into the ground for Baltimore and its baseball fans…


You can follow our Facebook page here and follow us on Twitter @FreeTheBirds12


Staying away from the ballpark and not contributing by buying tickets and $8 beers has simply not worked to correct the issues with Peter Angelos and improve the baseball team. We’ve been writing about it here at WNST.net and opining at AM 1570 for the better part of a decade.

Sometimes I think that everyone knows the dirty little secret about Angelos and

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Time to pack your bags…

Posted on 01 June 2011 by Keith Melchior

As of this writing, there are quite a few reasons the Orioles are 5 games under .500. Injuries are always at the forefront of teams that are struggling, but some really bad pitching, bad hitting, bad managing, and five 3+ game losing streaks are killing the 2011 Orioles.

The season is 1/3 completed after today’s game in Seattle. For some players, it’s time to put up or pack up. If these guys don’t get untracked, it might be time to say goodbye;

Jeremy Guthrie – His  career record with Orioles is 40-55.  As the veteran starter on this staff, he always seems to keep the team in the game, but he simply cannot win in Baltimore and it makes no sense to keep him around if there is a team out there willing to give up a minor league prospect or two for his services come July 31st. Maybe he’ll go become an ace with another team like Dennis Martinez and Curt Shilling did after the Orioles let them go. Martinez thrived with the Expos and Braves after mediocre seasons in Baltimore. Shilling wasn’t that good when he was an Oriole and didn’t really blossom into that dominant pitcher until almost 10 years into his career when he played for Philadelphia, Arizona, and finally Boston. It’s painful to see Guthrie continue to pitch his ass off with not many positive results. Do HIM a favor and send him packing. He deserves better fate and much more money than he’s getting here.

Michael Gonzalez –  The team signed him as the closer before the 2010 season. He had a rough opening weekend then landed on the DL. As an Oriole, he is 1-4 in 48 games with a 5.57 ERA and the glaring number, ONE save. His contract with the Orioles is up after this season. He is not reliable, is wasting a roster spot and needs to be shipped out ASAP. They couldn’t even trade him for a bag of baseballs at this point, but will most likely keep him here until his contract expires if no one shows any interest in the washed up left handed reliever.

Luke Scott – He’s coming off  an Oriole MVP year when he hit 27 HR and had 72 RBI. As an Oriole he’s averaging 25 HR, 55 BB, 100 K’s and 70 RBI. So far this season he’s sitting on 6HR and 19 RBI and is on pace for 18 HR, 57 BB, 114 K’s and 57 RBI. People are waiting for him to get hot for a week or so and carry the team on his back like he did last year. With a partial tear in the labrumon his right arm, that may not happen. After 2010 I said the Orioles should trade him while he has some value. Then, the Orioles signed Vladimir Guerrero to be the full time DH, which placed Scott in a platoon mode in left field with Felix Pie and recently Nolan Reimold. Scott has been lucky enough to find his way on the field at 1st base with Derreck Lee’s trip to the DL.  I believe they have nothing to lose by trading Scott on July 31, especially if he doesn’t get into one of his “streaks.”  He’s 33 years old and eligible for salary arbitration after this season and a free agent in 2013. They might lose  a few HR’s andRBI but his potential is worth at least 2 mid-level players that might develop into something.

Brian Roberts – He has never played in the post-season and probably is the most beloved Oriole since Cal Ripken retired. You always see him in the community at churches, schools and hospitals. You always hear interviews with him on the radio.  It is hard to believe he is 33 years old and he’s coming off an injury plagued 2010 that kept him out until August.  Currently in his 17th day on the 7-day DL with concussion symptoms, he is not the lead off batter we’ve grown accustomed to for the last 10 years.  Roberts is struggling at .221,  60 points below his career average. You hope he comes back and is able to provide that jump start the Orioles need so badly at the top of the lineup. Regardless of what many fans might think, if Roberts is able to play up to his standards, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Orioles to explore possibilities of a trade before the deadline.  The only thing that may hurt is his $10 million salary, but if he isn’t on the field and producing at the level the team needs, that $10 million is being wasted anyway.

Vladimir Guerrero – The Orioles ended up overpaying him to be the DH because no other teams appeared interested in the gimpy-kneed former outfielder. He still swings at bad pitches, but leads the team in hitting with a .289 average. The guys ahead of him in the batting order aren’t giving him a whole lot of chances as he only has 23 RBI. He is definitely on the trading block, which will land Luke Scott back into the DH role if he isn’t traded or on the DL come July 31.  The Orioles might be able to get 2 decent AA players for him as long as his numbers don’t tail off.

The roller coaster ride will continue throughout the summer. The starters can’t get into the 7th inning, the big bats brought in during the off season have some major holes in them, the bullpen is shaky from middle relief to closer. The only one really doing the job is Koji with a 2.78 ERA and 0.882 WHIP. He’s actually thrown 22 2/3 innings in 21 games but rarely sees action on consecutive days. Since Koji was only signed to a one year deal, the Orioles should consider unloading him to a team looking for bullpen help in the late innings. Although fragile, Koji is quite capable.

There is not much talent in the AA or AAA levels to push anyone out of his spot. Brandon Snyder and Ryan Adams have reached the majors but weren’t doing enough in their at-bats to warrant them receiving more playing time. They’ve combined for 24 plate appearances, 4 hits, 3 BB, 5 K’s, 1 Run scored and no HR’sor RBI. Thus the position shuffling I wrote about earlier in the week.  Sooner or later the Orioles have to bite the bullet and let these guys see some increased playing time. You can’t keep sticking with older players who are not producing to the level you expect.

 I will probably catch some heat for suggesting these trades, but when you consider the ages of the players involved, it almost makes sense. A few years ago, the Orioles’ promotion was “Come see the kids play” That was a time when, age-wise, they had one of the youngest teams in the majors. With the exception of Brian Roberts, most, if not all, of those guys are long gone and the 2011 Oriole 40 man roster averages close to 29 years of age.

As the season approaches the halfway point, it’ll be interesting to see whether this team unfolds or folds up.

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Orioles at the 1/4 pole

Posted on 21 May 2011 by Keith Melchior

In 2010 the Orioles didn’t win their 19th game until mid-to late June.  Here it is May 21, 2011 and they are almost a month ahead of that pace.  To be this close to playing .500 baseball by Memorial Day is remarkable and gives hope to those who cheer for improvement.  Now, it appears they are in the midst of another 6 or 7 game slide. So much for progress..


Solid efforts by Zach Britton 5-2 (who wasn’t even projected to join the club because of the dreaded “service time” contract structure, much like Matt Wieters’ contract) and Jake Arietta 5-2 account for about 1/2 of  the teams’ win total.   Brad Bergesen at 1-6 has been on a roller coaster this season and will be the odd man out when Brian Matusz comes off the DL.  He’ll either be shipped back to AAA Norfolk or be buried in the pen for long relief or mop up duties. Too bad for a guy who 2 years ago showed lots of promise with his 7-5 record and solid outings until that line drive off his leg took him out for the remainder of the 2009 season, then last years’ MASN commercial debacle which also put him on the shelf for a few weeks.  If Jeremy Guthrie got any run support at all, he’d be 5-1 instead of 1-5 and the Orioles would be sitting atop the AL East, but if’s don’t win baseball games. Of the 5 current starters, Chris Tillman is the most inconsistent, averaging a little over 4 innings per start a WHIP of 1.55 and an ERA of 5.35.  Bergesen got shelled last night against the Yankees. Too bad for him considering he was  coming off an impressive CG shutout of Tampa Bay. If Tillman can out pitch him, Bergesen might end up returning to Norfolk.

The bullpen is another story, and a similar story it is. A few blown saves by current closer Kevin Gregg and inconsistency from Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Jason Berken and Michael Gonzalez have caused late inning meltdowns. Gonzalez is the worst of the group with a 5.83 ERA and a WHIP of 1.9. Not good for a back-end guy in the pen. Berken was lights out the first 2 weeks of the season but has since fallen far short of the dominant pitcher we saw come out of the pen last year and early this year.

The starters are still averaging under 6 innings per start and unless the bullpen can get on track and start getting people out over the final 3 innings, it’s going to be a long hot summer if those guys can’t cut their pitch counts down by 10% and go at least 6 to 7 innings per start.

The good news is the starters have accounted for 14 of the team’s 19 wins, which is a huge improvement over what we’ve seen the last few years. Only 5 of the 21 losses are credited to the bullpen, so that shows the Orioles are probably trailing when the starters  leave the game. The pen isn’t good enough to keep games close and combined, have allowed 152 hits, 75 walks, and 80 earned runs in 140 innings for a 5.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.62 going in to the series against the Nationals.

Grade: C-  (Arietta B+ and Britton A, rest of staff D+)


If you said the Orioles would win 19 games by May 20th without much help from Brian Roberts, you’d be called crazy. Roberts is hitting .221 from the leadoff spot and has the worse OBP of the starters.  Roberts helped carry the team to the 6-1 record the first week of the season but has gone into a severe tailspin. Nick Markakis started off slowly too, but has since come around. Derrek Lee started the season as a major disappointment at the plate and wasn’t even hitting .22o. He’s up to .231 now but the power numbers are not improving.  Vlad is Vlad, swinging at terrible pitches but he’s been the most consistent player hitting .303 and lately a doubles machine. Luke Scott, who I still believe should have been traded based on his value after last season, should not even be on this team, especially in left field. He has 6 HRs and only 16 RBI and is currently playing with a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder, which happens to be attached to his throwing arm. He’s also been mired in a slump as of late, but Buck Showalter keeps running him out there in hopes he won’t hurt his shoulder any further and gets into one of his streaks at the plate. Mark Reynolds, aka the Sultan of Strikeout, gives the Orioles exactly what they paid for, a guy who is going to strike out over 200 times and hit .200 this season. He has 45 K’s in 140 AB.  Adam Jones is developing into the center fielder the Orioles had hoped for when they traded Erik Bedard for him. He is hitting .292 with 5 HR and leads the team with 23 RBI. His defense has improved as well and thus far this season we haven’t seen many balls hit over his head. Matt Wieters  has produced with RISP and is hitting .273 with 22 RBI. He has become a force behind the plate throwing out 50% of runners attempting to steal. JJ Hardy seems to have settled in at short and after his stint on the DL and  has yet to make an error in 140 innings played.

The reserve players have contributed when called upon, especially Robert Andino.  His bat helped him replace Cesar Izturis, who filled in at short when  J. J. Hardy landed on the DL. Now Izturis is on the DL with a mystery ailment which the team says is numbness in his throwing hand.  On the surface, that sounds like a pinched nerve to me. Given a shot to play every day, Andino produced and still leads the team with a .376 OBP.   Andino is a flexible reserve player who can handle multiple positions, but he’s not in the same mold as  an everyday player and the longer he’s out there we’ll see his numbers decline (see Ty Wigginton from 2010) Jake Fox impressed in spring training then sat on the bench for a week and plays sparingly. His .167 average is a result of his lack of playing time. With Hardy back at SS and Jake Fox able to play multiple positions and give the team that possible pinch hit power, it appears Izturis’ days as an Oriole are numbered, as well they should be. Izturis was signed as insurance, but Robert Andino appears to have cashed in the policy. Now with Roberts and Lee on the DL,  Brandon Synder has been called up in Lee’s absence to play 1st base and he must impress the front office if he plans on being a long term member of this club.

Felix Pie seems to be lost in that platoon system with Luke Scott in left. He’s hitting .259 in very limited appearances, but has shown flashes of excellence over the last few weeks. Look for him to begin playing every day if Scott finds himself on the DL.  Pie appeared to show all 5 tools last year and when given the chance to play every day, he chased Nolan Reimold to AAA where he still toils, even after a very good spring showing.

Grade – (D)  Can you say underachievers? The chatter during the pre-season was based on past numbers alone. By signing Lee, Guerrero, Hardy, and Reynolds they were looking for at least 100 HR and 325 RBI out of that foursome. Thus far they’ve gotten limited production with 15 HR, 60 RBI, but 118 K’s and 48 BB. They are lucky Britton, Guthrie (although his W/L record doesn’t show it) and Arietta have all been solid in the rotation. Other than Wieters, hitting with RISP is lacking. IF Lee, Scott and Reynolds start hitting the baseball out of the park, look out. Someone at the top of the lineup needs to start getting on base to give Markakis, Scott, Reynolds, and Vlad some opportunities to plate him. To lose 4-1 to the Yankees in 15 innings, then getting bombed 13-2 the following night then get blown out 17-5 in the series opener against Washington last night doesn’t bode well for the Buck-Os. Too many men left on base and a RISP of about .200 are killing this team’s chances of being at .500 on Memorial Day.

Overall grade – D   Last place and being outscored 41 -9 in the last 3 games plus 3 innings speaks for itself. This team needs to do a 180 in a hurry. Right about now, people are screaming for the NFL to get the labor deal done so the summer in Charm City isn’t a complete waste.

Here’s a side note……. I didn’t realize this, but only 9 players on the current 25 man roster were home grown. Roberts, Markakis, Wieters, Bergesen, Berken, Johnson, Snyder, Arietta and Britton were drafted by the Orioles. The rest were acquired either by trades (9)  or signed as free agents (10).  Jeremy Guthrie was a waiver pick up.  No matter what the front office might tell you, the Oriole farm systems aren’t really as up to par as they’d like it to be. As I’ve said before, there are no position players at any minor league level ready to push anyone out of a roster spot.  They cannot continue this trend if they want to be successful down the road. They’ll eventually need to find replacements for aging veterans Roberts, Scott, Lee, and Vlad. Unless they start winning baseball games consistently, they will not attract any established free agents unless they choose to grossly overpay for them. You know damned well that isn’t going to happen under PGA’s leadership. Andy McPhail might be looking at his final year in charge of baseball ops.

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Roberts 3-run HR beats Tigers 5-1 and ignites Orioles Magic on Opening Day

Posted on 04 April 2011 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE (AP) Brian Roberts hit a three-run homer, Jake Arrieta allowed one run in six innings and the unbeaten Baltimore Orioles thrilled a sellout crowd in their home opener by defeating the Detroit Tigers 5-1 Monday.
On a gorgeous afternoon at Camden Yards, the Orioles extended a surprising winning streak that began with a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay. Off to its best start since 1997, Baltimore (4-0) has not yet trailed, hasn’t given up more than one run in a game and has outscored the competition 17-4.
With the score tied at 1 in the fifth, Felix Pie walked and went to third on a double by J.J. Hardy before Roberts hit a 1-2 pitch from Rick Porcello (0-1) over the wall in right-center. Roberts has Baltimore’s only two home runs this season.
Nick Markakis followed with his third hit, a double, and Matt Wieters delivered a two-out RBI single for a 5-1 lead.
Arrieta (1-0) gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three. Orioles starters have allowed two runs in 26 innings, a 0.69 ERA.
Jason Berken followed with two innings of one-hit relief and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth.
Will Rhymes drove in the lone run for the Tigers, who arrived after dropping two of three at Yankee Stadium. Detroit doesn’t begin the home portion of its schedule until Friday.
Porcello yielded five runs, nine hits and a walk in five innings.
With a crowd of 46,593 looking on, the Orioles continued their solid play under manager Buck Showalter. Baltimore went 34-23 after Showalter took over last year, and the offseason acquisitions of Derrek Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Hardy and Mark Reynolds have Orioles fans hopeful that the team’s run of 13 straight losing seasons will end in 2011.
Baltimore went up 1-0 in the second inning when Wieters hit a leadoff double and scored on Porcello’s two-out wild pitch.
Detroit pulled even in the third. After Brandon Inge doubled and scored on a single by Rhymes, Miguel Cabrera flied out with two outs and runners at second and third.
The Tigers got only two runners in scoring position the rest of the way.
NOTES: Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Showalter. … RF Magglio Ordonez started for Detroit after missing Sunday’s game with a sore right ankle. He snapped an 0-for-9 start with a fifth-inning single. … Baltimore is 38-20 in home openers, including 5-0 against Detroit. … Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was hospitalized Monday with a high fever, putting his scheduled start Wednesday in jeopardy.

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Guthrie dominates Rays in Orioles 4-1 Opening Night win

Posted on 02 April 2011 by WNST Staff

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) With Jeremy Guthrie outpitching David Price, the new-look Orioles cruised past the Tampa Bay Rays.
Guthrie allowed three hits in eight shutout innings, Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis each drove in two runs and Baltimore opened the season with a 4-1 victory on Friday night.
Taking up where they left off during a nice two-month stretch to end last season under manager Buck Showalter, the Orioles ruined a festive evening in which the defending AL East champions hoisted their latest division title banner at Tropicana Field.
And, they did it with Guthrie outdoing last year’s AL Cy Young Award runner-up.
“It’s one day, but I sure like being on this end of it,” Showalter said. “It’s a tough place to play on opening day.”
Roberts hit a two-run triple off Price in the fifth and scored on Markakis’ sacrifice fly. Markakis also had an RBI single in the third.
Ben Zobrist homered in the ninth for Tampa Bay. Rays newcomers Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon each went 0 for 4.
In his third opening day start in four years, Guthrie returned 13 batters in a row between Dan Johnson’s second-inning double and Zobrist’s single leading off the sixth. B.J. Upton double leading off the eighth for Tampa Bay’s third hit.
Zobrist homered on the first pitch of the ninth off Jim Johnson. The Orioles reliever struck out Damon and Evan Longoria, then got Ramirez to ground out to finish the combined four-hitter.
The heart of Tampa Bay’s betting order – Damon, Longoria and Ramirez – went 0 for 12 with three strikeouts in its debut. Damon and Ramirez, once teammates in Boston, were brought in after the Rays lost All-Star Carl Crawford and slugger Carlos Pena to free agency.
“It’s hard to gauge out hitters because their pitching was that good,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s not like we weren’t swinging the bats well. Guthrie was good, man.”
Guthrie walked one and struck out six.
“Throwing before the game, I felt good. I was very excited, really, wanting to get out there and go after it,” Guthrie said. “It was a great crowd, but I was able to tone it down a little bit. … I had a feel for the ball and was able to carry it over into the game.”
A sellout crowd of 34,078 – the sixth straight for a Rays home opener – booed Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The fans stood and cheered wildly as the Rays’ 2010 AL East flag was raised to the left-field catwalk alongside banners recognizing the team’s 2008 division and league championship.
Before the game, Maddon reflected on how far the franchise has come since he was hired after the 2005 season and helped transform a last-place team into a contender.
“I think at that time if I had spoken too loudly about” the prospect of winning championships “people would have thought I truly was crazy,” Maddon said.
With his first opening day assignment, Price became the 13th pitcher in major league history to start an opener, an All-Star game and a postseason game by the age of 25 – a select group that also includes Whitey Ford, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Robin Roberts, Don Drysdale and Bret Saberhagen. Tom Glavine was the last to do it 20 years ago.
The hard-throwing lefty allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out seven, while losing to the Orioles for the first time in five career decisions.
“I felt good. But when you’re going against another team’s No. 1 and give up four runs, you’re going to lose,” said Price, a 19-game winner in 2010. “I’ve got to get better.”
The Orioles’ lineup featured four players – Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy – who’ve joined the team since the end of a 13th consecutive losing season.
But they are just part of the reason Baltimore is excited heading into the season. The team is also hoping build off 34-23 record it compiled after Showalter took over last August. That late run didn’t enable the Orioles to escape the AL East cellar, but they did begin to build some confidence.
“I think the proof will be in the W’s and L’s. Change doesn’t necessarily mean things are going to be better,” Showalter said. “We’re starting off at the American League East champions’ ballpark. We’ll find out real quick.”
NOTES: Ramirez made his 18th consecutive opening day start, the second-longest streak among active players behind Washington’s Ivan Rodriguez (20). Damon has started 14 straight openers. … Baltimore LHP Brian Matusz was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday because of soreness on the left side of his mid-back. … A moment of silence was observed for three St. Petersburg police officers who have been killed in the line of duty this year.

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Posted on 08 March 2011 by Shawn Credle

“This team is improving. And while it’s nearly the end of the season, one would have to be optimistic about next year’s ballclub. Now, I’m not predicting playoffs just yet. But if the O’s can win at least 16 games per month next season, that will give them a minimum of 96 wins for the year. And I, along with every Baltimore Orioles’ fan, will take that. Don’t give up on the Birds just yet, fans. The best is yet to come. A new winning spirit may inspire a top free agent to come and play in Baltimore. An actual winning record will guarantee it.”

This is what I wrote nearly six months ago. And while people thought I was crazy for thinking that the Orioles can win over 90 games, some have seemed to change their minds after watching what the Orioles did this offseason. The signings of Vladimir Guerrero and Derrek Lee have opened the eyes of many fans, and have opened the eyes of many teams. The Orioles plan on not being the team that other teams want to face in order to get a much-needed win. The O’s plan on being contenders right now.

Now, before you go crazy and plan to buy O’s playoff tickets, hold on a second. I’m not saying that the O’s will win the World Series this year, or even the AL East right now. What I am saying is that they will be a contender. There will be meaningful games in August and September. They have to beat the Yankees and the Red Sox during the regular season. Last season, the Showalter-led Orioles finished 2010 at 34–23, the best record among American League East clubs during the same stretch. A fact many seem to have forgotten.

Hopefully, the Orioles will allow Showalter to finish what he started, which is something the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks did not allow. Watching those two teams win championships right after he left, has left a sour taste in Showalter’s mouth. So, in a sense, Showalter has something to prove, as well as the players. And, possibly, in two or three years, and after a top free-agent pickup, a championship isn’t that far-fetched of an idea.

1. Brian Roberts – 2B
2. Nick Markakis – RF
3. Derrek Lee – 1B
4. Vladimir Guerrero – DH
5. Luke Scott – LF
6. Mark Reynolds – 3B
7. Adam Jones – CF
8. Matt Wieters – C
9. J.J. Hardy – SS
With that projected lineup, there will be no easy spots for an opposing pitcher. With the 1-2-3 spot, that could be one of the best in baseball this year, and get on base a lot.  The 4-5-6 spot – that has a lot of power.  And the 7-8-9 spot, that will drive pitchers crazy. Guerrero batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBI last year. Hopefully, we will get at least 85-90% of that this season. Wieters batted .249 with 11 HRs and 55 RBIs last year. And while Wieters has taken a beating in the press lately, this could be the breakout year for him.

Projected Starting Rotation
Jeremy Guthrie
Brian Matusz
Brad Bergesen
Chris Tillman
Jake Arrieta
(Justin Duchscherer)

Plus, one can’t forget about the starting rotation. Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Brad Bergesen pitched well for Buck Showalter last season. Many are optimistic that they will improve. Jeremy Guthrie will get more run support this year, and that was a problem for him last year. And Zach Britton and Chris Tillman are waiting for their shot.

So, with the new lineup, and with Showalter enjoying his first full season with the team, 90-72 is my latest prediction for the O’s this year. What’s your prediction?


If The O's Were Smart, They Would Save Arrieta For One More Day

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If The O’s Were Smart, They Would Save Arrieta For One More Day

Posted on 20 June 2010 by Corey Johns

Fan’s are going to have to wait longer to see Jake Arrieta again.

When Juan Samuel made the decision to skip Chris Tillman’s turn in the rotation based on his inability to have a quality start, the entire rotation was bumped up a day, which is not an uncommon thing in baseball at all. While the Orioles, and specifically Samuel, are trying to do what is best to get a win, one of the effects of the move could be less beneficial to the Orioles than just pitching Tillman.

Tillman was originally scheduled to pitch in tomorrow’s series finale against the San Diego Padres, but instead it will be the red hot Jake Arrieta, who has dominated the opposition in his only two starts since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk. He may help the Orioles win a much needed series, but the move in the rotation is going to make Orioles fan’s wait even longer to get a live glimpse of the pitcher. Arrieta was originally scheduled to pitch in the first game of the Orioles home stand against the Florida Marlins on Tuesday and again next Sunday against the Washington Nationals. But instead of having two starts in the Orioles home stand, he is slated to pitch just one outing before heading back on the road.

Lets face it, fan’s are not going to the ball park expecting to see a win from the Orioles anymore, so you have to give them something to rally around, and a pitcher who is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his first two appearances could be the shining light in a otherwise dark season. When Arrieta was first called up to play, he had a few followers who made sure to make it out to his major league debut, but that wasn’t really enough to make the average fan want to go out to see another Oriole make his debut, at least not to the magnitude that forced a sellout for the much anticipated debut of Matt Weiters. With two solid outing under his belt, it would have been a perfect opportunity to give fans a reason to flock to a game, to see a young pitcher showcase his talents. But instead, Orioles fans will be have a great opportunity to check out Jeremy Guthrie two times on the home stand- certainly not somebody that will create a buzz around the Park at this point.

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