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O’s: I’m Having my Doubts About Dave Trembley

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Matt Duggins

It reminds me of a line from Hoosiers where Cletus says to Gene Hackman’s character (Norman Dale), “Norm, I’m trying hard to believe you know what you’re doing here.” 

 

Even as an eternal Orioles optimist- especially on April 1st- even I’m having to try hard to believe Dave Trembley knows what the hell he’s doing. 

 

If I’m not mistaken, the Orioles play exhibition games today, tomorrow and Saturday in Florida.  I would imagine they fly to Baltimore on Saturday night, get a day at home on Easter Sunday, stretch it out at OPACY on Monday morning, and then head to Tampa to open the season on Tuesday night.

 

Keeping that schedule in mind, why in God’s name did Dave Trembley send Jason Berken out there to start yesterday’s game?  Better yet, why is he sending Jake Arrieta out there to start today?  At this point shouldn’t the starting five be in their regular rotation?  

 

Brad Bergesen made his last outing of the spring on Tuesday.  If he is indeed the number 4 starter, he would next pitch a week from Friday in the home opener against Toronto.  On Tuesday he got roughed up for 6 ER in 5 IP.  He gave up three homeruns. 

 

So instead of keeping his guys in rotation, Trembley is going to let Bergesen sit on THAT outing for a week and a half?

 

I understand they got rained out on Sunday and everything got pushed back, but having Jake Arrieta pitch against Tampa Bay today is just a waste of innings. 

 

Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’m sure there is some grand plan here to make sure everyone is well rested for Opening Day and the stretch of 16 consecutive games that the Orioles open the season with, but I’m just not getting it.

 

According to the MASN website, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, and Cesar Izturis have stayed behind in Sarasota today rather than make the trip to Port Charlotte to get some AB’s against the Rays. 

 

Today’s lineup includes lineup against the Rays includes Scott Moore and Brandon Waring.  Ty Wigginton is batting second and playing second base.  Craig Tatum is catching.  Felix Pie is leading off.  Nolan Reimold is hurt and hitting fifth.

 

In years past, it seemed that guys were champing at the bit to get the hell out of Florida and on with the regular season.  This year it seems like they could use another three or four weeks down there. 

 

It really is starting to feel like they’re crossing their fingers and just hoping that the pieces of the puzzle all magically come together by Tuesday.  Or maybe there’s some magical switch that they flip when the calendar turns to April.

 

Don’t count on it.

 

I mentioned that 16 game stretch to open the season.  It’s really a pretty brutal stretch.  After nine divisional games with Tampa and Toronto, the Orioles wing out west without an off day, for a seven games in seven days stretch with Seattle and Oakland.  Rest for the weary?  Nah, after that they get twelve, yes twelve, straight against the Yankees and Red Sox. 

 

The point is that trying to make adjustments on the fly is going to be hard in April.  They can’t simply figure it out as they go.  Unless, of course, they don’t really care about winning this year. 

 

They don’t have the luxury of being able to string 8 or 9 wins in a row together like the Yankees do.  The Orioles simply don’t have the pitching for those kinds of streaks. 

 

The pitching matchups in Tampa are not favorable.  The Rays send Shields, Garza, and Niemann.  The Orioles counter with Millwood, Guthrie, and Matusz. 

 

Starting slow out of the gate could be devastating to this team.  If the Orioles come out of that 16 game stretch something like 6-10, things could get really ugly in a hurry. 

 

In my estimation, March was a fiasco for the Orioles.  Maybe it’ll come together in April.  Just pray it’s before 7:05 Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

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Let’s Go Angels?

Posted on 11 October 2009 by dansoderberg

The Evil Empire is cruising along, up 2-0 in the Divisional series with the Twins. Sure they toyed with the Twins on Friday, but unless there is some magic in those old Homer Hankies this series is as good as over. On the other hand, much to my surprise, the Angels are up 2-0 on the Red Sox. In this space just a few days ago I suggested that the Angels would fall to the Red Sox, just as they seemingly have every postseason for the past few years. But John Lackey delivered a masterpiece in Game 1, which Jered Weaver followed up on in Game 2. The Sawx and their bandwagon hopping fans are now in a deep hole as they head back to Boston. The series is far from over, but the Angels are in a great position. The Angels are our only hope for a non-MFY and non-Sawx series. That makes me a huge Angel fan this week.

Lackey’s Game 1 performance guaranteed him a huge free agency payday. After a 5 game postseason losing streak Lackey showed that he could come up big in a big game. He’d sure look good in Orange and Black to me. Not that it will happen. If the Orioles were ever going to sign a big time free agent pitcher it would have been AJ Burnett last offseason. There’s a better chance that Peter Angelos starts on Opening Day than John Lackey.

On another Oriole note, Brewers GM Doug Melvin announced this week that he would not deal 1b Prince Fielder or LF Ryan Braun this offseason. He did say that he would deal young slugger Mat Gamel for pitching. Gamel played 3rd in the minors but made 7 errors in 61 chances at 3rd for the Brewers this season and lost the 3rd base job to Casey McGehee. Gamel doesn’t project as an OFer, so his best chance for big league at bats is at 1st or DH. Gamel is just the type of young 1st Basemen that the Orioles should be targeting. Melvin wants pitching and the Orioles have a veteran in Jeremy Guthrie, or youngsters like Hernandez, Bergeson and Arrieta who could fit the Brewers need. My preference would be to offer Guthrie for Gamel and save Arrieta as the centerpiece of a package to make a run at the Marlins Josh Johnson.

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Orioles August report card

Posted on 01 September 2009 by Keith Melchior

The Orioles were reeling out of the All-Star break having won 9 of 25 games going into August. As Ravens training camp bega, the only things keeping fans somewhat interested in the team were names like Tillman and Matusz as people are curious to see the “arms” in action.

Brian Roberts- B+  …He can’t wait until October 1st. Still a very solid player and among league leaders in doubles and runs scored. He is one of the best in the league —-

Adam Jones- B+   …His average dropped aout 20 points in August. He was hurt and missed about a week. Still plays too shallow in CF at times. Lots of balls get over his head -

Nick Markakis – B+  …Probably the best right fielder the Orioles have had since Frank Robinson.—

Melvin Mora – C- Has shown he hasn’t lost his power, but only 6 home runs all season doesn’t get the job done —

Luke Scott – C … slump slump slump..He’s way out of position at 1st base.. Having 20 HR going into August is a bright spot.

Robert Andino - B.. Was a solid performer when he got the chance. With Izturis back and hitting, Andino plays 2 times a week in the Trembley platoon system—

Felix Pie- B  ..  His hard work paid off and he has finally shown he CAN hit and hit for power. His baserunning blunders have to stop though. I am pleased to give him a B this month –

Ty Wigginton- B+ .. He’s been playing 3rd and 1st base and playing pretty well—

Matt Wieters - B ..  He’s been reunited with most of his minor league mates. Doing a good job calling games. He hasn’t been the force many fans hoped he’d be —

Nolan Reimold - A-.. This guy flat out hustles every play. His power numbers have been way off since early July.  That’s how you lose playing time to Felix Pie.  —

Cesar Izturis – B .. Not a #2 hitter but there are no other options with the lack of a power hitter in the cleanup spot -

Various Pitchers;

Jeremy Guthrie- D ..  Still allowing too many home runs.

Koji Uehara - STILL MIA  .. -

Danys Baez - C- .. the new set up man…he sets up the opposition and gives them a chance to win-

Jason Berken -C- .. This kid has guts. He goes out there every 5th day and does his best. He won

Jim Johnson..  B+  .. Has done a good job as closer thus far. -

David Hernandez - C.. His big problem…he can’t consistently get past the 5th inning.

Brian Bass- B …Gives them much needed middle relief when the majority of the starters can’t get into the 6th inning.

Mark Hendrickson – A- .. Has given the team stellar efforts out of the pen. He should be the primary lefty middle man next season. Forget starting him unless in emergencies..

Brian Matusz - B .. He has to learn how to pitch at this level. He hasn’t been as unhittable as he was in the minors, but didn’t he skip the AAA level?

Chris Tillman – C ..  He gets into trouble by allowing the home runs. He needs  to continue learning like Matusz. It’s going to be up and down until the light bulb comes on for these 2 guys. 

Dave Trembley- D .. The Orioles are 24 below .500 and at 54-78,  they are playing .409 baseball going into September. That happens to be the 4th WORST record in the major leagues. Trembley’s record as Oriole manager is 162-223 for a paltry .420.  IF the Orioles decide to bring him back in 2010, they’d better keep him around the whole season. If he is going to go into 2010 with an axe hanging over his head should the team get off to a slow start, then they should at least give the man the respect he is due for being a loyal company man and cut the ties come October 5th.

Overall -  As we get into September, the rosters will expand to 40 and Trembley will probably shut down most of the rookie pitchers because they aren’t used to pitching so many innings. They DO have the entire winter to rest. Are they somehow miraculously going to be able to pitch 175 to 200 innings next season?  Hell, most of them have only averaged 5 innings per start anyway, so what’s the big deal?  I want to know what is going to change next season that will make this team better than it is now.

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Trembley tossed, Luke Scott muscles up as the “forgotten man”

Posted on 08 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

On a day when ESPN.com ran a gigantic story about the great future of the Orioles’ outfield of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold, it was Luke Scott who looked the present tense in Seattle as he devoured Mariners’ pitching for three hits and seven RBIs last night at Safeco Field in a 12-4 win.

Dave Trembley got tossed in the first inning after a Scott double and apparently told Scott “hit one out for me” and Cool Hand Luke answered with the biggest game of his career and the biggest individual effort since Ramon Hernandez’s 7-RBI night in Seattle back in 2006.

The video of Trembley’s ejection is here. It almost looks like he was trying to “stir it up” and get thrown out early in this one, even though he was clearly right on the call. After Scott’s double, the throw from the outfield toward the plate nicked the pitcher’s mound and took a wild bounce into the stands at Safeco. The lead runner should’ve been awarded home but wasn’t. Trembley went nuts!

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was lifted in the 3rd inning with a bout of dizziness.

Here’s the full game story and box score at WNST.

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Positives, negatives and neutrals

Posted on 02 July 2009 by Keith Melchior

I have been accused of doing nothing but bashing and being totally negative about the Orioles this season and for the last few years. So, I thought I’d celebrate MY independence and share some of the positive, yes  positive things about the Orioles. In the interest of being totally objective and fair, I am also going to share the negative and neutral feelings I have as well.

THE POSITIVES:

Brad Bergesen.. He definitely has emerged as the ace of the staff

Adam Jones…. He came into spring training with an energy that carried over into the first 2 months of the season. He HAS to be the Orioles representative in the All-Star game….Eric who?

Luke Scott… the type DH we have needed since Harold Baines

Nolan Reimold… a welcome addition to the outfield. Ranks tops amongst rookies. If he has a solid 2nd half he should be rookie of the year.

Jim Johnson, Matt Albers, Brian Bass….all 3 have done the job when called upon. Yes they have hit some speed bumps but are performing more often than not.

Nick Markakis… a slump came at the wrong time, but he is a force in the outfield and leads the league in outfield assists. He will bounce back in 2nd half.

Brian Roberts… A big contract hasn’t slowed him down. One of the top ledoff batters in the league and has singlehandedly won a few games with his speed and timely hits.

Matt Wieters…. The team chose not to have him here on opening day because of the service time issue. Fans are waiting for him to develop into the “savior of the franchise”  Hopefully the 2nd half he’ll tear the cover off the ball like he did in the minors. A definite upgrade from Zaun.

Ty Wigginton…Accepted his role and has produced when called upon. Perfect utility player with a little pop.

THE NEUTRALS:

Jeremy Guthrie… he has yet to emerge as the true ace and needs to have a better 2nd half. LAst year the team wasn’t scoring runs for him, this year he has fallen behind too often in early innings.

George Sherrill….Puts too many runners on base, but was pretty much money the last month. We’re approaching  the time when he melted down last season and had to be shut down due to being overworked. I think he’s trade bait.

Cesar Izturis, Robert Andino… Both are better than what the Orioles had at SS last season. Still need to see some improvement in the ablity to get on base from these two. Neither has hurt the team that much in the field. If they can get on base for the top of the order it’s a huge bonus.

Danys Baez… Hasn’t been too bad coming back from an injury but has been good at times and bad at times. Trade bait if a team is desperate for  middle relief help.

Aubrey Huff… Power numbers are down and some feel he peaked too early in the season. If he is still here after July 31st fans can hope he doesn’t get hot the 2nd half of the season since he is a free agent. He’ll cost the team too much to re-sign.

Jason Berken, David Hernandez….Both showing some grit and guts after getting called up to fill in the rotation. They still need to learn how to get major league hitters out consistently. Hopefully they’ll continue to grow in the 2nd half.

Mark Hendrickson…He looks more comfortable as the left-handed middle man.

Andy McPhail…. He made 2 seemingly great trades with Houston and Seattle. Other than that he hasn’t done much to help the team. If he has carte blanche from ownership, he needs to prove it to the fans and go spend a little money for some better quality players and not count on retreads to fill roster spots while waiting on the future.

The Future:  This phrase has Orioles fan chomping at the bit. The young arms are coming, but when they arrive, who will be the ace of the staff, who will be the closer, and who will be the manager. Fans cannot put all the eggs in one basket and hope that Tillman, Matusz, Arietta can continue developing  in the minors then step right in and become 20 game winners. Odds say that maybe 1 of the 3 will be that player that breaks through the barrier instantly. It would be nice to see that trio become the 2nd coming of Maddox, Glavine and Smoltz.. It’s a lot to hope for and a big risk. Time will tell. 

THE NEGATIVES;

Melvin Mora – Power numbers are down. He was already on the DL. Another trip could spell his demise. I think he’s a free agent after this season so trading him for a mid-range prospect isn’t entirely ruled out.

Felix Pie… Advertised as a 5 tool player. He never seemed to make the adjustment to playing almost everyday in April and is an option as a pinch runner in the late innings. Lately he has been busting his butt to try to make an impression. He is young and has a lot to learn about major league baseball.

Koji Uehara… Excitement over his first start and win over the Yankees turned into a weak arm, weak hamstring and 2 trips to DL. He simply does not have the endurance to be a starter. He has proven one thing, he was a waste of money.

Chris Ray… meltdown after meltdown hurting his chances to emerge as the closer or set up man again. But he’s coming back from Tommy John surgery. He should be in Norfolk all season to develop into the closer should Sherrill be traded.

Gregg Zaun… He started the season batting .091 and although on a recent hitting tear as a part time player, he still looks overmatched at times. That proved he was not an everyday catcher anymore.  He will probably retire as a backup to Wieters and help him develop his skills.

Dave Trembley… In his 2nd full season as manager. When he replaced Perlozzo he promised a return to fundamentals and showed a fire and determination to lead the Orioles back into the winning ways. He will be remembered as the manager of a team that lost 30-3 and a team that came back from 9 runs down to beat the Red Sox. Other than those two “defining moments”,  Trembley has as much personality and grit as a cardboard cutout.

11 and possibly a 12th losing season… Losing is the most negative thing about this team. When veteran guys like Huff, Roberts, Jones, Markakis and Guthrie  have not experienced  playing meaningful games after August 1st, how can they be an example to the younger players, with the exception of being as positive and helpful as they can. Losing is contagious and the Orioles have proven they know how to lose. They need to learn how to win and build confidence so that winning may once again become as contagious as the losing has been.

 

So there you have it…Regardless of what manypeople think, I am not totally negative about the Orioles. Call it frustration over not seeing the team in the post-season but 3 times in the last 26 years. That’s more than half my life. It is time to return to the promised land of post season play, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride. If the same pattern of losing continues into 2011 and 2012, there will be more reasons to become negative about the Orioles. How cool would it be to have BOTH the Ravens and Orioles be winners year in and year out?

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Orioles get Philthy in Philly, complete sweep with 2-1 win

Posted on 21 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The Orioles are still in last place but completed an inspired weekend of road baseball, finishing a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love.

Today, it was Jeremy Guthrie’s turn to step up with a big outing and Adam Jones and Brian Roberts driving in the key late-inning runs to beat the Phils 2-1 after a huge comeback on Saturday night on the heels of a great start by Brad Bergesen. Roberts has been the difference maker the past two days, stepping up as a veteran leader for a team trying to dig out of the AL East basement.

The Orioles have now won five in a row and take their final Interleague turn of the season south to South Beach and a three-game set meeting with the Marlins on Tuesday night.

Complete coverage at WNST.net here...

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O’s Shutout, Then Take Yanks To The Woodshed

Posted on 10 May 2009 by Neal Bortmes

Friday Night – O’s Shutout

 

A-Rod returned to visit Camden Yards for the first time this season and promptly crushed a three run homer.  It must be the start of new cycle for him as it was the end of a cycle for Mannywood. 

 

I was glad to see O’s fans giving him the business because he deserves it.

 

Unlike Opening Day CC Sabathia was on his game.  Much to my surprise he pitched a complete game shutout against the birds.  Sabathia has been relatively ineffective thus far but the best cure for a slumping team, or a slumping player is to see the Orioles come up on the schedule.

 

Jeremy Guthrie gave the Orioles an adequate start for the first time in a while.  His lone mistake was giving up the homer to A-Rod as he struck out eight over six innings.  He certainly gave the birds a chance to win.  McCrory gave up a run in two innings in relief as he has been decent filling in for the injured Dennis Sarfate.  Sarfate will be out at least six weeks with a circulatory problem so McCrory will have a chance become a staple in the pen during his absence.

 

It was good to see Brian Roberts break out of his mini-slump with two hits albeit in an Orioles loss.

 

Saturday Night – O’s dominate Yankees

 

The Orioles chased Phil Hughes in the second inning by scoring eight runs.  It was awesome to see that type of offensive outburst considering they were shutout the night before.

 

Adam Eaton was not impressed however because he tried to give the game away by walking the bases loaded in the fourth.  He was only able to muster a five inning performance even though he was staked to an eight run lead.  He managed to give up four runs and walk five.  I personally can’t wait to see this guy leave as he was lucky to win this game based on his performance.  Eaton possesses an apparent desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory virtually every start he makes.

 

The offense came alive again and it was great to see the bottom half of the lineup contribute to sealing the win.  Montanez appears to have recovered from his thumb injury as he hit a two-run shot last night.

 

The bullpen should not have had to work so hard with such a lead but our veteran “innings eaters” have proven ineffective in their roles.  I just hope that we don’t burn out any more arms this season with Sarfate and Albers (key contributors last season) already out of commission with injury trouble.

 

Greg Zaun’s bat has also started to come around which is good to see.  Maybe now the public outcry for Matt Wieters will subside for a bit. 

 

Jones and Markakis are still raking.  I imagine that they are pushing each other to higher levels of performance with the anything you can do I can do better routine.  I want to state again that I am excited with Markakis’ development into a solid RBI guy having only eclipsed 100 once in his brief career.

 

Danys Baez has proven to be the O’s best option out of the bullpen so far this year.  The rise in his level of play has significantly affected the Orioles in a positive way as he has had a hand in many of their wins.  I still don’t trust him over the long term but he is finally healthy from his elbow surgery so maybe he will continue to be effective.  I refuse to go as far as to apologize to him for my previous negative criticisms just yet as he still has a lot to prove.

 

As Aubrey Huff continues to deliver his price tag continues to grow.  I would sign him to a two or three year deal now Mr. MacPhail unless you have a plan in place to deal him at the deadline for a younger power hitter.

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The Orioles Weekend

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Neal Bortmes

Melvin Mora has been activated from the disabled list today which is surprisingly good news.  Ty Wigginton has been a butcher at third base so far this year and it may be because he needs to lose a little weight.  He rakes lefties but is much better suited to come off of the bench due to his lack of defense.  The return of Mora not only improves the infield defense but it also forces the Orioles to send Matt Albers down.  I think Albers’ slow start is due to choosing rehab for his labrum injury instead of electing to have surgery.  I still think that he is going to be a good reliever in the long run but he needs to get the surgery if he wants to return to form.

 

Over the weekend the Orioles lost a series against the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers are a team that contenders will routinely pound night in and night out because they lack pitching.  Losing 3 of 4 to the Rangers sums up the Orioles’ season thus far considering we hit well but couldn’t get anyone out.  I attended the game on Friday night and I was thoroughly impressed with the crowd.  The camaraderie in the stands was fantastic and it was evident that the town still loves the birds.  However, the strong showing probably had more to do with the great weather and ice cold beer than with Oriole magic, considering the amount of Yankee jerseys and apparel from teams not named the Baltimore Orioles seen around the yard.  There was a little too much alcohol flowing on this particular college night because a shirtless punk decided to run out onto the field, the game was delayed for a time but it was good to see the fans were at least paying enough attention to notice the idiocy. 

 

It is however apparent that George Sherrill is not a closer, he puts too many guys on base and he gives up too many hits.  Sherrill may have made the All-Star team last year but he is at best a situational closer as witnessed by his performance toward the end of last season.  Chris Ray needs to assert himself as the closer so that Sherrill can return to a more natural set-up role.  The fans deserve to leave the stadium in a good mood instead of departing with elevated blood pressure because Sherrill gives up a walk-off to Michael Young.  Having a lefty as a closer is tricky because they often face tough match-ups against good right-handed hitters at the end of the game and can be overmatched in that situation.

 

The offense is still clicking most nights which helps keep the game interesting especially if the Orioles are behind in the later innings.  How good is Adam Jones by the way, he is a complete stud and is rapidly approaching star status, his homerun on Sunday was only a harbinger of heroics to come.  I like the fact that we can slug it out with teams adept on offense, it’s truly a wonderful thing considering a couple of years ago Jay Gibbons was the power in the middle of the order.  But the truth is the O’s will not approach .500 until they get better effort from the starting pitchers.  I didn’t think I would ever say I am excited to see Rich Hill but I think he has a chance to improve the rotation when he returns.  Also, something appears to be wrong with Jeremy Guthrie and I hope that he does not have any residual effects from last season’s shoulder impingement.  Guthrie is no ace but he can pitch more effectively than what he has shown thus far.

 

The weekend didn’t go so well but hopefully they bounce back tonight against the Angels.  The birds have won all of their three game series this year so hopefully that trend continues.  Good luck to Adam Eaton, it would be great if he produced another miracle start just as he did on Thursday against the White Sox.  A sweep of the Angels would be nice in order to be in good standing heading into their match-up against Toronto. 

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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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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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