Tag Archive | "guthrie"

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

Drinking the orange Kool Aid at Fan Fest

Posted on 04 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

There are two types of Orioles fans left in the Baltimore area and they are distinct groups:

Those who drink the Kool Aid…

And those, like me, who have examined the big picture of what’s happened to this franchise over the past 13 years and are pretty angry about its impact on our fun, our lives and the community.

With Opening Day looming, everyone who has EVER loved baseball perks up and pay attention. Even if it’s only to notice: “Hey, its’ Opening Day!” Most people in Baltimore realize this team won’t contend but if you love baseball you’ll at least open one eye on Monday afternoon to catch the score. I’d venture to say that 75% of the city will wake up Tuesday morning at the office and know whether the Orioles won. (That number used to be more like 98% in 1998!)

Those who unconditionally still drink the orange Kool Air or “want” to drink the Kool Aid probably went down to Fan Fast today at Camden Yards. I opted to not give Mr. Angelos any more money that he won’t spend to get the team a quality spring training facility.

Instead, I’m sitting here watching the Fan Fest festivities on MASN HD television and getting some of my WNST “CEO work” done and thinking about baseball season and how it’s going to go for the Orioles and Matt Wieters and these young players and what inevitable drama will unfold.

The only real “punishment” I’m getting for not having a press pass is being “banned” from knowing the Orioles players, which is almost ludicrous because as you saw last week, Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts were happy to chat with me at the World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Charley Eckman would’ve called them “right guys” and they are decent, solid dudes. (As an aside, I also exchanged pleasantries with Davey Johnson, which is always fun.)

As a media member – well, at least I was for about 23 years until I was banned – I got to know so many of the players and what kinda guys they are. So I guess that’s my “price to pay” — I don’t get to report to you what good people the Orioles have on their team this year. Or not…

While it looked a tad bit chilly and windy at Camden Yards, the event was a “made for TV” informercial/season preview with interviews between co-workers Jim Hunter, Jim Palmer and the like of Andy McPhail, Aubrey Huff, Adam Jones, Dennis Sarfate and Ryan Freel.

They did a nice job with “get to know you” chats with these players and  I especially like that I can see Jim Palmer in high def. For a well-compensated network to finally “discover” HD in 2009 tells you all you need to know about the vision people at MASN.

But I digress…

Here are a few observations, because my seat is the same as yours at this point, which is its own unique point of view watching Jim Hunter and Amber Theoharis and others interview their co-workers in black hats that say “O’s”.

I honestly didn’t know what Ty Wigginton or Koji Uehara looked like until today. Ditto Freel, who really seemed to be a pleasant “aw, shucks” kinda guy. He reminded me of Bob Backlund back in the late 1970’s when he was a baby face.

Freel freely thanked the fans several times and seemed genuine. (As an aside, why doesn’t the owner of the team ever do that? Just come on the TV and say “thanks” on his own network that he’s making over $100 million this year on?)

Andy McPhail did a stand up with Jim Hunter and said all of the right things. He made it clear he expected a big improvement in Adam Jones. He also talked a lot about character and what kind of players — “gamers, blue collars guys, character guys” — he wants on the team. Fair enough.

I like hearing that the Orioles want good people in their organization. From what I know of the 2009 Orioles, they’re pretty good guys and they clearly dislike Angelos’ management and ownership style as much as the rest of us. (Again, this is one of the reasons the Orioles banning legitimate media isn’t a good thing for the fans. The fans never get to know the truth unless, like yesterday in The Sun, they speak out.)

I’ve known Gregg Zaun for 17 years. I’ve cheered – VERY hard – for Zaun for 17 years through his days in Kansas City, Florida, Toronto and Houston. He’s a great person and loves Baltimore and the Orioles. That’s an upgrade there no matter how you look at it and he’ll keep the seat plenty warm for Matt Wieters, whenever the Orioles decide to promote him to the bigs.

Even today on TV, a couple of the young players talked about what a cool guy Zaun is for them to be around and how he tells great stories (which he does!)

I must say that I didn’t envy Buck Martinez’s press pass today, interviewing his co-worker, Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara, whose only word in English was “Thank you!”

Uehara had an interpreter and the answer to the first question regarding Camden Yards was this: “Right field is pretty shallow.” That was the first of several laughs.

Honestly, it was like I needed an interpreter for his interpreter. It was borderline hilarious. It reminded me of my four days in Tokyo where communication was definitely at a premium.

I don’t care how much Uehara speaks. The Orioles need him to be a rock star if they’re going to win 75 games. But he seemed pleasant enough and thrilled to be at Camden Yards in a big-league uniform. Good enough for me.

If the only “communication” I’m going to have with the players is to see their co-workers ask them questions I might as well think they’re nice guys. Even if they’re complete turds, at least this won’t spoil it for me.

I’m ready for Opening Day. I’m ready to get to Hooters and have a Bud Light. I’m ready for baseball.

Comments Off on Drinking the orange Kool Aid at Fan Fest

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

Orange fireworks: Players and Trembley flip Peter Angelos “The Bird” today in The Sun

Posted on 03 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ve been saying for years that Fort Lauderdale Stadium and the Orioles’ sub-par Florida spring training situation is by far the biggest sin of all of their many sins and finally the folks over on Calvert Street are doing some “investigative journalism” with the orange birds. The club’s No. 1 promise to the public is that it’s doing everything possible to commit all of its resources to fielding a winning team.

That’s the goal in baseball: winning a championship. You always want to give your team the best chance to compete.

The Angelos family hasn’t done that for the entire tenure of their ownership in regard to the significance of spring training as anything more than a line item expense. The mere fact that they’re the only organization in the sport to have “two camps” in Florida that sit three hours apart is telling enough. It’s bad business. It’s bad baseball. It’s just inexcusable, unacceptable and dumb.

Fort Lauderdale Stadium is a dump. It’s a disgrace. It’s been a disgrace for the entire balance of the 15 years they’ve played there. I’ve worked many, many a morning and pulled many 12-hour days at Fort Lauderdale Stadium doing radio and covering baseball back when I was a “real” media member. I’ve spent 100 days of my life at that facility over the years before the team banned me from having a press credential.

Most of the fans here in Baltimore never make it there and it’s not like the team does anything to market having fans come south with their off season efforts. So it kinda goes unnoticed and when I bitch about it – and again, I think it’s probably the most obvious and lousy “white elephant” of all of their many sins – the fans don’t really care or “get it” but it’s so bizarre and so blatantly “bush league” in the eyes of anyone who knows anything about baseball from management to players to coaches to the locker room attendants that it defies description.

Just the mere fact that the visiting teams come in and see the situation and don’t lay down negative comments day after day is astonishing. Apparently, according to The Sun, the situation over at the minor-league camp is even worse. I haven’t personally been to Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota since 1995. It was “amateur” then, but not in disrepair. It was “minor league” but it wasn’t “unsafe” as several of the opposing teams indicated in contacting MLB and refusing to schedule games against the Orioles farmhands.

But the quotes in The Sun aren’t from Nestor. Or Drew Forrester. Or the glowing crap you’ll hear on MASN from Jim Hunter, Fred Manfra and the “boys club” who all take their paychecks from Peter Angelos.

They’re from the players themselves, who also take their paychecks from Peter Angelos. And it’s precisely these types of stories that makes Angelos ban a guy like me from having access. Because the players would be talking my ear off to get their message heard in the public eye.

Today’s whoppers and haymakers from their best people and players are “instant classics” and are sure to have the Angelos family in “flip out” mode on this Friday before Opening Day. It’s almost like all of the players just got together and decided to give the team’s ownership a rectal examination of unprecedented proportions.

This morning, it’s like Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, Melvin Mora, Dave Trembley and Jake Arrieta are on the front page of the local newspaper wearing FREE THE BIRDS shirts!

Here come the quotes:

Dave Trembley: “I think we’ve finally reached the point where it’s fish or cut bait. We’re in the business of developing players. What would enhance that development is a facility that is more conducive to us all being all together and being on an even playing field with the other clubs.”

Brian Roberts: “I think most of us would be lying if we said this is what any of us would expect from a major league organization.”

Aubrey Huff: “When you have a big-league team that has a weight tent with rented weight equipment located in the parking lot, that’s pretty sad.”

Melvin Mora: “That’s the worst field I’ve ever played on in my life and I’m from Venezeula.”

Chris Ray: “I don’t know what to say about the facility other than that it just needs to be leveled and rebuilt. It’s a shame. You draft someone, hype them up and then they go to that facility and they’re like, ‘Wow.’ I think that’s a little bit embarrassing.”

Jake Arrieta: “We’re all very blessed to be in the situations that we’re in, but it also comes with the territory that you expect to have nice facilities to work out in. Not that we’re tired of Twin Lakes, but I all think we deserve something better.”

And here is my favorite, from a minor-league farmhand named Mike Costanzo, who was given the “Nestor treatment” by the franchise: “We were told to not say anything about the field, but if nobody says anything, it’s never going to get fixed. It’s tough to get quality work in here.”

I guess Nick Markakis must’ve been in the shower or “unavailable for comment” on this one.

Costanzo’s quote is almost poignant to me because that’s EXACTLY what FREE THE BIRDS was all about.

“If nobody says anything it’s never going to get fixed.”

It almost brings a tear to my eyes. I’m a BIG Mike Costanzo fan all of a sudden. I’ll be monitoring that young man, who showed some big-league bravery for that quote but will undoubtedly be in the corporate “doghouse” for life after that one.

Aside from being quality journalism by Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly, it’s the kind of story in this economy that will piss off Angelos so much that you might even see the fireworks ads get pulled from the May editions. Mr. Angelos reads The Sun every day and will be ripe and randy today, no doubt about it.

I can hear him now…

“The insubordination. These ungrateful millionaires. How dare they speak this way about our franchise to the media!”

There’s one thing Peter Angelos hates the most and that’s hearing the unfiltered truth about how bad this franchise is in so many ways in print or in the media. Seeing his highest-paid employees flipping him the bird in the morning fishwrap – well, that’s gonna make for an interesting weekend.

Of course, Angelos and his son John declined to speak about the “Fort Lauderdale situation” in the media.

The worst part are the paper-thin and almost silly quotes from Orioles spokeperson and huge WNST fan, Greg Bader, who knows less about P.R. than any P.R. person I’ve seen in 25 years of doing journalism for a living.

Now, apparently, a baseball expert and groundskeeper, Bader officially deemed the field in Sarasota “perfectly safe and adequate” after a handful of visiting MLB teams refused to show up and play games there.

I’ve only met Greg Bader twice, but my guess is that he never played an inning of baseball in his life. Or pitched on unmeasured mounds? Or caught a two-hopper after it hits a rock in the dirt? Or had to work out to get into shape for a 162-game Major League grind that baseball demands.

(As an aside, the first thing I learned when I began doing sports radio in 1992 and hanging around baseball players was how HARD the job was. As a kid it sounds like a fun gig, but being a Major League Baseball player is HARD, HARD work. These guys make millions of dollars and if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Baseball players live pretty difficult, complex lives from April 1st through October 1st. I have great respect for the work they do, which can only come when you see it first hand.)

Bader also said the club has “always had the urgency” to find a new home. That is just a stupid, silly thing to say. Urgency? They’ve had 15 years and roughly 80 percent of the MLB teams in South Florida have relocated or found better situations since the Orioles landed in Fort Lauderdale by sheer accident in 1996, after going several years in weird and bad situations in Miami and St. Petersburg.

They’ve been offered at least five sites that I can think of over the years – from Sarasota to Orlando to Vero Beach to Jupiter to Winter Haven — and have never done anything to rectify the combination of the major and minor league camps, which should have been done in 1997 or 1998 at the latest. No other team would DREAM of having a split camp and say they’re serious about a winning organization. It’s just unconscionable.

The 2009 season has already gotten off to a rocky, rocky start.

They have absolutely zero starting pitching. Jeremy Guthrie has been dreadful. Koji Uehera certainly bears watching but the rest of the retreads from Adam Eaton to Mark Hendrickson to Rich Hill to Danys Baez to the soon-to-be-celebrated Alfredo Simon are just arsonists of varying degrees at this point.

Brian Roberts isn’t healthy.

They’re still banning free speech in the media and being miserable and unprofessional to deal with at every level.

And now, every level of their organization from manager to players to minor leaguers are popping off in the morning newspaper about how “bush league” their ownership is in regard to spring training and a commitment to winning. It’s like a scene out of “Major League” but the Orioles have become the Indians.

Next Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay still doesn’t have a starting time and the Ravens are expecting 20,000 people at M&T Bank Stadium that morning and afternoon for an Inside Lacrosse doubleheader and no one in the city knows what the parking situation might be. The game is eight days away. You’d think they’d announce to the Tampa Rays, their season ticket holders and their employees when the game will be played. (Again, this kind of management is just unheard of in professional sports in 2009.)

Oh, and the Yankees are bringing 30,000 obnoxious fans into town on Opening Day to cheer for Baltimore’s greatest homegrown player in a generation as he takes the field at Camden Yards wearing pinstripes.

Oh, and advance ticket sales have been abysmal and they’re having a “Fan Fest” tomorrow that feels like a rumor around town.

Other than that, things are just fine in Birdland.

Comments Off on Orange fireworks: Players and Trembley flip Peter Angelos “The Bird” today in The Sun

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

Live from Southern California…

Posted on 23 March 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been a chilly trip all the way around. It’s cold in California this week. It was freezing at Dodger Stadium last night and Laguna Beach is no better.

I’m spending the next three days here in Dana Point at the NFL Owners Meetings, chatting with coaches, executives and owners from around the league. Most of the media has commented that it’s “quiet” here this week, with no major rules changes or negotiations to be held. The only potential “landmark” concept is the notion of making the regular season a 17 or 18-game affair, with the elimination of those dreadful preseason games. It appears that changes to overtime possession aren’t coming right now. There’s too much support to keep the current (yet flawed) system.

But it’s truly the calm before the potential financial storm as the NFL Players Association has named its new leader in DeMaurice Smith last week.

Commisioner Roger Goodell is addressing the entire contingent this morning with a “State of The NFL” speech, which no doubt will be addressing the sagging economy and the paramount issue of a new collective bargaining agreement with the players, which could be a dog fight over the next 18 months as both sides are preparing for a tremendous battle that could go either way.

Lockouts, strikes, posturing – it’s all on the table as both sides look to divvy up the riches and spoils of a league that has basically had 25 years of labor peace and prosperity. Right now, the players get 59.5% of the total revenue pool. The owners want to make it less; the players, of course, want more. We’ll be following this story for the next two years but this is the beginning of a long race that will decide the fate of the league for the next decade.

I spent the evening last night up in Los Angeles (about an hour north of here) at Dodger Stadium at the World Baseball Classic semifinal between Team USA and Japan. Obviously, it wasn’t the greatest night for Brian Roberts in field but he did begin the game with a grand home run off of Dice K. I caught up with Brian Roberts, Davey Johnson and Jeremy Guthrie prior to the game and saw more celebrities than I can name. The videos are just to the right of here in the wnsTV video vault.

Because of the “Angelos ban” I never had the chance to meet of chat with Guthrie. He was a super good guy and was truly excited about wearing a USA jersey. My five minutes with him made it very easy to pull for him when he takes the ball at Camden Yards in two weeks.

(And for the record, I had no idea Kelsey Grammar was such a nice guy. I did, however, fully confirm that Alyssa Milano is smoking hot!)

Dodger Stadium is still a religious experience for any baseball fan and it’s nights like last night that really make me love my job and my career in sports. As I’ve been posting my baseball book about my Pop and his love of the game, it’s nights like last night that remind me about why I chose to do this for a living 25 years ago.

I also ran into some very old and dear friends from the “early days” with the Orioles. Dr. Charles Steinberg and Evelyn Ehlers – both “lifer” Orioles fans and Baltimoreans are working in the Dodgers’ front office. Former Ravens V.P. Dennis Mannion is now the president of the Dodgers. And Baltimorean Jamie McCourt (nee Luskin, as in Jack Luskin, the “cheapest guy in the town”) is the C.E.O. of the team, owner by her and husband Frank McCourt.

It’s almost like the Dodgers are Baltimore’s West Coast connection.

I’ll be shooting videos here on WNST.net, blogging and potentially grabbing some guests for Drew Forrester, Bob Haynie and Ray Bachman, who will be filling in for me all week from 2 til 6 p.m.

I’ve already chatted with virtually every NFL coach that has a Baltimore connection and John Harbaugh told me that his brother – former Ravens QB and current Stanford head coach Jim – and his dad will be here this afternoon. We’ll be doing a little wnsTV of that in the next 24 hours.

It’s also the first NFL Owners Meetings for longtime WNST supporters, Rex Ryan and Jim Schwartz, who will both make some time for Baltimore.

Stay tuned…I’ll be working hard here in California.

Did I mention the weather kinda sucks?

Comments Off on Live from Southern California…

Baltimore through and through...

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

Pictures of the new Orioles jersey

Posted on 12 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

We made it to the Gallery today. Lots of ways for you to see the new jerseys here at WNST.net. There are videos in wnsTV and there are pics here below…

Enjoy…

Jim Palmer sports the new Baltimore uniformsBaltimore through and through...
The Maryland patch on the sleeve
The Orioles bird sporting BaltimoreThe new hats
More with Cakes...

Comments Off on Pictures of the new Orioles jersey

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

‘See The Birds’ journey of 2008 ends with another lost season of failure tonight at Camden Yards

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Come one, come all!

As a matter of fact, I hope more than one of you actually COME to Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight where a few hopeless losers like me will set forth a few last phantom, hollow cheers for another season that never was.

That’s 11 in a row on my watch. The Orioles haven’t played a meaningful game since October 1997. And the crowds have withered to virtual nothingness.

I know you probably haven’t noticed through the servings of the Purple Kool Aid on MASN, but they’ve now quietly lost eight in a row. And they’ve won six times since August 17th.

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” indeed…

How bad is it?

Well, the team has $1 tickets available tonight and most of the city doesn’t even think it’s worth that. There might be 5,000 in the park tonight. It’s kinda like a minor league baseball game or something out of “Major League,” which 20 years ago was just a funny movie about the Indians and Cleveland.

At this point, it’s the current state of Baltimore baseball. Empty seats that the Orioles can’t beg people to come and sit in for ONE DOLLAR!

So, why are we going tonight? Well, our “Crabs and Beer” curator Glenn Clark purchased eight tickets last week for $8 and decided that bringing seven friends tonight would be a cheap date and some good fun.

(Honestly, I think he’s just trying to poke me into doing “Free The Birds 3” tonight.)

But I’m not biting…

For the record, I’ll be wearing my FREE THE BIRDS gear tonight. Not to elicit a parade or a mini FTB3 event. It’s just simply to tell them that I’m still here. And I still care. And that they still suck. And the last place freefall over the last month just reinforces that they still suck.

They have to win three of their last four to get to 70 wins. In March we called Las Vegas and the “over/under” was 67. As we toss back frosted adult beverages tonight at Regi’s and the Wharf Rat, they have exactly 67 wins. For those of you who bet the over, good luck! You have a REAL reason to come to the game tonight! LMAO…

Andy McPhail has repeatedly exposed himself to me as a coward and a weak company man. He, like his boss who’s gone back into a self-imposed exile while the fans vanish from downtown, doesn’t want to take legitimate questions from legitimate journalists.

I’ve now spent two seasons exiled from “Birdland,” being disallowed to do what I’ve done to feed my family since I was 15 years old. (And yes, I had a family at 15!)

In case you’re keeping score, the Orioles have complied a record of 139-189 since the Sept. 21, 2006 original “walkout” that we called a Rally. And it was a Rally. And I did cry out for positive change.

I’ve heard many people “credit” WNST for all of the changes with the Orioles. We don’t want any of the credit and I certainly can’t accept any of the blame for this continuing fiasco.

We can debate and celebrate the merits of McPhail’s changes and specifically the trades to obtain Luke Scott, Adam Jones and George Sherrill. And we can talk about the pending promise of Matt Wieters or Brad Bergeson. And we can discuss how Aubrey Huff “let his bat doing the talking” this season. And we can fete Brian Roberts for being the greatest soldier of them all, especially when he could’ve been lacing them up in Wrigley Field next week on a World Series contender.

Sure, like every other organization, the Orioles have some “bright spots.” But as Bill Parcells would say, “they are what they are.”

And that’s 67-90 and with a standing eight-game losing streak and a 6-27 record since Aug. 17th.

They are, by any standard, the worst team in Major League Baseball right NOW. If the season started all over again today and they played with these Bad News Bears, they might rival that crappy Detroit Tigers team from a few years ago. They might win 40 games over the next 162 as is. And to think they have 40 players available on the big-league roster at this time of the year and this is the best they can do?

I watched the latest slapstick at The Yard last night, dropping a 5-1 lead to the Rays in the nightcap and watching Mr. Happy, Dave Trembley, face the firing squad of his co-workers in the press room.

(Here’s where I’ll use the internet to “geese” a bit…and no, I don’t know if the Greaseman is dead but I sure hope he’s not. I really like(d) Doug and I absolutely admired him as a listener and marvel at his work as a colleague. If he really is dead, I’ll write something. If he isn’t, I’ll probably give him a call to tell him how big of a fan I really was (although he’s heard that before)!

Back to “geese-ing”…I actually have covered sports long enough now (since 1984) to remember in vivid color the post-game press conferences of Frank Robinson and Johnny Oates before all the lights and cameras of MASN glaring down on you in front of a Wayne’s World set in the basement of the stadium. I remember when they were simple desk chats in the manager’s office with Sparky Anderson over a post-game spread with his feet on the desk and him spraying you with barbeque while you talked baseball with him. He was an absolute gem!

I suppose we’re forever relegated to watching these “pressers” — as we call them — on TV. It’s really the same crap I’d get if I had a press pass and I don’t have to look at snarling naked athletes or get sneered at by some 22-year old dude who doesn’t know where Charles Street is.)

In the words of Bob Haynie, but I digress…

We’re going to the game tonight. We’re starting at Regi’s at 4. We’ll go to the Wharf Rat around 5:30ish. We’ll have a few beers. We’ll eat some food. And we’ll walk to the game.

If you want to join us, the price is certainly right – even in this economy.

If you want to sit with some real “old school” Orioles fans and be amongst some nice people, c’mon down!

It ain’t “Free The Birds 3.”

I didn’t have the energy to do it all again. I’m busy building Baltimore’s No. 1 sports media company and website.

I tried “See The Birds.”

I tried selling group tickets for those ingrates. I’ve tried digging down to find some iota of honest-to-God enthusiasm for the team through the few personalities who appear to be engaging. (For the record, I’m a big fan of Kevin Millar, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Jeremy Guthrie.)

I even offered them a “season of amnesty” – an olive branch — which I’ve held true to for the most part (even amidst more of their old-world Marxist policies and mean-spiritedness and evasiveness and general bullying).

Even though they’re creeps, I’ll stand by “amnesty” because I’m peaceful person. And I love the Orioles.

I want a better baseball team and a better experience with the team and the brand and the uniforms and the people that I fell in love with as a little boy in 1972 and followed like family for most of my life.

And even though Baltimore deserves better after building that palace downtown for the baseball team 20 years ago, it doesn’t appear that there’s any substantial change on the horizon. And the games are going away for another six months after this weekend. So I won’t have the opportunity to see how lame this all is again until April.

And I’ll go back and investigate and see if it’s more fun in 2009 with “Baltimore” on the road jerseys for the first time since I was a little boy.

I sincerely doubt it, but I’ll keep giving it try. I still really love baseball when it’s done right. And we love it so much that it will most certainly dominate our lives beginning next week when the playoff games star shot-gunning out all day long.

Playoff baseball and the fall of the leaves and the crisp autumn air…I live for that stuff!

I honestly don’t know what tonight represents, other than the 2nd Anniversary of “Free The Birds” and the 11th season of this organization disgracing Baltimore and the traditions of the Orioles.

We — Glenn, Drew, me and anyone else who wants to come — have no agenda other than to try to have some fun at the ballpark with friends, old and new.

So tonight I will make a few hours to “wave bye-bye” (in the words and voice of Jon Miller) to the season of 2008.

The 11th year of the black hole of Baltimore baseball sports ownership.

They are limping into last place.

They’ve won six times since August 17th!

There’s only one place to go from there, right?

They’ve finally set themselves up for success.

It can’t get any worse than last place with a thud.

They’re bound to claim a victory sometime soon. Maybe it’s tonight?

And they’re bound to come “really close” to signing Mark Teixiera (or Free Agent X) who signs elsewhere.

They clearly just won’t have the money, despite MASN printing gobs of money of that they don’t want you to know about.

Blah, blah, blah. Lies, damned lies and the Orioles.

Just let me know when Peter Angelos comes out of his cave and answers some questions from the “free” press. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a conversation with one of his employees like Roch Kubatko or Amber Theoharis sometime soon with overflowing optimism for the 2009 campaign. Exclusively on MASN, of course. The channel no one watches and the website no one visits.

It’s been two years since “Free The Birds” and the words in my 19 chapters still resonate honestly and the Orioles are still my first love.

Free The Birds 3?

Nah…

Tonight, we’ll just have a little fun…

And let ‘em know we’re still watching. And we’re still waiting for them not to be so mean and to not suck anymore.

I’m not holding my breath!

(Thank god for the Ravens and this Pittsburgh bus trip and football on Monday night!)

Comments Off on ‘See The Birds’ journey of 2008 ends with another lost season of failure tonight at Camden Yards

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Millar leads musical ‘Orioles Magic’ singalong in clubhouse

Posted on 06 April 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some postgame notes from Orioles clubhouse:
 
·         When the media walked into the clubhouse this afternoon, Jeremy Guthrie was playing “Orioles Magic” through the clubhouse speakers from his Ipod. Millar, Guthrie, Loewen, Sherrill, and several others were sitting at the table and pounding the table to the beat of the song
 
·         Kevin Millar said the fans should be proud to wear the colors of the Orioles, because they are a first place team
 
 
·         Many of the players noted that they would not and did not win these type of games last year
 
·         Aubrey Huff said that he likes to hear the “Orioles Magic” song in the clubhouse, but not on the field. Aubrey said that “Orioles Magic” was played opening day and they lost. Since then they have gone to “Click Click Boom” by Saliva and are undefeated
 
 
·         Luis Hernandez was running around on the field like a little kid when he got the game winning hit. Several of the O’s players thought that Lowe of the Mariners was trying to unintentionally intentionally walk Ramon Hernandez to face Luis.
 
·         Kevin Millar said it was big hit for Luis, because now he can have his bats back. Millar said that the bat company’s had stopped sending bats to Luis because he was not using them.
 
 
·         The ballpark was electric at the end of the game and there was not hardly a person sitting during the 9th inning
 
·         Randor Bierd and Dennis Sarfate did a great job of keeping the game where it was
 
 
·         In the clubhouse after the game, several of the Orioles players said as soon as they saw Felix Hernandez come out of the game and Markakis got his hit, they knew they were going to win
 
·         The Mariners have some serious bullpen issues with J.J. Putz out
 
·         The Orioles were 13-31 in one-run games last year and 4-87 when trailing after 8 innings
 
·         Versus Seattle last year the Orioles were 2-7. Already this year they are 3 – 0 with a day game tomorrow and a three game series the first weekend in August.

Comments Off on Millar leads musical ‘Orioles Magic’ singalong in clubhouse

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

Pregame notes from Camden Yards

Posted on 04 April 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some new notes from Camden Yards:
  • Dave Trembley said that the rotation will go Trachsel(Fri), Loewen(Sat),Guthrie(Sun),and Cabrera(Mon). Brian Burres will stay in the bullpen the next couple of nights and likely start the first game of the Texas series on Tuesday.
 
  • Trembley said that all the pitchers and position players stayed even after the game was rained out yesterday to get their work in.
 
 
  • Trembley still feels that Bedard is one of the best pitchers in baseball and that he is grateful to him for what he did while he was here
 
  • Today will be the first time that Perlozzo and Trembley will be able to speak face to face since the coaching change
 
 
  • Sam Perlozzo spoke with the media before the game and you can listen to the entire session under the Toyotaliveweb audio vault
 
  • Besides Erik Bedard and Sam Perlozzo, former bench coach Lee Elia makes his return to Baltimore as the on field consultant for the Mariners
 
 
  • Jarrod Washburn is 3-0 versus the Orioles in his career as a starter. He did lose a game in a relief appearance back in 1998
 
  • Aubrey Huff is 12-31 with 1HR and 4rbi’s against Washburn
 
Here is the O’s lineup for tonight
  1. Brian Roberts 2b
  2. Melvin Mora 3b
  3. Nick Markakis RF
  4. Kevin Millar 1b
  5. Aubrey Huff DH
  6. Jay Payton LF
  7. Ramon Hernandez C
  8. Adam Jones CF
  9. Brandon Fahey SS

Comments Off on Pregame notes from Camden Yards

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

Post game thoughts

Posted on 31 March 2008 by caseywillett

So the O’s are off to the 08 season with a loss to the Rays. Jeremy Guthrie was solid for the first couple of inning, and then started to get hit hard. Today is about what I expect that you will see out of Guthrie for the season, not great, but not horrible. He will give you about 5 innings of work and have to hope that your bullpen can hold the other team down. Good news for the O’s today was the performance of Matt Albers. Dave Trembley spoke highly of him after the game and said they were impressed with the job that he did today.
 
Offensively for the O’s, they are just not going to be a team that is going to score a lot of runs. I think they are going to be a NL style team. They are going to have to hope for 3-5 runs a night and hope that it is enough to give their pitcher the support that he needs.
The 1-4 hitters today were 4 -13 with 2 RBI’s ( Millar), the 5 – 9 hitters were a combined 2-13, you don’t give your pitcher a chance to win when you do that. It was so bad that after Kevin Millar’s double in the first inning, no Orioles made it past first base.
 
Some other notes from today:
          Aubrey Huff admitted that he said some stupid stuff when he went on his famous radio show this offseason and understands fans booing him. Admits that he would have booed to if he was a fan. Kevin Millar even admitted that he was booing Aubrey.
          Dave Trembley said the fans have the right to do whatever they want to do as it relates to Aubrey Huff
          Adam Jones said that the nerves he was expecting to have today were not there and that it all went away when the first ball was hit to him. He is trying to get use to the rubbery type substance that the warning track is made of, but says he does not see it being a problem.
          Rick Kranitz the O’s new pitching coach was in the clubhouse talking with Jeremy Guthrie after the game and going over some of the things that he noticed.
          Aubrey Huff and several of the other O’s said this is not the same Rays that have been playing in years past. Several of the hitters mentioned that Jamie Shields has some tremendous pitches and gets better as game goes on.
          Today was the first time since 2000 that an Oriole did not hit a homerun on opening day. Can you guess who leads the O’s on opening day homeruns?
          Today was the first Orioles home opener loss since 2000 when Mike Mussina suffered a 4-1 loss to the Indians
          One down 80 more to go

Comments Off on Post game thoughts

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

Notes from Sunday at Camden Yards

Posted on 30 March 2008 by caseywillett

So the Orioles do not play their first game till tomorrow, but in my opinion they won today. I will first off say that I like Jay Gibbons as a person and he was always very nice to me, but Andy McPhail and the Orioles made really the only move I think they could make in releasing Jay Gibbons.
 
I am not sure if Jay will ever play baseball again, or has the desire to play baseball again, but the Orioles had to do what was in the best interest of their team, and not worry about Jay Gibbons and his future endeavors.
 
Andy McPhail has 100 % shown in my opinion that he is being allowed to run this baseball team. When he was asked today what the conversation with Peter Angelos about the release of Jay was like he said “Peter told me you have to do what you have to do.” Today also sent a message to the clubhouse that it does not matter what you make, if you do not fit into the plans they are not afraid to move on with out you.
 
So here is how the Gibbons thing played out this afternoon. We were gathered in the media room and had spoken with Adam Jones, Jeremy Guthrie, and were waiting for Dave Trembley. During the break I walked into the clubhouse and noticed that Scott Moore was listed as the LH bat on the bench for tomorrow, almost at the same time we were told that Dave Trembley and Andy McPhail were ready to speak with the media. While walking back to the room, we were handed the official press release saying Jay was released. After listening to McPhail and Trembley, we walked into the clubhouse looking to see if Jay was around. Now Jay’s locker is in a corner on the opposite side of the clubhouse where you have to pretty much be within 10 feet of it to see if he is there. So we notice a person sitting there with his legs propped up on a chair and talking on his phone, so must people assume it was Gibbons. I and a couple other media members noticed that Brian Roberts, Aubrey Huff, and others were laughing looking in that direction and soon released that it was Kevin Millar sitting there. Now there were some members of the media who fell for it hook line and sinker….it was pretty funny.
 
Here are some other tidbits from today:
          Jay Gibbons was gone less than two hours and guys were debating as to who was going to get his locker
           All of the coaching staff has been moved into the clubhouse with the players. In the past they have had their own office.
          Adam Jones is a very likeable guy and a guy that fans will find it easy to root for
          Kevin Millar is the leader of that clubhouse. He also has a Terry Crowley baseball card hanging from his locker. He said he is going to hit over 400 homeruns this year (you have to listen to the audio under the Toyotaliveweb banner on the right).
          Jay Payton stood in front of his locker and started “crying” and saying he wants Corey Patterson back and that he misses him. This is because Corey was next to Jay in the clubhouse and now that spot is Adam Jones. Adam started laughing and having fun with Jay.
          Some people in the organization are wondering and little worried about what the reaction for Aubrey Huff will be tomorrow.

Comments Off on Notes from Sunday at Camden Yards

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

Random thoughts

Posted on 25 March 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some just random thoughts:
 
          I honestly do not think the Orioles will finish with 100 or more losses. Now I am not saying that they are going to make the playoffs or even come close, but they will not be that bad.
          Someone on the O’s might win more than 13 games, but I am willing to bet that it will not be Jeremy Guthrie or Daniel Cabrera.
          Look forward to being back at the ballpark (credential pending) and watching these guys. I have admitted that I am a Kevin Millar fan and think he is a very good veteran presence in the clubhouse. Kevin is not the most athletic or talented player, but there are very few that love the game more than him.
          Speaking of guys that I enjoy talking with on the O’s about baseball and anything else are guys like : Jamie Walker, Kevin Millar, Chad Bradford, Brian Roberts, Ramon Hernandez, Danys Baez, there are a lot of good guys in the O’s clubhouse. Now I have not had a chance to meet Adam Jones, Luke Scott, Rocky Cherry, and some of the other guys that have come over, but I hear good things about them from other media members.
          Now that I am thinking about it, here are a couple of my favorite players on the O’s that I enjoyed talking to in the clubhouse: Larry Bigbie, Javy Lopez, Latroy Hawkins, Steve Kline, and Kris Benson, just to name a few.
          Yesterday on Rob’s show I mentioned that I think the top three needs in the Ravens would be: 1. Cornerback 2. Quarterback 3. Defensive end/linebacker
          Finally got my XBOX 360 back from the repair shop and am enjoying having it back. Rockband is the greatest video game of all time
          Congratulations to John Rallo for getting past the first major step to getting MMA legalized in the state of MD
          If you are fan of Metallica and have not checked out the documentary Some Kind of Monster, do your self a favor and check it out. Have enjoyed going back and listening to old school Metallica also. Also like Flo-rida’s new album just for the record.
          Here is my prediction for the World Series……Arizon vs Boston, although I do get a feeling that this could be the Cubs year.

Comments Off on Random thoughts