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*UPDATE Cut down day for the Ravens

Posted on 30 August 2008 by caseywillett

4:30 So the Ravens have trimmed their roster down and announced the suspension of Derrick Martin for the first regular season game. You can see all of the cuts listed in Nestor’s blog.

On my 53 man roster, I went 51-53. I missed on Adam Bergen and Casey Bramlet by having them in and leaving Anwar Phillips and Jamell McClain out. As it relates to Peter Czech, we did not even know that he was on the team. We were told he was waived to make room for Casey Bramlet on Thursday, but on the Ravens site he is listed on the 53 man roster.

The Derrick Martin situation is no suprise. When you saw Kevin Faulk get suspended, you knew Derrick’s was coming also. Also not suprised with decision to IR David Pittman.

 

 

Today is the day that 22 members of the Ravens team have not been looking forward to. This is the day when you are told that your services are no longer needed for this football team. The Ravens have to get down to 53 man roster by 6 p.m. The rookies on the Ravens will all have to report to the Ravens facility today and await word whether they have made the team or not.

 
I will keep you updated here and through our text service throughout the day as the cuts become available. As it relates to the practice squad, the Ravens have until noon tomorrow to establish that team. Once a player becomes available, it goes in reverse order of record as to claiming a player.
 
Here is my attempt at the 53 man roster for the Ravens.
QB – Boller, Flacco, Smith, Bramlet
RB – McGahee, Rice
FB – Neal, McClain
WR – Mason, Clayton, Williams, Figurs, Smith
TE – Heap, Wilcox, Jones, Bergen
OL- Brown, Grubbs, Yanda, Terry, Gaither, Cousins, Hale, Chester
DL- Pryce, Douglas, Gregg, Ngata, Parker, Bannan
LB-Lewis,Scott,Suggs, Johnson, Barnes, Ayanbadejo, Greisen, Gooden
DB – Rolle, McAlister, Washington, Walker, Martin, Ivy
S – Reed, Landry, Leonhard, Zbkowski, Nakamura
ST – Koch, Katula, Stover
 
I admit this is just my guess, but hey someone had to put Bramlet on the team, it might as well be me.
 
Here is my thinking on a couple of guys:
Casey Bramlet – I think they are going to need him for a couple of weeks. With the status of Kyle Boller and Troy Smith in the air for week one, they may have no choice but to keep Casey.
 
J’Vonne Parker – I thought J’Vonne has had a very solid camp and preseason. Also factor in with Ngata, and Gregg nursing injuries, he gives them depth at that position.
 
Derrick Martin – Derrick is another player who I thought had a solid preseason and regular season. Derrick is nursing a shoulder injury right now and maybe we will find out how severe that is today, but I think Derrick has earned a spot on this team.

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AFC after 3 pre-season games Fantasy notes

Posted on 27 August 2008 by KZ

After three weeks of the pre-season….AFC Fantasy Football notes:

Buffalo Bills: Edwards beats out Losman! Is this the year the Bills take a step forward? Team still needs to find a TE. Lanston Walker injury could create issues.

Man of the Year: If it’s anyone besides Marshawn Lynch, this team is in a heap of trouble.

Bust of the Year: Josh Reed, the bills drafted James Hardy to finally take some pressure off Lee Evans.

Sleeper: Trent Edwards…teams will try and stop the run, which will give Edwards lots of opportunities to open things up.

Miami Dolphins: New coach…check….new QB…new General Manger…lots of things are new in Miami.

Man of the Year: Chad Pennington has a chance to make a huge difference.

Bust of the Year: Ricky Williams…can’t handle a full load…be careful in drafting him.

Sleeper: Ted Gin Jr…has the speed and moves to be a dynamic WR…but can he handle the pounding on his smallish frame.

New England Patriots: 18 and 1…does that 1 linger or is it a rallying point? Have teams figured out how to slow down Brady and Moss, like was done in the playoffs?

Man of the Year: Laurence Maroney will have to play a larger role in the offense this year.

Bust of the Year: Brady and Moss…both will be top 10 in their respective positions but just do not expect record setting years…I’d guess 35 to 40 TD’s for Brady and 15 TD’s for Moss.

Sleeper: I keep waiting for Ben Watson to have a breakout year…I think this is it.

New York Jets: It was actually a ho-hum camp for the Jets. Nothing really happened…well until a hall of fame to be QB came along and pushed expectations through the roof.

Man of the Year: How many wins is Brett Farve worth? I’d say to the Jets 4…so 8 – 8 would be a true miracle.

Bust of the Year: Brett Farve…yes he is the man also, but this is not Green Bay…28 TD’s would amaze me. He is still the gun slinger, so 24 TD’s and 20 INT’s is a possibility.

Sleeper: Jesse Chatman…with T. Jones now 30 and injury to him would open the door for a pretty decent Chatman.

 

 

Denver Broncos: Shanny’s back, back again, Shanny’s back, tell a friend. Everyone’s favorite Fantasy coach is back again to torment us all.

Man of the Year: Jay Cutler will be a top 8 QB this year.

Bust of the year: Selvin Young…3 or 4 RB’s will start for Denver this year…and usually the first guy up is the last guy in total yards.

Sleeper: Andre Hall and Anthony Alridge…they will start at some point this year…worth a flyer.

Kansas City Chiefs: Something tells me this team may be Fantasy friendly this year…Croyle starts at QB, LJ is back and healthy, Gonzo is well Gonzo…what’s not to like? Revamped OLINE! Dwayne Bowe is a legit WR…oh now I see it…Davard Darling is the other WR and Herm Edwards is still the coach.

Man of the year: It does not seem to matter who the QB is Tony Gonzales gets his catches, but will TD’s be a problem this year?

Bust of the Year: With Croyle at QB, LARRY JOHNSON, healthy or not, is going to see a lot of 8 and 9 man fronts.

Sleeper: Jackie Battle…he is a big 6’3, 238 bruising back who can get into the hole quickly…If LJ goes down…keep an eye on him.

Oakland Raiders: This is a young team with a ton of untapped talent on the offensive side of the ball and a defense that is better than people think.

Man of the Year: JaMarcus Russell is essentially a rookie but the Raiders will go as far as he can take them.

Bust of the Year: Darren Mcfadden is not Adrian Peterson, he simply is not.

Sleeper: Ronald Curry could have 70 catches and 8 TD’s this year.

San Diego Chargers: Injured players return to lead the Bolts! Rivers, Gates and LT all back after disappointing end to 2007.

Man of the Year: LT is still the best player in the NFL

Bust of the Year: Vincent Jackson has untapped potential at WR…it remains untapped.

Sleeper: Legedu Naanee I can see him replacing Jackson in the lineup by mid-season.

 

 

 

Baltimore Ravens: A pre-season that leaves the team with more questions than answers. Who is the QB, RB, CB, TE…and so on and so forth.

Man of the Year: JOE FLACCO will be the starter by week 5 at the latest.

Bust of the Year: Willis McGahee…I said early on something worried me about him.

Sleeper: Yamon Figures will have a huge impact in the return game and will be given a shot at WR.

Cincinnati Bengals: Rudi is not ready, Chad is hurting and did I read that Chris Henry was resigned? WOW!

Man of the Year: Carson Palmer is a top 5 QB. He will have to throw a lot with the RB situation unsettled.

Bust of the Year: Chad Johnson is hurting…and it’s not going to get better.

Sleeper: Jerome Simpson WR…with Johnson and TJ banged up Simpson should get a chance this season and I think he is special.

Cleveland Browns: Huge expectations for the Browns this year. Can Anderson duplicate the first 10 games from 2007 for an entire year? Can Jamal continue his revival?

Man of the Year: Braylon Edwards is a top 5 WR and getting better!

Bust of the Year: Derek Anderson is being drafted like a top 6 QB, he will be lucky to be a top 12 guy.

Sleeper: Brady Quinn will start at some point this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Why is this team being overlooked again this year? Best balance of any team in the division.

Man of the Year: Ben Roethlisberger…did you know Big Ben threw 32 TD’s last year? Well, he throws 35 this year.

Bust of the Year: Rashard Mendenhall is going to be a solid if not great NFL RB, but just not this year…Willie Parker is still the man in Pittsburgh.

Sleeper: Limas Sweed..Ben wanted a big receiver and he got a really good one.

Houston Texans: Can they find a RB? Can Andre Johnson stay healthy, can the defense continue to improve.

Man of the Year: Andre Johnson will lead the league in receptions and yards if he plays 16 games this year.

Bust of the Year: Kevin Walter is currently number two on the depth chart, he finishes 4th.

Sleeper: Jacoby Jones for the second year in a row…

Indianapolis Colts: The only question is…Manning’s knee and how healthy will it be. Jeff Saturday the leader of the OLINE may be out a long period of time as well.

Man of the Year: Joseph Addai has to be the man and take pressure of Manning early in the season.

Bust of the Year: Anthony Gonzales has lots of potential but a healthy Marvin Harrison will curtail his production this year.

Sleeper: Roy Hall…if Harrison get hurt this year..Hall will get some time.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Can they finally win the division? They appear to have all the pieces in place.

Man of the Year: David Garrard has to continue to be efficient and effective in 2008.

Bust of the Year: Troy Williamson is simply not that good.

Sleeper: Matt Jones had a great camp…and has earned his chance to play.

Tennessee Titans: Can Vince Young reduce the turnovers? That is the question for this team. They have a solid defense a good running game, but need VY to take care of the ball better…9 -17 TD to INT ratio will not get it done.

Man of the Year: Vince Young…it is his team and he has to be a better on field leader.

Bust of the Year: LenDale White? I think he will have a good year, but all this Chris Johnson talk has me worried a bit.

Sleeper: Justin McCariens has the size and speed to be exactly what VY needs.

Have a question? go to www.fansfantasyfootball.com

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Pre game notes

Posted on 02 July 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some notes from Dave Trembley:
 
          The Orioles have not heard from Dr James Andrews in regards to Matt Albers as of this afternoon. They are expecting to hear from him later today.
 
          Kevin Millar is getting the night off so that Jay Payton can get into play. Trembley pointed out that Millar’s 1-24 .042 career average against Meche is not the deciding factor, but is considered when he is making decisions. Millar has only struck out once versus Meche, and his only hit was in his first at bat against Meche back on 8-25-2003. Millar singled to center and was thrown out going into second.
 
 
          Adam Loewen will not be available for the Orioles tonight. Trembley said that Loewen will pitch back to back nights, but not after his first outing out of the bullpen. The original plan was for Adam to stay in the minors till the All –Star break, but he was progressing fast and with Jamie Walker going on the disabled list, there was a need for him.
 
          Ramon Hernandez is batting cleanup for the Orioles tonight and the reason is because Trembley says he did not want four left handed hitters batting in a row: Roberts, Markakis, Huff, then Ramon, followed by Scott. In case you were wondering, Ramon is 8-26 lifestime versus Meche.
 
 
          I asked Dave Trembley if he sees any similarities between the Royals and Orioles and what they are doing, and he said yes and added the Pirates in that equation also. Dave said he knows Royals manager Trey Hillman very well and what the Royals are trying to do is similar to what the Orioles are doing here.

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Ray Lewis not smartest defender in NFL,O’s pictures, birthday cake, and music

Posted on 01 July 2008 by caseywillett

So a recent survey out from ESPN.com list Ray Lewis as the second smartest defensive player in the NFL as voted on by NFL head coaches. Here is the article, which is very interesting to read. Just for the record, no one from the offense
 
          I can not imagine Derrick Martin will be around long as a member of the Ravens. What he tried to pull is insane to think about. If you did wrong, just admit, do the punishment, and move on. Not saying it is right or is wrong, but I think there is a chance he will be made an example of.
 
          In the Orioles clubhouse, there are huge poster size pictures of Jim Palmer, Rick Dempsey, Elrod Hendricks, Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, and other Orioles greats on the wall outside of the clubhouse. Recently some of the new Orioles pictures have begun to show up. There are now the same size pictures of Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and a couple of other guy’s pictures lining the halls.
 
 
          Yesterday was Luke Scott’s birthday and he had a huge cake made like the back of his jersey in the clubhouse. Luke said a friend of his made the cake for him and that it weighed about 25 lbs. Every player that walked by and ate some of the cake talked about how good it was and wondering where it came from.
 
          People have asked about the song that Brian Roberts comes to at bat with. It is from a band called Submersed, which is a band that Kevin Millar is friends with. The song is all called We All Make Mistakes.

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From passing camp

Posted on 28 May 2008 by caseywillett

Here are a couple of quick observations from passing camp today:
 
          I continue to be impressed by the play of Troy Smith. I have felt for a while that he will be the starter for this team when the season starts. Troy was not 100% perfect, but he was very accurate and threw a couple of very impressive passes. I spoke with a couple of offensive players who said he is in such control of the huddle and learning the offense so quick.
 
          Willis McGahee was at the first volunteer camp of the season, which I think is a good thing for the Ravens. Willis looked good while working out today, and made some nice catches and runs out of the backfield. I think this could be a big year for Willis with the Ravens this year.
 
 
          Edgar Jones looked impressive to me while he played tight end for the Ravens today. Edgar was a tight end in high school and volunteered to run some routes at tight end for the team. Todd Heap took a huge amount of snaps today as there continues to be no depth at the tight end position with Dan Wilcox likely out till after the start of training camp, and Quinn Sypniewski done for the year. Xavier Lee will also get a look at tight end also.
 
          A couple of the Ravens have gotten new numbers. Tom Zbikowski is now wearing # 25 while Xavier Lee is wearing #82.
 
 
          Mark Clayton looked good at practice today, and it is good to see Mark running around healthy again on the football field.
 
          A lot of the Ravens were taking a fishing trip this afternoon as a team to do some bonding. This is a yearly event and usually spear headed by Kelly Gregg and Jarrett Johnson.
 
 
          Speaking of Jarrett Johnson, we were talking about the O’s-Yankees game today. I have seen Jarrett a couple of times here at Orioles games before. Jarrett told me that he is friends with Lance Cormier of the Orioles and wanted to see Lance pitch a little more last night.
 
          Interesting how O’s and Ravens players are friends. Kevin Millar and Kyle Boller are friends, Mark Clayton and Brian Roberts worked out at the same place in Arizona, and now Jarrett and Lance are friends.
 
 
          Pretty cool to see John Harbaugh meet Lenny Moore today after practice. Lenny went up to John and introduced himself to him and you could almost see the respect that Coach Harbaugh has for Lenny Moore. The Ravens do a great thing by staying connected to the Lenny Moore’s of the world, and even guys from the past Ravens teams. Often you will see Kyle Richardson, Spencer Folau, Brad Jackson, Michael McCrary, and many others walking the halls in Owings Mills.

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An Amazing Game at Camden Yards

Posted on 28 May 2008 by caseywillett

Tonight was a game that I will not forget for a long, long time. MASN can now add this to their catalog of O’s classics; it was one of those games. This game had everything you could ask for in a game to have.
 
It was amazing to be in the O’s clubhouse tonight and listen to almost every single player say it was the best game they have ever played in or been a part of. From Dave Trembley who got so emotional talking about the win, that he cut his press conference short, to Kevin Millar, to Aubrey Huff, Jamie Walker, and many others said it was game for the memory banks. I encourage you to listen to the audio in the audio vault from post game tonight and hear the guys talk about the win and the way this team plays. They are not the most talented team in baseball, but they are scrappy and fun to watch.
 
I do not think anyone would say that the O’s teams of the past would have been able to come back from the deficit they were in tonight and pull out a win, from Brian Roberts’s amazing double play in the 10th inning, to Alex Cintron’s game winning hit in the 10th. Also factor in the five homeruns that were hit by the Orioles tonight. Kevin Millar said that during batting practice this afternoon they could sense that the ball was going to be jumping out of the ballpark tonight.
 
The Orioles did a pretty cool thing when the came started backup in the bottom of the ninth inning after a 67 minute rain delay when they invited all the fans that stayed to come down to the lower seating bowl to watch the rest of the game. This is a collaborate decision that is made between the ushers, baseball operations, and other parts of the Orioles organization.
 
This was an amazing night of baseball here at Camden Yards.

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Nick needs some support

Posted on 27 May 2008 by caseywillett

Nick Markakis is having a decent year so far. He is batting .258 with 9hr and 24 rbi’s. The problem as has been talked about all season long so far is the lack of support that he gets from the hitters in front and behind him.
 
Here is a look at the numbers on the season for Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff as they compare to the batters who hit in the #2 and #4 slots for their team in the American League the last two days.
 
Melvin has a .239 avg which is third lowest with only David Dellucci (CLE).228 and Gary Matthews Jr. (LAA) with .218 average in front of him. Also looking at the other key stat for a guy like Melvin in my opinion is his on base percentage. Just on the Orioles team, only Ramon has a lower OBP .248 than Melvin’s.295. Again comparing Melvin’s season stats to the season stats of the rest of the #2 hitters over the last two days in the A.L., Melvin has the lowest. To be fair to Melvin, he has done an exceptional job of hitting with runners in scoring position. Melvin is batting .409 with less than two outs and .444 with two outs.
 
 
Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar have both taken turns batting in the #4 spot for the Orioles. For Huff of the 15 hitters who batted #4 in the American League the last two days, he has the second lowest batting average .246. Only Carlos Pena has a lower average at .238. Huff’s power numbers for the season with other guys who batted #4 the last two days are about middle of the pack. Only Magglio Ordonez (9) and Carlos Pena (10) have more homeruns than Huff (8), and then there are a bunch of guys with seven or eight. Huff has 28 rbi’s which puts him seventh among the hitters who batted #4 for their team.
 
Here are the numbers of Millar and Huff when they bat fourth and fifth.
 
Millar #4 -.216avg 4hr 12 rbi(126 plate appearances)
           #5 – .263avg 2hr   9 rbi(64 PA)
 
Huff  #4 -.293avg 3hr 13rbi (87 PA)
          #5 -.200avg 4hr 12 rbi (92 PA)

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Hall of Fame Debate

Posted on 15 April 2008 by roblong

Today’s part two of the Hall of Fame debate. Today, we discuss the NBA.

Now, I’m sure, for many of you, your NBA days ends with either Larry Bird and Magic Johnson or even Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. However, the NBA is still going pretty strong.

If you look at attendance and NBA Pass (the pay-per-view tv package), the Association still appears to be pretty popular.

Yesterday, we did the 15 current MLB players who were already Hall worthy and five players who weren’t in.

Today, we’ll do 12 NBA players who are in and six who aren’t quite in. Read the list and let the debate begin.

– Kobe Bryant – The best player in the game today. He has the three NBA titles and the scoring average to prove it. While everyone’s looking for the next Jordan, don’t miss out on the first Kobe.

– Allen Iverson – While in Philadelphia, he was a one man show. The best little man in the game, maybe in NBA history.

– Shaquille O’Neal – The last of the “True” big men. Everywhere he goes, he wins titles. No argument, the most dominant player of his generation.

– Tim Duncan – The Quiet Storm. No one talks about Duncan, including Duncan. He continues to win titles and play the game the way it should be played.

– Steve Nash – He and Duncan are the only players on this list with back to back MVP honors. Arguably, the best point guard in the game.

– Kevin Garnett – He’s a guard in a center’s body. KG can do everything. Blessed with the ability to dominate, but not with the ego.

– Jason Kidd – If Nash isn’t the best point guard in the game, then it’s Kidd. Took New Jersey to new heights. Has the ability to make EVERYONE around him better. Kidd is a walking triple-double.

– LeBron James – Some of you may think he hasn’t accomplished enough to be on this list now. It would be a shame if he never played another game, but he would go into the Hall if he didn’t. No one has possessed his skills since Oscar Robertson.

– Vince Carter – Half man, half amazing. He puts up all of the numbers and has carved out his own place in NBA history.

– Tracy McGrady – A truly gifted player. If you listed the top five players in the NBA, he would appear. Injuries have hurt his career number, but he’s better than Carter.

– Dirk Nowitzki – Is second only to KG in terms of pure talented big men. His game is complete and he has carried his team at times. One of the best shooters in the game.

– Tony Parker – Come on, he’s the straw that stirs the best team in this era. Duncan can’t go in alone. He certainly didn’t do it alone, he did it with Parker. Different from Kidd and Nash, but one of the best ball distributors in the game.

Not Quite The Hall

– Alonzo Mourning – Did not have a great impact on the game. He’s a solid player, but not great. His numbers don’t “wow” you either.

– Rasheed Wallace – He gets a lot of hype, but doesn’t fit the caliber of current Hall players. He’s not a great big man and not in the class of Nowitzki or KG.

– Ray Allen – Again, that word “impact.” He’s a very good player, but he doesn’t have a place in the Hall.

– Sam Cassell – He’s won titles and is a very good player, but too many point guards are better than Cassell. He’s a “hired gun,” but not a franchise player.

– Dwyane Wade – Injuries have hurt this player. He started out rivaling King James, but has fallen off quickly. Needs to have a strong four year run to get over the hump.

– Grant Hill – He made this list because he has Hall of Fame talent. He could have been one of the best players of his era. He fell off because of injuries, and it may be too late for him to get back in.

Give me a call, 410-481-1570 or e-mail me at rob@wnst.net. Look forward to speaking with you.

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Orioles post game notes and observations

Posted on 15 April 2008 by caseywillett

 From Orioles 4-3 win over the Blue Jays
 
  • Matt Albers picks up the win after going 5 innings giving up 5 hits and only allowing 1 run. Albers had over 40 pitches after the first two innings, but settled down and was able to provide the O’s with a solid performance in a spot start.
  • Dave Trembley continues to speak very highly of the job that Jim Johnson has done for the team so far.
  • The more that I see George Sherrill pitch, the more I am convinced that he will be the closer of the future for the Orioles. Interesting that after the game he was wearing a “Boomer Sooner” shirt. He is from Memphis, TN and went to Austin Peay University.
  • Jay Payton suffered a cut high up on his shin after his collision with Greg Zaun in the bottom of the 8th inning. Dave Trembley said Payton is OK and should not have to get stitches for the injury.
  • Adam Jones came through for the Orioles tonight with a three-hit performance. Adam had been in a slump coming into the game and hit some pitches he had been missing in the past.
  • Kevin Millar also broke out of the slump that he has been in lately with a 2-for-4, 3 RBI performance tonight including a homerun in the 5th inning that put the O’s up for good.
  • Millar has a Kenny Chesney Orioles jersey hanging in his locker. Millar is friends with Chesney and invited him to spring training to take batting practice. Just for those of you keeping score, it is a No. 7 on his jersey.
  • Several of the Orioles hitters were impressed with Dustin McGowan of the Blue Jay. Kevin Millar went as far as to call him a “little John Smoltz.”
  • While in the clubhouse tonight, every Orioles in the clubhouse was watching the Sox-A’s game while eating their food.
  • Tonight’s announced attendance was 11,510
  • Here is a interesting note from the Blue Jays game notes. Frank Thomas has now had 9,836 at bats without a sacrifice bunt, which is the major league record. With 9 more sacrifice flies, he will pass Eddie Murray (128) for the all-time lead.
  • Alex Cintron has yet to play in the minors, but is expected to play in Norfolk in the next day or so.
  • This time last year the Orioles were 6-6  and tied for third place
  • Final game of two game series vs. the Blue Jays tomorrow as Steve Trachsel (1-1 3.00) will face Shaun Marcum (1-0 2.57).

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Orioles Pre-Game Notes

Posted on 07 April 2008 by caseywillett

Here are some pre game notes from Camden Yards:

•    There was a real loose clubhouse this morning as guys were getting ready to play the Mariners

•    This is clearly a clubhouse of guys who do not like being told how bad they could be and let it be known today to a member of the media today. This is a team that is clearly taking criticism as a motivation to prove people wrong.

•    Andy McPhail walked into the clubhouse this morning and shook hands with Luis Hernandez and greeted several other members of the team

•    Kevin Millar is still wearing his “pimp hat” as he called it

•    Dave Trembley spoke very highly of Luke Scott and said that he is a guy that is going to get his hit’s in bunches and will be very good. Trembley also talked about a book that Scott keeps that he tracks all of his at bats against a pitcher

•    This will be a very low attendance today, although it might not be a record setter. This was originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, but was moved up because the Orioles have an afternoon game (2:05) against the Rangers who play their first game at home

•    The Orioles have announced that they will make up the April 3rd rainout game with the Rays with a double header on September 23rd. The first game will begin at 5:05. Only tickets dated September 23 will be honored for the doubleheader. Original seat purchasers holding tickets dated April 3 may exchange them for the doubleheader or any other non-prime game during the 2008 season.

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