Tag Archive | "mariners"

Lovely city. Lovely views. Another knockoff of Camden Yards. And waiting for Seahawks season. That's Seattle baseball.

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 18 Seattle Mariners

Posted on 22 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Seattle – I attended the All-Star Game at Safeco in 2002 and was really looking forward to a return visit. What I found was simply yet another Camden Yards knockoff in a city that is crazed with lime green and football. The vaunted sunset deck in left field was tiny. The bowl of the stadium is kind of sleepy. It’s just another shiny new-ish stadium that lacks historical context and charm. Friendly people, beautiful city, nice enough stadium. But nothing special going on here from a vibe standpoint…unless you say the word “Seahawks”…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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No-hitter latest symbol of frustration for 2015 Orioles

Posted on 12 August 2015 by Luke Jones

Three clubs with better records than the Orioles have also been on the wrong end of a no-hitter this season, making Wednesday’s loss nothing to be outraged over beyond the short-term embarrassment and attention it creates.

It may be a symbol of frustration for the Orioles and their fans, but the no-hitter isn’t a defining moment of doom considering the first-place New York Mets and the current National League wild cards — Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cubs — were all no-hit earlier this season.

Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was sensational in not only pitching the first no-hitter of his career, but it was the 2013 All-Star selection’s first career complete game in the majors. The 34-year-old Japanese pitcher deserves credit for a masterful performance as the Orioles rarely even made good contact in the 3-0 loss at Safeco Field.

It was the first time an opponent had thrown a no-hitter against the Orioles since Boston’s Clay Buchholz in 2007. Before that, it was Red Sox pitcher Hideo Nomo pitching the first no-hitter at Camden Yards in 2001 and Wilson Avarez doing it for the Chicago White Sox in the Orioles’ final season at Memorial Stadium.

Iwakuma was the first non-Boston pitcher who wasn’t making his second major league start — Buchholz and Alvarez each held the latter status with theirs — to do it against the Orioles since Milwaukee’s Juan Nieves pitched a no-no on April 15, 1987.

Beyond its historical footprint, the no-hit effort marked the end of a disappointing road trip in which the Orioles again showed their inability to play well on the road. Despite playing six games against two of the worst teams in the American League, Baltimore only managed a 4-5 record on the trip, bringing its 2015 road record to an underwhelming 25-36.

A win against the Mariners on Wednesday would have only made for a 5-4 trip, but it would have been a winning mark leaving a better taste in the Orioles’ mouths as they enter Thursday’s off-day and prepare to begin an important 10-game homestand this weekend.

Taking nothing away from Iwakuma’s performance, a simple look at the Orioles lineup on Wednesday says it all about how frustrating the offense has been for large portions of the season.

Replacing the struggling J.J. Hardy at shortstop on Wednesday, Ryan Flaherty is now in the midst of an 0-for-33 nightmare. David Lough is hitting .202 on the season and is one of several options in left field offering nothing at the plate. And despite hitting .353 in his first 122 plate appearances of 2015, designated hitter Jimmy Paredes has hit .233 with a .598 on-base plus slugging percentage since May 23.

A club that’s supposed to be contending simply can’t afford to have multiple colossal holes in its lineup, especially when sporting a suspect starting rotation and a suddenly-shallow bullpen.

The math still says the Orioles remain in the hunt in both the AL East and the wild-card race, but we’re still waiting for them to find consistency after 113 games. At this point, what exactly should we expected to change over the final 49 contests?

Whether it was winning 18 of 23 in June or taking seven of eight in late July, manager Buck Showalter’s club has quickly reverted to mediocrity after their hottest streaks of the season instead of steadily earning more victories that defeats like they did over the final three months of 2014. The task of simply winning series — slow and steady wins the race, right? — has proven too much, especially on the road.

Before dropping consecutive games to conclude the Seattle series, the Orioles had alternated wins and losses over the first nine games of August, an appropriate snapshot of what the 2015 club’s identity continues to be.

That of a .500-ish club that just isn’t quite good enough.

Wednesday’s no-hitter wasn’t anything more than what it was in the standings — another loss — but it’s the latest example of frustration in a season full of them.

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Hardy delivers key hit while trying to find bearings at plate

Posted on 21 May 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — With so much attention paid to the free agents who departed in the offseason, we often forget about the one the Orioles didn’t allow to get away.

Re-signed to a three-year, $40 million contract on the eve of the 2014 American League Championship Series, Hardy is still finding his bearings at the plate after missing six weeks with a left shoulder strain. But the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning of Thursday’s 5-4 win over Seattle had Hardy and the Orioles feeling much better.

How does his shoulder feel with two weeks of games under his belt?

“Good and the rest of the body [feels good],” said Hardy, who singled sharply up the middle off right-hander Danny Farquhar to plate Chris Davis and give the Orioles a series win. “That first week I came back felt like spring training all over again and my whole body was sore. But everything feels good now.”

With initial concerns about his shoulder now at ease, the 32-year-old is still trying to find his way with the bat despite hitting two home runs in his first eight games. It’s the second straight year in which an injury has disrupted the start of Hardy’s season after a back ailment suffered in the first week of the 2014 season lingered all year.

As a result of the cranky back, the shortstop hit just nine homers in 2014 after he’d averaged just under 26 per season in each of his first three years in Baltimore. That’s what has made his early home runs an encouraging sign in 2015 despite Hardy slugging just .348 in his first 48 plate appearances.

Thursday’s game-winning hit provided a boost as the Orioles have struggled to score runs in the month of May.

“It’s nice to get hits when you’re feeling like I feel right now,” Hardy said. “Every day I’m making adjustments. I feel like one day I go up there with a different stance [and] next at-bat a different stance. I’m just trying to feel something that feels good and have something to work off of, so it’s definitely nice getting hits when you’re not feeling great.”

Hardy’s defense alone makes him a valuable commodity, but the Orioles need his traditional offensive contributions to help make up for the problems they’re experiencing at the corner outfield spots, traditional run-producing positions.

Of course, manager Buck Showalter isn’t panicking over the veteran infielder’s start, trusting that Hardy will make the necessary adjustments after a long layoff that cost him the first 25 games of the season.

“He’s not there yet where he’s going to be offensively, but he found a way to get it done [Thursday],” Showalter said. “His confidence is fine. With his track record, it’s not his first year in the big leagues. He doesn’t have to get a hit May 20 to be confident. We all know.”

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Hot-hitting Paredes continues making his doubters wait

Posted on 20 May 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — You keep waiting for Jimmy Paredes to cool off, but the Orioles continue reaping the benefits.

He can’t possibly continue this, right?

That sentiment has been uttered over and over for a month now and the 26-year-old hasn’t slowed down yet, going 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs in Tuesday’s 9-4 win over the Seattle Mariners. His .346 average is just a few plate appearances shy of officially being ranked third in the American League behind Prince Fielder and Nelson Cruz.

His 22 RBIs rank second on the club behind Adam Jones (25) and his 1.001 on-base plus slugging percentage is the best on the roster. A two-run single in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game was of the “seeing-eye” variety, but 15 of his 36 hits this season have gone for extra bases, including an opposite-field two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Of course, Paredes won’t continue hitting at a near-.350 clip, but the switch hitter — who entered spring training out of options — isn’t merely getting lucky by dinking and dunking singles into the outfield as even the poorest hitters can do over a short period of time. He continues making contact and hitting the ball hard with regularity while serving as the club’s everyday designated hitter.

“Jimmy’s such a sincere guy,” said manager Buck Showalter, who has repeatedly joked that he tries to say as little as possible to Paredes in fear of jinxing him. “Those guys give themselves such a chance to be successful because he never gives in in the effort department. I was watching him during the last out. He’s in every pitch.”

He’s currently hitting 86 points higher than Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, a fellow Dominican who has worked out with Paredes in past offseasons. Results aside, you don’t have to watch Paredes for long to see how he tries to copy elements of the six-time All-Star selection’s swing. With a career .752 on-base plus slugging percentage in parts of nine minor league seasons, Paredes is seeing years of hard work — which included plenty of failure in the minors and in the majors — pay off with a run of success he hasn’t experienced at any level of professional baseball.

After watching him bat .302 in the final month of the 2014 season and continue hitting this spring, the Orioles are quietly becoming more confident that they’ve found an everyday player. Of course, no one expects Paredes to continue to produce these video-game numbers, but his ability to keep the barrel of the bat square through the hitting zone has been impressive to watch. If he continues to prove he belongs in the majors as a regular, the next step is finding him a position in the field, which likely wouldn’t occur until the offseason with a plan to have him learn a corner outfield spot to utilize a strong throwing arm he’s shown off — erratically — at third base on occasion.

His 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame alone makes it easy to understand why the New York Yankees, Houston, Kansas City, and the Orioles each wanted Paredes in their organizations at one time. But now he’s offering the Orioles the justification for keeping him.

“He is so upbeat and I’m always pulling for the underdog,” said catcher Caleb Joseph, who spent seven years in the minors and lockers next to Paredes in the home clubhouse at Camden Yards. “For a guy to get claimed and [designated for assignment] and get claimed again and find a home, it’s big and we’re glad he’s on side. He’s real stable for us in the [No. 2 spot] right now.”

There’s no telling how long Paredes’ current hot streak will last as pitchers will adjust and teams will look for his weaknesses at the plate. He’s not particularly patient as he’s walked only five times in 109 plate appearances this season, but he’s been able to adjust to different pitch sequences in impressive fashion. He saw several changeups from Mariners starter Taijuan Walker on Tuesday night before he was able to slap one between third and short for his fourth-inning single.

Everyone keeps waiting for Paredes to come back to earth and understandably so for a player with no track record and such little fanfare. But watching him hit safely in 22 of his 25 games this season and reaching base in 20 straight contests makes it surreal to think how few would have predicted him to even make the club, let alone become one of the Orioles’ best players when spring training began three months ago.

Where would the Orioles be without Paredes over the last five weeks?

“You never know,” Showalter said. “We’ve seen so many guys do good things in spring training and the season starts and it doesn’t happen for them. We’ve seen guys that struggle like heck in the spring and then the season starts and the light goes on. Jimmy was not only trying to make the club and be a part of this, but he knows how you stay here because he’s been down this road before.

“He’s not playing like a guy that’s out of options.”

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Nelson Cruz agrees to four-year deal with Seattle

Posted on 01 December 2014 by Luke Jones

Former Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz will not be returning to Baltimore after agreeing to a four-year deal with the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

As first reported by the Dominican newspaper El Caribe, the 34-year-old will receive a total of $57 million after spending a season with the Orioles that was described as a “platform” year by executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Baltimore had hoped to retain Cruz’s services after he led the majors in home runs, but the organization was unwilling to offer more than a three-year deal as Cruz was initially seeking a five-year commitment.

The good news is that the Orioles will receive a compensatory draft pick at the end of the first round after making Cruz a $15.3 million qualifying offer last month, but they will need to replace production that resulted in the veteran receiving the Most Valuable Oriole award last season. The organization signed Cruz to a one-year, $8 million contract last spring after interest in the outfielder was lukewarm because of his connection to the Biogenesis scandal and subsequent 50-game suspension.

The Orioles may prove wise not making a lucrative commitment to a player who will turn 35 next July and is coming off a career year, but finding a productive bat to replace his work at the designated hitter spot and in left field won’t be easy. They’ve reportedly shown interest in outfielder Torii Hunter, but it’s believed the 39-year-old would have to accept a one-year deal.

Another option that’s reportedly been discussed is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who has battled injuries in recent years and is still owed more than $107 million over the remaining five years of an eight-year, $160 million contract inked before the 2012 season. Of course, the Orioles would demand that the Dodgers take right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and his bloated contract off their hands in any potential trade, but it’s difficult envisioning the organization assuming such a deal without further financial assistance accompanying the 30-year-old outfielder.

Kemp hit .287 with 25 home runs, 89 runs batted in, and an .852 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2014, the first season in which he played more than 106 games since 2011.

Perhaps the easiest way for the Orioles to make up for Cruz’s production in 2015 would be a bounce-back season from first baseman Chris Davis as well as the respective returns of Manny Machado and Matt Wieters, but counting on Davis isn’t easy after he hit just .196 and saw his home run total drop from 53 in 2013 to just 26 in a nightmare 2014 that ended with him being suspended 25 games for amphetamine use.

In 678 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2014, Cruz hit .271 with 40 home runs, 108 RBIs, and an .859 OPS.

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Orioles reportedly talking to left-handed starters Saunders, Capuano

Posted on 10 February 2014 by WNST Staff

With the start of spring training fast approaching, the Orioles continue their stated quest of adding a veteran starting pitcher and are reportedly looking at two veteran southpaws to potentially add to the mix.

Baltimore is talking to former Orioles starter Joe Saunders and journeyman Chris Capuano, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Saunders pitched with Seattle in 2013 — going 11-16 with a 5.26 earned run average — while the 35-year-old Capuano pitched to a 4-7 mark with a 4.26 ERA with the National League West champion Los Angeles Dodgers

“Chris is in excellent physical condition and his mound sessions are going extremely well,” Capuano’s agent Michael Moye told FOX Sports.

Of course, the 32-year-old Saunders earned local fame pitching for the Orioles in the latter stages of the 2012 season after he was acquired from the Arizona Diamondback on Aug. 26, 2012. The lefty was 3-3 with a 3.63 ERA in seven regular-season starts before earning the win in the inaugural 2012 AL Wild Card Game against the Texas Rangers, pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing just one earned run.

Despite another solid outing in Game 4 of the Division Series, Saunders departed via free agency last winter by signing a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Mariners.

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American Indoor Football announces return of Baltimore Mariners

Posted on 10 October 2013 by WNST Staff

C&G Sports Management is proud to announce the return of Professional Indoor Football to the Charm City of Baltimore Maryland in 2014. The new team will be run under the management of C&G Sports Management a newly formed comprehensive sports and recreational management organization that specializes in sports programs.

Baltimore has a rich history of indoor football having previously being home to the Baltimore Mariners for four years. The Mariners share an elite status of being one of just a few indoor teams to go undefeated when they went 16-0 and won the AIFA Championship in 2010.

The team has signed an agreement with The Baltimore Arena in Baltimore where they will play their home games for the upcoming season in 2014. C & G Sports Management have also come to agreement with the American Indoor Football (AIF) league. “The AIF has a strong foundation and has been around for nine years now. Their focus on remaining regional which allows owners to create budgets which will be more sustainable over the long term was very attractive to us. With the strength of the competition this league offers and the history the Mariners have had here previously, it was obvious where we belonged”, said owner Tom Conserette.

The goal of the organization is to provide low cost family-friendly entertainment first and foremost, and contribute to the betterment of the local community. In addition to general sports entertainment, the organization will also have a dance team and mascot. . These three aspects combined will contribute to the entertainment value of our services and will host promotional and community events, collaborate with local non-profit events, and organize volunteer opportunities.

After the 2010 departure of the Mariners, we feel there was a void left in professional indoor football not only for the fans, but for perspective players, coaches, and personnel who have a passion for the sport. C & G Sports Management will open opportunities for employment as well as satiate a need in the community for a local professional indoor football team to rally behind.

The organization is preparing a press conference for late September to unveil their plans for the upcoming season along with their team name and logo. Dates will be announced as soon as logistics have been worked out with all parties.

When asked AIF owner John Morris is extremely excited about bringing the AIF brand of indoor football back to Baltimore and 1st Mariner Arena. The AIF has received an enormous amount of inquiries from the fans of indoor football in Baltimore area over the last several years wanting to see a team back in town. We are pleased that with the ownership group of C & G Sports Management that the AIF was able to bring this great product back to Baltimore.

Frank Remsch states that “I am thrilled to announce that the Baltimore Arena is welcoming the return of Indoor football to the City of Baltimore.  Indoor football brings another element of variety to the many sporting events we have this year at the Baltimore Arena.  As General Manager of the arena I couldn’t be happier to see this exciting event back home for our Baltimore fans.”

“The new management team of Scott Garrity and Tom Consere, along with the continued leadership of John Morris with the AIF, have worked hard to bring this team to town and they have our full support as we look forward to an exciting season.”

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Orioles trade Andino to Seattle for OF Trayvon Robinson

Posted on 20 November 2012 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Orioles announced Tuesday that they have acquired OF TRAYVON ROBINSON from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for INF ROBERT ANDINO.

Robinson, 25, batted .215/.272/.330 (62-288) in 90 major league games over the past two seasons with Seattle. The switch-hitter appeared in 46 games (39 starts) in left field for Seattle in 2012. Robinson hit 73 home runs and stole 169 bases in 754 games over eight minor league seasons after being drafted in the 10th round of the 2005 First Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robinson was traded to the Mariners on July 31, 2011 as part of a three-team deal that sent ERIK BEDARD to the Boston Red Sox.

Andino, 28, appeared in 360 games for the Orioles over the past four seasons, batting .239/.302/.326 (263-1100) with 16 homers and 80 RBI. In 2012 for the Orioles, Andino batted .211 (81-384) with a career-high seven home runs and 28 RBI. Andino was acquired from the Florida Marlins prior to the start of the 2009 season.

ORIOLES ADD TWO TO ROSTER, OUTRIGHT RHP OLIVER DRAKE

The Orioles also selected the contracts of INF JONATHAN SCHOOP (pronounced “SCOPE”) and LHP MIKE BELFIORE from Double-A Bowie and outrighted RHP OLIVER DRAKE to Triple-A Norfolk.

Schoop, 21, batted .245/.324/.386 in 124 games for Double-A Bowie in 2012. He was the Orioles’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2011 and was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Curacao on August 20, 2008. Following the 2012 season, Schoop batted .270/.446/.429 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 21 games in the Arizona Fall League and was selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game, the Rising Stars Game. Schoop was also a mid-season Eastern League All-Star with Bowie in 2012.

Belfiore, 24, was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 11, 2012 as the player to be named later in the trade that sent INF JOSH BELL to Arizona on April 21. In 28 relief outings for Double-A Bowie, Belfiore was 5-1 with a 2.85 ERA (47.1IP, 15ER). Belfiore also pitched in the Arizona Fall League and was 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA (12.1IP, 6ER) in 12 outings and was also chosen to play in the Rising Stars Game. Belfiore was selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round (45th overall) in the 2009 First Year Player Draft out of Boston College.

Drake, 25, appeared in three games for Bowie, going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA (18.0IP, 3ER). He missed most of 2012 after having right shoulder surgery. He was selected in the 43rd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of the United States Naval Academy.

With these moves, the Orioles now have 40 players on their major league roster.

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Orioles promote top pitching prospect Bundy to big leagues

Posted on 19 September 2012 by Luke Jones

Following an 18-inning marathon win over the Seattle Mariners and needing an extra arm in the bullpen, the Orioles have promoted top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy to the big leagues.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting Bundy will be called up to fill a limited role in the bullpen. The Orioles used seven relievers in a combined 12 2/3 innings in the second game of a three-game set in Seattle.

The 19-year-old had been participating in the organization’s instructional league in Sarasota after finishing his first professional season at Double-A Bowie. Bundy made three starts for the Baysox, going 2-0 with a 3.24 earned run average in 16 2/3 innings.

Manager Buck Showalter said at the end of August that the Orioles would not promote Bundy, stating the organization’s preference for him to go to the instructional league in mid-September to work on his command and time to the plate.

In 23 starts split among low Single-A Delmarva, high Single-A Frederick, and Bowie, the right-hander went a combined 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 103 2/3 innings. He struck out 119 batters and walked 28, though he struggled more with his command as he climbed the organizational ladder.

Bundy was the fourth overall pick of the 2011 amateur draft and was already on the 40-man roster, meaning the Orioles will not need to make a corresponding roster move.

 

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Orioles 4, Mariners 2 (18 innings) Boxscore

Posted on 19 September 2012 by WNST Staff

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