Tag Archive | "mariners"

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Tillman topples King Felix, Mariners in 4-2 win

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Luke Jones

No one needed to tell Chris Tillman how important Wednesday’s start was for him and the Orioles.

Coming off arguably the worst outing of his career, a 3 2/3-inning disaster in Kansas City in which he allowed eight runs and 10 hits in a 9-1 loss, the 23-year-old realizes his days in the starting rotation might be numbered with the return of Brian Matusz — and possibly Alfredo Simon — right around the corner. A 7.16 earned run average entering his start against the Mariners screamed anything but security.

The bullpen was shorthanded after seven innings of work in Tuesday’s 13-inning victory, and Tillman’s propensity for short outings forced the Orioles to skip Brad Bergesen’s side session Wednesday and keep the starter on call to pitch in emergency relief. Win or lose, the right-hander needed to get deep into the game.

To add another interesting wrinkle, Tillman was facing the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2006 amateur draft and later traded him to the Orioles in the Erik Bedard trade in February 2008.

And, oh yeah, he happened to be facing the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez, who would be facing a Baltimore lineup without Nick Markakis — a career .464 hitter against the dominant right-hander — who was suffering from a stomach bug.

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The matchup was as lopsided on paper as you’ll find at the major league level, an almost guaranteed victory for the Mariners.

But instead of taking it on the chin, Tillman pitched six innings and allowed just one run to lead the Orioles to an improbable 4-2 victory over King Felix and Seattle. Relying more on his changeup than he had in his first previous six starts, Tillman allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out five to record his second win of the season.

“It felt good,” said Tillman about beating his former team. “First of all, it was good seeing those guys again, the few that are left. But I think that gave me a little extra boost. Kind of wanted to stick it up their butts a little bit.”

He received plenty of help from Adam Jones, the other marquee player sent to Baltimore in the famed Bedard trade, whose two-run triple in the fifth inning gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead. The center fielder matched a career-high with four hits, raising his average to .286 and giving him the team lead in runs batted in (21).

With uncharacteristic run support, Tillman did the job against a woeful Seattle offense hitting just .232 entering the night. It wasn’t a perfect performance and questions remain about his diminished velocity (the fastball rarely climbed above 89 miles per hour), but his six strong innings were exactly what manager Buck Showalter needed with Jason Berken and Clay Rapada being the only relievers not to have pitched in Tuesday night’s marathon.

“He had a pretty long leash tonight,” Showalter said. “I don’t think he realized just how long it was going to be, especially in the second and third inning. One of those rare times when it’s tough to protect a young pitcher tonight.”

Facing one of the best pitchers in baseball, the Orioles forced Hernandez to pitch into deep counts, forcing his exit after only five innings and scoring three runs in the fifth to take the lead for good. It was enough offense to secure the Orioles’ second straight win and set up an opportunity for a sweep on Thursday night with Zach Britton taking the hill against Jason Vargas.

Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.

Despite the offensive production against Hernandez and solid relief, the story of the night was Tillman, besting the Seattle ace and giving the Orioles an improbable win. It was quite the contrast from his deflating outing against the Royals, at least in the numbers department.

“There wasn’t a whole lot that was different,” Tillman said. “I just made my pitches. Last time, I think I made good pitches early on and then when it came down to making that one pitch, I left it up and they put good wood on it. I think [Matt] Wieters kept me right on line tonight and didn’t let me get away from myself.”

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Live from Camden Yards: Orange Crush chat at 7; Markakis, Reynolds out of lineup against King Felix

Posted on 11 May 2011 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles battle King Felix in the second of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners**

BALTIMORE — Following one of the craziest games in recent memory, the Orioles face the daunting task of battling against 2010 Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez in the second of a three-game set at 7:05.

The challenge grew even greater this afternoon with the news that right fielder Nick Markakis is out of the lineup due to a stomach virus. It hurts even more when looking at Markakis’ past success against the dominating Seattle right-hander, a .464 average in 28 career at-bats. The high-energy Felix Pie will take his place and bat second in the Baltimore order.

Another lineup change comes via Buck Showalter, who has replaced the struggling Mark Reynolds with Robert Andino at third base this evening. Reynolds is mired in a 9-for-71 slump (.127) and has just five runs batted in in his last 23 games. To say the season’s first 34 games have been a struggle for Reynolds would be an understatement, so a mental break — perhaps for everyone involved — is definitely in order.

Chris Tillman takes the bump for the Orioles as the young right-hander will try to reverse his early-season struggles. His 7.16 ERA ranks last among Orioles starters, and with Brian Matusz’s return — and possibly the return of Alfredo Simon as well — right around the corner, his or Brad Bergesen’s days in the starting rotation may be numbered.

With Baltimore relievers pitching seven innings in Tuesday night’s 13-inning contest, the Orioles are dealing with a taxed bullpen, with Jason Berken and Clay Rapada the only relievers not to work in the series opener against Seattle. Showalter revealed in his pre-game comments that Bergesen will be available in a long-relief role. The right-handed starter skipped his regular bullpen session this afternoon and can pitch in relief if needed. He is still slated to start Saturday’s game in Tampa Bay, but that could change depending on how Tillman fares against the Mariners.

Considering the state of the Orioles bullpen and Tillman’s tenuous hold on a spot in the rotation, an encouraging start is long overdue. A win against King Felix, however, might be a lot to ask.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Seattle
RF Ichiro Suzuki
3B Chone Figgins
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
DH Jack Cust
2B Adam Kennedy
LF Carlos Peguero
SS Brendan Ryan
CF Michael Saunders

SP Felix Hernandez (4-2, 3.02 ERA)

Baltimore
2B Brian Roberts
RF Felix Pie
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Robert Andino

SP Chris Tillman (1-3, 7.16 ERA)

As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

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Orioles prevail over Mariners in wild 13-inning affair

Posted on 11 May 2011 by Luke Jones

Maybe it was as simple as J.J. Hardy’s return to a struggling lineup.

After all, the Orioles were 6-1 when the shortstop left the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers on April 9 and had gone 8-18 before he made his return from the disabled list Tuesday night. Hardy collected four hits, including a home run in his first at-bat, as the Orioles prevailed in a wild 7-6 final in 13 innings over Seattle.

Hardy’s back and all is right in the Orioles’ world, right?

Of course, you’ll excuse my delirium after what will surely be remembered as one of the craziest games of the season.

What started as a solid pitching matchup through six innings between Jake Arrieta and Seattle’s rookie sensation Michael Pineda transformed into a contest filled with comebacks, mishaps, close calls, and a near brawl.

Baltimore’s two favorite relievers, Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Gregg, surrendered leads after the Orioles had fought from behind on two separate occasions to take the lead. Adam Jones’ two-run double in the bottom of the sixth gave the Orioles their first lead in 40 innings before Gonzalez promptly gave the lead right back to Seattle in the seventh.

Gregg blew a ninth-inning save opportunity with two outs thanks to a bloop single to left by Justin Smoak to score Michael Saunders and tie the game, 5-5.

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What followed was inexplicable.

In the last of the ninth, Hardy led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Roberts, putting the winning run in scoring position. Nick Markakis lined a hard single to left fielder Mike Wilson, who fielded the ball quickly with Hardy slowing his stride into third base. Instead of logically holding Hardy at third with Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero due up with one out, third base coach John Russell sent the runner and Hardy was gunned down at the plate by 10 feet.

Being aggressive is one thing, especially when you’ve struggled to score runs all season, but running yourselves out of an inning — and a potential win — is another story.

“I don’t want to say it was a late call,” said Hardy, choosing his words carefully about Russell’s decision to send him home in the ninth, “but I guess it did surprise me a little bit.”

The game went to extra innings, where the action turned chippy in the bottom of the 10th when Felix Pie hit a harmless grounder to Smoak. Seeing he was about to be tagged, Pie momentarily ran back toward the plate — perhaps trying to create the first rundown between home and first in baseball history — before turning back to first and charging into the Seattle first baseman, who was blocking the baseline.

The two exchanged words as both dugouts emptied and the bullpens came charging in before order was quickly restored without any punches being thrown.

Asked after the game whether he was surprised that the altercation caused both benches to empty, Pie delivered the line of the year, drawing laughs from the gathered media.

“I’m not surprised. I play winter ball in the Dominican, so a lot of those things happen.”

Is that right?

In the top of the 12th, the Orioles benefited from a favorable call at the plate as Miguel Olivo appeared to slide under the tag of Matt Wieters on a relay throw from Roberts. Instead of the play giving the Mariners the lead, the teams played into the 13th.

After playing 10 seasons in the minors before being called up to the Mariners, Wilson’s first major league hit to left-center plated Jack Wilson to give Seattle a 6-5 lead in the top of the 13th and seemingly their first extra-inning win of the season.

However, the Orioles had one final rally in the bottom of the 13th as Felix Pie singled in Markakis with the tying run, and two batters later, Wieters collected the walk-off hit to score Pie and give the Orioles a 7-6 victory. It marked the third time in the game the Orioles had come from behind to take the lead.

“As long as we keep getting opportunities, you have a chance to win,” said Wieters about the club’s 20 hits and 16 men left on base. “Until that final out is made, you’ve always got a chance. To get that win I think is going to be big for this ball club moving forward.”

Big in a number of ways.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak and gave the Orioles their first win in extra innings after losing their first three this season.

And with the bullpen taxed after pitching seven innings and the struggling Chris Tillman taking the hill against Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez on Wednesday night, it was a game the Orioles couldn’t afford to lose. After the game, manager Buck Showalter would not rule out a possible roster move to add another arm to the bullpen with Jason Berken now the only long reliever on the 25-man roster after Josh Rupe was designated for assignment earlier Tuesday.

All in all, just another night at the ballpark.

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Live from Camden Yards: Orange Crush chat at 7, ‘Hardy’ a lineup change as Orioles take on Seattle

Posted on 10 May 2011 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles play the opener of a three-game set against the Seattle Mariners**

BALTIMORE — After plenty of speculation that changes were coming to the Orioles’ struggling lineup, the only noticeable different is the return of shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier this afternoon.

He replaces long reliever Josh Rupe who was designated for assignment.

Fresh off a sweep to the Tampa Bay Rays and having lost six of their last seven, the Orioles (14-19) return to action this evening against the Seattle Mariners (16-19) this evening with Jake Arrieta taking the hill against rookie sensation Michael Pineda. The right-hander was named American League Rookie of the Month in April after going 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his first five big league starts before the calendar turned. Pineda has an impressive 39 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings this season.

Arrieta will seek his fifth win of the season and will try to reverse a nightmarish turn through the rotation for Baltimore starters. In the Orioles’ last four games, starting pitchers have allowed 23 earned runs in 18 2/3 innings.

The Orioles hope to get a spark from the returning Hardy, who last played on April 9 before a strained left oblique landed him on the disabled list. In a three-game rehab stint at Triple-A Norfolk, Hardy was 2-for-9 with three walks and two runs scored. Most importantly, he reported no pain and billed himself fit to return.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Seattle
RF Ichiro Suzuki
3B Chone Figgins
1B Justin Smoak
C Miguel Olivo
DH Jack Cust
2B Adam Kennedy
LF Carlos Peguero
SS Brendan Ryan
CF Michael Saunders

SP Michael Pineda (4-2, 2.58 ERA)

Baltimore
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Derrek Lee
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
SS J.J. Hardy

SP Jake Arrieta (4-1, 4.35 ERA)

As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 4

Posted on 02 April 2011 by Luke Jones

As we begin the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut
14. Griffey’s Warehouse shot
13. Sparring with Seattle
12. Davis defies the odds
11. Hoiles’ slam stuns Mariners
10. Game 6 of 1997 ALCS
9. 1993 All-Star Game
8. Moose misses perfection
7. Eddie comes home
6. Bonilla’s slam in first playoff win
5. The first Opening Day

4. Postseason downsizing of the Big Unit – Oct. 5, 1997

If he wasn’t the best pitcher in the game at the time, the Big Unit was certainly the most intimidating.

Randy Johnson

After drawing 20-game winner Randy Johnson and the Seattle Mariners in the best-of-five American League Division Series, the Orioles were thought by many to be the underdog despite finishing with the league’s best record in 1997. Starting the series in Seattle under the now-defunct first-round format — which had benefited the Orioles the year before against the Indians — didn’t help as Baltimore would likely have to face the tall lefty twice in a short series.

However, long before the infamous “B-team” lineups trotted out by Dave Trembley failed miserably on Sundays, 1997 American League Manager of the Year Davey Johnson used unconventional thinking against Seattle’s dominant starter, resting all of his left-handed hitters except leadoff hitter Brady Anderson.

That meant Jerome Walton — and his 74 total at-bats in 1997 — started at first base in place of Rafael Palmeiro, who had hit 38 home runs that year.

Jeffrey Hammonds took the place of regular left fielder B.J. Surhoff.

And all-world second baseman Roberto Alomar — normally a switch-hitter but relegated to hitting exclusively from the left side due to a shoulder injury — was replaced by utility infielder Jeff Reboulet.

Really?

Davey Johnson

National baseball pundits crucified the Orioles skipper, insisting he needed to stick with his left-handed stars in the postseason, even against the man who tortured hitters from that side of the plate. The strategy, however, worked like a charm in Game 1 when the Orioles clobbered the 6-foot-10 hurler for five runs in five innings in a 9-3 win in Seattle.

After beating Jamie Moyer in Game 2, the Orioles returned to Baltimore holding a 2-0 lead. The Mariners won Game 3, setting up a Game 1 rematch between Johnson and Orioles ace Mike Mussina.

The unorthodox lineup couldn’t possibly work for a second time in five days, could it?

With a chance to see the home team close out a playoff series at Camden Yards for the first time, Orioles fans were delirious with excitement as the junior-varsity lineup took their hacks against Johnson. In the bottom of the first inning, the scrawny Reboulet — with all of 13 career home runs in his first six seasons in the big leagues — lined a Johnson pitch into the left-field seats, giving the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Reboulet

Overall, the Seattle pitcher fared better than he did in Game 1 against the Baltimore lineup, but Mussina was far superior, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings against a powerful Mariners lineup that included five hitters with 20 or more home runs that afternoon.

A Geronimo Berroa homer in the fifth increased the Orioles’ lead to 3-1 as the game moved into the late innings. Armando Benitez pitched a scoreless eighth, setting the stage for closer Randy Myers to close out the series.

Myers struck out Edgar Martinez and Roberto Kelly to begin the ninth before Jay Buhner came to the plate. With 48,766 going berserk, Buhner hit a grounder to shortstop Mike Bordick, who handled it flawlessly to throw him out and send the Orioles to victory and the American League Championship Series.

It was an electric moment as fans shouted, “Bring on the Yankees!” in anticipation of a rematch of the 1996 ALCS when the Yankees had knocked the Orioles out of the postseason on their way to a World Series title. However, New York blew a 2-1 series lead and was ousted by the Cleveland Indians, a deflating outcome that might have led to an emotional letdown as the Orioles suffered a crushing six-game defeat to the Indians.

Regardless of what happened thereafter, the Game 4 win over the Mariners was the finest team-centric moment in the history of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 11

Posted on 25 March 2011 by Luke Jones

As we move closer to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut
14. Griffey’s Warehouse shot
13. Sparring with Seattle
12. Davis defies the odds

11. Hoiles’ dreamlike slam stuns Mariners – May 17, 1996

A unique moment in sports is occasionally so memorable that it takes on a life of itself.

An event where only several thousand were present gradually transforms into an occasion witnessed by hundreds of thousands, if only for its improbable nature and the euphoria its aftermath creates.

There’s nothing more cliched in sports than the boyhood dream of stepping to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with your team trailing by three runs.

Full count, two outs, and the bases loaded.

It’s the stuff of wide-eyed boys playing in the backyard on a July afternoon, dreaming of one day playing in the big leagues.

And it was the exact scenario presented to Chris Hoiles, who capitalized on that dream in one of the wildest games in Orioles history.

Hoiles

It was a typical slugfest that characterized the 1996 season. Both the Orioles and Seattle Mariners were short on pitching but could mash opponents into submission with an offensive onslaught — the two clubs hit a combined 502 home runs in 1996 — that wore out scoreboard operators around the league.

After jumping out to a 7-2 lead through five innings, the Orioles bullpen proceeded to surrender an inexcusable 11 runs in four innings of work. A grand slam by 20-year-old Alex Rodriguez off Alan Mills had given the Mariners an 11-9 lead in the eighth, and the lead grew to 13-10 as Seattle closer Norm Charlton worked in the bottom of the ninth.

Many of the 47,259 in attendance had gone home after the game had eclipsed the four-hour mark and appeared destined to be a deflating loss thanks to the ineffective bullpen. Even more at home had surely turned off the television set as the clock approached midnight.

Yet, what happened next would have many more thousands claiming they were there, or had at least hung on to watch the bottom of the ninth on TV.

The erratic Charlton — who would bring his high-wire act to Baltimore two years later to the tune of a 6.94 earned run average in 1998 — walked Roberto Alomar, allowed a Bobby Bonilla double, and issued a free pass to Cal Ripken in the process of getting the first two outs of the inning. Hoiles came to the plate with a chance to become the 20th man in major league history to hit a walk-off grand slam to erase a three-run deficit.

The count went full as the several thousand still in attendance rose to their feet with the imagined scenario playing out before their eyes. Then, Hoiles deposited the 3-2 pitch into the left field seats to give the Orioles an inconceivable 14-13 victory as the stunned Mariners walked off the field.

His teammates mobbed him at the plate as Hoiles became the only known player in history to hit his “ultimate” grand slam with a full count and two outs. The select fans who had stuck around Camden Yards that night had seen one of the most exciting moments in franchise history.

And thousands more would learn of it the next morning, kicking themselves for heading home early or turning off the tube the previous night.

Myself included.

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 13

Posted on 23 March 2011 by Luke Jones

As we count down to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses the only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut
14. Griffey’s Warehouse shot

13. Sparring with Seattle – June 6, 1993

The next choice on the list would easily top a list of the ugliest moments in Camden Yards history, but it’s a scene those in attendance will never forget.

After sleepwalking through the first two months of the season, the Orioles found themselves in sixth place and nine games out in the seven-team AL East when the Seattle Mariners came to town in early June. Baltimore took the first two games of the series and was thinking sweep with ace Mike Mussina taking the hill on a Sunday afternoon.

The Orioles got their sweep, but it came in the aftermath of one of the ugliest, longest brawls in big league history. After Seattle starter Chris Bosio had thrown behind Harold Reynolds and Mark McLemore earlier in the game, Mussina drilled Mariners catcher Bill Haselman — who had hit a home run earlier — in the top of the seventh, touching off a 20-minute brawl that resulted in eight ejections and the near-end of Cal Ripken’s consecutive games streak.

brawl

Unlike the typical baseball brawl that amounts to plenty of jawing and halfhearted pushing, punches were thrown and the grappling continued at several different points after it looked like order had been restored. When the dust finally settled, Rick Sutcliffe, David Segui, and Alan Mills — who also landed a memorable punch on Darryl Strawberry during a fight in the Bronx five years later — were the three Orioles tossed while Seattle ejections included manager Lou Piniella along with Haselman, Bosio, Mackey Sasser, and Norm Charlton.

The Orioles won the game 5-2 as Mussina improved to 8-2 on his way to an All-Star selection. However, his season would soon be derailed by shoulder issues, posting a 6.37 earned run average in 13 starts following the brawl and spending a month on the disabled list later that summer.

The most significant footnote from the marathon scuffle was the injury sustained by Ripken, who twisted his right knee when his spikes got caught in the infield grass. He finished the game, but his marathon streak was in serious doubt the next morning when he woke up with severe pain and swelling in the knee. “It was the closest I’ve come to not playing,” he later said as he closed in on Lou Gehrig’s historic mark in 1995.

Ripken would play the next night, and his streak of 1,790 consecutive games at the time would continue for five more years. Instead of the melee bringing a nightmarish end to “The Streak,” it only added to the legend of Ripken’s tenacity.

The brawl also boosted the start of a hot streak for the Orioles, who were occasionally criticized as a passive group under Johnny Oates. Baltimore would win 16 of its next 19 games to climb back into the division race, but would ultimately finish the season in third place, 10 games behind eventual World Series champion Toronto.

Regardless of the black eyes it left on each organization — figuratively and literally — the temporary transformation of the Camden Yards diamond into the squared circle would become a benchmark for baseball’s ugliest brawls.

“It happens,” Oates said after the game. “It’s nothing to brag about. It’s not something you look forward to, but it’s part of the game.”

Brawl2

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Top 20 moments in Camden Yards history: No. 14

Posted on 22 March 2011 by Luke Jones

As we move closer to the start of the 20th season at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I take a look back at the top 20 moments in the history of the ballpark. Selected moments had to relate directly to the action on the field at the time. No orchestrated events such as World Series anniversary celebrations or Orioles Hall of Fame inductions were eligible.

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Previous selections:
20. Wieters’ debut
19. Nomo tosses the only no-hitter in Oriole Park history
18. Orioles rally from nine-run deficit against Boston
17. 30-3
16. Showalter takes the helm
15. Palmeiro homers in Oriole debut

14. Griffey hits the B&O Warehouse – July 12, 1993

Since the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, left-handed hitters have taken aim at the historic B&O Warehouse. The hard-swinging — and hard-missing — Sam Horn was the first slugger fans speculated might be able to reach it in the inaugural season.

Warehouse

But in the 1,511 games played at Camden Yards (including 10 postseason games), no one has reached the 1,116-foot long, eight-story building on the fly. Few have even gotten close.

Only 52 home runs have landed on Eutaw Street as entire seasons occasionally pass without a hitter reaching the passageway between the ballpark and the warehouse — most recently last year. Though the Orioles have lacked the left-handed power to threaten the edifice consistently (only 22 of the 52 Eutaw Street bombs were struck by Baltimore bats), opposing sluggers, some with Hall of Fame credentials, have taken their hacks and fallen short every time.

As we enter the 20th season at Camden Yards and the warehouse remains unscathed, it makes the performance of Ken Griffey Jr. at the 1993 Home Run Derby that much more impressive.

Griffey

Before the derby was transformed into a prime-time, over-the-top event on ESPN, it was a single-round format held on the Monday afternoon prior to the All-Star Game. With Baltimore’s Camden Yards the center of the baseball universe for the “Midsummer Classic,” baseball’s top sluggers competed for bragging rights while lefties had a special target to zero in on.

Competing against fellow American League hitter Juan Gonzalez, who amazingly tattooed the facade of the third deck in left field, Griffey put on a memorable show that was capped off by a blast that soared over Boog’s Barbecue tent and struck a pillar about six feet up on the massive brick structure, drawing explosive cheers from the fans down the right-field line with the best vantage point. He became the first — and only player entering the 2011 season — to hit the B&O Warehouse on the fly.

Ironically, Gonzalez would win the competition in a playoff, but everyone would remember the “Ruthian” blast from the 23-year-old kid wearing the backwards Seattle Mariners cap.

Critics might scoff that it was only glorified batting practice, but the accomplishment grows more legendary as every season passes with the historic building across Eutaw Street remaining unharmed.

Griffey plaque

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: College Football-Towson @ Indiana (Thursday 7:30pm from Bloomington, Ind. live on Big Ten Network), Bowie State @ Morgan State (Saturday 6pm Hughes Stadium); Auto Racing: NASCAR Emory Healthcare 500 (Sunday 7:30pm from Atlanta live on ESPN), IndyCar Series Kentucky 300 (Saturday 8pm from Sparta, Kentucky live on VERSUS); Soccer: U.S. Open Cup-Columbus Crew @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm RFK Stadium), MLS-Columbus Crew @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Fox Soccer Channel)

10. Budweiser Superfest feat. Anthony Hamilton (Tuesday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), The O’Jays & Ron Isley (Friday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion), REO Speedwagon & Pat Benatar (Saturday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Disturbed & Avenged Sevenfold (Tuesday 4pm Jiffy Lube Live), Jimmy Buffett (Thursday & Saturday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live); Tantric & Adema (Tuesday 7:30pm Bourbon Street); Cowboy Mouth (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); NAS & Damien Marley (Tuesday 8pm Sonar), 30 Seconds to Mars (Wednesday 7pm Sonar); Bret Michaels (Wednesday 8pm Maryland State Fair), Justin Bieber (Sunday 7pm Maryland State Fair); Hot Hot Heat (Saturday 9pm Ottobar)

This list is MUCH better than it probably looks like at first. I won’t make it to Buffett Thursday night because the Ravens are playing. If I was there, I’d probably just keep yelling “SOUTHERN CROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!” anyway….

I used to do radio broadcasts for the Arizona Rattlers during my time in Phoenix; and they once brought Tantric by during the first half. They didn’t leave at any point during the game. I’m pretty sure there were both hookers AND blow….

I’m not really a big Nas fan, but “One Mic” is one of the greatest songs in hip-hop history. Note-lyrics NSFW…unless of course you work at Jo-Ann Fabrics. We all know the deal there…

I can’t freaking STAND Jared Leto, but damnit if “Kings and Queens” isn’t amongst the Top 10 songs of 2010…

9. Glenn Clark’s Birthday (Monday)

I don’t usually like to make this all about me, but I figured I could offer a plea here. I rarely ask you all for anything, but I would REALLY like this Robert McClintock piece for my birthday this year. Just consider it an investment on future brilliant material from “The Tradition”…

chips

8. Golf: PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs-Deutsche Bank Championship (Friday & Saturday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Sunday 3pm Monday 2pm live on NBC. All golf from Norton, Massachusetts), Champions Tour Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm, Sunday 7pm from Monterey, CA live on Golf Channel)

Some dude named Matt Kuchar won the first event in the playoffs. I’m reasonably certain we were in Mrs. Lutz-Itzoe’s 3rd grade class at Chapel Hill Elementary School together.

Seriously, can’t Tiger Woods just ACTUALLY be “back” one of these weeks?!?!?!

I’m reasonably certain this guy is gonna end up winning the 2nd playoff event in Boston…

rex

7. Pro Wrestling: WWE Raw (Monday 9pm from Verizon Center live on USA Network); TNA “No Surrender” (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

As a veteran of plenty of live WWE, WWF and WCW events, there are a few things you need to know before you head to the arena:

1-If you bring a sign, make it funny. If it just says “The Champ is Here” because you’re a John Cena fan-you had better be 12 years old. If you’re closer to my age and want to bring a sign, it better be something creative-like Sheamus’ face with the words “You Can’t See Me.” You see, it’s clever because Sheamus is an albino and it uses another of John Cena’s catch phrases. Taking notes?

2-Bringing your own championship belt might seem lame-but it isn’t. Bring yours, and carry it over your shoulder. Wear sunglasses too. Championship belts around the waist-again-are for kids.

3-I liked Stone Cold Steve Austin as much as anyone. But chanting “What?” after everything that is said is grounds for the guy behind you to “accidentally” spill two beers on you. Don’t be lame.

4-Remind your kids they shouldn’t do this type of stuff at home. Unless of course they want to be like Ric Flair. In which case, let them do whatever the hell they please…

6. Basketball: FIBA World Championships-Team USA vs. Iran (Wednesday 12pm live on ESPN), Tunisia vs. Team USA (Thursday 9:30am live on ESPN2; both games from Istanbul) Round of 16 games (Saturday-Monday from Istanbul live on ESPN & ESPN3.com)

Is Tunisia where the Tasmanian Devil is from?!?!?

I’m really torn on this whole Team USA hoops thing. I mean-on one side, I love America. I’m much like Glenn Beck in that way. We’re a couple of patriots. Maybe it’s a name thing. But like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, I love this country. Not like that Barack Obama fella-I heard he isn’t even FROM this country!

On the flip side of patriotism, I completely despise everything about Coach K. Is there anything LESS American than a Duke coach coaching our boys in Europe? We might as well scribble out a map for terrorists that says “your target is here.”

Oh and another thing. I was going to attend the World Championships this year, but couldn’t find Istanbul on a map. All of my and Craig Ferguson’s maps said “Constantinople”…

5. High School Football: Joppatowne @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm), Glen Burnie @ South River (Friday 6:30pm)

YEEEESSSSS!!!!! MARINERS ARE GOING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!! ROLL GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look, I’m sure there are plenty of other important games this weekend (the first full weekend of High School action here in the Old Line State) involving teams like Calvert Hall, Gilman, Boys Latin, Bel Air, Fallston, Parkville, Dulaney, etc. etc. etc.; but don’t bother me with those. I went to PHHS, and ol’ Drew Forrester went to Glen Burnie-so there are only two teams that I root for. Perry Hall…and whoever is playing the Gophers.

This week, there’s NO ONE I love more than South River! Go you….Seahawks, go!

That’s how I roll.

4. Tennis: U.S. Open (Tuesday-Friday 11am live on Tennis Channel 1pm live on ESPN2, Saturday-Monday 11am live on CBS 7pm live on Tennis Channel. All tennis from New York)

And with that in mind, don’t even bother asking me if I can do something for the next 14 days/nights. You already know the answer.

Need an excuse to watch? Well, Caroline Wozniacki IS the top seeded woman at Flushing Meadows…

wozniacki

3. Maryland State Fair (Tuesday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds)

The new young lady in my life…we call her “Boomer Sooner”…tells me that at the Texas State Fair, they have introduced Deep Fried BEER this year. I’ll admit there was a bit of jealousy inside me, but I then reminded her that we have something even BETTER in Maryland…

I will be there early evening Friday. I’ll be wearing the black Under Armour hat. It’s a dollar a race. You KNOW you can’t afford to miss this.

2. Baltimore Ravens @ St. Louis Rams (Thursday 8pm from St. Louis live on WBAL11)

Speaking of “Boomer Sooner”, I immediately have more interest in a 4th preseason game than I EVER should. You see, as a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, ol’ Boomer Sooner has adopted the Rams as her second team-thanks to her undying affection for QB Sam Bradford. The whole thing just disgusts me.

But Sam Bradford won’t be the only Heisman Trophy winner on the field Friday night. That’s right, we’ve got one of our own here in Charm City….

troysmith

Attention Troy Smith: I’ve never asked you for anything before. You’ve always lived up to those expectations. Please don’t change now. The city needs you. And by the city, I mean “me.” And I really only need you for one night, but don’t get caught up in semantics. Hugs and kisses. -G

1. College Football: Maryland vs. Navy (Monday 4pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on ESPN); Virginia Tech vs. Boise State (Monday 8pm from FedEx Field live on ESPN)

Not only is Monday my birthday-but it is also Labor Day. And I can think of no way better to honor the working men and women of American than to have our Terrapins absolutely DESTROY the men who will go on to serve our country during times of unrest in the “Crab Bowl Classic” there at “The Bank.”

In all seriousness, there are only a few things I’m hoping for in Monday’s game. 1-Awesome Spirit videos from the Midshipmen like this one…

2-An atmosphere and game so great that either a Terps player (or a Mids player) ends up finding himself in folklore the way that one Lance Ball has…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 19 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Deadspin introduced me to what is unquestionably the greatest sport ever created by human beings or any other species throughout history. It’s called the “Fight Football League” and it is some sort of combination of football, rugby and Mixed Martial Arts…

Here’s actual footage of a match as well…

Apparently the sport only exists in Italy, which only goes to prove BASICALLY what we knew all along…Italians are better than everyone. Go ahead and call us “divers” again there Drew Forrester.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jeremy Guthrie beat up as Orioles fell to Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

One of the things we’ve grown accustomed to under Buck Showalter here in Charm City is that he’s going to let his starters pitch.

Last night may not have been the most appropriate time to do that.

Jeremy Guthrie has clearly been this team’s most reliable starter in 2010, but he wasn’t great last night.

Losing 2 of 3 at home to the M’s doesn’t mean doesn’t mean the bloom is off the rose for the new skipper, but it does mean that there is still a level of reality to be understood.

This is a bad team-no matter the manager. We just hope they can continue to be SLIGHTLY better because the skipper continues to light a fire under the asses of as many players as possible.

I think a lot of us had hoped we were past the time when this team would drop 2 of 3 at home to a team like the Mariners. I guess the reality is that they at least showed some effort last night.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Hey-Matt Wieters hit a home run. How about that???

Other than that, not a whole lot to see here. So why don’t you take a look at Jessica Hall from Rukus magazine and then we’ll regroup after! (Thanks Guyism!)

jessicahall

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Manny Machado could report to Sarasota as early as Sunday

I would take this time to warn that this ISN’T Matt Wieters. Machado is coming out of high school in Miami-and no matter how many people compare him to A-Rod, it’s going to take some time. Wieters was coming out of college, and didn’t have as much to prove at Bowie and Norfolk. Machado is going to have to start in the Gulf Coast League, and probably has a LOT of A ball ahead of him in the next year or 2…or 3…or 4.

Just ask Billy Rowell. But we’ll get back to him.

I’d also like to take this to warn that no matter how nice it is described by Don Chavez, the Mila Kunis-Natalie Portman kissing scene PROBABLY won’t be enough to make you want to go see the movie Black Swan-even if it was made by the same guy who made “The Wrestler”. I’m just being honest…

4. NBCSports.com’s Bert Blyleven says Buck Showalter can only help O’s ‘so much’

I hate to keep saying this.

If the organization does NOT go get real Major League Baseball players to improve the roster this offseason, nothing is going to change. Even with Buck Showalter as manager, a bad team will lose…like how they’ve lost 2 of 3 to the lowly Mariners this week at home.

If they go get real players AND continue to develop their own (not one OR the other), they’ll have a chance to improve. Even in the mighty AL East. That’s not Glenn Clark saying that, that’s a should-be Hall of Fame pitcher saying that.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Billy Rowell had big night for Frederick Keys in win over Wilmington Blue Rocks on farm

And before we move on from the Birds, a couple of things…

-The Orioles open up a 4 game series with the Texas Rangers tonight at OPACY; first pitch between Brian Matusz and Colby Lewis is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Reliever Jim Johnson is slated to make a rehab appearance for the Frederick Keys starting tonight. I’m not sure what Jim Johnson’s role will be with this team moving forward-but it will be good to at least have him in the mix.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Oniel Cousins carted from McDaniel College field with ‘headache’ during Ravens Training Camp Wednesday

I’ll take John Harbaugh at his word, but I think this could remain an issue. The bigger issue is that with Jared Gaither, Tony Moll and Cousins all banged up-the team could be left needing Ramon Harewood to play the great majority of the game Saturday night at FedEx Field.

I KNOW the team wants to leave Marshal Yanda at RG and use Chris Chester as a reserve interior lineman-but I get the feeling they have to at least CONSIDER switching Yanda outside for the good of the entire unit at this point.

Hopefully Gaither and Cousins are both ready to go on September 13 against the New York Jets, but I’m not convinced both will be just yet.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says CB Lardarius Webb could be activated from PUP list ‘soon’

Wait a second…what is this?

Good news??? From Westminster???

I’m just not so sure I believe it!

In all honesty, it would make a WORLD of difference for the Baltimore Ravens if Lardarius Webb were to begin practicing soon-as it would significantly improve his chances of being on the field in East Rutherford for the Monday Night Football opener.

No matter when Lardarius Webb is activated, I don’t necessarily expect to see him on the field next week against the New York Giants or on the field in two weeks against the St. Louis Rams. That being said, none of that matters.

All that matters is whether or not he can see the field at the Meadowlands. If he can, it helps everything about this team…but you already know that.

You also probably already know that Sheridyn Fisher is a LOVELY gal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

fisher

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington will play Saturday night against Washington Redskins

MORE good news?!?!? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?!?!?

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Your LAST chance to view Ravens practice this year is THIS AFTERNOON at 2:45pm. Practice will be closed to the public tomorrow, and the heads back to Owings Mills next week. If you had wanted to get out for Camp, make sure you do it THIS AFTERNOON. Luke Jones is on the scene, he’ll be checking in with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider throughout the day.

-Rookie DT Arthur Jones announced on Twitter that he was fined $5,000 for an illegal block during the Carolina Panthers game last Thursday. If I ever Tweet about a $5,000 fine-you can be sure that I’m doing it bankrupt. (You can follow US on Twitter @WNST.)

-Did you miss Ravens Safety/potential punt returner Tom Zbikowski with Thyrl Nelson yesterday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” here on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out! Some other things you can check out in the Audio Vault include:

  • Audio from Training Camp Wednesday-including John Harbaugh and WR David Reed
  • Washington Redskins CB (and former Maryland Terrapins CB) Kevin Barnes-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday afternoon to preview Saturday night’s game
  • Steve Wyche (NFL.com)-who talked Brett Favre and more with Rex Wednesday
  • Paul White (USA Today)-who talked Buck Showalter, Orioles with Thyrl
  • Brian McRae (WHB Kansas City, former Royals OF and Baseball Tonight analyst)-who went around baseball with Thryl
  • Larry McReynolds (FOX NASCAR Analyst)-who talked some bumping and grinding with Rex
  • All of the Baltimore sports media tryouts you’ve heard on “The Morning Reaction” with Nestor Aparicio

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so once again your day is planned. I’m much too good to you…

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps coach Ralph Friedgen planned to meet new University President Wallace D. Loh Wednesday afternoon in College Park

And for more on the hiring of Wallace D. Loh and ALL things Maryland-related, make sure you check out this week’s edition of the “D1scast” with myself and Patrick Stevens. You can hear it in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today, and it’s worth checking out.

And while we’re on the topic of Maryland, Patrick also recently passed along that Gary Williams’ basketball team would be facing North Florida December 29 at 8pm at Comcast Center. So…you know…go ahead and cancel your New Year’s Eve trip plans. You can’t miss that!

10. Tribune Newspapers says Michael Phelps won 200 meter butterfly at Pan Pacifics, remained unsatisfied

And finally, I leave you with this.

Geekologie says KFC is testing a new sandwich called “The Skinwich”, which is apparently a sandwich made entirely of fried chicken skin.

Yes. I’m serious…

skinwich

This is the reason why the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the planet.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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