Tag Archive | "Mark Teixeira"

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AL East Preview – New York Yankees

Posted on 02 April 2009 by Rex Snider

It’s not hard to create bad things to say about the Yankees, right? After all, they’re HATED as much as the Steelers – for some similar, as well as differing reasons. Admittedly, I hate the Steelers more, but that’s just me …..

Today’s blog isn’t about my personal feelings or disdain for the Bronx Bombers. Nope, no hating here – just my outlook on their upcoming season. I’ll start with this disclaimer – my predictions are NOT tied to the heart. I’ve predicted great things for the Yankees, in the recent past.

Today will not be one of those occasions …..

On the “Good News/Bad News” front, the Yankees are improved from their 2008 product. The additions of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher will make them a better team. Will it be good enough? Nope.

And, this is where the bad news fits in. The Yankees are undoubtedly going to be a very good baseball team. However, they’re in the game’s toughest division and a couple teams are better. It’s really that simple.

While the Yankees pitching staff is further bolstered with the additions of Sabathia and Burnett, I’ll absolutely GUARANTEE you one of these two guys doesn’t fulfill his promise and obligation. Ironically, my suspicion is it will be Sabathia.

Lets also remember the Yankees lost a 20 game winner over the off-season. So, Sabathia or Burnett will simply be replacing a 20-win effort, with a decent season. Thus, is their starting staff greatly improved? Hey, it’s a fair question.

Beyond starting pitching the Yankees have plenty of questions remaining. Did they add enough long relief help? Who replaces Chamberlain in the setup role? Can Rivera bounce back from off-season surgery? These, too, are formidable questions for a contending team.

Perhaps, many are thinking the Yankees will crush their competition into submission. Really? Even without their best hitter for the first month? I think the loss of Alex Rodriguez is HUGE, regardless of his off the field issues. He’s the dominant force in that lineup.

Add another year of age on Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter, as well. Last year, it was Posada and Matsui breaking down. Who will it be this year? And, are the Yankees deep enough to compensate for injuries – which is an area where the Red Sox and Rays excel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting the Yankees will collapse or even finish with less than 90 wins. I don’t see that happening. Besides, as I reasoned yesterday, they’ll be feasting on Blue Jays and Orioles pitching. Yep, they’re a 90 win team.

But, 90 wins won’t get the job done in the AL East. I honestly see the Red Sox and Rays as deeper, overall. And, I think they’ll both finish ahead of the Yankees – although it will be a pretty tight race.

Honestly, I think the loss of A’Rod is pretty destructive and it saddles Teixeira with immediate pressure. For the past few years, I’ve labeled Teixeira one of the most overrated guys in the game. I still believe this and I think that label will become further evidenced this season.

So, there ya go …..

Sabathia or Burnett disappoints – one of them will …..

Teixeira can’t carry A’Rod’s lunch …..

Age becomes a factor in the Yankees lineup …..

As I predicted last year, Joe Girardi’s marriage to the Steinbrenners will end nastily. I just see it coming and a 3rd place finish just might propel it. A mere 91 wins won’t help …..

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Tuesday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 24 February 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

The O’s vs. the Italians?  That’s right… first game of Spring Training… against the WBC Italian team… with the O’s starting Justin Christian, Donnie Murphy, Scott Moore, Oscar Salazar, Craig Brazell, Lou Montanez, Nolan Reimold, and Justin Turner… yeeeeah.  If Wieters and Brian Matusz weren’t going to be the battery, this could be the least anticipated 9 innings of baseball in the history of the world.

The A.L. East best division ever?  Sports Illustrated and Inside Baseball’s Ted Keith offers his five bold predictions for the ’09 season.  The last of his calls is that “The A.L. East will have the best division race ever.”  It’s a great piece, in total – 495 thrilling words about how teams will be playing big-series after big-series, jockeying for position all summer long before an exciting September race.  Unfortunately for O’s fans, the home-team is not even mentioned one time throughout the entire entry!  But hey, don’t worry Baltimore fans… Toronto didn’t get a line either.

Ex-O Benson signs with Texas.  Kris Benson has inked a minor league contract with the Rangers.  Quick bio here, the right-hander is now 34 and is coming off a minor league year in the Phillies organization.  The last full season he played was here in Baltimore in ’06 when he went 11-12 with a 4.82 ERA.  Back in 1996 Benson was made the #1 overall selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the MLB First Year Player Draft.  He is also married, to wife Anna, shown below… she craves attention… clearly:

Scanning the Blogosphere

Ravens Insider offers a “Cautionary tale on Ravens’ Ray Lewis.”

SI’s Truth and Rumors says both the New York Giants and Jets will both be chasing Ravens FA LB Bart Scott once the free agent signing period begins.

The Schmuck Stops Here has the latest from O’s Spring Training on LF Felix Pie, pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

Fanhouse has some quotes from Cal on the Steroid Era in baseball.

Bugs and Cranks says if everyone played an even schedule in MLB, the O’s would have the 15th best record.

Connolly’s Corner Sports Bar asks, “Are the next few weeks make or break for Gary Williams?” And also, “Who will surprise in Orioles’ camp?”

Terrapins Insider: “Vasquez Named ACC Player of the Week.”

Tracking the Terps has “Notes leading up to Duke,” more on the Carolina game, and how letting Greivis be Greivis has worked out pretty well for Maryland.

ESPN’s Bracketology has Maryland as the last team making the tournament giving them a #12 seed and taking on Washington.

The Big Lead says Darrius Heyward-Bey was the most impressive prospect at the NFL Combine.

D.C. Sports Blog has comments from NBC’s Mike Mulberry about how much he loves the Great 8.

Fanhouse’s Kevin Blackistone says, “No Star Shines like Alexander the Great.”

Face Off tells us after registering 4 goals and an assists in each of Loyola first two games, Greyhounds attackman Collin Finnerty has been honored.

Rumors and Rants has something Hoya hating Terps fans might like to see, “Georgetown Can Pack its Bags for the NIT.”

CMS Video of the Day

Here’s a video from three dudes from Baltimore performing their ballad, “Boo Teixeira (We’re gonna boo Teixeira) song.”

Learn it.  Love it.  Sing it.  March 6.  Opening Day.

Also, if you haven’t seen Nets G Devin Harris’ game winning acrobatic half court prayer to beat Philly from last night, you definitely have to check it out.

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You Spend The Money …..

Posted on 20 February 2009 by Rex Snider

I’ve been hanging around ‘NST for the better part of two years.  It’s not a lifetime – but it hasn’t been a few weeks, either.

 

In my time here, I’ve blogged about an array of topics, and the Orioles have received their fair share of attention.  I’d estimate that my blogs have primarily been critical of the club, with fewer complimentary pieces sprinkled within.

 

I don’t drink the orange kool-aid and I know it.  But, I’m obliged to give the Orioles a benefit of any doubt, especially when it comes to Andy MacPhail’s plan for returning the franchise to an era of contention.

 

Has Andy made any promises?  Did he guarantee a drunken spending spree at the recent winter meetings?  Does he have a history of reckless expenditures during previous stops, in Minnesota and Chicago?  These are fair questions …..

 

A groundswell of supporters seem to be hellbent on spending the MASN fortune.  Why?  Will it make you feel better if the Orioles become an “average” team by luring in free agents who have seen their better days?

 

It’s arguable to suggest Mark Teixeira will not replicate his numbers of a few years ago.  And, he was the most promising free agent available during the recent off-season.  Other names the Orioles bypassed were Jon Garland, Orlando Hudson, Richie Sexson, Derek Lowe, Garret Anderson, Paul Byrd, Manny Ramirez, John Schmoltz, Tom Glavine and Ivan Rodriguez.

 

With the exception of Manny, would any of the above listed players make a distinct difference with this club?  The answer is NO.  However, each of these players would have cost millions ….. and a few would have cost many millions.  It’s a waste of financial resources.

 

I wanna root for a contending Orioles team just as much as the next guy.  But, marching Jon Garland, Derek Lowe or Braden Looper to the mound for as much $200,000 per start, is ridiculous.  And, it’s INSANE if the main objective is to eat innings.

 

Guys who gobble up frames can come cheaper ….. and saving money is hardly ever a bad thing.  Yeah, Koji Uehara is making roughly the same amount as Garland and Looper.  But, he’ll fill that press box everyday.  And, as they’ve said for ages ….. there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

 

But, lets talk some money, shall we?  I think we can all agree the Birds fudge their attendance figures.  So, do you think the 8,000 people showing up on a Wednesday, in August, are paying the overhead costs for opening the gates to the joint?  Not a chance.

 

I’m not excusing the Orioles for being in the VERY spot they’re in.  However, nothing jades me like hearing “spend the money, you got it.”  And, my skin crawls with “you promised to spend more money.”

 

Yeah, maybe they did, in an indirect way.  But, haven’t things changed economically in this country, throughout the past couple years.  Nobody and I mean NOBODY is immune to the financial woes impacting all of us.

 

Funny, as fans and observers of the game, we expect the current economic crisis to eventually show up on the doorsteps of these multimillion dollar athletes.  And, it has ….. go ask Jon Garland or Orlando Hudson.

 

Yet, people don’t seem to think these hard times have seeped under the doors at 333 West Camden Street.  Yeah, I know ….. “Joe Homeowner” is allowed to have problems. Banks, auto manufacturers, airlines and utility companies can struggle, too.  But, that damned baseball team better spend their money, right?

 

Gimme a break …..

 

Regardless of whatever the Orioles insinuated a few years ago, all bets are off.  Things have changed in this country, and that’s a painful fact.  The crowds at the ballpark aren’t paying the bills, and you can bet on that one.

 

But, I’ll play the “pie in the sky” game.  Imagine the economy wasn’t bad and the Orioles really were averaging 25,000 fans every night.  Further imagine the Orioles MASN vault was overflowing with cash.  Heck, maybe it is …..

 

But, TELL ME ….. where would you spend the money?  Would you have outbid the Yankees for Teixeira?  He’s getting $22.5 million, per year, from them.  Trust me, he wouldn’t take $25 million from us.  So, would you give him $30 million, per year?

 

Derek Lowe got $15 million, per year, from the Braves.  Would you give him $18-$20 million to come here?  Remember the Orioles gotta overpay – just look at the new LUDICROUS Brian Roberts deal.

 

While we’re at it, let’s give Jon Garland his $10 million, per year, to pitch for the O’s.  He’s getting $7+ to pitch in Arizona.  It’ll take more to get him here.  Besides, there’s plenty of MASN money in the vault, right?

 

So, as a recap, the Orioles could’ve committed $60 million, per year, to Teixeira, Lowe and Garland.  That would have put them on the Red Sox heels, in total payroll.  Would the Orioles win with those 3 guys?  Don’t kid yourself …..

 

I’m a guy who knows the Orioles are cheap.  They offered me a job – that demanded my management experience and educational background.  And, they were gonna pay me 10 bucks, per hour.  Lucky me !!!!

 

Still, I’m not beating up on them for holding back in this economy – especially with the class of free agents they bypassed.  It was the right thing to do …..

 

Renovation projects take longer than 19 months.  And, recovering from this recession or whatever you wanna call it, will take longer ……

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The Wrestler – Starring Mickey Rourke

Posted on 28 January 2009 by Rex Snider

I cannot readily admit to being a pro wrestling fan – in it’s current environment.  In fact, I couldn’t rattle off the names of current champions or many primetime stars.  Perhaps, I’ve just matured beyond the bounds of choreographed competition and a lawless profession.

 

However, I haven’t always been such a prude.  As a kid, I recall heading to the Civic Center to witness the firsthand antics of Bruno Sammartino, Ivan Kohloff, Tony Garea, Haystacks Calhoun, BoBo Brazil and Waldo Von Erich.  

 

There are plenty more ….. I recall my great-grandmother, a native of Poland, rooting aloud for Ivan Putski.  And, I hated ….. as kids have the potential to despise ….. the strutting of Superstar Billy Graham, as he mimicked a beaten Bruno, in the squared-circle.

 

As I look back on those times, and view old videos/photographs, I am astounded at the staggering changes in the bodies of wrestlers through the progression of eras.  From the 60’s and 70’s – when wrestlers were household figures, to the 80’s when their bodies grew with the creation of Wrestlemania, to the 90’s and today – where the same bodies seem to grow and shrink, as if they’re inflatable ….. there has been one constant.

 

That’s right, as I sat in an Arundel Mills movie theatre, Sunday, and watched Mickey Rourke NAIL the role of a downtrodden pro wrestler, I couldn’t help but think of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.  And, my thoughts were far from positive …..

 

Vince McMahon is the ultimate snakeoil salesman.  He’s a purveyor of human flesh and has made millions upon the bulked up physiques and personas of Hulk Hogan, HHH, The Rock, Jimmy Snuka and countless others. 

 

Yet, if you take a look in McMahon’s own backyard, or the dingiest crevices of his cellar, you’ll find the corpses of Rick McGraw, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Bossman, Davey Smith, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and many, many more.

 

While I absorbed the realities of Mickey Rourke’s character, Randy “The Ram” Robinson, I wished directors/producers could’ve given some credence to those who enable and really empower the culture that ultimately “breaks” the lives of so many young men.

 

I don’t directly blame Vince McMahon, Ted Turner or any other “owner” of wrestling empires, if another man knowingly sticks a syringe in his buttocks.  However, I do think these same tycoons have a responsibility and ultimate burden for managing a business that exceeds a simply blinked, blind-eye to obvious self-destructive behavior.

 

And, lets be brutally honest ….. Vince McMahon has profited off his army of ‘roided-up rangers.  Everyone knows the dirty ‘lil secret – there is no job security and there are no real measures of drug interdiction or prevention.  Heck, have you looked at McMahon, himself?

 

Pro wrestling is not just a compromised entertainment arm.  It’s a filthy business, with squalid and unethical practices.  Its performers thrive and die in a lawless existence, where profit is the only THING of consideration to those with a stake.  And, this same profit is merely managed in the short-term.

 

You don’t really think Vince McMahon cares whether John Cena ultimately becomes the next Dwayne Johnson, or even Jesse Ventura, do you?  Just keep filling the seats, boys – and pop those painkillers – and shoot the liquid mass into your muscles – and perform through injury – and …… you get the picture.

 

Does McMahon and his WWE empire offer a deferred compensation plan?  How about health care and pension benefits?  Is there a Don Fehr or Gene Upshaw looking out for wrestlers’ best interests?

 

Or, is the sad truth a sobering admission that most ex-wrestling stars are likely to be working alongside a Randy “The Ram” in the local Acme deli ….. rather than starring in a “Hogan Knows Best” episode?  Once, again, we all know the answer.

 

Each time I see the likes of a Mark Teixeira or Terrell Owens profiting from their over-inflated salaries, I’ll be reminded that it could be much worse.  At least, they’re not being exploited like cheap whores ….. and virtually left for dead, when there is little remaining of their abilities.

 

“The Wrestler” is a GREAT movie and I hope Mickey Rourke wins an Oscar.  Knowing him, he would be just the guy to tell a few million viewers the truth about Vince McMahon and everyone else in his shoes ….. “THEY ARE SCUMBAGS.”

 

 

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Blog & Tackle: Holiday greetings and readings

Posted on 24 December 2008 by Chris Pika

While on a family vacation to the snowy and frozen northern part of the nation this week, I jotted down a few notes on Baltimore sports as the Ravens turn for home in the playoff chase and the Orioles turn for the worse after losing out in the Mark Teixeira “sweepstakes.”

* Congrats to the Ravens on a signature victory last Saturday over the Cowboys in the final game in Texas Stadium. It was the biggest victory of the season to date in a game that had a lot riding on it for both clubs. Baltimore did not wilt in the face of Dallas’ fourth-quarter pressure, and in doing so, set themselves up to play January football if everything goes the right way on Sunday against the Jaguars. A year ago at this time, the franchise was reeling from a horrible finish and about to dismiss the coaching staff in an unexpected way after the season. Today, it’s purple holiday lights and smiles when the playoffs (or festivus to the previous regime) are discussed. It’s a great time to be a Ravens fan, no matter how Sunday turns out, because there is hope for 2008 and beyond.

* Congrats to Teixeira on his deal with the New York Yankees. Yes, I am a Baltimore fan first, and would have loved seeing him in Orioles black and orange, but he was under no obligation to provide the Orioles with anything remotely resembling loyalty or a “hometown discount.” Players do not have Scott Boras as an agent from the time they enter the MLB Draft to take “discounts” to play for a franchise that is still trying to find its way after years of mismanagement. Sitting here in Green Bay with my Mt. St. Joe sweatshirt on, I’m glad that Mark will continue to write checks out of loyalty to his high school in Catonsville. Regardless of which uniform he wears, all of us St. Joe grads are glad to see him succeed and to help his old school in its mission.

* There has been plenty written on WNST’s web space about the Orioles failure to launch in the case of trying get Teixeira “home.” The truth is that the Orioles still have to overpay any major free agent to play in Baltimore because of the team’s downturn over the last decade and the knowledge that New York, Boston and Anaheim are places where October baseball is played regularly and money is thrown around freely. Now, the Yankees move into the new Yankee Stadium this year, and they want to make it as attractive as possible so that fans and corporate sponsors will pay the unbelievable ticket prices in the new park this spring. The Yankees want to be relevant in the worst way again, and the crosshairs are on Joe Girardi to get this group home to the World Series.

* As for the Orioles, the best thing Andy McPhail can do now is spend the MASN money on the minor-league system and player scouting. The best position for the club in a few years is to have enough home-grown talent that the free agent market is only used for a mid-level need, and that opposing clubs become willing to deal major-league players for talented minor leaguers that the Orioles have in reserve. I hope that’s the plan, anyway. The turnover in the scouting and minor-league departments over the last 10-plus years have  had more to do with the Orioles’ downturn than many realize. Rebuilding from the inside will restore the base that contending clubs are built on. Tampa Bay came to that same conclusion and made a plan which came to early fruition in 2008. You don’t need to spend $180 million on one player, just make sure good young talent is scouted and drafted — signed to long-term deals and kept in the system to be coached by competent minor-league staffs who are successful in player development. Again, I hope that’s the plan.

* If you have a chance, read the story written by Jim Gorant in this week’s Sports Illustrated, titled “Happy New Year.” It is a story about the 51 dogs (47 still alive) rescued from disgraced NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dog-fighting operation. One of the dogs, Sweet Jasmine, has been re-homed to a loving couple in the Baltimore suburbs. Jasmine is the cover dog on SI, and the story will both warm and break your heart. I worked in the Falcons organization at the time Vick was under investigation for his crimes, and I don’t think he could ever do enough time for what he and his co-conspirators did to those dogs. The story in SI will make you think twice about what you might think about pit bulls as a breed (some of which SI perpetuated in an 1987 article), and it highlights the work of several loving people and groups who helped start the process of rehabilitating these animals from their dire situation.

* Finally, to those who listen to WNST on the radio or visit this little slice of Baltimore sports on the web called WNST.net, Happy Holidays to you and yours. It’s been a long year with a lot of bad news about jobs, the economy, etc., but all of us should take a moment and count our blessings of family and friends during this joyous season. A Happy New Year to us all!

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More Teixeira News

Posted on 19 December 2008 by Bryan Powell

Red Sox owner JohnMa Henry apparently emailed several media outlets in Boston Thursday night and stated that the Red Sox are out of the running for Mark Teixeira. Apparently the Sox front office met with Scott Boras on Thursday night and after hearing the offers from other teams decided that they are not going to increase their offer.

This news comes a couple of hours after it looked like the Red Sox had the inside track to signing him. I am betting that unless he takes a lower offer Teixeira will be back with Anaheim next season. The Orioles and Nationals are also involved in this sweepstakes.

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UPDATE PT. 2: Could Teixeira be headed to Baltimore ?

Posted on 14 December 2008 by caseywillett

 

12:25 : Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com is now reporting that Angelos and Teixeira will not be at the Ravens game together today. I have never heard of Angelos coming to a Ravens game in the past, but that does not meant that Teixeira could come to the game as a guest of the O’s in the MASN suite with another representative of the organization. Maybe this is a part of his free agent tour that he is taking.

I am just ready for the game now, Tex gate 2008 is out of control.

 

There is word going around this morning that Mark Teixeira could be at the Ravens – Steelers game this afternoon.  This really got started on Orioles Hangout by Roy Firestone. * Comcast Sportsnet reported last night that Teixeria will be at the game this afternoon. * ESPN reported it at the end of Sportscenter this morning.

Now MASN does own a suite at M&T Bank Stadium.However, before fans get excited, this could mean absolutely nothing if he is at the game today, or it could mean he could be in talks with the Orioles.

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