Tag Archive | "matt wieters"

Jim Johnson Delivers Orioles Their Favorite Kind of Save

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Jim Johnson Delivers Orioles Their Favorite Kind of Save

Posted on 03 December 2013 by Thyrl Nelson

The downside of high expectations is the potential for disappointment. It’s a lesson that Baltimore sports fans know all too well. Maybe as Orioles fans we should learn to appreciate that by obliterating our expectations, the team has spared us the possibility of disappointment. After all 2012 was a magical baseball season in Baltimore, mostly because it came out of nowhere; mostly because it came at a point where our expectations as fans had reached their all-time low. Clearly if we had believed going in that the Orioles were a playoff caliber team, if they had given us any reason at all to expect success, then a disappointing flame out in the ALDS would have been nice…but far from magical.

On Monday, the Orioles traded the arguable MVP of the 2012 season for a nondescript middle infielder and a likely disappointment to be named later. The Orioles traded away 101 saves in the last 2 seasons for 1 big save, somewhere in the ballpark of $10 million in 2014.

 

Now before we get too carried away with the tales of Jim Johnson, departing hero, let’s also remember that Johnson’s 9 blown saves and 8 losses in 2013 on the heels of his playing the goat in the 2012 ALDS had more than worn out his welcome with the fans of the Orioles. The truth of the matter is that the Orioles had to trade Jim Johnson. The unfortunate part of that truth is that they had to trade him 1 year ago, or 7 months from now, not on Monday. The familiar truth of the matter is that other than his $10 million projected salary for 2014, there were no good reasons to trade Jim Johnson when they did, with his value at an all-time low.

 

Perhaps the rumors were true, and the Orioles will have to live with not parlaying Johnson to the Tigers last year for Rick Porcello, or some other real baseball player. Perhaps Johnson’s overuse by the team was the culprit for his failures at the end of 2012 and throughout 2013, and if the Orioles had paced him better in 2014 there would have been a chance to trade him in June or July for something of value. Perhaps the A’s (notorious for trading closers) are looking to do just that. Undoubtedly, there has never been a worse time to trade Johnson than the time at which the Orioles actually decided to do it, and thus the move serves as little more than a salary dump.

 

Last off-season was a tough one for Orioles fans to take, as they sat on their hands after giving fans their first taste of contention in a decade and a half. Still it may have been prudent for the Orioles, having seen so many improbable returns on players we weren’t altogether sure about, to give it another season to see if their talent was real. And while 2013 ended short of the playoffs, we did indeed see that the talent on hand was for real (for the most part). Yet here we sit, with plenty of off-season left no doubt, but seemingly on the way to another winter of disappointment.

 

Jim Johnson, a one time valuable Major League commodity, was traded away for nothing, Matt Wieters another player with substantially diminished value appears to be next, and the likelihood of getting another Adam Jones caliber “home town discount” on an incumbent player in a long-term deal is for now, hopeful at best.

 

In going “all in” by adding talent during the 2013 season, there was reason to hope that the Orioles had learned a lesson. The Orioles made 3 “major” pitching acquisitions to sure up an undermanned staff in their push for last year’s playoffs. Two of those 3 players could have been signed in the off-season just for the cost of their contracts, without forfeiture of a draft pick and without the need to trade away prospects. After sitting on their hands through the winter of 2012-13 the Orioles paid for their inactivity in prospects.

 

Boston meanwhile, after a 2012 fire sale filled out their roster with 8 players that anyone could have had in free agency. None of those players got a commitment beyond 3-years, and none cost a draft pick. The Red Sox added those players to a nucleus not much better (if at all) than the one that the Orioles had and walked away with a World Series title (and an extra draft pick if Stephen Drew signs somewhere else) for their efforts.

 

Maybe the Orioles will put the $10 million they saved in Jim Johnson’s contract to good use and prove my cynicism unfounded. Maybe they’ll hold onto Matt Wieters for long enough to see some of his value return before trading him away. Maybe they’ll lock up a few of their current stars to long-term deals and assure a competitive nucleus while we await the development of  “The Cavalry Part II”. But there’s no reason to expect it. Therein lies the strength of the organization.

 

Those of us who remain loyal to the orange and black do so despite their best efforts to discourage us at every turn. It makes us much happier and more appreciative when they actually do right by us, because we’ve been conditioned not to expect it.

 

Let’s face it, the Orioles were just bailed out of a contract by the notoriously thrifty Oakland A’s. Talk about an all-time low…

 

 

 

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O’s tender contracts to six, agree to terms with Pearce, Reimold

Posted on 03 December 2013 by WNST Staff

The Orioles today announced that they have tendered contracts to six of their arbitration eligible players: CA MATT WIETERS1B CHRIS DAVISRHP’s TOMMY HUNTER and BUD NORRIS and LHP’s BRIAN MATUSZ and TROY PATTON. Additionally, OF’s STEVE PEARCE and NOLAN REIMOLD have agreed to terms on contracts for 2014, and RHP EDDIE GAMBOA and OF JASON PRIDIE were not tendered contracts by the club.

Wieters, 27, batted .235/.287/.417 with 22 home runs and 79 RBI in 148 games in 2013.

Davis, 27, finished third in the American League MVP voting, leading the major leagues with 53 home runs and 138 RBI while batting .286/.370/.634 in 160 games.

Hunter, 27, was 6-5 with a 2.81 ERA (86.1IP, 27ER) in 68 relief appearances.

Norris, 28, went 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA (50.2IP, 27ER) in 11 games (nine starts) for the Orioles after being acquired from Houston on July 31. He went 10-12 with a 4.18 ERA (176.2IP, 82ER) in 32 games (30 starts) in 2013.

Matusz, 26, was 2-1 with a 3.53 ERA (51.0IP, 20ER) in 65 appearances.

Patton, 28, went 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA (56.0IP, 23ER) in 56 outings.

Pearce, 30, hit .261/.362/.420 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 44 games.

Reimold, 30, played in 40 games, batting .195/.250/.335 with five home runs and 12 RBI.

Gamboa, 28, had his contract selected on November 20. He went a combined 6-11 with a 4.43 ERA (142.1IP, 70ER) and 114 strikeouts for Double-A Bowie (16 GS) and Triple-A Norfolk (nine GS) in 2013.

Pridie, 30, had his contract selected on September 25 after batting .269/.333/.434 in 118 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He went 2-for-10 in four games with the Orioles.

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Trade Wieters: Who Said That?

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Trade Wieters: Who Said That?

Posted on 20 November 2013 by WNST Staff

WietersThis could be my “I told you so moment;” well maybe it is a little.  But the Orioles have finally decided to make the smart business decision and consider trading away catcher, Matt Wieters.  I have been reporting for years that move would be in their best interest (found here and here and here; yeah I’ve talked about it a lot).    The “Mauer with Power” aura has left Camden Yards and the fan base seems to be finally on board to move on from the once top prospect in baseball.

Though good defensively, he does not offer enough at the plate; except for the occasional untimely Home Run.  Wieters has an excellent arm, controlling runners on the base path, but is not mobile enough to consistently block bad pitches and pop out of his stance to snag tough foul balls.  Questions have arisen over the years on how long he could even last at catcher because of his large frame.  He’s not half the athlete of Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer (a top QB recruit coming out of high school), who has been forced to move to first base this season.

So there is my spiel on why to move on from the former Gold-Glover, but most have already seen that over the past two seasons (and called me an idiot for saying so).  Now let’s look into possible trade partners for Wieters, who is a Scott Boras client, meaning a team will have to pony up to extend him beyond this season.

Though Matt Wieters trade value is now at an all-time low for his career (unlike a year ago, when I first started this campaign), he is still an upper-echelon catcher, compared to what is available.  The Orioles should be able to at least get either an every day player or starting pitcher in return in any deal.  But after Texas traded 2B, Ian Kinsler (who would have been an ideal fit with the hole at the position for the Orioles) to the Detroit Tigers, for 1B, Prince Fielder, there is one less option in the pool for Dan Duquette.

 

Matt Wieters to the Los Angeles Angels for OF/1B/DH Mark Trumbo.

Both teams would benefit greatly from this swap, as the Orioles sorely need a right-handed power bat in the middle of their lineup and the Angels get an excellent game-caller to help along their porous pitching issues.  The Angels will also save money in the long term, because they will be line to extend Trumbo and OF, Mike Trout (who is the best all-around player in baseball), within a 12 month span.

In acquiring Trumbo, he is not set to hit free agency until 2017, giving the team control for several years, while their core still in their prime (and set to make a World Series push). Trumbo offers the Orioles more financial flexibility in the near future; something Peter Angelos surely would sign off on.  He is also a power hitter from the right side of the plate, while being able to fill in holes in either LF or DH (and possibly playing the occasional first base to rest Chris Davis).

 

Jeff SamardzijaMatt Wieters to the Chicago Cubs for SP Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs are another team in desperate need of a back stop to control the game behind the plate.  Add in the direction of their front office (with Theo Henry’s track record of trades) and they have the funds and means to re-up Wieters contract.  Chicago has already expressed willingness to move on from their No. 1 starter (with trade rumors with the Diamondbacks), in order to upgrade their lineup and defense. Though Wieters is not a good hitter, he is still an upgrade over Wellington Castillo (the only catcher on their roster), with his power numbers and ability to bat from both sides of the plate.

In Samardzija, the Orioles are not exactly getting back the ace they desperately need, but a pitcher who is willing to be a stopper every fifth day.  Though he struggled in the second half last season, he has proven to hold his own against some of the better pitchers in the NL.  He is also in the last year of his contract, so any deal will include a sign-and-trade, which could lock up the starter for the next several years.

 

Erasmo RamirezMatt Wieters to the Seattle Mariners for SP Erasmo Ramirez and Prospect(s)

The Mariners may have the worst catching situation in the entire MLB, with the failed experiment of Jesus Montero behind the plate.  They are left with a plethora of young talented pitchers (including former Cy Young winner, Felix Hernandez), including several prospects ready to break through in the big leagues.  Though the Mariners have Mark Zunino (a top catching prospect) making his way to the majors, he could develop behind Wieters for the next couple of seasons, until the Baltimore catcher needs to be moved from behind the plate.

In return, Baltimore is receiving a highly touted pitching prospect, who is the most Major-League ready in their organization.  He struggled this past season but at only 23, has plenty of growth in the big-leagues awaiting him.  Ramirez will be under team control for several seasons, adding into the young starting core of Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.  The Mariners may need to add in another low-end prospect or two to make the deal fair.

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Orioles’ hot stove rumblings surround Beltran, Wieters, Markakis

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Orioles’ hot stove rumblings surround Beltran, Wieters, Markakis

Posted on 16 November 2013 by WNST Staff

Rumblings out of MLB’s annual fall GM meetings included some interesting rumors surrounding the Baltimore Orioles late this week.

The first from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is particularly interesting…

Carlos Beltran will turn 37 in April, but is coming off a season with slash lines of .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI. It’s not known immediately what the market is for the outfielder with a propensity for big postseason hits, but considering Marlon Byrd got a 2 year, $16 million deal and it also 36 you would have to assume the market for Beltran would be greater.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are looking to dump a salary in order to pursue Beltran, throwing out the name of Matt Wieters as a possibility. This is logical considering a report of his from earlier in the week regarding the catcher and 1B Chris Davis, a fellow Scott Boras client.

(Rosenthal was clearly referring to closer Jim Johnson there.)

The other issue surrounding Beltran is that he isn’t a left fielder, the only outfield position the Birds’ currently have open. So how could the O’s both trade away a large salary and get Beltran on the field? From SNY New York…

SNY did go on to report that the Orioles are “not eager” to deal their former first round pick and Gold Glove winning right fielder.

So Orioles fans, what do you think of the rumors surrounding the Birds in the early stages of the Hot Stove season?

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It’s not his agent’s fault that Wieters hasn’t re-signed in Baltimore

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It’s not his agent’s fault that Wieters hasn’t re-signed in Baltimore

Posted on 14 November 2013 by Drew Forrester

I said on Wednesday’s show the Orioles only have two players I would truly deem “untouchable” — Adam Jones and Manny Machado.

Granted, both of those players have warts.  Jones is still a streaky hitter who has a tendency to go weeks at a time swinging at bad pitches and Machado is a great defensive player but only a good offensive player at this point.  Still, I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything, unless his name sounded a lot like Clayton Kershaw or Miguel Cabrera.

Matt Wieters is a trade commodity for a variety of reasons.  FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Birds are open to trading Wieters.  And they should be.  But, they shouldn’t trade him just because they haven’t yet been able to re-sign him.  That’s a typical Orioles move, frankly.  They low ball a guy, he doesn’t take it…they up their low-ball offer the next year…he doesn’t take it.  And then they say, “OK, well, we’ll trade him.”

That’s the wrong approach.

Of course, the words “wrong approach” and “Orioles” collide in the same sentence a lot.

In this case, the Orioles are using the right approach if they think they can fleece a team for Wieters…but that shouldn’t be connected with their ability to sign him to a new deal.  If they want Wieters on their team for the long-term, they should make every attempt to sign him to a REAL contract.

Folks who follow baseball will say, “No, Drew, Scott Boras won’t let Wieters sign now.”   That, my friends, is a bunch of baloney.  Scott Boras doesn’t OWN Matt Wieters.  He REPRESENTS him.  If the Orioles called Scott Boras right now and said, “Name your price and Wieters can stay” – just as a function of sniffing out the real scenario — Boras would call you back and say, “We’ll be there in 30 minutes.”

This silly notion that Boras won’t “let” Wieters sign in Baltimore is absurd.  Wieters owns his rights…Boras doesn’t.  The Orioles have admittedly tried twice to sign Wieters and failed.  But, Wieters and Boras didn’t say, “Don’t call us again…we’re not signing for any amount until Matt becomes a free agent.”  They said, “No, that offer isn’t good enough.  Thanks anyway.”

Adam Jones is a perfect example of the agent not “owning” the player.  His agent surely advised hit to NOT re-sign in Baltimore last summer.  His agent, I’m certain, reminded him he’d cash in, big-time, if he just played out the string and became a free agent.  Jones, though, simply said, “You know what, I think I can live on $85 million and I love the franchise and I love Baltimore…I think I’ll sign now and get this over with.”

Wieters would sign here if the money was right.  And, by the way, I’m not suggesting the Orioles should back up the Brinks Truck for him.  Not at all.

Personally, I’d trade Wieters because I think he’s basically a decent offensive player that could fetch a nice return from a team looking to upgrade their own catching position and grab one of the game’s best defensive players at any position at the same time.

As I said last week:  Name the four catchers who were in the respective championship series’ last month.  Quickly now — who’s the catcher in Los Angeles?  In Detroit?  In Boston?  In St. Louis?  You probably know the Molina kid with the Cardinals.  He’s the best catcher in baseball right now.  Other than that…right…it’s a position that doesn’t jump out at you.

Let’s not blame this Orioles-Wieters drama on Scott Boras.

Two people are involved in this and two people only.

Matt Wieters.  And the Orioles.

If the Orioles want Wieters to stay, they can make that happen with a boatload of money.

If Wieters wants to sign here, he’ll take it.

If Wieters wants to leave Baltimore, he’ll keep saying what he’s been saying:  No thanks.

But, please, don’t blame this on Scott Boras.

Blame it on the Orioles.  And Matt Wieters.

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Orioles reportedly open to trading Wieters, Hardy

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Orioles reportedly open to trading Wieters, Hardy

Posted on 13 November 2013 by WNST Staff

The MLB general manager meetings in Orlando have garnered plenty of attention centered around the Orioles and trade speculation related to catcher Matt Wieters and shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Represented by super agent Scott Boras, Wieters does not become a free agent until after the 2015 season, but all indications are pointing to it being a difficult task for the Orioles to sign the All-Star catcher to a long-term deal. The 2007 first-round pick will be approaching age 30 when he’s scheduled to hit the free-agent market in two years.

Multiple reports are suggesting the Orioles would be open to trading either player for the right price. There were reported discussion between the Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals about a deal involving Hardy and right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller, but that deal was rejected by St. Louis.

The Orioles seek an impact starting pitcher for the top half of the rotation currently led by 16-game winner Chris Tillman.

Hardy is entering the final season of a three-year, $22.5 million that includes an eight-team no-trade clause.

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Your Monday Reality Check: “I hope his pants get caught and a bloodbath ensues!”

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Your Monday Reality Check: “I hope his pants get caught and a bloodbath ensues!”

Posted on 08 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

Coming off what I’m sure you all will agree was a well-earned week of vacation, I thought quite a bit about writing a lengthy piece about Jim Johnson and the Orioles’ closer situation. Despite Johnson’s 1-2-3 ninth inning in Baltimore’s 2-1 win Sunday over the New York Yankees, the situation remains quite fluid and will be followed closely in the coming weeks.

Although I will point this out from an appearance I made Sunday morning on the SiriusXM Fantasy Sports channel…

That happened at 8am Sunday. Call me “Glennstradamus”?

But I’m NOT writing about that. No…because while I was sitting at Chase Field in Phoenix Friday night watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Colorado Rockies I had a thought cross my mind. The thought was furthered during that appearance I made on the SXM Fantasy Channel Sunday morning.

That thought has everything in the world to do with the movie Mallrats. Or at least kinda.

Stick with me.

If you listen to “The Reality Check” (and since I’ve seen the ratings-I KNOW you do), you’ve probably heard me discuss the fact that in a previous life, I was obsessed with director Kevin Smith and his films. I embarrassingly admitted just a few weeks ago to Allen McCallum that I went to see the movie “Jersey Girl” in theaters THRICE with different young ladies. I’m not even remotely proud.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Mallrats” (and if not, go ahead and take the rest of the day off to view it. In fact, I’m broadcasting at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill Monday afternoon courtesy of Pinnacle Vodka. Just bring your laptop and I’ll bring a copy of the flick you can watch before you head over to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.), you’ll probably remember Jason Lee’s character Brodie and his sincere respect for all things related to his local shopping mall. One particular issue he has is with a small child who sits down on the escalator, ignoring the dangers of getting caught.

A few escalator rides in, Brodie’s fears play out as the child gets caught and is hurt. If you don’t mind a tiny bit of foul language, here’s a clip…

The take away phrase in that clip would be “that kid is back on the escalator again!”

(Continued on Page 2…)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Five Questions for Friday

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Five Questions for Friday

Posted on 20 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

As we try out a new segment “Five Questions for Friday” on The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction, I wanted to pick readers’ brains on the following topics.

(Update: Thanks to those who chimed in via Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments section below. You can catch Friday morning’s segment HERE.)

I’ve offered my own thoughts on each question and invite you to offer your answers in the comments selection below and I’ll share your insights on Friday morning.

1. If you’re only able to keep two moving forward, who would you choose among Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, and Chris Davis?

This question was brought up during Thursday morning’s show by Jonathan in Essex and it’s an intriguing one to ponder, particularly when you acknowledge the potential cost that each of these three young players will carry in the future.

Wieters and Davis are both scheduled to become free agents after 2015 while Machado isn’t currently scheduled to see free agency until after the 2018 campaign.

Machado is the easy first choice and Wieters would have been my second pick in spring training, but my answer may be changing as the season progresses and we see Chris Davis continue an MVP-caliber season. Even if this is Davis’ career year and he settles in as a first baseman capable of simply hitting 30 to 40 home runs in the typical year, he brings the type of power only a handful of players in the major leagues can provide.

However, Wieters’ defense and ability to handle a flawed pitching staff is a major reason why the Orioles have become a winning franchise over the last two years. He never did become Johnny Bench offensively, but he’s still a good offensive catcher with exceptional defensive skills, a rare combination among backstops in the game today.

If I’m choosing now, I’ll keep Machado and Davis, but a big reason why is the Orioles’ window for signing Wieters to a long-term extension continuing to close. The catcher will be 29 when he hits free agency after 2015 and will be looking for an expensive and lengthy contract, which is something I’m not crazy about doing for a catcher who will have much tread worn away from the tires by then.

2. After Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta, which player currently on the roster will be the most productive receiver for the Ravens in 2013?

Smith and Pitta are the easy choices for seeing a spike in production following the departure of Anquan Boldin, but it remains to be seen who else will emerge to become a bigger part of the passing game.

I’m not sold on Jacoby Jones suddenly become a consistent wide receiver in his seventh year despite the big-play ability, so I’ll go with Tandon Doss finally figuring it out in his third year to become a respectable contributor. Anyone in the media will tell you how well Doss has practiced over the last couple years, but limited opportunities and nagging injuries have prevented him from becoming a household name.

Many have written him off after being targeted only 20 times in his career and his disappointing showing in the wild-card round against Indianapolis, but he fits the closest profile to what the Ravens received from Boldin over the last three years. And he’s gotten stronger and quicker since entering the league as a fourth-round pick out of Indiana.

Of course, don’t forget the possibility of Ray Rice becoming an even bigger factor out of the backfield as a receiver, especially with the power-running ability of Bernard Pierce likely cutting into his total number of carries.

3. Of the four Orioles currently in line to be starters in July’s All-Star Game, how would you rank them in order of being most deserving? Which Orioles belong in the Midsummer Classic and which ones don’t?

Of the four players slated to be starters as of the last voting update, Davis is clearly the most deserving. After that, I’d be inclined to go with Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis in order from most to least deserving of the nod.

Jones continues to be very productive in a down year for American League outfielders. Meanwhile, Hardy is hitting .311 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs since May 1 and continues to be an excellent defensive shortstop.

Markakis is a pick based mostly on the outstanding voting efforts of Orioles fans, but little about his solid-but-unspectacular season really screams All-Star starter if you’re looking at his numbers objectively. He ranks 15th among AL outfielders with a .761 OPS this year.

Aside from Davis, no Orioles player is more deserving of an All-Star nod than Machado, who leads the major leagues in hits and is on pace to set a new major-league record for doubles as he already has 33 in 73 games. It’s understandable that he ranks second behind 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera for third basemen, but it will truly be a shame if he’s left off the All-Star team.

Wieters currently ranks second among AL catchers and will earn consideration because of his defense and reputation, but his offensive numbers don’t hold up as well this year with a .702 OPS, which ranks behind Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana, Jason Castro, Ryan Doumit, and Salvador Perez among AL backstops.

4. Because everyone else has asked the question and I want to address it once before moving on, so who would be your four choices for the Ravens’ hypothetical version of Mt. Rushmore?

I suppose Pro Football Talk should receive the blame for getting this discussion rolling for the 32 NFL teams this spring, but I find it difficult to come up with a definitive foursome for a franchise that only has 17 seasons of history to its name.

The first three are elementary with Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, and Ed Reed, but choosing a fourth feels forced. Super Bowl XLVII most valuable player Joe Flacco would be my tentative selection for now, but Flacco has too much football ahead of him to definitively etch him in stone as one of the four greatest in franchise history.

Still, I’d include him before the likes of Ray Rice, Jamal Lewis, Matt Stover, and Terrell Suggs based on the first five years of his NFL career.

The truth is these types of exercises work much better for teams with extensive histories and it feels artificial for even successful teams with shorter histories such as the Ravens, let alone teams lacking any substantial prosperity like Jacksonville or Carolina.

5. What is your favorite superhero movie?

Yes, I realize this isn’t a sports-related question, but I thought I’d throw in a non-sports topic to discuss and I plan to see “Man of Steel” over the weekend.

The newest attempt at a Superman movie has received mixed reviews, but I’ll freely admit to being a nerd for superhero movies such as the Batman trilogy and saw “Iron Man 3″ in the theater earlier this spring.

“The Dark Knight” goes down as my all-time favorite superhero movie, but I also found “The Dark Knight Rises” to be much better than many gave it credit for as I thoroughly enjoyed Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Bane. It was impossible to match the psychotic performance of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker in the previous movie, but Hardy gave a more than respectable effort playing the homicidal man behind the mask.

How would you answer the five questions posed? Comment below and see if your answers make the cut for Friday’s show.

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Markakis moves into top 3 among AL outfielders in All-Star voting

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Markakis moves into top 3 among AL outfielders in All-Star voting

Posted on 15 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The Orioles may be trailing the Boston Red Sox in the American League East, but they’re dominating the entire league when it comes to voting for Major League Baseball’s 84th All-Star Game.

The latest voting update has four Orioles players who would find themselves in the startling lineup for the 84th edition of the exhibition as first baseman Chris Davis, outfielder Adam Jones, and shortstop J.J. Hardy are leading the league in voting at their respective positions. Joining them as a projected starter would be eighth-year veteran Nick Markakis, who ranks third among AL outfielders behind Jones and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. Markakis has never been selected to an All-Star Game.

Catcher Matt Wieters and third baseman Manny Machado rank second in voting at their respective positions and outfielder Nate McLouth ranks seventh among AL outfielders.

Davis has the second-highest vote total of any AL player behind Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who has a lead of over 1.6 million votes over Machado.

Last year, the Orioles sent three players to the Midsummer Classic (Jones, Wieters, and closer Jim Johnson), marking the first time they’d had multiple selection in an All-Star Game since 2005 when Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora, and B.J. Ryan were all selected to play.

In-stadium voting concludes on June 28, but fans may vote online through July 4. The All-Star teams will be unveiled on July 7 with the game itself scheduled for July 16 at Citi Field.

AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of June 15)

FIRST BASE
Chris Davis, Orioles 2,999,094
Prince Fielder, Tigers 1,980,129
Mike Napoli, Red Sox 744,334
Albert Pujols, Angels 693,062
Mitch Moreland, Rangers 645,071

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Yankees 2,409,512
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 1,635,674
Ian Kinsler, Rangers 1,123,654
Omar Infante, Tigers 872,142
Jose Altuve, Astros 734,896

SHORTSTOP
J.J. Hardy, Orioles 1,871,010
Elvis Andrus, Rangers 1,358,412
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers 1,322,791
Jed Lowrie, Athletics 1,019,861
Derek Jeter, Yankees 669,698

THIRD BASE
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 3,277,890
Manny Machado, Orioles 1,626,209
Adrian Beltre, Rangers 1,105,706
Evan Longoria, Rays 898,422
Josh Donaldson, J. Athletics 500,773

CATCHER
Joe Mauer, Twins 2,127,175
Matt Wieters, Orioles 1,615,625
A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers 885,137
Carlos Santana, Indians 864,779
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox 748,725

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz, Red Sox 2,488,451
Lance Berkman, Rangers 1,239,521
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays 769,322
Mark Reynolds, Indians 745,058
Mark Trumbo, Angels 722,667

OUTFIELD
Adam Jones, Orioles 2,740,505
Mike Trout, Angels 2,710,115
Nick Markakis, Orioles 1,463,392
Torii Hunter, Tigers 1,425,571
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 1,379,251
Nelson Cruz, Rangers 1,310,079
Nate McLouth, Orioles 1,300,158
Alex Gordon, Royals 1,040,685
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox 1,004,434
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics 926,611
Coco Crisp, Athletics 869,153
Josh Hamilton, Angels 726,485
Austin Jackson, Tigers 712,623
Shane Victorino, Red Sox 682,220
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees 620,734

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Hardy, Jones join Davis as leading All-Star vote getters at respective positions

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Hardy, Jones join Davis as leading All-Star vote getters at respective positions

Posted on 08 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Hardy overtakes Andrus at shortstop in latest American League balloting figures

Jones Passes Trout for Top Outfield Spot; Cabrera Maintains Overall Lead

 

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is bidding for his second All-Star appearance and his first fan-elected start, has surpassed Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers in the second balloting figures for the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field in New York. The latest A.L. results were announced earlier this evening on FOX as part of its “Baseball Night in America” pre-game show. The second National League balloting results will be revealed tomorrow night on ESPN during “Baseball Tonight” at 7:00 p.m. prior to its Sunday Night Baseball telecast.

Hardy, an All-Star in 2007, is aiming to become just the third Orioles shortstop to earn a fan-elected start, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (12 times; 1984-87, 89-96) and Miguel Tejada (2005). In addition, he is attempting to become the first A.L. shortstop other than Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees to earn a fan-elected starting nod since Tejada. Hardy, who leads all A.L. shortstops with 13 home runs and 37 RBI, has totaled 1,231,843 votes. He is trailed closely by Andrus, a two-time All-Star, who has received 1,045,885.

Hardy’s Orioles teammate Adam Jones has taken over the top spot in the A.L. outfield with 1,944,450 votes, and last week’s leader, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, follows right behind with 1,939,486 votes. Jones, striving for his third All-Star appearance and first fan-elected start, would become just the fourth Orioles outfielder in history to receive a fan-elected start, joining Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1970-71), Ken Singleton (1981) and Brady Anderson (1997). Jones, who has reached base safely in 52 of his 61 games this season, ranks among the top 10 in the A.L. with 43 runs (tied for third), 77 hits (fourth) and 18 doubles (tied for fifth). Trout, the 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year, is vying for his second Midsummer Classic appearance after becoming the seventh-youngest A.L. position player in All-Star history last year. The 21-year-old has reached safely in 55 games this season and his 24 multi-hit games are tied for second in the A.L.

Rounding out the top three outfielders is Torii Hunter of the Detroit Tigers, who has collected 1,067,973 votes as he aims for his fifth All-Star appearance and second fan-elected start (2002). The nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, who is one home run shy of 300 for his career, would join Ron LeFlore (1976), Rusty Staub (1976), Chet Lemon (1984) and Magglio Ordoñez (2007) as the only Detroit outfielders to earn a fan-elected starting assignment. Hunter, in his first season in the Motor City, is trying to hold off a trio of outfielders, including Nick Markakis (1,030,653) of the Orioles, three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Jose Bautista (1,021,813) of the Toronto Blue Jays and 2009 All-Star Nelson Cruz (1,011,198) of the Rangers.

Hunter’s Tiger teammate Miguel Cabrera continues to hold the overall lead in the A.L. with 2,355,128 votes. The seven-time All-Star, who is bidding for his first-ever fan-elected start, leads the Majors with a .368 batting average, 67 RBI, 88 hits, 26 multi-hit games and a .447 on-base percentage. The 2012 A.L. MVP, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, also paces the A.L. with 47 runs scored. He is trailed at third base by 20-year-old Manny Machado (1,170,108) of the Orioles, who leads the Majors with 26 doubles and ranks second behind Cabrera with 84 hits.

Joining Hardy and Cabrera in the A.L. infield is Hardy’s Baltimore teammate and first baseman Chris Davis and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. Davis, who has received the second-highest number of votes in the A.L. with 2,084,274, is contending for his Midsummer Classic debut, and would become the first Orioles first baseman since Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in 1985 to receive a fan-elected start. Davis, who leads the Majors with 20 home runs and a .719 slugging percentage, is on pace to hit 55 home runs and 55 doubles. He is trailed at first base by four-time All-Star Prince Fielder of the Tigers, who has tallied 1,469,537 votes. Cano, who is seeking his fourth consecutive starting assignment and fifth All-Star nod overall, would become the first A.L. second baseman to earn four consecutive fan-elected starts since Roberto Alomar had five from 1996-2000. Cano, who has garnered 1,851,371 votes, leads Major League second basemen with 15 home runs and a .510 slugging percentage, and he is tops among A.L. second basemen with 39 RBI. He is followed by three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Dustin Pedroia (1,106,949) of the A.L. East rival Boston Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins backstop Joe Mauer, who has totaled 1,492,396 votes, continues to lead Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (1,153,795), a two-time All-Star, behind the plate. Mauer, a five-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter, would join Hall of Famers Rod Carew (nine times) and Kirby Puckett (six times) as the only Twins to earn at least four fan-elected starts.

Eight-time All-Star and six-time fan-elected starter David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox maintains a comfortable lead at designated hitter, having received 1,716,410 votes. Ortiz, who is trailed by Lance Berkman (957,618) of the Rangers, would become the second Red Sox player in history to earn seven fan-elected starts, joining his former teammate Manny Ramirez. In addition, Ortiz would become the 10th player in A.L. history to receive at least seven fan-elected starts with a single team, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17, Baltimore), George Brett (11, Kansas City), Carew (9, Minnesota) and Dave Winfield (7, New York), and other A.L. All-Stars Ken Griffey, Jr. (10, Seattle), Ichiro Suzuki (9, Seattle), Ivan Rodriguez (9, Texas), Jeter (8, New York) and Ramirez (7, Boston).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 40.2 million ballots cast. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD will sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 28th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 4th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.

For the fifth consecutive year, this year’s ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select the three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2013 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 15th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; the winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox; the winner of the 2009 and 2012 Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder of the Tigers; Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles; Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Mike Trout of the Angels. The 10 National League candidates are Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals; Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds; and David Wright of the Mets.

The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – A.L. skipper Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and N.L. manager Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 11th. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th. The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or mets.com/asg.

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