Tag Archive | "miguel tejada"

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Striving For Mediocrity

Posted on 02 February 2011 by Erich Hawbaker

It’s about this time every year that my brain begins its semiannual transition out of one mode and into another. By August, I start to get the itch for football season and slowly begin checking out of baseball. It’s a lot easier to do when your team is nowhere near playoff contention, and as we all know that’s the way it’s been since I was in middle school. But nonetheless, it’s about now when I begin to fondly look forward to having a baseball game to listen to on the radio every night and enough daylight to get me to at least the 5th or 6th inning if I’m out on the farm.

So now, we must inevitably begin the speculation of how the 2011 edition of the Baltimore Orioles will fare. I have to say first off that it’s kind of a new experience for me to see some guys on the O’s roster that I’ve actually had on my fantasy teams in years past. I had JJ Hardy that year he was hitting homeruns like it was going out of style, and I also had Justin Duscherer for that season when Oakland moved him into their rotation and he put up some solid numbers. But unfortunately, this actually shows us that the Orioles’ offseason strategy has not changed at all.

Early on, when the top shelf free agents are looking for new homes, they’re nowhere to be seen; or if they do make an appearance, it’s only ever a half-hearted attempt at snagging one (case and point, Adam Dunn). Then, after the dust settles, they go about the business of filling their roster needs with so-so position players who might be better than who they had last year but are a far cry from being the building blocks of a playoff team. Round it out with a couple guys who were stars five years ago, but are now in the twilight of their careers, and you’ve got the Angelos/MacPhail formula for “success”.

Over the years, I’ve gotten sick after spiking my tea with orange Kool Aid enough times that I refuse to do so again. I tend to be more of a realist than an optimist in just about everything. But for some reason, the one exception I always made to that was for the Orioles. Not again. This year, I’m going to assume that this team still sucks until they show me otherwise. Exactly one year ago, I wrote a blog right here where I praised the front office for bringing back Miguel Tejada, and speculated that he, along with Josh Bell and Garrett Atkins, were going to at least give the Birds a shot at breaking .500 in 2010. Reading that again now, I feel like Gary Cooper saying that Gone With The Wind was going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history.

I’m officially changing my modus operandi of being a fan, because they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Are you listening, front office? We’re still in the midst of this “grow the arms and buy the bats” mantra, but whenever it comes time to actually buy, you once again take the bargain basement route and bring home the guy who set the MLB record for most strikeouts in a season (Reynolds), a flash-in-the-pan hitting shortstop (Hardy), and yet another transient, aged power hitter (Vlad). And the best part is, Andy managed to go over what Pete wanted to spend! I guess the economy hasn’t been good for the ambulance chasing business, either. But they’re committed to winning, don’t doubt it for a second!

This team has proven me wrong (and Murphy’s Law right) more times than I care to recall. And I really hope they prove me wrong again this year… by at least having a pulse.

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

Posted on 28 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

These were selected by….Glenn Clark. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Orioles sign Miguel Tejada, Maryland names Kevin Anderson Athletic Director, Navy pounds Notre Dame at Meadowlands, Ravens beat Jets on Monday Night Football, Maryland field hockey wins National Championship, Shogun Fights II & III come to 1st Mariner Arena, John Tillman hired as Maryland lacrosse coach, Ravens sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Trice Capra reaches 3rd round of U.S. Open, Terrapins hold off Midshipmen in Labor Day thriller at M&T Bank Stadium, Cliff Tucker buries Georgia Tech with incredible buzzer beater

10. Danny O’Brien breaks out as Maryland tops NC State

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

Maybe the “moment” should be O’Brien getting his first start against Florida International. Unfortunately, no one was at Byrd Stadium that day and even fewer were watching on ESPN3.com.

Maybe the “moment” should be Maryland’s battle against Florida State in College Park where O’Brien nearly beat the Seminoles and gave the Terrapins a chance to play in the ACC Championship Game. But the Terps lost that game.

So I’ll stick with the season closer. It was an epic breakout performance from a freshman quarterback that offered hope to Maryland fans that change had come.

Of course, change was really STILL to come.

9. Ravens trade for Anquan Boldin

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itI56uxrbeU[/youtube]

If you actually go to the page for that YouTube video, you’ll find multiple Super Bowl related comments.

That was the immediate feeling when the Ravens traded two NFL Draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin. Since that time, the Boldin deal has looked…well…not quite as overwhelming. But it doesn’t change the moment.

In that moment, the Ravens became the “Offseason Champs”, an honor the Washington Redskins had owned for years.

The difference? The Ravens till have a chance to be the REAL champs as well.

8. Baltimore Grand Prix officially announced

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntu-FrV9ufY[/youtube]

Look, I’M not a fan of the IndyCar Series myself. Well, other than Danica Patrick anyway.

And I have NO IDEA how many folks in Baltimore could EVER tell you who Will Power or Dario Franchitti were.

But if the Baltimore Grand Prix raises as much money for the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Governor Martin O’Malley say it will, this could be a MAJOR moment for this area.

7. The return of the Preakness infield

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHLL8YQmCoA[/youtube]

After the “miserable failure” (my own words, folks) that was the 2009 Preakness “Infieldfest” event, the Maryland Jockey Club hit a home run in 2010.

Pimlico’s infield was covered in people thanks to a $20 “All you can drink” ticket that replaced the previous BYOB experience and an awesome musical combination or O.A.R. and Zac Brown Band (which was LIGHT YEARS better than ZZ Top and Buckcherry the previous year).

It was an awesome event. Hopefully there will be another one.

By the way, does anyone remember who won the Preakness this year?

(Edit from GMC: It was Lookin at Lucky. I ALMOST had to go to Wikipedia to jog my memory.)

6. Duke beats Virginia in lacrosse Final Four

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

Maybe Notre Dame’s improbable run to the National Championship Game or the Blue Devils’ thrilling Memorial Day win over the Fighting Irish were bigger stories; but the Saturday showdown between the Cavaliers and Devils was absolutely EPIC.

The impact of Yeardley Love’s murder added to the buildup surrounding the game, as Cavs coach Dom Starsia was reminded of George Huguely’s name throughout the NCAA Tournament. Also adding to the buildup was the presence of the final class of “Super Seniors” from Duke, as the NCAA granted all Duke players an extra year of eligibility following the scandal that rocked the Durham campus in 2006.

The game was even better than the incredible buildup. Max Quinzani’s game winner with 13 seconds left finished off what had been one of the more incredible quarters of lacrosse ever seen in Charm City.

This will be the only entry on the list that doesn’t involve a local team. It was good enough that it doesn’t matter.

5. Orioles hire Buck Showalter

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STRgnJzuHxc[/youtube]

When I gave my “Local Sports Person of the Year” vote to Buck Showalter, I said his hiring represented the first real “hope” Birds fans had experienced since the 2005 campaign, when the team reached the All-Star Game still leading the American League Wild Card race.

What happened with the O’s down the stretch (a 34-23 finish under Showalter) means little if the team does not build upon it. But the hope that came with the incredible finish was that the team COULD build upon it.

We’ll see.

But it certainly doesn’t change the level of excitement that came with Showalter’s hiring and incredible two month run. If things truly turn around for the Orioles, it will be marked as the actual moment of change.

4. Joe Flacco finds TJ Houshmandzadeh to beat Steelers in Pittsburgh

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJIHpJLRWog[/youtube]

I’m pretty sure my column that day said it all.

The Ravens were ABSOLUTELY on their way to another crushing loss at Heinz Field; and I wasn’t going to believe it wouldn’t end that way until the moment Houshmandzadeh hauled in the Flacco TD toss.

The Ravens QB had never lead his team from behind to win in the final two minutes of regulation.

That changed.

Had the Ravens held on to finish the sweep of the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium; the win would have meant even more.

3. Maryland beats Duke to (essentially) clinch ACC regular season title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIW27uR56s[/youtube]

As I stated when he was voted “Local Sports Person of the Year”, this was the defining moment for Greivis Vasquez.

Beating good teams at Comcast Center has been somewhat commonplace for the Terps in the Gary Williams era. In fact, Maryland had knocked off North Carolina in College Park just a season earlier. (Both the 2009 Tar Heels and this year’s Blue Devils would go on to win the NCAA Championship.)

Yet somehow, this particular win over a good team was more satisfying. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was Senior Night for Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the win would ultimately prove to be the difference as the Terps would split the ACC regular season title.

More than anything, it probably had everything to do with the fact that it was Duke.

Wins ALWAYS feel better when they come against Duke.

2. Ravens go to Foxborough, beat New England Patriots in AFC playoffs

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwFU4xYzV4[/youtube]

If it had been a round (or definitely two rounds) later, this would have been a slam dunk #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the flat performance in a divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts a week later took some of the excitement out of the win at Gillette Stadium.

That being said, the emotions of a dominant win over a Bill Belichick/Tom Brady lead team on the road won’t be forgotten for some time.

It was even more emotional when the story of Matthew Costello (son of WMAR anchor Jamie Costello) giving Cam Cameron the play call for Ray Rice’s opening play TD came out.

It was a huge win and an awesome feeling. It’s just a shame it didn’t extend towards the Super Bowl.

1. Reggie Holmes breaks Morgan State’s all-time scoring record in win over Coppin State

I was there for #2, #3 and #4. This was better.

morgan

The emotions inside Hill Field House were incredible.

It was Senior Night, the final home game for star guard Reggie Holmes.

Holmes was announced as MEAC Player of the Year. Kevin Thompson was announced as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Dewayne Jackson was announced as MEAC Freshman of the Year. Todd Bozeman was announced as MEAC Coach of the Year.

Holmes’ entire neighborhood (Cherry Hill) was in the stands…and actually rushed the floor PREGAME. The game started more than an hour late.

Holmes needed 33 points to break Marvin “The Eraser” Webster’s Bears career scoring record. He scored 36 in a blowout win.

It was incredible.

It represented everything that makes college basketball in Baltimore great. It represented everything that makes Baltimore sports great.

It was the best moment of the year.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 01 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

I’ll start with the Retro Version. The retro version is in honor of tonight’s start of Hanukkah. My personal favorite (half) Jew is the great Lenny Kravitz, so here’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” If you’ve seen Lenny recently, please tell him to come back. He was freaking AMAZING.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLhpHjmxNw8[/youtube]

The NEW version of TGSOATTW is a song heard prominently on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. I hope that tonight’s Grammy Awards nomination announcement features the band Ra Ra Riot. “Shadow Casting” is quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvcxieyeg4k[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Ravens waived S Ken Hamlin, signed FB Jason McKie

As I reported yesterday, the Ravens also tried out former Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans TE/FB Joel Gamble before going with McKie. I was told they made the decision because they felt McKie was more of a natural fullback while Gamble was more of a hybrid. Gamble is a Baltimore native (and Carver grad).

As far as McKie is concerned, I can’t imagine him being asked to do much more than block-but they’ll definitely need him to block. The likelihood is that Le’Ron McClain’s ankle will probably keep him out Sunday night, and the Ravens’ current roster options just aren’t particularly good. Dennis Pitta can help and Jalen Parmele could see the field; but in a game where running the ball will be important-the Ravens will need a true blocking back.

Don’t rule out Hamlin returning to Charm City at some point this season. He was cut once (to make room for Prince Miller humorously enough) but returned in favor of Trevor Pryce. The Ravens like the veteran presence that Hamlin gives them-but he hasn’t even been active much in recent weeks.

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Ravens not concerned about outcry regarding towel giveaway

During our “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” segment before last year’s Ravens-Steelers game at M&T Bank Stadium, I really used up all of the venom I have on this subject.

OF COURSE it’s shameful that the Ravens are giving away towels the night of a Ravens-Steelers game.

OF COURSE it’s embarrassing to hardcore Baltimore football fans to see their own team use a “copycat” version of a rival tradition.

OF COURSE fans should chose NOT to waive the towels but instead to use their hands to clap, bang thundersticks, or otherwise make noise.

OF COURSE the Ravens should really know better in this entire situation.

Unfortunately, they’re still going to give the stupid towel away Sunday night even though there is no one excited about it.

Hey-it makes a nice dish rag. If they were giving them away on the way out-I’d be okay with it. And even ol’ Forrester thinks it makes a nice wall flag…

df

3. The AP’s Alan Robinson says Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger wearing protective boot, expected to play Sunday vs. Ravens

OF COURSE Ben Roethlisberger is going to play Sunday.

(I’ve said “OF COURSE” a lot today. Annoying anyone?)

Of course, if Sabrina Maree lived in the Steel City (or here in Baltimore); I’m not so sure Big Ben wouldn’t be too distracted to make it to the game Sunday night. (Thanks The Beer Goggler via Busted Coverage!)

sabrinamaree

4. ESPN.com drops Ravens to 4th in power rankings

Calm down. The only three teams ahead of the Ravens are the Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and New York Jets; who are all 9-2. The Ravens are first amongst the 8-3 teams.

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

-I’m all for the idea of a “No Means No” chant Sunday night. I think it has to start during TV timeouts right before the Steelers take the ball. If this happens, I will seriously OWE the city of Baltimore for being so freaking awesome.

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. We’ll of course be out there to cover everything happening on and off the practice field. Make sure you remain tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking out WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

5. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says chances of Cesar Izturis returning to Orioles continue to improve

With no offense to Cesar Izturis, umm……..I’d rather not.

Connolly says Jason Bartlett will be dealt by the Tampa Bay Rays, but not to Baltimore. Miguel Tejada is headed to the San Francisco Giants, who lost Juan Uribe to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It could still be an option for the Minnesota Twins to deal JJ Hardy, but they’re not guaranteed to sign Tsuyoshi Nishioka or not move him to second base.

If all else fails, why not Maggi Caruthers?!?!? (Thanks Guyism!)

caruthers

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen named ACC Coach of the Year, QB Danny O’Brien named Rookie of the Year

Both of these were sort of “no brainer” types of decisions.

The only other real options for Coach of the Year were Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. As the Seminoles did basically what everyone expected them to do and the Hokies only started playing well after losing to Boise State and James Madison; it would have been hard to justify either being honored ahead of Friedgen.

And I’m not sure I have many more words to scribe regarding O’Brien. Maybe it’s best the Terrapins DIDN’T make it to Charlotte to play in the ACC Championship Game. I’m not sure what else I could have said about him.

He’s like Matt Wieters. You know, expect…he’s actually done something.

7. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with Penn State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

I’ll say Terrapins 77, Nittany Lions 69.

I think it will be close for a while though, and I don’t doubt that Talor Battle will get his.

But there would be no excuse for Maryland to not roll up to State College and dominate inside with Jordan Williams. That should absolutely be the difference maker.

SHOULD be I say.

8. The AP says Justin Fry’s 16 points not enough as UMBC fell at Penn

Randy Monroe’s Retrievers MIGHT be better than last year; but it hasn’t resulted in a win yet.

And with a trip to UConn coming Friday night-I’m not sure a win is coming soon either.

Towson is in action tonight, the Tigers host Western Michigan at the Towson Center at 7pm.

9. The AP says Michael Harper scored 19 points to lead Coppin State past Lincoln (Pennsylvania) at CSPEC

Now they gear up for not only an early season MEAC showdown; but the ultimate rivalry game-as they visit Hill Field House for a date with the Morgan State Bears Saturday at 4pm.

But to celebrate the Eagles’ win, I offer a picture of Dani Thompson. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

danithompson

10. The Sun’s Hanah Cho says Maryland officials maintain they will work to protect Preakness as future of horse racing in jeopardy

Did you miss Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association President Richard Hoffberger Wednesday morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you’ll find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Mike Bires (Beaver County Times)-who talked Steelers with Drew Wednesday
  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens with Drew Wednesday
  • Paul Cantabene (Mustangs Lacrosse Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday for “The Stevenson Coaches’ Report”
  • A Birds starting pitchers game (courtesy of Sporcle.com) Drew and Glenn Clark (I know him) played Wednesday morning, as well as a call from “Steve M from Kingsville.”
  • Keith Booth (Maryland assistant coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Tuesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Scott Smith (Strikeforce Fighter)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”
  • Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)-who went around the sports world with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Allen McCallum (WNST MLB Analyst)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday for “The MLB Report”
  • Gabrielle Dow (Ravens VP of Marketing)-who joined Nestor Aparicio Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss the towel fiasco
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL Tuesday with Nestor

And finally, I leave you with this.

So apparently the North Carolina A&T band plays a version of the Antoine Dodson “Bed Intruder” song. Awesome. Thanks WNST intern Barry Kamen courtesy of Ryan Chell’s Facebook page…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3UsvLyu3N0[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tejada Returns to Bay Area

Posted on 30 November 2010 by Jay Trucker

Miguel Tejada, who left the Bay Area for Baltimore before the 2004 season, is returning to California, this time as a member of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Tejada first played for the Orioles from 2004 – 2007. He was traded to Houston before the 2008 season. The former MVP shortstop returned to Baltimore two years later having aged four years, following an ESPN-contrived sting that revealed he lied about his birthday.

In his most recent stint with The Birds, Tejada manned third base. He hit only seven home runs in 97 games. That’s another story.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Giants may play Tejada at either shortstop or third. At 37, his limited range makes him a liability at short, but his lack of power makes him less attractive at third.

Tejada will rejoin former Oriole and Baltimore basher Aubrey Huff, who emerged in San Francisco as an almost unrecognizably thin veteran leader for the champion Giants. He signed a two-year, $22 million deal last week.

As for Tejada, he will have a chance to make his first playoff appearance since leaving the Bay Area. He led the A’s to playoff appearances in each season from 2000 through 2003. Next season, Miggy gets to watch a ring ceremony up close, though the red, bejeweled thong wearing Huff will get a ring, and Tejada will be only a spectator.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because days like today are the closest I’m going to feel to having a new child myself…at least that I know of. Today there was a new child born in the Chick-Fil-A family; which I count like my own family. Today’s new birth was in Hunt Valley (the mother of “The Artist Formerly Known as The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” lives there-I wonder if I’m still welcome to visit?).

While Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square remains my own personal location, I’m always happy to see an addition to the family. I was even HAPPIER when WNST’s new “Quality Control Director” Chris Cortezi came strolling through the front door at 1550 Hart Rd. with this gift, sent by our HERO Susan from Towson…

minis

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Donte’ Stallworth, Mark Clayton, Tom Zbikowski in mix to be punt returner

Punt return is a strange area this season. Chris Carr was the incumbent and did a decent job last season. Fans were disappointed with the number of times he signaled for a fair catch, but John Harbaugh and Jerry Rosburg were happy to know that he wouldn’t turn the ball over when it was sent to him.

The trouble is-the team now needs Carr to be a starter in the secondary; and they want to keep his focus there. Thus, the punt return job is available for one of these other guys to win. Donte’ Stallworth certainly has the speed to do it and Tom Zbikowski has admirably handled the duties in the past.

Clayton is a particularly interesting character in this cast. His role in the wide receiving corps is a bit diminished, but he still has plenty of speed and is a threat to make plays. That combination could make him a real impact guy in such a position.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens remain in talks with Frank Walker, but he tried out with Miami Dolphins

I know Ravens fans aren’t thrilled with the idea of Frank Walker returning to Charm City, but he’s a legitimate option to be a “plug and play” guy with this team; and they will likely need at least ONE more corner with Cary Williams out for the first two games of the season-assuming Cary makes the roster.

Of course, there are plenty of other options for the team to consider besides Frank Walker. For example, Alessandra Ambrosio would be a tremendous option (Thanks Guyism!)…

alessandra

3. Fanhouse’s Milton Kent says Ravens preseason games to air in Washington, Harrisburg

And in a story that somehow went unnoticed, WBAL announced that the “Rave TV” weekly programming will air on WBAL Plus (I believe that’s 11.2 on your digital cable); including the “John Harbaugh Show.”

Make your appointments accordingly.

With no offense to the Ravens, WBAL, WBAL Plus, Rave TV, the John Harbaugh Show or people who watch 11.2 looking for an Oprah Winfrey rerun; I think this is a disappointing solution.

Plus, do they realize what they’re up against at 7:30pm? WNUV54 has “Family Guy”, WMAR2 has “Wheel of Fortune” and WUTB 24 has “The Office”! How am I supposed to choose “Purple Passion” ahead of THIS?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-wf2pP7T0Y[/youtube]

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Joe Flacco-Anquan Boldin TD on first drive tonight could send M&T Bank Stadium crowd into frenzy

And a few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-The Ravens of course open exhibition season tonight with a showdown against the Carolina Panthers at “The Bank.” The game can be seen live on ESPN-and will be relayed on WJZ13. Jared Gaither and Chris Carr are definitely expected to be out (besides all of the PUP guys); no definitive word on Fabian Washington’s status just yet. Either way, expect to see a lot of Chris Hawkins and Doug Dutch tonight-but don’t forget that the beer will still be the same price.

-Suzy Kolber and the Monday Night Football crew (Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, and Michelle Tafoya) are working the game for ESPN tonight. She joined Drew Forrester for a GREAT chat this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Eugene Robinson (Panthers Color Analyst, former Pro Bowl Defensive Back); who previewed tonight’s showdown with Drew
  • Orlando Alzugaray (WQAM Miami)-who previewed the Dolphins with Drew as we continue to go around the AFC East and look at the Ravens’ 2010 schedule
  • Our weekly “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, as I took to task the USTA and the lack of American men in the Top 10 in the World Tennis rankings; and Drew took Neal S from “The Loss Column” to task for calling out O’s fans

There’s plenty more in there from Rex Snider’s Show Wednesday and with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, so make sure you go check it out.

Your day? Planned. I’ll accept tips.

5. The AP says Brad Bergesen threw complete game two hitter to lift Orioles past Indians at Progressive Field

I just don’t know what to make of any of it.

As I’ve said before, it is impossible look at this stretch of 9 games and say “okay, it took them a long time-but they’ve finally developed into the type of team we thought they would be.”

Instead, we’re forced to wonder what any of it means. The danger is that Brad Bergesen isn’t just the pitcher who threw a gem in Cleveland last night, he’s a guy who has gone 4-9 this season with a 5.84 ERA. Do you keep a rotation spot in stone for a guy like that next season?

Brian Roberts added another home run last night. I like the Birds more when Brian Roberts is playing. Of course, everyone does.

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of another win

Unbelievably, you actually DO want to look at these numbers. Again. Brad Bergesen’s line enough is enjoyable.

But AFTER you look at the numbers, look at this picture of Christina Hendricks from whatever the hell that show is that she’s on that everyone likes so bad. Mad Men? True Blood? Tosh.0? Hell if I know. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

hendricks

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter will allow Josh Bell to keep playing during slump

And with Miguel Tejada gone, there aren’t a whole lot of other options.

The only concern here is that somehow Bell’s confidence can be hurt between now and the end of the regular season; but the opposing argument would be that he’s a Major League Baseball player-and he just needs to suck it up.

I don’t think the team should be working under the assumption that Bell is ABSOLUTELY the Opening Day 3B next year. Mostly because I would like to see the team go out and get a real legitimate 3B in the offseason.

I’d also like a million dollars. But only the Barenaked Ladies got that wish.

8. LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez says former Oriole Jay Gibbons keeping paycheck he’s getting from Los Angeles Dodgers

Some might call Gibbons a hypocrite for that; but I wouldn’t be amongst them. The dude probably needs the paycheck at this point.

By the way, Jay Gibbons will join Rex Snider this afternoon at 3:15 on AM1570 WNST. My guess is that the words “Mitchell Report” will be uttered at some point.

9. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Nolan Reimold had two hits for Norfolk Tides in loss to Indianapolis Indians on farm

And before we move on from the O’s, a couple of things.

-The O’s wrap up a 3 game set with the Tribe tonight before heading to Tampa Bay this weekend to face the Rays. Kevin Millwood faces Jeanmar Gomez, first pitch is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Lou Montanez began a rehab assignment with the Bowie Baysox last night, Jim Johnson is expected to begin his tonight. I support the Bowie Baysox myself and think you should as well.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland TE Lansford Watson limited with knee swelling

In that case, the Terrapins may be in need of some help at TE. May I suggest Ralph Friedgen and the Terps consider Bar Rafaeli??? (Thanks Don Chavez!)

barr

And finally, I leave you with this.

NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD! NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD! OMFG NEW JIMMY EAT WORLD!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWOsyA3To3o[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I haven’t had a chance to post a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week, and it gives me pass along the same message I passed along yesterday via Facebook (Feel free to add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and find the guy in the Dan Wilcox jersey hanging out at Artscape).

I have no idea how Train-who I think is an overly solid band-managed to make such a garbage song as that “Hey Soul Sister” nonsense, but thank God their next single “If It’s Love” is much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxWK3qACDGk[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howard Fendrich says Jeremy Guthrie pitched Orioles past Angels in Buck Showalter’s debut

Yes-I lead with Jeremy Guthrie instead of Buck Showalter. Last night was much more about Jeremy Guthrie than it was about Showalter.

The one thing that Jeremy Guthrie has given this team for the better part of the year is a feeling that they have a chance to win a game.

The Birds couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Bell last night, but thanks to Jeremy Guthrie keeping them in it-they were finally able to break through when Los Angeles (of Anaheim) went to the pen. Thanks Mike Scioscia!

That being said, you could tell there was a heightened sense of excitement in Baltimore last night, which is what SHOULD come in the first game under a legitimate MLB manager. The question now is whether or not that excitement can continue for SOME sort of prolonged period of time.

My guess is no-mostly because the players on the field are terrible. Not much can be done about that over the next two months. I’ll hope I’m wrong-but the evidence doesn’t suggest I would be.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Felix Pie stole a base.

I thought it was a little strange when they stopped the game and removed the base; then brough Pie a mic for him to make a Rickey Henderson-type speech on the field. BUT-I understand that it was such a rare occurance they probably didn’t know how to handle it.

It was nice to see Pie have a solid night after fans were given Pie t-shirts. I’m not sure who picked up mine for me, but I’m at least one of you saevd one for me, right? It was also a big night for Matt Wieters, Josh Bell and of course Luke Scott. I hope we’ll see more of all of that.

Of course, I’m so used to saying “you don’t really want to look at the numbers” that I’m always confused when I don’t have to say that. With that in mind, why don’t you look at this picture of WWE’s Kelly Kelly (Thanks Don Chavez!) AND look at the numbers linked above. It’s a win-win!

kellykelly

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Showalter spent Tuesday afternoon chatting with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, O’s veterans

The fact is that if the Orioles are going to be competitive at ANY point in the next 4 years, they’re going to have to build around Nick Markakis and hopefully Matt Wieters. Brian Roberts still has 2 years under contract, but is no longer a franchise-type player even when healthy. Adam Jones has talent, but his mistakes and mentality make him more of a “commodity” than a cornerstone.

Markakis is the guy. He’s under contract for 4 more years. He may not be a REAL franchise player in Major League Baseball, but he’s the closest we have in Charm City. Matt Wieters is under control for a few more years as well, so that’s what you build around.

The team is hoping they can build a rotation around some young pitchers as well; but assuming that Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are there already is a mistake. They cannot be penciled in yet.

That’s what Showalter has. Now he has to work with Andy MacPhail to improve it. I think it goes without saying that I’m not overly hopeful.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to open 2011 season at Tampa Bay Rays April 1, host Opening Day at OPACY April 4 against Detroit Tigers

It doesn’t reflect tradition, but I will admit that I really enjoyed having the home opener on a Friday this year. I was excited to hear that baseball was moving the opener to Friday; so I’m disappointed to hear that the Orioles’ opener will be on the road.

Of course, I’m mostly saying that because it impacts my beer drinking schedule. Day drinking on a Friday > day drinking on a Monday. If it drags into the evening hours, it’s way better to not have to wake up the next morning.

Of course-if you’re drinking Flying Dog Tire Bite; any day is a good day for day drinking…

tirebite

5. Baysox.com says despite continued torrid play from Joe Mahoney, Bowie couldn’t top Portland Sea Dogs on farm

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

-The Birds and Halos are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch between Dan Haren and Jake Arrieta is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. Dan Haren has yet to pick up a win since coming to the American League. My guess it that will change tonight, but I’ll be rooting that it doesn’t.

-If you get the chance to check out Drew’s Rick Dempsey blog today at WNST.net, it’s worth the read. I feel SOMEWHAT bad for Rick, as I know he badly wants the job-but I think at this point the two parties are going to have to part ways.

-Did you miss Baysox pitcher Wynn Pelzer (the player acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Miguel Tejada deal) with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? If you did, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who discussed the Brett Favre drama and all things NFL
  • Ryan Sharrow (Baltimore Business Journal)-who broke down the messy divorce between MASN and the Ravens
  • Brad Johansen (Cincinnati Bengals Radio PBP Voice)-who previewed Cincy as we go around the AFC North this week

They’re all in the Audio Vault now if you want to check them out. Some other things in the Audio Vault worth checking out include…

  • Fabian Washington (Ravens CB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Matt Williams (Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Coach)-the former D-Backs and San Francisco Giants slugger who played for Buck Showalter in Phoenix; who joined Rex Snider and Allen McCallum Tuesday afternoon
  • Sean Salisbury (former NFL QB)-who discussed Brett Favre and the Ravens with Rex Tuesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ralph Friedgen and Ken Niumatalolo

So there you go. Your afternoon is planned out for you. Enjoy!

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens WR Derrick Mason hurt ankle at Training Camp Tuesday, but injury ‘doesn’t appear serious’

Of course the hit would come from Dawan Landry. I think that’s a rule at McDaniel College.

WNST.net’s Luke Jones reported that Mason did not practice Wednesday morning (follow us on Twitter @WNST)-but after talking to him yesterday, I don’t get the feeling that the injury will keep him out for an extended period of time. In fact, I bet we’ll see him on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium if not before. Just a hunch on my part.

By the way, both Drew and I named Derrick Mason the Number 1 “Most Dramatic” player in Ravens history in our “Training Camp Top 5″ this morning. Drew’s list:

5-Matt Stover
4-Shannon Sharpe
3-Chris McAlister
2-John Harbaugh
1-Derrick Mason

My list:

5-Jermaine Lewis
4-Chris McAlister
3-Ed Reed
2-Ray Lewis
1-Derrick Mason

7. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Jared Gaither plans to ‘put weight back on’

I’m really not all that concerned with Jared Gaither’s weight. He’s always been a more athletic tackle; and I think he will work things out in terms of body size.

What I’m more concerned about is what’s going to happen if and when Harbaugh stops flipping Gaither and Michael Oher between positions and finally decides to have Oher play LT and Gaither play RT. Gaither said yesterday he’d play anywhere the team wants him to and he’d “abide by” Coach Harbs; but we need to see that on the field to accept it.

You know who doesn’t need to put any weight on at all? Christina Moustaka. She’s just fine. (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

moustaka

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says WBAL, Comcast SportsNet options for Ravens after MASN partnership ended

We’ll make this easy. I don’t know how many people actually tuned in to watch the John Harbaugh Show or Purple Passion or whatever the hell those shows are called on MASN; but NOBODY will be tuning in to channel 11.1 to see them on WBAL’s digital subchannel. Fans might be willing to stream the shows on BaltimoreRavens.com, but they really need a better on-air alternative.

Using Comcast SportsNet PLUS, their COULD be room for them with CSN-but CSN is ABSOLUTELY intertwined with the Washington Redskins. These wouldn’t be strange bedfellows, these would be absolutely uncomfortable bedfellows. Of course, there aren’t many other options. Perhaps a WNUV 54 or maybe WUTB 24 could be options, but they wouldn’t be ideal.

It’s a shame these parties couldn’t get this worked out; hopefully something could still be figured out in the future.

Before I move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Luke Jones is out at McDaniel College again today, where we are expected to hear from John Harbaugh, Matt Birk, Michael Oher and the commish-Roger Goodell. All of it will be up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault later today.

-Jameel McClain continues to get the majority of the snaps inside next to Ray Lewis with the first team. It looks more and more like he’s moved ahead of Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden on the depth chart.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tell media in Westminster they’d like to face each other more often

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Terrapins and Midshipmen should get together every other year, and M&T Bank Stadium is the ideal location to host the “Crab Bowl Classic.”

The successor to Debbie Yow in College Park will have a large say in whether or not this gets done, but sources there have told me before that the school would LIKE to play a game in Baltimore every other year (and play a game at FedEx Field every other year as well).

You know what else I’d like to see more often? Denmark’s Celina Hilslev; who was apparently on the cover of something called M! (Thanks Guyism!)…

hilslev

10. NavySports.com says former Duke standout Greg Paulus joins Midshipmen staff as assistant coach

As a Terps alum, I won’t root for the Mids on Labor Day (or any other time they play Maryland in any other sport); but for the most part-I consider myself a Navy supporter.

So with that being said, how could they POSSIBLY hire a Dukie?!?!? Only John Feinstein could be happy about this!

I’ll wish Paulus the best on Billy Lange’s staff; but I certainly won’t shy away from channeling Peter Rosenberg once more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this…

I got the chance to wander up to Bel Air yesterday afternoon and play some kickball. No seriously. The good news was that was actually NOT the worst player on the field, nor was I the most out of shape. In honor of that, I rewarded myself with Qdoba and Natty Boh.

We weren’t great, but we certainly weren’t as bad as this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YedQBGAI_qI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles: Two months to go, nothing to play for…except these 5 things

Posted on 31 July 2010 by Drew Forrester

A week or so into the Orioles 2010 season – marred by a pair of 3-game drubbings at home by Toronto and Tampa Bay – I was already baseball’d out.

48 hours into Ravens camp and I’m already “injury’d out”.

So rather than write what everyone else is writing – “everything’s going to be just fine” or “the sky is falling, we might not win 6 games” – about the Ravens, I’ll go back to the well one more time and offer a few observations about our orange feathered friends.

With the debut of Buck Showalter as manager on Tuesday, I figured it’s time to take a good look at the remaining two months of the season and list some of the things that REALLY matter between now and the end of September.

As we know, the 2010 baseball season in Baltimore is over.  But the 2011 season is sort-of starting right now, for several players have “something to prove” in the final 60 days of the campaign.  I’m not talking about how Adam Jones finishes the season (he’s going to be on the team next season and start in center field) or how Matt Wieters finishes (he’s the catcher here…period) or whether or not Brian Roberts ends his season next week or finishes the year playing regularly (he’s going to be the 2nd baseman on opening day next year).

I’m talking about the unknown.  These are the things we don’t know…and things that matter over the last two months as it pertains to the start of 2011.

1. Who’s the closer? I’m not saying this because Alfredo Simon coughed up the game last night, but I don’t think he’s the closer of the future for the Orioles.  You know what you get with him.  A guy who usually puts at least one runner on base in a close-out situation, if not more.  Some nights, he escapes, some nights, he doesn’t.  I’d like to see the club use David Hernandez in the closer role and give him a legitimate shot at either earning the job heading into 2011 or throwing it up for grabs.  He, like Simon, is prone to the occasional walk, but I think he has better command of his fastball than Simon and, to me, he’s just more dependable.  I think the club has some “live arms” in the bullpen.  Let’s use the last two months to figure out which one is best suited to close in 2011.  And before you say it…no, it’s NOT Mike Gonzalez.

2.  Can Luke Scott play first base? In a short sample of work (21 games over two season), Scott has been adequate at first base, with three errors in all.  With each game, he seems a bit more comfortable to me.  Here’s what I DO know:  Luke can’t play left field.  Here’s what I DON’T know:  Can he play first base on a regular basis (meaning, 120 games) and still be productive at the plate and field the position well enough to justify earning the status of “starting first baseman”?  I’d use the last 55 or so games to really figure that out and if Scott handles the situation decently, I’d be willing to look at him as the incumbent first baseman next year.  That is, unless we go out and buy a big free-agent first-baseman/quality hitter in the winter.  Never mind, you already know the answer to that.  Let’s see what Luke can do.

3.  What’s the Pie factor? Since the All-Star break, Felix Pie has become Felix Pie again, hitting roughly .190 and striking out more times than Clinton got monthly visits from Monica.  At times, Pie looks like a project worth keeping around.  Despite his recent struggles, he’s become more selective at the plate and his power potential looks better than it did a year ago.  But he’s still not done enough to warrant earning a full-time role in the outfield, no matter what happens with Nolan Reimold in the minor leagues.  If I’m the Orioles, I think long and hard about Carl Crawford regardless of what Pie does between now and the end of the season (and if that means shipping out Reimold in a deal for something of quality, I’d think about that, too).  But in the meantime – not knowing what Crawford will do and assuming the Orioles won’t pay him, anyway – I’d go ahead and keep playing Felix every night in left field and use the last 55 games to figure out whether or not he’s the man in 2011.  It would be nice if he could stay healthy for longer than 6 weeks, too.  We’ll have to see about that.

4.  Can the Bell ring? I don’t have much to go on, granted, but I’m not “feelin’ it” with Josh Bell so far.  He’s a wild, free-swinger at the plate and I don’t see the natural athleticism in the field at 3rd base.  That said…he’s in the January of his major league career and he needs time to show if he can do it or not.  With Tejada gone, it’s obvious that the Orioles are going to go with Bell throughout the remainder of the season.  But I hope they’re not just playing him to play him.  I hope they’re evaluating him as well.  If he doesn’t show enough quality in the field, there might be a need for some off-season shopping to bring in someone at the hot corner.  And no, I don’t mean Miguel Tejada Visit #3.  I mean a real 3rd baseman. If Bell is decent in the field and shows improvement at the plate, he’ll be the starter in 2011.  I’m not feelin’ it yet, but I’m willing to give him more time.

5.  Izzy worth one more year? Face the facts, we’re an organization that doesn’t spend a lot of money on players, so ANY opening that requires a check to someone – particularly a big one – might be met with a patchwork effort.  That’s how Cesar Izturis got here in the first place…MacPhail didn’t want to spend real money on a high-profile shortstop.  Anyway, two years later, Izturis is again a free agent and the Orioles will enter the off-season without someone to play that position in 2011.  This “Izturis debate” would be moot if we had someone in the wings waiting to come up and take the gig.  We don’t have that player.  So…in his two years here, has Izturis done enough to warrant a new deal?  Maybe.  I’d use the last two months to really look at him, study the numbers and decide if it’s worth bringing him back for ONE more year (assuming he’ll take a one-year deal) and use that money to try and lure Crawford to Baltimore in the off-season.  I know Izturis isn’t a great player.  But he’s a dependable defensive player and an occasionally adequate offensive contributor.  He’s been more involved in rallies and wins this year than you’re willing to give him credit for, I can assure you of that.  I’m not saying DEFINITELY bring him back.  I’m saying it might be worth CONSIDERING bringing him back and I’d use the last 55 games to give him a quiet audition.  One more thing about the benefit of having Izturis around:  When you fill out the lineup card, SOMEONE has to bat 9th.

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O’s swap Ohman for VandenHurk Before Deadline

Posted on 31 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Andy MacPhail and the Baltimore Orioles made one additional move before Saturday’s 4pm trade deadline, swapping left-handed reliever Will Ohman for Florida Marlins righty Rick VandenHurk.

Ohman posted a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings pitched this season for the Birds (51 appearances) and did not factor in a decision at all. VandenHurk went 8-4 with AAA New Orleans in the Marlins’ system, posting a 4.68 ERA in 98 innings pitched. For his MLB career, VandenHurk is 8-9 with a 5.96 ERA in a career spanning parts of 4 seasons. He’s pitched 155.2 innings at the big-league level, all with the Fish.

VandenHurk worked with Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz while the two were together in Miami in 2007. New manager Buck Showalter told The Sun this weekend he was hoping to keep the coaching staff in tact at least for the remainder of the 2010 season.

The O’s dealt 3B Miguel Tejada to the San Diego Padres Thursday for RHP prospect Wynn Pelzer, but were otherwise quiet before the trade deadline. Potential trade chips like Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Mark Hendrickson, Julio Lugo and Cesar Izturis remain on the roster. Players could still be dealt before August 31, but would first have to pass through waivers.

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because after the Ultimate Frisbee highlight on Deadspin the other day that I posted in my “Top 10 Baseball Distractions” column; apparently Deadspin got the idea that Ultimate Frisbee highlights may be even cooler than videos of guys getting dunked on…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kst2yrNJolY[/youtube]

Freaking awesome. I want to be exactly like Beaufort Kittredge. Other than the name-as long as I get to keep the trust fund.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Orioles ‘finally’ hired Buck Showalter as manager

I’ll save you the “I told you they’d hire him after the Ravens reported to Westminster” comments. Wait. Sorry!

I guess the “breaking” part of this “breaking news” is lessened because we knew this was coming-having been reported by Ken Rosenthal as a “done deal” before the All-Star Game. (Edit from GMC: Ken Rosenthal would know.) But it is still significant when a team hires a manager, even if it is a team that hasn’t played a meaningful game in well over a decade.

A handful of folks in town are excited about Showalter. The rest of the folks in town would only be excited if he could play CB. Count me in the group that’s interested, but by no means excited. I’d be excited if he was bringing Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling with him; as well as Mark Teixeira and Nelson Cruz. Otherwise, I’ll withhold excitement until I know that they’re going to get some real players.

Connie Mack would need better players to win in Charm City-and from everything I can tell, Buck Showalter is no Connie Mack. But I’d love to see him don a similar hat…

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Birds hoping Showalter can be ‘miracle worker’

There is a significant question about how much control Showalter is going to have of the organization, specifically personnel. He’s been known to be a control freak, but he’s going to be working for a President of Baseball Operations (Andy MacPhail) who laid the groundwork for the team’s “Plan”, and an owner (Peter Angelos) who has a history of meddling even when it’s been said that he gave up control.

Of course, this is where some will make the argument that the addition of Showalter could be a signal of the end of the MacPhail regime. That could very well be true. I’m not yet sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing yet.

If it’s a “miracle worker” the Birds were looking for, I’m not sure why they didn’t consider Francesca Frigo (Thanks Next Round!)…

frigo

3. The AP’s Bernie Wilson says O’s traded Miguel Tejada to San Diego Padres for RHP prospect Wynn Pelzer

In the words of Veronica Corningstone: Miguel Tejada, “Thanks for stopping by.”

There won’t really be too many memories of the 2nd Miguel Tejada tenure in Baltimore-although he played exactly as many meaningful games this time around as he did the first; but the team does get a player in exchange that could end up turning into…something?

Pelzer is by no means a “top prospect” in the Pads’ organization, but is a guy who could offer something moving forward. I talked to a couple of MLB personnel guys last night about Pelzer-and the responses I got ranged from “good arm” to “live arm” to “will be better as a reliever than as a starter” to “big league ready soon” to “needs to match mentally what he has physically.”

I never get too excited about a minor league player (no matter who they are), and that won’t change with Pelzer. Although-he IS a South Carolina guy, so hopefully we can chat about Hootie & The Blowfish. There just isn’t enough of that in the world.

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says part of Andy MacPhail’s reasoning for Tejada trade was to get Josh Bell back to Baltimore

Which is fine-as long as the organization isn’t thinking that they have “the answer” at 3B and can’t consider an upgrade in the offseason. Josh Bell may end up being a very good player; but if the team wants to win-they need real major league players at every position; not a group of guys who might end up being real major league players.

That being said, my guess is that the organization’s brass will do everything in their power to make sure that Bell is the Opening Day 3B in April. If that’s the case, I hope he spends the rest of the year looking like Matt Williams.

I just have a bad feeling it might not happen.

5. The AP says Corey Patterson’s homer, Ty Wigginton’s sac fly lead Birds past Kansas City Royals in 11 innings

Hey Hey! That’s win number 1 after the season ended on Sunday-and it only took extra innings against one of the OTHER worst teams in baseball to get it done!

Brian Matusz threw 3 innings of no-hit ball last night. I’m not really sure what happened after that, but the three innings were really good! (Edit from GMC: Thank God we stopped the whole “Apologist of the Morning” thing. I’d win going away…)

Nice to see Corey Patterson playing the role of “hero” again after that grand slam to tie things up against the Texas Rangers in the 9th a few weeks ago in Arlington. He’ll savor these memories when he’s doing…whatever it is he’ll be doing…next season.

Of course, despite the new regime…I wouldn’t be stunned at all if Corey Patterson lined up in Left Field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in April 2011…or at least on the bench. He’s exactly the type of player the organization loves.

6. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of win

I have no idea how to handle this. I’m so used to saying “you don’t want to look at this” that I don’t know how to go about saying “you might actually want to look at this.”

Nick Markakis also homered last night-which has been much to rare this season.

You know what, look at the numbers-celebrate them-and then take a look at Jakki Degg. It’s a win-win! (Thanks Barstool Sports!)

jakkidegg

7. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Tillman struggled for Norfolk Tides, Joel Guzman homered for Bowie Baysox on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a few things:

-The O’s and Royals are back at it in KC tonight. Jake Arrieta faces Sean O’Sullivan-with first pitch from Kauffman Stadium at 8:10pm on MASN2. Like I said yesterday, I’ll go with a split this weekend.

-Did you miss former MLB Scout Frankie Piliere on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester on AM1570 WNST discussing Wynn Pelzer and other trade deadline stuff? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests included:

  • Craig Calcaterra (NBCSports.com “HardballTalk”)-who went around MLB, touching on Strasburg, Oswalt, etc.
  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who discussed the Showalter hiring and the impact it will have on the Birds
  • Dan Wilcox (Former Ravens TE)-who discussed Training Camp and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault if you want to check it out.

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Todd Heap placed on non-football illness list, Rodelin Anthony & Fabian Washington activated from PUP list

The Fabian Washington news is REALLY good news, and the Todd Heap news really isn’t that bad. The Rodelin Anthony news happened.

This team needs their top corners healthy. With no offense to Cary Williams or Travis Fisher or Walt Harris, they’re just not great options. At least one of them will end up making the team-but this organization is certainly better off not having any of them suit up.

Of course-early reports from practice today say neither Fabian nor Dominique Foxworth were practicing; so we’ll have to follow that. Just when all of the news was starting to be good…

9. USA Today’s Gary Graves says Ravens not ‘shying away’ from Super Bowl discussion as full Training Camp begins at McDaniel College

Nor should they be. They’ve been a Super Bowl contender ever since they acquired Anquan Boldin.

For the record, I’m not shying away from the fact that Shannon James is ridiculously hot despite the fact that she’s wearing a Philadelphia Phillies shirt (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

shannonjames

10. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ravens owner Bisciotti believes Sergio Kindle will be with Ravens for ‘long time’

Which is why the conversations about liability, etc. earlier this week were so ridiculous. The Ravens want to give Sergio Kindle a contract and are GOING to give Sergio Kindle a contract. He’s going to get plenty of money-but they’re not going to pay him for the time he wasn’t working. The contract structure will be the same, it will just reflect the fact that he wasn’t working for a while.

Questions continue regarding Kindle’s accident. It seems as though folks are accepting the possible narcolepsy explanation from his former Longhorns coach Mack Brown as a factual explanation-which is just as dangerous as accepting any of the possible explanations regarding alcohol, etc. that were thrown around earlier this week.

The fact remains that we still don’t know. Hopefully we will know soon.

11. ESPNNewYork.com’s Ohm Youngmisuk says former ST/WR David Tyree to retire with New York Giants

Eh, one more time, why not?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

(Edit from GMC: Watching that again just reminds me how terrible Joe Buck is. It was one of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history and he treated it like it was a routine first down in a regular season game. Ugh.)

And finally, I leave you with this.

“Dinner For Schmucks” opens tonight. It isn’t getting great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but Zach Galifianakis is HILARIOUS…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TrY29ixBGc[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Gremlins and Uncle Buck

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Erich Hawbaker

I first sat down to write this blog upon hearing that the Orioles had hired Buck Showalter to be the next captain of the Titanic. I then started all over again upon hearing that Miguel Tejada has once again been traded by the Orioles to a contending NL team. I guess I’ll deal with the second one first.

Unlike the last Tejada trade, which netted the O’s five players (including my main man Luke Scott), this time they got only one pitching prospect and are still on the hook for over half of Tejada’s salary. Now I know that Miggy is getting to the end of his career, and that we only had him for one year, but he was still hitting .269 with 7 HR and 39 RBIs. Is one AA pitcher really all that he was worth? And you didn’t even get the Padres to pick up all of his contract? I’m not faulting the front office for trading him if somebody was interested (since 3B was going to Josh Bell next year anyway), but couldn’t they have bargained for a little more in return? Like, maybe, a hitter? ANY hitter? Much like the last deal we made with San Diego, in which we basically gave them Oscar Salazar for a song, this is not a solid prima facie case for the Orioles.

Anyway, new acquisition Wynn Pelzer is high-ranked prospect in the Padres organization. At 24 years old, he’s been both a starter and reliever in his 3-year career in the minors, pitching around 100 innings a year, putting up just over 8 K/9, and maintaining a 3.83 ERA. Decent I guess. But lately, I think we’ve all learned a painful lesson. The dirtiest word in baseball is ‘prospect’. A couple years ago, Brian Matusz was a top prospect. He ended up spending only one year in the minors, and with his abundance of Ks and ERA barely over 2.00, we all expected him to be our new ace. And yet, as of today, his ERA is 5.22 and his record is 3-11. Now, I know that Matusz is still pretty young and that it’s much easier to win games when your team actually scores you some runs on a consistent basis, but at this point it is fair to say that he hasn’t lived up to the hype yet. Will Pelzer? I don’t know. Nobody does. He’s a prospect.

In other news, Buck Showalter is now the manager. I was really pulling for Rick Dempsey, but deep down I knew they’d never give it to him. However, I do think that Showalter will make things better. We all know that he has a reputation for being a hardass and a history of turning losing teams into winners. And while no other team he ever managed was nearly as awful as this one, he seems to think he can do it and I think I believe him. He says we have potential here, and he’s right about that much. I don’t doubt that he can get our guys to the point where they’re playing as well as they could be. But the real question is- even if our engine as currently built is firing on all eight cylinders, will that be enough to challenge the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays? That’s where my doubts come in.

You have to remember something. For the last decade or so, Tampa Bay was in the basement with us (and, like us, they’re a “small market” team *cough cough*). Theoretically both teams should have spent those years drafting high and growing a fresh crop of young players. One could have easily predicted that the Rays and O’s would be steadily rising thru the standings together. The fact that we went absolutely nowhere while Tampa Bay went to the World Series is the most glaring indictment of our clueless front office. They drafted smart, traded smart, and produced a winner while we sat on our hands.

I don’t think Buck Showalter will put up with that. He will do everything he can to win. But, when he gets to the point where he goes upstairs asking for you-know-who to make an investment in winning, will he get what he needs to finish the job? I don’t know. That’s where my skepticism lies. I haven’t forgotten what happened to Davey Johnson.

 

 

Some people have told me that they wonder where I get my weird titles for my blogs. In this case, the reference is to two movies from the 1980s that I enjoyed as a kid. Peltzer (very close to Pelzer) was the last name of Billy, the boy who got a pet Mogwai for Christmas in Gremlins. Uncle Buck was an absolutely hilarious comedy starring John Candy, whom my grandma loved and frequently told me I looked like. I sincerely hope you all can forgive my little bit of wackyness. .

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