Tag Archive | "Mike Gonzalez"

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Orioles roster moves: Gonzalez back, Patton promoted (and demoted)

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Luke Jones

With the bullpen completely spent after extensive work in the last three games, the Orioles needed immediate relief help.

The Orioles announced a series of roster moves prior to Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, left-handed pitcher Troy Patton has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, and third baseman Josh Bell has been optioned to the Tides. To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, Jim Johnson has been moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list on April 10 with a strained left shoulder. At the time of his injury, Gonzalez had recorded one save in three appearances, much to fans’ chagrin.

Patton was 6-9 with a 4.91 ERA in 18 starts for Norfolk this season. He posted a 3.44 ERA over his last nine outings for Norfolk. This will be Patton’s first stint in the big leagues since 2007. Patton’s stay with the Orioles could be brief, as Kevin Millwood is expected to return from the disabled list to make the start on Thursday night. Patton will wear uniform No. 54.

Bell batted .263 (6-19) in six games for the Orioles and had been rotting away on the bench in his latest stint with Baltimore.

Johnson has been on the disabled list since May 28 with right elbow inflammation. He was 1-1 with one save and a 6.52 ERA in 10 games for the Orioles.

UPDATE: As expected, the Orioles optioned Patton back to Norfolk following Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Rays. Kevin Millwood will be activated Thursday to make the start in the first of a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins.

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Orioles option Tillman to Norfolk

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Luke Jones

Chris Tillman is heading to the minors—again.

After being hammered for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in Monday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the 22-year-old has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Tillman is 1-4 with a 7.92 ERA (25.0 IP, 22 ER) in six starts with the Orioles this season. He made two starts after being promoted for the second time this season on July 10, going 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA (10.0 IP, 8 ER), including a victory in which he pitched a career-high 7 1/3 innings on July 10 against the Texas Rangers.

A corresponding roster move will be announced prior to tomorrow’s game against Tampa Bay. The most likely candidates are veteran starting pitcher Kevin Millwood (on the 15-day DL) or reliever Mike Gonzalez (60-day DL). It was announced earlier Tuesday that Millwood would make his returning start on Thursday night.

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because after checking out a BUNCH of work at Artscape Sunday; I think I’ve decided what I’m going to purchase. I Twitpic-ed some of these the other day.

Apparently Robert McClintock is originally from Wilmington, Vermont. Somehow he might be even more Charm City than any of the rest of us. I’ll be purchasing BOTH his American Visionary Art Museum and Brewers Hill prints…

avam

brewershill

And I don’t know too much about Robert Florio, but I know I’ll be picking this piece up from his last game…

ripken

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Wade Davis cruised as Rays topped Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Once again, I find myself saying “at least they didn’t bother wasting too much energy in this one.”

Of course, they could have had the decency to get it over quickly-instead of forcing the handful of folks who bought tickets to stick around awhile.

Chris Tillman nearly no-hit the Texas Rangers before the All-Star Game. What a weird weekend that was in Arlington. I’m surprised they didn’t have an earthquake in The Lone Star State themselves instead of it happening in Germantown.

Miguel Tejada and Adam Jones combined to go 0-8 and left a combined 7 men on base. You could have checked the box score (coming up next) to get that info, but we all know I’m going to re-direct you to an attractive gal instead.

Matt Albers and Cesar Izturis were kinda okay last night. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice…

Is this the part where we stop praising Juan Samuel for the fact that the players looked like they were playing harder for him? Or do we keep going with that?

Hell, is anyone even paying attention at this point?

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

Scott Moore scored the Orioles’ lone run last night if you’re intersted. I don’t think you are, but I guess you never know.

Obviously you don’t want to look at this.

Instead, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley snapped some new photos for Victoria’s Secret before she appears in Transformers 3. Go look at those. We’ll talk after. (Thanks Guyism!)

rhw

3. Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Luke Scott called back up, Frank Mata sent back down

I can’t believe SportsCenter lead with something else!!!

The O’s roster will be in flux for the next couple of weeks, with plenty of decisions to be made. Following Scott; the Birds expect to get Mike Gonzalez, Brian Roberts, Kevin Millwood and Matt Wieters back in the semi-near future; and Jim Johnson could return just after that.

Josh Bell figures to be a roster casualty at some point; but others on the team will either have to be traded or released to make room for everyone. There’s a few guys on the team I might even be willing to consider pitching in and helping them pack their bags.

Speaking of guys who might be traded…

4. SNY’s Matthew Cerrone says New York Mets checked out Jeremy Guthrie

Which was first reported via Twitter by Fanhouse’s Ed Price. I usually try to stick to reporting things like “they’ve got really good paella at Artscape” on Twitter myself (you can follow us @WNST).

Earlier this season, the Orioles gifted the Mets INF Justin Turner-but I doubt they’d be willing to do with Guthrie. I’ve heard Ruben Tejeda’s name thrown around in trade rumors thus far by a few folks. Tejeda is hitting .212 this season with 4 doubles and no home runs. Don’t we already have him on the roster?!?!?

If I’m Andy MacPhail, I’m more than willing to consider any trade offer for Jeremy Guthrie at this point. I’m just also reasonable in my understanding that I’m not fleecing ANY team in MLB for Guthrie.

Unless of course it’s Woody Guthrie; as the ability to trade a man who died 43 years ago would probably be enough to get an impressive trade return. Plus…I mean…he did “This Land Is Your Land”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxiMrvDbq3s[/youtube]

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brian Roberts 2-5 with a double in first rehab start for Bowie Baysox on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things worth pointing out…

-The Birds are back in action tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays; as Jake Arrieta faces Matt Garza at OPACY. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Matt Garza looks a lot like Greg Maddux every time he faces the Orioles, so I don’t have too much hope.

-Michelle Obama is going to throw out the first pitch tonight. The Orioles have sent out a bunch of security notes about getting to the stadium early. Do they think people are actually going tonight? I know it’s Jason Berken t-shirt night, but I’m pretty sure that even with heightened security there won’t be too much trouble getting into the stadium.

-If you missed Rays PBP voice Andy Freed (a Towson native) this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out. Also on the show this morning, we took a look around Major League Baseball with Newsday’s Ken Davidoff; and we were joined in-studio by Fearon Wright of the undefeated Baltimore Mariners-as they prepare for the AIFA Championship Bowl Sunday at 4pm against the Wyoming Cavalry at 1st Mariner Arena. They’re both in the Audio Vault as well.

Fearon was smart to turn around his Yankees hat before posing…

fearon

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Ken Hamlin to wear #45, Marc Bulger #9, Walt Harris #38

…at least for Training Camp.

Marc Bulger wore #10 with the St. Louis Rams; but Troy Smith will be wearing that number at McDaniel College. I’m not saying Bulger will be “stalking” the number; but like The Miz told Sheamus last night on WWE Raw (Edit from GMC: Yeah, I watched…and it was actually pretty good last night); “Every beath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.”

Bulger knows that Troy Smith could be dealt or released before the Monday Night Football opener at The Meadowlands; which would allow him to re-take the Number 10 from the former Heisman Trophy winner.

On the flip side, I don’t think there’s a scenario where Ken Hamlin gets his number back from Dawan Landry. Unless maybe he has a spare DeLorean lying around to offer in exchange…

DeLorean

(Edit from GMC: There was a DeLorean at Artscape. Had Doc Brown showed up and asked me to roll out with him, I would have been GONE…)

7. USA Today’s Jarrett Bell says Joe Flacco becoming ‘leader’ of Ravens team with Super Bowl aspirations

A lot of folks were worked up by the comments Joe made about Marc Bulger after his autograph signing this weekend. I wasn’t.

One of the reasons I said I WASN’T over the moon about the Ravens acquiring Bulger was because I didn’t think it was the right thing to do for the team’s chemistry and establishing Flacco as “the guy.” Most NFL players would probably tell you that salary isn’t relevant; but in this case-I don’t think it is EVER okay for a team’s backup QB to be making more money than the team’s established, unquestioned starter.

I know for certain that Joe Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck had a VERY good working relationship. Does that mean Marc Bulger can’t step in and also be part of that? Not necessarily, but it isn’t a guarantee he will be either. He said the right things in his conference call last week, but this is still a guy who has been a Pro Bowl QB during his career and will bring a ton of pride with him to Owings Mills.

I think things will be fine. As I’ve said before, they’ll be especially fine if Marc Bulger never takes a regular season snap in purple and black. Had Kyle Boller been so fortunate, he’d have been remembered in a much better light in town.

8. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Antwaan Randle El considered signing with Ravens before signing with Steelers

In a related story, before I ever got together with “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”, I considered dating Behati Prinsloo (Thanks Totally Crap/Busted Coverage!)…

behati

Oh, and Antwaan Randle El-you’ve played for the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers in your career. I’m glad you didn’t come to Baltimore. It would have been more difficult to root for you than it is to root for the Orioles.

9. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Kurt Warner expects Anquan Boldin to “bring an amazing leadership, competitiveness, and toughness to the football field” with Ravens

If you missed Rex Snider’s TREMENDOUS chat with the future Hall of Fame QB Saturday night during WNST’s “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon to raise money for the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out.

I’ve spent the better part of the 2 years since I moved back to Baltimore from Phoenix extolling the virtues of Boldin; who has absolutely TREMENDOUS for the Arizona Cardinals during his career. If you didn’t listen to me, I’d hope you would listen to Kurt Warner. I know I always did.

There are a slew of other interviews from the marathon this weekend in the Audio Vault; including Ravens LB’s Dannell Ellerbe, Tavares Gooden and Jameel McClain; Ravens exec Eric DeCosta, as well as Olympic figure skater Kimmie Meissner, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, former tennis star Zina Garrison, former Terps guard John Lucas and former Governor of the Old Line State-the great Robert Ehrlich. All of those interviews (and more) are also available in the Audio Vault.

10. The Daily Record’s Liz Farmer says ticket sales slow for Inter Milan-Manchester City match at M&T Bank Stadium

This is BAD news. I knew ticket sales were slow; but having only around 30,000 tickets sold at this point is really dreadful.

It would be okay for there to be empty seats in the upper deck when this game happens next weekend; but to have the majority of the stadium empty would reflect poorly on the city’s hopes to get World Cup matches as part of the USA bid for 2022 (or 2018).

I sat in a mostly empty RFK Stadium to see Team USA face Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier last fall. I’m well aware that not every soccer match in every city is going to be sold out-but some cities have a better soccer pedigree to fall back on. DC is one of them. Baltimore is not at this point. We need to build the evidence that we are. The atmosphere for Chelsea-AC Milan last year started that, but there needs to be more.

An empty stadium to see the UEFA Champions League winner face another major European power will not be compelling evidence that the city is ready for the biggest sporting event in the world. Hopefully there will be an uptick in the next 10 days, but I have a bad feeling here.

11. Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto says former Terrapins DL Dean Muhtadi has chance to make Arizona Cardinals roster

This is a great read about how Muhtadi was given a chance to work with Cards DL Darnell Dockett, Minnesota Vikings TE (and former Morgan State Bears star) Visanthe Shiancoe and former Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook this offseason thanks to a recommendation from Cardinals strength coach John Lott. It looks it could pay off in Muhtadi getting a real look at making the roster when the team reports to Flagstaff for Training Camp later this month.

I’d really encourage you to read this story today. In fact, if I could encourage you to do any two things today, it would be to 1-read this story; then 2-figure out ways for me to get Caitlin Hixx’s attention (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

chixx

12. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Jeff Hathaway’s selection as NCAA basketball chair for ’11-’12 clouds his candidacy to replace Debbie Yow in College Park

Folks whose opinions I value seem to split on exactly what this means as far as Hathaway’s likelihood for staying at UConn. Should he leave UConn, he’d have to give up his spot-which is considered one of the most prestigous gigs for an Athletic Director to get. Should he stick in Connecticut; he’d likely have to wade his way through sanctions (and considering what happened at USC they could well be major) surrounding Jim Calhoun and the Huskies’ basketball program.

It’s certainly a 50-50.

We discuss potential sanctions for a bunch of schools (including North Carolina and Florida) during this week’s D1scast, which is available now in the Audio Vault. A quick plug for my buddy Patrick Stevens-whose site is now JUST D1scourse.com; having got rid of that pesky “Typepad” that made introducing him quite the mouthful.

And finally, I leave you with this.

This week’s “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” is a bit off the map. I hadn’t heard of Chiddy Bang before this weekend; but apparently they blew up thanks to “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory”, a show I will admit to enjoying the time or two I’ve still poked over to MTV. The song is a cover/sample/interpretation(?) of MGMT’s “Kids”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5151GwT-DSI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez: “I’m On the Comeback Path”

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Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez: “I’m On the Comeback Path”

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez's Opening Day Disaster
For Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez, he has had been successful in this league over the years for having a chip on his shoulder when he takes the mound to try and earn a save.

In Gonzalez’s eight year MLB career, he has an ERA of 2.67 and 55 career saves over three full seasons as a closer. His best year came in 2006 while in Pittsburgh where he was a perfect 24-for-24 in save opportunities.

That pedigree earned him a trade to Atlanta for the last three years, but when he struggled this year for the Orioles early on, it may have been because of the bone chips he might have in his shoulder. Or it could have been a lingering back injury that has bothered him the last couple of years.

Or he could have just been trying too hard.

From spring training, Gonzalez has had issues with his velocity and his location. Gonzalez immediately shrugged them off as rust from not playing baseball for months after signing a two year, 12 million dollar deal in the offseason to become the Orioles’ closer.

He didn’t want to believe anything was wrong with him.

I had no shoulder pain. The only thing that bothered me early on was the back,” Gonzalez told Drew Forrester of “The Morning Reaction” Friday. “I didn’t feel like it was a big deal, but I did start doing some things differently.”

But when those struggles continued into the regular season, when he struggled in the opening two series of the year, the Orioles had seen enough.

They immediately placed Gonzalez on the 60-day DL on April 14, and Gonzalez has been rehabbing both a back injury that has plagued him the last several seasons, and a shoulder injury that popped up during the offseason, which could explain why he was barely hitting the mid 80′s on his fastball in spring training.

And the Orioles were quick to point out to Gonzalez what his problem was through MRIs and the tape, and only then was Gonzalez able to see what was wrong with him. His body just wasn’t telling him otherwise.

“You really don’t feel it physically.” I had to sit back and watch the video, go along with what the coaching staff had to say. They told me it didnt look the same, and I thought it was okay. Once you start seeing things on video, you say ‘Wow that’s not me’.”

Mostly rehabbing down at Single-A Aberdeen, Gonzalez feels like he is on the path back to success and the parent club..

“I’m on the comeback trail,” Gonzalez said. “Its feeling a lot better. It’s a positive thing, and I’m looking days away from getting back.”

Pitching tonight in Triple-A Norfolk, he will probably have two more outings at Norfolk before the coaching staff makes the decision to reactive him.

It was certainly not the way Gonzalez wanted to start out with a new team after coming over from the Braves last year, a year in which he saved 10 games splitting time with Rafael Soriano, who is now the closer in Tampa Bay.

“It was a frustrating start just because it was a chain reaction,” Gonzalez said.  It started in spring training not that big of a deal…kind of a lower back kind of issue.”

Then Gonzalez said he tried to just shrug it off and that’s when he began to dig a deeper hole for himself.

“Then I tried to compensate for it, before you know it I’m doing something that I’m not supposed to be doing mechanically, and before you know it I have that shoulder problem a couple days into the season.”

And he knows exactly where it affected him the most. It affected his ability to get the ball over the plate. Regardless of how fast you’re pitching, if you can’t get the ball over home plate, no one is ever going to get out.

“I seriously did not know where the ball was going. And it was the second game. Im coming against Tampa trying to throw strikes. Mentally I’m there…mentally I didn’t have a problem once going into the game. It just wasn’t doing what I’m used to doing, and that’s what had me frustrated about the whole situation.”

And if his struggles in the opening series in Tampa weren’t enough, they followed him to Baltimore against the Blue Jays, where his poor outing on Opening Day cost his team the game and earned him the boo-birds from the Oriole faithful in attendance at Camden Yards.

But give credit to Gonzalez. He faced the media afterward and owned up to his performance to the fans and his teammates, who he said were the only people he cared about disappointing.

“Seriously you never want to be booed, especially like that. But that wasn’t the big deal to me. Obviously mine was the psyche of the team. They came out swinging and… played really well, and that’s where I needed to come in. That’s what I was signed for…to come in and shut the door.”

Gonzalez said he would have booed if he was a fan of the Orioles watching a pitcher choking away the ballgame like that with such high expectations coming into the year.

“In the fast perspective, I’m a fan. If I’m out in there in the stadium and I’m going to be booing also as a fan. You understand that you need to go and  get it done…it didnt bother me.”

Gonzalez told Forrester that being a good major league pitcher, especially in the bullpen, is having the ability to come back a day later and have a short memory- to not let bad feelings about you bother your psyche and confidence.

“I’m a major league ball palyer. I wouldn’t be here if I worried about those kind of things. Those are just reactions to what I went out there and did. And it was very, very poor. I didnt get it done and it was to be expected.”

Gonzalez says he also may be joining the team at just the right time too, as the team is coming back to work from the All-Star break after sweeping the first place Texas Rangers last weekend.

“Obviously they finished pretty well right before the half and went to Texas and regulated a little bit,” he said.

But he does realize that he is not on an 1-2 Orioles team anymore like it was the last time he pitched, he is now on a team with a new manager and 30 games below .500.

“It’s hard to see the talent that these guys have and see that they havent been competing the way they should be.”

In a way, Gonzalez says the team’s struggles have been just like his  this year-the talent is there, but luck is not.

“I think we did make some upgrades from last year, and just from the guys we have there, we have some talent there. We just haven’t been able to put it together, whether the offense is on that day and the pitching isnt getting it done.”

And Gonzalez said he actually learned a lot about himself during his trip to Aberdeen.

During his time at Single A, Gonzalez was able to pitch five innings of work, and he allowed five hits and struck out five.

His ERA was 5.40, but one thing Gonzalez said to Forrester was that he learned a lot from the determination his new young teammates had in trying to get to the big leagues.

“It was a fresh burst of energy,” Gonzalez said. “You see the passion that these guys have. They’re on a mission to get to the big leagues. And you have to sit back and remember that. Sometimes you forget its been six, seven years since the minor leagues, and its’ been 10- 11 years since the Aberdeen days.

“And it’s just going and seeing the enegy in these guys and being able to talk to these guys, and on the way on your comeback trail,  able to help some guys out in any way you can…whether it be questions asked or jsut being a professional and showing them how it’s done.”

Gonzalez did admit to Forrester that now when he does return to the Orioles in his second attempt at being a serviceable reliever, he has to know his limitations.

“It’s staying on top of the shoulder, and thats always been tough for me. I’ve got that mindset where you want to go out and throw great everyday. And last year was one of those things, where ‘I’m ready everyday’…’I'm ready everyday’-to the point now where I’m going to need a day off whether i like it or not. I’m not 21 years old.”

But he certainly did not want to give up that chip off his shoulder when it comes to being a closer either. The Orioles  just needs to make sure there aren’t any real bone chips in his shoulder or elbow first before coming back.

“I have to have that mindset where I’m going out there and giving whatever I have  everyday. I just have to go from there.”

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more news regarding Mike Gonzalez’s path back to the Orioles and hopefully closing games for the Orioles once again. WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because apparently I slept straight through an earthquake this morning. That’s about right though. World War III could be happening outside my window, and if it happens before 5:20, I’m not going to be affected.

Oh and also, I skipped the ESPY Awards Wednesday night (I’m assuming I’m not the only one); but when I went back and watched some clips on YouTube Thursday; I thought the Peyton Manning/Blind Side thing was kinda funny…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNMS_22cyM[/youtube]

Like I said, KINDA funny. Not quite as funny as Seth Meyers’ quip:

“This is where sports and entertainment come together, It’s like a Kardashian sister’s bedroom.”

That IS funny.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Orioles took ‘giant step backward’ in 1st half according to Andy MacPhail

Andy better be careful…Greg Bader might take away his press pass with that type of negativity!

The funny thing is…I’m not sure how much I agree with Andy.

In order to take a “giant step backward”, you have to be moving somewhat significantly in the RIGHT direction. While the O’s had done some good things; they put together a 25 man roster that was ABSOLUTELY destined to make them the worst team in the AL East.

The good news is that they didn’t spend too much money to do so-so despite the fact that the organization is an absolute embarrassment in Charm City; it’s at least a cheap embarrassment.

Yep, that’s the best thing I can say. Oh-and they are on a 4 game win streak thanks to their stop down at The Ballpark in Arlington before the All-Star Game.

Now that’s the best thing I can say.

2. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wieters to DL (hamstring) retroactive to July 10

And the word is that the Birds are going to call up Josh Bell to take his roster spot…which means that if Juan Samuel needs to give Craig Tatum some rest or needs to take him out of a game; Jake Fox and his 21 career games played behind the plate will be the only option.

You know what-this is another one of those situations where you don’t REALLY want to think about this. Instead, let’s think about American Idol’s Katharine McPhee (Thanks Don Chavez via Busted Coverage!)…

mcphee

3. STATS’ Alan Ferguson previews Birds’ 2nd half opener tonight vs. Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Thanks to the Jays for trading away Alex Gonzalez before the series started, too! Of course, the Texas Rangers traded FOR Cliff Lee last week and we thought that would be trouble-but everything worked out there. Maybe I should be concerned that this will have a reverse impact…

First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Ricky Romero at OPACY is at 7:05 tonight, and the game can be seen on MASN. Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz follow Bergesen this weekend against Brandon Morrow and Shaun Marcum respectively; both of the other games this weekend can also be seen on WJZ 13.

I’ll say the Orioles will win 1 of 3. But what the hell do I know?

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones says Tim Bascom struggled for Norfolk Tides, Brandon Waring homered for Bowie Baysox on farm

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

-Did you miss Mike Gonzalez with Drew Forrester this morning 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!

We also talked to Frederick Keys Hitting Coach and Former Minnesota Twins INF Denny Hocking; as well as NBCSports.com HardballTalk writer Craig Calcaterra and we got a live update from the British Open, as SI/Golf.com’s Damon Hack checked in live from St. Andrews in Scotland. They’re all in the Audio Vault as well.

-If anything happens this weekend regarding Buck Showalter; you’ll want to make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service. If I’m guessing there…I’ll say “meh, probably not” again. I really think nothing is happening until the Ravens report to McDaniel College.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens QB Marc Bulger fine with backing up Joe Flacco

Look, I haven’t exactly been THRILLED about the acquisition of Marc Bulger; but I’ve been totally willing to admit that he’s a very solid backup QB. As long as he doesn’t have to play against good teams, I have a good feeling about what Marc Bulger is capable of doing.

Of course, I said ALL of that before I realized that Marc Bulger grew up in the hellhole that is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and grew up rooting for the effing Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ugh.

It was bad enough that the dude went to West freaking Virginia; but now you’re adding on that he rooted for the Pittsburgh freaking Steelers?!?!?

Why doesn’t he just go play a charity basketball game at North Harford High School?!

He says those loyalties are gone, but I’ve seen those miscreants up there in the Steel City. Those urine-looking colors are in their blood. It’s like a bad disease.

I’ll be watching this Bulger character…

6. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Terrell Suggs picked Ravens to win AFC North on ESPN

In all fairness, that’s really the ONLY choice “T-Sizzle” could make. But he’s not the only one that has picked the Ravens to win the division this year.

I haven’t decided who I’m going to pick to win the division yet myself. As I’ve said before, I truly believe the Cincinnati Bengals are the “team to beat” in the division; but that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t beat them. In fact, they may very well do that.

But it won’t be easy. Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco, Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham give the Bengals a formiddable offensive attack; and their defense was particularly sound a season ago; thanks to large part to Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph in the back.

If the Ravens want to win the Super Bowl, I firmly believe they need to win the division first. To do that, they can’t get swept by the Bengals or the Steelers as they have been last year and the year before, respectively.

7. Delmarva Daily Times’ Celeste E. Whittaker says Joe Flacco appeared at Harrison, New Jersey football camp Thursday

And when local athletes do good things, we like to give them credit for that.

In fact, it reminds me of some of my favorite moments from attending sports camps growing up. Like the time I was at baseball camp and Hillary Fisher showed up (Thanks Gorilla Mask!)…

gorillamask

8. ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Ben Grubbs could be first time Pro Bowler in 2010

I couldn’t agree more. As we often see, players are regularly honored with a Pro Bowl selection a year AFTER they were deserving of getting their first nod-as they sort of need some “word of mouth” help to get there. It wouldn’t surprise me AT ALL if Grubbs-or Jarret Johnson for that matter found their way to Hawaii this year, similar to how it took until last year for Haloti Ngata to get the honor.

I’d throw Michael Oher in that mix as well. If everything goes well, the team has a real chance to be littered with Pro Bowlers. Of course, it would be really nice if none of them actually played in the Pro Bowl as they were getting ready for a bigger game in Dallas the following week.

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland AD Search Committee has begun meeting

We discussed this process with IHoops CEO Len Elmore (who is part of the committee) Monday morning on WNST; as the committe can only do so much considering a replacement for President C.D. Mote has yet to be selected in College Park; and the new president will clearly play a major role in the selection of Debbie Yow’s successor.

If the name “Tina Wallman” is the one they come up with through the Search Committee, I’ll think it had been a successful one (Thanks Guyism!)…

wallmann

10. The Oregonian’s John Canzano says would-be Terrapins AD candidate Rob Mullens hired by Oregon

This is a shame, as Mullens’ background at Kentucky and also under Debbie Yow with the Terps would have made him a perfect candidate for the AD job.

There are still PLENTY of good candidates for the gig (including UConn’s Jeff Hathaway and Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione), but Mullens might have been available at a bit of a less costly price; which could be helpful in the search.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I’m not usually very serious; but this is ABSOLUTELY series. Please tune in this weekend (12pm Saturday-12pm Sunday) for Rex Snider’s “Curing Cancer One Call At A Time” marathon. Guests will include the likes of Curt Schilling, Kurt Warner and more. All proceeds go to the Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital here in Baltimore.

It’s a worthwhile cause. So worthwhile that I ate 12 hot dogs to be a part of it.

Certainly much more worthwhile than how I’m going to spend the majority of my weekend…

summerale


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday-

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Drew and I were discussing our (high school) alma maters this morning; and I found out some interesting things.

You may know that Drew graduated (reportedly) from Glen Burnie High School. What you may NOT know is that there are a number of other significant former Gophers, including former Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tony Saunders (who was on with Rex Snider yesterday here at AM1570 WNST); Kansas City Chiefs OT Branden Albert and singer Toni Braxton.

I am a proud Perry Hall High School graduate, and if you check our Wikipedia page; we have plenty of notable alumni as well. Former Delegates Alfred Redmer and James Ports; Tonja Walker from “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital”; and CNN’s Reggie Aqui. Oh, and there’s another one…Craig M Horlacher. Not familiar with Craig Horlacher? Let’s see what Wikipedia says about Craig…

“Craig M Horlacher, (GUINESS) Largest weiner size ever recorded

Let’s go Gators!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Cal Ripken may join Orioles in part time advisory role, then transition to full time position after son Ryan Ripken graduates

This is the first sort of “clarity” we’ve received about what exactly is being considered by the Iron Man, Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos. This is a logical role, although the question of what exactly Cal would be “advising” still comes to mind.

The easy answer would be “personnel”, as despite Cal’s incredible business accumen, I doubt he’s getting involved with the organization to give his ideas for how MASN can help market Adam Jones.

An organization would Cal Ripken involved for the advice he can offer to baseball players and regarding baseball players. He has value in Sarasota offering advice about fielding and staying healthy (Felix Pie should be the first player he talks to), but he also has value in the Warehouse telling Andy MacPhail “you know, I just don’t think Garrett Atkins fits the bill for what we’re looking for.”

Of course, now we’re entering the potential world of having “too many chefs in the kitchen.” Andy MacPhail is responsible for baseball decisions; but no one REALLY believes Peter Angelos has completely removed himself from that area. The organization is set to hire Buck Showalter as manager, and EVERYONE who knows ANYTHING about Buck Showalter has confirmed that he is going to have to have a hand in baseball and personnel decisions, if not more than that.

Now there’s a chance Cal Ripken joins that group.

Look, I don’t think ANYTHING bad can come from having Cal involved with the organization; and clearly they can use as much help as they can get in the baseball operations department. But this could end up being a combustible situation.

Of course, when you’re 29-59 it’s certainly worth trying.

2. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says former Birds closer George Sherrill placed on waivers by Los Angeles Dodgers

Jay points out in his column that MacPhail deserves some credit for “selling high” with Sherrill. I had no problem myself with the trade-as it appeared that the team got two reasonable prospects back in Josh Bell and Steve Johnson.

If we’re being completely fair though, Bell and/or Johnson need to produce at the big league level for us to TRULY say this was a good trade. Otherwise, it was a trade that cost the team a closer ahead of an annual tailspin.

As far as those who think the Orioles should try to re-acquire Sherrill for the 2nd half of the season are concerned, well….okay. Sherrill may be well served by returning to a no-pressure role in Charm City (maybe a 7th inning role); but I wouldn’t be in a rush to run out and bring back “Flat Breezy.”

As far as whether or not I thought George Sherrill would ulimately struggle at Chavez Revine?

“Never a doubt George, never a doubt.”

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says O’s will spend 2nd half trying to avoid worst record in franchise history

I really don’t want to think about this.

In fact, instead of thinking about this, let’s think about Rosie Jones. (Thanks Guyism!)

rosiejones

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Steve Bumbry homered for Delmarva Shorebirds on farm

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

-After missing Mike Gonzalez yesterday, we missed Billy Rowell this morning as well. Damn. BUT-if you missed Rich Dubroff from the Carroll County Times or Golf.com/SI’s David Dusek live from the British Open at St. Andrew’s with Drew Forrester this morning-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-I found out this morning Sidney Ponson retired from professional baseball. Is this news? Did we know this before? How did I miss this? So long “Sir Sid”…we’ll always have…the memories???

5. National Football Post’s Joe Fortenbaugh says addition of Anquan Boldin means Ravens ‘have Super Bowl contender written all over them’

Which is about the most common theme I can think of when it comes to this football team.

The Ravens BEFORE acquiring Anquan Boldin were a team that was very good and had a chance to compete to win the AFC North. The Ravens AFTER acquiring Anquan Boldin are a team that has a REAL chance to get to Dallas for the Super Bowl.

Like I keep saying, just because they’re a Super Bowl CONTENDER doesn’t mean they’ll WIN the Super Bowl. The Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets are Super Bowl CONTENDERS as well.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say “that’s why they play the games.”

6. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens report fans have suffered injuries in Westminster

Which doesn’t surprise me at ALL. We’ve all seen it. It doesn’t mean the Ravens came up with a perfect policy to fix the problem (Edit from GMC: I think it’s far from it), but fan behavior and unruly crowds HAVE been a problem at McDaniel College. That’s really not arguable.

Now, if Brooke Erickson comes to Training Camp next year, I don’t care what policy is in place. There’s going to be trouble with unruly crowds (Thanks COED Magazine via Busted Coverage!)…

erickson

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Beck expects ‘battle’ for QB job in Training Camp

Which is something we really haven’t discussed much.

When the Ravens acquired Marc Bulger, it was so widely assumed that Troy Smith would be dealt that we basically just started putting together a 53 man roster without including him.

But with the Philadelphia Eagles apparently likely to hold on to Michael Vick; the one realistic trade scenario that was presented appears to be gone.

The Ravens will NOT just be giving Troy Smith away, no matter how quickly some fans would like to see him go. If he isn’t traded, he and Beck will be set for a battle for the #3 QB job…a battle that Smith would CLEARLY be the favorite to win.

It isn’t popular necessarily, but it’s reality. Troy Smith might not LIKE being the team’s 3rd QB-but he might not have a choice. It might be the only job available.

And Troy Smith might very well be the best option for the Ravens as a 3rd QB.

We’ll have to wait and see what quarterbacks get hurt between now and Week 1. That would clearly impact where Smith could possibly end up.

8. ABC2′s Tia Craddock says Michael Phelps gave Baltimore City summer school students free swim lessons

Like I said yesterday, I think this is a great thing. I have said for some time that Phelps should be more visible with his charity and community involvement here in Baltimore; as he is likely the most recognized Baltimorean worldwide.

But with no offense to Michael-if I had my choice; I’d probably prefer to get my swim lessons from Lisa Angeline (Thanks NextRound.net via Uproxx!)…

lisaa

9. D1scrouse’s Patrick Stevens says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs named to Davey O’Brien Award watch list

Some of my feelings towards Ricky Dobbs are similar to my feelings towards former Morgan State Bears guard Reggie Holmes. I just really enjoy watching some college athletes-and Ricky Dobbs is ABSOLUTELY one of them.

There’s a new @DobbsForHeisman Twitter account that is pretty awesome. Not quite as awesome as getting a response from the Old Spice guy on YouTube, but it’s still pretty good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CijzuweLK4I[/youtube]

And by the way, Patrick and I posted a new D1scast this week discussing his preseason Top 25 Football poll, the new ACC TV deal, and why hitting “Reply All” isn’t always a great idea. Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out!

10. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Maryland, Texas in negotiations for future football series

I understand that the Terps will make a bunch of money from this series-and that’s important. But as I said on Twitter last night (follow us @WNST), it offers NOTHING football-wise. It’s a bit of a no-win; and I’m not sure how many recruits will be overly impressed by watching the Terrapins get pummeled by 35 points by the Longhorns at FedEx Field.

Now, playing a game in Austin (or Dallas, or Houston, or San Antonio) WILL get the next Maryland football coach (be it James Franklin or whoever else) in front of recruits in The Lone Star State. That IS a good thing.

And as I mentioned before, money is a factor. Cue AC/DC….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je7MqES4Wfk[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this.

I get a lot of questions about some of the music that’s played on the show. I figured I’d share a couple of the songs I get a particular number of questions about. One is “French Navy” by Camera Obscura…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3CkfvYMCWM[/youtube]

Another is “I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep On Dancing” by Mike Doughty. At least the title isn’t too long…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9GzLOk52Wo[/youtube]

If you want to know about anything else we play on the show, feel free to let me know.

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 14 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because for the first time ever, I’m going to name CO “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week”.

And in one of those historic moments-I’m going to name both a hip-hop and a country song.

(Edit from GMC: Insert your own joke here about “that just means you’re replacing your six pack with a 40 in your pickup truck” or something like that. But be sensitive in the process. We’re always appropriate here.)

First, I will admit that my love for Hootie & The Blowfish might make me jaded, but Darius Rucker is ABSOLUTELY one of the greatest things to have ever happened to country music. This is “Come Back Song”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIVtvgc8BPw[/youtube]

On the flip side, a lot of folks have said a lot of things about Kanye West in recent years. Not among them would be that his new single “Power” isn’t really freaking good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96tTu9-aW9k[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. MLB.com’s Doug Miller says Wigginton played, didn’t hit in American League’s All-Star Game loss

I legitimately watched MAYBE six outs of the ASG last night. I was watching “Wipeout” on ABC, then flipped over to see Ubaldo Jimenez get a double play to get out of the 2nd; and I tapped out to go see “Despicable Me.”

So…my thoughts on “Despicable Me” are that it was GOOD…but your kids will enjoy it more than you will.

Thoughts on the All-Star Game? It happened. Brian McCann may have helped himself, as the Atlanta Braves have at least a chance to reach the World Series. As far as Ty Wigginton is concerned, he’ll always be able to tell folks he was a Major League Baseball All-Star.

So was Robert Fick. So was Ron Coomer. So was Steve Trachsel.

That’s all I’ve got for you.

2. Wall Street Journal says Peter Angelos believes George Steinbrenner ‘as synonymous’ as any great Yankees player

Kudos to “GNicks1024″ on Twitter (you can follow US @WNST) for the response of the day to Angelos’ statement:

Steinbrenner on Angelos “his name is as synonymous with losing as anyone to ever put on…well anything”

I think there’s a relevant discussion about the reaction to George Steinbrenner’s death in comparison to what the reaction would have been had the news been yesterday that Peter had passed away.

Not that I think that Peter will necessarily see the moment as a sort of “A Christmas Carol” situation and will suddenly wake up and decide that he needs to be a better person/baseball owner. But I guess there’s at least a hope that maybe “Ebenezer Scrooge” Angelos will see that just because your legacy looks bad right now, it doesn’t mean there’s no hope for you to be remembered in a different way at the end of your life.

Maybe.

He’ll have a long way to go to be remembered positively here in Charm City.

3. The Daily Record’s Liz Farmer says Birds ranked 20th of 30 MLB teams in Harris Interactive popularity poll

The real question is “how embarrassing must it be for the 10 teams that are somehow LESS POPULAR THAN THE O’S?”

I also thought it was a bit awkward when the teams MORE popular than the Orioles included…

redsox
generals
beerfest

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Mike Gonzalez gave up run, 2 hits; Mike Flacco drove in game winner for Aberdeen Ironbirds on farm

Well, we had hoped to catch up with Mike Gonzalez this morning, but we missed him. Hopefully he’ll hook up with Thyrl Nelson later today.

Guests who DID appear on “The Morning Reaction” today with Drew Forrester included John Feinstein (Washington Post), who previewed the U.S. Open and also discussed LeBron James and George Steinbrenner with Drew. Check him out at FeinsteinOnTheBrink.com and pick up his new book “Moment of Glory.” Former Oriole Ken Singleton-now a Yanks TV analyst for the YES Network also joined Drew to remember “The Boss.” Those interviews can be heard in the Audio Vault as well.

And before we move on from the Birds, I want to address Roch Kubatko’s note that the Orioles are interested in Mark Prior…

“TO DO WHAT?!?!?!? CERTAINLY NOT TO PITCH, RIGHT?!?!?!?”

Andy MacPhail’s undying fascination of players he was involved with in the Chicago Cubs organization has AT BEST been unhelpful for the organization; and has arguably HURT the organization. This….this is absolutely INSANE.

5. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens introduce new Training Camp autograph policy

The policy basically states that autographs are only available for children 14 and younger, and that players will only sign autographs after the morning sessions during Camp; none after the afternoon sessions. In fairness, the team had no REGULAR autograph signing sessions in the afternoon; but players would often wander over to the crowd in the past following the PM sessions.

Here’s what REALLY matters to me. If Nina Senicar were to show up at Training Camp, can I still get an autograph from her??? (Thanks Guyism!)

senicar

6. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says new autograph policy in Westminster might send ‘wrong message’

And it might.

The reality is that there’s nothing wrong with a group of incoming seniors at Eastern Tech wanting to come over and grab autographs from Terrence Cody and Joe Flacco. In fact, that demand is EXACTLY what the organization should want.

Clearly there has been trouble with adults trying to bullrush kids for the chance to breathe near Sam Koch or Edgar Jones. I understand the organization’s need to address that. But there is a risk that if a group of high school or college students that WOULD have come out to Camp chooses NOT to come to Camp because they feel like they aren’t welcome to get autographs.

I’ve always thought that setting up some sort of “picture booth” would probably be the right way to do this. What’s popular with young people now is getting a “picture” with a pro athlete or celebrity-mostly so they can post it on Facebook. Hell, even I have an old picture with Ray Lewis somewhere amongst my Facebook pics. The difference is, there’s no real value in a “picture” to anyone besides the person who is IN the picture-so the unreal demand to get multiple signatures on multiple pieces of memorabilia.

It gets rid of the folks who are pushing to get autographs so they can sell them on eBay. It gets rid of the folks who want 10-15 things signed.

It still allows adults to get face time with the pro athletes they love. In fact, the Ravens could even handle all of it in-house with a photographer, and post the pictures at their official website; which helps their brand even more moving forward.

Ravens VP Kevin Byrne joined Drew this morning to explain the policy-if you missed it, make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says rookies Ed Dickson, Arthur Jones officially signed deals

Also yesterday, the Marc Bulger deal was officially signed-so it was good news all around in Owings Mills!

It was even better news, Dania Ramirez is on the cover of August’s Maxim. Wait, that’s not news? News to me…

dania

8. Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager thinks Walt Harris will win battle for #2 CB job at McDaniel College

Okay…with no offense to Peter Schrager, I think he’s missing something here.

1-The actual “competition” will be between Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington if both are healthy.

2-If they’re not; Harris, Chris Carr and Travis Fisher would all be in the mix.

3-Assuming a 36 year old corner who didn’t play at all last season can beat out much of anyone is probably not the safest of bets at this point.

If he’s healthy, the easy assumption is that Lardarius Webb will be the guy. If not, I’d rank the group:

Fabian Washington
Chris Carr
Walt Harris
Travis Fisher
Cary Williams
Prince Miller

9. The Sun’s Erica L. Green says Michael Phelps to give free swim lessons to Baltimore City summer school students this afternoon

This is a very good thing. I’ve said ever since he dominated the 2008 Olympics in Beijing that Phelps had some level of responsibility to return to Baltimore and be visible and involved in the community.

I know he’s been visible at Ravens games; and his Foundation has done some things for the community. But I haven’t been OVERLY impressed with his dedication (or his team’s dedication) to making that a priority.

You know what I HAVE been overly impressed with? Jenna Pietersen (Thanks Uncoached/Busted Coverage!)

jenna

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Iroquois Nation will try to travel to FIL World Championships in Manchester, England one more time this afternoon

This story is crazy if you haven’t been following it. The Iroquois Nation plays in the World Championships every 4 years, but there is a passport issue this year that is preventing them from being able to fly into the United Kingdom. They don’t want to have to get U.S. passports because they have laws that protect them as a sovereign nation.

It’s unreal.

Speaking of unreal, how does GEICO keep making awesome commercials? The Randy Johnson snowball commercial is a CLASSIC…

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

And finally, I leave you with this.

Apparently this is some sort of riveting video of Terrell Owens getting dunked on at Rucker Park in Harlem that a lot of folks are worked up about. I’m clearly not the target audience for this video. (Thanks With Leather!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVGaJam4J80[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I’m still recovering from a trip to HersheyPark Friday. Dave Matthews Band was great (of course), but I’m gonna spend a few minutes first gushing over Zac Brown Band-who opened for DMB. If you missed Zac Brown at Preakness (and if you did, shame on you), you may think they’re little more than another forgettable country act you’d be unlikely to listen to on WPOC.

Not exactly.

Their song “Free” might come off a bit too much “CMT”…but when they cut to “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison during the bridge; it’s an absolute SMASH. They did it Friday night, but no one got the video. Here’s an older performance of it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xwq3X0CTjc[/youtube]

As I also pointed out on Facebook (add me as a friend-just search “Glenn Clark” and look for a goofy pic of a clown in a seersucker suit at the Kentucky Derby), that wasn’t the only impressive thing they did Friday night. Channeling Rage Against the Machine was also pretty impressive…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Stephen Hawkins says Arrieta impressive as Orioles finished off four game sweep of Texas Rangers in Arlington

This is equally as puzzling (if not much MORE puzzling) than when the Birds swept the Boston Red Sox earlier in the season. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?!?

Since when are the Orioles a team that can pitch comfortably past high powered offenses like the one found at the Ballpark in Arlington? Since when are the Orioles a team that can save face with a game-tying grand slam from Corey Patterson in the 9th?

Maybe it was just the heat in the Lone Star State, but it was an awfully goofy weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But given what we know about the team otherwise, there’s no reason to really think things like “maybe the team has finally turned the corner” or “the All-Star break is coming at the wrong time.”

Remember, this is the same team that was swept by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week. They’re a TERRIBLE team. The worst team in all of baseball.

It just so happens that the worst team in all of baseball pulled off a miraculous weekend sweep of a good team that we thought would get better with the addition of Cliff Lee.

I’ve described the season via Twitter (follow us @WNST) before as a “season long kick in the nuts.” This was like sitting down and getting an icepack between kicks.

It was a great feeling.

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

Wait a second…you mean…you might actually MIGHT want to look at the numbers this time???

Maybe Arrieta wasn’t “brilliant” the way Chris Tillman was Saturday night, but he was damn impressive. 6.1IP, ER, 6H, 3K, 2BB looks like a line I’d take 10 times out of 10 from a starting pitcher.

Julio Lugo continued his recent hot streak-giving the team a better chance every day of maybe being able to steal SOMETHING for him by July 31. It’s still not particularly likely-but it does look better every day as Lugo collects extra base hits (he was 2-4 with a double, RBI and run yesterday).

Even Craig Tatum got another hit and scored another run, despite having to play during a day game following a night game due to the injury to Matt Wieters.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD?!?!? This is supposed to be the part of the blog where I say something like “You don’t really want to look at this. Instead, look at this picture of Kelly Brook dressed up as Princess Leia as posted by Guyism…”

You know, you should still go look at that anyway…

kellybrook

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says timing ‘fishy’ as Fox Sports reporting Buck Showalter nearing deal, Sun reporting Juan Samuel to manage after All-Star Game

So how long until the “Not Buck Showalter” or the “UnBuckShowalter” page pops up on Twitter?

By the way, to whoever was running the Dave Trembley page-it sucks now. There could still be plenty of great shtick there if you really tried. Also, whoever is doing the “Nestor Aparicio” page has never been funny. The guy is the easiest target on the face of the planet….how can you possibly do a page without it being funny?

Back to the point-I don’t think that Dan Connolly and Ken Rosenthal necessarily offered OPPOSING reports, as Peter Angelos and Andy MacPhail could very well be nearing a deal with Buck Showalter but believe Juan Samuel will be the manager when the team plays the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.

I just hope it isn’t because Showalter is hired but is serving in some sort of “advisory” role until he takes over as manager. That’s so unbelievably dumb I just can’t possibly imagine the team would consider it.

Of course, I should REALLY think that it is so unbelievably dumb that I know the team WILL be doing it.

I just really don’t want to believe that.

4. MLB.com’s Todd Wills says Mike Gonzalez could return to Baltimore after ASG, Luke Scott won’t

So….HOORAY! Or something…

I have to assume that Mike Gonzalez won’t be returning to the closer role when he gets back to Charm City, so that gives me hope that maybe Rick Kranitz can find a role that he can be effective in. I’m absolutely not convinced that Alfredo Simon should be the team’s closer of the future, but I think it’s safe to say they’ve already learned their lesson when it comes to Gonzalez.

Right?

Right?

5. Fanhouse’s Frankie Piliere says O’s prospect Zach Britton had ‘standout’ arm at Futures Game in Anaheim

Which is ABSOLUTELY the most excited I’ll be about anything that happens at Angels Stadium this week.

With no offense to tonight’s Home Run Derby (I’m sure the Nick Swisher-Vernon Wells showdown will be really compelling to….someone?) or tomorrow night’s Mid-Summer Classic (My prediction? Ty Wigginton strikes out), I’ve lost all juice surrounding this event. It used to be exciting to me, and after that it was still at least the “only thing on.”

Tonight WWE Raw is on and the Counting Crows are at Pier Six. I doubt I’ll pass up on either to watch guys hit home runs.

Tomorrow night? Maybe I’ll go see “Despicable Me.” I stayed home to watch last year’s event in St. Louis and the highlight was an Adam Jones sac fly. Never again will I plan around it.

Hell, if I REALLY need something to do I could always just look at pictures of Doutzen Kroes from Russia’s version of Vogue (Thanks Uproxx/NextRound.net!)…

doutzen

6. NorfolkTides.com says Armando Gabino impressive as Tides finished first half on farm with win over Durham Bulls

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

-The Birds are clearly off the next four nights as baseball celebrates the All-Star Game in Southern California. They are going to hold a closed workout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night, which I’m sure is exactly what players wanted to hear instead of getting a 4 day break. Of course, when you’re the worst team in baseball DESPITE a 4 game winning streak-it’s hard to make too many demands.

-When the Birds get back, the rotation will line up Brad Bergesen-Jeremy Guthrie-Brian Matusz-Chris Tillman-Jake Arrieta. Obviously the team will have to make a tough decision when Kevin Millwood is ready to return from the DL.

-Congratulations to our buddy Chris Stoner-who will again take home “Apologist of the Morning” honors-although this time the honor is web only, as we were caught up in discussion about Buck Showalter, LeBron James and the red hot Birds on this morning’s show. Chris was back to beating the drum of Nolan Reimold playing 1B in Baltimore; despite the fact that Nolan Reimold has done nothing to show that he’s ready to return to the major league level-and has played only a handful of games at first base at the AAA level. The drum beats on…

7. Pro Football Weekly’s Mike Wilkening says Ravens LB Terrell Suggs believes despite not being in Owings Mills for offseason, own workouts will have him ready for Training Camp

Well, when it comes to someone like T-Sizzle, his track record says we should just take him at his word, right?

Suggs can say whatever he wants; but everyone will be looking to see what type of shape he’s in when the team reports to Westminster at the end of the month. There is a LOT of pressure on him to live up to the contract he DIDN’T live up to a season ago-and saying “I was working hard in Arizona this offseason” won’t be enough if he’s not ready mentally or physically to get after the likes of Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Dennis Dixon and Ben Roethlisberger this season.

The bigger issue is that the Ravens don’t really HAVE any other natural pass rushers on the roster-with MAYBE the exception of Sergio Kindle, whose body probably isn’t ready to make him a dedicated rusher at the NFL level just yet. There’s pressure on Kelly Gregg this season, but that’s because there’s another guy (Terrence Cody) ready to take his spot.

Suggs doesn’t necessarily have that pressure-yet the team is REALLY counting on him. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

8. NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi says Ravens still facing ‘cover corner’ issues

This is an interesting subject. We all know that the team LACKS a true “cover corner”, but we also know the roster features a number of potentially CAPABLE corners. Domonique Foxworth really played well during the 2nd half of the season last year, and if it weren’t for his contract; we probably wouldn’t really consider him a disappointment at all.

Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington each played well at times, but are both coming off of injuries. Chris Carr was steady if not spectacular. The team doesn’t really know what they’re getting from veterans Cary Williams, Travis Fisher or Walt Harris.

The reality is that the effectiveness of this group will be directly impacted by the team’s ability to rush the passer. If the team can rush the passer, this group will look MUCH better. If they can’t, this group will look awfully similar to the group that struggled to start last season.

They just won’t have Frank Walker anymore for fans to blame for the struggles. Not that he wasn’t deserving at times…

9. South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo says former Maryland Terrapins star Vicky Bullett headed to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Vicky, who was an exceptional player under fellow Hall of Famer Chris Weller in College Park.

As you know, the Terps are still looking for an Athletic Director to replace Debbie Yow, and Len Elmore is part of the Search Committe (along with Gary Williams, Kevin Plank, Brenda Frese, Sasho Cirovski, etc.) to find the next “Top Terp.” Len joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to discuss the search, if you missed it-make sure you check it out today in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

Also joining us this morning were Loyola soccer coach Mark Mettrick (who wrapped up Spain’s win over the Netherlands to capture the World Cup) and Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe-who went around MLB. Both are available in the Audio Vault as well.

10. Swimming World Magazine says Michael Phelps posted solid time at NBAC event

You know what I would do if I posted an impressive time at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club? I’d immediately turn to the first person I saw and ask “Do you think Anissa Holmes is impressed?” (Thanks Busted Coverage/NextRound.net!)

anissa

And finally, I leave you with this.

On Saturday night at a private residence (Thank you Liz Kort) in Owings Mills, I discovered something that has forever changed my life…

sac

This is a Love Sac. My birthday is September 6. I’m just saying…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Orioles’ Minor Leaguers On the Move; Britton: “This is the Last Step of the Developmental Process for Me”

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Orioles’ Minor Leaguers On the Move; Britton: “This is the Last Step of the Developmental Process for Me”

Posted on 02 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

With a lot of movement around the Orioles minor leagues over the last two days, three Baltimore prospects, including two of the organization’s top players, made the most of their opportunities with new teams.

On Wednesday night, former Delmarva pitcher Nathan Moreau, in his first start since joining the Orioles’ Single A Frederick , threw a no-hitter in his Keys debut against the Salem Red Sox.

Not a bad start for Moreau, who not only threw the sixth career no-hitter for the Keys organization, but he also threw his first ever complete game and shutout all in the same night.

Moreau told Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” that he was really focused, cause he doesn’t really remember anything that happened outside of his pitching performance.

Nathan Moreau

“I was in the zone so much that I didn’t even feel what the audience was doing,” Moreau said. “I heard some cheers after the game…but during the game I couldn’t tell you.”

And his teammates made sure to not jinx him either.

“It all started in the seventh inning. I like to talk to guys in the dugout,” Moreau said. “Everybody started moving away, so I said “okay…I’ll sit down and do the role’.”

It is arguably the best start ever for the former Georgia Bulldog, who the Orioles took in the 11th round of the 2008 draft.

His fastball was strong on the night, and the Red Sox were caught off-balance by the southpaw’s ability to change speeds. Most of his outs were recorded via fly outs, and he struck out six.

“I was able to keep the ball down for the most part of the night. They put some good swings on a couple of the balls, and the outfielders ran them out and made tough plays making awesome catches at the wall. That really helps.”

He faced the minimum 27 batters despite two errors committed; ironically, one was made by Moreau himself.

Moreau said that he started thinking he was in good position after the fourth inning, because he had a start earlier this year in Delmarva where he pitched four perfect frames and eventually lost it in the fifth.

He feels like that while he is still only in Single A, it’s just another step in his progression toward hopefully making the big league club some day.

“That’s my plan. That’s why we all play. I go out there everyday, compete, and try and put up the best numbers I can.”

The promotions continued at the Orioles’ Triple A affiliate, Norfolk, where one of the top pitching prospects in Andy MacPhail‘s organization, Zach Britton, made his Tides debut as he moved up from Bowie.
Zach Britton
In his International League debut, Britton went six innings, allowing three hits while striking out four. But he did not earn the win, posting a no decision.

Britton spent a few minutes with Luke Jones and Rex Snider before making that first start at the highest level of the Orioles farm system.

At Double-A Bowie, Britton was pitching very well and certainly that was a factor in Orioles management making the decision to change Britton’s team.

A third-round pick by the Orioles in 2006 out of high school, Britton started 14 games for the Baysox, going 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA and recorded 68 strikeouts in 76 innings.

Britton said it’s a great league for young pitchers to start to acclimated to how teams face pitchers in the major leagues, when it comes to batters seeing your repertoire.

“It’s a good league to make adjustments,” Britton said. “I faced the Kinston Indians about 10-12 times out of my 24 starts. It’s a lot of time for them to see me and make adjustments on me.  I feel like it that’s a really good league where you learn how to pitch, since you can’t keep just doing the same thing.”

But while Moreau’s trip to Baltimore may be many years away, Britton( the 2009 Carolina League Pitcher of the Year) is maybe a step or two away from the big leagues if he continues to pitch well.

And given the movement of Orioles pitchers Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, and Jake Arrieta back and forth between Norfolk and Baltimore, Britton could be one phone call away from the big leagues if an injury or a trade-maybe Kevin Millwood or Jeremy Guthrie-occurs now that he is in the mix at Triple-A.

“During spring training, my goal was to get to Baltimore. They felt like that was something I could accomplish this year… toward the end of the season. It all depends on how I go out and perform.”

“This is the last step of the developmental process for me,” Britton continued. “They given me the promotion, and I’m going to take it as a challenge and hopefully continue to do well in Triple-A.”

And finally, in last night’s game between the O’s and the Athletics, if you want to talk about curve balls, the biggest one of the day was the decision to promote third baseman Josh Bell from Triple A Norfolk to start in the finale against Oakland.

Josh Bell

The move was retroactive to Baltimore placing Luke Scott on the DL Thursday after he hurt his hamstring taking a stroll around the base path Wednesday after hitting a home run.

Bell, the centerpiece of the George Sherrill trade to the Dodgers last year, went 1-for-4 in his major league debut and recorded his first career hit in the seventh inning-a single off A’s starter Trevor Cahill. He also struck out once and also committed an error.

Bell said that he was just trying to keep his whits about him after being given the news. Bell was probably just as shocked as the fans and the media were about the decision to promote him.

I’m anxious a little bit and ready to get after it,” Bell told the Carroll County Times’ Josh Land last night. “I feel good. I thought I would be a little more nervous, but I’m trying to control it.”

Bell is probably a temporary move with both Felix Pie and Mike Gonzalez both expected to rejoin the ball club in the near future.

For now, let’s hope these prospects continue to adjust to their new teams, and Bell can tear the cover off the ball for the time he’s playing for the big league club, so much so that he either helps the O’s get some much needed wins before the All-Star break, or learns a few things about the major leagues before continuing his progression down at Norfolk.

Tune into 1570 WNST as we continue to track the progress of these and all the Orioles prospects! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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The Orioles 2010 All Star and Un-Star Representatives

Posted on 29 June 2010 by Jay Trucker

With the All Star game fast approaching, it is time for the obligatory speculative blog to determine who will and who should represent the Orioles. Despite their four game winning streak, it’s still safe to say a team with a record this pitiful does not deserve an All Star. However, since each team must have at least a single representative at the Midsummer Classic, someone wearing the O’s cap will make the exhibition club.

By the way, why didn’t anyone mention the “each team must have an All Star” rule to Adam Jones? He certainly doesn’t seem aware of this in his omnipresent MASN commercial, in which he talks proudly of “earning the title All Star” while squatting an unimpressive 235 lbs.

Someone on the horrendous 25 man roster had to “earn” the title All Star, Adam. It’s like being the smartest kid to repeat the eighth grade.

Anyway, I wouldn’t look for Jones to repeat as the O’s lone All Star this year. He is on an eight game hitting streak, but his defense has been suspect at times, and he spent most of April and May whiffing at breaking balls. Time to up your squats, Jonesy.

Ty Wigginton was an early season favorite, as he got off to a hot start that nearly makes up for his pitiful 2009. But he has leveled off recently, hitting .266 on the season with no homers in the past month.

A few local writers are pulling for Jason Berken, but he’s a little-known middle reliever on a bad team. He has about as much chance of making the All Star team as you or me.

Miguel Tejada could act like he’s been there before because he’s been there before. Tejada is hitting .287 while making the move to third base. I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see him get the nod, if only for his name recognition.

The Oriole truly deserving the All Star nod is Nick Markakis. When he’s not calling out his underachieving teammates or dining with Peter Angelos, Markakis has been hitting .306 while exhibiting his usual stellar defense in right field. With only 3 home runs on the year, Markakis has not rediscovered his power stroke, but he is walking at a higher ratio than last year, posting a .398 OBP on the season. Most criticism of Markakis is due to the fact that he is a natural number two hitter forced to hit in the number three spot for this undertalented team. Hopefully his fifth season in the bigs will bring him his first of many All Star nods. He’s been one of the only bright spots both on and off the field this season.

While Markakis is the clear choice for the All Star game, a doppleganger “Unstar” game would have several Baltimore Orioles candidates. Here’s a partial list of underachievers.

Garrett Atkins – Gone but not forgotten. Atkins told The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, “Taking my [batting practice] and stuff the last month or so, it’s been pretty good. I’ve been driving the ball well. I just haven’t been able to transfer it over to the games.” You hear that, New York Yankees? Atkins is doing great in BP. Now if only he could hit in games.

Mike Gonzalez – An Andy MacPhail offseason pickup who may be the only Oriole to ever get booed in his Camden Yards debut. Last seen giving up home runs in short season A ball for Aberdeen. Seriously.

Brian Roberts – In year one of a four-year $40 million deal, Roberts had only 16 plate appearances in 2010 before going on the long-term DL. He can be seen giving video updates on MASN from local dog parks. Seriously.

Koji Uehara – another waste of money and roster space, Uehara’s most impressive achievement to date is his ability to hop on and off the disabled list. Enjoy ingthe humidity, Koji?

Matt Wieters – Nicknamed “switch-hitting Jesus,” Wieters is hitting .238 on the season.

Let’s hope that Nick Markakis’ name is called for the real All Star game. The real question is, who is your Orioles Unstar?

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