Tag Archive | "Mike Gonzalez"

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Live from Camden Yards: Jake Fox to O’s, Tillman optioned to Norfolk

Posted on 22 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — As reported earlier today, the Orioles have acquired infielder/outfielder Jake Fox from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Ross Wolf and cash considerations. It’s a move that’s sure to excite few but isn’t a bad gamble if you take a look at Fox’s career minor league numbers. And, oh yeah, he’s a former Cub, which Andy MacPhail seems to like for some reason.

Interim manager Juan Samuel intends to use the 27-year-old Fox in a utility role off the bench and as a third catcher to help spell Matt Wieters—who could then be the designated hitter on occasion—and backup Craig Tatum. That’s fine for now, but Fox needs to receive regular opportunities at some point. Regardless of whose playing time suffers as a result, there’s no such thing as “stepping on anyone’s toes” when the club is 19-50.

“He’s an added bat,” Samuel said. “We’re going to do everything we can to get him in there and get some offense. That’s just an extra guy to help us off the bench, to pinch hit if we need to throw him in against a left-hander. … I’m going to try to play as many guys as I can here.”

Fox will wear No. 47.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Fox, the Orioles have optioned struggling pitcher Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk and have designated Cla Meredith for assignment. With Tillman now with the Tides and ineligible to return for 10 days (except in the case of an injury), we can safely assume Brad Bergesen will be recalled to make Saturday’s start against the Washington Nationals.

Meredith was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA (15 innings pitched) in 21 games for the Orioles this season and 1-0 with a 13.50 ERA in five games for Norfolk.

In other news, Felix Pie was the designated hitter for the Gulf Coast League Orioles today and experienced no problems, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Mike Gonzalez threw 19 pitches for the Gulf Coast team and struck out three while displaying consistent velocity at 90 to 91 miles per hour.

Koji Uehara threw a side session of 30 pitches in Sarasota with no setbacks.

When asked about Garrett Atkins’ lack of playing time, Samuel said he called the first baseman into his office during the San Diego series to chat with him. Atkins is a strong candidate to be released on Saturday when the Orioles will need to clear room for a starting pitcher, presumably Bergesen.

“I told him I haven’t forgotten about him,” Samuel said.

At least someone hasn’t.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

LF Chris Coghlan
1B Gaby Sanchez
SS Hanley Ramirez
DH Jorge Cantu
2B Dan Uggla
CF Cody Ross
RF Mike Stanton
3B Wes Helms
C Ronny Paulino

SP Anibal Sanchez (6-4, 3.22 ERA)

LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
2B Scott Moore
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 3.97 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this evening at 7:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

5:55 p.m. — Head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear Jake Fox’s comments about his new home and what he hopes to bring to the Orioles.

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2010 Orioles-the worst ever?

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While other teams run a pennant chase, O’s trying to run away from history

Posted on 21 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

2010 Orioles-the worst ever?
Most of the time when you’re trying to make history, it’s a good thing. Unless you’re on the path to being historically bad.

With the Orioles 9-4 loss to the Padres on Sunday, the Orioles are now 19-50, the worst record in the major leagues, and they are on the same pace as some of the worst teams in baseball history record-wise.

And the bad stats just keep piling on. They are last in the American League in runs scored with 223, doubles with 100, and on-base percentage (.300). They have the worst ERA in the AL, and have only converted half of their saves this year with the platoon of closers they have thrown out the mound this year. Only the Diamondbacks in the NL have given up more home runs than the Orioles.

These are all stats that the Orioles and their fans do not want to see.

They also don’t want to eye their record in the standings, because while all these stats may be little things, but at the end of the season, they could be remembered for being bad for a long time.

The worst record in one baseball season in the modern era belongs to a team the Orioles played in the last two weeks, the NY Mets. In 1962, the Mets finished with a 40-120-1 record, the worst at that time in almost 60 years.

1962 Mets

Before 1962, the worst team ever to play baseball was the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in 1899, when the sport was growing. The Spiders finished 20-134, and were a whopping 84 games back in the division.

There is a Baltimore connection to those Spiders. Bear with me. The owner of the Spiders, Frank Robison, felt like his other team he owned, the St. Louis Browns, would be a more profitable team, so he sent all the Spiders’ All-Stars, including some guy named Cy Young, to the Browns.

The St. Louis Browns eventually got to taste their own medicine, as the team also had less than 45 wins twice after that season. And what team came to Baltimore in 1954? The Browns.

It would be another 41 years till there was a team that would challenge the Mets’ 1962 mediocrity, when in 2003, the Detroit Tigers finished with a record of 43-119, playing one more game than the Mets. They were poised to break the record during the last stretch of the season, but winning five out of their last six saved them from going in the history books, but in a bad way.

The Orioles though, might not be as lucky to save themselves. Through 69 games, the Orioles (19-50) are on the same pace as the ’69 Mets, and that is not a comparison the Orioles will like to be associated with right now. The Mets also got off to a bad start like this year’s 2-16 Orioles, but  a 17-game losing streak from the end of May into June put the Mets in a bad spot.

The Orioles’ had the liberty of at least splitting their big losing streaks into two parts, including a nine-game losing streak (4/9 against Blue Jays-4/27 against Boston) and a ten game losing streak from May 25 against the A’s to the 5th of June against Boston.

In another comparison, the 2003 Tigers started out 3-25, but an 11-18 May helped “even” their season out.

Now with about forty percent of the season in the books, the Orioles would like to put themselves on a better pace to finish out the year, so that they are not forever known for being historically bad.

The Orioles are most likely going to have to endure their 13th straight losing season, second most in the majors to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The hope is that they get 41 or more wins, so that teams from this point on don’t say “Well, at least we’re not as bad as the 2010 Orioles.”

If one to were diagnose the troubles with the Orioles’ bad start, or to make excuses for it, the list is probably twice as big as the number of wins Baltimore might expect this year. The team has had no offense what so ever, no legitimate ace of the pitching staff, injuries to its lead off hitter and closer, regression on the part of some of its young players, and some poor free agent signings (Garrett Atkins, Mike Gonzalez).

The Orioles have also had a brutal schedule to play. All but five of the teams the Orioles have played this year have winning records (Royals, Indians, Mariners, Oakland, Washington), and minus the Indians and the Royals, the other three teams had winning records when they went up against the Orioles.

The O’s have also played more games in their division than any other AL East team this year, and with every other team in the division having not only a winning record but huge payrolls, the Orioles just have not been able to compete. They are 2-10 against the New York Yankees, 1-5 against Tampa Bay, 0-6 against the Blue Jays, and are 5-4 against the Red Sox this year due to a three-game sweep against Boston back in May.

It seems like the “Bizzaro World” for the Orioles, who before this long stretch of losing seasons, the Orioles were not only the best franchise in baseball statistically, they were the most successful team in professional sports.

There is another reason why the Orioles would like to follow the 2003 Tigers, who were able to escape history. It may be hard to say, “lets be like that team that won only 43 games, had the first 20-game loser in 60 years, and was outscored by 337 runs.”

The next season in 2004, the Tigers went on a 33-game improvement, finishing 72-90, the best improvement over the one season since the 1989 Orioles (54-107), who had the worst start ever going 0-21. But then it was two years after that the Tigers brought home a World Championship AL Pennant with 11 of the 25-man roster from 2003 still on the 2006 World Series team. This included three members of the pitching staff, two of which had the 19+ losses in the rotation in Mike Maroth and Jeremy Bonderman. Future All-Stars in Carlos Pena and Brandon Inge were also members of that team.

Carlos Pena

And with a lot of young talent on the 2010 Orioles, guys like Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, Nick Markakis, and Adam Jones, this team could very well be like that young Tigers team that turned it around in two years. But the O’s have a bigger hill to climb facing the Yankees and the Red Sox for 50 games a year as opposed to the Indians and the Royals as of late.

But this year, it might be the only reason to watch the Orioles-to see if they do, or do not, make history.

Tune into ‘The Morning Reaction” Monday through Friday 6-10 AM on 1570 WNST!

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 15 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me 1-because I’m so drugged up on allergy meds that I wouldn’t know if it WASN’T a Happy Tuesday, 2-because a friend passed this classic along to me via Facebook…

(Edit from GMC: The audio here is NSFW! Unless of course you work as an intern on “The Morning Reaction.” In which case, we’ve used all of these words to describe you this morning.)

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Chris Tillman roughed up, knocked out early as Orioles fell to Giants

I did it again.

Much like Sunday when I was a few minutes late in flipping to MASN because I wanted to watch Stephen Strasburg on MASN2, I was a few minutes late last night because I wanted to watch the end of WWE Raw. And once again, by the time I got flipped over to watch the Orioles-things were already out of hand. This time, it was 6-1. And while I had missed a Matt Wieters home run, apparently I hadn’t missed too much more than that.

I went back and watched a bit of Tillman-his velocity certainly needed to be up. I also thought he lacked confidence in his pitches, but that might have just been a realization of what jersey he was wearing.

It was a fun night at AT&T Park. Just as long as you don’t root for the Orioles. There aren’t too many of us that do.

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

Ty Wigginton had a couple of doubles (one of which maybe should have been a home run), but he also had two of the team’s 8 strikeouts. That’s about how it goes these days.

You know what, you REALLY don’t want to look at this box score. In fact, let me go another way with this. This is Brittany Rathel. Busted Coverage pointed her out to me. She’ll be more fun to look at than last night’s box score would have been…


3. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says while Garrett Atkins historically bad in Baltimore, Aubrey Huff excelling in San Francisco


The must frustrating part about Jay’s column is certainly the information that the Huff is making $3 million in San Fran while Atkins is making $4.5 million in Charm City. I wasn’t heartbroken when the Birds decided to part ways with Huff, but I would have never signed off on it had I known they weren’t going to go out and get anyone else who could drive in runs.

That’s absolute INSANITY.

Of course, I somehow feel as though it hurts MORE that Pat Burrell homered last night. How can PAT BURRELL be hitting home runs?

I can’t think about this anymore. I might have another allergy attack.

4. ESPN.com says Bobby Valentine doesn’t see much ‘reward’ in O’s situation

Thank you Bobby Valentine for not sugar coating this. Valentine apparently went on “Baseball Tonight” (I will admit that I rarely watch Baseball Tonight anymore) last night and said “I don’t know that Andy (MacPhail) and I get along that well.”

I don’t know this to be true-but I might imagine it would have something to do with Bobby V telling MacPhail he wouldn’t be okay with managing a team that featured nothing but young guys and second-rate veterans.

This is the reality of the Orioles’ situation. Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos want to get “the right guy”, but I don’t think they’re going to lie to them in the process. Instead, they’re likely going to say something along the lines of “look, we want you to get the job done here-but we’re not gonna go out and become the Yankees or the Red Sox. If you think you can work with young talent and a couple of key veterans, we want you here. If not, this might not be the job for you.”

And that approach might well work for an Eric Wedge (who has already interviewed), or Bob Melvin, or Clint Hurdle (who is currently employed by the Texas Rangers so he’d have to wait until the end of the season to interview); but apparently not with Valentine.

We can’t COMPLETELY scratch him from the list yet, but we might as well. I’m not losing sleep over not having Bobby Valentine as manager, but that doesn’t mean he might not have been a good manager for this team.

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Wigginton hoping to reach All-Star Game as write-in candidate

There have been some BAD all-stars in the history of the Midsummer Classic, including the likes of Robert Fick and Ron Coomer. And of the current crop of Baltimore Orioles-while Adam Jones, Miguel Tejada, Kevin Millwood and Brian Roberts are known former All-Stars, did you know Cesar Izturis was ALSO once an All-Star?

That’s the group Ty Wigginton would hope to move into. The group of Robert Fick, Ron Coomer, Lance Carter and Cesar Izturis. Ugh.

As an Orioles fan, I hope Nick Markakis gets the call as the Orioles’ representative. He’s been the team’s best player this season-even if not necessarily deserving of being honored amongst the best players in the American League. He also deserves the nod for having played like an All-Star now for 5 years in his career.

6. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Josh Bell homered, doubled for Norfolk Tides last night

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few notes:

-The Orioles and Giants are back at it tonight, with Jake Arrieta facing Joe Martinez. First pitch from the Bay Area is at 10:15pm on MASN2. Game 6 of the NBA Finals starts at 9pm, which means the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics should at least have played about 6 minutes before first pitch in SF.

-Congratulations to “Apologist of the Morning” Todd Webster. Since “The Great Arbitrator” got too far behind this morning, I went ahead and handled responsibilities when it comes to making the selection. Todd Webster works for MASN, and was reached for comment when word came down that MASN’s Orioles ratings were somehow UP a little bit this season despite the Orioles being historically bad. Here’s Webster’s response…

“The Orioles’ improved ratings shows the depth of commitment Orioles fans have for their team. The history and tradition of Orioles baseball is a part of the fabric of Baltimore and Washington, as more fans are tuning in.

Demand for advertising is also stronger than last season, as marketers see the value of associating with Orioles baseball. Led by the automotive sector, year-over-year ad sales are up by double-digits, not only because of the improving economy but also because MASN and the Orioles can offer so many solutions, from TV spots to in-game and in-park sponsorships, from hospitality to radio. …”

Now THAT’S apology.

-There was a measure of good news yesterday, as Brittany Ghiroli passed along via Twitter that Andy MacPhail had said Felix Pie, Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson and Brian Roberts could return by the end of June. I feel like I should be excited. For some reason, I’m not.

-If you missed former Oriole and current Aberdeen Ironbirds pitching coach Scott McGregor today on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault and check it out. Other guests this morning included NFL Network reporter and World Cup enthusiast Jason La Canfora and our annual U.S. Open preview with Damon Klepczynski from Mountain Branch. Plus, our pal “Captain Jerk” had a Tony Bennett-inspired Orioles song worth taking a listen to. It’s all in the Audio Vault.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens Frank Walker, William VanDeSteeg tried out with Houston Texans

If I didn’t know better, there would be so many great jokes I could make here about the Texans. The fact is, I know that neither Walker nor VanDeSteeg would be expected to be any sort of impact player this season-so I can’t really beat them up too bad.

Of course, if I were looking at guys like Frank Walker and William VanDeSteeg, I might also bring in Alessandra Ambrosio for a look. Just so I’d know. (Thanks Guyism!)


8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco plans to keep working with Anquan Boldin, Donte’ Stallworth between now and Training Camp

Do you know how much better this headline reads than this…

“BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Kyle Boller plans to keep working with Clarence Moore, Randy Hymes between now and Training Camp”?

I already feel better just based on the names involved!

9. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Maryland officials, boosters believe move from ACC to Big Ten ‘unlikely’

This is one of the subjects Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) and I discussed during our inaugural “D1scast”, which can be heard right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

The more I talk to high ranking Terrapins (and I talked to more yesterday), the more I truly believe this probably isn’t happening. But as I said yesterday, you always have to keep in mind that money talks. Don’t call it DEAD, just call it UNLIKELY.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s John Jiloty says Drexel coach Brian Voelker hasn’t been contacted by Terrapins regarding lacrosse gig

And neither has Stevenson’s Paul Cantabene (as Ed Lee from the Sun confirmed last night), but Harvard’s John Tillman HAS.

It isn’t a sexy group. As I said yesterday, I’ve seen sexier groups on “The Biggest Loser.”

That being said, the Terps are just hoping there’s a decent coach in the group.

And speaking of “sexy groups”, here’s a new picture of Kim Kardashian from What Would Tyler Durden Do….


And finally, I leave you with this.

I’ll admit it. As much it bothered me as an Italy fan to come up with just a draw against Paraguay, I still enjoyed this. (Thanks Deadspin!)


Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Live from Camden Yards: Roberts’ back “not really good,” more tests coming

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Good afternoon from Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (16-41) prepare to welcome the New York Yankees (35-22) for the first of a three-game set this evening at 7:05 p.m.

The biggest piece of news from Juan Samuel in his pre-game meeting with the media was an update on Brian Roberts described as “not really good.”

After previously being scheduled to play in an extended spring training game last Friday, Roberts continues to experience lower back pain and will undergo a battery of tests over the next few days. While all parties have downplayed the possibility of surgery ever since Roberts missed most of spring training with a herniated disc, Samuel did not seem optimistic over the second baseman’s prognosis and whether he might have to undergo surgery.

“We don’t know,” Samuel said. “Like I said, they’re going to run more tests here in the next two or three days, and we’ll see once the doctors evaluate his situation, we will know more on that.”

Roberts is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, but his status for the remainder of the season remains very much in doubt at this point.

Mike Gonzalez threw an inning in an extended spring training game this afternoon, giving up a hit and showing velocity in the mid-80s, according to reports given to Samuel.

“His velocity is still down, but just to have him throwing an inning is an encouraging sign,” Samuel said.

The interim manager gave a more positive prognosis on reliever Alfredo Simon, describing him as the “closest guy” to coming off the disabled list as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained in the series finale in Washington two weeks ago.

The Orioles still haven’t decided on a starting pitcher for Saturday, citing a need to see how the Yankees series plays out and whether the club will need Brad Bergesen to work out of the bullpen in long relief.

Triple-A starter Jake Arrieta would be the likely call-up to make Saturday’s start if the club needs to make a roster move for another starting pitcher to face the New York Mets.

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat this evening at 7:30 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss the action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about today’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m


5:00 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

New York
SS Derek Jeter
RF Nick Swisher
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
DH Jorge Posada
CF Curtis Granderson
C Francisco Cervelli
LF Brett Gardner

SP Phil Hughes (7-1, 2.54 ERA)

2B Julio Lugo
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF Lou Montanez
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Kevin Millwood (0-6, 4.29 ERA)

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 07 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me, as I got the chance to see “Get Him To The Greek” this weekend, and it was really freaking funny. Russell Brand isn’t ALWAYS funny, but the Aldous Snow character is hilarious, and the Infant Sorrow band concept is hilarious as well. The “Furry Walls” song might only be funny if you saw the movie…but I saw the movie. And I’m more important…

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Markakis got game winning hit in 11th as Birds topped Red Sox

OH THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought there was half a chance Stephanie Rawlings-Blake might orchestrate a victory parade through the Inner Harbor area and on to City Hall last night to celebrate.

Just be honest. Knowing the Yankees and Mets were set to stroll into Charm City over the next week, raise your hand if you thought there was at least half a chance the losing streak might end up reaching 17.

My hand is raised.

When MASN flashed Miguel Tejada’s career numbers against Hideki Okajima, it made total sense for the Sox to walk him and take their chances against Markakis. That being said, Nick Markakis is like the ONLY hitter you would trust in the Baltimore lineup to actually come through with a hit in that situation.

It was fun. That being said, it was one win.

Hopefully it won’t be 10 games before we’re talking about another.

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

Brian Matusz was not bad at all yesterday, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits (although he did walk 4) and striking out 7. That being said, he lasted just 5 and 2/3 innings and threw 117 pitches. Frankly, given the edict from the top of the organization to care more about pitch counts than trying to win, I was surprised Matusz was even allowed to pitch INTO the sixth inning.

He’s going to have to get more pitch efficient, and work deeper into games. I’m still of the belief that he is going to be the team’s best pitcher sooner than later, but he needs to be the best pitcher for 7 innings.

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Juan Samuel enjoyed first victory as Orioles manager

Juan Samuel DESERVES to celebrate a managerial win, especially considering…well…I’m not so sure how many he’s going to get during his tenure as manager.

I didn’t necessarily expect him to go the Dave Trembley route and puff on a cigar in the post-game press conference, but I understand why he kept the scorecard to celebrate.

You know how I’d celebrate my first managerial win? I’d probably call Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and see if that’s the type of thing she’d be interested in knowing… (Thanks Guyism!)


4. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Andy MacPhail ‘can’t whiff’ on next managerial hire

Or in other words, Garrett Atkins wouldn’t be a good managerial hire.

I totally understand what Drew is saying, but there’s a small issue here. The issue is that due to the unbelievable 13 years of desperation, there ISN’T a former player or coach that is primed to become a manager anywhere in MLB-with the exception of former Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, whose tenure in Baltimore was forgettable at best.

There are two categories to select from. One is the category of guys in baseball who are either former managers or primed to become mangers shortly. Melvin, Tom Kelly, Willie Randolph, Don Mattingly, Eric Wedge, Clint Hurdle, Ryne Sandberg, Larry Bowa and Phil Garner are some of the more well known names on that list. None of those guys are guys who are more interested in being the ORIOLES manager than they are in just being a manager ANYWHERE.

The second category is a group of former Orioles who we believe may be interested in becoming a manager, or who would like to see be interested in becoming a manager. Guys like Rick Dempsey, Mike Flanagan, BJ Surhoff, Billy Ripken, Cal Ripken, Mike Bordick, Ken Singleton and others are part of that list.

There’s really no crossover.

As far as I’m concerned, I just want whoever is best for the job. Problem is, I’m not really sure who that is. I’m not sure anyone else does either.

5. Virginian-Pilot’s Jared Diamond says Norfolk Tides pitcher Jake Arrieta ‘frustrated’ by strange Saturday night

And appearing frustrated might be enough for the Orioles to wait 3 more months before bringing up Arrieta.

The organization has screwed around with Arrieta over the last few years, getting mad at him for complaining about the Spring Training facilities and keeping him in the minors while they promoted the likes of Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman and David Hernandez. Of course-of that group, only Tillman had the pedigree of Arrieta.

I hope Arrieta gets the call soon. I’m not convinced he’s going to set the world on fire, but I’d like to see what he has to offer. Bergsen would be the guy he would replace, but there’s always the chance Kevin Millwood or Jeremy Guthrie gets dealt before July 31 as well.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Orioles expected to choose Manny Machado or Jamison Tallion depending on who Pirates pick in tonight’s MLB Entry Draft

A couple of things before we move on from the O’s…

-Make sure you are signed up for our WNST Text Service. We will not text out every draft pick over the next couple of days, but we will text out the first round pick tonight. I don’t think Bryce Harper will slip to the Orioles at #3, but everyone appears to be very high on Manny Machado and Jamison Tallion as well. In fact, MLB Network analyst John Hart (and you can watch the draft live tonight on MLB Network) told Drew Forrester this morning on AM1570 WNST that Machado compares favorably to a player like Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. I’d take that!

If you missed Hart’s appearance on “The Morning Reaction” this morning, make sure you head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net and check it out. Other guests this morning included Belmont Stakes winning rider Mike Smith (who admitted that he stayed in his hotel after riding Drosselmeyer to a win to complete his career Triple Crown), former Maryland basketball coach Lefty Driesell (who looked back on the life of the great John Wooden), VERSUS NHL reporter Bob Harwood (who checked in on his way to Chicago for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals) and Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll. They’re all in the Audio Vault as well.

-Thanks to MASN for the colossal gut punch reminder that the O’s lost their 2nd round pick in the Draft when they acquired Mike Gonzalez from the Atlanta Braves. UGH.

-The Orioles are off tonight before opening up a 3 game set against the New York Yankees tomorrow. Kevin Millwood, Chris Tillman and Jeremy Guthrie are slated to face Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett during the series.

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning” Rick Dempsey, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” today. Dempsey and Jim Hunter did the teaser for the “O’s Xtra” postgame show following Will Ohman’s blown save in the middle of the ninth inning. Hunter said “well Rick, a blown save for Will Ohman” to which Dempsey responded “Yeah, another blown save, but you gotta give the Orioles credit.”

You sure do. Congratulations, Rick!
7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens rookie DT Arthur Jones has ‘no regrets’ regarding trying last 12 months

And if you were out at Casey’s in Towson for our annual Miller Lite Purple Rookies Show last week, you’d know just how incredibly likeable Arthur Jones is. His story is worth the read if you get the chance to check out what Aaron had to say.

As another note, I have “no regrets” about spending my morning checking out Barstool Sports’ pictures of Amit Freidman…


8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says UNLV UFA WR Rodelin Anthony ‘intriguing prospect’ due to size

It’s hard to argue this. In fact, as I wrote last night in my first edition of “Mocking the 53“, NO team in the NFL can really ignore a 6’5” receiver. Anthony is intriguing, but it is REALLY unlikely that he manages to stick around. As of right now, he’s behind not only Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, Donte’ Stallworth and Mark Clayton on the depth chart; but also David Reed, Demetrius Williams, Justin Harper, Marcus Smith and even Eron Riley.

The practice squad seems like the most likely destination for Anthony-where he’d have an important role playing taller receivers like Antonio Bryant or Braylon Edwards in practice.

The Ravens are practicing again this week-with a Passing Camp at 1 Winning Drive. We’ll be out in Owings Mills tomorrow with full coverage of practice football.

9. InsideMDSports.com’s Seth Hoffman & Jeff Ermann say Maryland getting ‘pit bull’ in Bino Ranson

The reaction to the word that Bino Ranson is expected to be hired to join Gary Williams’ staff in College Park has been pretty positive from Terrapins fans. Ranson will face high expectations as far as recruiting in Baltimore, especially working alongside a Baltimore legend in Keith Booth.

It isn’t official yet-but we’ll be watching for an announcement over the next few days.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Johns Hopkins’ Michael Kimmel and Steven Boyle amongst locals selected in MLL Draft


Congratulations to the former Blue Jays and all of the former local players who found out where their lacrosse future will lead them.

It’s not that I’m not interested, I’m just MORE interested in Collien Fernandes’ pictures at Busted Coverage…


And finally, I leave you with this.

Ray Allen’s incredible Game 2 in the NBA Finals made me think of Jesus Shuttleworth going off in “He Got Game.” It then made me think more about Public Enemy’s semi-awesome song “He Got Game”, the one that featured the sample of “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield…

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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2010 MLB Draft: MacPhail has already made a few mistakes before it has even started

Posted on 07 June 2010 by Jason Jubb

Build the farm system through the draft. Grow the arms, buy the bats. Sound familiar?

I am on board with all of that, but in order to do that you need draft picks and Andy MacPhail has made some poor moves that will now work against him. In MLB, you cannot deal draft picks as in the NFL, but you can have picks added or taken away based on free agents that you acquire or lose.

Free agents are broken up into two classes: Type A and Type B. The class is determined by the Elias Sports Bureau, which ranks each player by position. If a player is in the top 20% they are type A and if they are in the 21%-40% range they are type B.

Signing a type A free agent will cost a team their 1st round pick as long as it is not in the top 15 or it will be their 2nd round pick if it is in the top 15. The team that loses the free agent also gets a “sandwich” pick between rounds 1 and 2.

When it comes to a type B free agent, the team that loses them only gets a “sandwich” pick.

Also, tying into this is the fact that the team losing the free agent must offer arbitration to the departing free agent in order to receive compensation.

What did MacPhail do in the past year to affect this?

First, he dealt Gregg Zaun for Rhyne Hughes. I’m sorry, but Rhyne Hughes was not a prospect when he was acquired. He was a guy that started last year in AA, at age 25. At the time of the deal he had struck out 149 times in 440 AB’s between AA-AAA.

Sure, we didn’t have a spot for Zaun with Wieters, but he only logged 94 AB’s with the Rays before becoming a Type B free agent and declining arbitration from the Rays. This move netted the Rays the #42 pick in the 2010 Draft.

Basically, MacPhail chose Rhyne Hughes instead of the #42 pick. Do you really think Zaun would have accepted arbitration to stay on this horrible team?

Next, it was the signing of Mike Gonzalez. Let’s just forget the fact that Mike Gonzalez has been a disaster on the field. The Orioles had to give up their 2nd pick which was #53 overall (Gonz was a Type A FA) to acquire a closer for a team that wasn’t going to be in contention anyway.

Two moves that cost the team two picks they surely could have used. Was MacPhail thinking ahead? Or better yet, is he currently thinking ahead?

The Elias rankings do not come out until year end, but there are people who have “reverse engineered” their formula to get up to date rankings. What will he do with Kevin Millwood who could potentially be a type A player? If he chooses to deal him, he had better get something solid in return or he could keep him and offer arbitration which he would surely decline.

I want to give MacPhail the benefit of the doubt but his recent track record suggests he will make more short sighted mistakes in the near future.

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Saturday Orioles Notes: Bergesen to bullpen (at least temporarily)

Posted on 05 June 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s another hot day at Camden Yards accompanied by little good news as the Orioles (15-40) prepare to face the Red Sox (32-24) in the second of a three-game set after Boston battered the Baltimore pitching staff in an 11-0 rout on Friday night.

Brad Bergesen has been moved to the bullpen—at least temporarily—to add another arm with the luxury of an off day on Monday. The rest of the staff will work on regular rest with the 24-year-old working in a relief role. Interim manager Juan Samuel said there are no defined plans to keep Bergesen in the bullpen long-term, but that could change as Jake Arrieta continues to dominate Triple-A batters.

“We don’t know how long he’s going to be down there,” the manager said.

Bergesen gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 9-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. His earned run average now stands at 6.75 after pitching to a 3.43 clip in his rookie season a year ago.

The club continues to point to an inconsistent arm slot as the main reason for Bergesen’s struggles in his sophomore campaign. The pitcher’s sinker continues to miss up in the strike zone, a dangerous place to be for a guy with underwhelming stuff.

Mike Gonzalez completed another bullpen session today, and the results were not good. The left-handed closer was “not hitting his spots” and displayed inconsistent velocity, according to Samuel.

The Orioles were targeting Gonzalez to return at some point during the West Coast trip to San Francisco and San Diego in a couple weeks, but that goal looks to be in serious doubt. Gonzalez will now take the next two days off and complete another session on Tuesday.

Staying on the topic of closers, Samuel was asked who he would go to in a save situation should the Orioles find themselves with a rare ninth-inning lead.

“Right now, if we need to, [Will] Ohman is going to be our guy.”

Samuel also said he envisions David Hernandez as a late-inning guy in the bullpen.

Brian Roberts failed again to play in an extended spring training game on Saturday, as he continues to experience lower back pain. While the soreness was labeled a “minor setback” by Samuel on Friday, he took a more cautious tone when asked about Roberts’ status.

“It’s obviously a concern.”

The possibility of surgery has been shot down repeatedly, but at some point, you have to question the merit of trying to rehabilitate a serious injury without at least considering surgery as a realistic option. After all, we’re talking about a team that’s already 16 1/2 games behind fourth place.

Is it worth it?

Here is tonight’s lineup:

LF Corey Patterson
3B Miguel Tejada
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
C Matt Wieters
CF Adam Jones
DH Garrett Atkins
2B Julio Lugo
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Jeremy Guthrie (3-5, 3.84 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat tonight at 7:00 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss tonight’s action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about tonight’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m


4:55 p.m. — With Matt Wieters continuing to struggle with a .236 average, Samuel professed the need to give the catcher a few more days off than he’s had through the first third of the season. The catcher is hitting just .198 (19-for-96) since May 1 and has struck out 26 times in that span.

Coupled with the responsibility of handling a young starting rotation, Samuel thinks “a break here and there” will help the young catcher to maintain a higher energy level at the plate.

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Axes To Grind

Posted on 03 June 2010 by Erich Hawbaker

I spent today out on the farm cutting firewood, which is my little side income for my days off. Typically, I will park my truck nearby, roll down the windows, and listen to talk radio all day as I’m sawing and splitting. Then, in the evening, I’ll flip it to the baseball game and leave it there until it gets too dark to work anymore. Tonight I listened to the entire O’s pregame radio show (I usually don’t, even though I really like Dave Johnson and remember him fondly from when I was a kid), and I heard that the Mets are apparently interested in trading for Ty Wigginton and/or Kevin Millwood. I hadn’t thought of it until today, but I guess it is time to start considering what moves the Orioles might make in terms of trades. I know I don’t have to tell anybody this, but our season is over; dead and buried. Despite all the hype about having turned the corner (which I even bought into, regrettably), the Orioles’ stay in the basement of the AL East has been extended to a 13th year.

So, how should they approach this? Wigginton is the easier of the two to analyze. He’s the only pleasant surprise the Orioles have had this year. On the outset, he wasn’t even meant to be a starter, but between Roberts’s injury and Atkins’s ineptitude, he found his way into the lineup every day and wound up being our best hitter. I snagged him for my fantasy team, for that and for the fact that he can be played at 1B, 2B, or 3B. But in the real world, he’s certainly not irreplaceable. His contract is up this year, so he may or may not be here after 2010 anyway. Hot-hitting position players are always being sought after by contending teams, and multi-position players are that much more valuable. He may or may not keep hitting like he is now (in fact, I’d bet that he won’t), but if we trade him, that’s not our problem anymore. The front office needs to shop him; and if they let him go, make sure that buyer is paying full price. There have to be at least two teams out there who’d be interested.

Millwood is a tougher one to decipher. He too is in the final year of the contract he brought with him from Texas, which includes a no-trade clause. I remember at the end of last year, he was one of the durable starters I was hoping the front office had their eye on. With him, we knew exactly what we were getting, and he seemed to be one of those Kevin Millar types who was amenable to being the ‘papa bear’ of the clubhouse and guiding the younger pitchers. He’d certainly be worth hanging on to if we were really on the upswing. But we aren’t, and the poor guy has clearly been pushed to his limit. He’s made 11 starts so far this year. He’s pitched 74.0 innings, struck out 58, walked only 17, and has an ERA of 3.89 (below his career ERA of 4.02). And what does he have to show for it? A record of 0-5. Perhaps he’s been hanging out with Jeremy Guthrie too much, because he too now has the plague that causes his teammates to forget how to hit whenever he’s on the mound.

When I got in this evening, I flipped on the TV and saw that Brad Bergesen only needed the ten minutes it takes me to get back to the house to give up four runs in the second inning. As the game went on and it became clear that we were headed for yet another loss, Gary Thorne and Brady Anderson (Angelos’s new professional buttkisser) started talking about Millwood. Apparently, he’s interested in being dealt to the Mets. And then, one of them said it. “I guess he wants to hit again.” I almost fell out of my chair. Is that what I’m paying extra on my cable bill for?! MASN propaganda?! Does your boss really think that the handful of Orioles fans he hasn’t managed to alienate are that stupid?!

As Judge Judy says, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” Millwood doesn’t want to hit again, he wants to WIN again. The man has talent and he’s a hard worker. Thusfar, this team has given him zero rewards for his work. He wants to go elsewhere so his talent can go toward something productive. And he probably wouldn’t be so anxious to get out of Dodge if the front office had been serious about rebuilding instead of half-assing it. Instead of expecting Millwood to carry the rest of the inexperienced rotation by himself, they should have brought in at least one other veteran starter to share the load. Instead of gambling on Garrett Atkins to rebound, they should have ponied up for a real firstbaseman.

But that’s the bottom line. The reason Millwood wants to leave is the same reason Mark Teixeira didn’t want to come here in the first place. The Orioles aren’t interested in winning. They haven’t been for quite some time now. But they’ll go so far as to hire Brady Anderson to convince you that they are instead of actually doing it. So… good luck to you, Kevin Millwood. I hope that you get traded to a contender and get the chance to shine. Maybe we’ll put Mike Gonzalez in the rotation to replace you. I seem to remember somebody telling me that we’re not paying him $6 million a year to be a middle reliever…

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Here Are Your 20 Candidates In “A Month Of Jerks”

Posted on 28 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Over the past month, Drew Forrester and I have nominated a local sports “jerk” from the state of Maryland each day on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. Now that we’ve reached the end of the month, we want to know your thoughts on our list and we hope you’ll help us whittle the list down to the Top 10 over this Memorial Day weekend.

(Edit from GMC: Please remember-we did this in fun. If you’re offended by this, you’re not getting the point. This was lighthearted.)

Here are my 10 nominees…

Maryland Basketball Coach Gary Williams


Sun Columnist Mike Preston


Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk


Ravens QB Troy Smith


WJZ’s Damon Yaffe


Orioles Owner Peter Angelos


Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh


Orioles Manager Dave Trembley


Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow


Aegis Columnist Randy McRoberts

(Edit from GMC: I do not believe that to be Randy McRoberts. But Randy McRoberts IS a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and that was the picture I found when I Google Image Searched “Steelers fan.”)

And Drew’s 10 Nominees…

WBFF’s Bruce Cunningham


WNST’s Nestor Aparicio


Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps


WVIE’s Jerry Coleman


North Harford Football Coach Ken Brinkman

(Edit from GMC: I assume the kid in the picture ISN’T a jerk. This was just the only picture I could find. Moving on…)

WNST’s Glenn Clark


WNST’s Drew Forrester


Ravens LB Terrell Suggs


WNST’s Ray Bachman (on behalf of all Orioles fans who booed Mike Gonzalez on Opening Day at Camden Yards)


Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Michael Busch


There you have it. If you’re not sure of why a certain nominee made it to the list, an explanation of each is available in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net, just click the “Audio” tab at the top of the page. The reasons range from:

-Chet Gladchuk trying to stop the Navy/Maryland series because the Terps played a bowl game in Orlando

-Ken Brinkman thinking it was appropriate to bring the Pittsburgh Steelers to Harford County and Randy McRoberts promoting it

-Debbie Yow undermining her basketball coach and engaging him in a public feud with the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post; despite the fact that he’s a bit of a jerk himself

-Michael Phelps’ legendary run-ins with other human beings, including a famous incident in Ann Arbor where he allegedly said he was “majoring in” female anatomy at Michigan

-John Harbaugh bristling at the idea of being asked…well…anything at all…

-Jerry Coleman and Bruce Cunningham being…Jerry Coleman and Bruce Cunningham…

-Damon Yaffe enjoying the role of “jerk” so much he decided to be known as “The Bulldog”, while Nestor Aparicio enjoyed it so much he decided to be known as “Nasty”

-Michael Busch working to make sure slots wouldn’t come to the state of Maryland

It’s all there.

While Drew and I don’t know a whole lot about every subject in sports, this is certainly something we know all about. There’s an argument that no one in Baltimore knows more about being a jerk than we do. In fact, that’s why we’re both nominated on the list.

And by no means do we think that being a jerk is necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to head coaches and athletics directors, you sometimes NEED to be a jerk to get the job done.

We feel the same way about morning radio personalities.

Think about it, and let me know who your top choices are. We’ll announce the Top 10 after we return from our Memorial Day break.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Live from Camden Yards: Matusz looks to rebound from recent struggles

Posted on 26 May 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Good evening from Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (15-31) look to make it two in a row against the Oakland Athletics (23-23) as Brian Matusz takes the hill against left-handed starter Trevor Cahill at 7:05 this evening.

Matusz hopes to bounce back from the shortest outing of his career, a 2 1/3-inning effort against Texas last Thursday in which the young lefty gave up seven runs and picked up his fourth loss of the season. After winning two of his first three starts in 2010, Matusz has not registered a win in his last six starts. His last victory came against these same Athletics in Oakland on April 18.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

CF Rajai Davis
1B Daric Barton
C Kurt Suzuki
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
RF Ryan Sweeney
LF Adam Rosales
DH Jake Fox
2B Mark Ellis
SS Cliff Pennington

SP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.68 ERA)

LF Corey Patterson
1B Ty Wigginton
RF Nick Markakis
3B Miguel Tejada
C Matt Wieters
CF Adam Jones
2B Scott Moore
DH Garrett Atkins
SS Cesar Izturis

SP Brian Matusz (2-4, 5.26 ERA)

Don’t forget to join us in the Orange Crush chat tonight at 7:00 p.m., as WNST personalities will discuss tonight’s action from Camden Yards. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and quips about tonight’s game.

Check back right here for updates (time-stamped below) leading right up to first pitch at 7:05 p.m.


6:25 p.m. — Luke Scott is again out of the lineup with a strained left shoulder. Manager Dave Trembley said the slugger’s shoulder has improved considerably and will not need an MRI. There’s a “50-50” chance Scott could be available to pinch-hit if needed tonight, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Second baseman Brian Roberts and injured relievers Alfredo Simon and Koji Uehara will fly to Sarasota on Friday to begin rehabbing their respective injuries. Roberts was scheduled to fly to extended spring training before a bout of pneumonia left him hospitalized last week.

Roberts and injured closer Mike Gonzalez are eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 9, but it’s highly unlikely either will be ready by then. After a limited spring training and appearing in only four games this season, the second baseman is basically starting over in his preparation to play baseball this season.

Gonzalez has pitched in three extended spring training games without any pain in his left shoulder, but the reliever has not built enough strength in the shoulder to return when eligible. He will complete a long-toss program to build up his strength.

In non-injury news, outfielder Nick Markakis will not be with the team on Thursday as he will be with his wife who will give birth to their second child.

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