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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Free The Birds was a great time last night. Despite the crowd of less than 2,000 in the stadium, despite the god awful weather, and despite the baseball game (which-as I said on Facebook this morning-will go down as one of the worst sports-related products I have ever witnessed); we still had fun.

Whether it was heckling the Royals behind their dugout (or heckling Dave Trembley for walking Mitch effing Maier), cheering for Corey Patterson from the upper deck in left field, or watching a lemonade vendor walk around the stadium to sell exactly his THIRD lemonade of the night; it was fun.

And thank God it was, or else this AP image would have been our lasting memory of the night…

crowd

Un.Freaking.Real.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says ‘same old’ Orioles lost again to Royals last night at OPACY

You see, when they loaded the bases on Joakim Soria (whose nickname “The Mexicutioner” is ABSOLUTELY the best in MLB) in the 9th, I REALLY thought they were breaking the funk.

Not necessarily because I thought Ty Wigginton was going to channel Luke Scott and go yard for a game-winning slam; but because I REALLY felt as though he’d get a sac fly and at LEAST tie things up.

1-12 with runners in scoring position. The only hit was an accidental dribbler from Miguel Tejada in the 1st.

If we were surprised, we’d be surprised.

How can Garrett Atkins still be on this team?!?!?

I’ve got nothing else. I was there. It was miserable. It also wasn’t even the least bit surprising.

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

I still can’t fathom how the Orioles couldn’t manage a SINGLE EXTRA BASE HIT against Kyle Davies.

Of course, with the success they’ve had bunting recently-I’m not sure why they don’t just bet every time up.

Brad Bergesen-who apparently used his designation to the minors as a chance to set himself up to start every game in the rain the rest of the season-was pretty good again last night. Pretty good though. Not REALLY good, as some might try to say. He was pretty good, and gave the team a slight chance to win.

I’m running out of things to say about the games. I really am. We know the problems, they’re just not getting fixed. Of course, they’re not getting fixed because the team just isn’t good enough.

Now I’m getting angry again. Watching the Orioles is more dramatic than watching The Hills.

3. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says less than 2,000 spectators took in O’s loss at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The announced crowd last night was 9,299. I don’t remember them playing “Guess the Attendance”, which might have been because they knew fans could cheat and count the attendance themselves.

Of course, if they HAD counted-the number they would have come up with would have been nowhere NEAR 9,299. The Birds may have legitimately sold 9,299 tickets to last night’s game (who knows?), but they certainly didn’t have that many eyeballs in the stands.

Nestor didn’t take that picture BEFORE the game.

As I said this morning, when I was sideline reporter for the Arizona Rattlers, I attended Arena Football League games that LEGITIMATELY had 5 times as many fans in attendance.

You know, this is much too depressing. I need to lighten this up.

This is Daniela Pane. We went to Perry Hall High School together. I think there’s an argument as to whether she or I has gone on to be the best looking member of the Class of 2001…

daniela

Yeah, it’s a close call.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and Pete Kerzel say Trembley considering Uehara as closer

…or at least finding a more prominent role for his sideburns.

I know Mike Gonzalez is working his way back, and I know Alfredo Simon hadn’t blown a save before Saturday night. That being said, do any of us believe either of them will be legitimate options to close games…you know…should the Orioles have another situation where they need a closer this season?

I’d be fine with seeing Uehara close. He has to do something-he’s on the payroll for the remainder of the year.

If it doesn’t work, I’m sure Andy MacPhail has a plan. He always does.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Michael Aubrey homered, Troy Patton roughed up as Norfolk Tides fell to Buffalo Bisons on farm

Michael Aubrey has to be headed towards Charm City pretty soon, right?

Before we move on (mercifully) from the Birds, a couple of things:

-Congratulations to “Sgt.” Jen Royle, who was AGAIN selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester as our “Apologist of the Morning.” Drew honored Jen for these thoughts she left over at 105.7…

I went to the Kansas City side post game and listened to their new manager, Ned Yost, compliment the pesky Patterson up top and then heard Billy Butler, who when 2-for-4 with two RBI, praise Bergesen. The O’s got compliments from their opponents but unfortunately, that doesn’t help in the win column.

I could have dissected the Orioles’ pre-game meal and it would have been exactly as relevant. Wow.

-The O’s and Royals are back at it tonight; with Kevin Millwood facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. First pitch on MASN2 is at 7:05pm. Join Luke Jones in our “Orange Crush” chat right here at WNST.net; and make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-If you missed Luke, Soren Petro from 810 WHB in KC, VERSUS NHL reporter Bob Harwood, or IndyCar Series commercial President Terry Angstadt today on “The Morning Reaction”, make sure you check them out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed CB Travis Fisher, S Brad Jones

Fisher’s NFL experience and the injuries to Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington will give him some chance of making the 53 man roster. Giving him a contract is PROBABLY the final nail for Frank Walker as well, barring further injuries.

Brad Jones-an undrafted free agent safety from Cincinnati-is a much longer shot to make the team. With Ed Reed and Haruki Nakamura expected to be healthy, the Ravens aren’t going to be hurting for safety depth. Of course, there is a chance Jones could shine in Training Camp and make the practice squad-which would probably be a good gig for him.

7. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jared Gaither present at Ravens Passing Camp, but not known whether or not he practiced

I’ll be out in Owings Mills today, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m allowed to let you know if Jared Gaither hits the 1 Winning Drive practice field or not. We’ll see!

You’ll be able to hear from John Harbaugh and others later today with Rex Snider and Ray Bachman.

I’ll be able to watch John Beck throw passes.

Lucky me!

You know who else is lucky? F.P. Santangelo. Apparently former Playboy chick Michelle McLaughlin belongs to him (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

mmc

8. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Preakness runner-up First Dude will run Belmont, fellow Dale Romans horse Paddy O’Prado also likely to run

Is winning a Belmont Stakes without the Kentucky Derby winner or Preakness winner SORTA like being named “Most Valuable Oriole”?

Kinda.

Do you think Dale Romans is ready to do his best Brian Roberts impersonation?

Yeah I think he is.

I’ll be pulling for Romans at the Belmont, as he’s a great guy. Sometimes you gotta get your first Triple Crown win however you possibly can.

9. The AP’s Richard Rosenblatt says no Triple Crown threat hurts NYRA already hurting for money

I have an idea for how they can raise money…sell Irina Sheik calendars…

irinasheik

As far as horse racing-related ideas for raising money? Don’t take advice from anyone in the state of Maryland. That’s all I’ve got.

10. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says Maryland amongst topics being discussed at Big Ten meetings

I never had a major issue with the Big East rumors. I’m not sure the Big Ten would be a good idea for the Terps, however. Doesn’t help them in football OR basketball, with the exception of getting Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan games in College Park.

The flip is that they’d lose those games (and others in the conference), and getting Michigan State and Indiana in basketball doesn’t make up for losing North Carolina and Duke.

I hate everything about this whole “expansion” topic. I sorta just wish it would go away…

And finally, I leave you with this…

Bret Hart won the United States Championship last night on WWE Monday Night Raw. I don’t care that “The Hitman” is 52 years old and even I might be able to beat him in a fight at this point. He RULES…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqhQVIPj7A[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Same old story as Orioles waste chances, lose 4-3 to Kansas City

Posted on 17 May 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Even after missing countless opportunities throughout the night, the Orioles managed to load the bases in the ninth for Ty Wigginton and Miguel Tejada, the two biggest run producers for an otherwise putrid lineup. There wasn’t much more you could ask for, being down a run with your No. 3 and 4 hitters coming to the plate.

They again failed to take advantage as Wigginton struck out and Tejada grounded to second, and the Orioles fell 4-3 to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

Manager Dave Trembley uttered the same words after the game that we’ve heard countless times this season, but the tone was different. His voice was filled with anger and frustration, far more emotion than we typically hear from the maligned skipper.

“There’s nothing for me to say other than the fact that we’re getting the opportunities and not cashing them in,” Trembley said in one of the shortest post-game press conferences you’ll ever hear.

What more is there to say? What else can you ask other than the same questions offered night after night?

Every time you begin to think this team might begin a run of better baseball—sorry, but 10-11 over their last 21 games doesn’t cut it—we see a meltdown like we did Saturday night and a tailspin immediately thereafter. The Orioles have now lost three in a row to two teams with a combined 30-44 record.

On the bright side, only a couple thousand people were at the ballpark (9,299 was the paid attendance) on a rainy night to witness the Orioles lose to one of the worst teams in baseball—a Kansas City team now three games ahead of them in a battle to avoid the title of worst record in the American League.

In what was supposed to be an opportunity to put together a string of victories against three of the worst teams in the league, the Orioles stand just 3-4 on the current homestand, needing a win tomorrow to avoid a losing record. This eight-game stretch was a chance to improve their embarrassing record. After facing the toughest teams the American League had to offer in the season’s first five weeks, the Orioles were licking their chops to face the Mariners, Indians, and Royals this past week.

Instead, they had their own chops busted once again.

The Orioles were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. They’re hitting just .120 with runners in scoring position in their 27 losses this year.

The club has scored fewer than four runs in 25 of 39 games this season, an appalling statistic continuing to get worse. Unsurprisingly, the club is just 2-23 in those 25 games.

They’ve hit into 45 double plays (second to only the Minnesota Twins), a stat that sounds insignificant until you realize the Orioles are also 13th in on-base percentage in the American League. At least they’re maximizing their opportunities in that regard.

While the Orioles have faced their share of imposing American League pitchers in the opening quarter of the season, opposing starters have pitched six innings or more 29 times this season. Make excuses if you want, but CC Sabathia isn’t taking the hill every night against this anemic lineup.

Unacceptable.

Changes need to be made. Many of them.

The players aren’t performing nearly as well as they need to, but Trembley and hitting coach Terry Crowley are responsible for that lack of production. If not, why even have a coaching staff if it’s supposedly all about the players?

Roster deficiencies have played an overwhelming part, but that doesn’t mean Trembley and Crowley are worthy of keeping their jobs either. The two are not mutually exclusive. At some point, you need to try a different message from a different group of coaches.

Garrett Atkins was 0-for-3, lowering his average to .236 as he continues to take up space at first base. Whether it’s Michael Aubrey or Boog Powell, there has to be someone out there who can give the Orioles better production.

Adam Jones has hit better of late but still sits at .245, making his 2009 All-Star appearance seem more and more like a distant memory. Why not move Corey Patterson to center for a few games to instill a little more urgency in the young outfielder?

And why is Lou Montanez still on the roster? The outfielder—hitting .114—hasn’t played since Cinco de Mayo. If Trembley doesn’t have any faith in him, bring up someone else who can try to help the team.

Wholesale changes are needed. And sorry, Corey Patterson for Nolan Reimold won’t cut it, though Patterson has played well in his brief time back in Baltimore.

Einstein said the true definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Andy MacPhail and the Orioles continue to explore and evaluate their options while waiting for conditions to get better. But nothing happens and losses continue to mount as the offensive numbers grow uglier and uglier.

Yes, losing Brian Roberts hurt. Having Felix Pie would have allowed the team to push Jones more seriously. And true, the schedule was tough.

But the excuses only go so far for a team currently on pace to win 50 games.

MacPhail’s inability to supplement the roster with legitimate big-league talent in the off-season and his choice to retain Trembley has left the Orioles an embarrassing 12-27 mess with a young core of positional talent looking less impressive everyday.

It’s time for MacPhail to start making changes.

By no means is it an easy job, but the mess isn’t going to clean itself with more waiting.

Might as well start now.

Check out the final box score here and the pre-game notes below.

________________________________________________

***Join us right now in the Orange Crush chat to talk about tonight’s game!***

BALTIMORE — Happy Monday from a dreary Oriole Park at Camden Yards as the Orioles (12-26) and Royals (14-24) prepare for a brief two-game series getting underway tonight at 7:05 p.m. (weather permitting).

After a brief three-game winning streak against Seattle and Cleveland, the Orioles appeared to be on their way to a successful homestand entering the ninth on Saturday night.

Eight ninth-inning runs on Saturday and a listless 5-1 loss on Sunday now leaves the club at 3-3 after the first two legs and thinking about the missed opportunities over the weekend. Of course, it’s the same story throughout the first quarter of the season for this team, currently sitting in the cellar and 14 1/2 games behind the first-place Rays.

It’s hard to find any compelling reasons to be excited about two last-place teams playing on a rainy Monday night in the middle of May, but tonight’s game brings a special significance for Brad Bergesen. While in the midst of a very successful rookie season, Bergesen took the hill last July 30 against these same Royals.

Of course, he didn’t pitch again in his rookie season after taking a wicked line drive to the left shin from Kansas City first baseman Billy Butler. It was a very disappointing—not to mention scary—conclusion to an encouraging first season in Baltimore for the 24-year-old righty.

Tonight will mark Bergesen’s first start against the Royals since the injury, and Butler will be hitting cleanup for Kansas City. While Bergesen has pitched extremely well in his three starts since returning from a brief stint in Triple-A Norfolk, he clearly wants to prove the incident is fully behind him tonight.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Kansas City
LF Scott Podsednik
2B Mike Aviles
RF David DeJesus
1B Billy Butler
DH Jose Guillen
3B Alberto Callaspo
CF Mitch Maier
SS Betancourt
C Jason Kendall

SP Kyle Davies (2-2, 5.22 ERA)

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

SP Brad Bergesen (3-2, 5.76 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. — Just a few more notes to pass along before tonight’s game:

Brian Roberts will report to the minor league camp in Sarasota on Wednesday to continue baseball-related activities as he recovers from a herniated disc in his lower back. The second baseman has been on the disabled list since April 10 and was shifted to the 60-day DL last week. Roberts is eligible to return to the active roster on June 10 but would likely complete a lengthy minor league rehab stint to get back into baseball shape after missing most of spring training with the same injury.

Nolan Reimold may be readjusting to life in the minor leagues, but he will apparently need to get used to a new position as well. After taking some grounders at first base during spring training and sporadically since the start of the season, Reimold received a start at first for Norfolk on Sunday.

Manager Dave Trembley made it no secret the club is exploring any possible option at first base, and Reimold would appear to be a logical candidate given his mobility issues in the outfield after suffering the Achilles injury last season. Of course, the move would also be prefaced by Reimold straightening things out offensively after being demoted to Triple A last week with a .205 average.

If Reimold continues to play primarily at first, it could mean Brandon Snyder being sent down to Bowie. After entering the season as a viable prospect, Snyder is hitting just .200 with the Tides and has struggled to adjust to the Triple-A level. Not a good sign for a player the Orioles hoped could emerge as their first baseman of the future.

6:15 p.m. — It’s no secret the first base position has been an abomination for the Orioles this season with Garrett Atkins taking the brunt of the criticism through the first quarter of the season.

In 38 games, the club has received a .226 batting average, no homers, 11 runs batted in, and six runs from the position. It’s hard to be that unproductive at a traditional power spot on the field.

General manager Andy MacPhail said earlier today that the club is exploring other options, both internally and outside of the organization. The problem is finding one.

If you’re looking within the organization, the club has already optioned Rhyne Hughes to Triple A, so the only other legitimate possibility at this point is Michael Aubrey who received 90 at-bats in Baltimore at the end of last season.

Aubrey made the most of his time in Baltimore, hitting .289 with four bombs and 14 RBI. After struggling to begin the season in Norfolk, Aubrey has rebounded over the last couple weeks, hitting .256 with two homers and seven runs drive in.

Is he the answer? Of course not.

But when you’re talking about an upgrade over Atkins, it’s hard to go anywhere but up.

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 17 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I (FINALLY) get to name another “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” again this week. Robert Randolph is back (Thank God), with a record called “We Walk This Road” that drops June 22nd. If any of you work at Best Buy, Target, iTunes, or anywhere else that you could get me a copy of the record beforehand-there will be something in it for you. Probably something related to Chick-Fil-A.

Anyway, the first single is “If I Had My Way” featuring Ben Harper. Change of pace? Yes. Awesome change of pace? Oh yeah.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b6xuHwAj2A[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jake Westbrook shut down Orioles in Indians’ win

It’s gonna be hard for the O’s to compete when they have to go up against pitchers like CC Sabathia, John Lackey, David Price AND JAKE WESTBROOK?!?!?

In fairness, Mark Hendrickson pitched better than I expected him to in an emergency situation. And Jake Westbrook pitched well, but not well enough that the Orioles should have been able to score just one run (Luke Scott’s solo bomb with 2 outs in the 9th) despite collecting NINE HITS!

I understand that Westbrook’s sinker makes him more of a candidate to get double plays, but the Birds that couldn’t get clutch hits for the better part of the season reared their ugly heads again this over the last 3 games after what looked to be a stretch where they had finally figured out how to.

So, the Tribe took 2 of 3. It’s kinda unfair though. Jack Parkman has always owned OPACY…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqBFhF4haXM[/youtube]

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

It took 4 days, but someone finally cooled off Corey Patterson; who was 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. Until yesterday, I was starting to think he had replaced Adam Jones as the face of the franchise.

Ray Bachman offered some classic text messages for me this weekend regarding Patterson. Here are some of the best…

-Did you know Corey Patterson’s tears could cure cancer? It’s just a shame Corey Patterson has never cried.
-I know who’s going to win the Preakness….Corey Patterson.
-There are only 3 things guaranteed in life: death, taxes and Corey Patterson.
-Is it bad when you stand up and your stomach is still in bed?

Okay, he didn’t send the last one. But he could have. If you missed Ray Bachman singing “Manic Monday” with Don Scott and Marty Bass to help promote Casey Cares this morning on WJZ, I can’t possibly explain to you what you missed. There was a mascot in the group that was fatter than the Philly Phanatic, but yet Ray still was somehow the fattest in the bunch.

I’m hilarious. What was it that the pot called the kettle again?

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says David Hernandez scratched from start with shoulder injury

Which probably saved him around 6 earned runs.

Apparently Dave Trembley and company aren’t particularly concerned, and they think Hernandez will make his next start.

The real question remains “Who will make David Hernandez’s following start? Chris Tillman? Jason Berken? Jake Arrieta?”

4. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says Free The Birds on tonight rain or shine

Here’s what you need to know:

We’re meeting at Phillips Seafood in Harborplace at 4pm, with free crabcake minis and other appetizers and 3 dollar beers. After that, we’ll poke around a few local watering holes and then head over to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to watch Kyle Davies and the Kansas City Royals face Brad Bergesen and our Baltimore Orioles.

We’re doing it rain or shine. If the game is rained out before it ever starts, we’ll hang and watch the NBA playoffs and whatever other baseball games are on. Dress appropriately, as Weather.com (The Weather Channel) says 54 degrees and rain.

You think we’ll ever get a summer in Charm City?

5. Virginian-Pilot says Nolan Reimold homered, played first base for Norfolk Tides in win over Buffalo

And according to today’s Apologist of the Morning (Peter DiLutis), he’ll go learn first base in a month and then he’ll be good to come on back to Baltimore and become the team’s power hitting first baseman of the future. Pete can thank “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester for the honor-as he was selected this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

The reaction to Reimold playing first base yesterday makes me think there’s some revisionist history going on. Reimold’s problem wasn’t that he didn’t have a position, it was that he wasn’t hitting!

All that matters with Reimold in Norfolk is whether or not he hits. He can play 1B, LF, RF, SS, Catcher, or Rover. I don’t care. Can he hit? He looked like he could a season ago, but as pitchers got more comfortable with him, he started to struggle.

If he wants to hit at 1B, that’s great news. The Orioles will still need to find a Leftfielder. (Spare me the “Felix Pie” comments. He has 8 hits this season. He MIGHT be able to become a quality everyday Leftfielder at the MLB level, but he isn’t one yet.) If he wants to hit and play LF, the Orioles will need to find a 1B. But if he doesn’t hit, it doesn’t matter where he plays.

The issue with Nolan Reimold wasn’t position. The issue with Nolan Reimold was his bat.

Losing makes us get excited about some strange things around these parts.

6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens to give contract to UFA Cincinnati CB/S Brad Jones after mini-camp tryout

Let me make sure you understand what this means. This doesn’t mean Brad Jones will be on the roster when the Ravens visit the New York Jets come Week 1. It means he COULD be. It means he did just enough in his first tryout that John Harbaugh and company thought it was worth bringing him back, and keeping him around through Training Camp.

If he does enough between now and that Monday Night Football game, he’ll be on the roster. There are a number of other players who are in the same boat.

7. SI’s Peter King thinks Ravens’ moves could lead them to AFC Championship Game

When it comes to the Ravens, I always get a bit concerned that things will be overhyped. I think they’ll be good, but I’m maintaining that the Cincinnati Bengals are the team to beat in the AFC North.

You know what could never possibly be overhyped? Gisele Bundchen. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

gisele

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland to face Notre Dame next Saturday at 12pm in NCAA Tournament

Could Dave Cottle’s team have gotten better news yesterday? The road to M&T Bank Stadium on Memorial Day just COMPLETELY opened up. Having to play Princeton at Princeton next Saturday would have been tough. Instead, they’ll play the Irish, who barely squeaked into the field. It doesn’t mean it’s a walkover, but it not as imposing as it could be.

After that, a potential date with Cornell in the Final Four is by no means easy, but not nearly as difficult as a date with Syracuse would have been had they not lost to Army yesterday.

No pressure on Dave Cottle or anything, but an early exit would look particularly bad on his resume this season.

9. Washington Post’s Zach Berman says Towson women edged by Virginia in emotional NCAA Tournament win

Our buddy Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) was in Charlottesville yesterday, and he said they played “Do You Believe In Life After Love” by Cher right before the start of the game.

Maybe a questionable decision.

I think the “One Love” stuff is great by the way. Sadly, I also liked the version of “One” by U2 they did on Glee last week. Please don’t judge…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y68KTcuu2V8[/youtube]

10. Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman says Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky will skip Belmont

You have to feel bad for the NYRA. On Saturday morning, they were thinking about a possible Super Saver pursuit of the Triple Crown, and the insanity that would ensue in the excitement and buildup.

On Saturday night, they were thinking about marketing a Super Saver-Lookin At Lucky showdown with likely “Horse of the Year” award ramifications. It would have been on ESPN and ABC to help hype, but it still could have been a major event.

Now, they’re trying to figure out how to market a race between “the other guys.”

I have an idea. There are still good horses in the field, just not the best. Compare it to a group of hot chicks. Sure, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba might not be there, but Veronika London still is, and that ain’t bad. (Thanks Guyism!)

veronika

11. The Sun’s David Zurawik says NBC’s Preakness ratings down from last year

I wonder how much their SNL ratings were down from last week when they had Betty White as host? Alec Baldwin wasn’t bad, but Kristen Wiig was. By the way, the open from the show was actually REALLY funny.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUyLBA8mUUQ[/youtube]

By the way, if you missed Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas, NBC Track Announcer Tom Durkin, or Bears O-Line Coach/Former Vikings Coach/Former Terrapins QB Mike Tice-who explained WHY he was in the Winners’ Circle at Pimlico Saturday with Drew Forrester this morning, check out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I don’t always take listener requests, but this one was worth it. Thanks to Dan Karr, who figured out what Tiger Woods is doing while recovering from his injury…

tiger

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I finally got around to seeing the video of Will Ferrell pitching for the AAA team in Round Rock, Texas. I completely forgot to post it earlier. MY BAD! I’m sure someone else in the world hasn’t seen it, so here goes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5HdpPE6qgs[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP/STATS preview Orioles’ series opener tonight against Mariners

Here we go.

Cliff Lee faces David Hernandez (who is still looking for victory #1 this season) tonight, first pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN2. I hope you’ll follow us on Twitter (@WNST) during the game for humorous comment; with our own Luke Jones live at OPACY.

Cliff Lee is worth going out to see pitch, and the Orioles are the home team. Plus, they’re giving away Brian Matusz t-shirts tonight.

And seriously, what the hell else are you going to do tonight? Watch Glee???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFjWRGaV-Fs[/youtube]

Okay…I might.

2. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Free The Birds about trying to get Birds to ‘fix’ problems

Which is really the crux of the issue here.

Would I have organized an event for this Monday night when the Orioles play the Kansas City Royals? I doubt it. Do I really want to pay money to go watch two miserable teams meet up downtown in a game that is more likely to be dubbed “unwatchable” than “ESPN Instant Classic”? Of course not.

But when it comes down to “right or wrong”, and whether or not I support a showing of fans who all stand under the umbrella of “there is still something wrong, and we NEED to fix it”-the answer is YES.

Something is STILL wrong. The fact that the minor leagues have improved under Andy MacPhail is NOT enough for me to say “okay, everything’s fine.” The team is still TERRIBLE. I do not have confidence that the leadership will do what is necessary to compete in the AL East in the immediate future. There is still a MAJOR disconnect between the organization and the fanbase, and the stadium still sits mostly empty almost every night.

There are problems. I want them fixed. I’m standing up to say something about them.

This isn’t an “anti-Peter Angelos” or “anti-Andy MacPhail” or “anti-Dave Trembley” statement for me.

This is nothing more than a “fix the problems” message from me.

When it comes to RIGHT or WRONG, I’m going to do what I feel is right. And what I feel is right is to not sit idly by and dismiss the problems of the organization; although plenty of others will.

I hope you’ll join us.

3. Fanhouse’s Steve Phillips says Orioles ‘need to give fans hope’, which can be done through managerial change

Firing the manager wouldn’t give Orioles fans hope. Matt Wieters gave Orioles fans hope. Hiring a REAL manager would give fans hope.

With all due respect to Steve Phillips, firing the manager in New York probably did give the fanbase in New York hope when he was GM of the Mets-as it represented a chance to give someone new a shot to win.

Firing Dave Trembley wouldn’t give Brad Komminsk (or whoever the Orioles brought in) a chance to win. He’s still inherit the same terrible team that has been just good enough to win 9 games thus far this season.

However, firing the manager MIGHT at least make a statement that “losing isn’t okay.”

It would be nice to see that statement made. But I certainly don’t expect it to be.

4. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Corey Patterson, Miguel Abreu had big nights for O’s on farm

Ugh…there’s an argument that even Corey Patterson represents hope when it comes to this bunch here in Charm City. Of course, Lou Montanez remains on the roster.

A couple of quick things before we move on from the Orioles:

A-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”-as Peter Schmuck was selected by “The Great Arbitrator” this morning on AM1570 WNST. Peter started to make excuses about why the Orioles might struggle against Seattle this week-pointing out that the M’s were sending both Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez to the hill.

BUT-he stopped himself-saying “I’m not making excuses for them in advance. They need to make some hay against the Mariners, Indians and Royals over the next eight days.

Of course, he couldn’t help himself…

“It’s fair to point out that they’ve probably opened the season against the toughest collection of pitching that any team has faced this year.”

It’s fair, and it’s still apologetic. That’s why we love you Pete. (Edit from GMC: We REALLY do.)

B-Hearing that Jim Johnson is going to see Dr. James Andrews is NEVER good news. I’d rather hear that he’s going to see The Undertaker. (Edit from GMC: I mean The Undertaker that has never lost at WrestleMania, not the other Undertaker. That’s never good.)

(Oh, And speaking of the WWE, I LOVE The Miz, but I’d probably fly THROUGH THE ROOF if they let Bret Hart beat him next week somehow. I know they won’t, but I would seriously FREAK OUT.)

5. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Troy Smith ‘loves it’ in Baltimore, thinks Ravens can do ‘special things’

Well, wouldn’t you know…one of those “special things” happened this morning. I added Troy to the list in our “A Month of Jerks” segment on the show. You can hear my explanation in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net.

As far as Troy the quarterback goes-this was going to happen all along. He had a 5th round tender. If another NFL team wanted him, they had their shot at him.

They didn’t.

He’s going to have to suck it up this season-knowing there’s at least a chance that Joe Flacco could get hurt and he might have to play.

(Edit from GMC: I’ve knocked on everything in this room that has wood. PLEASE dont’ let Joe Flacco get hurt!)

6. BaltimoreRavens.com says Michael Oher to appear on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

When I heard Oher was going on ABC, I was REALLY hoping it was “Dancing With The Stars.” Not because I think the Big Man would move any better than, say, Jonathan Ogden in those GEICO commercials; but more because it would give me an excuse to see some more of Nicole Scherzinger…

nicoles

7. Thoroughred Times’ Jeff Lowe says Lookin At Lucky will run in Preakness, Martin Garcia will ride

As we talked about on the show this morning; I really feel that if the weather is nice Saturday, Lookin’ At Lucky is the horse to beat. If it’s raining and sloppy, I’ll go with Calvin Borel and Super Saver again.

If you missed Bob Baffert (or Dale Romans-trainer of Paddy O’Prado and First Dude) this morning with Drew Forrester, check out the Audio Vault. Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas is scheduled to join Drew tomorrow morning at 8:05.

8. BloodHorse says Mission Impazible will skip Preakness

And yes, this was announced via Mission Impazible’s Facebook page. The horse said…

“NEW UPDATE! My connections have decided to pass on the Preakness and target the GI-Haskell or GII-Jim Dandy this summer. I will be moving up to Belmont to train for a prep race to be determined at a later date that will set me up for the August 1st weekend. Have no worries! The name MISSION IMPAZIBLE will make headlines this summer!

Facebook is a funny place. I mean, who knew horses had Facebook pages? The only thing I used Facebook for before now was to find more pictures of Intern Genna doing questionable things…

genna

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Loyola trying for first 10 win season since 2001

As I said yesterday, the trip to Cornell will be a VERY difficult task for the Greyhounds; especially given how they played in their games against Denver and Johns Hopkins to close the season.

More difficult task? Getting me to stop looking at bikini pics of Audrina Patridge over at Guyism…

audrina

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Terry Foy says no timeline for Tony Seaman decision at Towson

Hear, I’ll make this easy for Mike Hermann.

Bring him back.

There, that wasn’t so hard-now was it?

There’s a chance that another coach (Paul Cantabene comes to mind) could have success with the Tigers, but I am by no means convinced of it. The CAA is a tough league, and having to recruit against the likes of Hopkins, Maryland, Loyola and UMBC in state ALONE makes the gig even tougher.

Seaman took Towson to a Final Four.

I’d stick with him.

11. Frederick News-Post’s Greg Swatek says Robert Burke introduced as new hoops coach at Mt. St. Mary’s

History says being the man (Milan Brown) to replace THE MAN (Jim Phelan) is EXTREMELY difficult. Of course, Brown actually had some success replacing Jim Phelan in Emmittsburg, which should help Burke make the transition as Mountaineers head coach. His background includes stops as an assistant at American and Georgetown.

You know what’s more difficult than replacing “The Man”?

Convincing me that I should be doing ANYTHING besides looking at pictures of Jason Kidd WAG Hope Dworaczyk that I guess are from Playboy and were posted by Busted Coverage…

hope

And finally, I leave you with this.

The Cincinnati Cyclones and Reading Royals got into a fight. I approve.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA3tJG5IbmQ[/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 10 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I checked out Carolina Liar last night at Recher Theatre, and they were quite good. I will admit to having only known “I’m Not Over” and “Show Me What I’m Looking For” before the show, but I was really sleeping on them. They’re REALLY good. It’s a shame only about 30-40 others of you decided to come to the show.

Check out “Beautiful World.” It’s pretty good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB-esZUahxI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Orioles got nothing going against Nick Blackburn in 6-0 loss to Twins

Ugh. Nick Blackburn? He didn’t even throw a strikeout!

What do I do here? Do I lament another Orioles loss? Do I yell and scream and try to figure out why the team is so freaking dreadful offensively, or do I say something along the lines of “another stellar effort from the Orioles?”

I’m not sure I have the energy today.

The Birds took 2 of 4 at Target Field, which wouldn’t seem so bad if it weren’t for the fact that they really only mustered any offense in ONE of the 4 games (which stunningly came against Francisco Liriano). Of course, Luke Scott DID hit a home run Saturday night that landed somewhere in Fargo, which was just one more example of MASN’s awesome timing in their “I Want to Be Luke Scott’s Bat!” campaign.

Ugh.

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

I told my mom we couldn’t go out for lunch yesterday; but we instead needed to celebrate Mother’s Day at my house, so that I could keep the Orioles game on in the background.

Mom had a couple of reactions. First she said “Why? The Orioles are terrible.”

Moms really DO know everything, don’t they?

Her second response was “Why is this game so important in particular?”

“Well mom, Brian Matusz is pitching. He’s the next Tom Glavine!”

Being the baseball fan she is, mom understood that she couldn’t miss the chance to see a pitcher like that. About halfway through a piece of BBQ chicken she looked back at me and said “THIS IS THE PITCHER YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT?!?!?!?”

Sorry mom.

It was a tough day for Brian yesterday-but things will get better. (Edit from GMC: Things WILL get better, right?) He’s much too good for me to be too worked up yesterday.

Besides, I spent the better part of the day yesterday recovering from a Betty White hangover anyway. The “Thank You For Being a Friend” bit was FAR from the best thing they did, it was just the only clip available on YouTube…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG1UHf0gNzs[/youtube]

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Adam Jones, Orioles have hit ‘brick wall’

I brought this up with Drew Forrester this morning on AM1570 WNST, but I think it’s worth repeating.

It’s time for him to take the trip to Norfolk.

I understand that he’s the face of the future for this team, and I understand that his athleticism is unquestionable.

But he’s jaded, and he isn’t trying right now.

It’s not JUST that he isn’t hitting. It’s not JUST that he’s figured out ways to misplay balls into triples. It’s the laziness he’s shown on fly balls with runners on 3rd base that says to me he just doesn’t really want to give it that much of an effort.

A run-in with Dave Trembley early in the season is well circulated, and not surprising. It’s partially the team’s fault for having a lame-duck manager. It’s more the team’s fault for not putting a team together that would actually inspire players to want to win.

But it is STILL Adam Jones’ fault for not trying. It’s shameful. And there should be a price to pay for it. I understand that the team “isn’t trying to win anyway”, and that some fans think they should just stick it out with Adam until he gets it turned around.

But I will NEVER sign off on a move that is made because a team “isn’t trying to win anyway.”

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds could make roster moves now that road trip is over

The most obvious move to be made would be to send Lou Montanez back to the Tides and bring up Corey Patterson. YAY! COREY PATTERSON!!!

For the record, I’d be in complete support of that move. It’s just a little frightening to think about this team improving by having Corey Patterson on the roster.

Luke Scott should be a candidate to be jettisoned, but I assume he won’t be. Garrett Atkins got a few hits last week, but I’m pretty sure I’d still prefer Garrett Gomez to him.

But if the Orioles REALLY wanted to make a statement, I think they should add Collien Fernandes (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

collien

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Chris Tillman excelled, Zach Britton struggled for O’s on farm

Before we move on from the Orioles, a couple more things to mention…

-Congratulations to our Apologist of the Morning-as selected by The Great Arbitrator this morning on “The Morning Reaction.” The winner was “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army, who despite being too gutless to put a last name on what he writes-took the time to declare that “Free The Birds” was nothing more than a marketing/publicity stunt from Nestor Aparicio.

Keep believing that crap instead of holding an organization’s feet to the fire for becoming a civic embarrassment over the last 13 years. Keep that up. It makes plenty of sense. The 1,500+ people who have already joined the Facebook group probably support the theory too. You’re “on watch.”

-The Orioles are off tonight before opening a 3 game set with the Seattle Mariners tomorrow night at Camden Yards. A reminder that we’re just a week away from “Free The Birds”, which goes down Monday night when the Orioles host the Kansas City Royals. If Chris Stoner makes it out, the first beer is on me.

6. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says John Harbaugh (at least sorta) believes Jared Gaither battling toe/foot injury, not skipping practice out of protest

What an ordeal this has become.

“The Bills are interested.”

“Ozzie Newsome says he hasn’t gotten any offers.”

“Maybe Marshal Yanda could play Right Tackle.”

“The team can’t make a deal now that Ramon Harewood is hurt.”

“This is all Drew Rosenhaus’ doing.”

“Maybe Gaither really is hurt. I mean, he does have an injury history.”

“The Ravens probably should have just left Michael Oher at RT for the season and tried to win the Super Bowl.”

“Why don’t they just sign Flozell Adams?”

My head is SPINNING. My guess is that Jared Gaither IS dealing with something foot-related, but probably COULD have practiced through it out in Owings Mills this weekend if he had wanted to.

My other guess is that Jared Gaither WILL still be on this team come September 13 against the New York Jets. I just don’t see another NFL team (be it Buffalo, Washington, Oakland, Denver or anyone else) stepping up and making an offer that the Ravens would deem worthwhile to trade away a bookend tackle from a team that expects to compete for the AFC North title this season.

Of course, a first round pick could change ALL of that.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ngata tore pec in Pro Bowl, will miss another month and a half to two months

Of course, there was quite a bit of hullaballoo when The Sun (and then linked to PFT) misquoted Ngata as saying it happened when he was “trying to hurt someone” in Miami. Ngata had actually said he was trying to NOT hurt anyone.

You can hear from Ngata in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net. You can also hear from John Harbaugh, Anquan Boldin, Jim Zorn, Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and others this weekend from Ravens mini-camp.

OR….OR….you can look at this picture of Madison Welch that I found over at Guyism. I think either would be an acceptable use of your time…

madison

8. ProFootballTalk/NBC Sports’ Mike Florio says part of North Ave. to be renamed “Ray Lewis Way”

Spare me the North Ave. related jokes, PLEASE. I get it. There IS humor there, I understand it.

This won’t be the last honor Ray Lewis receives in the city of Baltimore. He’ll end up in the Ring of Honor, and he’ll get a statue out near Johnny Unitas, etc. etc. etc.

Plus…you know…he’ll always be in our hearts. For whatever that’s worth.

9. The Sun’s Edward Lee says Maryland will face Hofstra, Hopkins will face Duke, Loyola will face Cornell, Mt. St. Mary’s will face Virginia in Round 1 of Men’s lacrosse NCAA Tournament

Couple of things:

-Despite the emotions surrounding the Cavaliers lacrosse program, MSM won’t have any chance of pulling off the Round 1 stunner. In fact, UVa has a pretty easy run to the Final Four, so you can expect to see them at M&T Bank Stadium. There will be plenty of scrutiny surrounding their program, but their overwhelming talent will outweigh those outside factors-at least until they get to the semifinals.

-Dave Cottle and Maryland will (rightly) gripe about getting the #3 seed instead of the 2-which went to Syracuse. In fairness to Cottle, the Terps face a VERY tough Hofstra team in Round 1, then have a likely showdown with Princeton AT Princeton in Round 2. That will be BRUTAL.

-If Pierce Bassett continues to play well and Johns Hopkins builds on what they did in wins over Towson and Loyola to end the season-they’ll have a shot to beat Duke. I’m not saying they will, but they’ll have a shot. That grouping (Duke/Hopkins and Carolina/Delaware) is much more open than most lax fans will give it credit for being. It’s easy to presume Duke or North Carolina ends up in the Final Four-and they probably will-but the Blue Jays and Hens have just enough talent (I got to see the Hens’ Curtis Dickson live for the first time this weekend-WOW) to make things interesting.

-Loyola will have a hard time grinding out a win at Cornell, especially if they play like they played down the stretch against Denver and JHU. They have the offensive talent, but they cannot take the ridiculous shots I saw them take at Ridley Athletic Complex Saturday.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Tommy Kehoe says Stevenson #2 seed, Salisbury #1 seed in D3 Tournament

I’ll say it so that Paul Cantabene doesn’t have to.

This is ridiculous.

The Mustangs are the #1 team in the country and a #2 seed in their region. I understand that the seeding probably has more to do with geography than lacrosse, but the ‘Stangs and Sea Gulls shouldn’t be forced to face each other until the NCAA Championship Game.

Instead, for the Stangs to have a shot at playing for the national title, they’ll likely have to try to win a second game AT Salisbury en route.

Not cool.

These are the best teams in the country. They should be able to play for the national title.

Not much else to say about it.

11. LaxPower.com says Maryland will face Marist, Navy will face North Carolina and Towson will face Virginia in Round 1 of women’s lacrosse NCAA Tournament

You have to feel for the Tigers, as THE ENTIRE COUNTRY will be rooting against them when they face the ‘Hoos in the first game since Yeardley Love’s tragic death.

Maryland goes into the Tournament as the favorite, and it would be nice to see the Terrapins claim the title for the first time since 2001.

Hell-it would be nice to see ANYONE besides Northwestern win the thing. What the hell do they know about lacrosse in Chicago anyway???

12. Maryland Jockey Club says Mission Impazible took to Facebook to declare himself a possible Preakness starter

Holy crap a horse has a Facebook page? PLEASE DON’T LET MY GIRLFRIEND (You know her, “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”) FIND OUT ABOUT THIS!!!!

I was going to check out Mission Impazible’s page, but I was too busy looking at Seanna Mitchell’s page (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

seanna

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here’s the Golf Channel explaining why Tiger Woods “pulled out” (love it) of The Players’ Championship yesterday. If you haven’t seen the clip yesterday-it was SUPPOSED to be “bulging disc.” It eventually was…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH7UotkO5eo[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Free The Birds event is set for May 17th…

Posted on 07 May 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

The official “Free The Birds 2010 — The Reunion” is underway now with planning and events scheduled for Monday, May 17th. To make us aware of your attendance, please sign up for the event via Facebook and our events page here.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. at Phillip’s Harborplace where we’ll have some happy hour specials and fun.

Feel free to buy the cheapest tickets possible and come downtown to make your voice heard regarding the state of the Baltimore Orioles, circa 2010.

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An Opening Day Greeting From Andy MacPhail: Competition is “Insurmountable”

Posted on 09 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

I was working on Crabs & Beer this morning; celebrating a big Orioles win, preparing for Opening Day, and salivating over the Harborque that is on the way in to the studios at 1550 Hart Rd. when everything came to a screeching halt.

As I was preparing this morning’s “Apologist of the Morning” segment for Drew Forrester, I came across a story written in today’s USA Today by Bob Nightengale. The story is headlined “Parity? Yankees, Red Sox loom large for smaller market teams.”

Like most things Bob Nightengale scribes, it is a pretty good read. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, “pretty good” isn’t the only way I’d describe it. I’d also describe it as particularly “troubling.”

“Troubling” because of a quote in the story from Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail.

“There’s no baseball executive that thinks things should all be even,”

I’m with him there…

“but when payrolls are three times yours, it can become insurmountable.

As some callers this morning attempted to point out…maybe Andy MacPhail wasn’t necessarily talking about the Orioles, but in greater baseball context. Maybe he meant that the Pirates couldn’t necessarily compete with the Cardinals, or the Royals couldn’t compete with the White Sox.

However, in looking at 2009 MLB payrolls (via ESPN.com), I think I know exactly who Andy MacPhail was talking about…

New York Yankees $201,449,289
Baltimore Orioles $67,101,667

Hmm…one of these numbers appears to be almost EXACTLY 1/3 of the other. While there are other teams that are also competing with 1/3 of the payroll of a division competitor (including the Washington Nationals in comparison to the New York Mets); the O’s ARE one of those teams. Andy MacPhail WAS talking about the Orioles.

“Insurmountable.”

On a day that embodies the most hope baseball fans have felt in Baltimore in 10 or more years, the team has let you know that getting competitive is “insurmountable.”

Not “difficult.”

Not “tough.”

Not “something that we will have to diligently work through in a trying offseason.”

“Insurmountable.”

To make sure I fully understood what “insurmountable” means, I visited Dictionary.com to get a full definition. Here’s what I found…

“incapable of being surmounted, passed over, or overcome”

Incapable or being overcome.

Impossible.

On Opening Day 2010-the day that fans in Baltimore WANT to celebrate a new direction, with arguably the best roster the organization has fielded in some 10 years, the team is saying they can’t compete.

On the day fans in Baltimore are donning Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts jerseys and high-fiving friends with the knowledge that baseball relevance is advancing rapidly, the team has said that it is impossible.

Happy Opening Day, Baltimore!

The team has said publicly that the 2010 team will be judged by “wins and losses.” For years, those near the organization have pointed towards 2011 as the year that the team will again be competitive.

In order to do so, most baseball fans believe that the team will need to acquire both one more power bat and one more front of line pitcher.

Players who will or could become free agents this offseason amongst the power bat corner infield crew include Victor Martinez (if he moves to 1B), Adam Dunn, Derrek Lee and Carlos Pena. Amongst the pitching crew; Javier Vasquez, Cliff Lee, Jorge De La Rosa and Brandon Webb will be available.

Should those players all have solid 2010 seasons, the hitters can be expected to make somewhere in the range of $15 million per season; while the pitchers can be expected to make somewhere in the range of $20 million per season.

Certainly not ALL of those players are going to cash in at that level. But given recent free agent history (which included a 7 year, $120 million deal for Matt Holliday last offseason to STAY with a franchise like the Cards), it will take an average of roughly $35 million for the Orioles to obtain a power hitting corner infielder and a front of the line starting pitcher.

That alone doesn’t guarantee that the team will win the AL East and run to the 2011 World Series; but I don’t think the team will be able to get there without it. For the Orioles to continue to compete beyond that, they would need to be able to retain their own talent; meaning that on top of the money already spent on Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts; they will need to invest future money in Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, etc.

Before I get to far ahead of myself, I have to stop and ask…do you believe that a comment like the one Andy MacPhail made today leads you to believe that the team is willing to spend AT LEAST the $35 million average per season THIS offseason to make the team a REAL contender again?

Or do you believe that a comment like this one sets the team up for a future statement that “we believe we made the team greatly better in 2011, but the lack of balance in baseball has prevented us from actually being able to be competitive?”

I think you know how I feel.

The problem ISN’T that the Orioles have decided that they don’t want to overpay for players. In fact, it’s practically admirable. For every person who walks down the street and says “why do baseball players make so much money while teachers and police officers make so little?”, I AGREE.

Baseball players DO make too much money. Baseball (and all other sports) have become a ridiculous business to a level that is borderline shameful.

I’m personally thankful that they have, as the ridiculous business of sports has allowed a young man from Perry Hall High School like me to make a living doing nothing more than TALKING about sports. But I digress.

The problem facing the Orioles is that if they wish to do the ADMIRABLE thing-and try to limit their spending and encourage others in baseball to do the same thing is that they probably WON’T be able to compete.

The CBA isn’t changing for baseball this offseason. A salary cap isn’t likely to implemented now-or likely anytime in the future; as owners like George Steinbrenner aren’t likely to capitulate to their counterparts, and the MLBPA doesn’t appear to be particularly interested in making the change either.

While limiting salary remains admirable and probably a sounder financial model; it does NOT promote the ability to be competitive with teams who WILL be willing to spend money-like the teams the O’s will need to overtake in the AL East.

If they’re going to choose to do what we believe to be admirable and just NOT compete, they just need to tell us that (as Andy MacPhail has started to do this morning.)

Instead of allowing their bloggers to go on MASNSports.com and talk about how the team is building for 2011, have them go on there and say “it’s a shame we’re never going to be able to compete-but I hope you’ll support the team anyway.”

In fact, hang a banner at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today as fans enter the stadium that says “we know we can’t compete now or in the future.”

Just be honest and upfront about it. There are still fans in Kansas City despite the fact that the Royals have all but admitted that they’re not trying to win; and there would still be fans here in Charm City if the Orioles organization did the same thing.

But the issue is for the family of 4 who has to decide how to spend their money. Should they spend $100 to come out and watch David Hernandez face Dana Eveland tomorrow night at OPACY-thinking that they have a chance to see the players who ultimately made up the team that returned the organization to glory? Or should they take their $100 and head over to 1st Mariner Arena to see the circus, buy a couple t-shirts, and pick up some popcorn?

If that family knew in advance that the organization DIDN’T believe they could compete in the future, wouldn’t it be easier to make the decision to head over to the circus?

No one thinks the Orioles should just blindly throw money at ANY player who becomes available, but it ISN’T unfair to see that the team will NEED to be willing to spend money in order to compete.

It ISN’T “insurmountable.”

But apparently the team thinks so.

I just hope you know that before you decide how to spend your own money.

-G

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Mussina still has as many rings as me

Posted on 06 November 2009 by dansoderberg

I picked the Yankees in 6 and they proved me right, much to my chagrin. It’s funny what a half a billion dollars can buy. The Evil Empire clinched their obnoxious 27th World Series Championship last night and Mike Mussina still has as many rings as yours truly. That’s really the only thing an Oriole fan has to cling to today; one last bit of mean spirited bitterness directed at the Moose.

I heard a lot of complaining on the Baltimore airwaves today about the Yankees and spiraling salaries and the inherent unfairness of baseball’s economics. I’m not going to go on an anti-Yankee rant because this isn’t anything new. The Yankees have always played in the largest market and had the game’s largest revenue stream. Babe Ruth was the highest paid player in baseball and played on numerous championship teams. The St. Louis Browns were the Yankees’ de facto farm team during the ’30′s and 40′s. The Kansas City Athletics had the honor during the 50′s and 60′s. The Oakland A’s sold Catfish Hunter to the Yankees. What I’m getting at is this: baseball has always been this way and if it’s simply too much for you to take then stop watching and shut up.

Don’t get me wrong, the game would be much more interesting if every team had a fighting chance at the postseason each year, but let’s not confuse the Yankee’s dominance with some sort of financial apocalypse for the rest of the league. David Glass has owned the Royals for 9 years and they have had only one winning season during his tenure. Mr. Glass didn’t amass his fortune by being a bad businessman and he didn’t turn into an idiot when he bought the Royals. The fact that he has owned the team for 9 years means that even a franchise as hapless as the Royals is still profitable. If Glass were losing money he would’ve surely sold the team years ago. We’ve watched the Orioles slash payroll at the same time they started their own cable network, lining Peter’s pockets with cash and filling the AL East standings with losses. It’s clear that most baseball owners are content to take their revenue sharing checks, lose an ungodly number of games and still make a profit. The players and owners are both getting rich and as usual it’s the fans that suffer. Until the owners care as much about winning as they do about making money the system will never change and the Yankees will continue their pace of winning one out of every four World Series.

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How Baltimore Buzzed: Week Ending 7/31

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How Baltimore Buzzed: Week Ending 7/31

Posted on 01 August 2009 by Glenn Clark

My apologies that this didn’t get posted until a day later. The voting (I’m the only voter) ends at 2pm on Friday. It should be posted shortly thereafter. This is only Week 2; and I’m already screwing up. Anyone surprised by that?

This list is compiled by the Academy of Baltimore Sports Arts and Sciences. I am the only member. I scan news sites, blogs, radio phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, and sit out in your bushes to hear what you’re talking about.

(Editor’s Note: I only sit out in your bushes if you’re an attractive female. Which probably means none of you have to be concerned. However, if an attractive female IS reading, please contact me with your name, phone number, and home address. We need to document these things.)

15-New coach, still no respect

Towson football was picked to finish last in their division this week at CAA Media Day. When reached for comment, students at Towson University said “we have a football team?”

14-Are there any other Wide Receivers available that no one has heard of?

(Edit from GMC: Derrick Mason is coming back. This seems stupid now. I get it. I get it.)

The Ravens added Jayson Foster, Biren Ealy, and Thomas White to their receiving corps this week. Meanwhile, my man Fred-Ex was pictured on Deadspin Friday proving he still has good hands…..

freddie

Look, he converted a 4th & 26. Have you done that? If you want to keep downplaying him, do right ahead. But I say sign him. There’s NO CHANCE he’s not as good as Jayson Foster.

13-Best facilities? The football stadium doesn’t even have seats!

The Princeton Review named the University of Maryland as having the best athletic facilities in the country. While Byrd Stadium may look nicer after this expansion, it still seems like a bit of a stretch. Also, despite the amount of time Terrapin athletes spend there; Cornerstone and RJ Bentley’s were reportedly not considered during this report.

12-What, no one wanted Aubrey Huff?

Despite the Orioles likely being willing to deal just about anyone, the George Sherrill deal was the only one that appeared to be happening before Friday’s deadline.

(Edit from GMC: I was a day late posting. You know what happened. Make fun of me all you want.)

When asked why more teams weren’t interested in trading for Orioles players, the most common answer Andy MacPhail received was “The players you want to give away aren’t any good.”

11-Favre’s retired. Probably. Possibly anyway.

Remember when this guy was the most compelling player in the league who didn’t play for your favorite team?

Yeah, I don’t either.

10-Rasslers come to the arena…..and don’t like it

WWE announcer Joey Styles via Twitter: “OMG, The Baltimore Arena is a dump…” WWE star Chris Jericho via Twitter: “I completely agree. Time to pony up for a new arena city council…..”

I was going to write a punchline here, but I’m pretty sure just a picture of that crap-hole will do….

arena

9-Ralph’s trimmed pounds, but will his wins be trimmed too?

The good news? At ACC Media Days this week, Terps coach Ralph Friedgen announced he has dropped 95 pounds since he began dieting last fall. The bad news? His Terps were picked to finish 5th in their own division by the ACC media.

When asked about dropping the pounds, Coach said “Anyone seen Bachman? Come on people, where’s Tubby?”

8-Is it Arrieta’s turn?

With Brad Bergesen headed to the DL, the Orioles will need a starter for Tuesday. And no Forrester, Derek Lowe is not available.

Andy MacPhail said in interviews Friday he expected the Orioles to call up someone to make the start. While it seems likely that Andy Mitchell will be headed up from Norfolk, Jake Arrieta makes a lot of sense considering he was probably going to be major-league bound at some point this season; and Jason Berken may not be long for the rotation himself.

For what it’s worth, my vote is Jim Palmer to make the start. Hell, we’re not trying to win anyway.

7-Why don’t they just swim naked????

Rival Milorad Cavic called out Michael Phelps for choosing to stick with his slower Speedo swimsuit instead of upgrading to a high-tech Jaked or Arena swimsuit before their rematch in the 100 meter fly. In fact, the entire Swimming World Championships in Rome have basically been nothing more than everyone bitching about swimsuits.

Of course, I’ve done my fair share of bitching about swimsuits, myself. Mostly about how SI forced Beyonce to wear one when they put her in their magazine…..

beyonce

(Edit from GMC: Before this was posted, Phelps beat Cavic anyway. Up yours, Serbia or wherever Cavic is from!)

6-Soccer is stupid. Let’s get a team!

Despite the fact that the majority of people you know will tell you they think soccer is stupid; 71,000 people were at last Friday’s Chelsea-AC Milan match downtown.

Now, many fans in Baltimore are clamoring for more soccer (and likely have no idea there is actually a pro outdoor team of sorts already in the city); and think the city should consider a soccer-only stadium for a potential MLS team.

And in fairness, they’re right. It’s about time this city had a pro sports team worth watching during the summer months.

5-So…..do we want him or not?

A day after Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome shot down any interest in Michael Vick; Coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t do the same. Of course, Harbaugh’s words quickly turned into “The Ravens want Michael Vick”, which isn’t particularly true.

It’s sorta like when my girlfriend (“The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” of course)Chrs asked me if I would go see the new Harry Potter movie. I said said “I don’t think that’s going to happen.” You see, I didn’t say no; but only because there’s a chance this person may ask if I want to see it with her…..

kardash

4-The Cavalry is Here!

Chris Tillman gave up 3 home runs and got a no decision in his Major League debut against the Royals. He did look pretty good for much of the game, though.

Of course, doesn’t it say more that this city can get excited about a pitcher who gave up 3 home runs against the Royals?

3-Big Money for the Big Man

Ozzie Newsome says he spent his summer reading “Blind Side: Evolution of a Game”, Michael Lewis’ book about Michael Oher.

Michael Oher likely spent his summer reading “How to Install a Hot Tub in Every Room in Your House.”

I know I would.

2-Farewell Flat Breezy

The Orioles shipped closer George Sherrill to the Dodgers in exchange for a AA 3rd baseman (Joshua Bell) and Dave Johnson’s kid (Steve Johnson).

Despite reports that Bell couldn’t handle 3rd base defensively, MacPhail was defiant in interviews, saying that the Orioles expect him to stay at 3rd for a long time.

MacPhail said he also expected this man to be the organization’s future at first……

pickering

1-Ravens Training Camp Opens

OH MY GOD I HAVE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT SAM KOCH IS DOING RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!

Is there anything funnier than how every radio station, TV station, newspaper, blog site, etc in town just falls all over themselves for the chance to be the first to report that….say…..Eron Riley had a slight limp in 7 on 7 drills?

That being said, make sure you sign up for the WNST text service and follow WNST on Twitter. That way you’ll be guaranteed to be the first to know exactly how Eron Riley looks in shorts.

Look, if you want to call be a corporate whore, go ahead. It isn’t the worst thing I’ve been called today.

-G

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 31 July 2009 by Glenn Clark

I’ll make a weekend pick for you.

The Birds will lose 2 of 3 to the Red Sox.

Thoughts on the Sherrill deal?

I’m not moved that much either way. Sherrill was pretty good, so it will be unfortunate to lose him. But if these kids can play, no one will be angry about the deal.

Reed wearing the red “no contact” jersey in practice?

Probably a precautionary measure.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Luke Jones says Oher ‘story of triumph over tragedy’

Nestor Aparicio says Josh Bell hit .296 with 11 home runs, 52 RBI for Chattanooga

Luke Jones says Ravens added WR Thomas White from Baylor

Drew Forrester wishes Birds ‘buying’ instead of ‘selling’

Nestor Aparicio says every hitter in Orioles lineup got hit in win

Lawson Lambert says Terps already starting season with good news, bad news

Glenn Clark says new Towson coach Ambrose knows ‘Perception is reality’

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Bergesen left game in 7th, but lead Birds to victory over Royals beforehand

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Sherrill traded to Dodgers for prospects Joshua Bell, Steve Johnson

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Chris Ray, Sarfate may be nearing returns from rehab

Royals Official Site’s Dick Kaegel says Hochevar loser as O’s topped Royals

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Steve Johnson son of former Oriole Dave Johnson, St. Paul’s graduate

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says 19,000 at Camden Yards saw Birds earn series split with Royals

The Sun’s Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec say Jim Johnson ‘expected’ to get first chance to replace Sherrill as closer

The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Red Sox will throw Smoltz, Beckett, Buchholz this weekend in Baltimore

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck understands skepticism towards Rich Hill injury

The Sun’s Lorraine Mirabella says Ripken Foundation to build youth ballpark at Memorial Stadium site

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says trading another veteran ‘unlikely’ for Birds

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck thinks trade means Birds planning on holding on to Mora or Huff for another season

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Wieters extended hitting streak to 7 in win

Examiner Jay Trucker says ‘Flat Breezy’ gets chance to play for contender in Los Angeles

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says both Bell, Johnson assigned to Bowie

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Bergesen was on crutches after game, but X-rays were negative

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Rockies reportedly interested in Hendrickson

The AP says Birds will recall Mickolio to take Sherrill’s roster spot

The AP says Wigginton homered for Birds in win

Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton says John Buck homered for Royals in loss

LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez says Sherrill excited to be in playoff race

Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown has Birds 26th in power rankings

Yahoo! Sports’ Gordon Edes says Sherrill will be setup man for Broxton with Dodgers

SI’s Ted Keith has Birds 24th in power rankings

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi say Birds WON’T trade Hendrickson to Rockies

ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer impressed that Birds managed to swap reliever for two prospects

ORIOLES MINOR LEAGUES:

Norfolk Tides Official Site says Andy Mitchell loser as Norfolk fell to Indianapolis

Bowie Baysox Official Site says Erbe ‘impressive’ in no decision, but Baysox fell to Connecticut

Aberdeen Ironbirds Official Site says Kenny Moreland improved to 6-1 with win over Hudson Valley

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Brandon Snyder, Justin Turner, Jeff Fiorentino each tallied RBI for Tides in loss to Indians

The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says St. Paul’s grad Steve Johnson joins McDonough grad Erbe with Baysox

Frederick News-Post says Keys’ game in Lynchburg suspended in 4th due to rain

Virginian-Pilot’s Rainer Sabin says Tides catcher Robby Hammock thinks Andy Mitchell will ‘pitch in big leagues’

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Kruger has to ‘take back seat’ to Suggs, try to earn playing time

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says McGahee, Grubbs off PUP list, Kelley Washington headed to it

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Newsome spent summer reading Oher book ‘Blind Side’

The Official Site says Tuesday special women’s fan club gathering at Training Camp

The Official Site says Oher ‘felt like he let team down’ by not being in Westminster Monday

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Oher gets $7.8 million guaranteed

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says WR, kicking battles amongst interesting storylines as full Camp opens

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Kelley Washington on PUP list due to flu

The Sun’s Mike Preston says fans arrived at McDaniel College this morning before 6am

The Sun’s Mike Preston says with Gaither and Oher, Ravens putting together ‘dominating’ offensive line

The AP says status of McNair’s Foundation up in air

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Oher’s deal has total maximum value of $13.795 million

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Reed placed on PUP list

SI’s John Lopez says Kruger ‘story of perseverance’

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens’ crowded secondary ‘good problem to have’

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun says former Terp Heyward-Bey signs guaranteed $23.5 million deal with Raiders

The Diamondback’s Aaron Kraut says ’08 first team All-ACC’er Da’Rel Scott left off preseason list

Washington Post’s Zach Berman says DC could be considered for ACC Championship Game

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says former Terp Stephen Smalls could make impact with Rhode Island this season

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says ‘much of (Terps’) hopes pinned on (Chris) Turner’

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Gossett Team House part of reason Terps honored by Princeton Review

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says ATH prospect/would-be Georgia commit Devin Burns now considering Terps (must subscribe)

Turtle Sports Report’s John Talty says Archbishop Carroll coach Houchens thinks new Terps commit Nate Clarke farther ahead than Jared Gaither at this point in prep career

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh profiles prospect James Johnson from Las Vegas (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh profiles target Mychal Parker from Las Vegas (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh profiles target Terrence Jones from Las Vegas (must subscribe)

TOWSON BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Kennedy added former Kentucky player, coach Allen Edwards to staff

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site offers complete preseason release (pdf)

The Official Site says Midshipmen to speak to Severna Park youth football players

Go Mids’ David Ausiello says Army looks more and more like Navy (must subscribe)

HORSE RACING:

Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will be ‘odds on favorite’ to win tomorrow’s West Virginia Derby

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Farrell says Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra 4-5 favorite for Haskell Invitational

Thoroughbred Times’ Tim Nichols says Summer Bird trainer Ice expects to give Rachel Alexandra ‘run for her money’

SWIMMING:

Tribune Newspapers’ Lisa Dillman says Lochte topped Phelps’ record in 200 medley

Washington Post’s Amy Shipley says rival Cavic thinks Phelps should get high tech swimsuit

USA Today’s Vicki Michaelis says Cavic thinks Phelps should wear Arena X-Glide on Jaked J01 suit

USA Today’s Vicki Michaelis says Phelps cheered on Lochte from stands in Rome

The AP’s Paul Newberry says Cavic thinks Phelps just being ‘loyal’ to Speedo

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:

The Official Site says Palace to scrimmage college stars team at Baltimore International Festival this weekend

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Gotta get to Westminster, maybe to introduce myself to Al Saunders.

Talk to you this weekend.

-G

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