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Orioles to make multiple Sunday Night Baseball appearances early in season

Posted on 15 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Multiple Appearances by World Series Champion Red Sox, NL Champion Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees & Orioles

Stars in Action: Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen

Dan Shulman, the voice of Sunday Nights, leads new team with John Kruk, Curt Schilling & Buster Olney 

ESPN’s historic 25th season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell – Major League Baseball’s exclusive, national game of the week – will showcase baseball’s most exciting teams, best rivalries and brightest stars throughout 2014. The season will begin with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on March 30 at 8 p.m. ET.  Baseball Tonight will precede the telecast with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. hosted by Karl Ravech.

The early season schedule will include three appearances each by the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. In addition, the game’s brightest stars, including Miguel Cabrera, Yasiel Puig, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and more will take center stage on Sunday Night Baseball.

Dan Shulman, in his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball, will lead a new team, with new analyst Curt Schilling, returning analyst John Kruk and reporter Buster Olney. Sunday Night Baseball airs every week at 8 p.m.  and is available on ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

ESPN’s 25th Sunday Night Baseball Season

Date Game
March 30 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts
April 6* San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers telecast presented by Taco Bell (ESPN2)
April 13 Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
April 20** Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Soxtelecast presented by Taco Bell (7 p.m.)
April 27 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 4 TBD
May 11 St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 18 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox telecast presented by Taco Bell
May 25 St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 13 New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Taco Bell
July 20 Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals telecast presented by Taco Bell

   *ESPN2 telecast

  ** Special 7 p.m. start time

The Sunday Night Baseball game selection for May 4 will be determined and announced in the next few weeks. Additionally, selections for June games and for July 6 and July 27 will be made three weeks in advance, while selections for August and September games will be made two weeks in advance.

More Sunday Night Baseball highlights:

  • The Boston Red Sox will host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park for a special telecast the night before Patriot’s Day – a Massachusetts state holiday one year removed from the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013;
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates return to Sunday Night Baseball for the first time since May 19, 2002 against the Houston Astros;
  • The schedule includes several rivalry games: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers (April 6), Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees (April 13), St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds (May 25);

Sunday Night Baseball background:

  • Dan Shulman is entering his fourth season as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball. He debuted in 2011;
  • John Kruk is celebrating his 10-year anniversary at ESPN and his second season in the Sunday Night booth (he joined ESPN in 2004);
  • Curt Schilling, who has served as a Baseball Tonight analyst since 2010, makes his Sunday Night Baseball debut;
  • Buster Olney is entering his 12th season as an ESPN MLB Insider. He joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as Sunday Night reporter since 2011;
  • John Kruk and Curt Schilling re-unite as a “team” two decades after being teammates on the early-1990’s Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League pennant in 1993.

Sunday Night Baseball history

ESPN’s inaugural Sunday Night Baseball telecast aired April 15, 1990. That night, the Montreal Expos defeated the New York Mets 3-1 at Olympic Stadium. Expos catcher Nelson Santovenia hit a home run off of Mets pitcher Ron Darling and Tim Raines drove in a run to lead the Expos to victory. John Miller and analyst Joe Morgan provided commentary.

Baseball Tonight’s 25th Season

In its 25th season, Baseball Tonight – ESPN’s baseball news and highlights studio show – will preview Sunday Night Baseball each week with one-hour telecasts at 7 p.m.  Karl Ravech will serve as host with analysts from ESPN’s deep roster of MLB commentators, let by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio – in its 17th MLB season – will continue its coverage as the exclusive, national radio home of Sunday Night Baseball. Play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton will return for their fourth season together calling Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio. ESPN Radio’s weekly coverage starts at 7 p.m. and is also available on ESPNRadio.com and via the ESPNRadio app.

ESPN Deportes’ 11th Season of Sunday Night Baseball

ESPN Deportes will enter its 11th season as the Spanish-language home to Sunday Night Baseball. Commentators Ernesto Jerez and Luis Alfredo Alvarez will provide commentary throughout the season.

ESPN International coverage of Sunday Night Baseball

Sunday Night Baseball is available across Latin America, Caribbean and the Pacific Rim.

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Orioles’ Opening Day game against Red Sox to air on ESPN2

Posted on 10 January 2014 by WNST Staff

ESPN’s Five-Game Opening Day Schedule Highlighted by World Series Champion Red Sox at Orioles, NL Champion Cardinals at Reds & Robinson Cano’s Mariners Debut

ESPN will begin its historic 25th Major League Baseball season with an exclusive presentation of MLB’s Opening Night on ESPN presented by Scotts – Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres – on Sunday Night Baseball, March 30, at 8 p.m. ET. The new Sunday Night Baseballteam of Dan Shulman, analysts John Kruk and Curt Schilling and reporter Buster Olney will make their regular-season debut to call the action. Opening Night will be available across ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN Radio (with Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton), ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and via WatchESPN.

Baseball Tonight presented by Scotts will begin Opening Night festivities with a special 90-minute pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Karl Ravech will host the telecast with Baseball Hall of Famer and analyst Barry Larkin, Kruk and Schilling.

Five Opening Day Games on ESPN, ESPN2

MLB Opening Day on ESPN presented by Scotts will include a five-game schedule, spanning more than 12 hours of live game action, on Monday, March 31. The schedule will begin at 1 p.m. when Starlin Castro and the Chicago Cubs visit Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates on ESPN. The schedule continues as David Ortiz and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox visit Chris Davis and the division-rival Baltimore Orioles at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Additionally, Matt Holliday and the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals will visit Joey Votto and the division-rival Cincinnati Reds at 4 p.m. on ESPN.

Opening Day will continue in prime time on ESPN2, beginning at 7 p.m. when Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies visit Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins. At 10 p.m., Robinson Cano will make his Seattle Mariners debut when his new club visits Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

ESPN’s Opening Night and Opening Day schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Sun., Mar. 30 8 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 1 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 3 p.m. Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 4 p.m. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds telecast presented by Scotts ESPN, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 7 p.m. Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN
Mon., Mar. 31 10 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim telecast presented by Scotts ESPN2, WatchESPN

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Bovada makes Red Sox favorite to win World Series

Posted on 21 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

“I am more than happy the Red Sox were able to hold off the Tigers and get into the World Series since they are the team that would provide us with the biggest win possible out of any team that made the playoffs in our World Series Odds. Boston is a small 5/7 favorite against St. Louis paying out at 6/5 and 60% of the early money is on the Cards making our need for Boston to win even bigger.”

-Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, Bovada.lv

 

 

Odds to win 2013 World Series

 

St. Louis Cardinals (Series Prices)          6/5        (+120)

Boston Red Sox (Series Prices)             5/7        (-140)

 

Odds to win the 2013 World Series MVP         

David Ortiz (BOS)                      15/2

Dustin Pedroia (BOS)                8/1

Carlos Beltran (STL)                   9/1

Matt Holliday (STL)                    10/1

Yadier Molina (STL)                   12/1

Allen Craig (STL)                       12/1

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)              12/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                       12/1

Adam Wainwright (STL)              14/1

Michael Wacha (STL)                 15/1

Matt Carpenter (STL)                  15/1

Mike Napoli (BOS)                     15/1

Clay Buchholz (BOS)                 15/1

Koji Uehara (BOS)                     15/1

Xander Bogaerts (BOS)             16/1

David Freese (STL)                    18/1

Trevor Rosenthal (STL)              18/1

Matt Adams (STL)                     20/1

Shane Victorino (BOS)               20/1

Stephen Drew (BOS)                 25/1

 

Exact Series Result     

St. Louis Cardinals 4-0               12/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-1               6/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-2               5/1

St. Louis Cardinals 4-3               5/1

Boston Red Sox 4-0                  10/1

Boston Red Sox 4-1                  6/1

Boston Red Sox 4-2                  7/2

Boston Red Sox 4-3                  4/1

 

Total Games in Series 

 

4          11/2

5          13/5

6          7/4

7          7/4

 

Miscellaneous Props

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will hit more Home Runs in the Series?

St. Louis Cardinals                    +150     (3/2)

Boston Red Sox                       -200     (1/2)

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Which team will record more errors in the Series?  

St. Louis Cardinals                    -110

Boston Red Sox                       -110

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – How many times will Shane Victorino be Hit by Pitch in the Series?           

Over                             1 (EVEN, 1/1)

Under                           1 (-140, 5/7)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any player or manager be ejected during a game in the Series?           

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -200     (1/2)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will any team pitch a shutout in the Series?

Yes                  EVEN   (1/1)

No                    -140      (5/7)

 

MLB WORLD SERIES SPECIAL – Will there be a Grand Slam in the Series?

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Player Props

 

Most Hits, Runs and RBI’s in the Series

Matt Carpenter (STL)                  1/1        (EVEN)

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)              4/5        (-125)

 

Matt Holliday (STL)                    10/11    (-110)

Dustin Pedroia (BOS)                10/11    (-110)

 

Yadier Molina (STL)                   1/1        (EVEN)

Mike Napoli (BOS)                     4/5        (-125)

 

Carlos Beltran (STL)                   1/1        (EVEN)

David Ortiz (BOS)                      4/5        (-125)

 

Matt Adams (STL)                     1/1        (EVEN)

Shane Victorino (BOS)               4/5        (-125)

 

Game 1 Strikeouts

Adam Wainwright

Over/Under                   6.5

 

Jon Lester

Over/Under                   5

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a gutless bunch in Beantown Sunday night

Posted on 19 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

My love for Leonardo DiCaprio and a set of trailers that were incredibly artistic lead me to choose to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on “The Great Gatsby” earlier this summer.

As I should have realized considering what he did to “Romeo & Juliet” that he was destined to make the special effects in the movie more interesting than the story itself. It wasn’t worth the 10 bucks. It’s probably not even worth a dollar in the Redbox machine. If for some reason you’re not familiar with the story, go get F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book from the library (there are still libraries, right?) instead.

The only saving grace of going to see the flick was the reminder of one of my favorite lines in all of literature. The line is better if you read it through a monocle while sipping a spot of tea.

“‘They’re a rotten lot,’ I shouted, across the lawn. ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.’”

The line was shouted by Nick Carraway to the title character, Jay Gatsby. It came after an ugly scene involving the other characters in the story, all of whom were terribly flawed in many ways.

I was reminded of the famous line upon learning what had happened between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees Sunday night (and to a much lesser degree knowing what has gone on between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals recently). The entire group in Beantown was an absolutely rotten lot.

Actually, that’s not fair enough. The entire group in Beantown was a cowardly lot. A gutless lot.

You’re almost certainly familiar with what happened at Fenway Park Sunday night, as Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Ryan Dempster in his first at-bat. Dempster made it evident that he intended to hit A-Rod, throwing behind him on the first pitch and hitting him on a 3-0 count after throwing two more pitches inside.

Inexplicably, home plate umpire Brian O’Nora allowed Dempster to stay in the game (and ultimately ejected Yankees manager Joe Girardi for arguing that decision). Boston fans suddenly forgot that intentionally hitting another human being with a baseball is a disgusting act that should be considered criminal and gave Dempster a standing ovation. Rodriguez would later hit a home run off Dempster, forcing those of us with brains in this country to feel the need to take a shower after actually feeling good for the man facing a 211 game suspension for (allegedly) being a lying, fraudulent performance enhancing drug user.

They’re a gutless, cowardly, rotten lot.

For what it’s worth, Rodriguez isn’t absolved of being described with similar adjectives. If guilty of the crimes accused by Major League Baseball, the man whose numbers would otherwise be Hall of Fame worthy deserves to be described the exact same way Nick Carraway described Tom & Daisy Buchanan and company.

But it provides absolutely no excuse for the actions of Dempster, O’Nora, the Red Sox fans and anyone else involved with the activities at Fenway Park Sunday night. Rodriguez’s punishment will be determined in arbitration, a right the MLBPA (which represents Dempster among others) fought for in Collective Bargaining. Dempster himself is the worst perpetrator, and the term “chicken sh*t” is perhaps even more fitting than gutless, cowardly or rotten.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Bovada gives O’s, Yanks, Rays same odds to win World Series

Posted on 04 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

Odds to win the 2013 World Series         

Detroit Tigers                            13/2

Atlanta Braves                           8/1

St. Louis Cardinals                    8/1

Texas Rangers                          17/2

Cincinnati Reds                         12/1

San Francisco Giants                12/1

Washington Nationals               12/1

Boston Red Sox                       15/1

Baltimore Orioles                       18/1

New York Yankees                   18/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       18/1

Arizona Diamondbacks              20/1

Oakland Athletics                      22/1

Cleveland Indians                      25/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      25/1

Los Angeles Angels                  28/1

Colorado Rockies                     33/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                33/1

Toronto Blue Jays                     33/1

Philadelphia Phillies                   40/1

Chicago White Sox                    75/1

Kansas City Royals                   75/1

Minnesota Twins                        100/1

San Diego Padres                     100/1

New York Mets                          150/1

Seattle Mariners                        200/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    250/1

Chicago Cubs                           300/1

Houston Astros                         1000/1

Miami Marlins                            5000/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 AL Pennant          

Detroit Tigers                            3/1

Texas Rangers                          4/1

Boston Red Sox                       7/1

New York Yankees                    8/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       9/1

Baltimore Orioles                       10/1

Oakland Athletics                      10/1

Cleveland Indians                      12/1

Los Angeles Angels                  14/1

Toronto Blue Jays                     16/1

Chicago White Sox                    40/1

Kansas City Royals                   40/1

Minnesota Twins                        60/1

Seattle Mariners                        100/1

Houston Astros                         500/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 NL Pennant          

Atlanta Braves                           4/1

St. Louis Cardinals                    4/1

Cincinnati Reds                         5/1

San Francisco Giants                6/1

Washington Nationals                6/1

Arizona Diamondbacks              9/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                      11/1

Colorado Rockies                     15/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                15/1

Philadelphia Phillies                   20/1

San Diego Padres                     50/1

New York Mets                          75/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    125/1

Chicago Cubs                           150/1

Miami Marlins                           1500/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 AL East   

Boston Red Sox                      2/1

Tampa Bay Rays                       11/4

Baltimore Orioles                       13/4

New York Yankees                    13/4

Toronto Blue Jays                     15/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 AL Central           

Detroit Tigers                            1/3

Cleveland Indians                      4/1

Chicago White Sox                    12/1

Kansas City Royals                   15/1

Minnesota Twins                        15/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 AL West  

Texas Rangers                          1/2

Oakland Athletics                      2/1

Los Angeles Angels                  7/1

Seattle Mariners                        50/1

Houston Astros                         300/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 NL East   

Atlanta Braves                           1/3

Washington Nationals                2/1

Philadelphia Phillies                   18/1

New York Mets                          50/1

Miami Marlins                            1000/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 NL Central           

Cincinnati Reds                         11/10

St. Louis Cardinals                    11/10

Pittsburgh Pirates                      9/2

Chicago Cubs                           66/1

Milwaukee Brewers                    100/1

 

Odds to Win the 2013 NL West  

San Francisco Giants                6/5

Arizona Diamondbacks              3/2

Colorado Rockies                     13/2

Los Angeles Dodgers                8/1

San Diego Padres                     15/1

 

Who will be the first manager to be fired?

Don Mattingly                7/4

Mike Scioscia               9/4

Ron Roenicke                5/1

John Gibbons               7/1

Eric Wedge                   7/1

Charlie Manuel               10/1

Terry Collins                  12/1

Ned Yost                      12/1

Bud Black                     15/1

Ron Gardenhire             15/1

Joe Girardi                    15/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 AL MVP   

Miguel Cabrera (DET)                            1/1

Chris Davis (BAL)                                  3/1

Mike Trout (LAA)                                   7/1

Clay Buchholz (BOS)                             10/1

Robinson Cano (NYY)                           10/1

Adam Jones (BAL)                                15/1

Prince Fielder (DET)                              25/1

Evan Longoria (TB)                                25/1

Joe Mauer (MIN)                                    25/1

Mike Napoli (BOS)                                 25/1

Adrian Beltre (TEX)                                33/1

Yu Darvish (TEX)                                   33/1

Albert Pujols (LAA)                                33/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 NL MVP   

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)                         5/1

Carlos Gonzalez (COL)                           6/1

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)                             6/1

Joey Votto (CIN)                                   7/1

Bryce Harper (WSH)                              10/1

Jean Segura (MIL)                                 10/1

Justin Upton (ATL)                                 10/1

Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)                           12/1

Andrew McCutchen (PIT)                        12/1

Buster Posey (SF)                                 14/1

Ryan Braun (MIL)                                   15/1

Domonic Brown (PHI)                            18/1

Carlos Gomez (MIL)                               18/1

Yadier Molina (STL)                               18/1

Carlos Beltran (STL)                               25/1

Dexter Fowler (COL)                              25/1

Carl Crawford (LAD)                              33/1

Starling Marte (PIT)                                33/1

Pablo Sandoval (SF)                             33/1

Shin-Soo Choo (CIN)                             33/1

David Wright (NYM)                               33/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 AL Cy Young        

Clay Buchholz (BOS)                             7/4

Yu Darvish (TEX)                                   4/1

Justin Masterson (CLE)                          7/1

Matt Moore (TB)                                    10/1

Justin Verlander (DET)                           10/1

Felix Hernandez (SEA)                           12/1

Hiwashi Iwakuma (SEA)                         12/1

Max Scherzer (DET)                               12/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                                   20/1

C.C. Sabathia (NYY)                              20/1

Anibal Sanchez (DET)                            20/1

Chris Sale (CWS)                                   20/1

Alex Cobb (TB)                                     25/1

Derek Holland (TEX)                              25/1

Mariano Rivera (NYY)                            25/1

Doug Fister (DET)                                 33/1

Hiroki Kuroda (NYY)                              33/1

Joe Nathan (TEX)                                  33/1

Ervin Santana (KC)                                50/1

Bud Norris (HOU)                                  100/1

R.A. Dickey (TOR)                                 250/1

 

Odds to win the 2013 NL Cy Young        

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)                          4/1

Patrick Corbin (ARI)                               5/1

Adam Wainwright (STL)                          5/1

Jordan Zimmerman (WAS)                     7/1

Shelby Miller (STL)                                15/2

Lance Lynn (STL)                                   9/1

Cliff Lee (PHI)                                       10/1

Matt Harvey (NYM)                                12/1

Mike Minor (ATL)                                   12/1

Madison Bumgarner (SF)                       15/1

Mat Latos (CIN)                                     18/1

Craig Kimbrel (ATL)                               20/1

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD)                               20/1

Stephen Strasburg (WAS)                      20/1

A.J. Burnett (PIT)                                   33/1

Jaime Garcia (STL)                                33/1

Jason Grilli (PIT)                                    33/1

Tim Hudson (ATL)                                  50/1

Sergio Romo (SF)                                 100/1

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In Orioles’ storybook season, a few stand out for me

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In Orioles’ storybook season, a few stand out for me

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Glenn Clark

It has certainly been a “storybook” season for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. No matter how their postseason run ends, there will be memories that will last for a lifetime.

I had an itch this week to compile a list of the top ten storylines for the season. It wasn’t an easy task, but here goes.

10. The ultimate reclamation

It isn’t SO crazy to think a team would have given OF Nate McLouth another chance in 2012. The former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star was at least playing Major League Baseball, even if he hadn’t had a particularly good season since 2009.

Lew Ford was another story altogether. Ford went a full five years between Major League at-bats before being called up to Baltimore after ripping the cover off the ball at AAA Norfolk.

McLouth has been a significant contributor since being called up in August, taking over the every day LF spot and batting leadoff since Nick Markakis got hurt. Ford hasn’t contributed quite as much, but has come up with three big home runs when inserted into the lineup against lefties.

It has also lead to Tweets like this throughout the season…

9. “Why Not Again?”

Perhaps not the most significant story of the year, the story of Steve Johnson has likely been the most heart warming for Charm City in 2012.

I pulled this picture from Steve’s Facebook page…it’s probably three or four years old. I’d be willing to bet that at this point in his life, he’s probably embarrassed by things like this.

A Kingsville native, former St. Paul’s star and son of a former Orioles pitcher (and current broadcast analyst) made some of the more significant starts of the 2012 season. It’s Hollywood quality stuff. Even more amazingly, Johnson picked up his first big league win on August 8, 23 years removed from the exact date his father picked up HIS first victory during the Birds’ incredible 1989 campaign.

The Johnson & Johnson connection wasn’t the only inevitable comparison between the ’89 and ’12 O’s, as the cartoon birds, no name players and general disbelief of the respective campaigns was impossible to ignore. It even had me singing along…

8. What a dumb great trade.

SB Nation compiled reactions to GM Dan Duquette’s decision to deal SP Jeremy Guthrie to Colorado for SP Jason Hammel & RP Matt Lindstrom before the season. Here are a sampling…

This from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was perhaps worse…

For what it’s worth, most of us would probably be forced to admit that we didn’t think much of the deal at the time. Guthrie had been the organization’s only quality pitcher for years and was very popular thanks to also being a stand up individual. How were we to know that Hammel was going to put together an All-Star season (when healthy) and Lindstrom would be a reliable option in the back of the bullpen before helping to land veteran Joe Saunders in a trade? And how were we to know that on the other end of the deal, Guthrie would implode in Denver before being sent to Kansas City?

Certainly the deal has turned out to be quite the feather in Duquette’s cap, as has the signing of SP Wei-Yin Chen-who has pitched to a 4.02 ERA and 1.261 WHIP over 32 starts? The only real question mark for Duquette has been Tsuyoshi Wada, who needed Tommy John surgery before he could make a pitch. The way things are going for this organization, you almost assume he’ll be Stephen Strasburg in 2013. (Okay…not really.)

7. I’m not so sure about this.

“Nick Markakis batting leadoff when he returns? I don’t know…”

I probably don’t need to show you August. Ah hell, I’ll show you August.

Markakis’ effort (before being sidelined in September) was especially crucial following the loss of OF Nolan Reimold, who hit .313 in 16 games to start the season in the role. Without Reimold, the Birds attempted to use a group of players including OF Endy Chavez and even briefly a return of 2B Brian Roberts, but none could hold down the role until Markakis. The Orioles are now hoping Markakis can somehow get back before the season ends.

6. These guys…of course!

While Hammel and Chen were obviously “hits” for the Orioles’ rotation, the other 60% didn’t pan out so well. Opening Day starter Jake Arrieta, former #1 overall pick Brian Matusz and veteran Tommy Hunter struggled mightily over the season’s first few months before ultimately finding their way back to the minors for seasoning (all have since returned and offered solid efforts out of the bullpen).

In their place, the Birds turned not only to the aforementioned Johnson, but more importantly gave the ball to two pitchers have provided a level of stability that could have been expected by absolutely no one, perhaps even themselves.

Chris Tillman was at least viewed recently as a significant prospect in the Orioles’ organization. After being acquired from the Seattle Mariners as part of the Birds’ haul (along with Adam Jones and George Sherrill) for Erik Bedard, there was a thought Tillman would ultimately prove to be part of the “cavalry” of young Orioles pitchers former VP of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail regularly spoke of.

But after 2009 (5.40 ERA 1.554 WHIP in 12 starts), 2010 (5.87 ERA 1.528 WHIP in 11 starts) and 2011 (5.52 ERA 1.645 WHIP in 13 starts), it appeared as though Tillman was all but done in Baltimore.

And then this happened.

Of course it did.

Perhaps even more improbable was Miguel Gonzalez, who was all but abandoned by the Boston Red Sox following 2009 Tommy John surgery. Executive Director of International Recruiting Fred Ferreira signed off on Gonzalez to the Birds after seeing him throw just nine pitches (according to SI’s Albert Chen). Perhaps we should have expected the man who discovered Vladimir Guerrero knew what he was doing.

And just like that, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez saved a rotation and very likely a season.

I feel like there’s someone else we should thank…

Of all of the decisions made by Dan Duquette upon arrival, perhaps the decision to make Rick Peterson (a fixture of the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics) the team’s Director of Pitching Development has immediately paid the most dividends.

(5-1 on Page 2…)

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

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Your Monday Reality Check-What a difference a week makes?

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you’re not familiar with WNST.net MLB analyst Allen McCallum. Allen was once the Ballpark Reporter at WNST, covering the Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis. He’s remained with us in the years since then, appearing once a week in studio (currently with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) to talk Major League Baseball and Baltimore Orioles.

Allen is a really good dude, but is decidedly un-American in my book. You see, Allen doesn’t like football. I don’t understand it either, trust me. I have every reason to believe he celebrates the 4th of July and enjoys a good slice of Apple Pie, but he loves baseball and just doesn’t care about our national pastime.

Despite this obvious flaw, I’ve maintained a level of friendship and (as much as is possible for someone who I have to imagine may be a communist) respect for Allen. I don’t dislike him, I just don’t understand how someone like him can exist in this country. You see, football is our beautiful game. It’s a game fathers play in the backyard with sons. Baseball is okay when there aren’t real sports to watch, but is clearly inferior to football in every way.

I’m kidding. Well I’m kidding a LITTLE bit anyway.

The reason my lede is about our resident purveyor of Orange Kool-Aid is because Allen likes to make a point during the course of baseball season that is relevant to both sports. As Birds fans have a tendency to freak out over the results of a couple of games (or one game…or a couple of innings…or a single at-bat), Allen likes to send out a reminder that “this isn’t football. There’s 162 games to be played.”

It hasn’t always been good news in Charm City that the O’s have to play 162 games, but the point he makes is relevant. During Ravens season we tend to overreact to one particular game, but we do that knowing that one game reflects roughly six percent of the season. While a NFL team can certainly recover from a stretch of two or three bad games, a bad streak can quickly spiral into killing a quarter of a football season. At the same time, a bad streak of three or four games during baseball season does not even represent the same six percent of the season that one football game represents.

Let me try to step away from math for a second. A single football game is more significant than a single baseball game. But you already knew that.

Seven days ago (which as I type this would have been June 4), there was reason for great concern amongst Baltimore baseball fans. After getting off to a 27-14 start, the Birds were mired in a streak that saw them drop 10 of 13 games. Sitting at 30-24, the Birds had appeared to already be well into their annual “June swoon” and seemed destined to find themselves on their way to the cellar of the AL East.

But something funny happened in the six games that followed. Instead of continuing their free fall, the Birds stabilized. They won two of three against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, then returned home to take two dramatic extra inning contests against the Philadelphia Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in front of thousands of stunned supporters who had made their way down I-95 from The City of Brotherly Love.

(Continued on Page 2….)

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Roberts doubles for Baysox in win

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BOWIE, Md. – The Baysox (22-28) shut out the Altoona Curve (22-27) 4-0 to win their first home series of the year Monday afternoon. It was the team’s third shutout win of the season and third win in a row.

The team was going on all cylinders as the Baysox pitching tied their season best by allowing just three hits and the Baysox offense continued to come through with big hits that helped build the team’s lead. Four of the team’s 10 hits were for extra-bases.

“Everything was in sync today,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We got some big extra-base hits – they are huge because when we were in those ruts where we were losing five straight, it seemed like if we had six hits they were six singles. It takes away a lot of pressure when you are able to hit a home run, especially with a man on base. Things were falling into place and guys were able to manufacture runs because of that extra base.”

Baltimore Orioles Brian Roberts and Endy Chavez were both in the lineup for the Baysox Monday afternoon on Major League rehab assignments. Roberts finished 1-3 with a double and Chavez finished 1-2 with a walk.

Baysox right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake pitched six shutout innings for the Baysox Monday afternoon. He did not allow a hit through the first four and one-third innings of the game and allowed just one total hit while striking out three batters and walking three in the win.

“My sinker was moving and I was getting some ground balls and I was able to have them put swings on ball in counts that I wanted to,” said Drake. “It was able to throw all of my pitches for strikes today, which was nice. There were a couple times where I got a little erratic and fell behind a couple guys and walked them for the most part I was able to make them hit the ball on the ground.”

“I always used to hear managers say, ‘you get good karma when you get good starting pitching,’ and you aren’t going to get any better than that,” Kendall said. “[Drake] went out there and commanded his pitches. It was a good day.”

The Baysox jumped out to a rare early lead in the bottom of the third inning against Altoona starter Phil Irwin. First baseman Buck Britton hit a lead off double to center field and moved to third base when right fielder Josh Barfield singled to left field. Britton scored when third baseman Zelous Wheeler grounded into a double play to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.

Bowie added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Barfield hit a lead off single to center field and scored when Wheeler hit a two-run blast to center field to make the score 3-0.

“We have a runner on second base with now outs and I was just trying to get him over and I hit a home run,” Wheeler said. “It was a nice day to play the game and we had some good at bats today so it was nice to come away with the win.”

The Baysox added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Altoona reliever Mike Colla. Hoes hit a lead off double to left-center field and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Robbie Widlansky. Shortstop Manny Machado hit another sacrifice fly to plate Hoes and give the Baysox a 4-0 lead.

Right-handed reliever Robert Hinton pitched a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Left-handed reliever Cole McCurry pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance out of the bullpen this season. Right-handed reliever Pat Egan pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and allowed one hit, while walking one batter.

RHP Tim Bascom (3-2, 4.25) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they begin a three game road series against the Akron Aeros. He will be opposed by RHP Giovanni Soto (4-2, 4.07). The Baysox depart for Akron for a three game road trip beginning Tuesday, May 29 before returning to Bowie Friday, June 1 for a three game home stand against Reading.

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Tejada continues hot hitting for Norfolk in win

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Durham plated two unearned runs in the top of the 10th inning, sending Norfolk to a 3-1 loss Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park.

With the score tied 1-1, Henry Wrigley opened up the 10th frame with a grounder to third base, but Miguel Tejada short-hopped his throw into the dugout, allowing Wrigley to advance to second. One out later, Reid Brignac plated pinch-runner Shawn O’Malley with a single to right off of Jon Link (0-2), giving the Bulls the lead. Former Tide Jeff Salazar later added a single to left-center to plate Brignac, extending Durham’s lead to 3-1.

Norfolk starter Jason Berken was extremely effective, but once again was left searching for his first victory of 2012. Berken, who entered the contest ranked 6th in the IL with a 2.50 ERA, allowed three hits and two walks while striking out five in seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.12.

Sunday was the third time this season that Berken left a game with a lead, only to see the opponents rally against Norfolk’s bullpen.

The Tides scored their only run of the contest in the seventh inning, as Joe Mahoney led off the frame with a walk and scored on a two-out triple by Blake Davis.

Tejada finished 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in the contest, and he’s now hitting .375 in seven games since joining Norfolk.

Hideki Matsui had a single in four plate appearances for the Bulls.

The Tides travel to Pawtucket on Monday to start a four-game set with the Red Sox. Zach Clark will be making his first start for Norfolk since being promoted from Double-A Bowie, and he’ll be opposed by right-hander Doug Mathis (3-2, 4.23). First pitch is slated for 4:05.

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Roberts doubles, scores for Baysox in win

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BOWIE, Md. – The Baysox (21-28) offense scored four early runs and the bullpen protected the lead the rest of the way as Bowie topped Altoona (22-26) 4-2 Sunday afternoon.

For the second game in a row, the Baysox offense did not record many hits, but took advantage of the opportunities they had to get enough runs on the board to win the game. The Baysox bullpen pitched five and one-third innings of one run ball behind an injured Bobby Bundy to hold the lead for the remainder of the game.

“What was great about today is that we got some big hits – some extra-base hits,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We have gotten beat by teams with extra-base hits early in the season – guys are on and a guy comes up with a double and all of a sudden they are driving runs in. Offensively, there were some guys in the lineup that are not where they normally are, but they are competing out there and I will take those good at-bats and their effort in winning games.”

Three Baltimore Orioles players were in the Baysox lineup again Sunday afternoon on Major League rehab assignments. Brian Roberts started the game at second base and went 1-3 with a double and a run scored. Mark Reynolds played third base and went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Endy Chavez played left field and went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Altoona again struck first Sunday, this time scoring in the top of the first inning against right-handed starting pitcher Bobby Bundy. Leadoff hitter Robbie Grossman doubled to center field and Tony Sanchez hit a one out double to center field to plate Grossman and give Altoona a 1-0 lead.

The Baysox tied the score in the bottom of the first inning against Altoona starter Matt McSwain. Left fielder Chavez drew a one out walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch with center fielder LJ Hoes batting. Hoes then hit a two out double to center field to plate Chavez and tie the game 1-1.

“Batting clean-up has been a change – I have been seeing a lot more off-speed stuff, but it’s been nice because [the Orioles rehabbers] are always on base,” Hoes said.” My approach has been to go out there and just try to make good contact with the ball to drive a runner in some way.”

Bowie took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Designated hitter Buck Britton drew a lead off walk and catcher Allan de San Miguel followed with a one out home run to left field. Roberts doubled to left field and moved to third base when Chavez grounded out. Reynolds then drew a walk and Roberts scored when Hoes reached on a fielder’s choice and throwing error by the shortstop that made the score 4-1.

The Curve got one run back in the top of the fifth inning against left-handed reliever Chris Petrini. Kelson Brown hit a one out single to right field and stole second base with Brock Holt batting. With two outs, Holt singled to center field to plate Brown and make the score 4-2.

Bundy pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four batters and walking two in the no decision. He exited the game in the top of the fourth inning with an apparent injury.

Petrini pitched three and one-third innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out four batters in relief of Bundy. Petrini also earned his third win of the season. Left-handed reliever Pedro Viola pitched one and one-third scoreless innings in relief and allowed one hit while striking out one batter. Closer Greg Burke recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning to earn the save.

McSwain earned the loss for Altoona, pitching seven innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits while striking out five batters and walking three.

RHP Oliver Drake (0-1, 2.25) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they play the final game in a four game home series against the Altoona Curve. He will be opposed by RHP Phil Irwin (0-2, 5.19).

The Baysox are home through Monday, May 28 for an eight game home stand that concludes on Memorial Day with a game starting at 2:05 p.m. The team then departs to Akron for a three game road trip before returning to Bowie Friday, June 1 for a three game home stand against Reading.

 

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