Tag Archive | "tampa bay"

Opening post-break weekend reminder of Orioles’ tough road ahead

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Opening post-break weekend reminder of Orioles’ tough road ahead

Posted on 22 July 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The Orioles couldn’t have asked for a better weekend in Arlington.

A three-game sweep in which they outplayed the Texas Rangers in every facet of the game lifted the Orioles to a season-best 13 games above .500 and seven victories in their last eight games.

Watching Ron Washington’s club repeatedly kick the ball around the field and run itself out of innings provided a new appreciation of how fundamentally sound the Orioles have been throughout the 2013 season. Three quality outings from Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman reminded how the top three-fifths of the Baltimore rotation can compete with just about anyone in the American League.

But as the dust cleared and the Orioles landed in Kansas City to begin a four-game series on Monday night, a look at the AL East standings showed just how difficult the final two months of the season will be.

Possibly their most impressive series of the season moved the Orioles only one game closer in their chase of the division-leading Red Sox after Boston took two of three from the Yankees at Fenway Park. And Baltimore moved no closer to the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays, who swept the Blue Jays in Toronto to give them 13 wins in their last 14 contests as the hottest team in baseball.

Those realities aren’t meant to bring fans down from their weekend high, but they offer a snapshot of how incredibly small the margin for error will be over the final 63 games of the regular season in the Orioles’ bid to advance to the postseason for the second straight year. Of those remaining games, 35 will come against teams with winning marks and only 28 against clubs sporting records below the .500 mark entering Monday’s action.

The old adage of needing to beat the clubs you’re supposed to beat while holding your own against top competition might not be enough to prevail in a division that sports four teams with winning records in the final week of July. Even the underachieving Blue Jays have been a thorn in the Orioles’ side this year, winning seven of the 13 games the clubs have played this season.

The Orioles are a remarkable 33-22 against teams currently owning a winning record while going just 23-21 against clubs who sit below .500 on July 22. Of course, that deviates from the aforementioned mantra for success and speaks well for the Orioles’ ability to rise to the challenge of playing the top teams this season, evident by their combined 9-4 record against Texas and Detroit, the two teams who’ve won the last three AL pennants.

But the Orioles do need to take better advantage of their opportunities against sub-.500 clubs down the stretch and that will start with the Royals in Kansas City this week. To say they need to at least take three out of four would be an overstatement — Tampa Bay and Boston face off in a four-game set of their own beginning Monday — but anything less just makes the climb that much taller in September. With the season-long performance of the Red Sox and the play of the Rays over the last month, there is no time for a breather or to go into cruise control against the lesser competitors in the league.

The eyeball test suggests the Orioles are a better team than the 93-69 outfit from a year ago as they certainly hit better and play better defense than the 2012 club. Their starting pitching appears to be coming together in a similar manner to the way it did in the second half last year, which will help a bullpen that hasn’t been as dominating starting with closer Jim Johnson and his six blown saves.

But the division is better than it was a year ago from top to bottom and Buck Showalter’s club hasn’t been as fortunate, going just 13-14 in one-run games after last year’s historic 29-9 mark. That was to be expected and shouldn’t be misconstrued as a knock on what the Orioles have accomplished this year, but there is no consolation or handicap for the smaller amount of good fortune, either.

An impressive three-game sweep over the Rangers was the perfect way to start the proverbial second half for the Orioles, but the weekend showed how steep the climb will be to win their first division title since 1997. The Orioles will have their opportunities against Boston and Tampa Bay — they have 12 games remaining with the Red Sox and seven with the Rays — and those clubs will experience slow spells at some point, but the challenge will be to capitalize while minimizing their own pitfalls in the process.

As well as the Orioles have played entering their 100th game of the season Monday night, they haven’t been quite good enough in the AL East. The standings say as much, though they would be the second wild card if the season ended today, putting them in the unenviable position of being the road team in a one-game playoff like they were last year.

But the Orioles are fully within striking distance, meaning it’s time to steamroll the clubs who don’t own such a luxury.

Because they’re not going to be able to count on very much help in their quest.

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Your Monday Reality Check: I told you I’d be excited and now I’m excited

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Your Monday Reality Check: I told you I’d be excited and now I’m excited

Posted on 17 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

After the Orioles took two of three from the Detroit Tigers two weeks ago at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I could sense a particularly significant level of satisfaction in Baltimore.

Fans took to social media to make statements along the lines of “biggest series win of the year” and “proof the O’s are the best team in the American League” and many more.

It was a fun series and a nice series win against a potential playoff opponent. But on that Monday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, I ruffled a few feathers by suggesting I wasn’t as enthused as many others were. My reasoning was simple. It was a nice series victory, but whatever the Orioles do against the Tigers wasn’t nearly as important as what they do against AL East opponents.

As always, there was a minority who said “this is typical. Someone at WNST is trying to marginalize the Orioles.” The rest of us know how idiotic that group is, but are forced to accept their existence.

I made sure to fortify my statement a few days later when the Orioles were crushed by the Astros on a Wednesday night in Houston. Before we knew the Birds would go on to win the series Thursday afternoon, I made sure to clarify that I wasn’t concerned if the Orioles won the series or not. What the Orioles did against an AL West opponent simply couldn’t carry the significance of a series against AL East opponents.

I didn’t waiver on those opinions the following weekend, as a series loss to the Tampa Bay Rays (even if they avoided a sweep) lead to me offering critical comments this past Monday afternoon on “The Reality Check.”

I said then that the Birds couldn’t just beat teams elsewhere in baseball and assume they would be able to make a run in the postseason. Callers told me things like “the whole division is just going to beat each other up” but none had much of a response when I said back “in order for that to happen, the O’s have to beat up SOMEONE.”

So I made it clear on Monday’s show-”if the Orioles spank the Boston Red Sox this week there will be no negativity. There will be no downplaying. I might well throw a parade!”

It’s with that in mind that I ask you to collect some ticker tape and meet me on Pratt Street at 3:30 or so. But if I’m running a bit late, feel free to start without me.

Kidding aside, I’m absolutely THRILLED with the results of the Orioles’ series against the Sox this weekend at OPACY. The second base debacle aside, it was a very important weekend for the Birds-easily the most significant series they’ve claimed in 2013.

There are currently four teams in the American League who have records over .500 (the Orioles, Rays, first place Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees). There are only three others in the entire American League (the Tigers, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers) who similarly find themselves with more wins than losses at the moment.

We’re far enough into the season to now that none of the four teams in the AL East is simply going to go away, no matter how many times we’ve tried to justify the potential in our own minds. The Yanks have done it despite injuries, the Rays have done it without David Price actually being David Price and the Red Sox have somehow managed to forget 2012 ever happened. For what it’s worth, the Toronto Blue Jays linger just four games under .500. But we won’t include them in the conversation until (and more likely “if”) they need to be.

All of these teams are going to be in this thing. The Orioles will not be guaranteed a postseason berth even by playing above .500 ball in the AL East. As some had wondered aloud before the season, there is a CHANCE all of these teams are finishing the season above .500. It’s far from a likelihood, but it is most certainly a possibility.

It’s with that in mind that I continue to tell everyone just how important it will be to win the games against the teams you’re competing against for the AL East crown and/or two Wild Card spots.

The Orioles play nearly half of their games (73) against division opponents. Coming into the four game set against the Sox, they had played 21 games against the three other teams above .500 in the division; holding a 10-11 record in those contests. A simple math lesson from Perry Hall High School’s Mr. Radcliffe will tell me that that record could have been anywhere from 14-11 to 10-15 after the weekend.

Follow up with Mr. Radcliffe about this, but I’m reasonably certainly 13-12 is a good bit better than 10-15…or even 12-13.

The Orioles didn’t wrap up their first division title since 1997 over the weekend. They most certainly didn’t guarantee they’d make a second consecutive trip to the postseason either.

What they did is take another significant step in that process with three gutty victories over the team sitting at the top of the standings.

That simply cannot be understated and I will not even remotely attempt to do that.

In fact, I’ve already got my “Chris Davis’ monkey” float parked outside the ballpark. It’s exactly what you think it is.

-G

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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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Reimold placed on 15-day DL with hamstring strain; Arrieta recalled

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Reimold placed on 15-day DL with hamstring strain; Arrieta recalled

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — Needing an extra arm in the bullpen and realizing a nagging hamstring injury wasn’t improving, the Orioles have recalled right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta and placed designated hitter Nolan Reimold on the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

As expected, starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens had his contract selected by the club in order for the right-hander to make his Orioles debut. To make room for Jurrjens, the Orioles optioned right-handed reliever Alex Burnett to Triple-A Norfolk and placed injured second baseman Brian Roberts on the 60-day DL to clear room on the 40-man roster.

Reimold’s hamstring has been bothering him since spring training and struggled to play through the cold weather of the early season with the back of the leg tightening up at various times, according to Showalter. The 29-year-old hasn’t played since last Saturday in Minnesota, meaning his DL stint is retroactive to May 12. Showalter is hopeful that the time off will remedy the hamstring strain but acknowledged it could take longer than the 15-day period since Reimold has dealt with the ailment for quite a while.

“I think he understands where we are and what we want to do,” Showalter said. “He’s not — I wouldn’t say — down. Obviously, no one wants to go on the DL. I can’t tell you whether this period will clean it up completely. I’m frustrated for him. I want to get as close to a perfect world for him [physically] as I can get. He’s a very capable contributor if we can just get him right.”

The expectation is that Reimold would get at-bats in a rehab assignment before making any return to the 25-man roster. Serving as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter this season, Reimold was hitting just .188 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 101 at-bats.

Steve Pearce, Nate McLouth, and Chris Dickerson have all seen time at the DH spot since last Saturday.

The need for an additional releiver was the result of a 12-run, 17-hit attack by the Rays against Friday starter Jason Hammel and four other relievers. Burnett allowed three earned runs in just 1/3 inning of work in the 12-10 loss.

Arrieta was scheduled to start for Norfolk on Saturday night and had dealt with shoulder tightness recently, but the 27-year-old completed successful bullpen sessions on Wednesday and Thursday to quell any significant concerns.

“I developed a little stiffness a few starts ago,” Arrieta said. “It’s something that has been manageable. They wanted to give me a few days — kind of push me back a little bit. I’ve stayed on top of it as much as I can.”

Manager Buck Showalter confirmed prior to Saturday’s game that Arrieta will pitch out of the bullpen for the time being. Of course, the enigmatic pitcher began the year in the starting rotation but was sent to the minors after going 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four starts for Baltimore.

As of now, veteran Freddy Garcia is scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees on Monday, but Arrieta could conceivably become an option to take his place should he not be used in the bullpen over the next couple games.

In three starts for the Tides, Arrieta went 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA while striking out 17 and walking three in 19 2/3 innings.

 

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Jurrjens looking to bring innings, experience to Orioles rotation

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Jurrjens looking to bring innings, experience to Orioles rotation

Posted on 17 May 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — Poised to become the Orioles’ 10th starting pitcher of the 2013 season, right-hander Jair Jurrjens isn’t treating Saturday’s debut against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Of course, that’s easier said than done after the Orioles cycled through Josh Stinson, Zach Britton, and Steve Johnson with each receiving one start and promptly being optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk after subpar performances. Among the four pitchers summoned to replace Jake Arrieta and the injured Miguel Gonzalez from the Opening Day rotation, only the 36-year-old Freddy Garcia — who can’t be optioned to the minors — has remained with the club beyond his first start.

Arriving in the Baltimore clubhouse Friday afternoon, Jurrjens expressed his gratitude for finally receiving the call after eight starts with the Tides, but he has 125 career starts and a 3.62 career ERA in the majors on his side to cope with any potential anxiety. Whether that means he’ll receive a longer leash remains to be seen as he can be optioned back to Norfolk should the Orioles not like what they see and need immediate bullpen help as a result.

“This is not my first time pitching in the big leagues,” said Jurrjens, who was 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA. “I am just going to take it as another game and try to eat innings and give the team the best performance I can.”

Jurrjens owned an opt-out clause in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent had he not been promoted to the big leagues by June 15, but that doesn’t prevent him from being optioned after making it to the 25-man roster. Of course, the Orioles entered Friday with just three starters in their current rotation and would like to see someone emerge as their fifth starter in addition to the anticipated Tuesday return of Gonzalez from the DL to ease concerns with the starting pitching.

The lingering concerns about Jurrjens’ knee over the last couple years are a thing of the past as strengthening exercises and his ability to repeat his mechanics have left him feeling better than he has in a few years, according to the pitcher. Questions about Jurrjens’ medical records delayed his signing with the Orioles this winter before executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette eventually inked the 2011 National League All-Star to a minor-league contract that included an invitation to spring training.

One of the most concerning aspects of Jurrjens’ decline from an All-Star pitcher to one with a 6.89 ERA who spent time in the minor leagues was the decline in velocity. The Curacao native saw his average fastball velocity dip from just above 91 miles per hour in 2010 to just about 88.5 mph last season.

Jurrjens features a fastball, sinker, slider, and changeup in his arsenal and carries a 53-37 record in his six-year career spent mostly with the Atlanta Braves. He will wear No. 49 with the Orioles.

“If the command is there, he’ll give us a chance to win,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s been a long journey for him. I don’t know if anxiety is the word, but he’ll have some [jitters]. He’s done this before. I think a lot of people miss — I know I did originally — how young he is. I’m anxious to see.”

In 51 2/3 innings, Jurrjens walked only 15 batters while striking out 36 and allowing 44 hits. The control hasn’t been an issue and his strikeout rate of 6.3 per nine innings is more than acceptable, but both Jurrjens and Showalter didn’t mention improvement in the pitcher’s velocity when asked about his progress.

As is the case with any pitcher promoted from Triple A to the big leagues, there will be questions whether his repertoire that worked against International League hitters will translate to success at the next level.

“It can be difficult [knowing], because down there, some guys just go up there and swing,” said Jurrjens, who claimed he hasn’t paid close attention to his velocity so far this season. “Here, some guys are more patient and they look for one pitch to hit.”

Gonzalez on Tuesday track

Gonzalez completed his simulated game at Camden Yards without any problems on Friday afternoon.

Showalter said prior to Friday’s game that the right-hander remains an option for Monday, but the club is leaning toward a Tuesday return from the 15-day disabled list for the 28-year-old. Gonzalez has been dealing with a nasty blister on his right thumb since the beginning of the month and is eligible to be activated from the DL on Sunday.

“You look at his face as much as you do his thumb,” Showalter said. “He feels good about it. I don’t expect something else to crop up. He did it today without the bandage on.”

Gonzalez threw roughly 50 pitches against several teammates after throwing 25 in the bullpen and was able to throw his entire array of pitches.

Roster move coming

The Orioles must make a roster move to add Jurrjens to the 40-man roster as well as to clear room on the active roster prior to his Saturday start.

Showalter said the club has a few different options in mind, with extra reliever Alex Burnett and infielder Yamaico Navarro assumed to be the most likely candidates. However, Navarro was in the lineup for Friday night’s game as Showalter said the 25-year-old deserved a look at second base. The organization likes Navarro’s bat, but there are some questions about his defense.

Navarro was hitting .303 in 147 plate appearances for the Tides, leading some to wonder whether struggling second baseman Ryan Flaherty might be the player to go on Saturday. Flaherty is hitting only .133 in 102 plate appearances and has struck out 26 times.

Playing 29 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, Navarro was acquired in exchange for pitcher Jhondaniel Medina on Nov. 30, 2012.

Injury updates

The Orioles announced Friday that catcher Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) had his splint removed.

Infielder Wilson Betemit began jogging in the pool as he continues his recovery in Sarasota from a Grade 2/3 PCL tear in his right knee. He remains on the 60-day DL and Showalter expressed hope earlier this week that he could return at some point in June.

 

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Orioles unveil Opening Day lineup against Tampa Bay

Posted on 01 April 2013 by Luke Jones

The Orioles begin their 2013 season on Tuesday in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays and unveiled their lineup for the first game of the season on Monday.

Right-hander Jason Hammel will take the hill against Rays southpaw David Price, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.

Nick Markakis will pick up where he left off last season as the club’s leadoff hitter after proving to be healthy over the final week of spring training. The 29-year-old right fielder missed most of March with a small herniated disc in his neck.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of manager Buck Showalter’s lineup for the season opener is third baseman Manny Machado hitting in the second spot in the order. Machado displayed improved patience during the spring and the Orioles are facing a tough left-hander on the mound, meaning Nate McLouth will be on the bench in favor of right-handed designated hitter Steve Pearce.

Nolan Reimold will play left field and hit seventh in what’s likely an effort to keep the pressure off the outfielder in the same way that Showalter has elected to put second baseman Brian Roberts in the No. 9 spot in the lineup to begin the season. Against right-handed pitching, McLouth will start in left field and Reimold will serve as the DH in most cases.

BALTIMORE
RF Nick Markakis
3B Manny Machado
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Chris Davis
SS J.J. Hardy
LF Nolan Reimold
DH Steve Pearce
2B Brian Roberts

SP Jason Hammel (2012 stats: 8-6, 3.43 ERA)

TAMPA BAY
CF Desmond Jennings
RF Sam Fuld
2B Ben Zobrist
3B Evan Longoria
LF Matt Joyce
SS Yunel Escobar
1B James Loney
C Jose Molina
DH Kelly Johnson

SP David Price (2012 stats: 20-5, 2.56 ERA)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Orlando Salida vs. Mikey Garcia (Saturday 9:45pm from New York live on HBO), Sergey Kovalev vs. Gabriel Campillo (Saturday 9pm from Uncasville, CT live on NBC Sports Network); Women’s College Basketball: NC State @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Georgia Tech (Sunday 3pm from Atlanta live on ESPN2); Soccer: MISL Baltimore Blast @ Syracuse Silver Knights (Friday 7:30pm Sunday 1:30pm from Syracuse, NY live on MISLtv.com); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Woodlawn (Wednesday 6:30pm), Perry Hall @ Milford Mill (Friday 7pm)

10. Superstars of 70′s Soul Jam feat. The Stylistics, Peaches and Herb (Saturday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); The Darkness (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head Live), G. Love & Special Sauce (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head Live); Hollywood Undead (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Gin Blossoms (Tuesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), Eric Benet (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); 2 Chainz (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ellie Goulding (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Janelle Monae (Sunday 6pm 9:30 Club); WAR (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Morrissey (Wednesday 8pm Strathmore); Smokey Robinson (Friday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Soundgarden (Friday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Tim Reynolds (Sunday 8pm & 10pm Blues Alley); Augustana (Monday 7pm U Street Music Hall)

I’d like to do like 100 more things this week that involve the Gin Blossoms…

I hate admitting how much I enjoy this Ellie Goulding tune…

I’ve been a Janelle Monae fan since the first time I knew there was such a thing as Janelle Monae…

Soundgarden, huh? I’ll sign up for just about anything that involves Chris Cornell singing tunes…

9. Baltimore County Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Monday throughout Baltimore County); Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade (Saturday 12pm MLK Boulevard); “Taken 2″ available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Broken City” and “The Last Stand” out in theaters (Friday)

My favorite part of Taken 2 was when Liam Neeson was talking about Tim Tebow…

On the list for Winter Restaurant Week? The Grill at Harryman House. Where a burger looks like this…

Ummm…yes.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The 15-7-0 is made up of 60% water, 40% leftover turkey and cranberry relish

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The 15-7-0 is made up of 60% water, 40% leftover turkey and cranberry relish

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Glenn Clark

As always, this week’s 15-7-0 is brought to you by Roofing By Elite. Visit them at roofingbyelite.com. We make 15 observations about football that are ELITE, 7 that are “not so ELITE” and one “zero” who deserves to sleep on the roof from outside of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens game analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

Here we go.

“The Elite 15″…

1. I have to assume that at this point they don’t need to keep trying to wake up the echoes in South Bend.

Remember when the Trojans were down two scores late and went for it on 4th down anyway? I bet that worked out well…

I can’t tell if Fighting Irish LB (and likely Heisman Trophy finalist) Manti Te’o was excited about the win, though…

Also, what do you think Lane Kiffin was thinking here…

Of course, the Trojans are NEVER losers…

2. Now that Jay Cutler has returned to save the Chicago Bears’ season, we can all get back to talking about how much Jay Cutler sucks.

He’s unlikeable, but he’s a hell of a QB…

Back to that “unlikeable” thing. Ask AJ Jefferson…

J’Marcus Webb might disagree though…

3. Jesus. Weren’t the Bengals just completely dead a couple weeks ago?

Mohamed Sanu had a busy day (on my fantasy football bench)…

Credit to NFL Red Zone’s Scott Hanson-who saw Raiders DL Tommy Kelly in a fight and IMMEDIATELY noticed he was a doppelganger for Suge Knight…

4. There might be a LITTLE bit of drama headed to New York this year, but I’m pretty confident Johnny Manziel has locked up the Heisman Trophy.

His big game Saturday against Missouri happened AFTER Johnny Football overcame this troublesome looking injury…

Manziel will finally speak to the media for the first time Monday. He’ll have to play catch up to the all out blitz the Irish have gone through with Te’o…

5. Now Alabama plays Georgia next week for the right to be favored to win the BCS Championship Game.

Georgia’s Alec Ogletree prepared for the SEC Championship showdown by going all Kurt Angle on Georgia Tech…

Elsewhere in the SEC, I give you Jarvis Landry!

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 05 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour FedEx St. Jude Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Memphis), Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Shoal Creek, AL on Golf Channel), Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel); WNBA: New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC on FX 3-Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Friday 9pm from Sunrise, FL live on FX); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Charlotte Hounds @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com)

10. Gavin DeGraw & Colbie Caillat (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Foster The People (Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Carbon Leaf/Civil Twilight (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Hawthorne Heights (Sunday 5pm Recher Theatre); Victor Wooten (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Edwin McCain (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Little River Band (Sunday 1pm Rams Head on Stage), Marshall Tucker Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Bootsy Collins (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Jimmy Cliff (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Wailers (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Beach Boys “That’s Why God Made The Radio” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There was a time in my life when I genuinely enjoyed the tunes of Gavin DeGraw. Maybe that’s not something I should be broadcasting…

Since Foster The People are coming to town and the Beach Boys are putting out a new record, here’s FTP’s EXCELLENT take on the greatest Beach Boys tune of all time…

Any excuse to share a Carbon Leaf tune is a good one…

I wish I could go to RHL Saturday night. Civil Twilight is excellent too…

9. “Prometheus” opens in theaters (Friday); Safe House“, “John Carter” and “Act of Valor” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Greg Proops (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Doug Benson (Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Honfest (Saturday & Sunday Hampden); Maryland Wine Week begins (Friday)

You know Prometheus as THAT MOVIE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO SEE. Well, at least until “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” comes out, at which point they might as well just stop making movies.

Honestly, there is no single greater gift you could ever purchase me than this movie poster…

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Orioles breathe sigh of relief as MRI reveals only contusions on Jones’ sore wrists

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Orioles breathe sigh of relief as MRI reveals only contusions on Jones’ sore wrists

Posted on 03 June 2012 by Luke Jones

(Monday 11:45 a.m.)

It was difficult imagining the two-week-long nightmare getting much scarier for the Orioles until the news following Sunday’s 8-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays that center fielder Adam Jones would undergo an MRI on his sore right wrist.

However, the verdict was positive Monday morning as the club announced the test showed only contusions on his ailing wrists, meaning Jones will fly to Boston to join the club ahead of the start of a three-games series with the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

“Thanks for all the concern but I’m all good,” Jones said on Twitter. “On the way to Beantown.”

After being replaced by pinch hitter Nick Johnson in the ninth inning on Sunday, Jones told reporters his right wrist had bothered him for a few weeks and manager Buck Showalter decided to remove him from the game as a precautionary measure. The 26-year-old was hit by a pitch on his left wrist in Toronto last Wednesday and had been icing it over the last few days.

Leading the Orioles with a .315 average, 16 home runs, and 34 runs batted in, Jones is having the finest season of his seven-year career in the big leagues and signed a six-year, $85.5 million contract last weekend to remain in Baltimore through the 2018 season. An X-ray taken on the right wrist came back negative on Sunday, but the club elected to have Jones remain in Florida overnight for an MRI.

Jones maintained the right wrist still felt strong despite being sore for the last few weeks and did not recall a specific play on which he injured it.

The news couldn’t have come at a better time after the recent loss of right fielder Nick Markakis to a broken hamate bone and left fielder Nolan Reimold’s extended stay on the disabled list with a herniated disc in his neck.

Baltimore has lost 10 of its last 13 games, falling one game behind Tampa Bay in the American League East.

 

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