Posted on 08 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 07 May 2012 by Luke Jones
BALTIMORE — A day after one of the wildest games in franchise history, the Orioles were forced to make difficult changes to their roster to add a couple bullpen arms to the mix with the powerful Texas Rangers coming to Baltimore for a four-game series.
Limited to just 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the year on Sunday, starter Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk along with backup catcher Ronny Paulino to clear room for relievers Jason Berken and Stu Pomeranz. Manager Buck Showalter made it clear the moves were byproducts of the 17-inning series finale in Boston, but he also acknowledged some of the physical challenges that have hindered Hunter in recent weeks.
“Understand that Tommy had a slight oblique, which he’s 100 percent back from,” Showalter said. “He had the flu that everybody had. He had an ingrown toenail. So, he went about two weeks without being able to do some of his strength stuff.”
In six starts, Hunter is 2-1 with a 5.00 earned run average and has allowed 1.42 hits and walks per inning pitched. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched up in the strike zone far too much, resulting in allowing a club-worst nine home runs in 36 innings.
With the Orioles needing bullpen help and Hunter having an option, he became an unfortunate casualty and creates the question of who will make Friday’s start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Barring a need to replace an injured player, Hunter must remain with the Tides for a minimum of 10 days. Showalter said Berken could be a candidate to make the start, but that will depend on how much the Orioles may need to use him over the next couple nights.
Showalter doesn’t anticipate a long stay in the minors for the club’s No. 2 starter entering the season, but he made no promises when breaking the news to Hunter.
“I look to see Tommy really getting back on track down there with one or two starts,” Showalter said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
It appeared to be a foregone conclusion that third catcher Luis Exposito would be optioned back to Norfolk with the Orioles calling up at least one reliever, but Paulino received the surprising demotion instead. Showalter cited Paulino’s abbreviated spring training — due to work via issues — and his preference to get more time for Paulino behind the plate, which makes you infer the Orioles manager may not be enamored with Paulino’s defensive work.
“He’s done some good things for us,” Showalter said about Paulino. “We just want to let him catch every day down there and get back to where he’s comfortable. Build up some of his leg strength and get some consistent at-bats.”
As for Monday night, Showalter would not tip his hand as to who else would be available in addition to Berken and Pomeranz, but you can only imagine the list to be a short one. He essentially ruled out any pitchers who appeared in all three games of the Boston series — Matt Lindstrom and Troy Patton fall into that category — but it’s hard to imagine him wanting to go to Kevin Gregg or Jim Johnson.
Each threw two innings on Sunday, but neither is accustomed to going more than one inning under typical circumstances. With Gregg’s sporadic workload over the last month and Johnson’s recent bout with food poisoning zapping his strength, the Orioles would be wise avoiding those two if possible.
Considering the Orioles called up two relievers and made two unexpected demotions in the process tells all you need to know about the desperate state of the bullpen.
More than anything, Showalter is praying for a lengthy outing by left-hander Brian Matusz as the Orioles welcome the Rangers to town in a four-day meeting between two of the best teams — record-wise — in the American League. After recording his first win of the season in his last start in New York, Matusz will be expected to give the Orioles innings in the series opener — even if the results aren’t the prettiest.
Here are tonight’s lineups…
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
DH Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
3B Brandon Snyder
CF Craig Gentry
SP Matt Harrison (3-2, 5.40 ERA)
2B Robert Andino
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
DH Matt Wieters
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Wilson Betemit
1B Chris Davis
C Luis Exposito
SP Brian Matusz (1-3, 4.67 ERA)
Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Audio
Posted on 07 May 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 30 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Soccer-MISL DC United @ San Jose Earthquakes (Wednesday 10:30pm from San Jose live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), DC United @ Toronto FC (Saturday 4pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS); Pro Lacrosse-MLL Ohio Machine @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: NCAA Tournament-Monmouth @ Towson (Saturday 7pm Unitas Stadium)
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Chicago (Sunday 6pm Pier Six Pavilion); Lupe Fiasco (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), P.O.D. (Sunday 6pm Rams Head Live); Marilyn Manson (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Korn (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Bad Plus (Tuesday 8pm Howard Theatre); fun. (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Eric Hutchinson (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Rusted Root (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Willie Nelson and Family (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Bob Schneider (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Mint Condition (Thursday & Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); Norah Jones “Little Broken Hearts” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
If I were going to be in town, I’d head to the Inner Harbor to check out Chicago. Honestly…
I like Eric Hutchinson. I also like women. I understand this comes as a surprise to many.
Bob Schneider made one of the best tunes of 2012…
“This is a fun tune from Norah Jones” uttered the man for the first time EVER…
9. Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL (Saturday & Sunday 1st Mariner Arena); D.L. Hughley (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Gilbert Gottfried (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Avengers” in theaters (Friday); “Haywire” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)
I don’t like to speak out of line, but if you don’t go see “The Avengers” within hours of its’ release, you are almost certainly a terrorist.
Tony Stark is the greatest fake human being of all time.
Oh-and did you not remember Haywire? Haywire was the one where Gina Carano…you know I’m just going to go ahead and stop there.
Posted on 29 April 2012 by Ryan Chell
The Baltimore Ravens moved into the next step of the off-season process Saturday night by bringing several valuable players that did not have their named called over the three-day process.
Along with their eight draft picks, a host of other potential Ravens will make their way into Owings Mills in two weeks with the chance to make the roster cut from 90 players in training camp to the 53-man roster when Baltimore opens up against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football September 10th.
During the 2011 season, several undrafted free agents saw playing time for the Baltimore Ravens. DE/LB Albert McClellan, who was brought in under the circumstances after the 2010 NFL Draft, and Maryland WR/KR LaQuan Williams both saw significant action on special teams and during the game contributing for a team that reached the AFC Title game.
Here is a list of Ravens rookie free agent targets hoping to have similar results who have reportedly been signed or invited to work out for a contract, per league agents, sources, or the players themselves. Highlights of the signings include former Florida QB John Brantley-the successor to Tim Tebow, Morgan State TE LaMont Bryant, Wake Forest SS Cyhl Quarles, and Florida WR/KR Deonte Thompson.
James Carmon, Mississippi State T:
The Baltimore native and converted DT has blocked a lot of good pass-rushers in his senior year at Mississippi State. In one year, he was asked to block South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram, Arkansas’ Jake Bequette, Memphis Dontari Poe, and Ravens 2nd-round pick Courtney Upshaw at Alabama.
Nick Provo; Syracuse TE
Provo’s work was with his hands alone. Struggled in blocking this year for the Orange.
Omar Brown; Marshall SS
Brown made plays in his Marshall career-even against FBS opponents like Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Justin Tucker, Texas K
Kicked for 2 seasons and punted for four in his Longhorn career. Was carried off the field this season after GW-kick vs. Texas A&M.
Nick Jean-Baptiste, Baylor DT
A nose-tackle candidate who could back up Terrence Cody.
LaMont Bryant, Morgan State TE
Bryant got a call from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron hours after the draft. He asked Bryant, “Do you want to be a Raven?” Bryant said it was an easy answer. He drew interest from the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs and actually had to choose between the Ravens and the Chiefs in a quick phone decision Saturday night.
Jack Cornell, Illinois OL
Cornell started 13 games this year for the Illini at strong-side guard. Played some tackle his junior year in 2010.
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky RB
Coach John Harbaugh has been following him for months. He called him Saturday night to welcome him in. Says he models his game after Barry Sanders, and has a blue-collar approach to the game.
Devin Goda, Slippery Rock (PA) TE/HB
The fifth-year senior had an impressive 2011 in which he caught 75 passes for 1,028 yards and 11 TDs in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Standing at 6’2, 213 lbs, he runs a 4.54 40-yard dash. The Oakland Raiders were another team vying for his services.
Chris Anzevino, Kent State C
The All-MAC honoree started 36 games for Kent State over the last three seasons.
Austin Johnson, Tennessee FB/LB
After playing FB previously at Tennessee, he switched to ILB for the Vols in 2011, leading them in tackles with 81 and interceptions with four. Faced a lot of adversity coming back from a pre-season arrest in which he was booked for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in which he reportedly fought with another man and was punching cars.
John Brantley, Florida QB
A highly touted high school prospect, John Brantley backed up Tim Tebow for two years at the University of Florida. He was also one of the reasons why Cam Newton transferred out of Florida to Auburn. Struggled with injuries the last two years at Florida, but still finished his Gator career with a completion percentage of 61.7 percent, 30 TDs, 18 INTs and 4,750 yards.
Cyhl Quarles, Wake Forest SS
Led the Demon Deacons in tackles this season and was moved all over the field this year for Wake Forest.
Deonte Thompson, Florida WR
The Florida WR struggled with drops his senior year, causing his quarterback, John Brantley, to look elsewhere in the Gator offense. Only had 21 catches in 2011. But his speed, which is reportedly in the 4.3′s could make him an excellent return candidate.
Charles Brown, UNC CB
An excellent cover corner, he had two interceptions and led North Carolina in breakups. Another return candidate for the Ravens.
Antoine McClain, Clemson OG
A pancake machine; he had 183 of them over 41 games in his four-year Tiger career.
Elliot Henigan, UAB DT
Played with a sports hernia throughout 2011 and still finished with close to 40 tackles. Either takes his guy out behind the line of scrimmage or is taken out of the play.
Be sure to follow @WNST on Twitter for your Ravens news as the 2012 roster takes shape and check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at
Posted on 24 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 67 (Friday 8pm from Ontario, Canada live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ismayl Sillakh vs. Denis Grachev (Friday 10pm from Austin, TX live on ESPN2), Thomas Oosthuizen vs. Marcus Johnson (Friday 11pm from Miami, OK live on Showtime), Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Vyacheslav Senchenko vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Sunday 1pm from Donetsk, Ukraine live on Pay-Per-View); Tennis: ATP Tour Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (Thursday 7:30am Friday 6:30am Sunday 10am from Barcelona live on Tennis Channel), WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Saturday 8am & 12pm Sunday 12:30pm from Stuttgart, Germany live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: Georgetown @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex College Park)
10. Rammstein (Wednesday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Sunday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Shinedown (Wednesday 6pm Rams Head Live), All-American Rejects (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Bob Schneider (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Pat McGee Band (Friday & Saturday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Punch Brothers (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Creed (Tuesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Kottonmouth Kings (Wednesday 6:30pm Sonar); Chuck Berry (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Mac Miller (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Nellie McKay (Thursday 6:30pm Birchmere); Candlebox (Monday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sweetlife Festival feat. Kid Cudi, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fun. (Saturday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Death Cab For Cutie (Monday 8pm Strathmore); Nickelback/Bush/Seether (Monday 6pm Verizon Center); Jack White “Blunderbuss” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
TSO didn’t post in Charm City this Christmas, and you know someone who was bitter. I’d be willing to go see them Sunday night though, their Beethoven stuff is also awesome…
Does anyone just want to GIVE me tickets to the Punch Brothers show Friday night? Most of you haven’t given me a birthday present in years.
Enjoy skateboarding? Hip-hop? Marijuana? Here’s Kid Cudi…
Jack White is sorta becoming that “I don’t care what he does I’m just going to like it” man for the 21st century. Are we still in the 21st century?
9. “The Raven” and “The Five-Year Engagement” out in theaters (Friday); “Contraband” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Tom Brokaw (Tuesday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Sugarloaf Crafts Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds)
I’d love to dissect Jason Segel’s new flick (I think it actually looks good) or try to figure out what the hell they do at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, but I don’t know where else in T10BD I’d be able to post this picture of a frog sitting on a bench like a human…
We all agree this is the greatest picture of all time, right?
Posted on 19 April 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 17 April 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Boxing-Jermain Taylor vs. Caleb Truax (Friday 11pm from Biloxi, MS live on Showtime), Abner Mares vs. Eric Morel (Saturday 9pm from El Paso, TX live on Showtime); Tennis: ATP Tour Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 4:30am Saturday 7am Sunday 7:30am from Monaco live on Tennis Channel/ESPN3.com); Soccer: MLS-Montreal Impact @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), New York Red Bulls @ DC United (Sunday 6pm from RFK Stadium live on ESPN2); Women’s College Lacrosse: ACC Tournament-Maryland vs. Virginia Tech (Friday 2pm from Durham, NC live on ESPN3.com), ACC Championship (Monday 7pm from Durham, NC live on ESPNU)
10. Augustana (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Portugal. The Man (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live); Charm City Devils (Saturday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Colin Hay (Thursday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); The Bacon Brothers (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), WAR (Sunday 5pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Fountains of Wayne/James Iha (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), NEEDTOBREATHE (Saturday 8pm Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Glen Campbell (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Bad Brains (Friday 8pm Howard Theater); Daryl Hall/Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Friday 8pm Warner Theatre); Bowling For Soup (Saturday 8pm Stevenson University); Johns Hopkins Spring Fair feat. Passion Pit (Friday-Sunday, Passion Pit show Friday 7pm JHU Rec Center); UMBC Quadmania feat. Gym Class Heroes (Friday-Sunday, Gym Class Heroes show Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); Neon Trees “Picture Show” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
You know I’ll be at Recher Saturday night supporting the very awesome John Allan and CCD. My only issue with “Man of Constant Sorrow” is that I can’t fathom a human being leaving Kentucky…
I don’t particularly know anything about NEEDTOBREATHE but I DO know I dig this tune…
If Daryl Hall had Fitz & The Tantrums as his touring house band, I’d go to every show…
I probably shouldn’t admit how much I dig Neon Trees…
9. Ron White (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Eddie Griffin (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Norm MacDonald (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Wendy Liebman (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Tax Day (Tuesday)
I think I’m gonna go see Norm MacDonald. Because Norm MacDonald is funny. See below.
Also, it’s Tax Day Tuesday. I don’t think I’m getting any money back (do you have to make money for that?), but if I did I know exactly how I’d spend it…
There isn’t anything…in the world…I want more than a LoveSac.
Posted on 16 April 2012 by Luke Jones
Simply asking the question will invite a myriad of responses ranging from a bucket of baseballs to a sampling of Old Bay — and hopefully nothing more malicious than those barbs — but I’m going to do it anyway.
What would you do with struggling Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg if you were executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter?
His outing in Toronto on Sunday was particularly disastrous as Gregg entered in the sixth inning with a chance to keep the Orioles in a close 3-2 ballgame. Instead, he allowed the first six hitters he faced to reach, turning a one-run deficit into an 8-2 lead for the Blue Jays against what could only be described as a “B” lineup going to the plate for Baltimore.
Gregg has made it clear he’s unhappy with no longer being the closer, and Showalter doesn’t view the 33-year-old as one of his best options despite using him in a high-leverage situation with two runners on base that were left behind in the sixth by starter Brian Matusz on Sunday. New closer Jim Johnson, veterans Luis Ayala and Matt Lindstrom, and young Pedro Strop all appear to have leapfrogged Gregg in the manager’s late-inning hierarchy of trust, and Gregg’s 12.27 earned run average in his first 3 1/3 innings of work hasn’t done anything to change that notion.
It appears Gregg would benefit from a change of scenery after being booed by the home crowd during player introductions on Opening Day. There’s little point in debating the merits of former executive Andy MacPhail signing Gregg to a two-year, $10 million contract two offseasons ago to become the Orioles’ new closer. Everyone can see it was a poor decision, just as it was the year before when left-hander Michael Gonzalez was inked to a two-year, $12 contract.
Many point to Gregg’s $5.8 million salary as the reason why he will remain in Baltimore, but the money is already committed whether you keep him around or not. If the Orioles no longer view Gregg as one of their seven best relievers, there is little argument to continue what’s become an ugly situation for what used to be a solid-enough relief pitcher. With potential long-relief man Tsuyoshi Wada working his way back from an elbow injury and lefty Zach Phillips waiting at Triple-A Norfolk, there are options at Duquette’s disposal to replace Gregg if the Orioles choose that course of action.
Ultimately, it’s not Gregg’s fault the Orioles overvalued a reliever with decent save totals but lacking the peripheral numbers — his walks and hits per inning pitched had increased four straight years prior to coming to Baltimore — to justify a $10 million contract.
But the club is now faced with the question of what to do with the disenchanted reliever, who has done himself no favors in making excuses for his struggles and recently admitting to being tired in a two-inning stint against the Yankees last week.
Releasing him might satisfy a fan base out for metaphorical blood, but it leaves the Orioles on the hook for his entire salary with no chance of any type of return.
His trade value is lower now than it’s ever been despite the San Francisco Giants potentially looking for a late-inning reliever after learning that closer Brian Wilson will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season. Even finding a team to take Gregg would be a challenge at this point, let alone trying to get something of value in return or to entice an organization to pay a significant portion of his remaining salary.
Perhaps the best move is to wait as the Orioles did with Gonzalez a year ago. Through the first two months of the 2011 season, the southpaw had a 7.79 ERA and appeared destined to be released after an ugly start to the year. However, Showalter and the Orioles stuck with him — picking their spots to use him in mop-up roles for a significant portion of time — and Gonzalez eventually began pitching more like the guy the club envisioned when signing him, posting a 2.17 ERA in his final three months with the Orioles.
As a result, the Orioles were able to trade him to the Texas Rangers for Strop at the end of August. The hard-throwing, 26-year-old Strop now appears to be a potential late-inning option moving forward.
So, before completely writing him off and cutting ties with Gregg, Duquette should take a long look at what happened last year.
History may not repeat itself and the Orioles may not be able to get anything for Gregg between now and the trade deadline, but the slim possibility is enough reason to stash him away in the bullpen for a little longer. There’s no reason to make a bad investment worse simply because it makes you feel better at the time.
The Orioles can only hope Gregg somehow straightens himself out in the coming days and weeks.
For the sanity of all parties involved.