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The indignity of 100 losses for the Orioles

Posted on 29 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Naturally, the Orioles theme of the offseason — after the firing of Dave Trembley at some point this Monday — will be “progress.” Isn’t that what Jim Hunter and Rick Dempsey talk about after all of these losses, night after night?

Andy MacPhail (and after 2 1/2 seasons of this perpetually sinking ship that knows no depths, we might revert to Chicago’s theme of referring to him as “MacFail,” but that would be giving him too much credit) will preach youth and patience and the injuries to Brad Bergesen and Adam Jones derailing an otherwise promising campaign in 2009.

Brian Matusz is Mike Mussina. Matt Wieters is Joe Mauer. Adam Jones is the next Eddie Murray.

Blah, blah, blah.

Look at the standings. Look at the scoreboard. Look at the 11-game losing streak that they’re adding to every night with complete disasters coming out of the bullpen on a 24-hour cycle. (Oh, that’s right, you forgot they were even playing back around the time Route 140 opened toward Westminster on July 30th!)

I sat the at the bar at Piv’s Pub in Cockeysville last night in a sea of NFL watchers as the Orioles played on one little TV with no one watching them find a way to blow another game.

The Orioles are entering some very dangerous territory here this week: losing 100 games would almost surely convince even the most “bleeding orange” fan that this is not a franchise in the midst of a dramatic “Tampa Bay-like” turnaround.

Wouldn’t it?

Oh, that’s right: the people who STILL believe that the Orioles are “changing their ways” can NEVER be convinced that this civic disaster of a franchise is anything but:

A. Doing the right thing.
B. Changing for the better.
C. Going to the playoffs next year.

It’s too easy to pile on at times like these. With the Orioles, it’s always like shooting fish in a barrel to drop a steamer on them — usually on the field, but ALWAYS off the field.

When they lose 30-3. When one of their pitchers start headhunting. When they’re in the middle of an 11-game losing streak. When the bullpen is a band of arsonists. When steroids allegations come. When they ban free speech from the media. When they treat anyone with an IQ over 90 like a moron. When they tell 1,500 real Baltimore sports fans to “stay home.” When they say they want to promote goodwill and community loyalty while pissing on the biggest media entity on the internet in the city.

It just never ends, does it?

For those of you who hate me remember this: I can’t WAIT for the day when they stop giving “haters” like me this most obvious of material.

The ONLY thing that matters is winning. Because no matter how poorly they continue to treat people who want to help them, they really believe the floodgates will open with fans the nanosecond they go two games over .500.

But here’s the cold reality circa September 2009:

They’re 60-96. They have six games left.

They need to SPLIT the final six games to avoid triple digits losses for the season — and this would be the first time since 1988 that this has occurred and the lowest depth of the Peter Angelos era. (The Birds also went 54-100 in 1954.)

Can they avoid the supreme embarrassment of 100 losses?

I don’t know, but you’d think pride would take over at some point this week, wouldn’t you?

Guess we won’t be seeing those Dave Trembley MASN ads with him treating his wife poorly come next spring training, huh?

Bon Voyage, Dave. I’m sorry I never spoke to you but there was nothing I could’ve done to help your image or keep your job.

You were doomed from the start…

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Orioles August report card

Posted on 01 September 2009 by Keith Melchior

The Orioles were reeling out of the All-Star break having won 9 of 25 games going into August. As Ravens training camp bega, the only things keeping fans somewhat interested in the team were names like Tillman and Matusz as people are curious to see the “arms” in action.

Brian Roberts– B+  …He can’t wait until October 1st. Still a very solid player and among league leaders in doubles and runs scored. He is one of the best in the league —-

Adam Jones– B+   …His average dropped aout 20 points in August. He was hurt and missed about a week. Still plays too shallow in CF at times. Lots of balls get over his head –

Nick Markakis – B+  …Probably the best right fielder the Orioles have had since Frank Robinson.—

Melvin Mora – C- Has shown he hasn’t lost his power, but only 6 home runs all season doesn’t get the job done —

Luke Scott – C … slump slump slump..He’s way out of position at 1st base.. Having 20 HR going into August is a bright spot.

Robert Andino – B.. Was a solid performer when he got the chance. With Izturis back and hitting, Andino plays 2 times a week in the Trembley platoon system—

Felix Pie– B  ..  His hard work paid off and he has finally shown he CAN hit and hit for power. His baserunning blunders have to stop though. I am pleased to give him a B this month —

Ty Wigginton– B+ .. He’s been playing 3rd and 1st base and playing pretty well—

Matt Wieters – B ..  He’s been reunited with most of his minor league mates. Doing a good job calling games. He hasn’t been the force many fans hoped he’d be —

Nolan Reimold – A-.. This guy flat out hustles every play. His power numbers have been way off since early July.  That’s how you lose playing time to Felix Pie.  —

Cesar Izturis – B .. Not a #2 hitter but there are no other options with the lack of a power hitter in the cleanup spot –

Various Pitchers;

Jeremy Guthrie– D ..  Still allowing too many home runs.

Koji Uehara – STILL MIA  .. –

Danys Baez – C- .. the new set up man…he sets up the opposition and gives them a chance to win-

Jason Berken -C- .. This kid has guts. He goes out there every 5th day and does his best. He won

Jim Johnson..  B+  .. Has done a good job as closer thus far.

David Hernandez – C.. His big problem…he can’t consistently get past the 5th inning.

Brian Bass– B …Gives them much needed middle relief when the majority of the starters can’t get into the 6th inning.

Mark Hendrickson – A- .. Has given the team stellar efforts out of the pen. He should be the primary lefty middle man next season. Forget starting him unless in emergencies..

Brian Matusz – B .. He has to learn how to pitch at this level. He hasn’t been as unhittable as he was in the minors, but didn’t he skip the AAA level?

Chris Tillman – C ..  He gets into trouble by allowing the home runs. He needs  to continue learning like Matusz. It’s going to be up and down until the light bulb comes on for these 2 guys. 

Dave Trembley– D .. The Orioles are 24 below .500 and at 54-78,  they are playing .409 baseball going into September. That happens to be the 4th WORST record in the major leagues. Trembley’s record as Oriole manager is 162-223 for a paltry .420.  IF the Orioles decide to bring him back in 2010, they’d better keep him around the whole season. If he is going to go into 2010 with an axe hanging over his head should the team get off to a slow start, then they should at least give the man the respect he is due for being a loyal company man and cut the ties come October 5th.

Overall –  As we get into September, the rosters will expand to 40 and Trembley will probably shut down most of the rookie pitchers because they aren’t used to pitching so many innings. They DO have the entire winter to rest. Are they somehow miraculously going to be able to pitch 175 to 200 innings next season?  Hell, most of them have only averaged 5 innings per start anyway, so what’s the big deal?  I want to know what is going to change next season that will make this team better than it is now.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Posted on 27 August 2009 by mike3505

Now, that’s a little bit more like it…

I don’t often laud The Sun, but I have to give them major kudos for printing the  story today about the atrocious baserunning we’ve had this year

I couldn’t help but chuckle reading the team’s responses, particularly those of Juan Samuel, who all but questioned weather or not many of this year’s crop of Orioles belong in the major leagues at all.

On the one hand, it was good that Dave Trembley accepted full responsibility for this debacle (as he rightly should), but then he couched it in rhetoric about improving communication and the like. True, he isn’t the one making the boneheaded mistakes out there, but the manager and the coaching staff, from every level of any organization you care to name, is ultimately responsible for teaching these basic baseball skills.

It is far easier to understand a guy like Felix Pie or some other rookie making mental errors when they first arrive (notice that I said understandable, not acceptable), than the mistakes being made by our more veteran players. Is it not concentrating? Is it lack of direction? Is it they simply “don’t have their head in the game” or that some simply don’t care? A combination of all of the above? Either way, come next year, whoever the manager and coaches are, they MUST find a way to correct this situation. A talent and money-rich team like the Yankees or Red Sox can afford a certain number of gaffes because they can simply wallop their way out of any corners in the long run. But a team like the O’s who have little to no margin for error to be successful for the forseeable future simply cannot afford to run into outs or give outs away.

Hopefully, an article like this may just cause the organization to wake up a little bit and get some fires under some collective gluteus maximi. It certainly couldn’t save this season, but it definitely could improve the overall picture going forward. However, my more cynical and sadly more realistic nature tells me that it might just get Samuel on the hot seat as much or moreso than Trembley, and come 2010 it just might be business as usual. We’ll see.

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Trembley, Carano, Criminal Wideouts, and a Date w/ LT

Posted on 21 August 2009 by The One You Love

So I introduced myself to the WNST world with a blog about golf. That’s one of my top passions. What I wanted to do in my second shot was to go over some things that I think and hopefully light a fire or two under some of you to get some response. I know this is a sports site, so I will keep my thoughts as close to that as possible. I figure list form is always best when making a series of claims so here goes:
1.) I am not an Orioles fan in any shape or form. My family is in New England so I tend to lean towards the Red Sox, but as a young kid, when the O’s were still kind of relevant, they were my second team. And nothing would make me happier to than to see them re-emerge as a power in baseball. I preface my opinions on the team with that beginning piece. Some things I know about the team include if they fire Dave Trembley, it would rank up there with one of the most unjust things that has ever happened in sport. That man has had some of the worst and most inexperienced talent a major league roster has seen ever. Not to say Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones aren’t talented right now, or that some of the younger guys don’t have promise, but the pitching has been suspect at best, and the organization has been preaching to him that if he stays dedicated to getting this team righted, much like the fans in this town, they will be rewarded with a competitive product. That would be most unfair and unfortunate to Trembley if they fired him before he could see that come to be.
2.) I am pretty bummed Michael Vick didn’t end up here. Like I know we have Troy, and he is excellent in running his part of the NFL Option (I HATE the term Wildcat; all it really is, is an option offense). I like him a lot. He is a winner. But I would have wanted Vick just for the mere circus it would have created. I don’t think what he did was really that wrong. Yes its horrible to end life early, as he did to several of his dogs. But what bothered me about what he did was the gambling aspect, and not so much the dog fighting aspect. We live in Baltimore. I’m sure that stuff goes on all the time in our streets. Hell, my sister helped to rehab a baby pit bull pulled from such an environment. The guy went to jail, paid his retribution. It doesn’t matter if he is a role model or not. He wasn’t hired by the Eagles to babysit your kid or to tuck them in at night and bring them milk, cookies, and a warm hug. he was signed to take the football, run or pass, and score points. He is going to do amazing things for Donovan McNabb and Philly’s offense. Call me a little jealous.
3.) A sarcastic ‘Way to go’ to Christiane ‘Cyborg’ Santos for pummeling Gina Carano pretty much killing any chance women’s MMA will ever be anything of value in this country. See with women’s sports it pays when your starts are attractive to the eyes of the 18-45 year old male. There is no person who can tell me that’s not the case. Carano is a hottie, plain and simple. Santos not so much. Destroying Carano basically makes it obvious that the better looking competitor couldn’t hold up as the marketable ‘Big Name’ in the sport. It helps that Danica Patrick, Natalie Gulbis, Jennie Finch, Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Heather Mitts, Gabrielle Reece, Candace Parker and other stars in their sports are gorgeous AND have won. This markets their sports. This makes them more appealing to watch. Their hot and their good. Great job by ‘Cyborg’ for wrecking something which could have really worked out in MMA’s favor.
4.) Joe Flacco will have a better season than Matt Ryan this year. In college Matt Ryan threw more passes than any quarterback when he was in college at all three levels. Joe caught up last season, especially over the last 2/3rds of the season. I have really good feelings about Joseph Vincent this year. The light seemed to click for him last year right around the Houston game. In fact, it seemed like the offense as a whole clicked around then. And besides for the Pittsburgh games, it seemed to stay above water. And I’m glad we didn’t get the big time receiver. There are certain people in this town I would like to see have to suffer as the Ravens once again compete for the Lombardi trophy without a so called Go-To receiver. By the way, I’d take Derrick Mason any day after what he did last year.
5.) I figure I’d go out with a parting shot. I saw on my Comcast On-Screen guide that it looks like WJZ has decided to broadcast the O’s-Indians game on Saturday Aug 29th instead of the much more appealing NFL preseason game between the Chargers and Falcons. Look, this time of year the Orioles are as much of a Dan Quayle-like non-factor. I would much prefer to watch LT and Phillip Rivers duke it out with Atlanta. Can’t we put this pointless baseball game between two cellar-dwellers on some other network and make the NFL game available. Look, we only get 24 weeks of football a year. That’s a lot less than the 127 weeks of baseball a year. Don’t take a good season appetizer away for Felix Pie against Carl Pavano.

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Orioles continue to sink even lower than we thought possible

Posted on 20 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

As the biggest critic of Orioles ownership over the last decade, I’ve purposely refrained from being particularly hard on the team in 2009. Unfortunately for you, the WNST fans and true Baltimore sports lovers, they have me right where they want me. I’m back on the radio without a press pass to their games and no one is going to tune into my show if all I do is tell the truth, and bury them for their ineptitude, mean-spiritedness and general incompetence over the past dozen years for four hours every day.

And at this point, what do I have to lose? Short of them killing me, what do they have left to take away from me?

The team is awful (again), there is not an iota of pride remaining in being an Orioles fan and I’ve watched about 90% of the action this season and I’m here to tell you that it has NOT been a fun or memorable summer for baseball here in the land of pleasant living.

And really, telling the truth — see the paragraph above — is NOT what Baltimore wants to hear from me about the Orioles. It’s like a broken, freaking record — me bitching about the Orioles.

And, here in the summer of 2009, the truth hurts and this blog hurts!

At their current pace, the Orioles “defining moment” of 2009 might be their 100th loss sometime around October 1st and that would certainly speak volumes for where the organization stands in the MLB cosmos.

As every sports fan in Baltimore has uttered at some point since the turn of the century: “Thank God for the Ravens!” And anytime we even think about talking Orioles baseball at WNST, someone will send a nasty note over stating this: “Just forget about the Orioles and talk about the Ravens.”

Well, as I said three years ago during the Free The Birds campaign, I will not be letting Peter Angelos or any of his servants off the hook for this decade-and-a-half civic tragedy — the worst stretch of bizarre local ownership and strategy since Bob Irsay pilfered the Colts off in the middle of the night back in March 1984.

No, we’re not done with the Orioles. As Drew Forrester has said many times: “We’ll either kill them or fix them. It’s their choice.”

But this current dismal summer of dreadful baseball — in a season when “miracle-man” Andy MacPhail has talked about promise for young players — still has six weeks left on the schedule and there are no creampuffs left on the docket and there is no end to the bleeding in sight.

You can piss on me in the comments below all you want, but this current team they’re fielding might be the worst of them all on some nights because we all want to buy into some hope and promise for a better team in the future.

Here is your stat of the day: the Orioles were 40-48 at the All Star break, which is hardly acceptable or decent, although MASN’s lame coverage and “state run” media would tell you this was a team “on the rise.”

Now, the Orioles are 48-72, which means they’ve managed to go 8-24 since Adam Jones doffed the cap in St. Louis.

Folks, that’s .250 baseball and 32 games is about 20% of the season by my math. Of course, when you’ve already put up a legendary 4-32 a few years ago — and for now, we’ll just let the 1988 team off the hook because that had nothing to do with Peter Angelos or 2009 — somehow 8-24 doesn’t sound like it sucks so bad.

But it sucks. And this team sucks. And this ownership still sucks. And the broadcasts still suck. And MASN still sucks. And — once again — it’s another set of broken promises, lies and “come ons” about progress, youth, getting better and competing in the AL East.

And this was supposed to be the time of the season when the team starts to exhibit some signs of hope for the future and some momentum going into 2010?

What stat do you want me to throw at you? They’re 4-14 this month. They haven’t won in a week. They can’t score runs with the bases loaded and nobody out.

They’ve dealt away three veterans and gave Aubrey Huff away for nothing. Every night the team is behind it seems.

And I’m not really sure that any of these young players know how to win or are surrounded by any positive role models who’ve won. Gregg Zaun was the only guy with a ring and they gave him away, too.

Here’s where the orange Kool-Aid drinkers will say: What about Adam Jones? And Nolan Reimold? And the promise of Matt Wieters? Blah, blah, blah…I hope they all step up in 2010 or beyond and make me eat my words. But for now, we report the truth.

And here’s the truth:

The ownership group of this franchise has lied to the city for years about just about everything.

“We’re close” or “we’ll win next year” or “we have some exciting young players” all sounds like incoherent babble at this point. MacPhail has bragged about all of the pitching in the system with the likes of Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta coming to “The Show” and making the Orioles competitive in the elite AL East division.

I’ve now seen them all. They all have some nice strengths but some glaring weaknesses. None of them have the hype of a Ben McDonald and if they’re all as good as he was the Orioles might sniff .500 at their zenith of this era. Pitching is never a sure thing in the majors. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that.

Ok, so now what happens? This offseason won’t be much different from any in the past. How can this team possibly get better or find talent outside the organization during the winter to compete in the AL East?

When does this team finally turn the corner and even feign some competitiveness that will lead them somewhere near a .500 record in the future?

When will the team be able to attract any top free agents to come to Baltimore and help the team compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox?

Where’s that “veteran, straw who will stir the drink” that the Orioles will bring in to show some leadership?

Once they fire Dave Trembley, who will be the “next victim up” to try to get the Orioles out of the cellar?

When will the team stop banning free speech and allow the legitimate media back into the stadium to ask questions?

When will they stop running these stupid, mind-numbingly phony commercials on MASN that make the games all but unwatchable on top of a team that has been wretched over the past month?

When will residents of Boston and New York stop filling our city and our ballpark with out-of-town fans who boo and jeer young Orioles players from the moment they arrive?

It’s just a dreadful, dreadful product right now — the entire package of Orioles baseball. Going into September, I can’t remember a season worse than this because the promise of these young players from lips of MacPhail and the baseball “establishment” back in the spring was palpable.

We were supposed to feel better about the team at the end of the summer, not worse…

From going to the games to watching the games on TV to following the progress of the team even through the box scores and the standings every day — this really isn’t any fun.

It’s not fun to watch. It’s not fun to talk about. It’s not fun to listen to me on the radio talking about it.

Honestly, to any thinking person this is about the worst summer yet in a dozen horror shows since 1997.

But you don’t really want to hear that from me, do you?

They promised hope. They promised progress. They promised excitement.

They’re dangerously en route to playing the last two weeks of the season and not trying to hit triple digits in the loss column.

They made promises not only to you and me but also to Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis, who were the latest to sign multi-year contracts here under the guise that the team would show progress and get competitive.

Of course, Jim Hunter will tell you every night that 8-24 is progress.

Obviously, from where we sit today, it just looks like the latest batch of lies from Angelos and his henchmen.

Orioles Baseball 2009 — Feel The Tragic!

Ooops. That’s right. I’m not supposed to criticize the home team, am I?

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Orioles doing the el-foldo again. Aren’t you mad?

Posted on 11 August 2009 by Keith Melchior

A month or so ago, Dave Trembley was furious that an umpire allegedly told him his guys weren’t hustling. People were jumping on the Dave Trembley bandwagon after that show of fire and passion for his team.

My, how things have changed. The All Star break began exactly one month ago Thursday. The Orioles were on a mini-streak of winning 2 straight series against Seattle and Toronto and were winners in 4 of their last 5 games and pulled to within 8 games on the .500 mark at 40-48. So much for momentum.  Did Criss Angel make the real Baltimore Orioles suddenly disappear?

Since that break, the Birds have played 24 games and won only 6, that’s right, SIX games. Now sitting at 46-66, they are the 2nd worst team in the AL and 4th worst in all of baseball. Trembley now sits in the dugout looking like he just found out his girlfriend wants to date other guys. The Orioles have reached their lowest point in the season and people are now starting to get a little more than disgusted with this team. 

 I mentioned a few months ago in a blog, they needed to bring in a solid winning veteran pitcher to teach these young guys how to pitch to major league batters. There is no one on this club who is experienced enough or qualified to teach, and that includes the manager and pitching coach. Those guys have proven time after time, either after throwing 100 pitches or lasting 5 innings, they are going to take the pitcher out of the game and turn it over to the bullpen.

Brad Bergesen is the only pitcher on this staff who looks like he knows what he is doing out on the mound. He IS a pitcher. If the other guys follow his lead, maybe they’d be successful. Bringing Tillman and Matusz up were PR moves to try to put fannies in the seats. Neither has really looked like the world beaters they appeared to be in the minors. It is a totally different world in Norfolk and Bowie. The things you get away with pitching against Columbus, Reading or Pawtucket will get you knocked around in New York, Detroit and Toronto.

I think it was a huge mistake to bring Tillman and Matusz to a club that has pretty much packed it in and is simply going through the motions at this point in the season. Yes, it gives them experience at the major league level, but they were winning in the minors and should have remained there for the rest of the season. Everyone is quick to make the excuse about innings pitched during a season. The minor league season is about over and these guys are extending it a little longer. Trembley had talked about using a 6-man rotation as the season winds down, just to give everyone a few extra days off. How did Maddox and Glavine both get to the 300 win plateau? They were pitchers who learned how to get batters out, get into the 8th innings by throwing less than 100 pitches, and most importantly, they knew how feed off of the success of each other while with the Braves. I do not see an inkling of that happening here.

Being 20 games under .500 and 23 games out of 1st place is, in itself, and EMBARRASSMENT to the city of Baltimore. I don’t want to hear, “well, if they played in the Central or West divisions, they’d be better”  They’d be 13.5 out in the Central and 21 out in the West. They have done NOTHING to improve and will continue to lose fans if they keep up that practice.  By packing it in before the season began and telling the fans, “We’re not going to win this season, but be patient, we will,”  they have totally ruined ANY chance of getting a high level free agent to come to Baltimore unless they grossly overpay him. Players do not want to play for losing teams unless they are going to be paid rather handsomely, especially teams that don’t even look like they want to get better. Look at Miguel Tejada. The Orioles signed Tejada by offering more money than any other club was willing to give him. They didn’t before Tejada, didn’t win with Tejada and they aren’t winning without him. What’s that tell you?

TWELVE seasons of watching sub-par baseball being played by the Baltimore Orioles makes me sick. I don’t buy the belief that the future will hold good things. I see no one in that clubhouse that is able to sit down with Tillman, Matusz, Berken, Hernandez, and Bergesen and actually TEACH them the ins and outs of being a successful pitcher in the major leagues.  By signing a Roy Halladay, they could get just that, a guy who is a winner, knows how to pitch, and could be an extremely positive influence on these young guys. They aren’t going to learn on their own and Jeremy Guthrie sure isn’t enough of a winner to show them anything positive.

I said it before and I’ll say it again.  Get the stench of 12 years of losing baseball away from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. FIRE Dave Trembley and his ENTIRE coaching staff. Do NOT replace them with any ex-Orioles. Sign a top-notch free-agent pitcher who is a proven winner and still knows how to win games.  Sign a power hitting 1st or 3rd baseman who can hit 25 to 30 HR a season. The team needs balance andthey aren’t going to have balance with a lineup of mostly 2nd and 3rd year players. They need that veteran winning presence in the locker room.

The Orioles have lots of dead weight hanging on to the 40 man roster. Mora, Huff andBaez are gone after the season if not sooner. I’d dump Guthrie, Pie and Ray as well.  They have a good nucleus with Reimold, Jones and Markakis in the outfield, Wieters behind the plate and Bergesen, Hernandez, Johnson, Albers, Bass and Hendricksonall proven to be adequate on the mound. Izturis and Andino have given them decent play at SS, Roberts is going to remain at 2nd unless he gets totally disgusted and wants out of here, and Wiggintonis a valuable utility infielder. The DH is pretty much set with Luke Scott who should get 500 at bats in that position.  Tillman and Matusz are not proven major league starters just yet, but mixing in a few veteran pitchers may help them develop.

I go back to the record. 46-66  .411 baseball, losing 18 of 24 games, and with 28 being the lowest magic number, they could be mathematically eliminated from winning the division by August 31st.  No more excuses from the warehouse, broadcasters, players, coaches, manager or those wearing orange colored glasses or sipping the orange kool-aid!  No more defining moments. The team has given you nothing but a load of garbage since 1997. When are people going to reach the breaking point and be mad enough to not take it anymore?

 Regardless of what the front office feeds you about the not-so-distant promising future, doesn’t the past and present state of Orioles’ baseball make you mad and less willing to forgive them for making a mockery of the team you love as the losing continues?

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Orioles July Report card

Posted on 06 August 2009 by Keith Melchior

It is August 6th and the O’s are mired in last place, 17 games under .500.  Lots of good things have happened but the bad things just keep rolling on and on.

Brian Roberts– B  …I think he’s tired of losing and it shows sometimes—-

Adam Jones– A   …He is one of the few bright spots on this team. His All-Star at-bat was very productive. He won’t be a stranger to the All-Star game in the future –

Nick Markakis – B+  …He has been up and down but is still the best player on the team and still leads the AL in outfield assists—

Aubrey Huff – C-  .. His slump hurt his chances of being dealt to a contender, so why is this guy not hitting 6th or 7th? —

Melvin Mora – D..  A simple case of an older player thinking he is better than he really is. I didn’t realize he was second to Brooks Robinson in games played at 3rd base. Sadly, he never played a meaningful game or was part of a winning team while an Oriole, but he made a lot of money doing it —

Luke Scott – C … No clue what happened to him, but he had a terrible month of July at the plate. Still hitting a respectable .275 though —

Robert Andino – B.. Hasn’t done a thing to hurt his presence on the team—

Gregg Zaun – C..  He earned his spotty playing time by looking so bad for the first 3 months of the season. For a while I thought he was going to put up Wayne Gross numbers…10 HR and 20 RBI —

Felix Pie– C- ..  He has made the most of the playing time he got and hit close to .300 for July.  He has busted his butt working with the Crow but still looks way overmatched on occasion. He still doesn’t belong on this team. Can’t believe Trembley sent him up to pinch hit (strikeout) last Friday night

Ty Wigginton– B+ .. The team’s premier utility player, with some pop. He has been more productive with less at-bats than Mora. He should be playing every day until he stops producing —

Matt Wieters – B- .. He’s still growing up and can only get better. Hasn’t turned out to be the phenom that people believed he’d be from day 1, but he’s only been here 2 months..time will tell —

Nolan Reimold – B+.. Power numbers dropped off a bit in July but he’s still one of the top rookies this season. Why does Trembley feel the need to rest Reimold more often than Jones and Markakis and play Pie out there?  —

Cesar Izturis – B .. Came off the DL and played the way he did before the appendicitis. He’s adequate and solid at SS for what they get from him. –

Various Pitchers;

Jeremy Guthrie– C- ..  His stock is going down as the HR’s allowed pile up. Dempsey was making excuses for him after his last start. Maybe the Orioles were right in cutting his salary, maybe they should cut ties with this guy altogether  —

Koji Uehara – MIA  .. I thought they were targeting his return for late July. What’s going on? I haven’t heard a thing about him in almost a month –

Danys Baez – D .. The new home plate special…..DANYS GRAND SLAM   nuff said –

Brad Bergesen– A+  ..He has improved enough to be the Orioles ace this season. A very pleasant yet unexpected surprise —

Jason Berken – D.. He had endured butt kicking after butt kicking. I hope his psyche isn’t damaged. Hard to say what will happen to him in August and beyond. I think he deserves a chance to remain in the rotation and work things out. Don’t we have a pitching coach on this team?

Jim Johnson..  B  .. Has been a decent set-up guy. Now he is the closer with the trade of Sherrill to the Dodgers. Let’s see how he handles the job.

Matt Albers– B .. Middle to late inning relief on the Orioles can be a good thing or a bad thing.  Albers hasn’t hurt his spot but throwing much gas on the fires. –

David Hernandez – B+.. Started 8 games and has a 3.28 ERA, best of the current starters. He earned a spot in the 2010 rotation.

Brian Bass– B … Still the most valuable long-relief guy the Orioles have. Tied for 2nd in wins with Hendrickson.

Mark Hendrickson – B .. Great move taking him out of the rotation. He’s been a pretty good reliever and has gotten out of a few tough jams.

Rich Hill–  F…  wow….talk about miserable… Look that word up in the dictionary and see Hill’s picture next to it. Now on the DL and probably shut down for the season. If he was hurt all year as he claimed he was, why didn’t anyone figure it out? Was it a slick way to remain on the team and get paid?  Of course.

Dave Trembley– D- .. Camera shots of him on the bench sometimes make him look  like he lost his best friend. After October 1, he’ll probably lose his job too. Good managers make adjustments and improvements, Trembley makes excuses. He’s got enough talent on this team to win ball games, but he isn’t getting the most from his players.

Flagship – D .. Like many people, I usually listen to Oriole games on the radio while driving to or from home.  Anyone heard the pre-game shows on the flagship station?  It’s really brutal. You get maybe 60 seconds of Tom Davis/Dave Johnson followed by 3 minutes of commercials, followed by another 60-75 second segment, then 3 more minutes of commercials. I know they have to pay the bills and try to recoup some of the money they invested in getting the broadcast rights, but OMG, it’s so hard to take sometimes.  And what’s with Joe Angel and the “Mr Jones” thing?  Fred Manfra still over-says the batter’s names.  I counted 23 times he said Luke Scott, Luke, Scott or the Oriole DH.  I have to turn it off when Manfra is doing play-by-play. Thank God for JACK and the classic rock stations.

MASN – F ..  What’s my defining moment?  Changing the channels when those stupid commercials come on. Buck Martinez and Rick Dempsey have to go.  Martinez sometimes sounds like he’s had too many adult beverages before the broadcast. And what’s with that hair?  Lately Dempsey has been very quick to make excuses. When they are on the road, the studio has those monitors in the background showing the same highlights over and over. That is pretty distracting. Are they trying to make it look like a professional news/sports broadcast studio. They are doing a terrible job for all the money they made off this network.

Team overall grade– D .. They claimed they weren’t going to win in 2009 and they are correct on that prediction.  They were 9-16 in July after starting the month 5-6 prior to the All-Star break.  They did finish the month on a 3 game “Sunday” win streak. Last month’s battle cry that had everyone buzzing was “the comeback.”  That is a distant memory.  This month it’s the 6-0 record the team has when a pitcher makes his major league debut. Next month (August) when the team is 30 games out and 20 games under .500, it’ll probably be GOOOOOO RAVENS!!!!!!

Future – The future is now as Wieters, Bergesen, Tillman, Reimold, Matusz, Hernandez, Jones, Roberts, and Markakis are all together on the field. That leaves Jake Arietta as the last remaining piece of the original McPhail rebuilding plan. With the addition of the AA 3rd baseman and pitcher coming in the trade for Sherrill, it appears the wheels are still turning to continue developing the minor leagues. The “arms” are here. Most likely they will all continue to perform under the Dave Trembley “100 pitches by the 5th inning = a quality start”  program.  Let’s see how they do.  

 This team needs to get rid of the stench from having a losing record in 12 straight and 13 of their last 15 seasons. Right now on August 6th, Dave Trembley’s 2 1/2 season managerial record is 153-208  (.423), the worst since Mike Hargrove’s .414 from 2001-2003. Hargrove finished at .425.  Sam Perlozzo’s record was .426 in a year and 2 halves. Even the much maligned Lee Mazzilli had a .479 winning percentage before the coaching staff he inherited stabbed him in the back. Ray Miller had the best managerial record in the post-Davey Johnson era with a .484 winning percentage. If ownership wasn’t pleased with Ray’s performance, then Trembley is definitely out. Then again, Ray Miller came in on the heels of the ALCS loss in 1997 and the subsequent Johnson/Angelos feud.  If they Orioles front office decides to let Trembley go, they should also fire all the coaching staff and let the new manager bring in his own coaches. Start fresh with a totally new attitude and that means no more ex-Orioles as manager or coaching staff, please!!!

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As Trembley rolls under the losing orange bus, I’ll defend him…

Posted on 02 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Watching the post-game press conference with Dave Trembley today has been illuminating. The Orioles are really reeling. The pitchers gave up 23 hits today. They used six pitchers who gave up a collective 18 runs. Their No. 1 starter in the on the disabled list. Next up, they’re apparently bringing in their No. 1 prospect in the organization, Brian Matusz, for Tuesday night and the manager is taking massive heat.

Today they were beaten 18-10 and swept while nearly 100,000 Red Sox fans rolled into Camden Yards this weekend and booed his young players while they floundered.

Before the game, his all-but-washed up veteran and emotional third basemen rolled him under the bus in a pre-game tirade that will go down as legendary.

Melvin Mora went on and on about “respect.” It was about as bad of a thing as you could possibly do to a manager in the middle of a bad stretch.

But I can’t blame this mess on Dave Trembley at this point.

As a matter of fact, since I’ve called for some clarity on his situation a few weeks ago I’ve honestly been tremendously impressed with how he’s conducted himself publicly amidst the losing.

I almost feel sorry for him. But for some reason, he’s not as testy in his post-game press conferences and I’m actually learning a lot as a fan. He’s been honest, decent and even-keeled during this stretch showing patience and concern and sharing real information and real management skills publicly.

You learn a lot more about teams and players and people when teams lose. Everyone’s a helluva winner.

Right now, Trembley’s team is losing and he’s taking the heat with dignity and respect for the media and the fans.

He’s explaining things and doing it honestly. That’s all I can ask for.

Melvin Mora says he deserves more respect. In my opinion, Dave Trembley and the Orioles fans deserve more production.

Here are some of Dave Trembley’s post-game quotes from today:

“I’m just glad our guys didn’t quit. I’m real pleased about that. We didn’t pitch well. To say we didn’t pitch well is an understatement. It wasn’t our day. Had some great at bats. Ran the bases well. They hit the cover off it.

“We’ll get it figured out. I had to extend some guys today. Hendrickson threw 30 pitches last night, gets extended today.”

On Jason Berken: “It’s been hard on him. I’m sure it’s been real difficult situation for him. He’s stuck and we’ve gotta do something to get him out. He’s in neutral and we’ve got to help him.”

On today’s strike zone and the umpires: “I’ve been suspended and paid an awful lot of money. I’m not going to comment on that.”

Zaun: “Who wants to lose your catcher in the 3rd inning of a game? It was a quick trigger.”

On the losing and the poor play: “It’s a lot tougher for them than it is for me. They’re doing the best they can. They didn’t get it done. I’m sure they feel absolutely terrible.”

On Mora and whether they’ve reached an understanding: “I don’t know. I don’t talk through the press. Here’s where I’m coming from: You show up to the ballpark and expect to play. And you do the very best you can all the time. And if you don’t play, you stay prepared to play. It’s about the team and it’s never about one guy.

And all of you people are very sharp and know how we do things. I’m not going to talk through the newspaper or the TV.”

“You pull for your guys. You want them to do well.

“We’ve got a bunch of young guys here. Don’t let the performance and the bad numbers make you think that you don’t belong here or that you shouldn’t be here or you should take a step back. Learn from it and prepare to pitch in four or five days.

“They know what their stats are. They know their performance. They know it better than you and me. And they’re reminded of it constantly. We’ve got to do something to help Berken and try to do something in the best interest of the team.

“You do what’s in the best interest of that person and the team.”


“I’m disappointed that he feels that way,” Trembley said.

“Melvin’s been a very good player for a long time. We don’t show disrespect toward anybody.

“I don’t look at things from that side. I don’t look at things from the negative or bad side. I try to do what’s best for the team. I try to do what’s best for each individual, but for the team, as well.

“It’s too bad that people’s feelings are hurt or feel disrespected and all that. That has never been my intent. I’m going to do the best I can for the team. I’ve never taken that stance to be personal toward anybody, and I think everybody understands that.

“I’m trying to help people. I’m not trying to hurt anybody. If I give a guy a day off, guys who are up there in age, they’ve played a long time, guys who are struggling, I’m trying to help them. I’m not looking to hurt them.”


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Trembley suspended for comedy show in Seattle

Posted on 10 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

While I thought it was funny — Dave Trembley doing his best Piniella-Weaver tantrum in the first inning on Tuesday night in Seattle — apparently Bud Selig and the boys at the MLB office weren’t laughing. Today, Trembley was given a two-game suspension by the poobahs and will miss tonight and tomorrow night’s games at Camden Yards against Toronto.

Bench coach Dave Jauss will serve as acting manager for a few days and those who are “done” with Trembley will get their wish for at least a few days.

By the way, it’s kinda crazy they could suspend Trembley when he was RIGHT on the call.

But who says MLB is fair?

Apparently, the reason he was suspended wasn’t necessarily the outburst as much as admitting to the media afterward that he continued to manage the game from the bench.

Aren’t we in a silly era when they still “throw out” managers who we all know are managing by proxy somewhere?

Trembley apparently declined an invitation to sit in the press box tonight. I suppose he’ll manage by “text” from somewhere in the owner’s box with a shrimp cocktail, a crab cake on crackers and a tie on next to Andy McPhail. Getting suspended is a respite from the fray and as evidenced by the display below, that might not be a bad thing…

Anyway, here’s a funny video from Seattle shot by fans behind Trembley over the dugout…

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Trembley tossed, Luke Scott muscles up as the “forgotten man”

Posted on 08 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

On a day when ESPN.com ran a gigantic story about the great future of the Orioles’ outfield of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nolan Reimold, it was Luke Scott who looked the present tense in Seattle as he devoured Mariners’ pitching for three hits and seven RBIs last night at Safeco Field in a 12-4 win.

Dave Trembley got tossed in the first inning after a Scott double and apparently told Scott “hit one out for me” and Cool Hand Luke answered with the biggest game of his career and the biggest individual effort since Ramon Hernandez’s 7-RBI night in Seattle back in 2006.

The video of Trembley’s ejection is here. It almost looks like he was trying to “stir it up” and get thrown out early in this one, even though he was clearly right on the call. After Scott’s double, the throw from the outfield toward the plate nicked the pitcher’s mound and took a wild bounce into the stands at Safeco. The lead runner should’ve been awarded home but wasn’t. Trembley went nuts!

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie was lifted in the 3rd inning with a bout of dizziness.

Here’s the full game story and box score at WNST.

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