Tag Archive | "Vladimir Guerrero"

This week’s #WNSTSweet16 reminds us of when “hype” has gone wrong

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This week’s #WNSTSweet16 reminds us of when “hype” has gone wrong

Posted on 23 February 2014 by Glenn Clark

Perhaps you haven’t heard that we’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. What’s that? You haven’t?

We’re celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look at some of the bigger “water cooler” topics that have been discussed during the course of the WNST era. We’re already six lists into the year, here’s a look back on them if you’ve missed any.

Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players

Perhaps it’s fitting that a warm, sunny Sunday mark the start of our eighth week. Luke Jones returns to the reigns of the #WNSTSweet16, and before it gets cold again, we’d like to think a little about baseball. Spring Training games start this week in Sarasota, making it an appropriate time to have baseball on the mind.

There is plenty of excitement for the start of O’s season in Charm City after the recent signings of P Ubaldo Jimenez and DH/OF Nelson Cruz. In fact, I would venture to guess that Birds fans might now describe themselves as “hyped” for the start of the season.

Of course, we’ve been here before. A number of players, whether acquired in free agency or brought up after being drafted and developed by the organization, have given us great hope but failed to deliver. That’s what we’re talking about in this week’s #WNSTSweet16, as the topic is The Sweet 16 “Orioles Who Didn’t Live Up To The Hype”.

Much like last week’s list, Luke has to deal with two sets of criteria. One is that the player has to have received “hype” (defined by Dictionary.com as “exaggerated publicity, hoopla”) before or upon his arrival. So Luke may end up ranking players based on just how much “hype” they actually received OR based on just how spectacularly they failed to live up to said “hype”.

The name Jeffrey Hammonds jumped out at me when we came up with this particular topic. Hammonds was viewed as a “complete” player that couldn’t miss after being selected fourth overall in 1992. Hammonds would go on to become an All-Star with the Colorado Rockies but never lived up to expectations in Baltimore. (This is particularly tough for me to accept because Hammonds is one of my all-time favorite Orioles and the player I was most wrong about in my life.)

In more recent years, two players the Orioles acquired (in different ways) tend to jump out. Andy MacPhail traded Garrett Olson to the Chicago Cubs in January 2009 for a prospect named Felix Pie…who…well…yeah. There are a lot of you who thought Felix Pie was the team’s next great outfielder. (Spoiler: He wasn’t.)

Before this past week, Vladimir Guerrero was the team’s most significant acquisition since the 2004 offseason (when they signed Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez). Guerrero arrived to much fanfare in 2011 (an offseason that also saw the Birds acquire well known vets like Derrek Lee) but failed to deliver-tallying just 13 home runs and 63 RBI. (But hey, he did show us it was possible for a player to have an On Base Percentage just 21 points higher than his batting average!)

Who else? What other Orioles didn’t live up to expectations or hype?

We want your ideas. Leave them here in the comments or email Luke via luke@wnst.net. We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Luke will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Drew Forrester on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. Luke will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Toyota Scion”.

When was the hype too much for an Oriole who just simply wouldn’t be able to live up to it? Let us know now!

-G

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Season of “Moneyball” begins for Angelos, Duquette, Buck & Orioles of 2012

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Season of “Moneyball” begins for Angelos, Duquette, Buck & Orioles of 2012

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

The second half of the Baltimore Orioles’ re-awakening 2012 season is about to begin and the local baseball fans are a bit befuddled by it all.

As a Baltimore sports fan, I’m never allergic to exciting wins and a 12-game over .500 start to any baseball season. We’ve seen a manager who not only channels Earl Weaver in his size, stature and mannerisms but also with shrewd use of role players and borderline big leaguers. It’s been three months of watching guys who are trying hard no matter who is called up from Norfolk or who hits the disabled list. We’ve witnessed the blossoming of a true superstar in Adam Jones, who signed a record contract in mid-May against all previous precedent given by the Angelos family.

And, for the first time since 1997, this version of the Baltimore Orioles has stirred fans’ awareness – if not necessarily their emotions or beliefs – that this could be a dog-days-of-summer presentation that will bare watching as the fellows in the purple sweaters practice in Owings Mills in two weeks.

But here’s the problem: the 2012 Baltimore Orioles roster — as currently assembled on July 13th — is either in parts of tatters, simply unproven or just flat-out stinks.

I’ve been watching baseball for 40 years and I can’t think of any situation that compares to this.

The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are 45-40, now just five games over .500. However, if the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs. It’s officially the second half of the season – I watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday night even if none of the rest of you did – and the Orioles have a legitimate chance to play at least one postseason baseball game in October.

In the new Bud Selig fantasy world of more October baseball and profit, the Orioles are truly contenders in a way we couldn’t have imagined in March and haven’t seen since the Clinton administration. And no one else in the American League East looks to be galvanized to go on a tear, either.

Meanwhile the young guns of Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter are all in Norfolk after repeated self-inflicted shots into the bleachers after a series of “Ball Ones” and long, hot innings of ineffectiveness and blown leads.

The now-rested bullpen will attempt to continue to atone for the sins of the many failed starts over the past eight weeks.

The offense is in tatters. Despite the trade for a post-40 Jim Thome – yet another acquisition a player who is in the December of his career ala Sammy Sosa and Vladimir Guerrero — the Orioles are at least making some attempt to get to October after such an encouraging start.

Will Brian Roberts be a factor in the second half? Is Nick Markakis fully healed from his hamate bone injury? Can J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters provide more offense in the second half? Is Xavier Avery a star or just another so-so-outfielder from the Orioles’ depth chart?

There are far more questions than answers heading into the second season of baseball.

The Orioles have been irrelevant for 15 years. This year it appears we’ll have the first-ever Ravens’ training camp opening where the orange team will be the ones making summer headlines.

Will they trade? Who will they trade? What will they get?

One thing we know: trades for legitimate pitchers and hitters who can help the Orioles will not only cost some prospects but will involve large sums of money to pay these proven

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Jays hoping former Oriole Guerrero can provide boost

Posted on 11 May 2012 by WNST Staff

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Your Monday Reality Check-If Pitchers And Catchers Report And No One Cares…

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Your Monday Reality Check-If Pitchers And Catchers Report And No One Cares…

Posted on 20 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Stop me if you heard this one before.

If Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training but no one has ever heard of them before, did it actually happen?

To at least some extent, that was the case in Sarasota this weekend. Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers reported to Ed Smith Stadium for an opportunity to prepare for a run towards the AL East crown introduce themselves to the men they now call teammates.

A year ago, there was a level of false hope about what a full season under manager Buck Showalter and the arrivals of veteran MLB players like Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds could do for baseball in Charm City. There is of course none of that in 2012, but you already knew that.

To be fair, I’m as surprised as you that Endy Chavez fever simply hasn’t spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

The start of Spring Training (most O’s pitchers had actually arrived in Sarasota in advance of this weekend’s report date) produced neither excitement nor as much as a batted eye to baseball fans in Baltimore this year. I will admit that I did not miss the insufferable “Happy New Year” updates on Facebook and Twitter from snobby baseball fans who are unaware their favorite sport is no longer our national pastime, but that’s the only good thing to be said.

It strikes me on this Monday that I honestly find myself pining for a year in which expectations (or at least hopes) for mediocrity fizzled into just another miserable summer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I’m not pining over memories of a World Series run or even a relevant game on Labor Day. I’m pining for a team that mattered…at least a little bit…on St. Patrick’s Day.

It’s that bad.

Some of you will likely use the comments section here to accuse me of wasting hundreds of words on taking a shot at the Orioles. I don’t know that I’ll really bother to argue much with you.

There will be plenty of storylines between now and Opening Day, it’s just that none of them will be interesting.

Someone will have to start against the Minnesota Twins on April 6. Zach Britton is the easy fan favorite, but will have to show his shoulder is 100 percent to even get into the competition. The team will reportedly have to line up four more starters behind whoever goes out for Game 1, despite the fact that you’d be hard pressed to name three quality pitchers in the group of 30 that showed up this weekend.

They also need one of those pitchers to finish games. Jim Johnson is the guy fans most want to see get the role. Fans’ second choice? Anyone not named Kevin Gregg.

Brian Roberts’ health will be the closest we come to seeing something compelling in March. A healthy Roberts would by no means guide the team towards contention, but it would be nice to see the veteran second baseman return to the field instead of being ushered into retirement. Barring injury all other starting positions on the field are set. That’s of course part of the problem, as even with talented players like JJ Hardy, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones suiting up there’s little hope of producing enough against the staffs in Boston, New York and Tampa Bay.

There will be some competition for bench jobs, but that excitement will wear off before I can finish typing the names Matt Antonelli and Jai Miller. But hey! Look over there! It’s Nick Johnson! I’ve heard of him!

We’re going to attempt to have some relevant baseball conversation over the course of the next few weeks. All of it will involve the phrase “not like it really matters, but…” at some point. If it doesn’t, the conversation will probably be started by someone asking “have you heard anything more about those rumors that Peter Angelos is thinking about selling the team?”.

We can only pray that at some point Dan Duquette makes an off-color comment about Brian Cashman’s off-field exploits to momentarily make the Birds interesting. If you’re not, rest easy knowing I certainly am. I’d settle for a rumor that Oil Can Boyd was going to get coked up and make a start at OPACY to promote his new book.

(Now that I’ve typed those words, I actually think it’s a hell of an idea. Please pass it along to someone.)

Yes, it’s baseball season again in Baltimore. Anyone wanna talk about Justin Boren’s future in purple?

-G

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Orioles Rock Bottom Team

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Orioles Rock Bottom Team

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Ryan Chell and I introduced a new segment Wednesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. The segment is called “The Starting Nine (Ten)” and is remarkably similar to “The Tuesday Top 7″ that you hear Drew Forrester and Luke Jones doing every week.

During Major League Baseball season, we’ll use “The Starting Nine (Ten)” to pick out the best players at each position in baseball (Pitcher, Catcher, DH, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B and three OF’s). It’s similar to how “The Morning Reaction” guys select the best Baltimore Ravens every week in season.

Outside of baseball season, we’ll select a topic and fill a roster with the same positions based on the topic.

For example, this week’s topic was “The Faces of the Rock Bottom Era of Orioles Baseball (1998-present).”

Here are “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Ryan and I put together…

Glenn Clark’s Nine (Ten):

Pitcher-Daniel Cabrera

Catcher-Brook Fordyce

First Base-Garrett Atkins

Second Base-Delino DeShields

Shortstop-Brandon Fahey

Third Base-Mark Reynolds

Outfield-Felix Pie

Outfield-Marty Cordova

Outfield-Larry Bigbie

Designated HItter-Vladimir Guerrero


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The End of the Andy MacPhail Era- The View from the Balcony

Posted on 16 October 2011 by Erich Hawbaker

Well, Andy is officially out as the Orioles General Manager. And by most accounts, he hasn’t left the team in any better shape than he found it. There’s plenty of talk now about the possibility of Buck Showalter being promoted to the front office, but we’ll see. I don’t expect anything will happen fast.

I, for one, suspected for some time that MacPhail would be bowing out as soon as he had the chance. Most of us know that he’s gunning for Bud Selig’s job. And, it became rather apparent to me that he reached the same conclusion so many of us have: Peter Angelos has absolutely no interest in fielding a winning team, and there is a 99.9% chance that the Orioles will not see the playoffs again or possibly even a .500 season as long as he still owns them.

Andy’s ‘grow the arms and buy the bats’ plan may have looked good on paper, but turned out to be a total bust. His “cavalry” of young pitchers (Matusz, Britton, Arietta, Tillman, Patton) fared about as well this season as General Custer’s cavalry did at the Battle of Little Bighorn. I will concede that sometimes prospects simply don’t pan out, and that is not entirely Andy’s fault.

But as far as buying the bats goes, he deserves every vile criticism we can throw at him and more. In 4 years time, what legitimate bats were bought? As far as free agents went, Andy’s tenure was marked by making joke offers to the likes of Adam Dunn and Mark Teixeira, and then settling for past-their-prime B-listers like Derrick Lee and Vlad Guerrero (and don’t hold your breath about Prince Fielder coming to Baltimore either). Of course, there’s only so much you can do when you have Peter Angelos keeping you on such a tight leash, but Andy doesn’t get a pass here. The Orioles haven’t been serious about signing free agents in over a decade, and MacPhail did nothing to reverse that trend.

For awhile now, I’ve been thinking about how best to summarize the time Andy MacPhail spent in Baltimore, and I happened to stumble across the perfect illustration on Youtube. This will be a first for me, using visual aids in my columns. Now, when you go to the link below and watch the clip from the old classic Muppet Show, I want you to do something. Imagine that Milton Berle is Andy MacPhail, and that Statler and Waldorf (the two old men in the balcony) represent we, the disgruntled Orioles fans. And instead of talking about being funny, suppose the discussion centers around the ability to build a winning baseball team (you’ll have to copy and paste the address below into your browser, because for some reason WordPress won’t let me put a real link in here). Enjoy!

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGfx3QAV64M&feature=related

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Now it’s time to say good bye..

Posted on 07 September 2011 by Keith Melchior

to one of the Orioles fam il eee…. B R I A N M….A T U S Zeeeeee.  (Sung to the tune of the Mickey Mouse club closing song)

Sad but true…

Brian Matusz, one of those fabled young arms that was going to lead the Orioles to the promised land in the 2010-2020 era, needs to be sent packing. Plain and simple. Thanks, but no thanks, clean out your locker, pack your bags,  and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.  Your time here is done, kid. We can’t afford to throw you out there every 5th day and watch you get lit up like a roman candle on the 4th of July.  Go fix yourself and if you can hook up with another team, best of luck to you.

The numbers speak for themselves. The pitcher, who led the charge of Buck Showalter’s 34-23 finish to 2010 and gave the team and fans so much promise to finally get over the top in 2011,  got himself hurt in spring training and lost it, all of it. He had 1 decent outing when he returned against a weak hitting Oakland A’s team. If you can call 5 1/3 innings, with 95 pitches decent. It seems like none of the Oriole starters can get into the 7th inning on a consistent basis, so 5 1/3 on this team is a quality start. Since then, Matusz has gone something like 0-8 with an ERA close to the cost of a beer at M&T Bank Stadium.

But he’s not the only one who needs a change of scenery….

Vladimir Guerrero -  Had the Orioles gotten him 8 years ago, they may have been able to make a few playoff runs. But that was when Vlad was a feared hitter and RBI machine. Now, he’s at the very end of his career and just hanging on for a paycheck. His lack of production proves it.

Jeremy Guthrie  – Yeah, the guy pitches his ass off. Yeah, he’s been on bad teams. Yeah, he’s not a true #1 starter.  BUT he  cannot win baseball games in Baltimore.  Jim Palmer was saying last night Guthrie will probably get to the 200 inning plateau within 4 more starts. That’s great Jim, but he is not even going to win 10 games this season.  So, he eats up innings, so did Russ Ortiz      (Ortiz probably ate BETWEEN innings)  but Guthrie’s not a winner. Don’t pass around that BS about lack of run support. He’s hurt this team early and often on numerous occasions and has given up an average of 29 HR per season. In 2011 he’s won 1 game a month. For the 2nd time in 3 years, he leads the league is losses (17 in 2009, 17 thus far in 2011)  He’s 32 years old has a career record of 44-65.  He has averaged barely 9 wins per season over his 5 years in Baltimore. He’s NOT going to get better.   Thanks, but no thanks.  Time to go.  Catch on to another team and win 20 games and a Cy Young award.  Best wishes.

Mark Reynolds -   This guy is the classic Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde type player.  Reynolds as a 3rd baseman STINKS.  He has an .897 fielding % to go along with his 26 errors and is the worst for 3rd basemen in team history. He is so bad at 3rd base he makes Craig Worthington, Rick Schu,  and Wayne Gross look like they were reincarnations of Brooks Robinson.  Now, Reynolds the 1st baseman is totally refreshing with no errors in 26 games and has made quite a few spectacular plays. The team really needs to make a decision on whether Reynolds is going to be their future 1st baseman. He is a major liability at 3rd. His HR production doesn’t offset the multi-strikeout games and the cast iron in his glove. First base or bust.

Luke Scott – a selfish baseball player if I ever saw one. Scott is nothing but a streaky hitter which means he is inconsistent at best. He felt the curse of being the Oriole MVP in 2010 by having issues with the  labrum in his right arm/shoulder area. He stupidly tried to play through the pain and shame on the organization for even allowing it.  His lack of production hurt a team fighting for mediocrity. It came at a time where they really needed to win baseball games to help build the confidence of their young pitching staff. Losing became  contagious and  Scott ends up on the DL.  Luke Scott is a liability in left field anyway, and was taking at-bats away from guys like Felix Pie (who never got it going, then was sent packing)  and Nolan Reimold (who has produced more with less chances) Scott should have been traded after last year’s success when he had value. Now they are stuck with him. Unless he is going to be the full time DH, there isn’t a spot for him on the team.

Kevin Gregg – Closers are a dime a dozen. Just ask Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara. They both did it and look what happened to them. If you pitch well and are any good , you might get traded to a team that can use your talents for a playoff run. If you aren’t any good, you become the Orioles’ closer.

Brian Roberts – The Orioles dumped Jerry Hairston Jr because he was “injury prone”  Brian Roberts happened to be the guy who replaced Hairston. Look what has happened to Roberts over the last 2 seasons… You’d like to see him return next season and repeat his 2008/2009 seasons. But wasn’t that about the time he admitted taking a PHD? Hmmmm…I think it’s time to start grooming a new 2nd baseman and quickly.

Andy MacPhail -  It was reported that MacPhail wouldn’t be returning as the Orioles GM or whatever lame title they gave him. I was not a MacPhail fan before and he surely hasn’t done anything with this club to make me a fan now.  Why people gave him a pass is beyond me. He was the GM in Minnesota from 1985-1994 and the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and again 1991 under his watch. He joined the Cubs as CEO/President in 1995 and was with them until 2006. He also served as the GM from 2000-2002.  The Cubs did nothing under MacPhail the  GM, but they did win the division in 2003 after he returned to his full time duties as President and CEO.   With MacPhail in control, his teams went to the playoffs a total of 4 times in 21 years with 2 World Series titles.  So, please  help me understand why this guy is supposed to walk on water?  He came to Baltimore with his BS rebuilding plan in 2007 and here it is 4 1/2 seasons later and the organization has gotten progressively worse averaging about 94 losses the last 5 seasons.   Whether his hands have been tied by the owner or not,  I say good riddance.

Last but not least…..

Two other guys who need to be sent packing as well;

Joe Angel and Fred Manfra – These two have to be the worst team of announcers in any sport, period.  Angel constantly using his phony accent trying to pronounce a Latin player’s name as well as his ending statement “the Orioles are in the ____ column” and Manfra saying a player’s name over and over and over and over and over again during a single at-bat makes for a pretty BAD radio broadcast. Angel has always been a Jon Miller wannabe. Manfra is a “I wish I was.”  These two have had to endure the stretch of losing seasons and it shows in their play by play. Their shtick is as old and crusty as they are and it’s time for them to retire. As much as I love the Orioles, I really hate listening to them on the radio while in the car.  It’s just plain bad.

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Live from Camden Yards: Are Vlad’s days as O’s cleanup hitter numbered?

Posted on 09 August 2011 by Peter Dilutis

BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles play the second game of a four game set against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night at Camden Yards as Jo-Jo Reyes makes his first start as an Oriole. Baltimore native Gavin Floyd will be making the start for the White Sox in his hometown.

Chris Davis is back in the lineup hitting 5th and playing 1B, which is welcome news for him to say the least. Davis has the final two months of 2011 to show Buck Showalter and the rest of the decision makers in the organization what he can do with the hopes of securing a spot on the team in 2012.

Buck was asked if these final two months will be a big enough sample size when the time comes to evaluate Davis’ performance.

“I think so,” Showalter said. “It gives you a pretty good sampling…I don’t think there’s anyone here sporting the background of minor league numbers like Chris. But, it’s minor league numbers. We’ll see. It’s the biggest jump in sports. The good thing about Chris is there are four sports you could put him in and he’d be an above average defender, so that’s exciting.”

Also in the lineup tonight is Vladimir Guerrero as he assumes his normal role in the cleanup spot. Guerrero, by all accounts, has been a tremendous disappointment for the Orioles after they gave him $8 million to be the big power bat that they have been missing for several seasons. As of Tuesday, Guerrero has hit just 9 HR’s while posting a career low .389 SLG and .700 OPS; and those career lows are by wide margins.

Buck Showalter was asked if he has considered moving Vlad out of the cleanup spot.

“I have,” Showalter said. “He obviously hasn’t been as productive as you’d like to see hitting in that spot in the order. If you look at some of our options, I know one I’ve considered; a couple. We’ll see. It is something I have considered.”

From being in the room, it was obvious that Showalter was treading carefully when discussing Vladimir Guerrero. This guy has a Hall of Fame track record and he is highly respected among his peers. Moving Vladimir Guerrero down in the order would be a big story, and I get the sense that Showalter doesn’t want to hurt his pride or create any sort of tension or awkwardness in the clubhouse.

That being said, Buck knows he has an obligation to the rest of the organization and Orioles’ fans across the globe to put the team in the best position to win, and right now it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Guerrero in the cleanup spot does not do that.

Tonight’s lineups:

Baltimore

SS: Hardy
RF: Markakis
CF: Jones
DH: Guerrero
1B: Davis
3B: Reynolds
C: Wieters
LF: Pie
2B: Andino

SP: Reyes

Chicago

LF: Pierre
SS: Ramirez
DH: Konerko
RF: Quentin
C: Pierzynski
CF: Rios
1B: Lillibridge
2B: Beckham
3B: Morel

SP: Floyd


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New Orioles P Tommy Hunter on new team: “I see good things coming”

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New Orioles P Tommy Hunter on new team: “I see good things coming”

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Ryan Chell

New Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter-who was one of two pieces in the trade last week that sent setup man Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers-despite making his debut last night in Baltimore’s 8-2 victory over the Royals, may know more about his teammates than what you might think.

Tommy Hunter

One of the biggest surprises was able to dish to WNST when he joined Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” on Monday before joining the club in KC?

Despite his former Texas Rangers teammate Vladimir Guerrero struggling at the plate this year , Hunter will be the first to tell you that it’s still to the team’s benefit to keep Guerrero around…

Because of his mother’s cooking.

“I don’t know if the city of Baltimore knows about that,” Hunter told Clark about the Guerrero family. “I know Vlady and Vlady’s mom very well, and she’s probably the best cook in the world. I’m so excited for that right now.”

But, obviously Hunter wasn’t traded at the deadline to partake in Mrs. Guerrero’s cooking. Hunter-a supplemental compensatory pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Rangers-was brought to Baltimore to solidify a struggling Orioles pitching staff.

Hunter, 25, came out of the bullpen in Tuesday’s victory over the Royals, earning a hold in his Orioles debut despite allowing a run on two hits.

He figures to be in the bullpen for the Orioles with the hope that a transition to eventual starting pitcher will take place.

Hunter-in his four-year career has appeared in 53 games and started 44 of them. He holds a 23-13 mark with a 4.36 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP.

His best season came in 2010, when he 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA in 23 games and 128 innings of work. He started out 8-0 on the year and didn’t lose his first game until the last day of July.

It’s something he hopes he can return to in the near future.

“I would like to consider myself a starter,” Hunter told Clark. “It’s something I came up doing. The relieving role isn’t my favorite, but it’s something if I’ve got to do it, I’m going to do it.”

“I’m not going to say no to pitching in the big leagues.”

All the success he had in Texas certainly made the news that he’d been traded to Baltimore as quite the shock, he admitted, but he understands the business.

“It pretty much caught me by surprise,” Hunter said. “I had no idea, but I see good things coming and it is what it is. It’s part of the business, and I’m a Baltimore Oriole. Let’s roll.”

Hunter said the hardest part was saying goodbye to all his friends and teammates in Texas over the weekend, and cleaning out his locker took hours he said on Monday in the clubhouse before he joined the team in Kansas City.

“It’s emotional, but it’s more for the people you came up with, the relationships you built,” Hunter said.

But at the same time, Hunter said he’s familiar with several of the guys in the Orioles clubhouse and organization-guys like Jake Arrieta, Clay Rapada, Jake Fox and Guerrero-and had some interactions with Buck Showalter coming out of college at Alabama.

“I went to high school with Jake Fox, so me and him go way back actually,” Hunter said. “He goes back to my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I played on the 2006 National Team with Jake Arrieta.”

“The thing is, we get to Baltimore and start a new family,” Hunter said.

Hunter was of course referring to the other piece of the Uehara trade-first baseman and still teammate Chris Davis, who also homered Tuesday versus KC.

Hunter had nothing but good things to say about Davis, and even though the baseball gurus see Hunter as the centerpiece of the trade, he will tell you otherwise.

“He’s super-talented,” Hunter said. “He’s an unbelievable first baseman, and as you can see from his stats this year in Triple A, he was just destroying [the ball].”

Hunter said that he will be a sight to see at the plate.

“He’s a very fun player to watch, and if he’s gonna get his at-bats…you guys are gonna have fun watching him,” he stated.

Overall, he knows both he and Davis are now part of the solution when it comes to fixing the losing culture in Baltimore, and he’s ready to tackle it.

“It’s a young core,” Hunter said. “It’s a young group in Baltimore and it just got a little younger but we’re gonna have fun…that’s the cool thing about it.”

“We’re gonna enjoy what we do, and we’re going to put together a run here shortly. The longer we play together, the more camaraderie and more team-oriented, we will become. If they can keep the young core together, we can grow together and it’s going to turn into something special.”

WNST thanks Tommy Hunter for joining Glenn Clark! Be sure to check out the conversation at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault!

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Faces of Orioles ‘Dark Ages’

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Faces of Orioles ‘Dark Ages’

Posted on 19 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

Continuing to watch Felix Pie stumble and bumble his way around left field night after night lead Drew Forrester and I to come up with an idea for this week’s Tuesday Top 7.

This week’s topic was The Top 7 “Faces of the Orioles’ Dark Ages.” The “dark ages” would be the time between 1998-present where the Baltimore Orioles have failed to post even one winning season.

Drew and I agreed that we wouldn’t include Pie on the list, mostly because at this point we would just be piling on.

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Travis Driskill

driskill

6. Garrett Atkins

atkins

5. Jose Morban

morban

4. Daniel Cabrera

dcab

3. Freddie Bynum

bynum

2. Rafael Palmeiro/Sammy Sosa/Vladimir Guerrero

palmeiro
sosa
vlad

1. Marty Cordova

cordova

Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Matt Riley

riley

6. Mike Gonzalez

gonzalez

5. Jay Gibbons

gibbons

4. Sammy Sosa

sosa

3. Adam Loewen

loewen

2. Brian Roberts

roberts

1. Justin Duchscherer

duch

If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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