It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because THIS was my dinner at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk last night…
The beer was cold, the crabs were hot. Despite what happened at Tropicana Field, I call that a WIN.
Let’s see what everyone has to say…
1. The AP’s Fred Goodall says Mike Gonzalez suffered blown save in first appearance as Orioles lost to Rays
Where do we start?
I think I’ll start with local blogger Chris Stoner, who thought he should have won our “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest last year. Probably due to rock solid analysis like this…
“If anything, Oriole fans should be enthusiastic of the pure stuff Gonzalez showed. Jim Palmer was right, if Gonzalez fell off the mound any more, he would have looked like a Mitch Williams clone.
With one inning of work, it was very evident to see why Gonzalez averaged more than a K per IP in 2009 (90 in 74.1 innings) while allowing just 56 hits.”
Look, I’m not going to try to tell you that the world came undone last night. As we know, last night’s loss was not Mike Gonzalez’s fault alone.
But…NOTHING about last night’s appearance from Mike Gonzalez should make Orioles fans “enthusiastic.”
He faced the BOTTOM of the Rays’ order. He threw a ton of pitches UP in the strike zone. Sean FREAKING Rodriguez started the rally. KELLY SHOPPACH absolutely crushed a ball. It wasn’t Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria who got hits ahead of Carl Crawford, it was SEAN RODRIGUEZ AND KELLY SHOPPACH.
Mike Gonzalez was TERRIBLE last night. It wasn’t all his fault, but he was TERRIBLE. Hence, Chris Stoner won our first “Apologist of the Morning” award from Drew Forrester and myself. But I’m putting Jenn Royle on notice. She said the Orioles would compete to finish .500 “if that was the last of Gonzalez’s struggles.”
And if Cesar Izturis manages to get 4 hits every game instead of 2, they might be better than that.
2. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Kevin Millwood ‘not brilliant’ as Birds fell in Tampa Bay
Luke Jones WAS our winner of last year’s “King of Baltimore Sports Talk” contest…and the competition wasn’t really close. Luke was a runaway victor, and his ability as an analyst is part of the reason why.
Kevin Millwood DID do enough to win, but he WASN’T great. Anyone who says that Kevin Millwood gave the Orioles a “great” start must have missed the fact that he gave up TEN baserunners in just 5 (plus) innings. He was OVERLY fortunate that when Matt Albers inherited runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs, he managed to work his way out of the 6th inning jam. Otherwise, Millwood’s numbers wouldn’t even look as good as they did.
The Orioles will need more than that if Millwood is to be their “ace.” I personally think the only hope the Orioles have of finding an ace on their current staff is Brian Matusz, but Millwood is the veteran #1 guy. He NEEDS to give them 6 innings (or more) in the bulk of his starts.
And I NEED to get 6 more pictures of Gemma Atkinson that look like this (Thanks Busted Coverage)…
Of course, the most striking number from last night’s loss is “1-12”, which is what the Orioles hit with runners in scoring position; producing NO RBI.
For the record, I’m not surprised. This is NOT going to be the last time the Orioles post a number like that. What many of us talked about this week (I called it a “woefully incomplete” lineup) came to fruition last night. This team might have more representative hitters, but they DON’T have hitters that fit the roles necessary to win games.
Most importantly (in this case), they don’t have a prototypical #4 hitter that is capable of driving in a bunch of runs. It ISN’T Miguel Tejada. It ISN’T Luke Scott. It ISN’T Nolan Reimold. It ISN’T Matt Wieters (at least not yet). Those players are all capable of filling roles, but “run producer” is NOT that role.
This is what happens when Andy MacPhail and company go with the philosophy that “someone will do it” instead of going out and getting the right guy to do it. For everyone who said “you can’t overpay for Matt Holliday”-that’s fine. But if you don’t, you’re going to have a bunch of games like the one you saw last night.
Of course, most of them will come after things don’t REALLY matter anymore-so we probably won’t be so angry about them.
4. St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin says Carl Crawford hero for Rays in win over Orioles
It wasn’t the first time Carl Crawford did the Orioles in. If he ends up signing with the Yankees (which is what EVERYONE expects), we’ll probably have many more YEARS of Carl Crawford nightmares ahead of us.
Before I move on from the Orioles-just a couple more things. Thanks to everyone who came out to Jimmy’s last night (including the gang from Camden Chat). We had a lot of fun, the staff knew better than to think they should put the Washington-Pittsburgh hockey game on, and there were free t-shirts for all.
Also, Jeremy Guthrie takes the hill for the Birds tonight at The Trop as they try to even the series against Matt Garza and the Rays. As Ray Bachman once said via Twitter (follow us @WNST), “somewhere right now, Jeremy Guthrie is dreaming about home runs flying over his head.”
5. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Matt Stover, Mike Nugent, John Carney top free agent kickers available besides Shayne Graham
Go ahead and scratch Matt Stover off the list. Like my friends told me when ABC cancelled “Step By Step”, it’s time to move on.
You know who else moved on from “Step By Step”? Christine Lakin, who played Al Lambert…
I bet she’s good at math.
As far as kickers go, we’re all going to continue to assume that Graham will be the guy until we find out otherwise. I’m not ruling out the idea that the team might go with another young kicker to compete with Billy Cundiff, as they’re not going to be interested in giving money to ANYONE-including Shayne Graham.
6. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Greg Mattison attended workout for Florida State CB Patrick Robinson
He’ll almost certainly be available when the Ravens pick 25th in the NFL Draft. Yet, for the same reasons I think Kyle Wilson might not be a great choice, there are reasons why I don’t necessarily think Patrick Robinson would be a great choice.
Robinson is 5’11”, which isn’t BAD size for a corner-but the Ravens HAVE corners in that range. I know the Bengals are EXTREMELY HAPPY with 2 sub-6’0″ corners in Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph; but that’s rare. The Ravens could REALLY use a corner who is an inch of two taller. That being said, they need SOMEONE.
Don’t forget that there’s another 5’11” corner available…
7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Cory Redding will wear #93, Marcus Smith switches to #11
Smith of course had to change his number because the Ravens acquired some guy named Boldin who will wear #81. I like that Duff pointed out that #11 was Larry Fitzgerald’s number with the Cardinals. Marcus Smith can use as many positive omens as possible.
Cory Redding is just sliding into Dwan Edwards’ old number the same way John Harbaugh and company are having him slide into his old position. Hopefully he’ll also slide into the success Edwards finally found in Charm City a season ago as well.
8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps punter Travis Baltz ready to ‘bounce back’ from injury riddled ’09 season
The remarkable thing about Maryland last year is that even when Baltz went down, Nick Ferrara did at LEAST an adequate (if not better than that) job of handling the punting responsibilities in his stead.
BUT-the Terrapins would be better off from a punting (and holding) standpoint with Baltz healthy.
The same way I would be better off if I knew more about who Michelle Hunziker is (Thanks Guyism.com!)…
9. UMBC Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Unitas Stadium to face Towson in lacrosse
Boy, could Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers EVER use a win.
Their ONLY WIN ALL SEASON was a 6-5 thriller at Rutgers.
Now, Towson hasn’t been overwhelming, but they’ve played better lacrosse of late-including a CAA win over Delaware.
And Unitas Stadium has hosted some solid primetime games in recent years, including Navy earlier this season and a CLASSIC with Johns Hopkins a season ago.
It’s worth going to watch some lacrosse tonight.
10. Terrapin Trail’s Aaron Kraut says new indoor football team playing at Cole Field House
They’re playing football at Cole Field House??? Is Lonny Baxter the WHOLE Offensive Line?
And finally, I leave you with this.
Last night was the 10th anniversary of the “Web Gems” segment on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight.” In honor of that, I offer you the Mark Buehrle play from Monday that I couldn’t get a highlight of yesterday. As I said earlier, Ho.Ly.Crap.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…