Posted on 15 May 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 11 April 2012 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 01 November 2009 by WNST Interns
I’ll get to McCarver in a moment. First off, the Orioles are selling hope based on the Arizona Fall League performances of prospects Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder. The two corner infield prospects have combined for 4 HRs and 25 RBI and their first 93 ABs in Arizona. The power showing of Snyder is encouraging (3 HRs in 51 ABs) given that he hit only 2 HRs in 262 ABs after a mid-season promotion to Norfolk. When the Orioles fail to acquire a power hitting 1st or 3rd basemen this offseason, rest assured that Bell and Snyder will be sold as the saviors.
I’d hate to be the pitching rubber at Citizens Bank Park tonight. Blanton is listed at 225 lbs. and that’s selling him short. Sabathia is listed at 250 and he looks like he should be playing left tackle for the Jets.
Every October (now November) baseball fans are forced to put up with Fox’s broadcast coupling of the smug Joe Buck and the perpetually clueless Tim McCarver. My distaste for McCarver goes back to my childhood when he was the color analyst on the Mets’ broadcasts on WWOR. Each game was filled with McCarver’s inane, pointless stories and Ralph Kiner’s obvious drunkenness. Listening to McCarver blather on for 3 innings tonight about how he didn’t think Blanton hit A-Rod intentionally made me long for Kiner to burst into the booth with a bottle of Jack. Blanton hit A-Rod for 2 reasons: 1. First base was open and it’s easier to hit him with one pitch than waste 4 to walk him; and 2. It sends a message and gets Sabathia warned before he ever takes the mound. Now if only Blanton would lob one up into the TV booth.
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Posted on 20 October 2009 by WNST Interns
With each passing inning it looks more and more like we’ll have a Yankees/Phillies World Series. Dust off those skulls caps. Some the late night, made for TV games could be downright frigid.
There’s no bigger MFY hater than your’s truly and I’ve been pulling for the Angels in this ALCS, but it just doesn’t look like they’re going to pull this out. The Angels have been unable to muster any kind of consistent offensive attack in the ALCS. Leadoff man Chone Figgins has been largely ineffective and the Angels lack the Yankees thump and threat of the long ball. Yankee Manager Joe Girardi came under fire for his game 3 bullpen management, but no one should second guess his decision to start C.C. Sabathia on 3 days rest. Sabathia is dealing tonight and the Angels have really failed to make him work. I’m holding out hope for the Angels, but as I type they are only 6 outs from being down 3 games to 1.
Turning to the National League I must admit I’m now rooting for the Phillies. I live in PA and have some friends who are Phillies fans, but my reasons for backing the Phils are purely selfish. I don’t think the Dodgers can beat the Yankees. The Dodgers top 3 starters through this Postseason have been Randy Wolf, 21 year old Clayton Kershaw, and Rangers castoff Vincente Padilla. The Yankees would eat that threesome alive. The Phillies are the best bet to down the Yanks. Philadelphia has the offense to battle the Yankees and the starters to match up against Sabathia, Burnett and Pettite. Just imagine Game 1, 4 and 7 matchups between former Cleveland teammates Cliff Lee and Sabathia. It would make for great theater assuming two things; 1. a major snow storm doesn’t postpone the series for a week, and 2. You’re not an Indians fan.
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Posted on 15 October 2009 by WNST Interns
As I type this post Manny Ramirez has just hammered a 2 run bomb into the Chavez Ravine bleachers to cut the Phillies game 1 lead to 5-4. It’s a great sign for the Dodgers as they’ll need a big series from Manny to have a chance to knock off the defending World Champs. While Manny missed 50 games this season for violating MLB’s drug policy Dodgers RF Andre Ethier emerged as the team’s top clutch hitter. Ethier set career highs in HRs, RBI and OPS in 2009. He hit 4 walk off homers and had a .932 OPS in late and close game situations.
The problem for the Dodgers is that for all Ethier’s heroics he does not fare well against left handed pitching with just a .345 slugging percentage in 187 plate appearances this season. The Phillies feature a rotation of left-handers Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and JA Happ and have the potential to start a lefty in 6 games of the potential 7 game series. Manny will need to catch fire to neutralize Philadephia’s advantage. Manny hasn’t put up typical Manny Ramirez numbers this season and he certainly let down his team and fan base with his suspension. With a career OPS of 1.067 against left-handers Manny will have plenty of opportunities to redeem himself.
As for the ALCS matchup, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia made the curious decision to start Joe Saunders in game 2. Saunders pitched to a 4.41 ERA this season and was 1-1 with a 4.72 in 2 starts against the Yankees this season. Jered Weaver and Scott Kazmir will be pushed back to Games 3 and 4.
Yankee Manager Joe Girardi has announced his intention to go with a 3 man rotation for the series and given the amount of rain expected in the Northeast over the weekend he may end up being able to start C.C. Sabathia 3 times in a 7 game series. Sabathia pitched well against the offensively challenged Twins in the ALDS, but he still has some postseason demons to exorcise.
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Posted on 02 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio
Let’s start with these simple facts: the last three days have been the best weather days of this or any other century and Oriole Park at Camden Yards has been pretty much devoid of any signs of life from Baltimore fans. There have been roughly 10,000 Orioles fans at the ballpark each night while the team is en route to probably getting swept tonight by the New York Yankees.
The evil empire. The doers of bad deeds, like paying the best players on the planet the most money to come and continue a winning tradition. They’re easy to hate but it’s mandatory that you respect the New York Yankees.
They play to win. For the most part, they exclude class. And you get your money’s worth.
And you know how much tickets have been for these games?
Yeah, eight bucks. So for just $8 anyone in a four-state area could come and watch the Orioles play under the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
So, clearly, people aren’t as turned on by Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, etc. as the ownership hoped we’d all be.
To my way of thinking, after 12 consecutive years of putrid, rancid baseball you’d think any signs of life and youthful exuberance would at least put a spark under people to support this seemingly nice young group of men who wear “BALTIMORE” on their road jerseys, except on Friday nights.
So it’s bad enough that no one really cares about the Orioles. Once again, for the 12th cruel summer in a row, we’ve been subjected to making the Orioles irrelevant in the sports landscape.
But what’s worse? It just occurred to me while seeing the sea of empty seats and hearing these MASN commercials continue to make me want t puke that not that many Baltimoreans have any interest in seeing the best baseball players in the world play for $8, either.
You would think between Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, local frenemy Mark Teixeira and C.C. Sabathia and Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite, some folks here would love the sport of baseball to come and see several sure-fire Hall of Famers play.
And, like on Opening Day, the ballpark had the potential to be overrun with Orioles fans but it’s not.
They’ve had 25,000 available empty seats the past three nights that the Orioles can’t seem to get their own fans to occupy for as little as eight bucks. And if people don’t want to see the Yankees play for $8 and they don’t want to see this group of “exciting young group of future Hall of Famers” what do they have left to sell?
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Posted on 12 August 2009 by WNST Interns
As I watched Mark Teixeira hit what would be the game winning homerun on Sunday night as the Yankees completed a four game sweep of the Red Sox, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.
The win pushed the Yankees to a seemingly insurmountable 6 ½ game lead over Boston, and well on their way to returning to the playoffs after a one year absence.
Their big off-season splash in the free agent market returned dividends yet again, as Teixeira added to his already gaudy totals for the year, and now has a league leading 29 HR and trails only Justin Morneau in the AL with 84 RBI. AND he’s still got two months of meaningful, regular season baseball left to play.
That projects out to around 42 HR and 122 RBI for his first full season New York, and if he can pick up the pace a little, he could easily post a .300 average. Who’s to say if anybody is worth $20 million, but if Teixiera can post those kind of numbers year in and year out, Brian Cashman won’t be losing much sleep over that signing.
Honestly, watching Teixeira pump his fist and celebrate with his Yankee teammates after dealing that crushing blow on Sunday didn’t sicken me in the slightest. I actually thoroughly enjoyed watching the entire game. It was a good, entertaining, meaningful baseball game.
Now, had Teixeira lost his mind and signed on to play this Grapefruit League brand of baseball they play here in Baltimore, now that would have sickened me. What a complete and total embarrassment that would have been. Can you imagine that guy, with that glove, and that bat, and that baseball IQ, running out there with this team?
By now somebody would have had to explain to him that we don’t believe in sacrifice flies in this town, that moving guys over with a bunt is for little leaguers, and that if you haven’t been thrown out at third base, well, you just haven’t really lived yet.
Could you imagine the regret that guy would feel every time he hopped on I-97 and headed to the ballpark. Imagine the ride home each night. Ughh. I mean, steamed crabs are good and all, but they ain’t that good.
He would have a hard time convincing me that he had a better job than me. Honestly.
This isn’t about the Orioles’ future. I might still believe in that- they don’t make it easy, but I still might believe. It’s really about the past.
It would have been one thing if Teixeira could have looked at himself as the missing link, that one player that could put the Orioles right there in contention with New York and Boston. But it’s completely another to ask a proven, 29 year old, Gold Glover to stand around and participate in the type of baseball the Orioles play.
Like it or not, this losing, this fundamentally unsound BS they try to sell, has become their M.O. over the last 12 years. The fact is, as I’m sure Andy MacPhail will find again this off-season when he looks to the free agent market for some corner infielders, that until these young guys can somehow change that losing reputation, they shouldn’t even expect the courtesy that Teixeira gave them by listening.
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Posted on 10 May 2009 by WNST Interns
Friday Night – O’s Shutout
A-Rod returned to visit Camden Yards for the first time this season and promptly crushed a three run homer. It must be the start of new cycle for him as it was the end of a cycle for Mannywood.
I was glad to see O’s fans giving him the business because he deserves it.
Unlike Opening Day CC Sabathia was on his game. Much to my surprise he pitched a complete game shutout against the birds. Sabathia has been relatively ineffective thus far but the best cure for a slumping team, or a slumping player is to see the Orioles come up on the schedule.
Jeremy Guthrie gave the Orioles an adequate start for the first time in a while. His lone mistake was giving up the homer to A-Rod as he struck out eight over six innings. He certainly gave the birds a chance to win. McCrory gave up a run in two innings in relief as he has been decent filling in for the injured Dennis Sarfate. Sarfate will be out at least six weeks with a circulatory problem so McCrory will have a chance become a staple in the pen during his absence.
It was good to see Brian Roberts break out of his mini-slump with two hits albeit in an Orioles loss.
Saturday Night – O’s dominate Yankees
The Orioles chased Phil Hughes in the second inning by scoring eight runs. It was awesome to see that type of offensive outburst considering they were shutout the night before.
Adam Eaton was not impressed however because he tried to give the game away by walking the bases loaded in the fourth. He was only able to muster a five inning performance even though he was staked to an eight run lead. He managed to give up four runs and walk five. I personally can’t wait to see this guy leave as he was lucky to win this game based on his performance. Eaton possesses an apparent desire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory virtually every start he makes.
The offense came alive again and it was great to see the bottom half of the lineup contribute to sealing the win. Montanez appears to have recovered from his thumb injury as he hit a two-run shot last night.
The bullpen should not have had to work so hard with such a lead but our veteran “innings eaters” have proven ineffective in their roles. I just hope that we don’t burn out any more arms this season with Sarfate and Albers (key contributors last season) already out of commission with injury trouble.
Greg Zaun’s bat has also started to come around which is good to see. Maybe now the public outcry for Matt Wieters will subside for a bit.
Jones and Markakis are still raking. I imagine that they are pushing each other to higher levels of performance with the anything you can do I can do better routine. I want to state again that I am excited with Markakis’ development into a solid RBI guy having only eclipsed 100 once in his brief career.
Danys Baez has proven to be the O’s best option out of the bullpen so far this year. The rise in his level of play has significantly affected the Orioles in a positive way as he has had a hand in many of their wins. I still don’t trust him over the long term but he is finally healthy from his elbow surgery so maybe he will continue to be effective. I refuse to go as far as to apologize to him for my previous negative criticisms just yet as he still has a lot to prove.
As Aubrey Huff continues to deliver his price tag continues to grow. I would sign him to a two or three year deal now Mr. MacPhail unless you have a plan in place to deal him at the deadline for a younger power hitter.
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Posted on 16 April 2009 by WNST Interns
The Orioles are continuing their modus operandi from the past few years and are teasing us with winning baseball at the beginning of the season. If you are a true orange and black fan it is hard not to get excited at the start of a new season, especially when they have started off so well winning each of their first three series. Opening Day was an incredible experience this year and it surpassed past years due to the uncertainty of the weather and the eventual payoff at the end of the game. The clouds threatened to rain on our parade and one of the best parties of the year in Baltimore. The sun peeked out for a while in mid-afternoon but the rains came again right before game time which seemed like an omen representing the big bad Yankees hanging over our heads.
As you know by now the game was not rained out after all and the Orioles were like a bright ray of sunshine cutting through the clouds. The bats came alive for 10 runs that day and chased Cy Young award winner and 161 million dollar mercenary CC Sabathia in the 4th inning. It was an absolutely fantastic day for baseball and it was made even better by the fact that loyal Orioles fans did not let the Yankee supporters in attendance drown out their cheers. The infamous lets go Yankees chant that can be clearly heard at Camden Yards in the later months of the season as the seats turn from orange to green was overpowered by boos for Tex-liar. For the first time in over a decade I could feel the camaraderie of O’s fans permeate the stadium. The way the O’s dominated the majority of that game made the Boog’s BBQ and the ample amount of brew taste that much sweeter.
I have been impressed with the way the Orioles are swinging the bats this season. Izturis capped off the great Opening Day win with his first and probably only homerun this season, but aside from that he is the only player who needs to significantly increase his offensive production. He was signed to upgrade a poor up the middle defense and has been a drastic improvement over 2008’s garbage group barring last evening’s boot in the third inning against the Rangers. Zaun has not dominated with the bat so far but as all O’s fans know he was signed to mentor Matt Weiters once he is called up, and Zaun has done an adequate job in his stead. We are however waiting with bated breath for Weiters’ arrival.
Aubrey Huff has impressed me with his transition to full-time first baseman. Like I said he will never be mistaken for JT Snow over there but he is serviceable, and a significant upgrade over Kevin “Red Sox” Millar. Huff won a Silver Slugger at first base last year which is a significant accomplishment considering first base is typically an offense first position. The way he has been swinging the bat lately I really think the O’s should try to sign him to an extension. Three or four years might get it done and they don’t have anyone in the minors even close to ready to supplant him in the near future. Gone are the days of guys like Calvin Pickering and Ryan Minor toiling in the minors waiting to get a shot. Lets get over our huff about what Aubrey said (it really wasn’t all that bad to start with) and embrace what he has been doing for the ball club.
Speaking of toiling in the minors, the trade for Felix Pie, who has been yanked up and down by the Cubs over the last few years, was a low risk/high reward deal. Pie represents a potential impact player on defense, and a capable offensive player with speed. The only thing the O’s gave up was Garrett Olsen a below average lefty who had virtually no upside, and unless he pulls a John Maine and comes out of nowhere to be a decent end of the rotation guy this is a can’t lose scenario. The mastermind of the Orioles recent terrific player personnel decisions Andy MacPhail has really outdone himself on his two biggest trades. Trading a steroid using, older than he claimed to be, unhappy player with declining power and range for 5 players including Houston’s best pitching prospect in Troy Patton, Luke Scott our starting DH, as well as Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate who are strong bullpen contributors has to be one of the biggest hoodwinks of all time. It is only outdone by MacPhail’s other conquest over former Seattle Mariner’s GM Bill Bavasi. A trade in which he dealt a disgruntled, no heart, only wants to pitch six innings crybaby who never lived up to the potential of his great stuff in Erik Bedard for 5 players including future face of the franchise centerfielder Adam Jones, as well as stud pitching prospect Chris Tillman and All-Star closer George Sherrill.
O’s fans may not agree with everything MacPhail has done but no one can argue that this team has not improved significantly over past couple years, especially with building depth in the minor leagues. The one complaint that I would raise is to question why they are starting guys like Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson who are guaranteed to have an ERA over 6.00 in place of young players like Brad Bergesen. Bergesen could give up a ton of runs and be chased in the early innings just as easily, however Bergeson is in his early 20’s and actually has some upside. With a little bit of experience he is almost destined to be better than those two stiffs. Hendrickson was drafted by the 76’ers, 31st overall in the 1996 NBA draft, to quote EJ Pipkin’s 2004 campaign catchphrase “Who Knew?” Maybe he should think about a return engagement with the NBA and put us out of our misery. Prospect Radhames Liz is thought to be a starter and has recently been recalled; however he is a bullpen guy, period. Liz has no upside as a starter but as a reliever he may find some late inning success.
The off-season signings of Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts seem like a harbinger of good things to come. As the team continues to develop I hope that MacPhail will be able to sign our young players to long-term deals and keep the core guys together throughout their careers from the minors to major league success. Let’s hope the O’s can continue to remain competitive for the remainder of the season, I want to see a game that matters in September for a change.
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Posted on 06 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio
Well, whatever they did to keep away the New York fans and somehow get orange-colored sweaters into the seats worked. It was a major victory for the Orioles front office, keeping Opening Day from being ruined by a sea of pinstripers.
Then, of course, the outcome, a 10-5 win over the Yankees, didn’t suck either. And the WAY they won, right? A stolen home run with all of the imagery of Jeffrey Maier. They chased the Yankees big-money starter C.C. Sabathia in the fifth inning. The bullpen folded just to the brink of collapse but the offense led the way late in the game. It was a blueprint for how they’re going to win this year (if they’re going to win). Get a solid start. Give way to the bullpen. Hit the ball. Don’t kick the ball around. And take their chances.
No reason to do play-by-play here – I’m assuming you watched the game. Doesn’t everyone watch Opening Day? But the most compelling part of today’s game was the ability to stay into the game and it was a good dramatic start to the season and it gave Orioles fans everywhere some pride, a nice beatdown of the Yankees and Mark Teixeira on Opening Day.
My favorite memory will undoubtedly be the Teixeira boo birds. It was a classic “Welcome Home” for Tex, who said he didn’t expect anything like what he saw from his “neighbors” today.
Every time Mark Teixeira came to the plate, the crowd killed him. It was perhaps the most brutal “welcome” for a player in Oriole Park history. I don’t ever remember a specific player getting hammered quite so lustily by the crowd.
Here’s a couple of close ones, this side of John Elway, Denver, circa 1983: the night Pedro Martinez got the “whose your daddy” chant for the Opener in 2004, the night in 2004 when we brought 2,000 fans into the right field bleachers to razz Vladimir Guerrero (I think he had three hits and 6 RBIs that night) after he signed with the Angels, maybe Bill Hasselback after the fight, certainly Cito Gaston anytime after the 1993 All-Star Game. Sammy Sosa certainly got the great signs and scorn as a Cubbie when he came in town after getting popped with the “Scarlet S.”
But the Teixeira raspberries were right up there on Opening Day. It was well done by the disgruntled Orioles fans, even if you and I probably would’ve done the same thing and signed with the Yankees given the circumstances and the money involved and the notion of being an Oriole and working here with a perennial doormat team. But the Mt. St. Joe star got the ultimate “Baltimore cheer” at the ballpark today. Good for the fans!
Today’s win was a recipe for 2009 success. Get a decent starting effort – let’s say six innings or more. Be opportunistic on offense, even when you aren’t hitting home runs. Today, the Orioles strung together hits and walks and aggressive baserunning (did you see that Ty Wigginton tag on a fly ball to Johnny Damon in left field?) to beat the highest-priced team money can buy. Oh, and a few big late hits from Cesar Izturis and Aubrey Huff sealed the fate of the 0-1 Yankees.
They’ll need more efforts like today’s over the course of a long 162-game season. They outplayed the Yankees today, even without the help from that kid in left field who will be 2009’s Jeffrey Maier.
My favorite gaffes, events or notable random notes:
Jim Hunter, direct quote: “We’ve already experienced a lifetime of great memories here in this grand ballpark at Camden Yards.”
Speaking of Hunter, his predecessor was twice caught on camera by MASN, which must’ve flipped out the upper management.
First, Jon Miller was caught in the shot with Joe Angel and Fred Manfra, canoodling with his old chums before taking the ESPN assignment. Then, Miller was with Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer the instant the camera was on them like 60 seconds later. It was crazy and Miller twice went scrambling out of the shot so he didn’t piss anyone off. We all know he should’ve never left to begin with…
Early in the game, when Teixeira was getting mercilessly booed, the MASN HD cameras panned to a women who was nursing a Bud Light and clearly mouthing the words: “a—–hole”…kinda funny!
The “Yankees Suck” cheers early in the game were a nice sound to hear emanating from Camden Yards…
Is it just me or does Dave Trembley look like William Shatner in those goofy MASN commercials where he’s scolding “the media” with his wife as the audience in his living room?
So much to talk about. And it’s just the beginning. A great start to what we all hope is an interesting season for the Orioles.
And the best part? The return of “Oriole Pride” at least for a day. The crowd was eaily 80 percent orange, a major upset.
At least tonight Orioles fans go to bed in sole possession of first place in the AL East.
Let’s see what Koji Uehara can bring on Wednesday.
You really couldn’t ask for much more on Opening Day.
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