Shameless Plug. The first of many.

With all of the excess writing that I do between work and for the hell of it, I will often post on here different links to things I have done.  Yesterday’s post included an article I did on mygameballs.com, and today’s is on baltimoresportsreport.com.

Check it out: Albert Pujols to… Baltimore?! now on BaltimoreSportsReport.com

Eventually, I will add a widget on the sidebar here with mucho links.  That’s a project for the months of February and March, Fanfest to Opening Day, or what I like to call: ICAN’TWAITANYLONGERFORBASEBALL.  Fanfest is like a teaser.  It’s the baseball Gods taunting us for a day, then telling us we have to wait another two months.  Damn.

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness: MLB Style

Only two and a half more weeks until Orioles Fanfest.  Woot. 
Talking with a whole lot of people about all kinds of ideas, including
wearing sweater vests, winning a trip to Florida, shouting at Buck Showalter,
but for the most part, how to get everything out of the event as possible.  With the new $15 per table autograph policy,
there will definitely be some changes to my attack plan, but none the less,
lots to do and people to see.

 

In other news, I got an awesome package in the mail a few days ago.  It contained two items, both the same,
awesome piece.

 

A little background on this whole story:

 

At the end of last baseball season, on the day of the last
game of Orioles Fan Appreciation Weekend, Orioles bullpen catcher Ronnie Deck
(who I will be talking about a LOT on here) handed Zevi a glove-ful of
memorabilia.  Being literal here.  After the game, they had a nice talk to end
the year (I was already at school in Ohio, and had said my goodbyes the month
before):

ZeviWithRonnie.jpg

and Ronnie handed Zevi one of his catching mitts, filled with other
goodies:


ZeviWithGlove.jpg

Inside of it were two of his
gloves (the ones catchers wear inside their mitts, kind of like batting gloves)
and also two pair of wristbands.  Each
pair were his game used wristbands from both Father’s Day (blue ones supporting
prostate cancer awareness and research) and Mother’s Day (pink ones supporting
breast cancer awareness and research). 
Here is what they look like, if you don’t remember from when players
wore them (this is a general picture from the internet, not of his, which are dirty
and beat up):

wristboth.jpg

 

So Zevi and I each have possession of one of each of these
wristbands now:

RonnieStuff.jpg

Then I got an idea.  How great would it be to have new ones of
these for myself to wear (considering I did not want to wear his game used
ones).  So, I did what all modern day
shoppers do: I searched Ebay.  Why?  Because these items were not for sale from
MLB; they were an exclusive apparel piece only available to players.  Here’s what I found (feel free to click to enlarge):

 

Screen shot 2011-01-11 at 1.02.20 PM.png

One entry.  And it was
perfect.

 

I contacted the guy, made him an offer for him to close the
auction and to sell me the wristbands as a ‘buy it now’ type of thing, and
hoped for a positive reply.  The day
after, he messaged me back accepting my offer, and here we are today:

wrist2.jpg

wrist1.jpg

I will say this.  On
the listing, he notes that they are from a player who wanted to stay unknown,
but when I asked him, he told me that they belonged to Pedro Alvarez.  Cool. 
Is that true?  Are they
authentic?  Honestly, I don’t care.  They could be straight from the factory for
all I know, and I’d still be happy.

 

So, look for me to have this on throughout the 2011 season
and more.

Oh, and sign this petition in regards to my plea to the Orioles to let fans into the park earlier so that we can see the Orioles take batting practice and not just the away team: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/OrioleParkBP

(more…)

Update. 2011 Season Plans. Much. Much. More.

What is UP?!

Got lots to share.  Can’t WAIT for the 2011 season.  This post is a kick start to the 2011 blogging season, where I will be sharing not only game by game posts about the best fans and experiences at Oriole Park, but some bits and pieces of insider info on the Orioles and things around baseball.

So.  Here are the notes:

-I still co-run http://Orioles-Nation.com.  Check that site out.  We have a new design, some great articles, a growing staff, and most importantly, growing forums.  Feel free to sign in to those and participate, they should be in full swing by April.

-I also still write for http://BaltimoreSportsReport.com.  So check THAT site out as well.  Great staff there.  Great articles covering all Baltimore area sports, especially your Ravens (blech).  My latest bit on there was an Orioles roster breakdown, so check that out.  I will do a piece sometime before Spring Training starts on here about my thoughts on the O’s roster.

-ORIOLES FANFEST IS SATURDAY, JANUARY 29TH. BE THERE.  Doors open at 11 AM for the general public and 10 AM for season ticket holders (who get first dibs on an autograph session, so it turns out).  Tickets are on sale on the Orioles website.  I will be there in full glory of this Orioles epic shirt and my O’s Santa hat.  While they are charging for autos this year (read more about it here), it should still be a great time.  What the O’s don’t go into detail about are the sales.  There is usually a main area of memorabilia sales, with jerseys, uniform pieces, baseballs, signed stuff, and the best: all of the banners and such from Oriole Park and around the city from the 2010 season.  ALL for cheap. Jerseys (BP) were about $50 last year (all gameworn) with tons of stuff ranging from $10 to probably upwards of triple digits (for signed stuff). And trust me, as a guy who has barely any money and hesitates to spend in the first place, there is a LOT of good stuff there for even myself.

-Season tickets. If you’re gonna be an O’s season ticket holder, get on it.  I’m a 29 game holder, though I plan on about 50-60 home games this coming season.  It’s totally worth it to have.  If you want reasons, I’ll give you lots.  Just hit me up.

-Roadtrips.  Planning on some trips for this season.  So far, in my 3 years as a TRUE fan (not just a Baltimoron who knows the O’s exist), I’ve upped my game each year.  So 2011 brings me to other cities.  Planning on (if all goes well): Toronto, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and DC.  No Spring Training this year, mainly because that would cost double what the other trips cost, and frankly, I’m gonna be really busy anyways until the season starts.  But if anybody wants to sponsor me going, I’d be glad to show you how to maneuver around the ballpark down there for the best experience.

-Fundraisers.  2011 brings back another year where we all can help others.  There is Zack Hample’s annual collection (which I am a proud supporter of), Romeo’s SPCA fundraisers (which I will be putting more information up on here very soon about), and soon to come are some fundraisers from me and Zevi (if you don’t know him, well, he’s my partner in crime).  More info to come.

-My status: Many people knew I was at The University of Akron this past Fall.  Well, I’m not anymore.  Had some great experiences there, but the program needs I have were not where they needed to be, so I needed a switch.  I will be at school locally in Baltimore for the upcoming Spring, and have NO idea where I will be in the Fall.  I do some random work for different jobs, and along with the Orioles/sports writing, I am an intern with a Baltimore based magazine as well.  Lots to keep me busy.

-Oriole Park.  I have been down there 4 times since the end of last season, so it’s been fun to see some of the progression of how the new seats have come into place.  They replaced ALL of the seats in the LF lower box, all the upper deck, and all of the club level.  Oh yeah, the Eutaw St. bleachers as well. Total seat count cut by a few thousand, but it will hopefully be worth it.  Will share some pictures soon.  Some fun stuff to see.

-MLS Draft.  Yeah, I went there.  This THURSDAY, JANUARY 13TH, at the Convention Center downtown is the MLS SuperDraft.  It starts around noon I believe.  I think it’s open to the public, if I’m not mistaken.  I will be there.  Akron won the College Cup this year (NCAA D1 soccer championship (beating schools like Cal, Michigan, and Louisville) and 7 of the Zips are expected to be drafted, many in the first round, if not top 10.  I’ll maybe do an entry on that after the draft, but who knows.  If you’re curious about college soccer or the Zips, I’d be glad to chat.  Their star midfielder’s name is Anthony Ampaipitakwong. Darlington Nagbe, another midfielder/attacker, won college soccer’s MVP award (Hermann Award).  That’s all you need to know.

-Oriole Park.  Gate times.  BP times.  Talking with people, it’s obvious that ballhawks and other fans would love to get into Oriole Park earlier to see more of the O’s hit, especially more than the usually depressing 4th group hit, unless it randomly contains Adam Jones (which it did on many occasions last year).  Well, there is news to come on that.  Things may change a bit, and I will let you know as soon as I do.  Had started a petition about it, but may not be using it anymore if the O’s will be helpful on their own (which may be happening).  Stay tuned.

Expect more soon.  I have different updates of all sorts to put out there, so will be on that.

Oh yeah, and Ronnie Deck is returning as Orioles bullpen catcher. That’s why you should support the 2011 Orioles.

NEW WEBSITE!!!

WEBSITE HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN LAUNCHED!!!

CHECK IT OUT!!!

2131andbeyond.com

Will be posting there from now on, with so much more to come than what I ever got to on this blog.  Thanks for following and keep checking there for more great stuff!!!

Emotions Flying High in The Bronx

Today has been an emotional day.  Didn’t sleep much after working on my website
a lot last night.  Today, came home from
working to watch the 1 o clock O’s game, only to find out a bunch of things.  The umps are being paid off, every single Yankee
hitter takes steroids, and word is th
at (reported/speculated by The Sun and Brittany Ghiroli of Orioles.com) Trembley managed his last game today most likely.

 

The recurring happening of today was
home plate umpire Mike DiMuro giving the Orioles the worst calls in the world
while expanding CC Sabathia’s strike zone to be almost as wide as the Yankee ace
himself.

 

Bottom of the 1st,
Millwood issued a walk right away to Jeter. 
Swisher followed that up with a single. 
Jeter proceeded to steal 3rd, realizing that Millwood was not
consistently checking back to 2nd to see him there.  Tatum made the throw to 3rd to try
and pick off Jeter, but with the perfectly located throw for the tag, Tejada
overran the bag after catching the ball running in to get it and just kept
going.  Stellar defense, right?  Then, the first obvious bad call on the day came
when Millwood went into his windup to throw and his spike got stuck in the
dirt, so he proceeded to stumble forward, still releasing the ball towards home
plate.  2nd base umpire Jim Reynolds
came in a bit delayed with a balk call. 
C’mon man.  The inning ended after
Teixeira struck out, A-roids hit a fly ball (advancing Swisher to 3rd),
Cano hit a double over Jones head is left center, and Posada finally struck out
to end the inning

 

The top of the 2nd really
started the frustrations with DiMuro. 
While Millwood usually gets high in the zone fastball strikes, but wasn’t
getting anything today, Sabathia came out throwing pitches even more out of the
zone and being called for strikes.  With a
full count, a pitch low and inside (almost hit the dirt) passed Ty
Wigginton.  He tossed his bat back and started
jogging to 1st before hearing the strikeout call, and walked even farther,
being outright about his opinion of the strike being called on a pitch almost
in the dirt by his feet.

 

Bottom of the 2nd came,
where Cervelli drew a 4-pitch walk off of Millwood.  2 of the 4 pitches would be strikes to most
umps.  Millwood, knowing how to deal with
this in a better way than just argue, started using lots of offspeed stuff against
the next guys, getting a strikeout against Gardner and eventually out of the
inning with no earned runs.

 

The last note I have on the day is
that Jones hit a homerun to left field on a Sabathia pitch low and in.

 

After that, the same crap
continued with the umps.  Today was the
first day I was actually P.O. with an Orioles game.  Been put down before, but not like this.  Took my attention away even more when news
broke about Trembley losing his job soon, so note taking was becoming a lost cause.

 

With a 6-1 deficit, Wigginton got
only the 2nd hit off of Sabathia on the day in the 7th besides Jones’
HR earlier, followed up by a Luke Scott bomb to the upper deck in right field.

 

Markakis lost his “hitting streak”
(wasn’t even 10 games so I don’t know if I consider it to be a streak).  Not one Oriole struck out more than
once.  Instead, 7 individuals struck out
once each.  At least we didn’t have a
horrendous day with RISP since we didn’t have men on 2nd and 3rd
to even get the chance to blow chances.

 

Millwood had a bad day for him,
not just because he didn’t get a win. 
Moving to 0-6 on the year, he only got through 5.2 innings on 115
pitches (only 67 for strikes).  He gave
up 6 runs on 10 hits (including 2 HRs) with a 5:4 K:BB ratio.  Berken came in to finish the 6th and
went through the 7th, only allowing a hit and recording a strikeout.  Ohman barely got through the 8th, allowing
a hit and walk, but went back to his old ways of allowing no runs.  For the 6th game in a row, we didn’t
need to pitch in the bottom of the 9th.

 

This all compared to Sabathia, who
finished with 7 IP.  He let up only 3
hits, but with 2 of them being home runs, allowed 3 runs on the day with a 7:1
K:BB ratio (Atkins drew that walk!).  Joba
threw a perfect 8th, and Mariano finished it with an adventurous 9th.  Jones, of course, being so clutch once again;
struck out with men on 2nd and 3rd.

 

I had a lot of this written up by
the middle of the 8th, and by the middle of the 9th, had
finished most of it.  When we got two men
on, I was getting really excited about the chance to rewrite it all.  I should know better than to always get my
hopes up to just let myself down every damn time.

 

Game over.  3-6 loss. 
8 game losing streak coming into a 9 game homestand against the Red Sox,
Yankees, and Mets, and minus Trembley most likely.  You know there
are issues when you get score 8 runs in a 6 game roadtrip, and also allow Brett Gardner to hit a home run.

 

Very down day.  Not too much to say.  Will be doing a post tomorrow definitely on
Millwood and Wigginton and some bits all about them.

 

Will post about Trembley either
tonight or tomorrow hopefully.  Website
is coming up soon, domain was purchased (2131andBeyond.com) and will be worked
on a lot now.  I will be at the first 2
Red Sox games, then a trip to college for a program there for a few days, the last
Yankee game at home, and the whole Mets series. 
Will try to post between it all, but will be difficult.  Be excited for the new site!  Will have tons of posts, new sections (like
High Socks Watch), and even contests for Orioles stuff and autographs once I
get enough followers.

 

Good day/night to all.

 

O yea, Tejada made a huge diving
grab in the bottom of the 8th that Teixeira hit down the line with
men on 1st and 2nd. 
He got the out at 2nd and saved a run or two from
scoring.  Whoopee.  So he kept the deficit at 3 so that Mariano could
get the save, I guess.

Gonna Stay Quiet… for now at least

Tons of rumors going around about today’s game.  No, not about if the Orioles could pull off a miracle win against CC in New York, but about the manager position.  People saying today could be Trembley’s last game.

I have made it clear that I support him, but with the few issues this season, it may just be worth it to change the spot up for the sake of shutting fan’s up about it since he is obviously not the future here.  The O’s play at 1 today, then make the trip home for the Red Sox tomorrow night at Camden Yards.  Today being an afternoon game would give a new manager time to meet the team (if needed), or if it is someone like Datz or Samuel, get to talk with the guys and establish things like plans and all.

Not gonna say much now.  Will update after the game.  Will still be writing about Wigginton and all that I said I would in the past entry.

Update: I purchased the website 2131andbeyond.com, and am working with Jordan of oriolesprospects.com to make it happen.

No Title Necessary

Tonight the Orioles lost to the Yankees 1-9.

 

I’ve got to say, if Buster Olney and Peter *******’s speculations
are true about Trembley and his job, at least the man is going out in class.  Last night, the entire game was decided by
the players, no decisions by the manager. 
Tonight, again, the O’s lost because they didn’t play a winning game,
not because of a bad decision.

 

Where the game ended for me was somewhere around the 5th
inning or so, when I got the message that there was a perfect game through 8
innings being shown on MLB Network.  I
flipped to that game, knowing that the Orioles had lost it.  I’m not one to switch off the Orioles games,
but this was worth it to me, after seeing every game so far this season and
knowing with 99% confidence that the outcome would not be changing in terms of
the win or loss.  I do plan on doing a
post tomorrow about the “perfect” game, relating it back to the Orioles actually.

 

Not much commentary on individual players tonight.  Just disgusted.

 

Bergesen was flat-out awful tonight.  In the shortest outing of his career, he
threw 2.1 innings, allowing 6 earned runs on 7 hits with a 1:2 K:BB.  With Arietta waiting in Norfolk with his
incredible, *consistent* stats, I don’t see why he doesn’t replace Bergesen in
the rotation as soon as next Tuesday’s start.

 

Tejada got some hits. 
He also bobbled a short ground ball early in the game.  Failing once again to bare-hand a ball, he
proved to me why I was right in disagreeing with people who have been saying he
has made an outstanding transition to 3B this year.

 

Albers came in and let up runs, while Hendrickson first held
off the Yankees with a few solid innings. 
The Mata came in and got lit up by the Yankees bench.

 

Wigginton got called on a sort of half swing early in the game,
and continued to argue the call until he got back to the dugout, where Trembley
rightly pulled him in.  While some say
Trembley needed to go out and argue, he knew the right decision to make was to
stay.  While he did yell out some words
for 1B ump Mike DiMuro, Trembley knew that, with a view from the back of
Wigginton’s back (being a right handed hitter), it would be foolish to argue
the call.

 

Bringing Wigginton up helps me raise my main point of these
last two games.  Not only do I believe it
is all on the team for these last two losses, but they have been flat-out
foolish.  For the first time ever, I see
the Orioles as a joke.

 

Let’s go over why:

 

In the 9th inning last night, Wigginton grounded
out to shallow 1st.  With the
ball in hand on the base line, Juan Miranda (sent down tonight to let Posada be
activated) ran over to Wigginton, who proceeded to back pedal.  Yes; Wigginton attempted to back pedal towards
home plate.  Mariano Rivera chuckled, and
he knew that at this point, the Orioles were just a joke too.  This after Wigginton fell on his butt during
the harsh play a few innings earlier.

 

Tonight, Corey Patterson made a fool of himself.  Chasing down a fly ball, he ripped his pants,
and wore them for the rest of the game. 
Not so important.

 

The worst: In the 8th, A-rod and Jeter were both
taken out.  One, that shows that Girardi
is confident enough in the Orioles bats failing.  Two, we got a single, double, and a walk, but
did not score.  Tejada singled, Markakis
doubled (Tejada thrown out at home), Wieters walked, then there were two
popouts.  Bottom of the 8th, Gardner
and Pena singled off of Mata, and Swisher singled in a run.  We let Ramiro Pena and Brett Gardner hit off
us.

 

Jones may have aggravated his hip on a beautiful running catch
in center on a Granderson routine double. 
He then made the catch of a popfly from Cervelli.  Hope he’s okay.  Not that it has anything to do with the Orioles
chances at success.

 

 

In other news, Millwood was quoted by sources today saying
he would be okay with pitching for the Mets. 
Glad to know our guys hate it here. 
I would too if I were them. 
Supposedly, Wigginton said he would do it too (play, not pitch).  I bet we are stupid enough to trade them for
Justin Turner.

 

Not so exciting tonight. 
In a horrible mood.  This SUCKS.

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Problems Without Solutions

I can’t say that the Orioles blew a lead last night like they did last week against the A’s, and I can’t even say they blew the game.  Here is the issue.

With Jeter on 3rd, Swisher on 2nd, Matusz’ pitch count at 108, and Hernandez being the righty and fully ready to come out of the ‘pen, Trembley made the 100% correct decision in making the pitching change.  In terms of Trembley, he put the best lineup and set of guys out there provided to him.  Everybody seems to finally be catching onto the whole MacPhail issue now, when I have been saying all along how 90% of our losses are because of the roster Andy handed to Trembles on Opening Day.  As for this in game situation, Hernandez came in and did his job.  He induced a ground ball with 2 outs from one of the top clutch hitters in baseball in the last decade (clutch hitters: see Andre Ethier). Props to Hernandez in his 2nd relief appearance getting the job done again.  He has quality stuff in the short inning game, which is why the move to the bullpen fits him perfectly.  Well, the ball went to Tejada, arguably the O’s strongest infielder.  What happened after that was just a breakdown of this season so far, with Tejada’s across the field throw hitting early in the dirt and to the right of Wigginton, causing him to fall on his butt and make the Baltimore franchise look silly.  Here is the second by second picture collage of this event:

capt.f70c94ec7d5f4b30873b10613c52de6b-f70c94ec7d5f4b30873b10613c52de6b-0.jpg
f4eacee95151056438cc90153d534c62-getty-97630583ab013_baltimore_ori.jpg
627d069923d79b1d07a3d3d174a00323-getty-97662384gf017_oakland_athle.jpg

I can’t even think that with that even if that play was made properly (see: fundamental baseball) that we would have won the game, but it would have given us a chance.  Yes, may sound foolish thinking that, but it’s still more of a chance than without the throw and catch being made.

To read more about the game, Brittany Ghiroli provides insight here, and you can check out the box score and game recap from Yahoo here.  Not in my best interest to go through it all without using obscenities.

What is hitting me finally is the infield problems.  Why is Tejada at 3B?  Why was Atkins acquired to play 1B?  I get it.  It’s so that Izzy can stick around and have another .250 season while giving us a decent glove at what some may call the most important infield position, or even the leader of the team on defense.  Well, he was a gold glover, yes.  But that was 6 years ago.  You can give me all the graphs and stats you want to show that he is still a top defensive SS, but I really don’t care.  He make small mistakes, and provides no leadership or offense to the club.  He is hitting .222, lower than his career average surprisingly.  Why is it that we don’t look at shortstop.  I rant on about this all the time, and I have since January when I first noticed it, but why was our priority in free agency this past off season the corner infielders?  To give time to the guys in AAA so they will be ready for next season to be in the bigs?

Tejada should have been signed as our SS.  Atkins, giving him the benefit of the doubt pre-season, should have been signed as our 3B.  Izturis could either be utility or just not make the roster, I don’t care.  I have never seen too much in him besides a useless 9 slot shortstop.  Aubrey is perfectly capable of coming up to play 1B, and there’s this feeling somewhere that Moore could do it too (not sure if he left his bat bag in Norfolk or what).  Either way, the mishaps of this club come down to positions.  Not one guy besides Izzy was in their right spot.  Tejada should be SS, Lugo is SS (not 2B), and Wigginton isn’t really much of a glove anywhere besides a utility role (as opposed to 1B).  I know the bats are different, but maybe this year would be easier on the team if we wouldn’t jumble them around the diamond, and instead let them gel together in their natural spots to be able to spend more time out there swinging the bats.  That, my friends, is a problem totally put onto us by Andy MacPhail.

On a side note:

Win 2 tickets to the O’s vs. Mets game on June 11th from Baltimore Sports Report!  I have mentioned the site before on here, and they are an up and coming blogosphere heaven for Baltimore sports fans, providing interesting takes on all things sports in this town.  Check out this link where you can submit your entry into their contest and hopefully be picked to win 2 tickets to the game!  Be sure to also check out the rest of their site for daily articles with all access info like interviews and guest bloggers all the time.  Heck, I even write a piece or two for the site each week!

Pitchers and Prospects

My thoughts of the day have shifted over from the current failing offense to the future of this team.  Future being as close as tomorrow and as far away as in 5 years.  The title ‘Pitchers and Prospects’ is there because I want to just go over those two topics and discuss how they relate and even intermix.

The pitchers I want to talk about in the organization right now are Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie.

Millwood’s stat line so far this season:

  • W-L 0-5
  • ERA 3.89
  • K 58
  • Walks 17
  • WHIP 1.27

Guthrie’s:

  • W-L 3-5
  • ERA 3.84
  • K 37
  • Walks 16
  • WHIP 1.17

People may look at those two guys and say that Guthrie’s year has been a bit better.  Well, maybe in terms of stats other than strikeouts.  While both Bergesen and Matusz have been far from consistent this year, both having shutout performances and both also with high earned run low inning nights, and David Hernandez never lasting more than 5 or 6 innings (even with a no-hitter through 4, the walks kill him), Guthrie and Millwood have proven to be the top two pitchers in the rotation as of now, as we should expect.  Hernandez is obviously not a future guy for the dream rotation, so I am taking him out of the conversation.  Matusz and Bergesen each got half a season or less last year, so we expect it to be rocky for them in their first full seasons now.  Luckily, for the Birds, Guthrie has come out with fire and been back to his old form that we needed him to be, so that he and Millwood can stabilize our rotation with, may I dare to say this about the O’s, a 1-2 punch.

The future is obvious to fans and the organization.  That being Matusz, Bergesen, Tillman, Arrieta, and Britton.  Britton, as long as his development stays on track, will be up in Baltimore for the 2012 season.  Arrieta will be called up most likely sometime this season.  Tillman was just called up this past week to replace Hernandez in the rotation, who coincidentally taken his spot coming out of Spring Training.  The question then becomes: Who will Arrieta replace?  Just because Millwood is 0-5, nobody judges that stat one bit who knows what he has been through.  With only 17 runs of support through 11 outings, less than 2 per game, it would be practically impossible for any pitcher not named Ubaldo Jimenez to succeed in the win column that way.  Then again, the O’s are 15-36 at this point, so wins are not the big issue now as much as looking into the future.

Key question: Do we trade Millwood and/or Guthrie at or before the deadline?  I touched on this in the last post, but just expanding here now.

Millwood could spend another year here.  He is a veteran ace who basically owns most teams he faces, but of course doesn’t have the wins to show for it.  He supposedly (only saying supposedly since I don’t have first-hand experience seeing it) has been helping the young arms, and even bats, a lot with their game.  He brings an arm that can strike guys out consistently and eat up a lot of innings.  If he had more offense and a better defense behind him, Millwood would surely have more complete games on the year.  He is 36, and could still be this good next year.

Guthrie has been rocky in terms of his career with the Birds.  This year, which is the important one right now, he is back to great form.  3-1 in May with a sub-3.00 ERA, Guthrie looks to be a top pitcher in baseball as of late.  He could be kept in Baltimore, but the risk with him is that he could fall back to his ’09 form with a 5.04 ERA.  He is 31, and if consistent, could last another 10 years in the Bigs still.

Millwood is a huge plus for the O’s since he can back up the young arms’ short outings with longer ones, hence relieving the bullpen in a sense from being dead day after day.  He helps with advice and just is good with communicating overall.  Again, that is what people say who have seen it, I know I have not.  Though if someone told me they saw Datz advising someone, I’d be a bit skeptical.  With Arrieta and Britton set to come soon, having Kevin around could never hurt.  Also depends what he wants to do.

I said before the season that if Guthrie was hot, we should trade him, he is not in that future rotation, and does not come with the knowledge base that Millwood has (who got to be in a rotation with the likes of Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, and more).  My opinion, if not trading both, is to get rid of Guthrie.  Even if for some bats, just do it.  He is too much of a risk, and within a few years, we won’t need him anyways.

I mentioned the bats.  That’s my second topic.  Prospects that can bring their talents to a major league level are hard to come by.  Talking with Jordan from oriolesprospects.com and other people on Twitter, the kid Brett Jacobson (acquired in the trade for Aubrey Huff to Detroit) has sub-par stuff and probably won’t have the arm to make it.  Why can’t we buy bats?  I get the whole draft pitchers and buy bats, but when you buy bats like Garrett Atkins, you are setting yourself up for failure.  I loved how Bell and Snyder and folk have performed in the past, but they are just not living up to people’s hopes.  I have heard speculation on packaging young Adam Jones with prospects for a bat, and I figure, why not?  We are loaded with at least a few major prospects in each level of the organization, so why not go the Cashman route and buy some bats with this talent.  Buying bats that are established in the MLB is so secure that there’s no denying good moves by Cashman and the likes.  And no, Atkins was not an established bat in the league, just a stereotypical steroid user (check out his career stats and tell me he didn’t use).

Just needed to vent the topics.  Respond here or go to twitter and follow @2131andBeyond where I love having Orioles conversation 24/7

Can we even get a win in the Bronx this week? I hope so…

Wow…

So I haven’t posted the last bunch of games.  Yea, I probably should if I want this site to work.  Well, here I am.

Gonna do a big post tomorrow on the end of the A’s series and then on the failing trip to Toronto.  Will include pictures from my times at OPACY too for the A’s games to bring something other than sadness to the posts.

There have been other highlights in baseball though!

Doc threw for perfection in Florida.  Morales miserably failed, but at least the Angels learned their lesson.  Scherzer owned.

Well, here are the few topics I want to go over now.  They are the few things I saw talked about on Twitter today, along with a few I need to throw in:

1) Trembley, MacPhail, and the rest of the gang
2) Tejada’s comments
3) Shortstop
4) Website

Trembley, besides his stupid decision to take Berken out against the A’s on Thursday (will discuss in tomorrow’s post), has been nothing but an ordinary manager.  Nothing like a Piniella or Guillen, but nothing bad.  He made no foolish decisions during the Toronto series that I saw, and I feel like his job is a lot less on the line than people seem to want or think.  The main issue comes down to what I think people have overlooked until now.  Andy MacPhail is giving Diamond Dave nothing to work with.  He brought in Atkins, not skipper.  He brought in Tejada and Patterson and Jones and every other guy having on-field issues right now.  People for weeks have been bashing Trembles, while I stepped back and looked at the organization in the bigger picture.  Let me tell you this, I got fed up with him Thursday, but that’s about it.  Andy, changes need to come, and with 3 straight 3 game stints against New York and Boston, it should come on the off day tomorrow.

By the way, who knows who Jack McKeon is?  That’s the name of the Marlins manager during their 2003 World Series win.  Just putting it out there, you don’t have to have the best name in sports to have a winning team.  Dave may not be the top manager, but the players need to improve on their own at times.

Other coaching comment.  I never understood why Terry Crowley is so loved by Baltimore and all when he has never produced a top hitting team (has been better than this year still) and was only a career .250 hitter himself.  How about a dude like this?  If you know the Rays situation in ’08 and the few years prior, he seems like a solid candidate to fill in the job.  At least even bring someone in to replace Jeff Datz.  I bring him up since I was watching MLB Network’s top plays of the week program (everyone should watch MLB Network, it’s awesome), and during one of the Mets’ walkoff plays, I saw the view of the dugout with Jauss jumping up.  Has anyone ever seen Datz say a word to a player?  He is useless it seems.

Tejada today impressed me with his comments.  He made it clear to MASN reporter Amber Theoharris that nobody should blame Trembley or ‘Andy’.  He made it known that players should be working harder and that it’s on them, since they are the ones out there playing ball.  Though, his outfit looked kind of odd in a ghostly empty locker room it seemed.

Twitterverse was talking a lot today about the shortstop position.  I’m mad now that I never published a post ever about this topic.  I have said all season and all this past offseason that the one thing the O’s overlooked again this year was that position, and how not only is Izzy aging, but his bat just hurts us day after day.  He is a great fielder, no doubt about it, but fluke plays like against the A’s in their comeback show his vulnerability, and that there is no reason we can’t propose a trade for a guy like Tulowitzki.  Will hopefully write about that soon.  Also will post sometime something about twitter and who to follow for O’s news and all.

Lastly, Jordan from oriolesprospects.com is working with me in getting my own domain and website running.  Once running, I will be dedicated to posting daily and running all kinds of feeds.  Besides O’s news and recaps, will have other thought provoking columns, some contests for O’s stuff, and my fun upcoming project: High Sock Watch.  And more links in posts like I started to do in this one!

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