Showing posts with label Baltimore Orioles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baltimore Orioles. Show all posts

July 22, 2008

Caption Contest!

This time there's no prize. And we're doing it in the comments, so don't send any emails.

Extra points for Big Lebowski references.

Photo from Jezebel via Mr. Irrelevant

June 14, 2008

Baltimore Orioles, City Reinvent Self

HEY! You're already here, so why not enter our Caption Contest? The funniest caption gets a $50 gift card.

Don't get me wrong, the Orioles are still mediocre. They're inarguably playing above themselves in compiling a .500 record for the first half of the season. I attended the game tonight, and noted that no Oriole hitter was batting over .290. None of the pitchers has impressive stats either. My group of friends tried to determine who the lone All-Star should be, and we really had no idea beyond possibly closer George Sherrill.

But, still, there is a remarkable shift in atmosphere this year. Perhaps tonight was a better-than-normal example, what with college night ($6 upper left field tickets) and post-game fireworks. Plus, this was the first Pittsburgh-Baltimore series since the 1979 World Series. The Orioles embraced this by wearing 1979 uniforms and having Earl Weaver, Scott MacGregor and others on the field in uniform before the game.
(Photo Credit - Baltimore Sun)
East Coast Bias
There's more than that though. The organization has decided to reflect the team and its fanbase, embracing the quirky Baltimore sense of humor. Home runs are now celebrated by Frank the Tank from Old School. Of course, the new Orioles Magic video was on display after the Orioles 9-6 comeback win over the pitching-deficient Pirates (the O's trailed 6-1 after 3 innings). After the game, but before the fireworks, the scoreboard displayed an informal survey, where multiple Orioles were asked to choose between Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey. Not surprisingly, the hispanic players all preferred Carrey (have you seen Univision?) while the American players all preferred Ferrell. After each player's vote they showed a clip from each actor. The fans cheered whenever a player voted for Ferrell, and booed whenever Carrey was the choice. Ferrell won in a landslide.
Cowboy Up
(Come to think of it, I'm suspect noted goof-off Kevin Millar also works in the front office now.)

Really, attending the game tonight got me thinking about a series of experiences I've had in the city recently. I don't know exactly when it began, but there has been a major shift in Baltimore culture the past decade, and the Orioles' new approach to fan entertainment merely reflects it. The city has embraced its weirdness. Racial boundaries, which were once very firmly entrenched, have rapidly eroded. Recently The (Baltimore) Sun ran a front page article about a statue of Baltimore's own Frank Zappa in Lithuania. The sculptor expressed a desire to have one in Baltimore, too. Within a week the city's arts council had unanimously voted to commission a Frank Zappa statue.

I really suspect The Wire has a lot to do with it. The debut of The Wire represented Baltimore's "fuck it" moment. I'm not a native Baltimorean, having been raised on the rural Eastern Shore, but there was definitely a perception (based pretty firmly in reality) that the city had struggled badly through the 1970's, 80's and 90's. Things improved, but the basic reality is the same - crack was replaced by heroin (by far the drug of choice), poverty and homelessness plague the city's poorer neighborhoods, blue collar jobs are permanently gone, crime is a daily reality and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV are rampant. The Wire smacked us in the face with all those realities, but for whatever reason the people of Baltimore took pride in the show.

Basically, The Wire smacked everyone else in the face. It smacked Bill Simmons in the face. We already knew about it. I think most Baltimoreans saw The Wire and thought, yeah, things are this bad, and yet things are really good right now. The city successfully transitioned from a rust-belt, blue-collar city to a white collar mix of government support and knowledge-based industry. The city built a tourism industry out of literally nothing, transforming a filthy harbor into a legitimate destination with fine hotels, a great convention center, world-class museums and the National Aquarium, two of the best stadiums in their respective sports and two great bar districts within walking or short cabbing distance. The Wire reminded the city of how much work is left to do, but it also made us think, "How the hell did we pull that off?" Sure, there are still two Baltimores, but the nice one is expanding and lifting many people with it.

That there was a resurgence in Baltimore Pride is inarguable, and The Wire and perhaps the Ravens 2001 Super Bowl win are the only events that can really be pinpointed. Suddenly Natty Boh's (National Bohemian) mascot was the official arbiter of all things Baltimore cool. Boh knows the Ravens. Boh knows Preakness. Boh knows Ms. Utz, and is seen proposing to her on a billboard over the Jones Falls Expressway. Mr. Boh is the embodiment of the new Baltimore. He's kitsch, yet blue collar.

Hampden, HonFest and Christmas Street all were suddenly cool again. Hairspray didn't bring back the Hon and the beehive. The Hon and the beehive brought back Hairspray. Fells Point never changed from a nice, historic strip of bars. It became a nice, historic string of bars that felt the need to host an annual pirate festival. John Waters never went anywhere. He just suddenly became fiercely protected by our city. After John Waters received criticism for a speech before the Association of College and Research Libraries that included commentary on homosexuality, teabagging, masturbation and Jackie O, the Baltimore City Public Libraries invited Waters to give another talk. Have librarians ever given such a clear "fuck you" to other librarians? Only in Baltimore. (The protection of city icons is not limited to Zappa and Waters. Disparaging Johnny Unitas, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Ed Norton or Cab Calloway is definitely grounds for an ass-kicking.)

Honestly, Baltimore becomes more like New Orleans, where I spent three years, every day. The music and food aren't there, but there is the unofficial competition to out-weird whatever came before. And yet, somehow, none of it is forced. It's just the product of a bohemian, educated-but-underpaid, socially liberal white population meeting a black population that has always been fun-loving and proud of the city despite its obvious flaws. Unlike gentrification conflicts in other (neighboring) cities, Baltimore's experience has been respectful and, I think, welcomed.

I don't mean to gloss over the bad. The murder total last year was the highest in years, and crime is still an every day reality. Mayor Sheila Dixon has done an excellent job overhauling city government, including the police and schools, and replacing now-Governor Martin O'Malley's cronies, but there is still much in need of repair. For families who have been closely affected by crime, no festivals will make them feel any better. Still, though, the city has reinvented itself and set itself apart. The Orioles have taken note and embraced the new atmosphere. If they continue to improve and exceed expectations, we can expect a return to the glory days of Camden Yards.
Earl Weaver
P.S. - I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention just how awful the National Anthem was tonight. A lady from the Postal Workers Union had the honor, but she obviously failed to learn the song beforehand. She had a card in her hand that clearly contained the lyrics. To compensate for not knowing the words, some of which she still butchered, she sang the song veeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyy sssssslllllllooooooowwwwwwwllllllllyyyyyyy. She had a nice voice, but the anthem was interminable. My girlfriend thought she was drunk.
War of 1812
Remember that thing I said about Baltimore Pride? Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner across the harbor from the stadium at Fort McHenry. Please bother to learn it. It's not that long.

June 1, 2008

Putting "Baltimore" Back in the Orioles

Finally, the news we've all been waiting for. The Baltimore Orioles have requested permission from Major League Baseball to alter their uniforms beginning in 2009. The big change? "Baltimore" will return to the front of the road jerseys for the first time since 1973.

Why was it ever removed? When the second incarnation of the Senators left Washington in 1971, then-Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams realized he needed to capture the now team-less fan base in Washington. By removing "Baltimore" from the front of the road jerseys, he felt the team could be more of a regional power. In many ways he was right. Children growing up in the 1970's to 1990's in the metropolitan D.C. area generally became Orioles' fans. It helped that the team did not suck. In fact, EBW had already made inroads with the notoriously flaky bandwagon D.C. crowd by virtue of the fact that the Orioles played in the 1966, 1969, 1970 and 1971 World Series. In many ways, the Orioles led to the Senators' demise. The late Williams, a prominent D.C. criminal defense attorney, Georgetown alum, and the Williams in the powerful law firm Williams & Connolly (clients include Bill Clinton) also owned the Redskins for a period and was a fixture in Washington.

The Orioles are not the only team to use their uniforms or official name to expand their market. The Los Angeles/California/ Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim only had Anaheim on their jerseys in 2002 and 2003 (though the team had Los Angeles on their jerseys from 1961-1964). The Texas Rangers have always capitalized on Dallas and Fort Worth, and the Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies likewise try to capture a region rather than a city. The Minnesota Twins, NFL's Houston Texans and NHL's New York Islanders have used the name of the team as well to try to capture additional markets. Of course, we see this in other sports as well (Arizona Cardinals, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New England Patriots, Carolina Hurricanes, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, etc. etc.).

According to a poll on the Baltimore Sun's website, 96.5% percent of over 2500 voters want "Baltimore" back on the road jerseys. Read The Sun's coverage here.
The team will not confirm or deny that the change will take place due to procedural aspects of the licensing process. All indications from reliable sources are that it's a done deal, though.

May 22, 2008

As seen in The Onion

I'm not normally one to cut and paste in this blog because I am a big fan of original content, but in case you missed it, I can't pass up this opportunity to reprint a recent article in The Onion:

Snickering Peter Gammons Persuades John Kruk To Say Orioles Are The Best Team In Baseball On Air

BRISTOL, CT—Following highlights of a recent Baltimore Orioles game, Baseball Tonight analyst John Kruk was goaded into stating that the Orioles were the best team in the major leagues at the prompting of fellow analyst Peter Gammons. "I mean, they're ahead of the Yankees after a full month... They've got to be pretty darn good, right?" Gammons said just prior to Kruk's statement as Kruk nodded helpfully. "You said yourself, John, that George Sherrill already has 14 saves, and saves are pretty important. Plus, Kevin Millar may be batting .236, but wow, does he have a sweet swing! I certainly can't think of a team that matches up. Can you? You can't, can you? Look right into camera two, right there." Kruk went on to say that Roger Clemens would win the NL Cy Young award and that he didn't think Pat Burrell would ever make another out again as Gammons hid his head in his hands and shook silently.

May 16, 2008

Colossal MASN Fuck-Up

From Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun:

• MASN is calling it the "Battle of the Beltway." But you don't have to - you can just watch the unique presentation MASN is giving this weekend's Orioles- Washington Nationals series.

Combining the announcing teams for the two clubs it carries, MASN will serve up a three-man booth with alternating play-by-play men. Orioles analyst Jim Palmer and Nationals analyst Don Sutton - that's 592 major league victories between them - will comment during the whole game, while the Orioles' Gary Thorne works the first three innings and the last 2 1/2 and the Nats' Bob Carpenter calls the fourth through the top of the seventh.

Orioles sideline reporter Amber Theoharis will be joined by the Nationals' Debbi Taylor to report on their respective teams throughout the game. During the seventh-inning stretch, the two will engage in a mixed martial arts match just behind the mound. The loser has to wax the winner's car.

Yes, I made that up. I mean, you can only take unique so far.

blahbblahlahblah Catch Amber now, because she's too good for local

So many stupid things to comment on. First of all, when you have Gary Thorne, you don't humiliate Bob Carpenter by making him step in for the middle innings. By comparison, Carpenter will feel like a AAA radio guy. Amber Theoharris is one of the best female sideline reporters AND radio hosts in the entire industry. We're months if not weeks away from ESPN bringing her in, or at least Fox or CBS for NFL games. You're really going to throw Debbi Taylor in alongside her?

Second of all, MASN already has two channels. Just give your viewers a Nats broadcast and an O's broadcast. This method just pisses everyone off. Are you really trying to shave a couple bucks for the one series that guarantees you ratings on BOTH networks?

I know the MASN situation is unique, as Angelos owns the rights to both team's broadcasts through his fleecing of Major League Baseball, but can you imagine the YES Network mixing Yankees and Mets broadcasters? There'd be anarchy.

I know the Nats are a two-bit AAA operation, but do they really have to infect the Orioles too?

Payback's a Bitch

Picture courtesy of Nats320 - internal citations omitted

So the Nationals invaded Baltimore in anticipation of their weekend series at The Yard this weekend. Remember how the Orioles maintained their team store in Farragut Square for the first three years of the Nationals' existence? Remember how Peter Angelos was successful in blocking Washington viewers from actually being able to watch their hometown baseball team on television, thus limiting the exposure the Nationals received in the D.C. area until his MASN network could take over the monopoly?

Well yesterday, "The Rushmores" (the new collective name for The Racing Presidents) and Screech invaded The Inner Harbor in a P.R. move slightly along the lines of the United States dropping millions of leaflets over Baghdad about the evils of Saddam Hussein. The Rushmores handed out free Presidential bobbleheads to kids at the Harbor (free tip kids... Ebay those things if you haven't cracked the box yet... especially the Teddy Roosevelt bobblehead). They all posed for pictures. And they stood alongside Pratt Street and along the Inner Harbor carrying the following signs:

Teddy - "I'll race the Oriole bird and beat him" (reference to the shtick of Teddy Roosevelt always losing the President's Race by a mile)

George - "I cannot tell a lie, the Nats will win."

Then it gets nasty...

Abe - "Honestly, the Nats will sweep Baltimore, hun."

and finally Tom - "Old Bay Stinks!!"

There was some booing and heckling by Baltimoreans which I respect, but far less than I expected. But you know what? I think J-Red might even agree with me on this... what we saw yesterday is FANTASTIC for baseball in the Washington-Baltimore corridor. For the past three years, we've been hearing how this doesn't feel like a rivalry yet and that it will take some spark to make this into a true rivalry along the lines of Giants-A's, Dodgers-Angels (teams that are about the same proximity from each other as the Nats and O's). Well, yesterday the Nats fired the first shot across the bow. I've been shocked at how pleasantly I've been treated when I've gone to Camden Yards wearing my Nats stuff. I actually can't wait for the day when I catch hell for wearing Nats stuff at the Yard, and O's fans likewise are given lots of grief by Nats fans when they come down to South Capitol Street.

J-Red and I are trying to work out a bet for this series. Suggestions?

April 19, 2008

Cal Ripken DVD Collection Review

From our Wolverine State correspondent, "ben," who like me, despite being an ardent Nats fan, loves Cal Ripken and the 80s-late 90s O's, and who unlike me, has a wife who is accomodating enough to allow him to watch five full DVDs dedicated to the life and career of Cal. Anyway, Ben agreed to review them for us. Didn't you all read the fine print back in February 2007 and know that this is how it would go... we would hit 1,000 posts, and then sit back and let our guest correspondents do al the work? Anyway, enjoy, and J-Red, be sure to tell me and Ben what hypocrites we are.

I recently made the $49.99 investment in the DVD collection devoted to Cal Ripken, Jr. available here. It's a six DVDset featuring five games (in their entirety, mostly`from original broadcasts) and one documentary.

Based on the games chosen, you might be under the impression that Cal didn't start playing until Sept. 6, 1995. Overall, I enjoyed my trip down memory lane, watching some old games. It's also fun to see everyone come upto bat and make a mental note of whether or not they are a known 'roider. After having watched it once,however, I think it will be a long time before I watch any of these games again (except for the 2,131 game). It kind of feels like a bootleg copy, though. There are a few things about the individual games that I'll comment on later. For the packaging, though, the special features listed mention the "#3,121" game. On the DVD itself, it lists items from the "#3,121" game...twice. Bad sign for credibility of the package. At least the numbers on the Warehouse during the game are correct. The rest of the packaging is pretty good with lots of trivia, a picture of the Cal Ripken candy bar (who knew?) and other such things. I did not bother fact-checking it all, although maybe I should have given the blatant mistake at the outset.

Also, the DVD cases have the play-by-play of the whole game. It's like an ESPN gamecast. I regret that they had no games from the 1980s. I know he hit for the cycle in 1984. Wouldn't that have been a good choice? Maybe they didn't win the game. I just would have liked to have seen a young Cal with a cartoon bird on the cap. It also would have been nice if they could have found at least one game that had a dramatic ending. Oh well. I'm also sorry that this seems to have been released before his HOF induction. His Cooperstown speech would have been a great addition to the special features. For the games, "scene selection" is done by each half-inning. All the special features are on the disc with the documentary. This is where they stuck some post-game ceremonies. It's also the only place wherey ou can actually see him get his 3,000 hit. Sadly,there are no defensive highlight reels. I know he wasn't flashy, but he does have two Gold Gloves. On with the games:

Sept. 6, 1995 - Cal breaks Lou Gehrig's record
This is the ESPN broadcast, so you're stuck with Berman and Buck Martinez (as in "Oh, Buck! He crushed that!"). If you've worn out your tape of the game or haven't edited out the commercials, and if you want an alternative to the HTS broadcast from iTunes where Mel Proctor threatens to not vote for Clinton if he doesn't show up in the booth as promised, then this makes the purchase worthwhile by itself. It is slightly flawed in that it cuts out just a tad early between innings, so it cuts some stuff off. They cut Clinton's interview short as a result. It even has an unnecessary jump cut from the end of the celebration to the first at-bat of the bottom of the fifth. Weird.

May 28, 1996 - Cal hits three home runs
It's his only three home run game of his career. As is noted often during the broadcast, this came right after Davey Johnson said he was going to move Cal to third (but did not). It's kind of cool to watch Brady Anderson lead off with a home run on his way to slugging 50, and to watch a young Griffey and even younger A-Rod (20-years old). When Cal hits his second home run, a grand slam, Proctor first yells, "Hell yeah!" and quickly changes it to "Oh yeah!" Nice save, Mel. It's a great slugfest with the O's winning (as is the case in all the O's games selected for this set). Cal draws a standing ovation from the Seattle crowd withhis third home run.

Oct. 1, 1996 - ALDS Game 1, O's vs. Indians
While I enjoyed watching the O's win their first playoff game since 1983, this game did not belong in this set at all. Cal gets an RBI single early on and finishes with three hits, including a double. He also strands three runners during the game. The other games selected are celebrations of Cal. This one treats Cal like any other player. It was an odd choice. I suppose they desperately wanted to include a playoff game, but I wonder if this was really the best choice. I guess he never had a clutch hit in a single playoff game. But still, perhaps they should have opted for Game 5 of 1983 and justified it by saying he caught the last out. At least then you'd have a copy of that historic game.

June 13, 1999 - Cal gets six hits
This game was crazy. I remember watching the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast and just being stunned by the O's hanging 22 on the Braves in Atlanta. Cal started getting his ovations from the Braves fans (of those who stayed) when he got his fourth hit. Very odd thing about this DVD, however: it was theESPN broadcast, but it wasn't. While all the other games show the original television broadcast, this game had none of the graphics. None. They'd be referencing stats or lineups posted on the screen, but you don't see it. When you saw replays, there were no cool transitions, so you see the freeze frame for an oddly long time. You even missed some of their replays when they did things like K-Zone, so instead you see the camera moving around and getting its next shot because it was not live on ESPN. I have no idea why this happened for this game and not others. I kind of think they just got the wrong tape.

July 10, 2001 -- Cal wins MVP in his last All-Star game
Naturally, there's a lot of love thrown Cal's way as it is his final all-star game. And unlike Tony Gwynn, he's actually playing. Once Cal gets pulled and they have their little ceremony for him and Gwynn, there's not much left to see in the game.

What it is: Everything you imagine it is.
What it isn't: NFL Films Presents
MLB Productions is way behind NFL Films. It's a 1-hourlove fest for Cal, telling you everything you already know. It's okay. I felt like the narration was being done by a junior college student who was throwing something together for his film and video class. Then the credits rolled. It was Maryland native Ed Norton. I didn't even recognize his voice. Pretty weak.

April 17, 2008

Baltimore Looking Very Smart These Days

First, the oft-mocked Orioles. Miguel Tejada decided to get something off his chest today. He announced that he's actually two years older than what he originally told the Athletics. He's fooled baseball all these years, despite the fact his drivers license and green card both list his correct address. Note to teams: before you trade some good prospects for a hispanic player, CHECK HIS DRIVERS LICENSE. Tejada is actually almost 34, not almost 32. Since the Orioles traded Tejada his name has surfaced in the Mitchell Report, he has not performed particularly well, and he's older than he claimed to be. Great move O's!

Second, Terrell Suggs unexpectedly showed up at the Ravens minicamp. Suggs is the franchise player and is not under contract. He said that he has been on board with new coach John Harbaugh from day one and wanted to use the surprise appearance to let the coach know that. It looks like owner Steven Bisciotti's change of heart leading to Brian Billick's dismissal has been quite well-received by the team.

In other news, Steve McNair has decided to voluntarily free up some cap space by announcing his retirement. McNair was a big part of the Ravens 13-3 season in 2006. Unfortunately, he was also a big part of last season's disaster. It seems the parting is amicable, and I think most Ravens fans join me in wishing him a happy post-football career.

April 9, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

Lately, young people around the country have been given a reason to believe in the power of change again. People who had given up on old institutions are re-investing themselves, full of hope in the promise of the future.

That's right, the Orioles are winning the AL East! The cellar-dwelling O's are reborn, transformed into contenders again. This is truly Change We Can Believe In.

The O's have a 2 game lead a little over a week into the season. Some may say this success is short lived, and that the Orioles have no chance of finishing over .500, much less winning the division. To them, we say "Yes We Can!" (or Si Se Puede for you, Ramon Hernandez).

I think that's the new motto for the Orioles' season. Now let's see the "Yes We Can" signs out at the Yard!

April 7, 2008

Worst Publicity Photo Ever

This has to be the worst publicity photo ever.

It's Orioles CF Adam Jones.

April 4, 2008

Oriole Park at Camden Yards Concept Drawings

This is stolen from Orioles Hangout. Check out the original message board post and follow-up discussion there. Sorry DrLev, but there is no other good way to re-post the awesome pictures. Check out the high-res pictures here at the original post.

Here is the first design, commissioned in 1986. Obviously, we're glad that fell through.

The next design was created in 1987, and resembles what we eventually got. Notice the grandstands are rounded, the exterior ramps, the shortened warehouse and the symmetrical field with the scoreboard in dead center. I cannot see the bullpens, but they do not appear to be stacked. Also, the exterior brick has not beed added yet.

And, lastly, what we actually got. Clearly HOK did a great job refining this concept, because we got a nearly perfect finished product.

Really, you owe it to yourself to check out this link and see the pictures in high resolution that Blogger can't provide. Follow this link.

March 6, 2008

Most Overpaid Teams of 2007

With baseball season rapidly approaching, it's time for a look back at the most overpaid flops (as a team) of last year, and some speculation on whether history will repeat itself. All payrolls here. Without further ado, here they are in reverse order of overpayment:

Seattle Mariners ($106 Million, 88-74) - The Mariners won their last 5 to finish 6 back of the Angels. Granted the Angels spent as much as the M's, but you'd like to be a little more competitive for that much money. The Angels led all summer. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, need I say more?

"Another groundout, at least I got it in play..." (Getty Images)

NY Mets ($115 Million, 88-74) - Not a huge flop since they were in the playoff hunt the whole year, but it's clear that money doesn't buy clutch performance, even if you have the highest payroll in the NL. Their collapse allowed the Phillies (making $25 Million less) to close the gap. To be fair, the Phillies' payroll will close that gap some with Ryan Howard making $9 Million more than last year.

LA Dodgers ($108 Million, 82-80) - The NL West team with the highest payroll was lucky to break .500, and struggled mightily at the end of the year. Their 4th place finish was embarassing, especially since the Rockies and D-Backs COMBINED payroll was less than the Dodgers. The Padres were also under $60M.

SF Giants ($90 Million , 71-91) - Behind huge contracts to Zito and Bonds (neither of whom performed at a high level consistently), the Giants floundered to a last place finish and the 2nd worst record in the NL (Pirates, tied with Marlins). Good thing they let Schmidt go so they could sign Zito.

"I just gave up another homer, at least I'm rich..." (AP Photo)

Baltimore Orioles ($93 Million, 69-93) - An increase of $20 Million over 2006 netted the Orioles absolutely no benefit, leaving them still the second-best team in the Baltimore-Washington area. As a point of pride, the O's finished ahead of the Rays. On the other hand, the Rays only paid $24 Million to finish 3 games worse.

Chicago White Sox ($108 Million, 72-90) - The White Sox appear to have overpaid to keep an aging team together following their World Series victory, and it really cost them last year. 4th place behind medium market teams is not worth the 5th highest paid team in the league.

So what about 2008? The Orioles unloaded Tejada and Bedard for a collection of prospects and nobodies, so that should reduce the payroll but not improve the record. The Giants wisely disposed of Bonds, but Zito's monstrosity of a contract will be a burden on that team for years. The Dodgers and the Mets are likely to have much improved years with the addition of Torre and Santana, respectively. The White Sox and the Mariners might have the same result as last year, for the same price. Those owners have to love it.

Only 4 of the top 12 teams in payroll made the playoffs last year, and 3 teams in the bottom 8 made the playoffs. Money isn't everything.

February 8, 2008

Bedard Trade to M's is Finally Official

According to ESPN, Bedard has been sent to the Mariners for outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill, and three pitching prospects. The O's and MacPhail have been getting a lot of positive press about this deal, but we're probably going to have to wait a couple years to find out if these prospects were actually worthwhile. It's definitely nice to see the Orioles acknowledge we're not going to win the AL East in the next couple year and act accordingly.

Adam Jones, the next Orioles star OF

Adam Jones was the top pick in the 2003 draft and is expected to have a huge upside. I expect him to play immediately, and apparently Sherrill will give a shot at the closer role since Chris Ray is out indefinitely. Tillman at 19 was the minor-league pitcher of the year in the Seattle system last year, so there's definitely upside there. All three starters are rumored to have a decent shot at the bigs.

Now if the O's can get Gallagher and others in exchange for B-Rob, 2010 could be a really good year in Baltimore.

January 28, 2008

Rumors: Orioles' Bedard Traded for Seattle's Adam Jones

According to the Baltimore Sun, Orioles officials are denying reports that they have completed a trade sending left-handed pitching ace Erik Bedard to the Mariners for top young centerfield prospect Adam Jones and others.

Jones told the Seattle Times that he had been instructed to return from Venezuela and head to Baltimore for a physical. Unlikely other recent trade acquisitions, Jones appears more positive about the move, saying "You know, I like Seattle, but if I am in Baltimore, as I think now I am, I'm going to embrace it." That might not be the most positive endorsement, but it certainly isn't negative either.

Now a source is telling ESPN that the hold up in confirming the deal is...wait for it....Peter Angelos. Despite holding up the entire process by demanding that he confirm trades, Angelos is unavailable all day today on "personal business." Contrary to reports, I am not hoping he's off skiing somewhere and presently hurdling towards a very thick tree.

January 16, 2008

To All the Girls Who Don't Think Sports Matter

Stolen from It Never Rains in College Park.

The facade of Memorial Stadium had a simple inscription. "Time will not dim the glory of their deeds." That applied to our veterans and our sports heroes.

The entire inscription is copied below:










As a Memorial to All

Who so Valiantly Fought

and Served in the World

Wars with Eternal

Gratitude to Those Who

Made the Supreme

Sacrifice to Preserve

Equality and Freedom

Throughout the World



Beat that memorial. The most famous phrase, "Time will not dim the glory of their deeds", is now on display on Eutaw Street between Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium.

January 9, 2008

This Just in... Orioles Moving from Baltimore...

Care of today's Baltimore Sun:

OH MY GOD!!!! THEY'RE TAKING DOWN THE JUMBOTRON!!! Seriously, showing pictures of workmen taking down the Jumbotron piece-by-piece could cause mass hysteria and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder flashbacks from evoking memories of this image.

Oh, wait, I forgot... nobody in Baltimore cares about the Orioles anymore. If the Orioles moved, would anybody besides Nestor Aparicio and the Yankee and Red Sox fans who take over the ballpark six times a year notice?

Yes, bring on your anti-Nationals crap starting.... NOW. Pitchers and catchers report in five weeks.

December 8, 2007

Note to Orioles: Let's Get Steve Finley

According to ESPN and other sources, Steve Finley is lobbying on his own behalf at the winter meetings in Nashville. He's apparently in great shape, and is more concerned with playing than cashing another check (as evidenced by the fact that he indicated he would take a minor league contract if he has to).

Further, this is the Orioles outfield if the season started tomorrow:

Nick Markakis
Tike Redman
Jay Payton
Freddy Bynum
Jay Gibbons (haha)

blah The best part? He is still this skinny. That's post-Mitchell Report insurance baby.

Considering Bynum is destined to be about a .210 career hitter, we might want to invest in a little veteran leadership. Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar have both pissed off enough fans between Huff's comments on "Bubba the Love Sponge" about Baltimore and Millar throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game (which I still relate to pining after an ex-girlfriend and am willing to excuse).

Plus, maybe we can erase some of the shame of Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis. MAYBE.

August 30, 2007

Feeling good about the Orioles

With Russell and Jeremy (deservedly) bashing the Orioles lately, it took this post from J-Money over at Ladies... to make me feel a little bit better about being an Os fan.

August 24, 2007

Wild Bill Hagy Oldie but Goodie

This comes from a 1979 news "magazine", apparently on WJZ. Highlights include a little interview with Elrod Hendricks, a Marty Bass sighting, and a seemingly impossible 7 minutes and 54 seconds on Baltimore with the only black people shown being the players.

August 22, 2007

Open Letter to Orioles Manager Dave Trembley

Mr. Trembley,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on being named the Orioles manager through at least 2008. You've done a great job with limited talent, and you appear to have earned the support of not just the veterans, but the players you have managed previously at AA Bowie and AAA Ottawa. I think most Orioles fans are pleased with the selection, as am I.

On the other hand, there is still that Miguel Tejada streak-extending sham that we need to get past. Any PR man in any business would tell you that you would be a fool to bring the issue up on your own accord, as many have seemingly forgotten about it. I think you still need to make a public apology.

You see all of the empty seats in Camden Yards when less than marquee opponents come to town. I'm one of the absentees. As a young man who is part of the generation born between 1975 and 1985, I am still unsure whether I am an Orioles fan or a Cal Ripken fan. Really, for most of my life, they were one and the same. We 21- to 32-year-old fans need to feel like the Orioles are still representative of something good and pure in baseball. The Tejada incident felt cheap and contrived, not to mention utterly pointless.

I understand that you were new to the leadership mantle at the time, and the Tejada move quite likely earned you the respect of the veterans on the team. You also probably had a strong feeling that Tejada would have to sit anyway. Still, as a man relatively new to the Orioles organization, you need to at least indicate to us that you understand why we became upset.

I would like for you to publicly address the crowd over the PA system before the last home game this season. At the most apologize, and at the least explain yourself. If you did it out of respect for a veteran leader, and would do it again, say that. If you made a mistake and did not realize the impact Ripken has on the young fans of the franchise, say that. Over the offseason, people will again forget the incident, but they will not forget your honesty.

You've won over the team. Now please make this simple gesture to ensure that you have won over all of the fans. Then we can all come and enjoy the games next year knowing that we might not have the roster that New York and Boston has bought, but we'll still be scrapping in the Trembley style we've seen the past couple months.


Young Adult Orioles Fans