Fans, walks, and comebacks

Those who tuned into MASN2 this evening got to see alot of green. Nope not the well manicured grass at the yard, it was the empty seats that snuck their way into almost every shot. The occasional grouping of fans looked like they might need a row boat to get out of the sea of forest green. Ah well, everyone knows the reasons why this is the only sea I know of that couldn’t manage a wave. Whether it is the new attraction in DC, hatred of Peter “Loss” Angelos, the minor league roster playing at Camden, or that every fair weather baseball fan in Maryland has decided to become part of Red Sox nation. I actually saw about 30 or 40 Red Sox hats and shirts on opening day, I mean really come on.

Daniel Cabrera is not the super star talent he was thought to be. Bottom line. There is not much to say where D-Cab is concerned, he is just not a top of the rotation option. He might be a five. I hope against all hope that he proves me wrong, but he didn’t in his debut tonight and he won’t.

On a positive note the O’s made the crowd that showed up tonight a pretty happy bunch with the comeback win. I hope they can make this a habit, then my season tickets might be worth it. I for one, am not down about this team, maybe just the fan support.  

 

 

 

 

Brian Roberts

Looking at Brian’s spring so far I think he has a great motivation. Stealing 5 bases and scoring 6 runs in 5 games just shows that he is still playing his game. No changes, no showing off for the Cubs’ scouts, just the man playing ball. I don’t care how many prospects we would get I think Roberts is the only link to the Oriole way that we have, I am with Peter for once we need to keep him for his entire career. Put a competitive team on the field as soon as possible and convince him to sign long term. He is the only real ORIOLE left in my eyes, you cant get that with just anyone,  lets build around him.

Spring Training and one last off season move

Just real quick, I noticed Nick Adenhart (of the Angels) on the main page of MLBlogs.com, I just wanted to note that I played against Nick at Halfway Little League in Hagerstown, MD as a kid. Even then he blew away every youngster he faced. My Dad remembers finding it hard to call balls and strikes while working as a volunteer umpire, the kid throws hard. I wish Nick all the luck in the world and hope to see him on a big league hill one day.

As for the Orioles, I think the the spring training games so far speak to what this team is going to be, a decent offensive club, an upgrade from last year if you can believe it, with a pitching staff that will be inconsistent at the very best. I think growing pains is what we all expect and that is what we are going to get.

The Staring Rotation:

Jeremy Guthrie- I like his attitude, on the mound and off. Although it isn’t his second year in the majors look out for the sophomore slump. With no offense behind him and the pressure of a top of the rotation option, we will definitely find out whether Jeremy is up to the task. If he is all the better for the birds, if not, the stable of young arms in Norfolk should yield a replacement in the years to come. If he can lower that ERA from the 3.70 he put up last year he could get 10 wins or more. He certainly has the command, only 47 walks in 170 plus innings last year. Lets just hope he stays consistent and healthy and works with Kranitz well.

Adam Loewen- The key for Adam is the elbow, he has a top flight arm and the talent to stand out, we got to see some of that early last season. His first spring outing was a disaster but I would guess he was overthrowing and so would the Orioles coaches. Loewen was consistently missing up in the strike zone, and he said the root of that error was a minor mechanical flaw that he can easily fix. For me Loewen is the key piece to the puzzle for the O’s. Can he anchor the staff for years to come? Baltimore needs to believe he can, we have lost faith in D-Cab and Guthrie is just to old to be the future. Loewen is the guy on the roster right now that needs to make it happen, lets hope he stays healthy and makes a huge leap in 08.

Daniel Cabrera-He came to camp all business this year, which is what I think he needed to do. He didn’t gel with Mazzone and now has to work with yet another pitching guru, hopes this one can curtail Cabrera. The man with a million dollar arm and a ten cent head can go one of two ways this season. He can become the pride of the organization, a guy they stuck with, or an embarrassment, all the promise in the world gone to waste. By now we know what he can do, he needs to make everyone in charm city believe.

Steve Traschel- Just go out there and eat those innings Steve. Be a mentor as best you can and provide that stop gap that the Orioles will most likely be in need of come July. For his sake I hope his does well in the first half, so the O’s can flip him to a  contender at the deadline. Steve would get a chance at the playoffs and the O’s could get some more youngsters.

My projection (Garrett Olson)-I know this one is up in the air but I would go with Olson here. He showed signs of being major league ready and I think can be a 4th or 5th starter for this team in the future. Lets just face facts on this one though, whoever starts here when the season begins most likely won’t make the entire season in the starting rotation, whatever the reason might be. So lets just hope that all of the candidates, (Liz, Burres, Albers, Penn, Olson) show signs of improvement throughout the year and each get a chance to cement their position in the big leagues.

All in all probably the worst rotation in the American League, with some competition from the royals of course. But we all knew what we were getting into when MacPhail started this project. So we might see a few long painful nights at the yard but it is to be expected, something I think B-more has come to embrace, the Andy MacPhail hoe down, one step forward and two steps backs.

I will take look at the starting line up next week, hope everyone is enjoying spring training…..

A little less tongue and cheek

From the analytical baseball side of the Bedard deal I think the effect for the Orioles is two fold.

First, an injection of youth into a franchise that last year was infected with malcontents and players past their prime should give the O’s a new outlook and hopefully a different dynamic. That being said, they didnt get rid of the bulk of their useless vets (Millar, Huff, Payton, Gibbons), only two of their best players and Patterson via free agency. The hope is that Mora, Hernandez, Walker, Bradford and all the rest buy into the idea of rebuilding and help the youngsters in stead of focusing on the july 31 trade deadline. I think that will be Dave Trembley’s greatest challenge this season but if he can get this team to gel it will bode well for the future of this franchise, both in developing the youth and changing the club’s direction.

Second, any 5 for 1 deal is a win for the team giving up the one, depending on the depth of the scouting done on the prospects coming back and luck to I guess. But what the Tejada and Bedard deals both have done is yield an Orioles  organization that is more than healthy on the mound from top to bottom, from Frederick to Baltimore.It might just be the best crop of young minor league pitchers in the AL. You have Liz, Olson, Patton, Albers, Loewen, Penn clogging up the top end of the organization pushing some of the others youngsters down a level and spreading the talent  throughout the farm system. If pitching wins titles, as AM clearly thinks it does, and just a few of these pitchers pan out 2010 or 11 for that matter could find the O’s back over the .500 mark and maybe alot more.

Back to the Future

Hey O’s Fans its time for the long awaited Andy McPhail rebuildin’ a franchise hoedown. Two steps forward, one step back…..one step forward, two steps back….now grab your prospect and docey doe.

Just thought I’d throw that in for everyone in the rumor mill who has been taking this trade fiasco so seriously over the past week or so. I for one stayed away from the blogesphere, I knew that a trade was going to get done and to speculate why, how, or when just gets so tiring sometimes. So yesterday as I watched the Anita Marks Show on MASN and the magical words scrolled across the bottom of the screen I was elated!! It seems like I was almost as excited to share my opinions with you all as Bedard was to get the heck out of Baltimore.

Now, if you would like statistical analysis of the trade I can’t provide it,there are plenty of qualified folks on the web who will tell you the shoe size and favorite food of a prospect anyway.  If you want a longtime dedicated orioles fanatic’s opinion on the McPhail moves read on.

I think in some of my earlier blogs I simply took all the news of the day and turned it into a knee jerk reaction, which is common in the world of sports journalism these days ( just watch Skip Bayless on 1st and 10). But with this one I have been thinking for a while and I think I know what I want to say.

YAAAAHHHHHHOOOOO!!!!! LETS GO O’S, LETS GO O’S, LETS GO O’S.

Right now I am just imagining how good it will feel when Markakis, Jones, Weiters, hopefully Roberts, and company take us to the playoffs in 2010. I am more than ready to start over and rebuild my faith as a fan, as the Orioles rebuild their franchise. I am ready to grow with this team and support it through these next couple of years until the young talent puts us ahead of the Sox and Yanks. Granted we have a long way to go but I am ready to take that long journey, one that actually is mapped out, not just wondering around in the dark as it has been for the last decade. We are truly going ‘back to the future’ in B-more…….

Quick Question :

In that parody who is the Doc and who is Marty McFly for the O’s? Can somebody get Andy McPhial the De Lorean ASAP, ’cause at this point I am so excited about the future that I just can’t wait.

The Aftermath

Enough time has passed and the reality has set in that Mr. Mitchell., while he may have used questionable sources, was on the money with most if not all of his allegations. When I first read the report I was infuriated, as you can tell from my previous post, I thought the entire document was a study on the legal concept of hearsay. But the dam seems to have cracked and some admissions are starting to trickle down, I am now just waiting for the flood. It may be yet  another knee jerk reaction to make that assumption after only a handful of players have admitted guilt, but it is certainly hard to ignore (as I wish I could).I can’t say I was shocked by Brian Roberts admission that he used Steroids once in 2003 as Larry Bigbie had claimed, but I am surprised that he and all of his fellow users might think that their admissions somehow make them the beacons of truth in Major League Baseball. Oh Brian thank you for telling the truth but let me ask you this……remember when Jason Grimsely named you a couple of years ago, where was this guilt ridden, faith filled apology? I don’t give any of these players (Pettite, Roberts, etc.) any credit for admitting this now after they have been accused before, after which nothing was said and Roberts quipped "I passed all the tests, I never failed a test."

"In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that
this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue
doing. I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other
performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident. I
can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans that
steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect
on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball. I
am very sorry and I deeply regret ever making that terrible decision.
My only hope and prayer is that the Orioles, my family, friends and
fans that have supported me so faithfully will forgive me."

Steroids? What Steroids???

I don’t really know whether George Mitchell and his fellow investigators think that the public is naive or that they really believe the **** they are slinging. To make suggestions about how baseball can clean up the steroid mess is one thing, to enter into the court of public opinion and make accusations that are mostly based on testimony that wasn’t under any oath and is otherwise here say is quite another. To think that this report and the names presented in it will somehow quench the public thirst for knowledge on the steroid era is to me a ridiculous notion. Two thirds of the information is just the re-telling of other investigations and the rest of it was gathered for club house attendants and trainers who were facing further prosecution if they didn’t talk. George, let me just say this, I get the point of this whole thing and I even agree with the recommendations you laid out for Bud, but to include names of some of these players just because that is what people wanted to read is ludicrous. The only real concrete evidence I see that someone actually did steroids is either by their own admission or by a witness who said they actually injected them, i.e. Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite.

Brian Roberts? included because Larry Bigbie remembers a brief conversation they once had….how on earth do you think that would stand up in the court of public opinion or in any court for that matter? I haven’t had time or even wanted to take the time to read the whole entire thing but I focused mainly on the Orioles mentioned and I will tell you that if I was B-Rob and I was innocent, I would be on the roof-time shouting Bull **** Bull **** Bull ****.