Tag Archives: baltimore

Game On.

Yesterday’s game was quite the disappointment.  Pitching was poor.  Bergeson gave up a handful of runs in 4 2/3 an inning (not completely his fault considering Jones should have caught that deep fly that gave up 2 in the first), however the O’s still managed to get 1 more than the Jays with the hot bat of, reigning MASN ‘Player of the Game,’ Michael Tejada.  Time to close shop.  But, on par with his first few outings…

However, ESH are not prepared to boo him…yet.  Not everyone can be dominant right off the bat (no pun intended, but count it!).  I think Gonzalez will find his groove and finish his innings like he’s been starting them.  Two K’s, then loading the bases was a bit extreme in our only win.

Anywho, a few of the Hooligans will be attending the game tonight.  We were out of our element yesterday, having to sit in our designated spots, but tonight will most likely be different.  And, by different I mean back to the usual “cheap ticket, pick your seat” deal we’re all so fond of.  Looking to be in Section 4ish on the right field line.  Come join the party.

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I’m so excited right now!

Guess who’s coming back!  No, not Trembley.  Well, I mean, yeah, Trembles is coming back…but that’s not who I’m talking about!

Ma-fuckin Russ Smith, that’s who!

There was Dave Trembley last Friday night at Camden Yards, looking like the Cat who ate the Oriole, and on purely good-will-towards-men grounds, it was hard not to smile.

Smiling at an O’s game is almost certainly prohibited.  You’re lucky you didn’t get caught.

Trembley, manager of Baltimore’s sloppy squad, whose continued employment was the subject of speculation around town the past several weeks—after all, what else was there to talk about regarding the team, on its way to 98 losses?—was the beneficiary of a floundering franchise’s confounding conservatism, given a vote of confidence from Andy MacPhail, the team’s president of operations. So good for Trembley, reputedly a decent fellow, dodging what seemed like an inevitable waking of the plank.

Very confusing graf, but I don’t think I disagree with anything here.

Never mind that the O’s fielded a team with a lot of talent, especially the much-touted Baby Birds, and yet finished with the American League’s worst record.

“Much-touted” doesn’t mean “will make the team win instantly upon arrival”.

If this was, as MacPhail preached time and again, another “rebuilding year,” a fan might have expected more progress.

It was a rebuilding year.  There’s no need to question it.  Again, I think we made as much progress as one can expect in a rebuilding year.  Has there been a team that was in a self-proclaimed rebuilding year that went on to win the pennant or something that I don’t know about?

And, as it happened, the O’s set a new low for attendance at Camden Yards, drawing 1,907,163 spectators, about 40,000 less than ’08, which was then the bottom number.

That’s a bummer.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians canned manager Eric Wedge—and in a cruel way, just days before the season ended

If MacPhail was going to fire Trembley, he said straight up, it might be before the season ended.  Would you have thought it cruel to Trembley?

—who, it may be remembered, led his team to within one game of going to the World Series in ’07. It’s said that Trembley was hamstrung by injuries (which happens to every team) and MacPhail’s midseason trades of closer George Sherrill and Aubrey Huff,

Trembley was hamstrung by injuries:  Pie, Jones, Bergessen, Reimold, Albers, Sarfate, etc.  Sherrill and Huff getting dealt, was not a huge deal.  It didn’t help us though.  Well Huff leaving helped us…he was really draggin ass out there.

but Wedge, in the last two years, lost CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, among others, and star center fielder Grady Sizemore was hurt most of the year. The Indians are now rebuilding and Wedge is out; is it unreasonable to think that Trembley, too, ought to be sacrificed in the interest of shaking the team up?

I think it’s unreasonable, yes.

History lesson in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Wedge took over the team in 2003 and the Indians finished 4th.  From 2003 to 2007 they finished 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st.  Over 5 years he made considerable strides forward.  The two years following that 1st place finished saw them land 3rd and 4th…a considerable step back.

Wedge was given 7 years as manager.  He helped lead the team to winning seasons but couldn’t sustain that winning.  By halfway through the 08 season, it was clear the team wasn’t going to contend that year, so they started making moves.  Cliff Lee didn’t resign with them because he saw no future there, at least in the short term.

That’s what rebuilding is for mid-market teams.  You gear up, as best you can, and shoot to make a run at the title.  If you aren’t going for the title, you are shedding payroll, trading veterns for younger players, and biding your time.

I personally don’t see another O’s dynasty in the foreseeable future as long as the current payroll and schedule structure are in place for the AL East.

Now, Trembley has only two full seasons under his belt.  He took over the team when they were shitty.  Really, really shitty.  Anyone who thinks he was going to pull the team out of the basement in two years has really unrealistic expectations.  Besides, why should he be the one to take the full force of the blow-back?

The decision to keep Trembley was such a shock that The Baltimore Sun‘s print edition last Saturday featured a banner headline on its front page, “O’s keeping Trembley,” (never mind the previous day’s disappointing unemployment numbers or President Obama’s failure to secure the 2016 Olympics for his many political friends in Chicago), a decision at the daily that left me wondering what was more depressing: MacPhail’s puzzling strategy or The Sun‘s ongoing disintegration. Sure, the sports news was a big local story, but there was a time not so long ago that the paper’s editors (who were at onetime familiar with the city) would’ve run a snipe on the front page rather than make it the lead article. The good news for the Orioles and its fans, I suppose, is that the club has a longer life expectancy than The Sun, but I digress.

Moving on.

A few days later, after the unexpected retention of Trembley, a manager who plays the stoic Marine at press conferences but is often accused of being soft in the clubhouse,

Agreed.  We’ve actually written about it before.  Also, you can see by Trembley’s own comments that he is aware of this, may have done it for a reason(i.e. teaching instead of beating up), and is certainly going to change next season.

And I know what my shortcomings have been. I know what I have to do better. I’ve got to drop the hammer more. I’ve got to drop it, because losing does not sit very well with the people around here anymore.

even supporters of the decision, such as The Sun‘s columnist/blogger Peter Schmuck, could offer few encouraging words to the fan base for next season and beyond. On the morning of MLB’s last day of the regular season, Schmuck wrote: “The road back to respectability never figured to be a short one, but the trip has been so difficult that the thought of another hopeless season in 2010 might be too much to bear for the club’s beleaguered fans.”

Why?  What’s the difference?  12 losing seasons.  13 losing seasons.  14 losing seasons.  What’s the difference?  Here’s how the same situation would look in an office setting:

Ok gang.  We have this damn problem with the copier…it just won’t make copies.  We’ve tried to fix it 5 times by just hitting it with a hammer.  We tried another 5 times by hitting it with a bigger hammer.  We tried once by begging it to just start working.  We tried another few times by taping other smaller copiers to it.  None of those things worked.  Now we can either 1) be patient and wait for the parts to get here, or 2) cancel the replacement parts, fire a few employees (probably those in accounts payable, because fuck them), and we can try the hammer thing again.  Let’s vote.

Things are finally starting to look brighter, and now, people are more impatient than they’ve ever been.  I don’t get it.

There’s a chance, I guess, that MacPhail will take advantage of shedding $40 million off its ’09 payroll to actively seek a slugger for the lineup, a reliable veteran starting pitcher and quality players for first and third bases. Still, given the dearth of marquee free agents in the off-season it’s unlikely the O’s will make the splash that the dwindling attendees at Camden Yards so desperately desire. Think about it: if you’re John Lackey (the most prized pitcher on the market), Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, all of whom will play in the postseason starting this week, would you sign with a team that barely escaped 100 losses and hasn’t been in the playoffs since 1997? A ton of money can lure pure mercenaries, but with so few players available it’s almost out of the question that any big name will be suiting up for Trembley next year.

Agreed.  It’s hard to convince any pitcher to come to the AL East.  Every starter for the Yankees has 20 home runs this year.  That’s fucking insane.

Russ, let me say, we see eye to eye on a lot of things, it’s just this slight little perspective thing that keeps us from being the same person…oh yeah, and you like the Red Sox, but still.  So close.

Those three players, or any other free agent for that matter, are not going to look at the Orioles and say, “Trembley’s the coach of that team?  Fuck them.”  They’re going to say, “They really suck.  Unless they pay me a shit load or I get the convenient yet oddly timed desire to be a part of something cool like the 08-09 Rays, fuck them.”

Perhaps MacPhail believes he can pull off a blockbuster trade, but then again, whom would the O’s exchange for, say the Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay? Luke Scott or Jeremy Guthrie? No, I don’t think so either. (By the way, I’m betting the Yanks wind up with Halladay, exiling Joba Chamberlain, Melky Cabrera and a few prospects to Toronto.) MacPhail’s not a dumb guy, and so he knows a bunch of new faces that MASN can feature on its “Birdland” commercials come next March is a necessity, but it’d take an MVP soothsayer to tell us just who they’ll be.

Nope…we’re not going to get any big names in trades.  We might get a prospect or two, but we are not going to deal away the core of our talent, especially the pitching.

Last month, in a critical piece about the Orioles I was slagged by Kevin Lomax, one of the guys who blogs at Eutaw Street Hooligans, and though he was confused about my own favorite team (the Red Sox, not the Yankees),

Seriously though, I wasn’t the only one who thought that of your writing.  I was however the only one who had the time (sadly) and the balls to show it to you or say it to you straight up.

Also, re-read that article and tell me it doesn’t sound like Yankee propaganda.

Finally, I love that you said slagged.  You’re totally from England aren’t you?

the implication was that a non-O’s fanatic wasn’t welcome to offer commentary about the team. That’s fine by me, since I appreciate passionate fans.

That wasn’t my implication.  My implication was, before you write such a critical article about a team (that you don’t root for) at least do your home work.  I can take well-reasoned criticism.  Shit, I can take unreasonable criticism as long as it’s funny.  But poorly researched and unsubstantiated arguments; I just can’t stand idly by and let that happen.

I’ll point out, however, that my family and I attended more than 20 O’s games at Camden Yards this year (including all but one Sunday afternoon contest),

I’m glad you are out supporting our rebuilding effort.  This will only help us in our future conquest of the AL East.

and as someone who remembers when the Orioles were a perennial contender, as well as feeling bad for my kids’ friends who grew up in Baltimore and have never experienced the thrill of a winning team, I don’t feel guilty for advocating wholesale changes in the current Orioles’ culture.

I will admit, I wasn’t alive during a time of Oriole contention, so I can’t share your feelings here.

After all, as a resident of Baltimore, I’d welcome a packed stadium every home game, not only for the energy at the park, but the resulting economic benefits for the retailers downtown whose business spikes considerably when attendance is high.

Agreed.

And Lomax, on Oct. 1, prior to the Trembley announcement and the O’s snapping a 13-game losing streak, was less jolly, writing: “I plead with you fellow O’s fans: Stop bitching so much about a team that had no business playing in the majors this year. It’s not one person’s fault. It’s not the players, it’s not Trembley, it’s not Angelos and it’s not MacPhail. The reason we have a shitty team is simple: The 2009 Orioles are the collective (shitty) sum of 15 to 20 years of bad decisions by hundreds of people. I’ll concede that one person has had the most influence over that time, but still…he’s not making all of the decisions.”

I wasn’t jolly when I gave your article the written bitch-slap it deserved.  I’m also not less jolly here.  I’m realistically optimistic ©.  Simply put:  My glass is half full…of shit.  Realistically, we were (and still are) a really bad ball club.  Optimistically, we have seen a lot of signs that point to a brighter future.  I won’t name them all because I did that last time.

Finally, I’ll defer to my friend Tom Scocca, who grew up near Memorial Stadium and does remember, as a tot, winning Oriole baseball. Tom’s a dedicated and stubborn O’s fan (and a multi-talented writer whose book Beijing Welcomes You is set for release next fall by Riverhead)

As any fan of a losing team must be.

but is extraordinarily clear-headed when discussing the team.

Meaning he makes logical, substantiated claims?  If only we all did that.

In an email last weekend, after the Trembley news, Tom told me, “I just don’t see what the positive case is for keeping him. Sure, you don’t want to fire the manager for firing’s sake, and you don’t want to blame a guy for losing when he was given such a thin team to work with, but what has he done right?… [The Orioles] are terrible at making productive out. They lead the league in blown-save percentage. They don’t take extra bases. The defensive efficiency is awful.”

I have one.  A rotating door of managers has not done anything to help our team.  A team needs a little consistency.  Besides, Trembley, admittadly, has not been able to be a manager.  He’s had to be a teacher.  Firing a guy, who’s not been given a fair shake, tells something to other people in your organization:  We are not logical.  We will bend over to what the “uneducated” fan wants.  We will bend over to what the reactionary media wants.

Take your beloved Yankees for instance.  That’s your team right, the Yankees?  Had they followed what their fans and media wanted after the first 3 weeks of the season, when the O’s were beating up on their billion dollar pay roll, Girardi would be a goner.  But instead, they saw themselves through the storm, and have the best record in baseball.  Understand, a storm for a billion dollar team, is pretty short.

He doesn’t go easy on MacPhail either: “He can’t repeat that stunt he pulled this year of just not bothering to stock up with 162 games’ worth of players… Even if [Adam] Jones and [Matt] Wieters are All-Stars and two of the young pitchers turn into front-line starters, that won’t mean anything if they don’t fill in the hollow spaces on the rest of the roster.”

Everyone knows we need more players.  But what kind of stunt is this guy talking about?  Did the Orioles really just send a bunch of players home for the year.  Was MacPhail like, “You know how we can really fuck with the fans?  We can play with 6 players a game.  I figure that’s the quickest way to get rid of Bill Shatner anyway.”

My wife, younger son and I were at Camden Yards on Sunday for the final game of the season, one in which the Birds won 5-4 in 11 innings against the Blue Jays (that team, in total disarray, slept-walk through the afternoon, and when reliever Brandon League muffed two consecutive throws to first, allowing the winning run to score, I thought immediately of the great film Eight Men Out) and it was an eerie day at the park. The awful music that plays between innings was that much louder since the crowd was thin, less than 18,000, and the assembled seemed restless, walking around more than usual, oblivious to the whipping wind and action on the field. It’s my hope, for the team and Baltimore alike, that this weird scene was a harbinger of the Orioles’ future.

Let me finish with two things.

1)  In my heart of hearts, I know Trembley isn’t a sure-shot to lead us to a championship.  He hasn’t shown the ability to properly manage a game.  But we also haven’t had a large enough sample size for a big league manager.  So although my response to your article looks really pro-Trembley, I’m not really in either corner.  I just couldn’t pass up an oppportunity to have another good back and forth with Russ.

2)  I encourage all of you O’s fans, again, have some patience.  No one said doing it right would be easy.  It’s been a rough year.  It hasn’t been awesome to watch, but things will get better.  Shit, they might not, but let’s not abandon the plan before it’s been given a chance to work.

~Kevin Lomax

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New addition to the O’s store

It should be this:

(Druken) Artist Rendition

(Drunken) Artist Rendition

But it probably won’t be.

Thanks to our friend Bob Arctor who spotted this shirt last week when we graciously allowed the Rangers to catch up to the Red Sox.  He was drunk when he saw it and I’m assuming he was still drunk when he tried to recreate it in Paint, but you get the idea.

We haven’t been so accomadating to the Rangers this week by getting our scalps taken by Boston.

~Kevin Lomax

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Freel Fails Again

A while ago we were discussing Ryan Freel in the comments section of one of our posts.  Here’s the excerpt:

Johnny Mnemonic (note: not affiliated with ESH)

keep the manager. fire the players – guthrie, hill, mora, wiggy, even huff.  Bring back freel!…

Tom Ludlow

Ryan Freel is terrible, plus we would be stopping him from his possible record of playing for the most teams in a single season ever

biffaliff
Correction:

“We would be stopping [Ryan Freel] from his possible record of failing with the most teams in a single season ever.”

So Ryan failed again.  If he latches on with one more franchise he has a shot at the title but I doubt that will happen today.  He really looks like a dick now so I hate to rub it in…nah, that’s not true, that’s what we’re here for.  To kick him while he’s down.

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May 10th, 2009

A decade or so of losing teams.  Man am I glad to be off the O’s and headed to the Cubs.  I’m overwhelmed with joy.

Also, Farney keeps farting in my cereal bowl and he needs to cut it out.

Get ready for the grittiest damn ball player you’ve ever seen Chicago!  Eckstien didn’t play in Chicago did he?

I hear Chicago has a better craigslist anyway.

~Freel Like Makin Love

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July 2nd, 2009

The Cubs haven’t won a world series since 1908!  Man, they have no idea how to run a club there.  I’m lucky I got out.  Kansas City here I come!

Get ready for the grittiest damn ball player you’ve ever seen Kansas City!

Also, Farney has moved from farting in my cereal to drawing on my face at night with a permanent marker.  And people wonder why I drink so much!

~More than a Freeling

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August 28th, 2009

George Brett is a psycho.  Farney and him couldn’t get along so I’m out.  They’re saying they DFA’d me but I tell you what…I walked out.  I was legitimately concerned for my life there. 

You can only get threatened by George so many times before you just have to make a change.

I hear Texas is nice though so I’m glad I got picked up by a legitimate contender.

Texas get ready for the grittiest damn ball player you’ve ever seen.  Playoffs here we come!

~You Don’t Know How It Freels

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August 31st, 2009

What the hell!  Two fucking days!  I didn’t even make it to Texas?  Oklahoma was just supposed to be a rest stop and I already got released.

Farney is not making it any easier by calling me a loser every five seconds or so.

All this moving would sure be a lot easier if I hadn’t had the Orioles equipment bag burned.

~You Make Me Freel Like a Whore

Come out and join us against the dreaded MFY.

~Kevin Lomax

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Schmucking Ridiculous

It seems fitting that yesterday I was reading through the archives of FJM and then Peter Schmuck writes something that would have Ken Tremendous and Dak losing their minds.

Painful collapses have become a habit for the Orioles, and this one was another illustration of something that’s been obvious for months. These guys just don’t know how to win, because none of them ever have.

Are you are saying that the players on the current roster, have never been a part of a winning team in all of their years in baseball?  Not even little league, high school, college, or minor league teams?

Or did you mean that after recording two outs in the ninth, Jim Johnson said to himself, “Shit, what do I do now?  Groove a pitch to let the other team take the lead?  That sounds right.”  Yet, prior to tonight, he was 4-4 in save opportunities since taking over the job from Sherrill.  I know, small sample size, but still.

They do know how to win.  There’s not a secret to it.  You score more runs than the other team.  They’re just not as good as the teams they’re playing.  That makes it hard to win.

Did the Rays have a bunch of “winners” on their team when they made it to the World Series last year?  Nope…they had good pitching, good defense, and good hitting.

They also didn’t run themselves out of a lot of innings…while I’m thinking about it, the argument raging about firing Juan Samuel over at OH is ludicrous too.

When Pie tagged and tried to make it to third…it was retarded.

When Brian forgot how many outs there were and ran home…it was retarded.

When Huff got picked off by the “fake to third-throw to first move”…it was FUCKING retarded!  I’ve never, ever, seen that work.

So, Juan Samuel called all the players on the team retarded in the newspaper.   I for one am for it.

People are calling him an awful coach.  I personally don’t think the third or first base coach has a significant impact on the game.  Unless your Tom “Windmill” Trebelhorn.

People are claiming that the team doesn’t respect Trembley because he never played the game.  Well Juan Samuel did play the game.  And he was a beast on the basepaths, so there is credibility there.  Say what you will about his coaching/teaching abilities, there is no denying that Juan could tear it up, running the bases.

People are saying that he shouldn’t have done it in the papers.  Our base running has been a joke all year.  Even Rolling Stone ragged on us.  Do you think that Juan hasn’t been trying to hammer it into these idiots?  I’m ready for some of these players to get publicly embarrassed.

A) They’re grown-ass men and they don’t need to be coddled like 5 year olds.

B)  They are professionals who aren’t performing their job to the highest level.

We could use a little accountability in the clubhouse.

Finally, I think a few of us are headed to the game tonight.  Keep an eye out in the right field bleachers for some fans with their heads in their hands…that’ll be us.  It’s getting hard to watch.

~Kevin Lomax

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The Magilahuff is Dead!

As some of our readers may know, there is a creature in Orioles lore known as the Magilahuff. It was a three-headed monster that played first base for the Orioles early this decade.

The first head, Gibbons, was defeated when he was ostracized from the team for his utter lack of production after quitting steroids.

The second head, Millar, felt he could help the Blue Jays increase their pop-out number.

We learned today that the final head of that beast was shipped out to Detroit.

huff-pumps1

I’m probably as excited about this trade as Huff was to get that home run off Joba.

As Tom Ludlow put it earlier, “We traded the corpse of Huff for a living person, so it was a good trade.”

He’s probably as excited to be going to Detroit as he was to come to Baltimore. After all, I hear Detroit is beautiful these days.

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AATY: It’s always darkest before the dawn…

…Or some stupid crap like that.Adventures at the Yard

If you remember a few days ago I posted the picture I saw in Rolling Stone about how terrible our base running is.   For those who haven’t, and that’s most of you judging by our site traffic numbers lately, here you go.

Well last night Brian Roberts did exactly what Ashanti did on the base path.  With 1 out he sprinted to home on a lazy fly ball and was doubled up at second, effectively running us out of the inning.  We won though, so it didn’t end up mattering too much but holy shit that’s ridiculous.

There was one difference between Ashanti’s base running mistake and Brian’s.

She’s a singer and he’s A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER!

Last night, I was embarrassed.  It’s a good damn thing no one really watches the O’s anymore.

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Adventures Away from the Yard: Fenway Park

Adventures Away from the YardIt’s been over 2 weeks now and I’m just now getting to the update about my trip to Fenway Park.

Suffice it to say that the trip could have been better.

We hopped on the train from somewhere in Boston to get to Fenway.  We arrived and they have a sort of Pickles-esque set up with a few bars around the place where people can meet up and tell stories about how they became Red Sox fans.  I’m going to withhold further comment because unlike a Red Sox game in any other stadium but Boston or NY, I am confident that most of them are actual fans.

We met some other O’s fans and they came to dinner with us.  I told them I’d post a picture so here it is:

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They were nice and they were O’s fans so that was cool too.

The place we went had amazing food.  But I did find out that most Bostonians are sissies and I judge this based on the beer they drank.

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Blueberry and Watermelon beer?  Nancies.  There wasn’t a Natty Boh to be seen for miles.

Anyway we made our way over to the stadium and it was packed.  The seats were super close together and a lot of them were obstructed view seats because of the damn pillars.

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I only had one run-in with fan.  He happened to be a Napoleonic fellow wearing a Pedroia t-shirt.  I don’t think he smiled during the game and I’m pretty sure he was about 5 seconds from an aneurysm for most of it too.  The vein on his forehead was really pulsating.  The fans there went ape-shit for every routine play, it was kind of pathetic.  When I would clap modestly for the Orioles, the following play (when predictably that play was rendered moot), the guy would stand up, turn around and clap in my face.

First off, if you are 5’5” and 12olbs, don’t think that you are going to intimidate me.  I subsequently laughed hysterically until the guy turned around.  Second, you’re supposed to win.

Let me re-iterate that:  You’re supposed to win.  Why are you taking it so serious?  Why do you clap at a routine catch by Jacoby in center?  You’re supposed to beat the snot out of us.  You spend more than Scrooge McDuck and we’ve not had a winning season is 10 11 seasons.

Anyway, after the game we went down to the grounds keepers dressing room (the guy we were with was a grounds keeper there for a bunch of years so he still had some friends there).  Turns out their dressing room was right next to the visitors clubhouse.  I saw Rich Hill talking with his family (probably about not pitching anymore).  I saw Ty Wigginton walking towards the bus hotdog stand.  I saw Zaun walk out and forget where he was (Alzheimer’s).  And, I saw Trembley giving the Crow travel advice.

It was worth the trip to say I’d been there but I’d rather watch a game at good old OPACY any day of the week.

I imagine we will be at a few games this home stand, especially Bergy T-shirt night so we hope to see you at the yard.

~Kevin Lomax

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Rolling Slam

It seems everywhere you look these days the Orioles are getting crapped on.  Other than the excitement of watching our busload of rookies get their shot, this season has been pretty soul-crushing.  Shame on me for letting the Orioles PR machine hype me up about another dreadful season.

I have to draw the line though, when I see things like this in my latest issue of Rolling Stone:

rsa

Did you see the video of her baserunning?

In all honesty though, I really can’t argue that much.  Obviously, Ashanti couldn’t really play for the Orioles.  We all know she can’t hit the curve and her splits against lefties are horrible.  I only really have one thing to say to the base running knock…touche.

~Kevin Lomax

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Minor League Hecklers

We were in attendance for Brian Matusz start in Bowie Monday night.It was mustache night, so as we strolled in with half price tickets for having completely badass ‘staches the night was full of excitement. We made our way down to our seats by the dugout, walking confidently past the tens of people there to support the O’s AA affiliate. Our second row tickets put us right behind a few Baysox season ticket holders, which I didn’t even know existed.

That is when things went crazy, real crazy. We weren’t the only hecklers in attendance, we had competition. And since these guys were regulars they had no problem schmoozing with the staff at Prince Georges Stadium. An epic battle of one-upsmanship was about to ensue, I could feel the excitement building. O's Face

They struck the first blow, and we were speechless. For the first time in my heckling career I was embarrassed to be a heckler. These guys were awful. We were at a AA game and they needed to be sent back the instructional league. They used the same heckle for every player. You gotta learn to mix up your pitches fellas. Asking every player that can hear you why they haven’t gotten the call up yet is totally weak.

Almost as entertaining as these fools attempting to heckle was to hear their talks about baseball in general. Ranging from Halladay (“give up the farm”, and by farm I mean “whoever they want no matter what if you are the Phillies”) to basing predictions on careers of major leaguers on 100 minor league at bats. Sample size? Don’t waste your time with that nonsense. I sat in my seat and not a heckle left my mouth the entire night. I was dumbfounded with every word these guys uttered. I guess I expected more but instead I got proof that even hecklers need to go through the ranks and work their way up to the show. I heard one of them say that they may make the trip to OPACY to see Tillman Wednesday. I’ll be there and I’m letting you know now, you are fair game to be heckled yourself.  This is the big leagues son, you have to come correct. And you are not worthy of a September call up, let alone a jump straight from AA in July.Not Rich Hill

I have to give them credit for one thing though. They were at the game and they clearly love their team which is the most important part. But next time, leave your glove at home…

~Jjaks Clayton

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Heckler’s Guide addition: What to Wear.

Mr. Clayton was gracious enough to post our Hecklers Guide last month.  In it, he gave you soon to be shit-talkers a pretty good run down on the heckling basics.  Our guest blogger, Bob Arctor, is going to dive a little deeper into one trait that makes a good heckler…being able to spot a phony.  Enjoy.

Do: Wear a jersey.

Any current jersey will do…Markakis #21, Jones #10, Roberts #1 those all work. Hell, even something for the opposing team will work; If you want to show your support for the visiting team, by all means, go for it.  Just make sure it is a jersey for the opposing team and not a team that’s not even playing that night.  Throwbacks are okay…Murray #33, Palmer #22, Ripken #8.  These are great at saying, “Look, we suck.  But we didn’t always.”  Even funny jerseys are good, Angelos #666, A-Roid #13, etc.

All of these show support and leave little doubt as to your loyalty to your team. When headed to the yard, throw these on with pride and know that you are dressed to impress.

Do Not: Wear a jersey of a former player who is not old enough (read: good enough) to warrant a “throwback” jersey.

Wearing these jerseys are a sure sign that either A.) You are not a real fan or B.) You think that everything you wear, you can make look good.

I know everyone everywhere has seen a jersey of a former player that makes you say, “Really? Of anyone you could have picked, him?” For example a #21 Sosa jersey, #10 Tejada Jersey, or #27 Hendrickson jersey (he may still play for us though, but he shouldn’t). Sure you spent good money on those jerseys.

For me personally; I’ll be damned if I am going to spend good money on a jersey of a player that will only be here for another year or two and then sell their soul to the Yankees to win a championship for 20 bazillion dollars a year, (how’s that work for you Mike Mussina?)

Fret not fellow baseball fans, there are places where you can take these jerseys that will re stitch them with whatever you want on them, so go and turn those jerseys into something that you can wear with pride when you go to the yard.

Do: Wear a Hat

I will maintain that a well fitting, official baseball hat is one of the greatest things in the world. Personally I have over 10 Orioles hats that I have in my rotation. Even some of the “relaxed fit” hats are good too. They are comfy on the head and still show your support. Lest we forget the reason for the hat; to protect your head from the damaging rays that are sent down from the sun and keep sweat out of your eyes.  The hat is just a wonderful thing.  It even blocks the terrible faces of Red Sox fans.

All in all the New Era 59-50 is a great product. (If anyone from New Era is reading this, please feel free to send me some of your wonderful product for the glowing review, and do not read any further.)

Do Not: Wear a Stupid Hat

hwl

hwl3

hwl2

Ladies and gentlemen for some odd reason hats are being created that look like this (yes those are little watermelons on the hat).

Look, as I have mentioned, I love me some me hats.  But these are absolutely terrible. Baseball hats are supposed to be for fans who want to wear a hat to a game or just out and about that professes the love for their team. They are not supposed to match your equally as terrible Yellow and Aquamarine Texas Rangers shirt.

Also falling into this category is the oversize hat. It seems like New Era has a whole line of hats made specifically for Kevin Mench. Can you just have your store carry normal hats that will fit normal people? Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, hopefully this oversize mismatched color phase will pass.

Do: Go Shirtless to Spell Something out

This is only for the ladies who want to show their support for their team, because lets face it, nothing is cooler than a girl who loves sports just as much as we do.

Do Not: Go Shirtless to Spell Something Out

70 Super Fans

This is for the guys who basically look like me, because face it, no girl who loves sports is going to like a guy like me…I mean you.

And finally the biggest no-no to do at a baseball game….

(drum roll)

Do Not: Wear a Full Uniform to a Game

sox2

Who is this guy, Mike Lowell?

enough said…

Now please excuse me I have to get my Jeff Reboulet jersey ready for when the O’s come back to town.

~Bob Arctor

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What’s the Big Deal?

So as most sports fans know, some dude cut a peep hole into Erin Andrews hotel room and video taped her changing.

I understand it’s creepy.  I understand it’s illegal.  I understand that most dudes would totally download that and probably already have.

What I don’t understand is why this is a much bigger deal than any other celebrity who get’s their privacy invaded.  Tabloids are filled to the brim with celebs who are caught naked on their balcony or on a beach they thought was private.  Whether they welcome the tabloid attention or not, is a discussion far to lengthy for a blog post.

And if you boil it all down to the most basic level, what really happened?  Someone had their privacy invaded.  What’s the difference with people photographing a celebrity’s child or ambushing them while their shopping?  Sure their naked body isn’t being posted on the internet but it’s still an invasion of privacy.

On all the sports blogs (who have shamelessly used her smokin-hot naked body to get an increase in traffic) the authors are totally flipping out about it.  Again, I understand it’s wrong…but no more wrong than posting a picture of Paris Hilton’s snatch as she gets out of a limo.

Here’s my advice for you folks who are losing their shit over this.  Either:

  • Start a revolution to destroy the hero-worship, celebrity fixated, 15 minutes of fame seeking society. (My vote)

OR

  • Deal with it.  Understand that she was fully aware of the risk she took when she decided to become an on-camera talent and thus a celebrity

I really hope this post drives some more traffic to our site.

~Kevin Lomax

PS – I’m shippin up to Boston, whoa ohhh ohhhhhh.  Seriously though, I’ll be at the game Saturday so if anyone else is there, drop a line in the comments and we can meet up and grab a Natty Boh before the game.  I’ll post an update after the trip.

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Mid-season Report on Mid-season Reports

The first half of the season is over. So, for some reason, everyone wants to put together their mid-season report cards.

Mid-season reports are as insane and worthless as pre-season predictions.  Does Punxsutawney Phil come tell us how the transition from spring to winter is going, months after he told us we had to freeze our asses off another 6 weeks?  No.  So I don’t need to hear everyone talk about the “silver lining” in the storm cloud over the Orioles.

So here’s our report card on mid-season report cards.  Enjoy.

Schmuck #1

Obviously O’s-centric.  Player by player though?  Is that really necessary?  It’s fairly plain to see who’s fat (Wigginton and Sherrill), who’s old (Melvin and Zaun), and who’s awesome (Reimold and Wieters).  Getting into who is fatter, older, and awesomer is really unnecessary.

Grade – D

Schmuck #2

Okay, Pete. You did a team breakdown instead of player by player…touché.  I was too drained after reading a report on every player, though, to read your next report card.  You get downgraded for the amount of work the reader has to do.

Grade – F

Roch #1

First problem is: you talk about things you do at your house way too often.  We’re here to read get infuriated by your mid-season report card.  Get to it already.

Here’s where you lose me:  that’s a really long list of stuff to read and it’s all good stuff.  We’re not a good team and you are giving people false hope.

What can you expect from a guy who gets paid by an Angelos though, right?

Grade – C

Roch #2

Several hours later, Roch threw up another blog about all the bad stuff the O’s did this season.  You get an F for rubbing it in and an F for tardiness but since you dropped Old Mill’s name, I’ll bump you up to a D.

By the way, the reason you almost blew up the lab is because you weren’t using the Malek Method.

Grade – D

Paul Folk from Orioles Hangout

It’s hard to get excited to read something that looks like a wall of text from some dude in a forum.  Not to mention this: “When Rich Hill starts at Camden Yards, great things happen. For the Orioles, if not so much for Hill. So make sure to buy tickets next time you see his name on the schedule!” Are you getting paid by Angelos, too?  Read that whole graf and tell me it’s not the most convoluted way to say how shitty a player is.  Just be blunt.  Like this:

Rich Hill – he sucks.  No letter grade.  He throws a straight BP fastball and hitters just wait to mash the curve out of the park.  Done.

Grade – F

“Nasty” Nester Aparicio

He tweeted that he was going to do a mid-season report card, but I didn’t see anything in writing on his site.  He must have done it on air, and thus, no one heard it.

In all fairness though, he probably spent the whole time he was supposed to be grading the O’s praising himself for how accurate his predictions were…and how great his haircut is.  Note – Spiked hair is cool if you are 8 or heavy into punk rock.

Grade – Incomplete

Danny Knobler – CBS

Danny starts his report with “It’s not fair to judge the Orioles on wins and losses…” Then why did you?  You gave us two C’s and a D.  But that’s based on the same scale that you judge all the other teams, and you said yourself, that’s not fair.  The only reason you didn’t get an F after that really misleading intro is because you didn’t add to the shit pile that other national writers have shoveled on us.

Grade – D

Moral of the story is, when you have a shitty team that everyone thought would be shitty…be brief, don’t sugar coat it, but don’t pile on either. Don’t say things that contradict each other. Basically, just hope the time between now and contention flies by without drawing attention to how bad the Orioles are.  You all failed.

~Kevin Lomax

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Home Run Derby

Remember when the Home Run Derby didn’t suck?  Is it just me, or is it impossible to watch?  Let’s just say if I had to choose between watching the derby or any Vin Diesel flick then I would hate my life.  I remember back in my younger years when it was exciting to watch and it was awesome.  Now it has become boring and stale so I’m going to fix it.  Listen up MLB/ESPN because as always, I am here to help.

  1. No more Brandon Inges. I don’t want to see an 0  for in the Home Run Derby.    In fact I don’t care if the guys who participate in it are even All Stars.  Give me Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Russel Branyan and the biggest mashers you can find.Wieters taking BP
  2. No more “Swing Off”. All it does is tire out the competitors.  Biggest bomb advances, thats what we’re here to see anyway.
  3. Shorten It. This thing lasts longer than Hanukkah.  I don’t need to see a concert on the field, especially by whoever that was on Monday.  I also don’t need to see Albert Pujols take 43 pitches trying to win some guy a car.  Let the guy hit the ball from home, go pick it up and hit it again from where it landed.  If it goes out he wins.  If not, he can play for the Natinals.
  4. Get rid of Chris Berman. This goes for any broadcast, not just the derby.  But this is even worse because he feels as if he has free rein to ramble on and on using terrible nicknames.  How does someone get such a high profile job in sports without knowing anything about sports?  It’s like letting Helen Keller teach Spanish.

That is it.  My new Home Run Derby.  Enjoy.

~ Jjaks Clayton

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duality of the mustache

RollieFingers

During Wednesday nights miraculous win against the Mariners  Huff was sporting a manly mustache and B. Rob was growing a little flavor saver as well.

As Rod Kimble saMustache Gone Badid “All great men have mustaches!” But the lip tickler does come with a dark side. A manly soup strainer is a great source of power that can be used for both good and evil.  Individuals such as Stalin, Yosemite Sam, and Robert Goulet have abused the mustache to gain power and strike fear in the hearts of their subordinates.

On the other hand American heroes like Navy SEALs, Michael Jordan, Tom Sellick,  and Apollo Creed rock lip sweaters with ambivalence helping to secure the American dream.

ApolloCreedHeroHeroHeroes

Famous O’s of yesteryear (like Shaft Murray)  rode their trusty lip dusters all the way to World Series glory in ’83.  Unfortunately Raffy abused and tarnished the image of the modern Baltimore baseball mustache, but now is the time for a resurgence.

Recently the Cardinals pitching rotation have equipped themselves with a viscous arsenal of  ‘staches and are racking up wins in the process. The miscues committed by Seattle leading to Wednesday’s victory can only be attributed (in my opinion) to the mysterious  power of the dirt lip.

I for one hope that the trend catches on with the rest of the Birds. Even if it doesn’t help right the ship; as pointed out on SportsCenter today, “much like chimpanzees,  mustaches make everything funnier.”

see you at the yard.

~Ted Logan

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Email Banter on Trembley’s Future

Today, after discussing the merits of Casino versus such masterpieces as AVP 2, Anacoda 3: the Hoffspring, and Blue Demon…we got to discussing Trembley and his management of the team.  Below is a transcript of that conversation.

click through for a side by side

click through for a side by side

 

Jjaks Clayton: So how long until the Priceline Negotiator is out of a job?  This is getting pathetic, it isn’t necessarily his fault that his team is playing like a little league team of retards but something has gotta give, right?

Tom Ludlow: Well, we knew they were going to be bad, but they are even underperforming their low expectations at this point. The offense should be a strong point, but guys that can hit have forgotten how. Something is up…

Manny Acta in 2010!

Kevin Lomax: i agree with that.  we go on these runs and i keep getting suckered in to thinking they are turning the corner…but they clearly aren’t.

Jjaks Clayton: I don’t understand how you can call yourself an “old school” baseball guy and not be a hardass when your team is fucking up.  The silent treatment doesn’t work unless the team respects you and I don’t think that they do.

Kevin Lomax: he needs to get a little charlie manuel on their asses.

Tom Ludlow: As much as I hate saying this because it is bullshit. I think the players have less respect for Trembley because he never played professional baseball. This is also what Sherrill’s brother has alluded to on OH. He also said a decent percentage of the clubhouse would not be upset with Trembley being gone.

Kevin Lomax: even if they respected him…by not playing pro ball, he simply can’t handle the x’s and o’s of baseball.  i’ve not always bought into that but the evidence is overwhelming.  i know Ludlow has been saying that for some time now, in regards to managing the bull pen.

Jjaks Clayton: x’s and o’s aren’t the problem.  Every manager knows them, anyone who has watched enough baseball knows them.  The players know them without a manager.  All the manager is, is a MANAGER.  You have to know how to handle your players first and foremost then how to make a lineup, starting rotation and handle a bullpen.  But all these are knowing strengths and weaknesses of players which he obviously cannot identify and goes too much “By the book.”  Knowing someones career numbers against a certain pitcher can be helpful….if they have faced eachother 100 times.  If someone is 2 for 9 against a certain pitcher but 30 for 30 in his last 30 at bats then you don’t always have to go with the individual matchup.

Kevin Lomax: that is what i meant by x’s and o’s.  obviously there aren’t x’s and o’s in baseball like there are in football.

Tom Ludlow: You don’t have to have played pro baseball to manage a team. You can know a lot about the game without having the talent to be a professional. Trembley can’t handle the x’s and o’s because he IMO doesn’t consider numbers at all, only goes with his “gut” hunches which are usually incorrect. He also seems to have issues with upsetting veteran players even when the team’s best interests call for it. It has little to do with him never playing pro ball.

Jjaks Clayton: Tom and I have totally different views on Trembley.  I think he relies waaaaay too much on numbers.  But only because he uses the wrong numbers.  Like when he ONLY wants his lineup to be left right left in case they bring in a specialist reliever at some point.  Fuck, that would be awesome if we actually got to somebodys starter bad enough that they would have to bring in a reliever.  That is a step up in my mind so let Markakis, Huff, and Scott bat back to back earlier this year when they could actually hit the ball instead of killing the team and their individual performance.

Tom Ludlow: Agree with all of this. All these things are dumb. I meant mainly in how he does his lineups etc. There is no reason Mora should continue to be the everyday 3B with the numbers he is putting up. Reimold should not sit as often as he does with what he is doing also. Agree that making lineups with super small sample sizes is ridiculous and he does it way too often. Wieters has been the O’s hottest hitter for a decent stretch and he still sits way too often and he still never DHs him rather than giving him a day off completely because he is afraid of Zaun getting hurt in the middle of a game and they may lose the DH for a few innings, also ridiculous. He does a whole host of things wrong but his bullpen management and his lineups almost seem done at random. If a manager can’t fill out a lineup card or manage a pitching staff then what does he do?

Jjaks Clayton: I told you already.  He saves them MILLIONS on hotel rooms and flights for road trips

Who says you need to work at work?

While doing research for this post I found this.  His last anti-Manuel post was last July…a few months before the Phillies won the world sereis.  Talk about your all time back-fire.

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UPDATED: Boston fans are from Virginia?

Typed in bandwagon red sox in google and got this.

Typed in bandwagon red sox in google and got this.

Seeing as how we’re starting a series with possibly the most hated team in the AL East, we put a poll up to pin-point the exact location of the plague…Alaska!?

Anyway, as I write this, we’re already down 1-0 so I decided to make a post so people could leave their comments about:

  • Why they think the majority of Sox fans don’t live in Boston.
  • All around venting on why you hate the Red Sox.

As a bonus, if we get over 100 votes (for the first twenty-seventh time in ESH history) I’ll post an amusing anecdote about a run-in I had with a Boston fan on the way to the park.  Trust me, it’s funny.

So everyone vote, leave a comment, and if you can…get to the park and heckle a Red Sox fan.

The best way to heckle a Sox fan is to ask where they’re from.  If they say Boston, ask to see ID.  If they say Virginia, (they likely will) brace yourself for a story about how they like the Sox ’cause their grandfather grew up in Boston or their niece went to BU.  Then, tell them they’re lame.  Some of the crew will leave tips in the comments section so you can get other ideas on how to stick it to the Sox douche bags.

~Kevin Lomax

UPDATE:  as of July 1, we have officially…18 votes.  Are you kidding?  We had 50 on the first poll!  Do whatever it takes but we need to get 100 votes.  If you need to post it on OH or all your blogs, do it!  If we get 100 votes, not only will I share my sox fan story, but I’ll give out 5 of our first edition shirts when they are ready on the merch page (chosen at random from the comments page).

Vote or cry die!

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rObots

Yes, please.We are going to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at the IMAX to kill time before the O’s take on the Nats tonight. Big ass robots. Big ass explosions. Awesome! Speaking of big, it’s a big night for promotions at OPACY. Tonight the first 10,000 to the yard will be treated to a Nick Markakis batting jersey that could only be worn by Wigginton. That’s right, it’s gonna be huge!

 

UPDATE: The Markakis jersey is not gigantic! It claims to be an XL, but it’s more of a smedium, fitted for infants and 140 lb. fellas like myself.

Johnny Utah

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Doin Our Part

BSR are our friends.  They comment on our site.  We like that.  Audience participation is a good thing.  Got a sweet idea?  Let us know.

ANYWAY, in the spirit of participation, we’re going to post one of his sweet banners for all you lazy bastards who haven’t voted yet. Actually we can’t post a banner because wordpress won’t let us.  I tried.  But you can peep out the banners here to post on your site.  Or, if you just want to vote, get a free ticket, and shake things up for all the bandwagon fans…click here.  God forbid we don’t have a starting AL line up of all Red Sox’s, Yankee’s, and Ichiro’s (recycled picture, I know…go green or go home).

We invite you to vote orange.  Vote often.  And vote Lastings Milledge on the NL ballot to prove once and for all that the voting system is flawed.

quit holdin me sauce!

quit holdin me sauce!

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Redding Got Wietersed

Adventures at the YardJune 17, 2009. Jones bobble heads in hand, we headed to the bleachers in center. Strangely, that didn’t last long as we were given the boot by a small group…of 53…from Oregon. Apparently, the Mets snuck out of New York the night the Yankees were dominated and let Swisher pitch. Too embarrassed to be in the same state, I suppose. More embarrassing, however, is Gabe Kapler struck out with Swisher on the mound throwing his ‘changeup.’ I digress.

Like circus folk, we moved on to right field, practically on Ryan Church, a perfect spot to unleash…the homo-heckle. I told Church he looked great in his pants and he should pray I don’t jump the rail. Hot and bothered, he moved closer. I loudly whispered he was so close I could feel his heart beat. Then, the unexpected occurred. Through the art of mime, he placed his hand in his jersey and gestured his heart beating! Well played, sir.

WietersedOn a side note, Wieters hit the first homerun of his Major League career. No big deal.

Ha!

No big deal?! That shit was awesome! Redding got wietersed. It gave me and the soft-skinned gentlemen alongside me goose bumps. Oh, and we won. Boing. Mets 4. Orioles 6. W

Johnny Utah

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