Monthly Archives: June 2010

Totally Random

Well, that didn’t last long.

In typical fashion last night the bullpen made Matusz’s outing look worse than it was and he was pretty solid but still lost. The Orioles couldn’t score against Vin Dies..er Mazzaro last night and their winning streak was snapped at 4. The updates have been rather scarce lately since it gets old writing negative entry after negative entry. Now, there are some positive things to talk about. The most important is this:

Dustin Pedroia is hurt.

Please watch the video. It brings a tear of happiness to my eye every time. As most of you are aware by now, Dustin Pedroia is the least favorite player of every single writer on this blog. I hope his foot never heals…better yet I hope his foot becomes gangrenous, falls off, takes on a life of its own and kicks him in the crotch repeatedly until he is unable to procreate. Then I hope his foot goes Greyhound to New York and continues it’s rampage on.. well, everyone in New York.

Some more good news to report, we will likely never see Garrett Atkins again. I blasted that signing from the get go and this was long overdue. Atkins performed exactly how everyone but Andy MacPhail expected and I fully expect him to be out of major league baseball for the remainder of the year. I don’t even think Japan would have him at this point. Seriously, we would have been better off going with this guy in his place, or seriously even this guy may have done better. Garrett Atkins was awful, just awful and there is no excuse for his signing when there was every warning sign that this was what to expect. We jumped all over him early in the offseason for waaaay too much money and guys like Troy Glaus signed for less.  I can’t believe it took them this long to finally cut him loose. This is a guy that was losing playing time to Rhyne Fucking Hughes, how did he almost make it to July. Oh yeah, 4.5 million dollars. I guess it is unlikely the Orioles pick up that 8.5 million dollar option they had attached to it. They were really expecting the 2006 version of Garret Atkins huh? We still don’t have a home run hit by a first baseman this year, that has to be a record, thanks Garrett.

Zach Britton has been promoted to Triple A Norfolk after a dominant stretch at Bowie. We likely wont see him until next season but he is worth being excited about. After him however, our next best pitching prospects are probably two years out so he is it as far as starting pitching close to the majors goes. Felix Pie went 4-5 in his rehab game at Bowie last night and it appears he will be activated for the weekend series against the Red Sux. I am excited to see him, but I know some people aren’t. Pie is a controversial player it seems. He plays excellent defense, runs and throws well and his bat has really come alive since the first half of last season. The guy has loads of talent despite the occasional mental error. He is fun to watch and I am all for anything that puts Corey Fucking Patterson on the bench where he belongs.  I would just like to see them move Pie to center and put Adam Jones in left. Felix is the better defender and the advanced metrics bear that out.

There was a super sweet article in the Sun about the Orioles’ All Star game representative where Juan Samuel proved that he, much like Rick Dempsey, is an idiot. Juan Samuel declared that he would select Adam Jones as the Orioles representative. Really? Sorry Juan, Nick Markakis has clearly been our best player this season. Besides him, Ty Wigginton, and even Luke Scott have been more valuable players than Jones.  Jones had a mostly abysmal first half but was hot in June. His defense has looked pretty bad, and unfortunately his current hot streak will be unsustainable considering he is still showing downright laughable plate discipline. Sorry Juan, a guy with a on-base percentage of  .295 isn’t getting it done. Jones has walked 9(!!!!!!) times on the season. His strikeout to walk ratio now stands at 64/9. Until that improves this is what he will be. An overall poor hitter who will have a few hot weeks here and there. Jones still looks awful way too often swinging at terrible pitches. For me, the Orioles don’t have anyone worthy of being an All-Star, but in reality the teams are always littered with guys who shouldn’t be there (usually the ones voted in). But since we have to have one, Markakis is the guy for me. Yes, the average fan will wonder how a guy with 3 homers and 24 RBI made the team, but those people aren’t terribly smart. Markakis slash line of .306/.398/.431 looks pretty good to me. Yeah, you would like to see more homers but he is hitting plenty of doubles and is in range of his career numbers in everything else. I’ll call it a fluke. RBI? We still judge guys by those? Markakis has hit very well with runners on base and with runners in scoring position. The problem? The guys in front of him aren’t on enough for it to matter. The four guys leading up to Markakis on most nights are Julio Lugo (.299 OBP), Cesar Izturis (.279 OBP), Corey Patterson (.327 OBP), and Miguel Tejada (.313). How do you expect him to drive in a ton of runs if the only guys who get on base at a reasonable clip hit behind him? Not to mention that Adam Jones and Garrett Atkins also spent time in spots leading up to Markakis. The reality is that Markakis is not a middle of the order hitter anyway, he would be much better suited at number 2 or even 1 but we don’t have a better option on this team, so he is being judged unfairly. Not being a middle of the order hitter does not mean you are not a good one. By WAR, Markakis ranks first among all Orioles with 1.6, and by VORP he is also first on the team at 16.4, followed closely by Luke Scott at 16.2. I’m sure Juan Samuel is old school and looks at Jones’ homers and RBI and sees someone who has been more productive but it simply is not true. Jones has driven in more runs solely because he hits behind Markakis (.398 OBP), Wigginton (.351 OBP), and Scott (.335 OBP). This isn’t rocket science.

In other news, Carlos Zambrano is still crazy, B.J. Upton is still lazy and underperforming his talent level, and Yankee fans are getting what they deserve.

Most of the gang will be at tonight’s game. Come and find us out in right field if you are in attendance.

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Unfamiliar Feeling

That’s a fucking winning streak folks.  For those of you not watching the O’s, we just took it to the Natinals minus Strasburg.  To those of you who are actually still watching, thanks.  The team needs us.

What?  Atkins isn’t on the team anymore?  That’s more fucking amazing news.  Long overdue I might add.

We have some guys coming back from injury.  Jones is coming around.  Wieters  hasn’t been as shitty as of late.  Dare I feel good about Orioles baseball?

And to top it all off, despite the breath sucking humidity that is mid-summer Baltimore, Camden Yards is still the shit.  Just ask our boy Jeff at Funkyball.  Who is that Jason character he’s talking about?

Oh shit.  Then there’s this.  The black cloud hanging over the warehouse.  Tony should take over MASN.  Dude knows how to market a story like crazy.  Thanks for bringing me crashing back down to earth.

I’m hoping Tom or Jjaks will throw their thoughts in the mix regarding the more technical side of the O’s as of late.  I’m sure they have an opinion on the roster moves that just happened or hopefully will happen.

I love you, O’s fans.  Even the stupid ones.

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The Harbor Park Hooligans

The other day we discussed changing the name of our site to show our allegiance to a real baseball team, the Norfolk Tides.  It was half joke/half serious.

Quick question, who would win, the O’s or the Tides?

Regardless, I don’t think it matters much.  Especially with the scrap heap of pitchers we have down there.  Check out this line from Alberto Castillo, courtesy of Roch.

Norfolk update: Alberto Castillo allowed five runs and five hits, walked a batter, committed a balk and hit a batter in one-third of an inning in Triple-A Norfolk’s 11-0 loss to Columbus.

Now that’s a fucking line worth writing about.

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Reality: An Editorial

Things have gone really poorly this season.  Bordering on historically poor.  Roch mentioned today that we were racing the 88 team for the worst season ever in franchise history.  And this, coming on the heals of one of the most optimistic off season’s in a long time.  Intelligent fans didn’t expect a pennant but, we all set our realistic goals of .500 baseball.

But then our young stars hit sophomore slumps, Reimold, Wieters, Matusz, Bergessen.  Jones is under performing.  Markakis is playing about average for his career and could possibly be stunted by the lack of production around him.  Millwood was doing well until recently.  Injuries to B-rob, Pie, The Save Siduation didn’t help.  And so on.  The list goes on.  Wait…we signed Atkins, that was a problem too.

So things are butt awful in Baltimore.  Really bad.

But it’s not because of Oriole baseball.  Read some of the shit here.  Those are problems.

And it’s not just Baltimore folks.  We got unemployment rising, we have an economy that’s being bought up by China.  Our population is outgrowing our natural resources.  Lest we forget about that fucking oil spill.

So having Atkins on our team for the rest of the season is not a disaster.

Not having a strong second half is not the end of the world.

Wieters not winning the triple crown and Matusz not winning the Cy Young are not fucking catestrophes of epic proportion.

And if Peter Angelos is still the owner of the team for another 100 years, it will not kill you.

Odds are, a stray bullet or some asshole on a dirt bike will take care of that for you in Baltimore.

The Orioles having a bad year is not making me hate them.  Listening to these whining, idiot fans is making me hate the Orioles.

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Arrieta, and dumb ass fans

As you all know, we don’t think all that highly of most Orioles fans and baseball fans in general. Most people who consider themselves to be baseball fans are what I file under “casual” fans. This means they have little to no understanding of the game, don’t know the names of the players on the team they “root” and know nothing at all about the other teams and players in the league. I won’t even get into their lack of understanding on elementary statistics and what they mean. In other words, these people are idiots, not unlike most of the American population in general.

Turn on 105.7 or read the standard idiotic comments on any MASN blog and you will hear many angry “fans” calling in to express their anger at the the Orioles calling up Jake Arrieta to start against the Yankees tonight. These same people will also be blowing up the phones to tell the radio announcers what a great manager Rick Dempsey would make. That’s all you need to know to know that someone has no idea what they are talking about. Anyone who has paid attention to the Orioles over the last few years know what idiotic things come out of Dempsey’s mouth on a daily basis. The guy may have been a contributing player on great Orioles teams but he clearly knows very little about today’s game, it’s players, and strategy. This is the same guy who said Reimold would hit 40 home runs this year and that Luis Hernandez was going to be a good hitter, much better than he was in the minor leagues, because big league pitchers throw more strikes. I’m not making that up, he really said those things. Rick Dempsey is a fine cheerleader, leave him be. His campaigning for the job is bordering on pathetic.

Back to Arrieta, is it ideal for him to make his debut against the Yankmees? Probably not, but the effects of this are being way overblown. The Orioles want to give Guthrie an extra day of rest and they need a starter. Arrieta has an ERA under 2 at AAA, he is 24, and he has about 1 full season of pitching at AAA under his belt. They feel he is ready and he is our best option right now. It is that simple. In reality, the Yankees are the best offensive team in the AL, but that really only means they score about 1 run per game more than an average team. That is significant, but not significant enough to shy away from starting a pitcher against them. The effect of one start, debut or not,  is minimal in the scope of an entire career. If Arrieta gets bombed, it is one start. If he has a successful debut, it is still one start.  A young player’s debut does not make or break his career. Far too many of these people are pointing out the Nationals debuting Stephen Strasburg against the Pirates. Guess what so knowing baseball fans? The Nationals were waiting to be past the super 2 date to save money. This date was estimated to be June 6th this year. What was the Nationals first game after that date? the June 8th game against the Pirates. The move was purely coincidence. There is a very logical reason that Stephen Strasburg debuted for the Nationals, and Mike Stanton debuted for the Marlins on the same night and it has zippy to do with the competition they were facing. So let’s all stop being a bunch of whiny bitches who are scared of the Yankees and send our best option out to face them. Arrieta is not a player that even remotely lacks confidence and I’m sure he would rather debut against the Yankees than anyone else.

What I am interested in is who gets moved to make room for Arrieta on the roster. The Orioles were talking of moving Bergesen to the bullpen for the time being and have now said that Ohman will be moved back to a situational role. That most likely means that Castillo being shuttled back to Norfolk is likely, you could also make a strong case for finally getting rid of Fat Albers. I think what we may see in another surpisie move to go with many is that Bergesen is moved back to AAA to start. I could not argue much with that decision as Bergesen has pretty much thrown batting practice all seasn and now has lost his command as well. I would still like to see some shuffling in the bullpen. Gambino and Sarfate have been pitching well at Norfolk and Hendrickson, Albers, and Castillio have all been getting bombed in Baltimore. At least something is worth watching tonight…

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They Do Exist

By they, I mean us.  And, by us, I mean Orioles fans who can actually get excited about something.

Our boy, Jjaks, is finally going to see the man, who he named his fantasy team after, pitch in an Orioles uniform.

Go get ’em, Jake.  Mr. Arrietable Underwear himself.

Look at the cavalry there. All growds up.  The big three in the back, looking over what is to become their kingdom.  Maybe it’s one of those things, like Captain Planet, where they all need to be together in order for them to be super special awesome!?

Let’s fucking hope so.

P.S. Hat tip to myself for referencing Captain Planet…he’s our hero.

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Draft Results

Here is a recap of the Orioles draft through the early rounders, since I can bet all 3 of you who will read this don’t care much about 30th round draft picks. I will include scouting information fro MLB where available. I’m also linking to some great writeups they did over at oriolesprospects.com. Go check the site out.

As expected, the Orioles took Manny Machado with the third overall pick in the draft. I have already given information an a link to his scouting report in the earlier post so we will skip him.

2nd round: As noted, the Orioles did not have a second round pick this year because they prudently signed Mike Gonzalez, a type A free agent, to a 2 year 12 million dollar contact. It is working out very well so far.

3rd round: Daniel Klein, RHP, UCLA

4th round: Trent Mummey, OF, Auburn

5th round: Connor Narron, SS, C.B. Aycock HS

6th round: Dixon Anderson, RHP, Cal

7th round: Matthew Bywater, LHP, Pepperdine

8th round: Wynston Sawyer, C, Scripps Ranch HS

9th round: Parker Bridwell, RHP, Hereford HS.  Not much info available on this kid, unless you want his football scouting report. He is a top college football QB recruit. He has a pretty sweet myspace page though.

10th round: Clayton Schrader, RHP, San Jacinto College North

After reviewing the later round picks it appears that the Orioles are going pitching heavy in the draft once again which was to be expected. We also appear to have taken a lot of junior college players, as well as players with two last names. It is an interesting strategy and one to keep an eye on over the next couple of seasons. I think that sort of innovation is what we need.

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