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