If you all get a moment, check out the MASN Sports website and listen to the “Orioles Insider Roundtable”. I heard it while on my break here in the office and both Steve Melewski and Dave Johnson interviewed Andy MacPhail.
I like Andy’s perspective on the team so far, and it seems that he’s pleasantly surprised at the team’s start, the job that Dave Trembley is doing, and how the talent he acquired are developing. While the Orioles are over .500, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic to see how things go — especially during their road trip and see how the Orioles do.
It is needless to say that the Orioles are doing very well.
Then again, we are only about an 1/8 through the season.
If Baltimore gets into a hole and starts slumping, expect the trade talks to start up once again with the usual suspects.
However, if there’s some small shred of a miracle that the Orioles are around or even over .500 by June, the equation may change substantially.
- The Baltimore Sun’s Roch Kubatko has a wonderful piece on George Sherill, and how he made it to the majors. Jay Payton isn’t grousing like he has at every other stop before the Orioles about his playing time.
- Davis Steele is happy that Girardi turned down the Oriole manager job last season, and that the team found a better fit.
- Brian Roberts is starting to get out of his slump; Dave Trembley will stay with 13 pitchers, putting at risk his bench; George Sherill and Adam Jones return back to Seattle this week; & the Washington Post’s Mark Carig takes a look at the Baltimore running game.
- The Orioles.com beat writer Spencer Fordin has a mailbag out, and ponders about Alex Cintron.
Around the Blogosphere: MASN’s own Amber Theoharis is happy that the contingent of Yankee fans did not take over the Yard as much as they did in year’s past, and the Orioles hot start is a reason for that; SC of Camden Chat has an excellent roundup of what’s going on in the minors; Birds in the Belfry has their thoughts on the rebuilding; The Orioles Insider thinks that Alex Cintron will be called up sooner rather than later; Ben of Oriole Central has his thoughts on Cabrera.
WNST’s Drew Forrester thinks the Orioles need to ramp up their PR efforts, although he gives them credit for improving; Rex Snider thinks that Joe Girardi took the wrong job (the Yankees) and Nestor Aparicio wonders if the O’s should go after Frank Thomas.
There has been some chatter online on various forums and blogs amongst fans about the possibility of acquiring slugger Frank Thomas. As most of us fans know already, he was released Sunday by the Blue Jays due to his unhappiness with being a part-time player, and lashing out at Toronto management.
Being that he’s available, Oriole fans wonder if he could very well compliment a lineup that lacks a significant power threat, aside from possibly Nick Markakis.
However, as much I and many in Birdland are intrigued by his power and his lofty career numbers — I’ll pass on him.
He might have made for a good, affordable signing circa 2005; however, we have basically two DH’s now with Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff. As much as I know in my mind, he could easily outslug both of them, even as he is going into his 19th year in the majors, Baltimore does not need him.
Here’s his latest rant, and he wants Joba Chamberlain to start…
“I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now,” said Steinbrenner. “There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”
This dude is trying to be like good, old dad. Hank, you have to realize, there’s a reason why Cashman was hired — to run a baseball team.
For Christ’s sake, Hank. We are only twenty games into the season, and Joba seems to be doing just fine as a setup man. How do you his success with translate into the starting rotation? So when he gives up his first three-run homer, will you call him a fat toad?
Hank, just shut up and let your baseball people do their job.
Ok, I have seen it all. I know wrestling gets a huge and important demographic, but I didn’t know the candidates for President were so desperate. Vince McMahon is no dummy, and this really, really confirms it.
When I heard that the WWE wanted the candidates to speak, I thought Obama, McCain and Clinton would blow it off. Boy, was I wrong…
Steve McNair, former Ravens QB threw out the first pitch on Friday night, and on Sunday new coach John Harbaugh did the same, and Rex Ryan caught it.
It goes without saying, two the big sports teams in the Baltimore area should be supporting one another.
For most right now, the Ravens are number one in fans’ hearts despite a lackluster season, and perhaps they might help to give the Orioles a little shot in the arm in terms of PR and just general support.
The Birds are established enough to do it on their own, but the help of an NFL team could only help, not hurt the franchise.
Despite the dire predictions and doom and gloom of some in the local & national press, as well as others, perhaps even myself — the Orioles are playing well.
In light of yesterday’s 7-1 loss to the Evil Empire, Baltimore is playing some exciting baseball and on Friday and Saturday, when they won, the offense came through and did the little things right. You can’t also discount what the bullpen has done, especially, Jim Johnson, who has been a huge surprise, a good Daniel Cabrera on Friday, and Brian Buress’ gutsy performance on Saturday night.
Roberts may be in a slump, but Luke Scott is still hot, Jones is starting to come around at the plate, Mora is still a bunting machine, and Markakis is the “man”.
I’m still enjoying the ride waiting for a fall, but so far so good. Although a lot of the media are riding the wave of the Orioles’ nice run, I’m being cautiously optimistic.
This team still has a lot of unproven talent, lack of starting pitching depth, and as well, an offense with little power. It’s fine to play NL-style ball — I love it — however, at some point, the law of averages will catch up and the natural laws of baseball will take shape.
At this point, the players if they keep on hustling will take Baltimore as far they wish to go.
They’ve got a brutal road trip, where they are basically on the road for the next three weeks, with one break in late April/early May when they are home against the Rays. Will this kill the run? Again, their margin of error is very low, but if they keep doing the little things right and do not make mistakes, they have a chance to win more than they lose.
If they go over .500 for this road trip, I’ll have to rethink the state of the Orioles.
First, we go to Seattle…
Seattle Series Matchups:
Tuesday: Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 4.38) vs. Felix Hernandez (2-0, 1.47)
Wednesday: Daniel Cabrera (1-0, 5.16) vs. Carlos Silva (3-0, 2.79)
Thursday: Adam Loewen (0-1, 6.32) vs. Jarrod Washburn (1-2, 3.50)
At this point, I’d be elated if the Orioles took two out of three in this series. The first game is the most intriguing to me, as we take on King Felix again. Hernandez was nothing short of lights out against us in Baltimore two weeks ago — that is until the Seattle bullpen imploded. That game was not a fluke, as Felix is one of the best young talents in the game. Guthrie has pitched sold this season; however, the Oriole lineup is up against a tall order facing the phenom.
Let’s hope for an off-night by Hernandez.
In terms of the rest of the series, Silva has looked good, but has been awfully beatable in the past and it should be a godsend to him that he plays in Safeco. In terms of Baltimore, in game two, it depends which Daniel will show up — if he shows what he did against New York on Wednesday in the Emerald City, it will be a long night for Seattle.
Game three features Adam Loewen, who struggled in the first inning on Wednesday’s loss to the White Sox; however, he settled down and found his way thereafter. He’ll need to focus on the task at hand and work on his command. If he does, not only will the Orioles have a chance to win, but he’ll gain a lot of confidence (not that he lacks in it at all).
Seattle is finding it’s way at the plate, and it will be up to Baltimore pitching to keep them at bay.
I’ll admit I’m a Redskins fan, but it was good to Steve McNair out throwing the first pitch. Despite my allegiance, he was a warrior, and I wish him the best in whatever he does in his life after competitive football.
Although he was in bad shape in 2007-08, the year previously, he was nothing short of amazing as he led the Ravens to 13 wins and earned the love of fans.
Happy trails, Steve.