Tagged: orioles

It’s Finally Over: AL East Edition

July.  One month of endless speculation and trades.  Ended by the trade deadline on July 31st. It’s over.  Finally.  I have decided to recap what each team did at the deadline.  First the AL by division, then later the NL.

Yankees- The really had only one need at the deadline, a utility infielder to replace the disastrous combo of Ramiro Peña and Cody Ransom.  They filled in the last hour before the deadline, trading for Reds utility man Jerry Hairston Jr.  Hairston Jr. will be the primary infield utility man for the Yankees, filling in at second, third, and short.  New York was of course mentioned in the Roy Halladay rumors, but Brian  Cashman did a good job standing pat, and not selling the farm system.
Red Sox- The Red Sox were as usual, built on a solid foundation with no real needs at the deadline.  But they swung a couple of deals anyway.  First, uncomfortable with making Mark Kotsay an everyday starter while Mike Lowell was injured, they traded for first basemen Adam Laroche, than flipped him back to where his career began, Atlanta, for Casey Kotchman, when they acquired star catcher Victor Martinez from the Indians.
Rays- The Rays had one glaring need, a catcher.  They were mentioned in the Victor Martinez talks, but didn’t have the payroll flexibility to add him.  It also would have been nice for them to acquire a starter, but once again, money issues scrapped those plans.
Blue Jays- The Jays, safely out of contention, had no needs at the deadline, but stole the spotlight with the plethora of Roy Halladay rumors.  The Jays nearly dealt Halladay to the Phillies for a substantial package, but refused to accept any package without top pitcher Kyle Drabek.  Halladay will probably be moved in the offseason, but for now the Jays aren’t making any moves.
Orioles- In last place, the Orioles weren’t going to be buying players, and with there top  farm system, ready to break out in 2010, they stayed quiet.
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If You Think ’09 Is A Race, Then What Will ’10 Be?

All the talk through the offseason revolved around what would be a race for the ages in the 2009 AL East.  There were three teams, the revamped, “more lavish spending than ever” Yankees; the steady Red Sox, who didn’t know the meaning of the word collapse; and the sentimental favorite Rays, who had come out of nowhere to land the 2008 pennant.  In April the discussion revolved around the Red Sox hot start, the Rays up-and-down performance, and the last-place Yankees.  In May it was the Sox staying steady, the Yankees starting to find some cohesion, and the Rays meandering along the .500 line.  In June the Yankees and Red Sox were going head-to-head at the top of the division, while the Rays were making a little-noticed push toward the top.  Now in July, the race is neck to neck.  But if this seems crazy, then just imagine what 2010 will be.

Not only will the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays be in the division hunt, but also the Blue Jays and Orioles.  2010 is the arrival date for Orioles top pitchers Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, and Brian Matusz, all three will join ace Jeremy Guthrie, and sinkerballer Brad Bergesen to make a strong rotation.  Brad Snyder could join the O’s at first base should Aubrey Huff leave in free agency.  These players would join Baltimore’s core four of LF Nolan Reimold, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis, and DH Luke Scott.  These players would put Baltimore a bullpen arm away from contention.

The Blue Jays with their hoard of young pitchers, and hitters, such as Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Travis Snider, have showed flashes of brilliance this year, and could be strengthend even more should they deal ace Roy Halladay for a kings ransom of prospects.

If a three team race in 2009 is great, then what about a five team battle in 2010? 

Fire The Manager!

Your team is struggling, inefficiencies at the upper levels of management have resulted in these struggles.  You are the team president and co-acting general manager, you need to fix this, and you don’t know how to fix this personnel wise.  What do you do?  You fire yourself because you’re an idiot the manager!!!!!!!!  Yes this is what team president Stan Kasten, and the Washington Natinals Nationals

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plan to do on Monday.  Soon to be ex-manager Manny Acta, I feel for you, none of this is your fault.  Hopefully the players will stand up for you, just like the Rockies’ did for Clint Hurdle.

( I detailed the Nationals problems here)

This Day In Baseball History


1876-Philadelphia Athletic George Hall becomes first major league player to hit for cycle. The Englishman will also become the first player to be banned, along with others for throwing 3 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go 1877.


1940-At the Polo Grounds, Harry Danning hits for the cycle becoming the last player to have an inside-the-park homer as part of this rare feat. The Giant catcher is able to circle the bases because the ball gets stuck behind the Eddie Grant memorial and Pirates’ center fielder Vince DiMaggio cannot free it in time.


1963-In a 10-3 win over the Reds at Crosley field, Met outfielder Duke Snider hits his 400th career homer off of Bob Purkey.


1965-At Crosley Field, Jim Maloney no-hits the Mets for ten innings but loses 1-0 when Johnny Lewis connects for a homer in the eleventh.


1969-Hitting two home runs, two doubles and a single, A’s Reggie Jackson drives in ten runs as Oakland routs the Red Sox, 21-7.


1979-Giant first baseman Willie McCovey hits his 513th round tripper establishing him as the National League all-time left-handed home run leader.


1996-Cal Ripken sets a new consecutive games world record by playing in his 2,216th consecutive game The previous mark of 2,215 was held by Hiroshima Carp third baseman Sachio Kinugasa playing in the Japanese Central League.


2002-Due to 14 interleague contests all played in
National League parks, a designated hitter is not used in a full slate of major league games for the first time since 1972. Visiting hurlers will get plenty of opportunities to swing the bat as there isn’t a home game scheduled in American League park for the 10 consecutive days.


2006-Russ Ortiz (0-5, 7.54) becomes the highest paid player ever to be cut by a major league team. Although the team still owes $22 million of the $33 million of the four-year deal signed in December 2004, the Diamondbacks designate the 32-year old righty for assignment, meaning the club has 10 days to trade, waive or release the pitcher who is 1-14 record in his last 19 starts.

Draft Analysis

1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals

Who was surprised by this selection?  In every scout’s eye he the perfect pitcher.  Only time will tell.
2. Dustin Ackley, 1B/CF, Mariners
This was the best possible pick for the Mariners.  Ackley was the best hitter in the draft.  His bat will profile best in center, so hopefully Ackley’s arm is back at full strenght followingTommy John surgery.  Read the Mariners Nation recap at Bleeding Blue and Teal
3. Donovan Tate, CF, Padres
I do not like this selection for the Padres.  Tate is one of those athletes with soooooo muuucccchhhh potential, and one that scouts drool over.  Drafted out of HS with a strong college commitment and high bonus demands, Tate won’t be wearing a Padres uniform.
4. Tony Sanchez, C, Pirates
Alright Pirates fans, you can crawl back into your shells now.  This was a signability pick period.  Rumor even has it that Sanchez and the Pirates agreed to a contract before the draft.  Sanchez is supposedly defensively ready for the big leagues, and has a developing bat, but I don’t trust the MLB Network “analysts”, who didn’t say a single negative thing about any player.  Enjoy Pittsburgh!
5. Matt Hobgood, RHP, Orioles
Many analysts had the Orioles taking another highschooler, Zach Wheeler.  While signability definitely factored into this pick, Hobgood has very good command, a hard fastball, and is built like a workhorse.  Baltimore could have done far worse.

What’s Wrong With The Cubs????

  • Padres 7  Cubs 2

This weekend the Padres, the Padres!!!!! swept the Cubs, this should not happen.  What is wrong with the Cubs?  Their offense was supposed to be improved after adding Milton Bradley, but every hitter except a much improved Kosuke Fukudome is slumping, some hitters, especially Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, and Bradley, never even started hitting.  The Cubs’ bullpen is a mess, it looked good on paper, and I will admit that I supported the Kevin Gregg acquisition this offseason, but the fact of the matter is, Gregg is not a closer, he throws too many strikes right over the plate, and the rest of the bullpen can’t throw strikes.  The starting rotation has been good, but they haven’t been getting run support, and it would be nice if the starters weren’t taking turns going to the DL.  The Cubs need to right the ship now.

This Day In Baseball History

1923– Ty Cobb surpasses Honus Wagner ‘s record for most runs scored in a career. The ‘Georgia Peach’ crosses the plate for the 1,741 time.

1935– At Forbes Field, Babe Ruth as a member of the Boston Braves, hits three homers and a single. The ‘Sultan of Swat’s’ seventh inning solo shot of Gary Bush, which travels over 600 feet and clears the roof, will be the Bambino’s 714th and final home run.

1937- Future Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane’s career ends after being beaned with an 3-1 inside fastball thrown by Yankee hurler Bump Hadley. Near death at first, the Tiger catcher/manager will spend six weeks in the hospital and will return to the team only as its skipper.

1951– Willie Mays makes his major league debut.

1981– Carl Yastrzemski, playing in his 3,000th game, all in a Red Sox uniform, scores the deciding run in an 8-7 victory over Cleveland. The future Hall of Famer will finish his 23-year career in the majors appearing in a total of 3,308 contests for Boston.

1982– In the third inning of Chicago’s 2-1 loss to Padres, Cubs’ right-hander Fergie Jenkins whiffs shortstop Gary Templeton to record his 3,000th career strikeout. The Canadian-born hurler becomes the seventh pitcher in major league history to reach the milestone.

2005
– In a game against the Orioles, the Mariners battery consist of a pair of 42-year olds as Jamie Moyer throws to backstop Pat Borders. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time in major league history that two players 42 years or older have been the starting pitcher and catcher for a team.

2008-Former major league pitcher Geremi Gonzalez imgres.jpg
 is killed by lightning standing on a dock in western Venezuela. The 33-year-old pitcher, who was signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1991, also hurled for the Devil Rays, the Red Sox, the Mets and the Brewers before being released by Milwaukee in 2006.

R.I.P. Geremi

Credit

This Day In Baseball History-www.nationalpastime.com
Geremi Gonzalez-ESPN.com


Interleague “Rivalry” Matchups

  • Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”

I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided.  For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.

Yesterday’s Best Games

  • Mets 3  Red Sox 2

What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game?  Answer: A miracle

And that’s what happened last night in Boston… 
In the top of the 9th inning, with left fielder Gary Sheffield on first base after leading off the inning with a walk, and two outs, Mets rookie catcher Omir Santos, an injury replacement for Brian Schneider, crushed a first pitch fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon just over the Green Monster in left field, his hit was originally ruled a double, but was ruled a 2-run homerun following instant replay, and in the bottom of the inning, J.J. Putz shut down the Red  Sox, sealing the series win for New York.
  • Diamondbacks 8  A’s 7

This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5.  The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game.  The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.

  • Two More Interleague Shutouts

White Sox 4  Pirates 0

Cardinals 5  Royals 0
Game Of The Day Preview coming soon…