Monday, March 26, 2007

September 19, 1998, Beginning of the End

Pop quiz hot shot - what famous date is that?

I'll wait..........................................................................................................................................

The Orioles were playing the Yankees, Doug Johns was pitching. Ray Miller was manager but there was one more familiar face in the bullpen. Cal Ripken, he ended the streak that night.

I bring this up because that was a very symbolic day in recent Orioles history.

We just came off the wire-to-wire year in '97 and people were primed to make another run. We picked "volatile" slugger Albert Belle and we led the league in spending, with a payroll of about 78 million dollars. We are the only team to outspend the Yankees in the last 10 years.

We lost the opener in 1998. I remember the next day listening to Tom Davis on the old Rouse and Company morning show, BTW Tom Davis is a great guy, and he was trying to calm the stressing Orioles fan down. It was just one game.

The maddening season that would follow would prove the worriers right. It was a season that would set up the seemingly endless decline and heartache that would follow. It somehow seemed fitting that Ripken would end it then.

September, 18th. It started as just any other game, no one knew what was going on. The Orioles were long out of it. Pat Gillick had announced he was not coming back. Peter was angry at the lack of production from his sizable investments. We trotted out prospects like Calvin Pickering, whom we all thought to be the future then. Lenny Webster was catching. But a surprise. Lineups were announced and Ryan Minor had taken Cal's place on the field.

The night took on a historic glow as people there were treated to unplanned history. But in retrospect it was more symbolic as to what would happen to the Orioles over the next 9 years. I'm sitting here typing this with it playing on MASN behind me. Yankees fans are in full voice, they were heading to the post season, we were not. It seems fitting that somehow they are using the MSG feed to present this. At the end of the season Palmeiro, Alomar, Davis would not return. Mussina would be gone the following year. Scott Erickson and Albert Belle would be hit with what would become career ending injuries. And attempts to rebuild would reveal the true shallowness of the neglected farm system.

Dark times indeed.

Ripken choosing that night to sit it signaled the end of an era in Baltimore baseball and something new and uncertain. Just now the announcers were discussing "who would play third next year?" Without the rock of Ripken it seems like the team's identity was shaken to its core. We no-longer had our superman to rely on.

Now, 9 years later. The Orioles are faced with more uncertainty. We certainly do not have the highest payroll in the game anymore as the top teams in the league have seen their salaries reach the low stratosphere. We worry about the pitching staff as everything is riding on that. And we sit faced with the reality that no matter what we do it may not be enough to take down the titans in our backyard and we will have to hear another summer of "the Yankee mystique" and watch ESPN try to wash the salty taste out of their mouths after yet another Matsuzaka piece.

But for the first time, in a long time, there is hope. REAL hope. The Orioles have some of the best looking young starters in the bigs. The trio of Markakis, Tejada and Huff in the middle of the order should be a real pleasure to watch this year. The Yankees are having a ton of problems with their rotation right now and the Sox, well am I the only one that wants to see Matsuzaka get LIT UP in April. Seriously, it won't happen, but MAN that would be great.

All the Orioles can do is take care of their own business and win ballgames. That has been something that the Orioles have had trouble doing since Ripken ended the streak, but this year THIS YEAR, it can happen.

And honestly, truly honestly, I think it will.

Its time to exorcise the demons guys.

The season starts in 7 days. The countdown begins.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

TRAX-I-MAZING! O's Pummel Dodgers 8-0

The much maligned Steve Trachsel had a big game today pitching 6 innings of shut out ball and effectively lowering his ERA to a much more palatable 5.34. Traxi's comments in Roch's blog make me really like the guy:

"My location was really good today, especially down in the zone," he said. "It's an extension of what we've been working on since I got here. I was definitely ahead in the count a lot better today as well.

"I'm pretty close. My curveball's still a little bit loopy. I'd like it to be a little more sharp.

Obviously, as long as it continues to stay down in the zone, everything else should be OK. My changeup's been good all spring, which is probably not normal for me. My fastball location gets better. If it keeps getting better every time out, I'll be real happy."

For all the crap Trax has had to take so far this spring, I am rooting for the guy. I'm a softie for the longshots. Now, having said that I do not expect Trax-daddy here to contend for the Cy Young or anything. Hell, he won;t even be the third best pitcher on the staff, but I do think he will be a serviceable arm at the back end of the rotation. Better than what we had there last year anyway.

Also in this game Nick the Stick had a big 4 for 4 day with 2 homeruns and an RBI triple. Yeah, I think this kid might amount to something in the bigs. So you know that Trax had to be surprisingly good to get the lead paragraph in this story.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

O's over Cards 4-1 and Other Related Things

If a baseball game is played in Florida, and no one can see or hear it, did it happen?

The answer of course is yes, even if details are sketchy the Orioles DID in fact play a game today against defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals and the good guys won 4-1 today. Adam Loewen started today, went 5 innings of 4 hit shut-out ball with 5 Ks and 2 walks. The offensive heroes today Included Aubrey Huff with a 3-4 day with an RBI double and PAUL BAKO, that's right PAUL BAKO! Bako had an RBI double raising his batting average this spring to a robust .385! Well slap my butt and call me Sally if that ain't a surprise.

I have actually heard people say they wish Bako would have played terrible so he wouldn't make the team. You know what would be MUCH better than that little scenario? Him keeping this pace up and having a productive season at bat as well as behind the plate. Face it guys, Bako has earned the back-up catcher role with his play. House is not a catcher, he does not have the arm or defensive abilities of Bako who, from all reports, calls a very good game. He has earned the spot so lets get off his back already.

Another Oriole that many have sent out to pasture is Melvin Mora. Its funny how one bad summer can make all those chants of "PAY THE MAN" fade away. But he is not having a bad spring either. Mora is batting a solid .297 in the two hole so far and is among the team leaders in RBIs. I think it is safe to say that if he can translate that into the regular season we would be very happy with Melvin this year.

Still though the Orioles offense has been something of a concern this spring. Before today the birds have scored the second fewest runs with 74 ahead of, you guessed it, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But I think it is same to say that the Orioles will be at very least an average offensive squad this year. but will that be enough to compete in the AL East? I don't know.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we will go as far as Cabrera and Loewen take us. And they have looked fairly solid so far this spring, so indications are they have the potential to take us a long way.

Speaking of that, recently Baseball Prospectus came out with their PECOTA rankings of the various divisions. They have the Orioles coming in LAST place, that's right behind the Devil Rays, with the offense only scoring less than 750 runs this year. Now many people that are way better at math than I swear by the unholy alliance of baseball and calculus that is sabermetrics. But being a student, and teacher, of the humanities I take a more anecdotal approach to it. PECOTA has almost every starter in the Orioles lineup declining and Markakis remaining stagnant. To me this is another example of numbers not telling the whole story. Take Roberts for example. When PECOTA looks at Roberts, they don't see his injury. It only sees numbers; it sees a guy who never really performed, then had one huge year, then a bad year. So for 07 it sees a consistent decline and reason to think Roberts will be worse. The soulless PECOTA algorithm doesn't know that Brian's right arm was basically ripped out of it's socket at the end of that gut-wrenching 05 season and that he was lucky to even be PLAYING in 06. Even with my skepticism PECOTA has the damndable ability to be pretty accurate most of the time, but I sincerely believe that this is one time where the numbers will be proven wrong.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hazy Sunday thoughts

Happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend everyone!

Sorry I have been absent as of late, the job has kept me VERY busy. And Saturday was St. Patty's day so I was busy taking part in the revelry of the day.

Stopping by for some quick thoughts:

-The Orioles have hit a bad streak so far dropping games to the Marlins, Twins and Mets before split squad victories yesterday and another 2-1 loss to the Red Sox today.

-The Red Sox played in Ft. Lauderdale and Red Sox nation was in full force. I hate these guys

-Danny had 5 hitless innings before giving back-to-back doubles. He also threw 5 walks. That seems bad, but none of those walks scored. You hear "Cabrera" and "5 walks" and your heart sinks as you think, "Oh boy - here we go again." But you have to look at it like this. Cabrera gives up so few hits and strikes out so many that his walks are like singles. Cabrera will probably average about 4 walks per 9 innings. there are going to be games he doesn't walk anyone, there will be games he will walk 5 or 6. But Danny needs to be able to scatter those walks. 5 walks scattered over 7 innings with none of those walks scoring, I'll take it. If a man walks to first, and he doesn't score, does it really matter?

-Hayden Penn is in hot water as his attitude has come into question recently. He was supposed to start Friday, but he did not due to an "equipment problem." That means Hayden forgot his bag. Penn's stock has been falling for the last couple of years and here he had a chance to make some noise and he is pulling stuff like this. Now Hayden has been a fairly hard-luck story over the last year or so. What with his appendix and now his ankle, it could be understandable that he is down on himself but you're a pro kid you need to get that stuff together. We need you.

-The new Orioles commercials on MASN are very entertaining. "Take a seat Sheffield." Nice.

-Guinness is a fantastic beverage, you all should partake. And not only on St. Patty's Day.

-Fells Point is simply one of the prettiest spots in the area.

-General consensus of the bar patrons. The Orioles are looking real good and people are excited for the year to start. At least the nice guy that bought me shots seemed to think so. But of the couple dozen people I talked to all day we all raised our glasses at least once for the birds. People seem to be pretty jazzed. I know I am.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

If it bleeds....

....we can KILL it.

The Orioles went up against Dice-K "Golden Jesus" Matsuzaka and handed him his first loss of the season. The loss came courtesy of two homeruns from Jon Knott and Jason DuBois. After the Knott Homerun Dice-K "lost his swagger" and looked uncomfortable out of the stretch. This coming from an eye-witness over at the Orioles Hangout boards.

Shameless plug for the Hangout. Seriously though, the BEST orioles boards on the net. If you have been here, and not there you have your priorities WAY out of whack.

But the Orioles polished off the Bo-Sox today to the tune of 5-3.

Trax-a-million had a rough start but got out of all the jams
he got himself in (6 base runners by his second inning of work) and left with a win. He settled down nicely by the third inning and did it without the help of the coaches. Listening to the game on the radio today it seemed he wasn't locating his fast-ball well and everything was up, so midway through the second inning he started working his breaking stuff hard and heavy and he was able ot get out of jams. Trax has been the worst pitcher so far this spring, his ERA a hefty 7, but he showed enough poise on the mound today to show me why some of the higher up want him around. He does have the experience of a long time vet that a team with a still relatively young staff needs. But Trax has to be on a short leash though. If he struggles in April I would expect to see Penn, or even Guthrie, on a fast train from Norfolk.

It's great to have pitching depth isn't it? You know what's better than that?

Taking down the Red Sox Nation a couple notches and drawing first-blood against their golden boy.

As I said above:::

If it bleeds, we can kill it

Streak over, Shuey alright, Roberts nearly signed

The Orioles unbeaten streak came to an end yesterday with a 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The third member of the Bird's "holy trinity" of young arms, Adam Loewen, took the loss. He started the game okay, according to reports, but began to get his pitches up and that was all she wrote for him.

Despite being shut out for the first time this spring the Orioles offense has been very solid batting at a .333 clip since day one. There has been a distinct lack of power, the only homerun coming from Chris Gomez of all people. But Spring Training isn't the place for homeruns. Newly acquired bat Aubrey Huff said it during an on-the-field interview at Friday's game. He said that basically spring training was to get your swing up to speed and that he personally was here to work on getting balls to the opposite field while getting his at bats in. "Homers will come, but its not important."

The Orioles have looked
very good so far this spring and that is definitely cause for optimism. The pitching staff has been fantastic. Even Jaret Wright got in the act with a nice start and win against the lowly Washington Nationals.

I know lowly might be a little harsh, but seriously, it is going to be a ROUGH season down the parkway this year. 100 losses, easily. The only things they have going for them is a young star in Zimmerman and the fact they play in a very weak National League.

A great comeback story was almost de-railed on Friday as well. Spring training invitee, veteran, Paul Shuey felt something pop in his ankle as he ran to cover home after a passed ball. He took three steps towards the diamond and he shot his right foot up and hobbled the rest of the way off the field. For those not in the know, Shuey is a great comeback story because he is trying to get back into baseball after a full right hip replacement. He hadn't thrown a pitch at a professional level since 2005 at AA Akron. Well, good news, the MRI has shown that there was no tear to his achilles tendon and he should be cleared to pitch soon.

Shuey is a long shot to make the team yeah, but I just love an underdog story and it is good to see that he will be okay. You can never have too many arms in the system and I don't think that this will be the last you hear of Paul Shuey. A guy that has that kind of determination just doesn't go away. Even if he doesn't find a spot in the Orioles pen, someone will pick him up.

The Nats need a starter.

Okay that was mean.

On one final note, Brian Roberts' contract talks are close to being done. The two sides were hoping to have everything ironed out this weekend, but it looks like it might take a little longer. According to Mike Flanagan, in today's sun, "We're working through some details...we're optimistic something will be done soon." Some of those details may be the limited no-trade clause that the Orioles have extended Roberts. This coming on the heels of a controversial near-trade that would have sent the popular second baseman to the Braves for Brian Giles and Adam LaRoche. Reportedly the deal was nixed at the 11th hour by Orioles owner, and known meddler, Peter Angelos.

The deal that is being thrown around is a 2 year extension worth between 13-14 million dollars. I would go as far to throw an option in there for a third year because I want this cat around for awhile. Brian has become one of the faces of the organization and he genuinely wants to be here, so long as the FO is showing a commitment to win.

Brian, i think we can all agree with you on that one.

Friday, March 9, 2007

MASN, HFS and Baltimore

Who is buried in Grant's Tomb? Where are the Baltimore Orioles from?

Two questions that should be easy for people to answer, but for some reason they actually might get it wrong. The Grant's Tomb question is a result of the adverse reaction to question anxiety and a lack of American history knowledge. The Orioles, well people might forget where they are from because since 1993 the Orioles organization seems to have done all it can to eliminate the word BALTIMORE from all things Orioles related.

Much to the constant consternation of the Baltimore sports community.

That's the thing about Baltimoreans, we love our teams but we L O V E our city. Baltimoreans are a fiercely loyal to their town and even with all its problems we will stick up for her until our dying breath. We also love the Orioles, we may not show it as much as we used to but we do. And we want the Orioles to love Baltimore again.

Baltimore hasn't been on the road
Jerseys since 1973. Nixon was President. Flanagan, Ripken, Orsulak, Mora, Anderson, Roberts, Alomar, Tejada, Mussina, Olson, Erickson, Milligan none of these men EVER wore a shirt with BALTIMORE blazed across it. But the real sin isn't that so much as the slow almost de-stalinization, of Baltimore from other team media.

In 1993 Baltimore was removed from the Orioles logo. Then the
BAL on the score bug on TV was replaced with O's. This is also true at the ballpark's scoreboards as well. Announcers started saying "Orioles" instead of "Baltimore Orioles." Little changes that, over time, became glaring evidence of the team's disconnect with the hometown fan. This lack of respect for the city has been the driving force behind at least a couple protests and countless hours of snarky comments from radio hosts and callers alike.

But could the Orioles finally be getting it?

Since their move to
WHFS Orioles on air ads have been featuring the word Baltimore very predominately. Commercials on MASN show an Orioles fan wearing the coveted 1966 Brooks Robinson away jersey with Baltimore scrawled across it in that now classic script. And I am pleased to say that, as I caught today's Spring Training game replay: BAL has returned to the score bug, Baltimore is on the commercial scoreboard bumps and Gary Thorne is saying Baltimore with great regularity.

I think you have to call this a step in the right direction. These little things, these easy things have to be the first steps the Orioles take in reconnecting with the city of Baltimore. And they need to. Since the last incarnation of the Senators left Washington, and Baltimore went into a financial depression, Orioles ownership has been trying to appeal to the more affluent suburbs to sustain the team. And while, from a business
standpoint, you can almost understand that mentality times have changed. Baltimore and its immediate suburbs are going through a renaissance of rather large proportions. People are returning to the Crown Jewel of the Chesapeake and now that Washington has their own team, with their own uniforms and everything, it is now time for the team to come back home and be the BALTIMORE Orioles again.

These early baby steps are great, but I want to go to opening day and hear the team announced as the
Baltimore Orioles, lets see BAL up on the scoreboard and one day lets finally get Baltimore back on those road jerseys.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

REAL Quick Hits

Sorry for lack of updates, just started a new job. FINALLY GOT THE TEACHER GIG! Seriously, 5 years of work finally coming to fruition - its a beautiful thing, very very happy.

But I have been BUSY AS HELL the last few days. In the meantime:

- Erik Bedard is proving he is the man with another dominate spring performance. Guy has gone 5 innings and given up 1 hit. I know its only spring, but that is impressive.

- Remember I said not to give up on Garret Olson, well the team did as he has been reassigned to Sarasota.

- Only ONE XL shirt available right now. All other sizes available, more XLs in a couple weeks.

In other MLB news, Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched in two Spring Training games and was very impressive. Of course 3 of his five innings were against the Boston College Baseball team. But that hasn't stopped the sporting world from anointing him the second coming of Jesus, Elvis and Cy Young all wrapped into one. What he has done so far is impressive, but the press this kid is getting is a little tiring.

I need to sleep now, regular update tomorrow evening.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Three in a Row!

The Orioles have strung together three straight practice wins with another victory over Apu's favorite squadron, the NY Mets. The 6-3 victory, buoyed by a 5 run 3rd inning, was underscored by the unsettling start from Jaret Wright.

Wright came out and pitched one inning. He was wild gave up one hit, picked off former Oriole Daivd Newhan at second base and
ultimately got out of the inning without surrendering a run. But that is all the action he would see as Garrett Olson began the second. But, Olson began warming up as soon as Wright began the game? Then Wright leaves after an ineffective first inning? Joe Angel mentions on the broadcast that Wight might be feeling "tenderness" in his pitching shoulder?


Details are still very hazy about Wright's health, or lack there of. Wright maintains that he had no idea why he was taken out, per Roch's blog. And He goes on to say that he is fine and there is no need for any questions regarding his health. But still, Wright has a history of shoulder problems and we do not need yet another starter missing significant time with an injury. I am not one to panic, but until I hear from Perlozzo that Wright is fine I'm going to be a little concerned.

If you haven't heard a game on HFS yet,
be sure that you catch the next one because I can honestly say it is a WORLD of improvement over the AM signal. Hearing Angel's voice in crystal clear stereo without background cosmic white noise and occasional interference with low flying crows is certainly a treat. While we are on the radio thing. I am hearing a lot of promos for "all access" postgame shows featuring Duquette and Perlozzo, where people will call in and ask questions. The promos are making it seem like these are going to be very regular occurrences. Perhaps this was the thing behind the exclusivity clause that CBS requested and the O's accepted. Perhaps this year we will be able to call in and ask questions on a regular basis, not the once in a blue moon times before? Just a thought, but if it does work out like that does that policy look as bad?

Turning back to the game, The Orioles fell victim to the seemingly immortal Rueben Sierra. Sierra of course began his career learning under the great Honus Wagner and is still in baseball to this day. Sierra drove in all of the Mets' three runs today, tagging Radahmes "Snappy" Liz for a 2 run double during a windy day in Ft. Lauderdale. Melvin had a bag-clearing bases-loaded double in the third that would jump the O's to a 5-1 lead, and an eventual win.

Garret Olson pitched alright, but struggled at time. Perlozzo is concerned that Olson "is getting under the ball," but I wouldn't give on him yet. Kurt Birkins got the save today helping his ca
use for that elusive spot in the bullpen. And it is a tight race.

Right now the locks in the pen are:


That leaves:

All fighting for a spot. Only 3 of them are going to get tapped. We haven't seen Penn yet and he could be a candidate for the starting rotation. Or at least he should be but unless Trax-tastic puts up about 2-3 more starts like his first one I think Penn is in the pen. Guthrie, Williams and Parrish have all looked very good in early spring appearances, Burres not so much. So if I had to pick my three right now they would be:


That would mean Birkins, Penn and Burres get sent back to AAA Norfolk. I don't want to send Penn down there again as he has nothing more to prove at the AAA level but until he gets some solid in-game work this spring he may get passed by again. Though, if he did head down to the Tides I am sure he would be back up here for before the All-Star break if Trachsel struggles in any way or someone gets hurt.

So far this spring the Orioles have looked pretty good, Melvin has had a good couple of games, Tejada has shown some rust in the field, 1 error and a couple muffs today, but he will come around. Markakis is showing that a sophomore slump is the least of his worries with consistent production in the field and at the plate. In fact it has lead him to be named one of the Top Ten Beakout Players in '07, along with Adam Loewen. Val Majewski and Jeff (Screech) Fiorentino have opened some eyes with very good play so far this spring. All in all it has been a good spring so far for the birds, lets keep it going.

Other notes:
- Backup catcher Paul Bako has been sidelined, day-to-day with a strained oblique muscle. Hopefully this will allow Orioles FA pick-up J.R. House get some time in as catcher, many feel he would be far superior to Bako in the role, I'm one of them.

- Jon Knott and Jay gibbons both got time in LEFT-field today, Gibbons started. it is good to see the team trying to work Gibbons in multiple areas of the game. So far he has spent time as a first-baseman, DH, RF and now LF. Keeping Gibbons healthy, and his bat in the lineup, should be a priority for Perlozzo this year. I am convinced that a healthy productive Gibbons batting in between Huff and Hernandez could have a very strong year.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Orioles, the Radio and the Glory of Baseball

Yesterday the Orioles began the prelude to the best time of the year as they played their first spring training game against the Florida Marlins. More on that later as I want to begin with the Orioles much talked about switch to FM radio and WHFS.

20-30somethings in the Baltimore/DC area will remember HFS as the premiere alt-rock station that, in its early days, was a shining spire of intelligent music in a land of Whitesnakes and Motley Crue. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those bands - but I have always been more of a They Might Be Giants man myself. But alas, WHFS sold out hardcore, went way downhill (I'm looking at YOU Good Charolette) and was eventually and rather suddenly changed to a Latino station. This new HFS is pretty much a Baltimore FM talk station is now the new home of our Baltimore Orioles radio broadcasts.

Of course the much ballyhooed brouhaha between the former flagship and this new station has been well publicized and debated, but the most important question is this: HOW DID IT SOUND? Well I have to say it is so refreshing to hear a crystal clear O's game and at first it takes a minute to get used to. NO more interference from overhead lines or tall buildings. Nothing but Joe Angel's mello baritone and horrible jokes that are so bad they are hysterical and, of course, the O's.

It is real great to hear the Orioles on the air again, a true sign that winter is in its death throes and spring is around the corner. The first game of course was a back and forth affair with the Orioles losing on a Marlin walk-off dinger. But the real story was Steve Trachsel getting off to a rocky 28 pitch, one inning, three run start. Now I want the best for Trax (or Traxie) but that was certainly not the way to begin endearing yourself with the Baltimore baseball public who is already looking at your signing as further evidence of why NOT to renew season tickets. But DON"T PANIC Baltimore, as Mike over at MVN says.

While we are talking about the Orioles and radio, I want to share another thing I heard on the way to work today. Again coming from Drew Forrester and WNST. Yesterday Drew, in his infinite wisdom, held a trial. Yes a trial. Of course the Orioles were on trial. There was a judge (local pub owner and "celebrity") Seabass; Drew was the prosecutor and someone was a defense attorney; there was a jury...ya know, it doesn't really matter because it was simply the most retarded thing I had ever heard. It was just another THINLY veiled reason to spend an hour slamming the Orioles for everything or anything that could have remotely been their fault. I mean if you are going to rake the O's over the coals thats fine, but if you want to call it a trial - well then it should never have happened. The United States Constitution calls for "...
by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed..." and WNST is many things when it comes to the Orioles but one thing it certainly is NOT is impartial.

Also Drew, lets not mask it. You are not putting the Orioles on trial, you are putting ANGELOS on trial. You named names like Bill Stedka and Alofassos and others . You even went after the now dead Syd Thrift but as with everything else over there it is all about Angelos. Now again, Drew, buddy, I support your cause but there are much more intelligent and dignified ways to go about doing this. And that little stunt was simply the dumbest thing I had ever heard.

Turning back to the Orioles: The boys opened their FT. Lauderdale refugee camp with game two of the spring and Erik Bedard pulled an anti-traxie and was stellar through his three innings, needing only 20 pitches to get through them. The Orioles had a combined no-hitter through 7 until Paul Shuey (heretofore known as the bum) gave up a soft single. But no worries as the Orioles evened up on the short pre-season with a decisive 3-0 victory over those pesky fish.

Quick recap:
WHFS = crystal clear signal is a very good thing
Trax-alicious = Need to get better quick, I know its only game 1, but you need to show me you can do better
Drew and NST = Strike 2 buddy. Keep the pressure on the FO, cut the lame theatrics
Erik Bedard = More on him later.