Friday, May 25, 2007


TUNE INTO WNST 1570 to hear yours truly at 6:30-6:45 TONIGHT!!

Musings on Five Games Under

Well friends, our birds find themselves in a familiar place under 500 and in fourth place. Yes, a mere 1.5 games separates them from second but the team has just been stuck in neutral since I last posted. Where have I been you demand to know? Blame the No Child Left Behind Act and MD High School Assessments. The only thing worse than taking them is getting 150 kids READY for them. Its been a hectic week. Normally the Orioles should offer an escape from that stress, unfortunately this has not been the case recently.

The Orioles are 5 games under 500 and they have been in nearly EVERY GAME this month so far. Trust me, its not just you. Only one game the Orioles have played in the last 14 has been decided by more than 2 runs. The starting pitching has been phenomenal, the bullpen has been passable (except for ONE MAN, more on that later) but the offense has been sputtering.

And that is putting it lightly.

Miguel Tejada has been back in the four-hole the last couple games and last night he hit his first homerun, an Earl Weaver no less, in a solid 100 ABs. Nick Markakis is leading the team in RBIs and is on pace to hit 82! EIGHTY-TWO!

The Orioles offense is playing at a historically bad pace right now, so odds are it will not remain that bad. Odds are that the offense will find a groove sooner or later and make this six week period from April into May seem like a bad memory and forgotten frustrations. But how long must we wait? How big is this desert? Are we in a playground sand-box or are we crossing the Gobi on a amnesiac horse?

The Orioles' much ballyhooed bullpen has been spotty lately. After their stellar April they fell to Earth like the last son of Krypton in May. Though I think it will turn around. Orioles starters barely averaged 5 innings a start in April, they are now regularly getting into the 6th and 7th innings and you will see the benefits of that soon enough. The only real downside recently has been one Danys Baez who seems to have totally lost it the last couple weeks. Danys had a great April allowing runs in only 3 appearances in the month. Recently, however, Baez has allowed not just runs but CRITICAL GAME-CHANGING/WINNING runs in 4 of his last 5 appearances. That is simply unacceptable from him.

The Orioles go up against the A's tonight hoping to get a little revenge and save a little face after the living abortion that was the two gamer in Baltimore. The Orioles need to get this turned around and quick. They have been letting too many games get away from them, too many great starts going to waste, too many runners left on base in crucial times, too many troubles, too many troubles...sorry I slipped into a Beta Band song for a second there. Its bad times in Birdland boys and girls but you and I both know that the Orioles are one good week away from being right back in it. But they are one bad week away from fighting embarrassment, and shuffling Sam Perlozzo off to the unemployment line.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hey, I'm ALIVE! Birds on the Rebound?

Wow, been that long since I have updated? Sorry Flock faithful, but work has been hectic recently, what with interms and High School Assessments coming up I haven't had a TON of free time recently. Thankfully, for you and me, that will be ending soon and I can re-focus some energy to this glorious web-mo-tron portal you see before you.

Now that THAT is out of the way.. How 'bout dem O's?

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. First, Adam Loewen is gone for virtually the rest of the year with a stress factor in his elbow. Combine that with Hayden Penn electing to have surgery to remove bone spurs from his forearm that makes a grand total of 4, that is FOUR, "starting" pitchers that the team has lost for pretty much all year. Kris Benson went down first, then Jaret Wright's continuing arm problems resurfaced. Now Loewen and Penn. Seriously sports-fans, have you EVER heard something so ludicrous. I know the Yankees were a little banged up to start, but FOUR pitchers? its like someone has it out for us or something. Speaking of those horrible, wretched, disgusting pinstripers: They went out and acquired Roger Clemens to the tune of more money than you care to know about.

Now its not that I hate Roger Clemens, I DO but that is not the point. The point is this: This is a perfect example of the imbalance in baseball today. The Yankees have always spent a ton of money but this is ridiculous, they went out and did something that only THEY, and maybe one other team, could do. Also the fact that Roger Clemens can just bounce from retirement to playing again and again like some sort of mercenary, or cheap Howard St. hooker, is just a slap in the face of not only the Astros but baseball itself. Micheal Jordan is telling this guy to give it a rest. George Foreman has had enough of this guy's antics. I'm praying nightly he gets lit up like the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller.

Back to the good guys. After the Orioles were left for dead at the beginning of the month they have rebounded rather nicely winning 4 of their last 6 and are poised for a 3 game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays tonight. Last night was a nail-biter until the end when Aubrey "Call me Huff-Dizzle" Huff launched the game-winning homerun into the Orioles bullpen to win the contest in the bottom of the tenth. Erik Bedard had an amazing night, going 7, scattering 4 hits, no runs and striking out 10. John Parrish got the skin-of-his-teeth win pitching a scoreless top of the 10th where he got BJ Upton to swing at ball four, breaking his bat and stranding the bases-loaded. You could hear the collective sigh of relief around the Baltimore metro-area last night. Seriously, it was audible. Orioles win 1-0.

Looking ahead: The Orioles' make-shift rotation will get a real test as they travel to Boston for three games with those horrible individuals. (Mrs. Pat, if somehow you read that, sorry but well, you understand) So those HORRIBLE HORRIBLE sub-human Red Sox will have a chance to tee-off on the likes of Burres, Guthrie and Trax-a-million. That series could get ugly guys, of course it could be the greatest thing ever when we sweep them! My prediction, 1-2.

If you haven't heard I am doing a weekly podcast over at MVN. Beltway Baseball with Anthony and James. We take calls and emails and IMs and EVERYTHING. LIVE. Every Saturday at 1PM, unless otherwise noted. If you would like to take part in the grand discussion our IM name is BeltwayBaseball on AIM and the phone number: (646) 478-4728, 1PM Saturday afternoon. We talk Orioles and Nationals baseball. We are a lot like MASN, except we have less money and we don't make bad jokes about really serious horrible issues.

Seriously Demper, what the hell? Just when you think things are going okay...

That's all for now O's fans.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

On Podcasts and Losing Skids

1-9 in our last 10.

Does anything else NEED to be said about that? The team is doing just enough to stay close and lose. Instead of getting that 2-run single they get the 1-run sacrifice. Markakis and Huff are mired in horrific slumps. Miguel keeps getting singles, Patterson has come through with some clutch hits over the slump, Gibbons hit his first homerun of the year last night, all for naught.

The Orioles had never, repeat NEVER been swept by the Tigers in Detroit until the past three games. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later and that miserable prick Gary Sheffield was the cause of it, going 4-4 to undo another really quality start from Steve Tracshel as the Orioles lose 3-2. Once again it hasn't been a matter of getting guys on base, it haws been getting them in. The Orioles during this skid have just been TERRIBLE with runners in scoring position and it is something that needs to change and in a hurry.

The Orioles were 11-7 at one point, now they are 12-16, that is a precipitous fall. The thing of it is they have been in almost every game just lacking the one key hit that breaks it open. How do you fix that? Shuffle the lineup? Well Sam tried that today, Batting Payton second against a tough lefty, Miggy was third and Ramon fourth. The struggling Markakis was bumped down to 7th Mora batted 6th, still to no avail. Give Sam credit he's getting eaten alive on the internet this year, but he's trying to do something.

The Orioles get a MUCH needed day off tomorrow to lick their wounds and hopefully find the bats they left under their collective beds. Friday the re-match with the Indians in Camden, I'll be there up in section 384, come say hi.

Last week I took part in the first of, hopefully, many Beltway Baseball podcasts with Anthony over at Oriole Post, It went real well and you can find the podcast over at the Oriole Magic MVN page. Next week we are doing it again, but this time we will be taking LIVE CALLS and INSTANT MESSAGES. Saturday at 1PM the show goes live, look here for numbers and IM names to calls in and ask your questions of the Internet ad wizards that came up with THIS one.

If things weren't bad enough there are whispers of an Adam Loewen injury. He left the game early last night with "soreness in his forearm." But now there are rumors of that soreness including his bicep and elbow as well, according to this AP blurb. Hopefully its nothing, but say a prayer. Seriously I'm praying to anything that will listen. God, Buddha, Yahweh, Allah, Ganesha, Aztec Sun Gods. SOMEONE GIVE US A BREAK!

Hopefully, GOD HOPEFULLY, our birds will snap out of this funk in a big way. It is still VERY VERY early, just remember this axiom:

54 games you win, the other team never had a chance;
54 games you lose, you never had a chance;
54 games you have a chance to win.

Where do these past 9 losses fit in?

PS: As I type this my computer, in a fit of technical irony has begun playing Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

Someone is mocking me I swear.