Tagged with "Baltimore Orioles"
Five Minute Frags - Fantasy Bait And Switch
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB Fantasy Baseball Seattle Mariners Baltimore Orioles Michael Morse Chris Davis

The first few days of the baseball season can be an extremely funny time. Some guys struggle initially and we sort of shrug it off, reminding ourselves that the season is a 162-game marathon. However, when a guy explodes out of the gate, he's all of a sudden the second coming of†Babe Ruth.

Those are the times when we need to slap ourselves with a dead fish.

For those of us that have forgotten the past, let me remind you of a guy named†Chris Shelton. Shelton, a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, hit 8 home runs in the team's first 13 games of the 2006 season. That rush resulted in Shelton being a quick addition to fantasy teams everywhere. However, Shelton quickly trailed off from there, hitting just 7 more during the remainder of the season, and was sent down to the Minor Leagues for the month of August.

Shelton would play just 50 more games in the Major Leagues and hit just 2 more home runs after the 2006 season. At 32-years-old, he is no longer in professional baseball.

What was significant about the 2006 season for Shelton is that it over-shadowed another player who was having an equally impressive April. While Shelton finished April with 10 home runs, 20 RBI, and a growing notoriety, this other player hit 14 home runs and drove in 38 runs during the month.

That player was†Albert Pujols.

The point being, is that we put an awful lot of stock into what those players have accomplished in such a short sample size. And right now, as I am typing this, there are people clambering to find ways of adding†Chris Davis†and†Michael Morse†to their respective fantasy line-ups.

Chris Davis, a 27-year-old first baseman, spent three seasons in Texas, unable to crack Texas's everyday line-up and eventually being cast off in a trade with Baltimore. Davis became an intergral part of Baltimore's run to the playoffs in 2012, hitting .270 with a career-high 33 home runs and 85 RBI for the Orioles.

Davis has come out of the gate strongly, swatting 3 home runs and driving in 11 in Baltimore's first three games of the season. That mark includes a ridiculous 2.420 OPS in that one series on the season.

Another player jumping the shark early on is Michael Morse of the Seattle Mariners.

Morse was a big pick-up for the Mariners this winter, coming over in a trade with the Washington Nationals, who no longer had room for him after picking up†Denard Span†and resigning†Adam LaRoche. The 31-year-old Morse is no stranger to Seattle, having started his career there, but it took leaving town in order for him to find his potential and blossoming into a 30+ home run hitter in Washington during the 2011 season.

Morse has streaked to begin the season as well, taking comfort while swinging toward the recently brought-in walls of Safeco Field. His four home runs lead Major League Baseball at this early point of the season, putting him on pace for 162 on the season.

Certainly, Morse is taking advantage of the move to a more hitter friendly park and his hot start is a good sign for Mariners fans looking for offense from a team that has been dreadful at it over the years. Orioles fans are equally happy with Davis continuing where he left off a season ago, lending credence to the hope that 2012 was not a fluke.

Still, expectations need to be tempered. Quick starts are just as bad at projecting value as a slow start, especially given the small sample size. Buying into or selling based on false value is a good way to kill one's hopes of having any sort of successful fantasy baseball season whatsoever.

A marathoner wins through patience and prudent action when the need arises. Championships are won by finding adequate bargains and taking low-cost risks. Monitor, but don't plunge into unrealistic paces by players who could not possibly keep them up.

Still, if you buy into paces, I'd be more than happy to flip either of these blossoming (insert snicker here) sluggers for your slow-starting†Robinson Cano,†Mike Trout, or any other somewhat useful piece of your line-up.

It will be well worth my time when Morse and Davis are hanging drywall with Chris Shelton a few years from now.

30 Players, 30 Teams - Baltimore Orioles
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Baltimore Orioles Dylan Bundy

In this series, we are going to spotlight one player on each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. However, we won't be highlighting just any player. Rather, we are going to call attention to the one guy from each squad that is the heart and soul of the team.

If you missed the previous installments, be sure to check them out:

Arizona Diamondbacks - Miguel Montero

Atlanta Braves -†Craig Kimbrel

We're going to start things off alphabetically, which gets us started with the Arizona Diamondbacks

Baltimore Orioles -†Dylan Bundy†- Starting Pitcher

Acquired:†Draft - 1st Round (4th overalll) 2011 Amateur Draft

Signed Through:†2019 (Pre-Arbitration Eligible)

MLB Debut:†September 23, 2012

When a team pushes through an 18-inning game and uses seven relievers to do the job, they are often forced into calling on their farm system to bail them out the next day. When the Baltimore Orioles pulled the trick on September 18th, they followed that routine and went digging for depth.

What they came back with was perhaps a surprise to many.

At 4:00am on September 19th, the Orioles placed a call for back-up, but instead of dialing up a veteran they may have had stashed at Triple-A, Baltimore instead phoned up 19-year-old Dylan Bundy, the team's top prospect and pitching prospect of all pitching prospects.

That strategy had worked out well for Baltimore earlier in the year, when they recalled shortstop†Manny Machado, just a year older at 20, to take over at third base for the team in order to provide them with an offensive spark in the middle of the pennant chase. That move paid off, as Machado his .262 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI over the last 52 games of the season.

But Machado had 219 minor league games worth of experience under his belt. Bundy on the other hand, was in his first year of professional baseball and pitching with an innings limit nonetheless. At the time of his call-up, Bundy had thrown 103.2 innings in a season where he had pitched at three different levels, topping out at Double-A. Still, he had been dominant at that, registering a 9-3 record with a 2.08 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 ratio, easily demonstrating why he is one of the best pitching prospects in the game.

Bundy would throw in just 2 games after his call-up, registering 1.2 innings pitched without a strike-out, but it gave him a taste of where he'll be shortly.

Just how shortly is dependent on the rest of the Orioles pitching staff. Baltimore has a rotation anchored by a starting five that should include†Jason Hammel,†Wei-Yin Chen,†Chris Tillman,†Miguel Gonzalez, and†Brian Matusz. Additionally, the team has to figure out what to do with†Steve Johnson,†Jake Arrieta, and†Zach Britton.

Baltimore would prefer to give Bundy time to develop and have already optioned the right-hander to return to Double-A Bowie to start 2013. Bundy has a plus fastball that registers in the upper 90's, a plus change-up, and a developing curveball. However, he's also struggling with velocity issues this spring and the time in the minors will benefit him immensely.

Regardless, Dylan Bundy is a prodigy and if handled correctly, will see plenty of time at the top of Baltimore's rotation, where he'll be joined by fellow prospect†Kevin Gausman†(#37 overall - MLB.com). And hey, we've already seen the Orioles desire to go to the mattresses for top prospects in the past.

We may see plenty of Dylan Bundy again for the year is out.

Remembering Earl Weaver Through Quotes
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver Earl Weaver Quotes

On Friday, Major League Baseball lost a one-of-a-kind baseball man. Earl Weaver, 82, †was a genuine, dyed in the wool throwback to the days when baseball managers were gruff and took no lip from anybody.

Weaver served as manager of the Baltimore Orioles for 17 seasons (1968-1982, 1985-1986), managing some of the greatest players to ever take the field for the birds. From Brooks Robinson to Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer to Cal Ripken, Weaver lead them all to a 1480-1060 record, four American League†Pennants† and one World Series Championship. His dedication to "pitching, fundamentals, and the three-run homer" was so successful that Weaver only had to endure one losing season during his career.

Those accomplishments lead to an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

But Earl Weaver was more than just a great manager. He was also a great soundbite, filling reporters' notebooks with one-liners the way that few in baseball did before or after him. With that in mind, it is only appropriate that we remember him through some of his best quotes.

"Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same - pitching."

"On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived."

"You got a hundred more young kids than you have a place for on your club. Every one of them has had a going away party. They have been given the shaving kit and the fifty dollars. They kissed everybody and said, 'See you in the majors in two years.' You see these poor kids who shouldn't be there in the first place. You write on the report card '4-4-4 and out.' That's the lowest rating in everything. Then you call 'em in and say, 'It's the consensus amoung us that we're going to let you go back home.' Some of them cry, some get mad, but none of them will leave until you answer them one question, 'Skipper, what do you think?' And you gotta look every one of those kids in the eye and kick their dreams in the ass and say no. If you say it mean enough, maybe they do themselves a favor and don't waste years learning what you can see in a day. They don't have what it takes to make the majors, just like I never had it."

"In baseball, you can't kill the clock. You've got to give the other man his chance. That's why this is the greatest game. "

"A manager's job is simple. For one hundred sixty-two games you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December."
"The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field. "

"I became an optimist when I discovered that I wasn't going to win any more games by being anything else."

"A manager should stay as far away as possible from his players. I don't know if I said ten words to Frank Robinson while he played for me."

"I think there should be bad blood between all clubs."

"Optimism is the cheerful frame of mind that enables a teakettle to sing, though in hot water up to its nose."

Rest in Peace Earl Weaver. Baseball fans the world around are appreciative of everything you gave the game †and we'll see you on the other side of the corn field!

Earl Weaver, Wikipedia.org

Earl Weaver Quotes, searchquotes.com

Earl Weaver Quotes, BrainyQuote.com

Earl Weaver Quotes, BaseballAlmanac.com

As much as it hurts, it feels good...
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: Philadelphia Athletics Oakland A's Angels St. Louis Browns Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees Pittsburgh Pirates


This week...

As far as I am concerned...

The Angelsí playoff hopes have gone up in flames...

At the hands of the former Philadelphia Athletics...

And deservedly so...

The Los Angeles-California-Anaheim Angels of Anaheim donít deserve the playoffs...

The playoffs are too good for the Halos...

As soon as this season is done...

And believe me...

Itís all but over...

The Angels deserve a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain...

Where they can ride the coasters to their heartsí content...

Just the way they gave Angelsí fans their roller coaster of a season...

Philadephia doesnít have one-tenth the Angelsí ability...

But their ticker is alive and well, thank you....

What a heart...

And as much as it hurts...

It feels good...

I love the Athletics as much as I love...

The Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders...


But itís really nice to see this in baseball...

A have-not getting a have...

And you just look across the country...

Youíll find another have-not, the former St. Louis Browns...

Giving the Evil Empire a Mr. Toadís Wild Ride...

The White Stockings werenít expected to do well...

But they are...

Poor Ozzie...

Iím sure his buddy Fidel is unhappy, too...

Look at the Pirates this year...

They were almost fam-uh-lee...

So even if I have to take one on the chin for the Grand Old Game...

I am more than happy to do so...

Because thereís always next year...











Five Minute Frags - A Bronx Tale
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles

Last year at this time, I was a mess. My Boston Red Sox (yes, I apply ownership to my favorite teams) were in the middle of one of, if not THE, most precipitous†fold-job in the history of Major League Baseball. I was hearing it from all walks of fans as the Red Sox lost game after game in September and then ultimately coughed up an 8.5 game lead in the wild-card to miss the post season altogether. And after the disaster that has been the Bobby Valentine era in 2012, one would think that I have enjoyed next to nothing from this season.

Ahh, but I beg to differ.

You see, I have a somewhat ravenous hunger for the ironic. I thrive on it and when it flies back around on the path of the karmic boomerang, I take full advantage of it. So I think it goes without saying where my rooting interests lie right now. For the remainder of 2012, I no longer have a favorite team.

I am only rooting for the team playing the Yankees.

That's right; tonight my favorite team is the Baltimore Orioles. These are the same Orioles that have whittled the Yankees 10 game lead on July18thall the way down to a single game heading into this weekend's four-game series. Then next week, I get to pull for the Red Sox to play spoilers before the Rays stream into Yankee Stadium and try to steal the Wild Card as well. But that's next week. Tonight, JasonHammelis my hero!

Now, for the sake of being fair (and also making sure I put enough down on paper to fill this blog out), I'll explain myself a bit. This goes far beyond the petty rivalry between the two teams and my need to continue that despite Boston's obvious deficiencies. As I said before, this has to do with karma and the Yankees getting what's coming to them.

No, my reason revolve around a specific date; September 28, 2011.

The astute baseball fans know that September 28, 2011 was the final day of the 2011 season. On that night, the New York Yankees held a 7-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 8th inning. A 7-0 lead that they would surrender by allowing 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th, then a game-tying home run to Dan Johnson in the 9th, and capped off by a walk-off home run by Evan Longoria in the 12th, his second of the game.

Itís not so much that I fault the Yankees for losing the game, or the Rays for winning it for that matter. Iíve always been more rankled by how the Yankees lost the game. They rested their starters from the 5th inning on, which ultimately cost them when the game went into the 12th inning. Furthermore, after the bullpen coughed up a 6 runs in the 8th, Joe Girardi opted to bring in Cory Wade to close the game, rather than Mariano Rivera.

These actions werenít about saving players for the postseason, as the Yankees were guaranteed rest anyway by being a division champion. No, these actions were about sticking it to the Red Sox, a team that had their number in 2011 and the Yankees preferred not to face in the playoffs. This was about sticking it to the long-time rival. This was about being the puppet-master, in control of someone elseís fate, and exerting that control.

Thatís why, despite them knocking off Boston last year, I am pulling for the Orioles. Heck, Iím even rooting for the Rays to jump into the fray as well. Put New York into third place.

Petty? Perhaps, but in the universe, there is no greater force than karma, and the Yankees have it coming to them. Having them suffer the same fate as the Red Sox a year earlier wouldnít just be sweet.

It would be justice.

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