Thursday, April 29, 2004

So, I am off to Philly this weekend to go catch a game at the Phillies new ballpark. The game is Saturday at 7:00. Randy Johnson vs Vicente Padilla. It will be my first time seeing either pitch in person. I am especially excited to be seeing Johnson even if he is in his decline.

Eric Bedard is scheduled to pitch that night for the O's against the Indians and he'll likely be pitching for his rotation spot if not for his spot on the 25 man roster. Should he do poorly expect Rodrigo to get a shot in the rotation - the way he is pitching right now it isn't a bad idea but I think he's in a better role pitching out of the pen.

DuBose was awesome again today going 7 innings and allowing only two runs on three hits to the Mariners.
He's only given up four runs in his last 21 innings.

Monday, April 26, 2004's Peter Gammons talks about the O's bullpen

Baltimore bullpen impressive
Granted, the Orioles lineup is deeper than it's been since they went wire-to-wire in first place in 1997. But behind an inexperienced starting rotation, the Baltimore bullpen has been magnificent with a 2.67 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 67 innings. Rodrigo Lopez (12 2/3 IP, 12 K), B.J. Ryan (10 2/3 IP, 15 K) and Buddy Groom (6 2/3 IP, 9 K) have not allowed a run, while Jorge Julio has allowed one in nine innings.

Significantly, Lee Mazzilli is using his relievers to face left- and right-handed batters, eschewing the one-batter matchups. "Lee's managing not just for today," says team vice president Mike Flanagan, "but for the next game. In a lot of cases, our left-handers get right-handed batters out easier than lefties. That whole concept has gotten out of whack."

Another intriguing thing about the Orioles is that Matt Riley, Kurt Ainsworth and Erik Bedard have already had Tommy John surgery. "If they take the necessary 18 months to come back, they usually are better," says Flanagan. "They take better care of themselves, they are more diligent, think more about pitching. Medical science is remarkable today. I asked our doctor how many surgeries I would have had if I were pitching today, and he told me, 'about four.' " Flanagan had none.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Monday, April 19, 2004

I forgot to mention last month that I started writing for Baseball Notebook on a monthly basis. My first column Links, Links, Links is an essay on the best resources for fantasy baseball players on the net. Be sure to check it out. I also have an upcoming article on some of the prospects that are making a case for big league roster spots early in the year.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Rob Neyer's All-Good Decision team on

No Orioles on Rob's list since he didn't look at pitching and all the Orioles' hitting slots were virtually assured going into spring training. Since Rob didn't touch on the O's I'll add what I believe were a few good decision's by the O's this spring:

Giving Matt Riley, Kurt Ainsworth, Eric DuBose and Eric Bedard rotation spots to start the season. All have potential and are better options than the many league retreds that could have been signed. Riley in particular looks like he could be a gem.

Signing Miguel Tejada, Javy Lopez and Raffy Palmiero. Javy is off to a fabulous start and shouldn't be expected to keep up this pace but he's still a top 3 catcher in the league. The O's farm system certainly isn't producing anything close to a top 30 catcher so the signing was smart. Tejada could be the best defensive shortstop in the league (now that A-Rod plays 3B) and he can hit. The O's also have nothing at SS in the minors. Palmiero is a 1 to 2 yr rental that won't hit for a high average but he will knock out a number of home runs and he could always have some trade value when teams gear up for their post-season runs.

Giving my favorite Oriole, Luis Matos, a chance to show he belongs in the OF as the everyday centerfielder. The guy isn't the most patient hitter but he plays solid D, has good range and he steals bases. If he improves his selection at the plate he could become one of the best CF's in the game.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Ken Rosenthal's latest article - How to spell relief? C-o-l-l-e-g-e. Rosenthal makes some interesting observations about the use of college relievers being fast-tracked to the majors.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

The O's designate Jack Cust for assignment.

Well, it appears that Jack Cust's days as an Oriole are numbered. It is doubtful that he will clear waivers meaning some other team is going to pick up the man with a .436 career minor league on-base percentage. Granted he hasn't done much in the majors yet but he's never really gotten the long look that he needs. Last year the O's called him up on a few occasions only to leave him rotting on the bench while giving at bats to the ancient BJ Surhoff.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Mark Johnston, Pirates rookie with Tourette's makes successful debut.

It sounds like he has his condition under control so we probably won't see any random swearing fits on the mound.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Ken Rosenthal looks at the youth in the Baltimore rotation.

"Thirty starts, 191 1/3 innings. Sounds like your average injury-interrupted season for Pedro Martinez. But, no -- those are the combined career totals of the Orioles' four starting pitchers after ace Sidney Ponson."

Saturday, April 03, 2004

A little background a Lee Mazzilli from Birds in the Belfry. If you are an O's fan you should really sign up to chat on their message board. It is a small group of dedicated O's fans that could use a few new members.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Baseball America has a couple interesting (and free) articles on baseball injuries. The first is an an article on shoulder injuries and the second on wrist injuries.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

For those of us living in the DC area, the Smithsonian has an exhibit entitled "Baseball As America." It is running from April 3 - October 3 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

The show features around 500 items, "including a ball pitched by Cy Young in the first modern World Series in 1903; the trophy presented to Lou Gehrig by his Yankee teammates on the day of his famous farewell speech; early gloves, including some without full fingers; and a variety of other nostalgia.

Other displays include:

_A battered pair of leather shoes once used by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who usually wore shoes but acquired the nickname as a minor leaguer when he played without them once because of sore feet.

_A pair of dark-rimmed eyeglasses once worn by baseball broadcaster Harry Caray.

_The record-setting home-run bats used by Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

_The "Doubleday Baseball," supposedly used in the sport's mythical first game in 1839.

_The most valuable baseball card in the world, the 1909 Honus Wagner card. An example of this card has been sold for more than $1 million.

_A copy of President Franklin Roosevelt's 1942 letter giving baseball the green light to continue play despite the onset of World War II.

_Norman Rockwell's 1949 painting of three umpires studying the weather as they try to decide whether to call a rainout.

The arrival of the exhibition in Washington comes on the 80th anniversary of the Senators' World Series victory in 1924.

The Senators became the Texas Rangers, which for a time was owned by President Bush, before he moved on to politics and moved to Washington.

Bush hosted a lunch this week for the baseball all-stars in town to mark the opening of the museum's display. Among those on hand were Sandy Koufax, Dave Winfield, Jim Bunning, George Brett, Tom Seaver, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Feller, Al Kaline, Bill Mazeroski, Stan Musial, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson, Red Schoendienst and Duke Snider.

The exhibition, organized by the Hall of Fame, is on a 10-city tour that began at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. From Washington it will move on to the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis.