Everyone knows Mother Nature has been giving Baltimore a pounding worse than the one the Sloviakan women’s hockey team took in the Olympics. Many orange and black realists are hoping the O’s can pull off a season that leaves them with at least as many wins as inches of snow that hit Charm City this winter.
Wednesday was the 1st day of baseball season, as pitchers and catchers reported to sunny Sarasota, Florida to begin preparations for their 2010 AL-East campaign.
Not only will the Orioles have some new faces in the locker room, they will have a whole new locker room. 2010 marks the first season the Orioles will be catching a spring suntan in Sarasota at Ed Smith Stadium rather than in Fort Lauderdale. After announcing last July that the team would be leaving their spring training facilities that they called home for the past 14 years, the Orioles have moved 214 miles to the other side of the state (which resembles America’s Turtle Head).
Speaking of new faces in the locker room, as part of the preparations for the start of the season on April 6th, B-More Birds Nest will provide you a rundown of the what’s what for your 2010 Baltimore Orioles.
Here is all the information you’ll need to know about the pitching and catching B’More-“virgins” of 2010.
Kevin Millwood RHP 6’4″ 230 lbs.
Mr. Millwood was brought to Birdland via an offseason trade that sent once promising closer Chris Ray to the Rangers. Millwood, who reached the majors in 1997 with the Atlanta Braves, has a career record of 155-121 with an ERA of 4.02. Kevin also has spent time with the Phillies and Indians. Millwood will serve as anchor and old wise leader for the rest of the staff. Hopefully he learned something from his mentors at the start of his career…you may have heard of them—I believe their last names were Smoltz, Avery, and Glavine.
Mike Gonzalez LHP 6’2″ 215 lbs.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008 Mike Gonzalez had a successful 2009 campaign with 90 strikeouts and 10 saves in 74 1/3 innings. Gonzalez and his 2.42 ERA departed Atlanta to join the Birds. He will be used in the stopper role this year and people in Baltimore will definitely be talking about his strange delivery to the plate.
Part of the reason he might have a decent ERA is because he puts batters to sleep with his boring delivery. Known as “The Cobra” by his peers, his rocking back and forth looks like he is hypnotizing opposing hitters.
With the speed of the game always being criticized, Gonzalez does his best to keep the fans in the stadium as long as possible after the 7th inning stretch( a.k.a. “Beer Cut-off Time”). Mike Gonzalez might not be in the role to get many saves this year, but I’m sure he will save a few people a DUI.
Will Ohman LHP 6’2″ 210lbs
This guys last name is hopefully something we won’t be uttering as he jogs out of the bullpen this season. I’m sure blind Orioles fan’s at Camden Yards have thought “Oh, man” has been playing for our team for the past 14 years.
Willie comes to Baltimore after recently playing for the Dodgers in 09. After only appearing in 21 games in MannyWood, he spent the final four months of the season on the disabled list. A former Tommy John surgery patient himself, Ohman is a familiar face riding the pine.
Rather than bore you with more breakdowns of all the players reporting to spring training, I’ll just list some of the non-roster additions who get to come play with the big boys. They are:
LHP’s Chris George and Mike Hinckley, and RHP’s Jake Arrieta, Armando Gabino, Frank Mata, Josh Perrault, Dennis Sarfate, Alfredo Simon, and Ross Wolf.
The Orioles will also have catchers Adam Donachie, Louis Bernardo, Michael Hernandez, Caleb Miller, and Chad Moeller at camp. Here in Baltimore, we don’t really have to worry about catchers for the next few years until Matt Wieters’ contract expires and we bid him farewell!
Please stay close to the Nest for all of the latest Orioles information and comment. I promise none of my future posts will suck this bad but I hope you enjoyed witnessing me lose my blogging virginity.