Archive for March, 2010

MASN Announces New O's Broadcast Crew

March 26, 2010

O's Suspects
The most interesting rotation being talked about this spring in Baltimore may not even be on the field. During yesterdays game against the Yankees, voice of NHL 10 Gary Throne announced a plethora of replacements for the chair next to him, which was vacated by Buck Martinez this offseason.

It appears MASN will be filling the spot with former recognizable Oriole faces of the franchise from different time periods – back when the team wasn’t the laughing stock of baseball.

Sitting next to Thorne for an average of a dozen games a piece will be Eddie Murray, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson, and Mike Boddicker; Mike Flanagan was previously announced this year as the main color analyst for MASN.

Frankly, I don’t care who replaces Buck because he was the WORST color guy I’ve ever heard/seen in my life. His voice sounded like nails running down a chalk board. Whomever decided to make him a part time analyst on ESPN should be fired (unless its the same person who decided to hire Erin Andrews – in that case, they deserve an Emmy). During this offseason when I heard he was leaving to head back to Canada (America’s Hat), I was jubilant that I would no longer have to turn down the volume on my TV on account of his ramblings.

Birdland residents should respond well to the new rotation of color commentators because they come from various successful times in the franchise. Everyone who can vaguely remember the franchise’s successes before someone over at MASN drove it into the ground, should appreciate seeing some of the familiar faces from years past.

Now lets get reacquainted with these Orioles greats of yester-year. Back in the days before baseball in Baltimore stunk worse than the Dundalk poo factory:

“Steady” Eddie Murray #33, 1B

Orioles Tenure: 1977-1988, 1996-1997

The great Eddie Murray is the last Baltimore Oriole who will ever wear the number 33. He is memorialized outside of Camden Yards in the shadows of the Babe Ruth statue behind the center field scoreboard. Most youngsters at the Yard may only know of Eddie Murray as that #33 statue we jump all over while daddy goes and buys the tickets, or the reason one if the seats in left field is orange. However, most Orioles fans remember the achievements worthy of getting your number retired  or having a seat painted orange.

A World Series Champion, 1977 Rookie of the Year, member of the 3000 hit and 500 home run club, 3 time gold glove winner, 8 time all-star and Hall of Famer, Murray is probably one of if not the greatest first baseman to ever play the game.

Orioles fans will definitely welcome “Steady” Eddie into the broadcast booth this upcoming season.

Brady Anderson #9 CF/LF

Orioles Tenure: 1988-2001

Brady Anderson was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame by Cal Ripken Jr. in 2004. Anderson, a three time all-star, remains in the top ten for most of the hitting categories. Brady also can be remembered as one of only two players to ever hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases in the same season- the other… Barry Bonds. Which leads me to my next point…

How come this guy never kept his shirt on??? He was the freakin’ Matthew McConaughey of the MLB. Anderson did set a club record for home runs (50) in 2006 but did it the same route that most players were doing it back in that day, THE ROIDS!!! (Allegedly)

Hopefully in the press box he’ll keep his shirt on, he is 46 now and probably has some man boobies growing.

Ben McDonald #19, P

Orioles Tenure: 1989-1995

How could you forget this cajun on the mound? Ben McDonald was one of the most entertaining pitchers to watch during my childhood. As the first overall pick by the Orioles in the 1989 draft, McDonald was a fixture in Baltimore for seven seasons. Ben left the O’s in 1996 as a free agent and joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

While in Baltimore, McDonald was definitely a great guy to watch, along with Mike Mussina. McDonald never led the major leagues in any categories but he always had a recognizable name around Baltimore during my childhood. McDonald never reached his full potential or lived up to the hype due to shoulder problems, which would force him to retire at the age of 29.

McDonald was more recognized for his work in college while eating crawfish at LSU. Ben was a member of the US Olympic team which won a gold medal the year before joining the Orioles. McDonald was also named an All-American after his collegiate career.

Mike Boddicker #52, P

Orioles Tenure: 1980-1988

There was another solid player in Baltimore to wear #52 before Ray Lewis, and his name was Mike Boddicker. This former Gold Glover, ALCS MVP, and instrumental part of the Orioles 1983 World Series Championship was a fixture in Birdland for eight years. Many people in their mid 20’s may only know of Boddicker as “that guy the Orioles traded to get Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling.” And Boddicker was just that, the guy they traded away to get two solid players.

Boddicker had a career 3.80 ERA and a record of 134-116. After his World Series performance, he led the AL in wins and ERA when he went 20-11 with a 2.79 ERA.

Well there you go folks, that is your new rotating color commentating team for the 2010 season. I am really looking forward to anything besides Buck Martinez but this decision from MASN will also give us some variety into different aspects of America’s Past Time.

If the Orioles are planning on doing this every year, I’d like to make a case for some of these previous Orioles greats both on the field and in the press box.

Boog Powell

This guy would be great. I know he is fun to hang out with at the ball park because I always see him at his BBQ stand chatting about baseball with everyone who walks by. Boog and I also shared a beer in the club level once before and he was a nice guy. I’d really enjoy hearing a drunk Boog calling the game pitch by pitch in between each bite of his monstrous BBQ sandwich.

Mel Proctor & John Lowenstein

brotherlo.jpg image by brotz13

John Lowenstein

These guys were great! It reminds me back when the Orioles were a great team at the top of the AL and also who can’t forget the voice of Cal Ripken’s 2131 quest? These two on HTS were great and when I think of Baltimore baseball on TV, I think of them. I’d take them over anyone else to ever step back in that booth, even if it’s a rotation of Oriole legends.

Currently Mel Proctor is living in San Diego and appears to be doing nothing. He did call games for the Nationals on MASN but didn’t come back after the 2005 season (who could blame him?).

John Lowenstein is living in Vegas and hasn’t been in front of the camera for quite some time. He suffered the tragic loss of his wife a few years ago. Maybe coming back to the O’s for the 2011 campaign will give him something to do.

Hey, we can hope can’t we.  This year, though, enjoy listening to some of the great O’s of the past!


The OB-GYN Will See You Now, Mr. Roberts

March 25, 2010

Preggo BRob

Last week, Charm City’s 2nd baseman left the sunny Sarasota weather to return home to Baltimore to see a Dr. Lee Riley, a back specialist at Johns Hopkins. Speculation remains on how he really hurt his back, but whatever the cause, B-Rob is in some pain.

How much pain you may ask???– enough to get an Epidural shot in the back! In a time where needles and baseball players are looked down upon, B-Rob was in enough pain to get a shot usually reserved for women in labor. I’m not one for needles so giving me a shot with a 5 inch needle would be enough to land me on the 15-day DL.

Frankly, I think it’s an act of God that Mrs. Brian Roberts wasn’t there to join him. After all of the off-season “conditioning” going on in the Roberts household, you’d figure the doctor offered them a 2 for 1 discount.

What does this mean for the Orioles you may ask? Roberts apparently has been feeling better after taking batting practice from both sides of the plate earlier this week, although he did experience a small set-back,  getting a tummy ache after taking a medicine to reduce inflammation in his herniated disk (a common side effect of a higher dose antibiotic- look at my pharmaceutical rep knowledge coming into play).

Manager Dave Trembley as well as the rest of the Orioles organization is hoping B-Rob will be ready to play when the Orioles kick off the season on April 6. Trembley has been looking at other options if Roberts cannot bend over to put on his stirrups by Opening Day.

“We need to do what we can with what we have right here in camp, and if something happens from outside the camp, we will deal with it then,” Trembley said. “I’d still like to believe that Roberts will be our guy, but we’re at the point now where you have to start thinking about the possibility [of] what we could do elsewhere.”

I’d like to wish Brian a speedy recovery and hope that he can suit up for Opening Day. If he can’t, there is no way I can be upset because he is way more of a man than most of us are after taking that needle to the back.

Side Note: Sorry for such a late post, I’ve been on vacation and working a ton which has kept me out of  pocket for the past two weeks. More constant updates will occur when the actual season starts.

Suggs Reports to Voluntary Workouts

March 16, 2010

Muscle Suggs

The Ravens’ first wave of voluntary offseason workouts commenced this week, and gracing Owings Mills with his presence was a guy that, by his own admission, might not have been in the best of shape last season.

Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs, who missed the offseason workouts in 2008 and 2009, and training camp in 2008, due to contract disputes, then most of 2009’s training camp with a foot injury after signing a 6-year, $63 million deal, is reportedly ready to work.

According to, Suggs had this to say: “I liked the way my body used to look in my uniform, so I’m trying to get that back. I put on weight so I could be stronger against the run, but I’ve always been good against the run. I’m trying to get back down to my normal weight, 260-265.”

Although listed at 260 on the team’s website (as well as, Suggs said he weighed closer to 280 last season. While probably not quite looking like he had “child bearing hips” (as M&T Bank Stadium Announcer and all-around cornball Bruce Cunningham put it on his radio show today), Ravens fans definitely noticed a change in Suggs’ play.

Hopefully this new commitment to himself and his team leads Suggs to return to the dominant defender that we all know he can be. After sitting out the 2008 training camp and preseason, he still turned in a very impressive regular season with 8.0 sacks and two interceptions for touchdowns, and played through injury during the team’s playoff run. Last year though, the lack of production was obvious to all. His 4.5 sacks were the lowest in his seven-year career, and his 44 tackles the fewest since his rookie season of 2003. In another first, Suggs missed three games; he had played in every Ravens’ game during his first six years in the league.

Sizzle sounds like he is chomping at the bit to get back to his dominant form. Ravens fans are ready to welcome back the old play-making #55 with open (albeit slightly less WIDE open) arms.

Post-Combine, Post-Boldin Mock Drafts: Gresham is the Word

March 12, 2010

With the Ravens having largely addressed their wide receiver issues over the last week by trading for Anquan Boldin and resigning Derrick Mason, the next look at the experts’ mock drafts promises to have a fully different feel than last time, when just about everyone had the Ravens going WR at pick #25.

All of the following mock drafts were published since the Boldin trade.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma


Todd Heap had four touchdowns in a two-game span toward the end of the season, but I wouldn’t rely on him going forward. Who knows when he’ll break down again?

Jermaine Gresham is one of the top players on the board and fills a big need for Baltimore. The Ravens really have to concentrate on finding weapons for Joe Flacco, so wide receiver is an option as well.

My take:

Wait for it….

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

I previously had Aaron Hernandez going here in this 2010 NFL Mock Draft. After watching Gresham run well and workout well and the combine I think he takes over the top TE slot in the draft again. Look for him to stretch the field well and be an above average blocker for a Tight End.

My take:

…wait for it…

ESPN’s Mel Kiper (subscription required)

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

The Ravens aren’t finished in their mission to find weapons for Joe Flacco. Gresham is the best pure tight end in the draft and answered physical questions in Indy. The heir to Todd Heap is the perfect weapon for a young passer.

My take:

…wait for it…

ESPN’s Todd McShay (subscription required)

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

Baltimore addressed its wide receiver need by trading for Anquan Boldin and signing unrestricted free agent Donte’ Stallworth. Gresham is the best pass-catching tight end on the board and would be a great addition to an already upgraded receiving corps.

My take:

Phew. So that’s 4/4 of the updated mock drafts surveyed, including the two ESPN “super” experts (who can never seem agree on anything, for ratings sake if nothing else) that have the Ravens going with the 6’5″, 261 lb Gresham. Scouts, Inc. describes Gresham as having exceptional production and ball skills, but just average competitiveness/toughness. There are also durability issues – Gresham played in all 42 games through his first three seasons at OU, but missed the entire 2009 season due to a knee injury suffered in summer practice.

Despite the knee injury that canceled his senior campaign, Gresham is still listed as the top TE on just about every board out there. His combine results were as follows:

Bench Press: 20 Reps (Tied for 8th among TEs)

Vertical Jump: 35 (5th)

Broad Jump: 9’5″ (T-5th)

3-Cone Drill: 7.07 (5th)

60-Yard Shuttle: 11.88 (4th)

40-Yard Dash: 4.73 (Outside Top 5)

Gresham obviously did not blow anyone away at the combine. had this to say, following his sub-par performance:

After undergoing season-ending surgery at the start of the ‘09 season, Gresham had questions and concerns surrounding his ability to still play ball. Many still consider him a top contender, but a slow 40-yard and marginal numbers in other categories didn’t look like the Gresham everyone expected.

With more publicity comes more expectations, and Gresham just didn’t meet them at the Combine. He finished near the bottom of every category and will need to put up a good showing at his Pro Day if he expects to keep his position as the top tight end in his class.

However, at OU’s Pro Day, which was earlier this week, Gresham impressed, according to CBSSports:

Tight end Jermaine Gresham drew plenty of eyes. He hasn’t been on the field in this capacity since September, when he underwent knee surgery. Offensive tackle Trent Williams also is projected to be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.

Gresham measured at 6-5 3/8 and 259 pounds. He appeared completely recovered from knee surgery performed last September but declined to be interviewed, saying only “I’m getting better and better every day.”

Given that Ozzie Newsome admitted to us last week that he focused too much on “measurables” when passing over Anquan Boldin in 2003, I get the feeling that he will make no such mistake by focusing on Gresham’s combine results when making a decision this April. If anyone knows tight end talent, it’s Ozzie. If he feels that Gresham is indeed fully recovered from his knee issues, and can be the kind of NFL playmaker that he was for three years in college, the Wizard of Oz will not hesitate to pull the trigger on Draft day.

From a fan’s standpoint, the prospect of an offense that features Joe Flacco faking to Ray Rice and then looking downfield to Derrick Mason, Jermaine Gresham, and Anquan Boldin is the stuff of purple dreams. If that situation materializes, the “sea change” will be pretty much complete in B’More. It will be Flacco’s team at that point, and one that will have no more excuses to not consistently strike fear in opposing defenses.

Of course, just because everyone is predicting it, by no means makes it a foregone conclusion. Gresham could very well fly off the board before the Ravens get a shot at him. Alternatively, like last year when all the experts had the Ravens going WR, they could again surprise everyone and take an Earl Thomas (S, Texas) or Terrance Cody (DT, Alabama).

Gresham in purple is a tantalizing prospect though. We Ravens fans should be eager to stand and applaud if we hear his name at 25 on April 22. Let’s watch some “Gresham porn” just to hammer that point home a little more:

Derrick Mason: Raven (Again)

March 11, 2010

Derrick Mason Adds Another Stick of Dynamite to an Explosive WR Corp

Mason Blammo!

Last night, the Ravens added another piece to their potential championship puzzle with the re-addition of WR Derrick Mason. The most consistent wide receiver in Ravens history put his John Hancock on a contract that locks him up for 2 years and $8 million; Derrick will receive $3.5 million in his first year.

Most people wouldn’t consider a player re-signing a big deal, but when your team has constantly been known to struggle on offense (insert Orioles joke here) you look to hold onto any bright spot you can get. Derrick Mason has been doing his best Brett Favre impersonation, constantly contemplating retirement. Everyone in Charm City could understand that his head wasn’t fully into football last year after the sudden tragic death of  Steve McNair,  after his Side-Piece turned him into human swiss cheese.

This year had a different tone. Mason was just coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Colts (Super Bowl LOSERS!) during the playoffs and was physically and emotionally drained. He probably was the only player in the room more pissed off than the bloggers for this fine site.

Mason finally decided that he would not retire but made it clear it wasn’t going to be for anything less than a two year deal. The 13-year NFL veteran said he wanted to make sure he could mentally prepare for two more seasons. I believe he could be trying to cash in for some extra dough before he hangs up the cleats he uses while doing that horrible Michael Jackson touchdown dance; you can take it for what it’s worth.

I personally am just as excited for Mason coming back to the Ravens as I was for the Boldin trade (Ok I’ll admit I didn’t jump up and down and scream like a little school girl when I saw the news) but I’m excited for the possibilities he will create for our other two wide receivers, not to mention what he’ll do as  Joe Flacco’s security blanket.

Mason Blankey!

Defenses will have to not only plan for one of the leagues best rushing attacks, but all sorts of threats at the wide out position. Even if we face teams with great secondary coverage such as the Jets – their cornerbacks, Darrelle Revis and Antonio “If I breathe on you I’ll get your pregnant” Cromartie, will be so preoccupied with our wide receiver threats that Ray Rice will have more holes to run through on a routine basis (not to mention he led the team in receiving last year).

When asked about the return of #85 (not OchoCinco) Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh said, “We would have lost something special if Derrick had chosen to go to another team, we have gotten better in the past few days.” I believe every Ravens fan couldn’t agree more. Is it August yet???

MASN-HD: "Every Game*"

March 8, 2010


Yesterday, I spent my Sunday wandering around Casa Del Goob with my “Free The Birds” t-shirt on looking for something to do. My normal go-to routine when I can escape Mrs. Goob is to run directly to the TV and play some Call of Duty until my retinas burn. Before inflicting potentially blinding eye conditions, I saw on a post from NestMinder on facebook that the Orioles were  about to take the field at Ed Smith Stadium.

I was in such disbelief because MASN-HD has dubbed their new slogan “Every Game” for this upcoming season. I have been thinking they should have added an asterisk (*) to the slogan just like most of the other statements that have been made about baseball within the last 15 years.

The Angelos Network advertisements should read: MASN-HD….(“Every Game” *but spring training)

The Orioles minor leaguers (for the most part) suffered their fourth straight loss yesterday by losing to the Boston Bench Warmers. This loss puts the O’s at a great 1-4 record this spring training.

If MASN televised “Every Game” then we O’s fans would know more about these “Players of the Future” we are always hearing about. I attempted to take notes on a lot of these players but realized that they probably won’t be on the team in a few weeks.

One person whom immediately erased his name off the roster is Armando Gambino. This terd blew a 4-1 lead late in the game and allowed the Red Sux to tie the game at 4 in the 8th. In just 1/3 of an inning, he allowed three runs on four hits. Armando has spent the last five years in the minor leagues and looks like he is greatly wasting his time. If he wants to stay in baseball, I’m sure the grounds crew at Prince Georges Stadium has an opening.

There were a few bright spots yesterday in the game. Nick Markakis went “Smith” again and is looking good in limited at bats in Spring Training. Before he gave up the game winning home run, David Hernandez looked pretty strong. A left handed Sindey Ponson (weight) stunt double Will Ohman and Kam Mickolio tossed scoreless batting practice and Mark Hendrickson retired the side in order.

I was thoroughly impressed with non-roster invitee, Miguel Abreu. He went 2-3 from the plate with two singles and a stolen base. Miguel also had an RBI and made two fantastic plays from second base.

Realizing this is spring training for everyone–even my writing skills, I did happen to pick up on a few other notes from the game which may be more interesting than my game recap.

Josh Bell didn’t sound too excited about being at spring training or a part of the Orioles for that matter. He didn’t really smile once while being interviewed by Amber Theoharis in the dugout. I don’t care if I was playing on the bench in Delmarva, if Amber is talking, I’m smiling!!!!

(Ok it’s not the Red Sox hat but you get the point)

Boston Red SAAAAWWKS have fans FAWKING everywhere. Sarasota looked like Camden Yards yesterday with half of the bleachers filled with people in hats that I only see in fair-weather baseball fans or rappers.

Gary Thorne showed that it’s not just spring training for the players, it also goes for broadcasters as well. As cameras zoomed into a child sitting with her mother in the stands, Gary mentioned it was a great day to be at the ballpark with your father. I don’t care how rusty you are, gender identification is something you shouldn’t mess up.

New spring training facility Ed Smith Stadium will be getting a facelift this off season and will become a state of the art facility. I’m not sure how it really works but I hope to God the city of Sarasota foots the bill for this kind of thing and the Orioles don’t have to invest a lot of money. Compared to their old home in Ft. Lauderdale the past 15 years, Ed Smith Stadium offers a lot more amenities then the crap they were previously subjected to. From the first looks of the stadium, it looks pretty decent. If the Orioles dump millions into some eye candy for Florida travelers and don’t put more money into bringing top notch talent to this team, I’m going to get pissed!

    Anquan Boldin: Raven

    March 5, 2010

    Breaking news late this afternoon has the Ravens trading their 3rd and 4th-round draft picks in this year’s Draft to the Arizona Cardinals for wide receiver Anquan Boldin and a 5th round pick. Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that the Ravens and Boldin have already agreed on a new 4-year deal for $28 million dollars.

    Anquan Boldin. A name that has been tossed around in Baltimore for what seems like forever. Now, finally, it is a reality. Entering this offseason, wide receiver was at the top of the Ravens’ list of priorities, as it seemingly has been since Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander departed Charm City. They started to address the issue last month with the signing of Donte Stallworth – but they obviously weren’t finished their work just by signing a guy who hasn’t played since 2008, and only caught 17 balls that year. Many of the mock drafts had the Ravens picking a wide receiver in April, whether Brandon Lafell, Arrelious Benn, or Golden Tate. Last week some had the Ravens VERY interested in (ugh) T.O., and rumors this week had them looking into Texans’ free agent WR Kevin Walter. Then there were the omnipresent rumblings about Bronco Brandon Marshall.

    Early this afternoon, I saw Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times was reporting that the Patriots were the leaders in the clubhouse in the Boldin sweepstakes, with the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs out of the running. Wilson’s source proved to be mistaken over the next couple hours though, as many, including Wilson, began tweeting that the Pats had ducked out, and the Ravens were now the favorites to land Boldin.

    Personally, I believed that Boldin would wind up wearing another shade of red in 2010, in Kansas City. With a bidding war supposedly going on in the desert, I definitely expected it to take AT LEAST a second round pick to acquire Boldin. If this was the case, I figured that Ozzie would go ahead and give up the chase.

    Obviously, I was sorely mistaken. Why Kansas City and New England, if they were indeed interested, would not be willing to give up a 3rd and 4th-round pick, as the Ravens were, is beyond me. Whatever. Their loss. Let’s look at what the Ravens have gained.

    Boldin’s Bio:


    Name: Anquan Kenmile Boldin
    DOB: 10/3/80 (29 years old)
    Height: 6’1″
    Weight: 217 lb
    College: Florida State Seminoles
    Drafted: 2003 Round 2 (#54 overall) by the Arizona Cardinals

    Career stats, from

    Boldin Stats

    One concern with Boldin is regarding his health. As you can see above, he has played in all 16 games just twice in his seven year career. It is not a matter of toughness, that’s for sure. In 2008, Boldin’s face EXPLODED in a game against the New York Jets. He needed surgery to repair the bones in his face, but missed only TWO games. No, Boldin’s problem is that he is, perhaps, TOO tough, if anything. He is a guy that seeks out contact, and prefers to be the one delivering the blow if he finds a defender in his way. As a result, he takes a lot of hits, and gets tweaked fairly often as a result.

    The other concern some Ravens fans will voice is that Boldin is not the big deep threat that the Ravens really need. While this is true – Boldin is more of a yards-after-the-catch guy (one of the best in the NFL, mind you) – if Stallworth can regain the form that he showed several years ago, he and Boldin could be a very well-matched complimentary pair, with Stallworth providing the vertical threat and Boldin catching balls underneath and racking up the YAC. Throw in the fact that this now frees the Ravens up even more with their 1st-round pick this April – perhaps to draft a pass-catching tight end such as Oklahoma’s Jermaine Grisham – and Joe Flacco could suddenly be a very happy man.

    And let’s not forget Derrick Mason. Mason, as long as he doesn’t let his “I’m not the number 1 anymore? Forget that!” diva side get the better of him, and resigns in Baltimore, the Ravens’ overall WR corps will be quite formidable.

    Those of you that still aren’t convinced that the Boldin move makes the Ravens an instantly better team – I ask you to simply think back to 2007, when Arizona came to M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens took a 20-3 halftime lead, and appeared to be on their way to an easy victory. The Cardinals, though, stormed back and nearly won the game – it took a 46-yard field goal from Matt Stover as time expired to preserve the 26-23 win. The main culprit in the Cardinals’ furious comeback was Mr. Boldin, who had 14 catches for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Number 81 still has the ability to take over a game, in 2010, like he did in 2007.

    I get the feeling that someone, somewhere, is VERY happy about this move…..

    Anita Marks

    Also, Boldin once did this….

    which I wouldn’t be sad at all to see him repeat in Pittsburgh one day.

    Brian Matusz is Good at Baseball

    March 5, 2010


    The above was posted on Twitter by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (and formerly of the Baltimore Sun) this morning after Matusz made his 2010 debut yesterday afternoon.

    Matusz struck out four in an inning and 1/3 (that’s all four outs for those of you keeping score at home), but allowed a home run on his final pitch. Of his 36 pitches, 28 were strikes. If you’re thinking “36 pitches is a lot for 1.1 innings,” you’d be right, but there is a caveat. Thirteen of those pitches were against Evan Longoria (no slouch), and Matusz’s comments later reflected that the pitcher seemed to be simply taking full advantage of the opportunity to get in some extra work against one of the best hitters in MLB. Brian admitted that he would have done things differently in a “real” game.

    From Roch Kubatko at MASN:

    I think in a different situation I might have mixed in a breaking ball or something like that. It probably would have been different in the regular season, but I continued to pound it hard with the fastball in and he was able to keep fouling, keep fouling, and I didn’t want to go off that path because he wasn’t able to get extended on it and I wanted to continue working on throwing fastballs in.

    Spring Training= Glorified Batting Practice

    March 4, 2010

    Yes that’s right, the O’s have officially started playing exhibition games – basically,  facing prospects other than their own in games that mean practically nothing. A few Orioles young’uns treated the 12-2 whooping of the Tampa Bay Ray’s as exactly what it was— a glorified batting practice.

    If chicks dig the long ball, yesterday was the game to watch because the O’s went deep six times.Two O’s will be picking up the majority of early spring break college chicks visiting Florida – Josh Bell and Rhyne Hughes. Bell and Hughes each homered twice yesterday in the batting practice session.

    Also going “Smith” (get it? since they aren’t playing in Camden Yards yet…), were Scott Moore and a man who somehow escaped the FBI Terrorist Watch List, Nick Markakis.

    Former O’s ace Jeremy Guthrie tossed himself two scoreless innings before turning over the patting practice throwing duties to Cla Meredith, David Hernandez and my new favorite Oriole, Willie Ohman. (I need to get his jersey ASAP).

    This afternoon, perhaps the Orioles’ brightest hope for the future, LHP Brian Matusz, will take the hill and face the Rays again. Matusz is one of many reasons to be excited about baseball season this year and is ranked 5th on’s Top 50 Prospects for 2010.