Archive for May, 2011

Lookalike: Mark Reynolds Edition

May 11, 2011

On Twitter a few days ago, the “Angry Oriole Bird” (@AngryOrioleBird) posed this intriguing little question:

Our answer?

Right now.

Reynolds, brought over from Arizona this offseason to add some pop to the lineup, has quickly become 2011’s version of Garrett Atkins for the O’s.

While he hasn’t been quite as bad as the former Colorado Rockie, the Diamondbacks transplant hasn’t fared much better.

In 152 plate appearances for the Birds last year, Atkins posted a .214/.276/.286 line, with 1 HR and 9 RBI.

After yesterday’s 0-for-6 showing, in 133 plate appearances so far this season, Reynolds has managed a .177/.286/.319 line, with 3 HR and 15 RBI.

Even more annoying though, is that Reynolds has also hardly been better than the guy he was brought in to replace, Josh Bell.

In 2010, Bell hit .214/.224/.302 with 3 HR and 12 RBI in 161 PAs.

Reynolds is being paid $5.3 million this year, and is barely outperforming a much, much cheaper option.

Mark Reynolds’ swing is one of the most disgusting displays of attempted “athleticism” I have ever seen.  His entire body is falling forward as the bat comes through the zone, and he takes his back hand off the bat midway through the motion. It’s reminiscent to O’s fans of how Brady Anderson used to swing when he first got to Baltimore.

At this point, I wouldn’t mind seeing the team send Reynolds down to Norfolk for a few weeks to see if he can’t get at all straightened out. I’m sure it won’t happen, but how much longer can Buck put up with ANYONE in the lineup, let alone his supposed power-hitting corner infielder, hitting a laughable .177?

Mark Reynolds. Nothing but Garrett Atkins in a blond wig.


Orioles Magic Finally Shows Up…on the Fifth Try

May 11, 2011

Baltimore Sun Photo

Anyone who caught last night’s O’s game will tell you that it was one of the weirdest games they’ve ever witnessed.  A quick sampling from the twitterverse:

Stacey at Camden Chat summed it up thusly:

The Orioles and Mariners combined for thirty-four hits, fifteen walks, and left twenty-seven men on base. What a debacle this game was, honestly.

For a while there though, it was looking like it was just going to be another heart wrenching loss for B’More’s Birds.  In the 6th, the O’s took a 4-3 lead, which was their first time leading a game in the last FORTY INNINGS.  Incredible – and extremely pathetic – but true.

After grabbing hold of a lead for the first time in over three full games, Mike Gonzalez came in and immediately surrendered it, taking just 2/3 of an inning to do so.

Lead for the first time in 40 innings. Hold it for a big two full outs.

Orioles tragic.

The Fightin’ Showalters would battle back again though, and take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth.  Closer Kevin Gregg came in and did his best Gonzalez impression though, holding the lead for…yup, 2/3 of an inning.

5-5 after 9.

Orioles tragic.

After Gregg’s blown save though, things really got interesting, as the O’s had a chance for a walk-off win in each of their next FIVE at bats:

  • In the bottom of the 9th, they had J.J. Hardy on 2nd with 1 out. Nick Markakis singled to left, and the entire stadium and everyone watching on TV could see that the Mariners’ left fielder was picking the ball up before Hardy even reached third base, and scoring was not an option. Hardy had even slowed down coming into the base. However, O’s 3B coach John Russel – apparently watching some other game – sent Hardy, who was out by 5-25 steps. FAIL
  • In the bottom of the 10th, Adam Jones doubled with one down. Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds struck out and flew out, respectively. FAIL
  • In the bottom of the 11th, J.J Hardy singled to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by Brian Roberts. Same situation as in the 9th. This time, Markakis struck out. The Mariners then walked Derrek Lee to get to Jake Fox (who was in after some pinch running hijinks earlier in the game), who grounded out weakly. FAIL
  • In the bottom of the 12th, Felix Pie doubled to lead off the inning. After an intentional walk to Jones, Wieters flew out and Reynolds struck out (shocking, I know). Hardy then reached on an infield single, loading the bases with two outs for Brian Roberts. Roberts – who is now hitting a magnificent .213 – struck out swinging. FAIL
  • In the bottom of the 13th, after tying the game at 6 thanks to singles by Markakis, Fox, and Felix Pie, the O’s had runners on the corners with one out. Adam Jones grounded hard to the shortstop, who bobbled it…but not long enough to matter.  Fox was gunned down at home. Matt Wieters then….


It was definitely a strange ball game, and quite an ugly one in all honesty.  These are obviously two not-very-good baseball teams.  Still, it’s much more satisfying to be on the winning end than the losing one of any game, even a clusterfudge like this.

Let’s hope this sparks the team to a nice little run of wins here. Not that things look too promising tonight, with Chris Tillman going up against Felix Hernandez. But hey, 2/3 would be plenty acceptable.

Non-Disappointment of 2011 Season so Far – Wieters' Defense

May 10, 2011

With the Orioles having lost 14 of their last 17 games and falling to 14-19 in thudding to the bottom of the American League East after a great 6-1 start, and with the team now collectively not being able to hit their way out of a wet paper bag, there is plenty to complain about.

Plenty of disappointments up and down the roster through the season’s first five weeks.

But I’m not going to go the negative route today.

No, instead I’m choosing to try to cheer myself up by focusing on one of the (very) few bright spots so far this year.

I’m speaking, of course, of the defensive play of catcher Matt Wieters.  While his bat is still nowhere near the “Mauer with power,” that we were promised (though it looks to have improved), his glove is living up to every bit of the hype.

Beyond the Box Score released their first defensive rankings of 2011 today, and the O’s backstop dominates every category.

Overall leaders:Matt Wieters may not be setting the world on fire with his bat (although he’s above average in this run environment, very good for a catcher), he’s been exclennent defensively, which is, of course, mostly ignored, since a guy has to be old and an awful hitter before his defense is praised. He’s currently the overall leader at +5.7 runs.

Caught Stealing Leaders and Trailers: As you might expect, this is the main difference between catchers at this point, with Wieters (his arm is Deadly Accurate!) and Hernandez leading the way so far.

Passed Balls and Wild PItches Leaders and Trailers: Wieters leads the way here as well at +2.2 runs,

Wieters is a pleasure to watch behind the plate.

Hey, it’s something.

Watch this Masshole Get Decked

May 4, 2011

Some drunk dude ran on the field at Fenway earlier this week and got absolutely destroyed by a security guard.

Tedy Bruschi would be proud. Rodney Harrison would wonder why the guy didn’t aim for the drunk’s head. And Tom Brady is still waiting for the flag to be thrown.

Ok, enough Patriots jokes.

I’m all for watching Red Sox fans get splattered on the turf. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure if a Sox fan ran on the field at Camden Yards, while wearing an “Orioles Suck” shirt, and walked up to Adam Jones and kicked him square in the athletic supporter, OPACY security would still simply ask the man nicely to return to his seat.

Such is the way we pander to the Sox and Yanks fans here in 2011.

Michael Oher "Blind Sides" Todd McShay

May 4, 2011

When I saw Michael Oher going off on twitter yesterday about character issues, I assumed it was in a general defense of new teammate Jimmy Smith.  However, I was mistaken.  Oher was actually aiming his tweets directly at ESPN’s Todd McShay, and not for his criticisms of Smith this year, but for his comments about Oher’s own “character issues” back in 2009.

Here are Oher’s tweets, summarized by the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson:

“What is Character issues?!?” Oher wrote on his Twitter account in a rare rant from him. “Somebody tell me? I never got in trouble with the Law . . . yes sir no sir guy . . . But this Todd Mcshay guy acts if he knows ppl on a personal level get real!” What if someone was to talk about your son . . . and he had character issues!!

“Thats how my family felt. You need to meet ppl first and then judge them not go off what you hear!! . . .@McShay13 tell me what are character issues because I dont know… you said I had them and you never met me?! And I respect Mel Kiper way more then I respect you…your a joke!!”

Boom, roasted.

McShay has yet to respond, but what can he really say?  Suggesting that Oher, of all people, had character issues is quite a joke.  Oher reportedly dropped in the 2009 draft due to questions about his intelligence and ability to pick up an NFL playbook.  Maybe “character issues” was McShay’s nice way of saying “dumb?”

Regardless, Oher has proven himself to be neither dumb nor of poor character during his time in Baltimore (though his abilities to listen – specifically to the snap count – leave a bit to be desired.)

If you have any questions about Michael Oher’s character, Todd Mcshay (or anybody else), I urge you to take a look at our review of his book “I Beat the Odds,” and maybe pick up a copy for yourself.

Vlad Draws a Walk!

May 4, 2011

Quite an anomaly in last night’s Oriole game. No, Nick Markakis didn’t hit a home run, unfortunately.  What did happen though, was even more surprising.

That’s right, leading off the top of the 6th inning, Vlad Guerrero…walked.

It was Vlad’s first base on balls this season and it came in his 116th at bat, a Birdland record to begin a season.

A few batters later, Vlad would come around to score after ill-advisedly taking off like a bat out of hell from second base on Adam Jones’ bloop single that barely cleared Royals’ second baseman Dusty Getz’s glove.  Vlad lucked out, but was just inches from being doubled up had Getz reached just a fingertip further.

Despite Vlad’s “efforts,” the O’s dropped this one in 10 innings to Kansas City, 6-5.

Yes, they lost to the damn Royals.  And no, I don’t care that KC is 16-13 and has 13 home wins, tied with Cleveland for the most in the AL.  They’re still the Royals, one of the most forgotten franchises in sports.  Losing to them is unacceptable for a team trying to turn its fortunes around.

If the O’s can’t manage to rebound and take two of three at Kauffman Stadium before coming home to face the red hot Rays, then this entire road trip can be chalked up as one big steaming pile of FAIL.

Jake Arrietta and Chris Tillman take the hill Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, respectively, for the Birds.

Goob Grades the Ravens' Draft

May 2, 2011

I know you’ve all missed Goob here during his 3-month hiatus since we went to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV. Well, fear not, because he’s back and ready to hand out his version of “grades” for the Ravens’ 2011 draft picks.

What do you think of the Ravens’ picks? Let us know in the comments.