Archive for the ‘Spring Training’ Category

Arrieta Named Opening Day Starter

April 3, 2012

The guy that had started four of the previous five opening day games for the Orioles, Jeremy Guthrie, was traded away in early February (in a move that Sports Illustrated called the worst trade of the offseason). Guthrie, however, has landed on his feet just fine in Colorado, being named opening day starter for his new team.

His old team, meanwhile, has nothing resembling a true #1 American League East pitcher on the roster, but hey, somebody has to trot out there this Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

That somebody, it turns out, will be Jake Arrieta.

Arrieta, once considered the “cavalry” member with the lowest ceiling, has so far been the only one out of himself, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz to show any inkling of Major League consistency for any appreciable amount of time. While Matusz has shined at times, his disastrous 2011 campaign – during which he set an MLB record for highest ERA in history – has his future very much up-in-the-air. Tillman is still trying to find that elusive AAAA club where he truly belongs – his stuff seems to befuddle AAA hitters but be batting practice fodder for those at the MLB level.

Arrieta, who was always projected to be a middle-of-the-rotation guy at the very best, went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA last season – hardly inspiring numbers. Still, he looked to be well on his way to a 15-win year before being shut down with bone spurs in his elbow.

Now fully healthy, Arrieta has said that he feels better than he has in years, and he has been lighting up the radar gun in Spring Training to the tune of 97 miles per hour. Hopefully Jake can take a step forward in 2012 and surprise all the naysayers who had scouted him with less enthusiasm than his teammates Tillman and Matusz. Arrieta’s problem in 2011 was never getting ahead of batters, it was putting them away. Watching him pitch, it seemed that time and again he would start an at-bat off with a strong 0-2 or 1-2 count, only to see the at-bat reach seven or eight pitches, while his pitch count ballooned to unacceptable levels early in games.

Jake gets his first chance to take the next step in his career on Friday, when the 26 year old takes the hill on Opening Day for the first time.


Adam Jones has Crazy Orange and Black Cleats

February 21, 2012

This morning, O’s center fielder Adam Jones tweeted (no surprise there) a picture of his spring training cleats, and they are…well, they’re something to see. Have a look:

SimplyAJ10: Rockin the Camos

So, according to Adam, that design is supposed to be camouflage. I dunno, looks a bit pixelated to me…maybe camouflage that you would see in a hunting game for an old Atari or original Nintendo system?

Not sure I’m a fan, but I’m sure lots of O’s faithful would love to get their hands on a pair of these – or on a copycat sneaker. What do you think about AJ’s footwear fashion sense?

O's Make Final Cuts, Opening Day Roster Set

March 29, 2011

Buck Showalter (who is still on our shit list for the time being) and his staff made final cuts today down at O’s camp, optioning Craig Tatum, Zach Britton, and Brendan Harris to Triple-A Norfolk.

With that, the roster that the team will bring north this week to start the season is officially set.  Here it is:


1. Derrek Lee

2. Matt Wieters

3. Brian Roberts

4. J.J. Hardy

5. Mark Reynolds

6. Cesar Izturis

7. Robert Andino


8. Adam Jones

9. Nick Markakis

10. Vladimir Guerrero

11. Felix Pie

12. Luke Scott

Jack of All Trades/Home Run Machine

Note: Not actually Jake Fox

13. Jake Fox

Starting Pitchers

14. Jeremy Guthrie

15. Brian Matusz

16. Chris Tillman

17. Jake Arrieta

18. Brad Bergesen


19. Kevin Gregg

20. Koji Uehara

21. Jim Johnson

22. Mike Gonzalez

23. Jason Berken

24. Josh Rupe

25. Jeremy Accardo

Matusz Struggles Mightily in 2nd to Last Spring Start

March 23, 2011

With all the questions surrounding the Orioles coming into 2011, there is one thing that O’s fans know they should be able to pretty reliably count on: 24-year old Brian Matusz will continue his progression into a solid top-of-the-rotation starter.

Matusz was lights out down the stretch in 2010, going 7-1 from August through October, with an ERA of 2.43 in August and 1.89 in September.  After laboring through the early part of the season, it looked like Matusz was quickly becoming what we all hope he can be.

In what was supposed to be his second-to-last tuneup for 2011 though, the Orioles’ young lefty struggled mightily against the Minnesota Twins.  He was scheduled to pitch a full five innings, but went just an inning and a third.

Jeff Zrebiec reports:

I’m sure the Orioles won’t publicly fret too much about young left-hander Brian Matusz, but I’d certainly be concerned after what I witnessed tonight.

Matusz managed to get just four outs, getting knocked out of the game on Joe Mauer’s two-run single off the base off the wall. He surrendered four earned runs on five hits and three walks, and it could have been worse, but Alberto Castillo came in and got Justin Morneau to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Matusz faced 12 batters and eight of them reached base and five of them went to a full count. He threw 56 total pitches, 31 for strikes.

This was supposed to be his second to last start of the spring and Matusz was more than likely going to get the ball in the second game of the season. But he’s yet to throw five innings in a game this spring.


I still have every confidence in Brian Matusz.  However, with all the things we O’s fans have to fret about as we hope against hope for our team to end their 13-year run of awful baseball – the health of Brian Roberts and Derrek Lee, Matt Wieters’ disappointing bat, Mark Reynolds striking out half the time, the rest of the young pitchers continuing to develop, and of course the fact that it’s still the American League East – it would be nice if Matusz was having the type of spring that say, Zach Britton is.

Britton Shines Again, Making Strong Case for Opening Day Roster

March 23, 2011

Orioles pitcher Zach Britton added another line to his extremely impressive Spring Training resume yesterday, pitching five innings and allowing just one earned run against the New York Yankees.  That single earned run was Britton’s first of the spring in 14 innings pitched.

The 23-year old lefty has allowed 14 hits in those 14 innings, struck out nine and walked only four.  His fastball was hitting 96 yesterday on the radar gun.

Despite his strong Spring Training, chances are very slim that Britton will make the trip north with the team to start the 2011 campaign.  As Dan Connolly explains, Britton is in the same boat that players like Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz before him found themselves in, with the team not wanting to start their service clock too early.

Simply put, if Britton begins the year on the major league roster and remains on it for all of 2011, he will earn one full year of service time. Assuming he continues as a major leaguer after that, he will be eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.

However, if Britton is not recalled until April 21 or later, he will not be credited with a full year of service time, meaning he will not be eligible for free agency until after 2017. For a team that is hoping to collect quality young starters, keeping a pitcher like Britton in the minors for three weeks in order to retain him for an additional season is crucial to that development plan.

In addition, the O’s schedule is such that – with early season off-days and whatnot – they likely won’t need a fifth starting pitcher at all until at least mid-April.

All of this means that Zach Britton will likely have a chance to dominate AAA hitters for the immediate future.  Barring any setbacks, though, expect to see this young arm showing up in Birdland sooner rather than later.

Roberts Update

In other news, Brian Roberts had two hits in Tuesday’s action.  The other day, I had expressed some concern about Roberts’ lack of swings in his return to action over the weekend, so it was good to hear that B.Rob was not only getting his hacks in, but was making solid contact.  He also struck out twice, which brings his total to three in just six official at-bats since returning to the lineup.  That’s a Mark Reynolds-type K-clip (the new third baseman has 18 in 48 AB this Spring – a 38% K rate. Ew.)

I’m not too worried about that though.  It is still March, after all.  Every game that Roberts plays is good news at this point, regardless of what his stats are.

Projected O's Lineup – O's Fans/Bloggers Chime In

February 17, 2011

With Spring Training kicking off this week for the O’s down in Sarasota, and with the unseasonably warm weather up here in B’More (not to mention the NFL unrest and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team falling apart), there’s no denying that it’s time for “Birdland” to take over in full force.

The O’s have some shiny new (though some aren’t so “new” in the grand scheme of things – ::cough::VLAD::cough:: – they’re at least new to Charm City) pieces to work with, and so I thought it would be fun to put together a projected Opening Day lineup.

As I’ve freely admitted before, there are O’s bloggers out there whose opinions on this type of thing I take much more seriously than I do my own, so I also asked some of them to send me their own projected lineups.  I asked them, along with some hardcore O’s fans who I follow on Twitter, for their lineups as well.  Along with the official B’More Birds Nest projected Baltimore Orioles opening day lineup below, you’ll find projected lineups from Heath (Dempsey’s Army), Meghan (I Hate J.J. Redick), Avi (Orioles Nation), Dave (@FlavaDave10 on Twitter), T.J. (Eutaw Street Hooligans),  Zach (Baltimore Sports Report), Chris (Baltimore Sports and Life), and my buddy Chop (@PunkRockChop).

I took the average position of each hitter based on the 9 projections to make a master list.  Thus, here it is, your composite 2011 Baltimore Orioles starting line up, as predicted by a random assortment of O’s bloggers and fans:

1. Brian Roberts (Average: 1.0 – unanimous)

2. Nick Markakis (2.0 – unanimous)

3. Derrek Lee (4.1)

4. Vlad Guerrero (4.2)

5. Luke Scott (5.0)

6. Mark Reynolds (5.4)

7. Adam Jones (6.3 ; biggest discrepancy in predictions, listed as high as 3 and as low as 8.)

8. Matt Wieters (7.9)

9. J.J. Hardy (9.0 – unanimous)

And here are the individual submissions that made up the above batting order…

B’More Birds’ Nest

1. Brian Roberts (2B) – No brainer.

2. Nick Markakis (RF) – Nick is historically much more productive as a #2 hitter than as a #3.  A few years ago, we all had Nicky Mark putting a Ripken-esque chokehold on the #3 slot, but it just hasn’t worked out that way.  As Heath points out here:

          Split   G  GS   PA  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    Batting 2nd 186 184  846  94 122 .324 .400 .530 .930
    Batting 3rd 445 443 1966 199 289 .286 .360 .444 .804

While there’s a much larger sample size for him hitting 3rd, there’s no denying that something changes for the worse when you move Nick from 2 to 3.  Keep him at 2, Buck.

3. Luke Scott (LF) – Since Nick doesn’t fit the bill, there’s really no clear #3 hitter on the O’s (edit: I’m in the minority not seeing Lee as such. I may have been convinced).  I went with LUUUUUUKE here, but I could have just as easily swapped him and Vlad in the 3-4 holes.  However, Luke grounds into double plays far less than Vlad over their respective careers (1.6% vs. 3.4%), and if we’re expecting Roberts and Markakis to be on base often (and we are), it would help to have some buffer between them and the double play machine Vlad.

4. Vlad Guerrero (DH) – Vlad was brought here to be the clean up hitter, there’s no denying that.  Regardless of the fact that Scott is just as capable, he’s not the one with the $8 million deal .  Rest assured that the new #27 will be in the 4-hole on Opening Day.

5. Adam Jones (CF) – I’m looking for big things out of Jonesy this year.  Hopefully the wildly inconsistent plate discipline will come to an end in 2011, and #10 will finally develop into the perennial All-Star type player we all know he has the talent to become.

6. Derrek Lee (1B) – Lee hit .267/.327/.428 with 19 HR and 80 RBI last year, which sounds like decent production out of the #6 slot to me.  Jones and Matt Wieters spent a lot of time at #6 by the end of last season, and with Jones moving to the #5 hole, Lee seems like the natural replacement to protect him in the lineup.

7. Mark Reynolds (3B) – Why so low for a guy that we hope will lead the team in home runs?  Well, I’d like to see Reynolds move up in the order as the season moves along, but I think #7 is perfect for a guy coming off a career worst .198 batting season and not only switching leagues, but coming into the A.L. Beast.  Let him spend some time getting used to AL East pitching and (hopefully) proving he can handle it, then inch him on up in the order.

8. Matt Wieters (C) – I’m still holding out hope for all that “Mauer with Power” business, but it seems many others aren’t so keen on Wieters ever becoming the consistent 30+ HR guy the O’s drafted him to be.  Perhaps hitting him higher, with some protection behind him, would be the way to go, but my inclination is to put Matt down here at #8.  It keeps the pressure off him and allows him to continue focusing on his main job, working with the pitching staff.  Fingers crossed that the stick we saw in the minors shows up eventually.

9. J.J. Hardy (SS) – A great guy to turn the line up over.  Hardy is a career .263/.323/.423 guy, which is leaps and bounds above last year’s #9 guy, Cesar Izturis (.230/.277/.268 in 2010).

Obviously I don’t really buy into all that left-right-left-right jazz that Dave Trembley was so fond of (my order is L-L-L-R-R-R-R-L-R against RHP).  Let’s see what the others have to say (in no particular order):

Meghan (I Hate J.J. Redick, @qweenofdiamonds)

1. Brian Roberts 2B (S) – My fingers are crossed for a healthy B-Rob all year. Our offense missed him last year.

2. Nick Markakis RF (L) – Consistently on base. Consistently knocking doubles. Consistency is great!

3. Adam Jones CF (R) – In for a big year without the expectation of being one of the team’s best hitters. Needs to take more walks & cut down on swinging at junk.

4. Vlad Guerrero DH (R) – All he does is hit. Literally. I see a lot of 3-run home runs going over the fences this year.

5. Mark Reynolds 3B (R) – Hopefully hitter-friendly OPACY will be a nice change of scenery for him.

6. Derrek Lee 1B (R) – Coming off of a down year, but is generally good for 20 HR/getting on base when healthy.

7. Luke Scott LF (L) – Having him in LF is not my choice, but it is what it is. Very streaky. Could benefit from batting lower & playing the field a little.

8. Matt Wieters C (S) – I see him moving up in the lineup at some point. Hopefully we’ll see that incredible power that he’s been hiding from us the past 2 years…

9. J.J. Hardy SS (R)- I’ll take his bat over Cesar’s. Just saying.

“Lots of speed at the top of the lineup should get us more manufactured runs. At least 6 of the 9 have 20+ HR potential. I can see 3 of those 6 hitting 30+ HR this season. That’s a lot more than we are used to.The lineup is incredibly right-handed heavy. Hopefully this increases our success against left-handed pitchers. I’d prefer to have a healthy Nolan Reimold playing LF.”

Avi (Orioles Nation, @2131andbeyond)

1. Brian Roberts – Obvious. No questions asked.

2. Nick Markakis – Nick THRIVES in the 2 spot, as history shows. His career average is a stellar 38 points higher than in the 3 hole (.324 vs. .286). Hits HRs in the 2 spot every 25.6 ABs on average, opposed to every 35.6 batting 3rd. Yes, a lot more experience at 3, but a LOT of that came last season when he had practically no OBP in the guys in front of him also. Since Nick is obviously not moving down to the 4-8 spots, and it’s between 2 and 3, this just makes the most sense going with his splits.

3. Derrek Lee – Again, going with what’s worked for him in the past. With at least 100 ABs in each spot from 2-7, his best line comes from… the 3 hole. .295/.377/.514. He’s a nice presence there after Markakis and leading up to the bigger power bats. Has walked 70+ times in each of his last 4 healthy seasons.

4. Vlad Guerrero – Obvious. No reason to sign Vladdy if he’s not batting cleanup. Not like anybody wants him to ever touch RF with his glove. Ever. Again.

5. Mark Reynolds – Many people have Luke Scott here. I put Reynolds here, knowing that he is what many call a pure power hitter. He’s obviously not hitting for average. Put him here, where Vlad, who has never struck out over the 100 mark in any year, and a career .320 hitter, will be waiting on the bags for Reynolds to bring him home.

6. Luke Scott – Luke is inconsistent. Or at least he was. His average will drop this year, no doubt in my mind. He has the power to still hit 25-30 HRs if he gets the ABs and adjusts well to playing LF often. I also flip him with Reynolds not only because I worry about his sometimes stiff swings, but it pushes a left handed bat down in the lineup a bit.

7. Adam Jones – Adam Jones showed last season that the top of the lineup is not for him. He thrives with being later in the lineup and getting his hits and blasts in when the spotlight isn’t on the batter’s box as it will be for guys like Lee and Vlad.

8. Matt Wieters – Not only does a switch hitter fit in well here, but my choice to put him at this spot is mainly because I think Hardy is the better 9 hole hitter.

9. J.J. Hardy – JJ has some speed being a shortstop, and a guy who can run the bases is nice for BRob at the top. Hardy could end up being the most productive member of this lineup if his wrist stays healthy, so he is a positive note to flip the lineup over on.

Heath (Dempsey’s Army, @dempseysarmy)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“For all the talk about the new heart of the order, how far this offense will go will be based on the health and effectiveness of Roberts and Markakis. They should be fantastic table setters. Lee is a classic #3. I would probably bat Scott 4th but putting him 5th does break up the righties. Wieters and Hardy could be the best 8th/9th duo in the league.”

Chris (Baltimore Sports and Life, @BMoreSportsLife)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Matt Wieters
8. Adam Jones
9. J.J. Hardy

“What I like best about the lineup is the overall depth. Wieters and Jones have yet to fully emerge and reach their potential, but if you can project them to bat 7th and 8th; you have a deep lineup.
Hardy has batted 2nd more often than anywhere else in his career, but his career on-base% of .323 dictates he should bat lower.

I’m confident that the Orioles as a team are going to score at-least 115+ more runs than the scored as a team in 2010.”

Dave (@FlavaDave10)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Mark Reynolds
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Adam Jones
7. Derrek Lee
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Most people want Lee batting third, but I think he would create too many double plays. Reynolds isn’t a conventional #3 hitter, but he gets on base quite a bit, and doesn’t create many GIDPs. A top of the order that gets on base would allow our strong middle of the order to do their job and knock in the runners.”

T.J. (Eutaw Street Hooligans, @ESHjJaksClayton)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Luke Scott
5. Mark Reynolds
6. Vlad Guerrero
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Kind of an injustice to Hardy, but only because I dislike the other two (Jones, Wieters) at 9.”

Zach (Baltimore Sports Report, @BaltSportsReport)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

Chop (@PunkRockChop)

1. Brian Roberts
2. Nick Markakis
3. Derrek Lee
4. Vlad Guerrero
5. Luke Scott
6. Mark Reynolds
7. Adam Jones
8. Matt Wieters
9. J.J. Hardy

“Sounds legit.”

A big thanks to all who participated.

O's Trade for Julio Lugo

April 1, 2010

Earlier today, the St. Louis Cardinals traded veteran infielder Julio Lugo to the Baltimore Orioles, in return for the infamous “player to be named later” and cash. Cardinals Manager and Drunk Driver Tony LaRussa confirmed the deal.

Lugo is no stranger to Birdland, having spent a good amount of his career in the AL-East (a-la former Oriole 1B-Kevin Millar). The Orioles will be his third AL-East team (Rays and Red Sux) and sixth overall in his career.

The trade became more necessary as second baseman Brian Roberts continues to battle back issues from the offseason. Lugo can also assist the Orioles in other infield positions besides first base. The O’s can rely on him to give either Miguel Tejada or Cesar Izturis some rest time on the pine.

The is low-risk move for the Orioles because they only have to pay him the league minimum of $400,000, with the Cardinals picking up the balance. Julio still has $8.6 million left on a 4-year $36 million dollar deal he never quite lived up to in Boston. After signing his deal in Bean Town before the 2007 Championship Season, Lugo was looked at as the “turd in the bunch bowl” and shipped to St. Louis last summer.

Lugo’s Career Statistics:

BA: .271

2B: 234

HR: 80


SB: 193

OBP: .336

O's Pitchers as Tired Internet Memes

April 1, 2010

With less than one week remaining on the calendar before opening day 2010, the Orioles’ pitching staff appears to be trying to squeeze out every last drop of the six-week long “working out the kinks” process in Sarasota.

Over the last three days, the motto of “better now than later” has been ringing extremely loud for the O’s. A bit TOO loud for this blogger’s tastes, as a matter of fact.

Jeremy Guthrie, set to be the O’s #2 starter heading into the season, started on Monday against the “A” squad of the New York Yankees. He allowed a 3-run HR to Robinson Cano in the first inning, on his way to a 5 IP, 4 ER performance. As Roch Kubatko tells us, Guthrie has surrendered 17 ER and 28 H in 20.2 IP this Spring, and is 0-4 with a 7.40 ERA. He hasn’t went longer than 5 innings in any appearance.

F My Guts

But hey, at least he beaned Mark Teixeira. I can get behind that sort of thing.

Tuesday, things didn’t get much better. Brad Bergeson, fresh off shutting down the aforementioned Yankees last week, had an even worse day. Bergy gave up 6 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, and 3 HR. Two of those home runs, hit by Tigers’ shortstop Miguel Cabrera, may not have landed yet. Bergeson, the O’s projected #3 starter, has a Spring ERA of 5.59.

Bergy Fail

But we’re not done yet!

Today, the Boston Red Sox decided to change things up a bit. Instead of beating up on the O’s projected starters, they picked on the fresh meat that will be coming out of the bullpen at the Yard in 2010. Jason Berken, projected to be a long reliever, started the game. He was chased after just 2.1 innings, during which he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits.

Next up was Jim Johnson, the O’s set-up man to-be (who I have been a big fan of in the past). The first four batters against JJ went like this:

Single, hit by pitch, single, grand slam.

JJ Berken


Oh, and just for good measure, the Red Sox later launched ANOTHER grand slam, this one off Dennis Sarfate.

The scores over those last three games?

Yankees 11 Orioles 7

Tigers 10 Orioles 9

Red Sox 14 Orioles 6

The O’s allow double-digits more often than the Ravens do (or did, anyway).

But hey, let’s look at the bright side here. Which is that THE GAMES DON’T COUNT YET. So, for now, we O’s fans should continue to remind ourselves of that, and repeat the mantra of “they’re just getting all of this out of the way now, instead of later!”

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.

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!