The Feed is up

Had some spare time today, so I’ve been messing around with the RSS Feed.
Here’s the link to my feed. or just click on the big orange logo above the links. Let me know how this is working. I’m definately not the biggest computer whiz so I’m learning as I go. Enjoy.

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I can almost smell Opening Day

Here’s an interesting article to start things off above the Nationals and Orioles rivalry.
I don’t think it’s of the Mets vs. Yankees magnitude yet. Both of these teams need to get better for it be so. I’d rather see the Orioles play the Mets or the Braves than the Nats. I don’t hate the Nationals, I’m indifferent to them. I thought MLB putting a team there was logical. A lot more logical than putting one in the place where old Yankees to go die, Tampa Bay. Where would they put them if DC wasn’t an option? San Antonio, Charlotte, NC (I wish. It beats driving to Atlanta.), Las Vegas (Never), and Portland. Those are ones that I can think of. For the O’s and Nats rivalry to get real, somone has to buy the Nationals and give them a personality. Being the stepchild of MLB and having the front office saavy this is Jim Bowden really hurts them.

Today is Melvin’s deadline. I don’t think a deal gets done. I just don’t see how. Maybe Old Pete can broker a deal, but it’s highly doubtful.

Luis Matos says he’s ready. I was deadset on trading him as soon as possible. I’ve soften my stance now. If he’s fully healthy, I want to see what he can do. He has a better glove than Nick Markakis right now and there’s no need to rush Nick anyway. He’s young and it’s doubtful that we’ll be in the race at the end. So let Nick sit on the bench a little and bring him along slowly. If we rush him, well…just look over at Corey Patterson and that’s what could happen to him.

These two links here both focus on how we have just as many questions coming out of camp as we did coming in.

Questions

More questions

Never saw this coming The center of my very world is shaken.

I wouldn’t buy this with your money. This is third place team….and if their arms go down, then we could be seeing a third place finish.

Here’s an article on Sandy Rleal. Him and Chris Ray could be anchors in the bullpen for years if things go right. I’m excited about these two.

A moment of silence….
The Orioles will release veteran infielder Desi Relaford today. The veteran hit .171 this spring with a .256 on-base percentage.

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in long time.
Carl Pavano is hurt again. After Pavano threw one inning in a Double-A game yesterday, Joe Torre said he wasn’t sure when the $40 million investment would pitch again due to a bruised rear end the pitcher suffered when he fell covering first base Tuesday night. — New York Post

Is it funny because he’s a Yankee? because he has a 40 million dollar deal? because he’s Pavano? because he bruised his rear end? I vote for all the above.

Who’s on First? Not Javy

The great first base experiment has been put on hold. This is from the Orioles website…

I actually wanted it,” said Lopez, who went into Thursday’s game hitting just .125 in Grapefruit League play. “I guess the fact that I was working so much at first base during Spring Training, I kind of [cut] back my hitting. [Baltimore manager] Sam Perlozzo came up to me and told me, ‘It would be a good idea just to start you as a DH so you could get your timing back as a hitter.’ I totally agree with it.
Lopez had trouble adjusting to his new position, so it’s doubtful whether he’ll ever become a full-time first baseman. The three-time All-Star had a tough time with four pickoff plays in a two-week span, throwing wide of second base and pulling the shortstop off the bag.

Still, Perlozzo had said it could take as many as 75 games to get a full read on his progress. Now he’s thinking a little differently.

“The thought process is simple: We were really hoping he’d be a little better defensively — and he was, early on,” said Perlozzo. “As the games got going and he’d make a mistake, he’d let it compound. And consequently, thinking so much about his fielding, his hitting suffered. He had both things going against him, and neither one was getting up to standard.”

The Orioles, with two veterans that fit better at first base, just didn’t have that kind of time. Defensively speaking, Jeff Conine and Kevin Millar are way ahead of Lopez, but the Orioles expect them to get some additional time in left field

I don’t think he’ll ever play a regular season game at first base. He’s 35 and learning a new position doesn’t seem likely to me. I’m wondering what will happen in a few weeks. Will he still have a good attitude? He’s already said he doesn’t want to be the everyday DH. Is he going to ask to be traded again? There’s not much of a market for a 35 year old catcher making 7.5 million a year. All of this means Kevin Millar and Jeff Conine will be splitting time at first. Which I’m not crazy about, but they’ll do better at first than Javy. This puts them out of the outfield which all but ensures….

Nick Markakis will most likely stay with the club. I’m guessing that he’ll begin the season as the 4th outfielder with Matos, Patterson, and Gibbons starting. As the season progresses and Matos and Patterson show what they can do (or not do) Markakis will get his time.

This is why I like Kevin Millar being on the O’s.

Kris Benson clears the air about the Mets.

Season Previews
SI shows us no love.
Fox’s shows us where everyone figures us to be.

I’m surprised no one’s really been talking about Chris Ray this spring. I’ve heard all of the negatives about the bullpen. He’s had a great spring and after he gets a few major league saves under his belt, I think he’ll make us forget about BJ Ryan.

First AL Manager To Be Fired Or Resign
Buck Showalter (Texas) 5/1
Ron Gardenhire (Minnesota) 6/1
Mike Hargrove (Seattle) 13/2
John Gibbons (Toronto) 7/1
Buddy Bell (Kansas City) 8/1
Terry Francona (Boston) 9/1
Ozzie Guillen (Chicago White Sox) 10/1
Ken Macha (Oakland) 10/1
Jon Maddon (Tampa Bay) 10/1
Sam Perlozzo (Baltimore) 12/1
Eric Wedge (Cleveland) 25/2
Jim Leyland (Detroit) 16/1
Mike Scioscia (LA Anaheim) 16/1
Joe Torre (NY Yankees) 19/1

First NL Manager To Be Fired Or Resign
Bob Melvin (Arizona) 5/1
Dusty Baker (Chicago Cubs) 6/1
Clint Hurdle (Colorado) 6/1
Charlie Manuel (Philadelphia) 7/1
Frank Robinson (Washington) 15/2
Ned Yost (Milwaukee) 19/2
Jerry Narron (Cincinnati) 21/2
Phil Garner (Houston) 13/1
Joe Girardi (Florida) 15/1
Grady Little (Los Angeles) 15/1
Bruce Bochy (San Diego) 15/1
Felipe Alou (San Francisco) 15/1
Willie Randolph (NY Mets) 20/1
Jim Tracy (Pittsburgh) 20/1
Bobby Cox (Atlanta) 27/1
Tony LaRussa (St. Louis) 40/1
From PinnacleSports.com

I agree with the pressure being on Buck. This is about the time where he gets canned. The Rangers made a lot moves and I think this team can do some damage (though I don’t think they’re quite there yet). I think he’ll live to see another season. I think Dusty Baker’s job is less secure than Bob Melvin’s. This is his last year in Chicago if Prior and Wood can’t stay healthy, which so far they can’t. Willie Randolph is one who I think the pressure is on too. The Mets stockpiled their team with players who are more toward the end than the beginning of their career. While this team can hit, they have a short window. With that and a suspect pitching staff (outside of Pedro..who’s banged up), I don’t like their chances. John Gibbons, who I couldn’t pick out of a police line up, has to win now too. If they finish 4th, I’ll never know what this guy looks like. I also like how Sam Perlozzo is safer than Ozzie Guillen. Of course, I understand why. If the Sox start slumping, Ozzie’s act is going to wear thin. I don’t think that’ll be this season though. Terry Francona is one who could get fired easiy.

I know the whole steriod investigation started today, but Opening Day is almost here and there’s enough steriod talk that I don’t talk about it. Steriods are bad for people and the game, and that’s all I have to say until this investigation starts bringing in results.

Monday 3:05 pm Devil Rays at Orioles…It’s almost here!

First Base not being kind to Javy

It’s been a rough spring for Javy Lopez. He had his fourth error of the spring yesterday, and he’s missed most of spring training because of the WBC. Count me as being one of pessimists on this one. I hope he gets it down and becomes great at first base, but I think its doubtful. With Germino Gil being designated for assignment, could signal an end for this? He’ll catch 1 or 2 games a week and then he’s also going to be seeing time at DH. This would free time for Millar/Conine at first, freeing up the outfield so Nick Markakis can be LF and Matos can be backup. I hope Javy at least finds his swing, his numbers have been brutal. Here’s another Lopez article. It’s much of the same stuff, but check out the second page where Jorge Julio sounds off. He’s still upset that he lost the closer role to BJ Ryan and basically said they weren’t teaching him mechanics because they didn’t like him. Good ridance, he lost the closer for a reason. Jorge Julio could bean a batter and it would still over over the right fence.

There’s several things in here. I don’t like the way some of this article sounds.
With less than a week remaining before the season opener, the Baltimore Orioles appear to need a few more practice games. While the roster is beginning to take shape, some Orioles appear vastly out of baseball shape, and though these Grapefruit League games are meaningless, even Perlozzo appears a bit worried.
That part right there especially and since we had ten players in the WBC and some before that in the Carribean World Series, that surprises me.
We have no interest in Carlos Pena. I think if it could be done on the cheap, it would be a nice low risk/high reward deal. But I’m not going to cry over this.
We’re going to have Matos, Markakis, and Patterson on the roster. They didn’t mention David Newhan, but before Opening Day my bet is Matos or him are traded to the Angels for a bullpen arm.

Though Baltimore lost, 5-4, to the Florida Marlins on Monday, it appeared as if Perlozzo’s talk had an effect. In the morning practice Tejada appeared more animated than he has all spring. He yelled at the top of his lungs while taking ground balls. He jumped up and down after committing a mistake. He sang while taking cuts before stepping into the batting cage.

“I thought the guys were a lot livelier,” Perlozzo said. “Every once in a while you need a little bit of a wakeup call.”
Let’s hope it works

Miguel Tejada hasn’t had a great spring either. I hope he gets it back by Monday. At least he’s smiling I didn’t know he had the current longest games played streak in the majors with 918 and is seventh all time.

MLBTradeRumors.com had this say abou the Mora situation: Melvin Mora is getting annoyed that the Orioles won’t give him a huge contract extension to compensate him for a string of very lucky high batting average seasons in 2003-04. While a good third baseman, Mora is entering his age 34 season. To be fair, he’s been underpaid for a while now, making $10.5MM over 2004-06. If Mora settled for a mild raise to $12MM over the next three seasons, the Orioles could perhaps come out ahead. More likely is that he’ll be traded in July. Teams with questionable third base situations include the Tigers, White Sox, Twins, Phillies, and Giants.

More on the bullpen and their numbers this spring

Leo Mazzone: what I did on my Spring Break

The Texas Rangers released Erubiel Durazo yesterday. I don’t see the O’s signing him. The O’s have player like him in Javy Lopez. Besides, Durazo put up some bad numbers this spring. He needs to get 100% healthy and then he’d be a good addition to a team.

Here’s ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick and his best case/worst case scenario for teams
Scroll down to BOTTOM TIER TEAMS and we’re right there. Geez, that’s a slap in the face. I’m not kidding myself into thinking that we’re going to win the Series but seeing up lumped in with the D-Rays, the Rockies, the Marlins and the Royals is some rough stuff. We did lead the AL East for the better half of the first half year, but then again we had one of the worst second halves ever too. We’ll just have to see how this teams turns out.

Deadline Friday

Friday is the deadline to resign Melvin Mora I don’t see this happening. He’s not budging off 10 million a year apparently. Mora’s one of my favorite Orioles of all time, but I would not pay him 10 a year. I still think 3 years at 7 per is more than fair. It may in fact be too fair…but Melvin has been a pro for the O’s, so he does to be slightly overpaid. The question is though, if he isn’t resigned by the start of the season, what do the O’s do. Mora has said he’s going to test free agency. I don’t see any team paying him that much in free agency. I can’t even see a team with a big budget overpaying for a then 35 year old 3rd baseman.

Do the O’s just let him walk? Hope the market bites him and resign him on the cheap? Cough up the bucks in the offseason? Trade him this season? Personally,I’d go for the later. If he’s not resigned, then trade him because this will be a problem during the season in my opinion. He’s got trade value. Swap him to a team with a good farm system (like the Dodgers)and get some infield and/or pitching prospects for him. If we’re not in contention at the break, that seems to be the smart plan to me. I can’t see how this deal gets done.

The Tigers released Carlos Pena. I’d like to see the O’s take a shot at him for the bench. He’d be good insurance for Javy, who’s having growing pains. I don’t know much about Pena, but I’m just glad the Red Sox got Hee Sop Choi and not us. His numbers look sort of like an infield version of Corey Patterson, I don’t mean that in a good way.

This will be remembered as one of the worst contracts ever.
2 posts in one day, so much for saying I wouldn’t have time to post much this week.

Goodbye Bags

Found a few minutes to look the Sun over today and do a quick post…
Jeff Bagwell looks like he probably won’t be able to play again. Hate to see this happen to him. He marks the generation of rookies who were starting when I was just a kid, so it’s weird from that standpoint too. I don’t like the way the Astro’s front office has handled this. I know it’s a business, but they were the ones who signed him to a contract that paid him 17 million when he’s 37 or 38. So I don’t feel any pity for them if they can’t recoup their money. I just wish he could have went out on his own terms instead of this way.

Jay Gibbons is a happy bird. I hope that our first baseman of the future has a breakout year.

The Mets whooped up on the O’s. Am I the only one who thinks this Met team is going to underachieve this year? That rotation outside of Pedro is shaky at best, and they have Jorge Julio. Enough said. I can see them finishing third in the NL East, but they’ll proly get second.

Marge Schott’s collection is going to be auctioned off. Is it a coincedence that the Reds have stunk since she left the game? One of the more colorful owners the game has seen, even though she said some incredibly stupid things.

Now its time to find out when my wisdom teeth are going out.

Off Week

Just to give you all a heads up, got a busy week this week. I may do a few posts, but I can’t promise anything. I will be in full force for Opening Day on since I have the Extra Innings this season. Until then…