My two week absence happened at the same time as the O’s yearly end of season season collapse. I’m glad I missed it. The first week of my absence was my yearly Ben’s week o’ fun. It didn’t start out as fun.

Me and my now former roommate Chris met up in Asheville for an Asheville Tourist game. Chris goes to grad school now in NC, so it was a good spot to meet up. If you ever have the chance to go to a Tourist game, do it. The ballpark is a great little park. Anyways, we got to the game late. The reason for this was I-26 was backed up like any other interstate on a Friday should be. Once I hit I-40, it was marginally better. But that was 40 minutes I lost. I met up with Chris and we rode to the park. We got near the park and the park looked more like a major league park inside of a single A park. Cars were parked on the streets for a mile or two. There’s not a real parking lot for the park, so you have to fend for yourself. We made the mile, maybe two, walk to the park from where I parked only to find they were sold out. I bought the first scalped tickets of my life at this point. They were face value, it wasn’t like I paid 20 bucks for a minor league game. It seems unfathomable that I bought a scalped ticket for a low A game. It turns out that this was the final game of the season AND fireworks night, thus the crowd.

We got into the park and the seating is about 80% general admission. Our hot tickets were general. In the Greenville park, you can always find somewhere to catch the game even if there’s no seats. You can sit on the grass, in the Spinx club, or stand around. It wasn’t like this in Asheville. It was the packed and nowhere to sit or stand. After about 15 minutes, we decided to cut our losses and split. On the hike back to car, a gnat flew directly into my eyeball. This would plague me the rest of the night. 

Since baseball wasn’t in the cards, we went and grabbed a couple of drinks before we split our seperate ways back to Greenville. When I hit the interstate, my car’s thermostat needle went straight to hot. Since my car is a mobile indian burial ground, I was very concerned. I stopped and put some anti-freeze in it. Ten minutes later, it was hot again. I stopped at a gas station and bought more anti-freeze. Seven minutes later, it was hot again. I was hoping to inch my way back to Greenville. Two minutes, it was hot again. Lucky, I managed to get a rest area. I called Chris and he met me there. Then after getting arrangements made for a wrecker, it was an hour and half wait for the wrecker. Needless to say, it was one of the worst nights in awhile. I have the car back sans the old raditor and I’m sans some money.

The rest of the week o’ fun went better. Labor Day I went down to Clemson with a few friends and met up with some friends down there for the FSU/Clemson game. Death Valley is an awesome place. The tickets I ordered were from the FSU website since I couldn’t get any from the Tiger site. I didn’t make any new FSU friends that night. Clemson got out to big start and in usual fashion, hung onto a close win.

The following Saturday, I took my Mom down to Atlanta to our yearly trip to a Braves game. This year it was the Nats playing the Braves. The Braves rolled 9-2, but it was still a fun game. Washington looks as bad as their record. Still though, going to a baseball is great.

It was a busy week. I’m going to Charlotte a week from Sunday to catch the Panthers play. So I’ll manage to catch all my teams play this year except the O’s.

As for the O’s, I missed a lot.

-Danys Baez going out for the season and likely all of next.

-Victor Zambrano signing

-Daniel Cabrera taking over the role of this season’s Rodrigo Lopez.

-Nick Markakis hitting 20 HR and 100 RBIs

and every thing I mentioned last post.

I’ve been sidelined for the past 8 days with computer problems. Since the AT&T folk couldn’t come out until I was home, today was the first day I could get. I haven’t really even seen much of the O’s without the computer, but I’ve looked back alittle and things haven’t been too good.

-Gibbons and hGH packages

-Tejada whining about sitting out a game

-Cabrera and Trembley suspended

-more losing

-Bedard and Guthrie hurt

Things haven’t been good. Anyway, I’ll post more later this weekend.

Orioles Hit the Fan

The Orioles, who already had a minor league look to them, are being bitten with the injury bug — in a big way. Erik Bedard, still the MLB strikeout leader even though he hasn’t pitched since Aug. 26, will be out for the rest of the season. And, after suffering a strained left oblique yesterday, Jeremy Guthrie also will not pitch again in 2007.

That leaves Daniel Cabrera, who is in the dog house already, as the only part of the O’s opening day rotation that is still a starting pitcher on the team.

In other news, Jay Gibbons — who suffered through his second consecutive miserable season before having season-ending surgery — has been tied to HGH and steroids, which should seal his fate with the team.

And I’m not even discussing the game results.

Traschel traded

It happened later rather than sooner, but the O’s sent Steve Trachsel to their favorite trade partner, the Chicago Cubs. The O’s got a great deal out of this one. For a 36 year old pitcher who pitches slower than grass grows, I didn’t expect much. The Orioles managed to get reliever Rocky Cherry and 3rd baseman Scott Moore.

From the O’s site:

Baltimore’s September callups will begin trickling in during the next few days, and the first two to arrive should be the two players acquired in exchange for Trachsel. The Orioles picked up third baseman Scott Moore and reliever Rocky Cherry on Friday and expect both of them to join their expanded roster on Saturday.

Trembley said he expects to start Moore — who batted .269 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs for Triple-A Iowa — at third base on Saturday. Whenever Moore plays, he’ll likely push starter Melvin Mora to the bench or designated hitter.

“I guess he got called up to the big leagues last year in September and he played third base,” said Trembley of Moore, the eighth overall pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. “Whenever he plays, he’s going to play third base. … I won’t DH Melvin tomorrow. But Sunday I’ll probably get Melvin back in there at third because there’s a lefty going.”

Maybe the Melvin Mora era is coming to an end. I, for one, won’t miss his self-righteous moaning.

Back to Trachsel, he was a lot better than I thought he’d be. He went 6-8 with a 4.48 ERA. He probably should have been 10-6 or something around there, but often had little run support or the clowns in the bullpen would cough it up. Trachsel always pitched on a tightrope, as evidence of his 69 to 45 K to BB ratio. I wish him well, he didn’t stink for us. But this franchise has little use for a 36 year old pitcher, whether it be Trachsel, Glavine, or Clemens, when we’re out of contention. We’re got a good thing going with Bedard and Guthrie and hopefully Loewen, Liz, Olson, Erbe, and Penn will pan out.

And yes, we got no-hit last night. Ironically, I saw Clay Bucholtz pitch in Greenville several times last year when he was in the minors. He had good stuff then, but I didn’t see this happening so soon. Good for him, bad for us. Hopefully, we can get a respectable run going to close out the year.