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Hi out there!!

Since there hasn’t been many readers, probably since there hasn’t been very many new post, there’s little reason to say anything more than Hi.

Yes, I have been absent. Yes, there could have been many things to say. But in truth would it have been any different than what’s been talked about for the past few years.

But last week, I do think that things have changed. A very big change.

For the first time since the departure of Hargrove, the Baltimore Orioles have a manager with Major League experience.

When looking at the ball club this year, one sees many of the pieces of a good team. The young pitchers have been better than good on occasions. Unfortunately there are those times when they appeared to be throwing batting practice.

There are quality players for the outfield.

The center of the infield doesn’t look to bad. That is as long as Roberts is at second. Short Stop isn’t of the caliber of a Belanger or Ripkin, but it’s not as bad as the ones that played between them. Does any one recall? I don’t.

In general they have played well enough to have a better record. Blown games late in the game or good pitching performances that were lost because they couldn’t score, has accounted for a number of the games lost.

Now the Showather has taken the helm, it will be seen whether he can make a difference. Give the younger players the confidence.

I’m pumped. And even though many of the games left are played against teams that have chances of making the playoffs. I have a feeling that those teams won’t be feeling that all they have to do is to take the field to have a chance to win.

The O’s may lose, but teams will know that they have been involved in a Ball Game.

I sure hope I’m right.

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Nearly from the first pitch it looks as if the Orioles made a good move by signing Koji Uehara. The 34 year old Major League rookie sure didn’t look like a rookie. But then again after a long career in the Japanese League, he really isn’t a rookie.

In the first two games the Yankees threw their best pitchers and once again the Orioles knocked them around. And without the base running out in the first inning, more runs may have been scored. But I’m not going to call it a mistake. It really shows that the Orioles are going to play this year by forcing the other team not to make mistakes.

There’s that slim line between making a good play and looking foolish. Huff looked foolish last night, but had he made it everyone would have been calling it a great move. Even without making it i call it a calculated move that didn’t work.

My only worries about last night dealt with the Bull Pen. This is suppose to be our pitching strength. Once again they gave up runs that allowed the Yankees to come back. Fortunately in both games the leads were big enough to prevent it. I also hope that we aren’t going to be looking at our two top starters only going 5 or 6 innings. These two need to go deep into the game to rest our Pen for when our others starters pitch. But it’s early April so hopefully that’s the reason for the quick exits.

Two games don’t make a season, but they have won their first series. Winning series is the key to this game. It’s usually the team who has won the most series during the year that wins the division. So this is a very good step.

I enjoy watching this team. Even if they only win as many as last year, they sure do look like a building team and not just a bunch of players playing the games. Look out for 2010 and beyond. I do think the Orioles are coming back.

Right now to me it seems as if pitching is their only weak spot.

Final Stats:
Yankees 5 – 9 – 0
Orioles 7 – 9 – 1
WP: K.Uehara (1-0)
LP: C.Wang (0-1)
S: G.Sherrill (1)
HR: NYY- D.Jeter (1) BAL- N.Markakis (1)

Opening day is tomorrow and the only thing I really know about the 2009 Orioles is that it’s not the 2008 Orioles.

Yes it still has Brian Roberts leading off and playing second base. And the best player on the team is most probably Nick Markakis. And even with Melvin Mora and Aubrey Hoff, now the old timers, the team in many ways is much different than 2008.

And the biggest place where you see the changes is with the pitching staff.

One thing for sure, when I turn on the game Monday afternoon, I’m sure I’m going to need a score card. Although with Jeremy Guthrie starting and a line up that has many of the same people as last year’s it might not be too bad on the first outing.

But from there? Pitchers and bench players are much different.

How good will they be? Just like any year they will only be as good as their pitchers take them.

So far this year I’ve only seem them play once, last night against the Nationals. Other than a poor first inning for Simon, their pitching wasn’t too bad. But then again the Nationals lineup more than likely isn’t a pennant contender.

So what kind of predictions will I make?
This team will not lose 100 games. Nor do I think they will lose over 90. I’m not sure they are a 500 team. But I sure would like to be proved wrong.

Where will they end in the standings?
I’m not sure that they can move out of last in the East. That is unless the Ble Jays aren’t as good as I think they might be. That’s the only East team that I think could lose more than them.

Who wins the division?
I think that the Rays sneaked up on people last year and had a wild run in 2008. While they will be a good team for years to come, I don’t think they repeat as division winner. Although they may still win enough for the playoffs.

Even though the Yankees spend millions during the off season, I’m not sure the are an improved team. But they will be in the running. But I think that the red Sox will take the division by a very slim margin. It may only be a few games that separate 1st from 3rd.

Anyway for now, like many others I’m just waiting until the first pitch is thrown tomorrow and a win by the Orioles on Opening Day 2009,

This blog has been dormant for a long time. And as the spring advances I will be trying to bring it back to life.

Even though there has been many things happening in the world of the Orioles I haven’t really been following them and at present I can comment on them other than to say I am happy that they have extended the contracts of Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis.

Will 2009 be a better year for this blog?  One can hope so. As the season goes on as long as the Orioles holds my interest there will be posts. How often?

Spring training is beginning and it’s time to look at the 2009 Birds, which is exactly what I’m going to do. As soon as I discover and read about the new Birds as well as some of the older ones, I’ll be posting comments on them.

So for now, See you soon.

In just a few short weeks the Orioles will go to spring training and in my opinion, which I know isn’t worth two pennies, the O’s will be something.

There really hasn’t been any moves during the off-season, at least not in players.  Yes, they traded Tejada, probably a real good move.  But there’s been little action besides that.  In the long run it may be a good thing.  I would say that only time will tell.

Will they win more than last year? Again, time will tell.  As long as they play hard, look good when losing and improving everyday, I would think that would make it a good season.

I’ve taken a break from posting here during the winter but there’ll be more to come as the Spring Training dates come nearer.

There’s one more week left in Baseball’s regular season and for the 10th time in the past 10 years the Orioles once again are just playing the season out.

Even with all of the losing, there is one thing for certain.  Dave Trembley and not the ball players are in charge of the team.  This is a good thing.  Let’s hope that this feeling will put some backbone into the players who do return next year to try to have this team improve.

This will probably be the final post I do about the Orioles until the post season is over, that is unless there is something happening that I care to comment on.

I do think I will post some about the off-season, so check back next week.  If nothing else I’ll make some predictions on what I think will be the outcome of the playoffs and World Series.

As I start writing this the Orioles are 61-81.  I think they are still scheduled to play all of the 162 games this season.  If they are they will have to win two more games to prevent them from having a 100 lost season.

A few weeks ago it looked as if they may fight enough to be close to a .500 team, but today they are a team ragged team.  They might score 10 runs, if the hitters hit, but with the current pitching staff 10 may not be enough to win.

A staff of starters who are nothing more than minor league players.  Will any of the starters for the rest of the season be on the team next year?  Only Cabrera and if he starts any more Guthrie.

I’ll hope for the best, but am up for the worst since I’m not sure they can win those two games to keep them from the 100 lost season.

It looks as if the stars are not looking favorably upon the Orioles. Nine loses in a row, the last three against the Devil Rays, and looking towards a series against the Red Sox in Boston. Ouch.

I was thinking what can be done over the off season to make this a .500 team. Let’s just look at .500 first and then look towards a playoff spot.

Let’s start with the starting Pitching, since for the last 10 years they have started the season with people saying, ‘they will only go as far as the pitching takes them.’

They seem set with Bedard as Number 1. Since Cabrera still has a future of being a good if not great pitcher, let’s work on it, but as the 4 or 5 starter. That leave 2 and 3. Even though Guthrie has had a few bad games lately, its probably as much due to teams starting to understand him, he just needs to move up a notch and at number 3 that can happen. Number 2? Is there anyone on the disabled list to move here. Only Lowen, but he’s a big if. Let’s look for the Number 2 outside of the system and take some pressure off of the young guns, who I think will be ready for 09/10. And let’s consider resigning Trachsel and letting Benson go.

Relief Pitching: It’s time to start all over again.

1st Base – Millar isn’t the typical 1st baseman, but he’s better than average in the field and can get some hits and has a way of getting on base. Besides he will one day become a great couch even manager, let’s keep him for that reason and let him alone at 1st.

2nd Base – Looks ok to me with Roberts.

3rd Base – This needs an upgrade. Mora should be one of those players that can and will move from spot to spot as an everyday player to give a break to the real everyday player at that position. Mora can play all of the outfield and probably all of the infield, let’s use him that way.

SS – Tejada is a great player, but he seems to be losing some at that position. Move him to third and let’s get a glove man at short. Hernandez from the minors? Either that use him in a trade for s couple of good young players (relief pitchers?)

Outfield – Markakis, leave him alone. He’s a player. Patterson at center is alright if its the Patterson of 2nd 1/2 2007 and not 1st. Right. This is where we need to pick up a big stick who can hit 30 Homers and drive in 100. That player is not on the team today.

DH – The Orioles were one of the first teams to use the DH the way it’s played today. An older player who still has pop at the bat, but can’t play the field (or should I say can hurt them if playing in the field) Remember Lee May, Ken Singleton etc. Let’s find that older player who looks as if they are done, put them at DH and leave them alone for 162 games.

Game Notes:
Tampa Bay 8 – Orioles 6
WP: Kazmir
LP: Guthrie

Doesn’t the title really say it all.

No real sense in talking about it, everyone else is anyway.  I guess everything was looking in the direction of Texas winning.  Bloop singles followed by Batting Practice Home Runs.

And for those who may be blaming Trembley, remember he was managing for a double-header which meant he left pitcher in a lot longer than he would have if it was just a single game.

When Sam Perlozzo was fired as the Orioles Manager, it was just looking like another disappointing season.  Yes, we knew going in that the Division would be a high reach, but .500 didn’t nor did a possible third place finish.  When he left. .500 looked way out there and 4th place looked like it could be 5th.

Then Dave Trembley came on.  A long time minor league manager who had rarely sat in a big league dugout, if he ever had.  He was hired to be the bullpen coach, when Dempsey took a job with MASN.  A little over 30 games ago he became the Manager.  As I understand only the 7th in modern baseball, who never played Pro Baseball.

Right after that happened, something seemed to happen with the team.  Even with key injuries to the left side of the infield as well as injuries to non-key player, the team played with heart.  They played with emotion.  As I have said in an earlier article, they didn’t give up, playing until the last out in the last inning as if they could come back to win.  And amazing they sometimes have.

Now there’s a report that Dave Trembley will be named to be the manager of the Orioles in 2008.  From here it sure looks to be a good move.  Maybe they won’t be any better than a 4th place club again next year, a lot of that will depend on moves over the off-season.  But if they continue to move in a forward direction, It will be fun to watch again.

There are about 6 weeks remaining in the 2007 baseball season and many people are saying that there are as many as 18 teams still in contention for the playoffs, I thought I’d put down my prediction and thoughts on the division champions and the 2 Wild Cards.

National League

East
Even though the Braves have improved their team and the Phillies have played well since May, I still think that the Mets will win the division. Although it may come down to the last weekend of the season before it’s decided.

Central
This division may turn out to be won by the team that doesn’t play the worst over the rest of the season. The Brewers looked as if they were going to run away with it and the Cardinals had faded. Even the Cubs looked like a team in turmoil. Now it’s a three team race. The Brewers are still in first place, but only because the Cubs haven’t played well over the past 10 games. While the Cubs and Brewers couldn’t decide who wanted to be first the Cardinals have sneaked up on them. I still think the Brewers will win, but it won’t be easy.

West
For awhile it looked like the Dodgers were off and running, but they faded and Arizona have moved into a 3 game lead over San Diego. They will keep the lead and pull farther ahead having the easiest time winning their division in the league.

American

Central
The Tigers, The Indians. One will win and one will not. Toss a coin and the winner is Tigers.

West
The Angels are the best team and they will show it over the rest of the season.

East
I left the home division until last. In June everyone was counting the Yankees out. Since then they have been nearly unbeatable, except when playing the Orioles. The Red Sox still have the best record in baseball, even though the Yankees are now just 5 games out of the division lead. But when it’s over the Red Sox will still be in first and the Yankees luck could change and they come back to earth and play like the Yankees of April and May.

That leads us to who will be the Wild Card teams in both leagues.

National League – This may be where the Braves wind up, but I think it’ll be the Cubs.

American League – It’ll be the Mariners by an eyelash.

Over the next weeks the Orioles will have a lot to say who goes to the Playoffs and who will have to wait for another season.  The Orioles will have to wait, but they sure can work on getting ready for 2008 and determine who’s in 2007.

I suspect the Yankees are starting to wonder who this team is.  The Yankees are 4-8 against the Orioles this year and even those games that they have won, the Orioles made them work for the wins.

Keep it up.  They are fun to watch.

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