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Just as the Orioles looked pretty good in the first two games of the series, they look bad in the last. And once again the Bull Pen, the so called strength of the pitching staff, didn’t live up to their hype.

The rookie from Mexico, Simon, didn’t pitch too bad. Like the preseason game against the Nationals over the past weekend, he only had one bad inning. And it may not have been as bad as it was had the umpires made a call.

I was a little upset that there wasn’t more said by the manager as well as Nick Markakis when the fan in the outfield reached into the field of play and caught the home run off of the bat of Cano. Would it have been caught? Perhaps not. Would it have even reached the seats? Probably. But to me there was no doubt that the fan took the wondering out of it and made it a Home Run. And I sure thought that was against the rules.

And Bass sure had a bad outing. A lot of that he did bring on himself. he loaded the bases and then made the poor throw to the catcher for a throwing error that scored two. Which allowed the next batter to get a bloop hit that would have been caught had there been two instead of 1 out. A two run deficit is sure easier to overcome than a 5.

And it sure looks as if Chris Ray needs to pitch some to get back into pitching shape. Although I have seen relief pitchers have a bad series at the beginning of the year and it was their only one. Let’s hope that is the case.

Bright spot, they won a series and all three starting pitchers pitched reasonably well.

Yankees 11 – 13 – 0
Orioles 2 – 7 – 1
WP: A. Burnett (1-0)
LP: A. Simon (0-1)
HR: NYY- M.Teixeira (1), N.Swisher (1), R.Cano (1) BAL- L.Scott (1)

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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)

All in all you would have to say that it was a pretty good day. The Orioles won their opening game with a nice showing against the New York Yankees.

Due to a meeting that I needed to attend, I did not see the last few innings of the game, but I did watch it long enough to see them take a 6 to 1 lead. Of course it could have been much larger with a couple of calls that could have gone their way and a key hit or 2 earlier in the game.

But a win is a win.

The top of the line up 1 through 3 went 5 for 11 with 7 runs score and our Number 9 hitter new Short Stop Cesar Izturis went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored as well as 2 RBI.

Final Box Score:
Yankees – 5 – 11 – 0
Orioles – 10 – 14 – 0

Recently the Hall of Fame Class of 2009 was selected. Rickey Henderson, on his first ballot, and Jim Rice, on his 15th and last ballot was voted in.

Rickey Henderson was not one of my favorite players. I always thought that he had a big ego and talked too much about how good he was. But looking back on his career, one has to say he was one of the best, if not the greatest lead-off hitters in the game. He also was a fearless base stealer. When he lead off a game, if he got on 1st base, you always had to think that you gave up a double. That’s if he didn’t lead off the game with a home run. I have no problem with his first ballot selection.

All I can say about Jim Rice is, What took so long? As a fan growing up in the 70s when the Boston Red Sox came to town the two players that you had concerns about taking over the game was Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice. I suppose playing along side Carl Yastrzemski, Carton Fisk and Fred Lynn, placed him just as one of the great players on the Red Sox. I’m glad that he finally made the team.

Of those not selected, I’m not sure I’m that disappointed that none of them made it. Most of them were good players, and maybe even the best player on a poor team.

But there are two who while I understand why they haven’t been selected, I would have placed on my ballot if I was a voter. Harold Baines and Mark McGwire.

I have no doubts that McGwire cheated. But there are others in the Hall of Fame who were cheaters as well. Whether or not he cheated, he helped bring the game of baseball back from its down period of the early 1990s. In a game that needed a boost the Home Run was the booster. No wonder no one really tried to regulate the illegal drugs.

Harold Baines, if he had played more than a few years in the field instead of just a designated hitter, would perhaps already be in the Hall of Fame. And he should be. He helped turn the position from one that an aging hitter held to one that now can have the best hitter occupy with the purpose that he can simply work on hitting, The game changes and he was one of the ones that brought about a change.

Veterans Committee had two categories of players they could have elected into the Hall. Players who played before 1943 and those who played after. None of the candidates of those after 1943 got enough votes while only Joe Gordon, a second baseman for the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians from 1938 to 1950. Gordon was traded from New York to Cleveland after the 1946 season having played in 1000 games and getting 1000 hits for the Yankees.

Gordon is not a player that I have much more information on other than reading his Wikipedia page and looking at his numbers. He’s not a player I recall reading about as a youth in the 1960s and 70s, nor do I recall ever hearing his name before the selection was made. But if the committee believes that he belongs in the Hall, who am I to complain. I imagine that there are many players who played between the 1860s and 1970s that were better than average players and have been mostly forgot.

That’s a shame because all of the players in this era who played a full career, 12 or more seasons, would have had to beeen better than average players, since there was more money outside of baseball than there was within.

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.

Yes it was a good series.  Even though the Orioles lost the game the game that was started on June 28, they came back to within 90 feet from trying it.  They also won the game Friday and Saturday.

But once again the relief failed them.  Cabrera pitched terrible at the start of the game, but was able to compose himself to stay around to pitch 6 innings and only to give up 4 runs.  When he left the score was 4-2 and at the end of 7 the Yankees had scored another, but the Orioles had pulled to within 1, making the game 5-4.

By the time that the 8th inning was over the score was 10-6 Yankees.  The Yankees scored 5 in the top of the inning and the Orioles answered by scoring 2 in the bottom 1/2 of the inning.

If the Yankees had been held to no runs in the 8th, the Orioles would have been ahead 6-5 with a chance for a sweep of the series.  Instead the relief gave up the 5 runs in the 8th and Cabrera suffered another lost.  One that he didn’t deserve since he gave up less runs than the Orioles scored.

I have always felt that it’s not really fair for a starting pitcher to lose a game, just because he gave up the go ahead run when the team scores more than the runs he actually gave up.  Cabrera has the lost on his record, but the lost actually belong to the relief pitcher.

But it was a good series.  Anytime the Orioles win a series it’s a good series.  Even better when it’s a team from the East and glorious when it’s the Yankees.  6-3 for against the Yankees is good.

Next up Boston.  Let’s hope the caliper of plays continues. As I said in one of last weeks posts, this team is fun to watch again.

So far so good in this series against the Yankees. It’s been two wins with the Yankees only scoring a total of two runs in their games. It would have been a little bit sweeter if the Orioles had scored a few more than 7 runs.

Not to mention one of these wins was against the Yankee Saviour Roger Clemens and the other against the Pettite. Even if they happen to lose tonigh, it’s still been a good series. Now winning 3 against the Yankees would sure make it a great series.

On another note, it’s nice to see Brandon Fahey be called up from the minors. I know his numbers haven’t look good there this year, but he did play with a lot of hussle when he was with the O’s last year.

And on an even better not, Dave Trembley is getting a tryout to be the next manager. The search for a new manager is off until at least July 31. I wonder if he could be the next Earl Weaver. Weaver was made manager in the middle of the 68 season and stayed until 82, and we all know what was done during that time. Maybe lightning can strike twice.

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