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29 Short Season A-Ball

About NJBird

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  1. In my head-to-head fantasy league he has a TOTAL for the season of 7 points! He had 10 before tonight's game but lost 3 more points with his 3 strikeouts. As a point of comparison Manny is around 225 on the season. Just stunning.
  2. NJBird

    State of Overall Fandom

    As a lifelong fan of the Orioles, youth fan of the Colts and then the Ravens, and a fan of Terps basketball (never that into football) this is probably the most down I have been on all of "my" teams possibly in my lifetime or at least since the late 80s when the O's were terrible and MD was dealing with the fallout of the Bias death and of course no Ravens/Colts. It seems that all 3 "franchises" are kind of in a funk, malaise or just a pure state of mediocrity which is really strange and depressing. As an active reader of both the Hangout and Russell Street Report, there are constant posts by fellow diehards just looking for a winning strategy to get behind, believe in and ultimately get excited about. I am not trying to come up with answers here but it just kind of hit me as we get ready for Orioles' Spring Training without a lot of hope for 2018 that this lack of hope and excitement has creeped into all 3 "franchises" as I am not convinced any of them have given us a real reason to believe today that they have a long-term winning strategy. In the past while the Orioles might have been insufferable there was at least hope and excitement with the Ravens, Terps, etc. (and vice versa) but in general over the course of 12 months we generally had at least 1 team to root for which had a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. It made the down years easier to take as we could at least look forward to one of our other teams. As I see it today all three "franchises" are kind of stuck for various reasons and what we are left with is fan lethargy and I have to believe it makes many of us start re-prioritizing our free time. Instead of attending or watching the games we step away to a degree and the effect kind of snowballs to each franchise (and potentially across the "franchises") which has led to poor attendance which only seems to be getting worse. I am not saying the spirit can't be rekindled but without the genuine feel of "hope" more and more fans will become disenfranchised or fed up (look at the Ravens this year) and it is possible many of the fans never return. While that might be ok in larger markets where new fans can readily emerge, Baltimore is certainly more vulnerable given our smaller market size as there are only so many sports fans in the area.
  3. What really gets me bummed here (not saying worst season) is as a franchise I think we all believe in our guts this team does not have enough to win it all due to roster construction and this has been an ongoing theme over these last 5 years. Most fans would have been ecstatic to see a Verlander trade and you have to think the players would be too but instead we got nothing except Hellickson in July which is the same approach over these 5 years. So without the real moving the needle type of transactions and having a big picture type of vision we are left with a flawed roster. I would also argue that given our line-up with too many HR or bust type of players it also leads to not really compelling baseball to watch. At least for me watching the Royals of a few years ago where they would take a ton of pitches and play a lot more of small ball is more exciting to watch and probably more in sync with the fan base and would probably lead to better attendance. While we have some great players there is nothing more frustrating to watch the same flawed issues year after year, and when we do spend the money we keep spending it on the wrong players or at least at the wrong price which then exacerbates our flawed roster.
  4. Isn't it possible that Clevenger might be the best minor league bat we have and while he has an audition until Weiters return that our best offense could be carrying 3 catchers and dropping an OF or Pitcher once Weiters is back? Looking at our daily line-up with no power from LF/RF and virtually no quality bats from Davis our line-up is desperate for more hitters.
  5. Pure speculation...any chance Santana has verbally agreed with O's and to avoid any surprises Santana is insisting on a physical prior to any agreement. Last thing he wants is to agree to a contract and given some reports of elbow issues and O's history of tough physicals he can't risk a deal falling through and getting out that he failed a physical.
  6. NJBird

    MATUSZ at AAA-Norfolk

    As I stated in another thread - Yanks had same issue with Phil Hughes. What they did was a bunch of tests, including circulatory, and finally found out that Hughes was suffering from shoulder inflammation that he did not realize. Ultimately Hughes rehabbed in FL until he got back to his low 90s fastball and now is about to come back to Yanks as starting pitching. Why aren't the O's apparently doing same level of testing for Matusz? Throwing him right into AAA does not solve his velocity issue.
  7. I think the general issue here and what I was trying to bring up is the high quality, desirable free agents will most likely not be coming to the O's until we at least seem competitive in the AL East as most of these players still are competitive and if the money is the same or close to it they rightly pick the teams where they have the best chance of winning. We have all heard the issue of "confederate" money and the like with free agents. Realistically our future prospects look a lot brighter today than 2 or 3 years ago and maybe the best in 10 years but it is still probably not enough to win the AL East. To me it is going to take acquiring premium talent like Hanley which might start to change the culture, increase the odds of winning now and possibly attract other desirable free agents later on. To me we are stuck in the wait and see mode instead of pro-actively trying to create a winning product today as we have no idea what happens tomorrow with prospects and injuries.
  8. Kind of tired here of us constantly going after the older vet player or young project player. Was reading the NY Post today where they speculated Hanley Ramirez would be actively pursued by the Red Sox. My issue is why shouldn't the O's be going after an all-star SS only at 26 years old for next baseball season? Would seem to me to make too much sense. http://origin-nyp.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/red_sox_need_mending_xPL7Ky2WEDEuZ3BmggCBUO
  9. NJBird

    O's and Roberts no closer

    My question is what pending free agent stud have the O's been able to sign long-term since Ripken and Brady Anderson? In my mind the only player might be Mora who practically had to beg Angelos for a contract extension and not sure if he is a stud. (The other problem of course is we don't have too many young studs to even keep). For whatever reason which in my mind is not paying market and arguing over $1 or $2 MM a year difference we have seen Mussina, Ryan and Bedard go and now we are hearing again the same kind of contractual differences with Roberts and Markakis. One would think at some point the front office would learn to just pay the player from a pr standpoint and worry less about the money and more about acquiring more talent for the team and creating a positive/good-will type of atmosphere. I also think we keep underestimating the value of Roberts - not only does he fill a key position for us (possibly for another 4-5 years) but to replace him as a lead-off hitter is difficult as well.
  10. Just a few thoughts here: This is probably not the best analogy but I certainly equate what has happened in baseball with a strong labor union to that of the domestic auto industry. Labor rules the process and is out for short-term gains while the core product begins to rot away and nobody is empowered to do anything about it until it might be too late. Baseball's union has fought against salary cap, non-guaranteed contracts, etc. The NFL has figured it out and there is little wonder why it has become the #1 sport. Unfortunately for us O's fans we are almost resigned to being permanent underperformers as we are stuck with the Yanks/Sox. If we were in division with the Twins, As, Royals, etc. I think many of us would at least be a lot more optimistic that we would have a chance to compete for a division title (certainly does not hurt that we would only play the Yanks/Sox 8 or 9 times a year instead of 18!) Another thought is the blatant manipulation of the system being done by the Yanks. Not only are they spending the equivalent payroll as last year but now with the new stadium they can deduct their cost (I assume amortized over a certain # of years) to subtract or potentially eliminate any excess they might be over the salary cap so the weaker revenue clubs will even get less of any luxury tax re-distribution.
  11. NJBird

    Greene, Wilson, Renteria are out.

    Interesting aspect to me is the Cardinals feel the need to trade 2 pitchers for one year of Greene's relatively high salary instead of keeping Itzuris. So the Cardinals feel they are upgrading while we are kind of resigning oursleves that Itzuris is an upgrade over last year's SS which might be true but does not say much on creating a winning team with + players.
  12. NJBird

    The condensed version of yesterday

    But now we know it is being released tomorrow at 2 PM which is slightly different. I do agree it should not change things but I would think it has to.
  13. NJBird

    The condensed version of yesterday

    Isn't the delay with the Dodgers or any team for that matter probably partly due to the Mitchell report being released tomorrow at 2 PM? If you were a GM and trading for veterans there is very limited downside on seeing the outcome of the Mitchell report first to avoid the possible backlash which might occur if you just acquired players specified in that report. I know I would.