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35 Short Season A-Ball

About WillyM

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  • Birthday 2/2/1949

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  • Location
    York County, PA
  • Favorite All Time Oriole
    Willy Miranda

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  1. The Eastern League has announced that, beginning this season, it will go to a split-season format. Instead of waiting until the end of the season and having the first and second place teams from each division make the playoffs, the schedule will be split into two halves, and the winners of each half from each division will make the playoffs. If the same team finishes first in its division in both halves, the second playoff qualifier will be the one that finishes in second place on a full-season basis. The end of the first half will end on Tuesday, June 18 and the second half will begin on Wednesday, June 19. Apparently this will be the case regardless of whether all teams have played the same number of games by June 18 or not. I'm wondering about the case in which a game gets postponed during the first half and the two teams are not scheduled to meet again until the second half. Traditionally, they would just wait until the two teams got together again and then play a doubleheader. I don't know if they will do that with a split schedule. If they do play a makeup of a first-half rainout during the second half, will the result of that game count in the standings for the first half or will it count in the standings for the second half? Or will they just not bother to make the game up at all?
  2. I would think that in the regular season, this game would not count as a loss. Rather, it would have been suspended, since the Orioles, as the home team, did not get to finish their at-bat in the inning in which the visitors took the lead.
  3. I attended only one in 2018, the last game of the season. Being there allowed me to realize how much I'd missed it. In recent years I've generally attended three per season. I hope to get back to that this year.
  4. The Orioles' Sept. 6, 2012 game against the Yankees was featured on MASN's Orioles Classics the other night. This was the game in which the Orioles took a 6-1 lead into the top of the eighth, only to have the Yankees score five times to tie it, 6-6. Then the Orioles proceeded to score four in the bottom of the eighth for a dramatic 10-6 victory. One pitch in particular left me wondering if there was some sign-stealing going on. The Yankees had two runs home with two outs in the top of the eighth. Eric Chavez was on second base, Curtis Granderson on first, and Russell Martin was the hitter. Pedro Strop threw a good slider on the first pitch and Martin swung and missed for strike one. Strop then fired a fast ball with plenty of steam on it, right down the middle. Martin made no move to swing at it. It should have been strike two. But as Strop delivered the pitch, Matt Wieters, who had evidently called for another slider low and away, shifted to his right and began to move his glove over to where he expected the ball would arrive. He tried to adjust at the last instant when he realized it was coming in straight, but the ball went off his mitt and his chest protector for a passed ball. The plate ump, apparently distracted by Wieters' movement, called the pitch a ball. Wieters went to the mound and conferred with Strop after the cross-up. Strop then threw another good slider and Martin swung and missed for what should have been strike three, but because of the missed call, it was only strike two. After that, Strop lost the strike zone. He ended up walking Martin, then walked the next batter to force in a run and gave up a two-run single to Ichiro Suzuki to tie the game. If the second pitch to Martin had been called a strike, the inning would have been over after the third pitch. The Orioles would have gone on to win, 10-3, and the game would never have been remembered as being so dramatic as to be labeled an Orioles Classic. I have to wonder, though - why would Martin, already down in the count 0-1, have been taking all the way on a fast ball down the middle? Surely he didn't want to go down 0-2. Unless Chavez read Wieters' sign better than Strop did, and somehow signaled Martin that the pitch was going to be a slider low and outside.
  5. I played two years of baseball for my high school. The school wasn't big enough that they needed to cut anybody - if you went out for the team, you made the team, although you didn't necessarily play very much. I really wasn't good enough to belong on the varsity, but they put me on the varsity my senior year, rather than have me take playing time away from a younger player on the JV team. I had only two at-bats that senior year. On one of those at-bats, I came up in the last of the seventh when we were trailing by six runs and the coach gave me the bunt sign. Of course, the bunt was the last thing the other team was expecting in that situation, so I beat it out for a base hit. I can claim that I finished my varsity career with a .500 batting average.
  6. It seems like we've been complaining for the entire 21st century about how hard it is for the Orioles to contend in a division featuring perennial powerhouses like the Yankees and Red Sox. So, when I saw this thread, I thought that this year's World Series champions would serve as an excellent counter-example to the proposition that a team needs to lose for three years in order to win the Series. Surely it's been a long time since Boston has had three losing seasons. Well, the last time they had three losing seasons in a row was 1992-94. But to my surprise, I found that, although the Red Sox won 93 games in both 2016 and 2017, they had losing records in three of the four years from 2012-2015. The only year of those four in which they had a winning record was 2013 - and they won the World Series that year. If the Orioles want to prep themselves for a world championship by losing for three years out of four, I won't complain too much if they bring home an odd championship somewhere in the middle.
  7. You're absolutely right. I had completely forgotten that Carter ever played for the Orioles.
  8. An article on the Orioles' website notes that a committee called the Today's Game committee has submitted a list of 10 nominees for the Hall of Fame. These are separate from the Baseball Writers of America list of nominees. I thought it was interesting that, although only one of the ten (Davey Johnson) played the bulk of his career for the Orioles, five of the other nine also appeared in an Oriole uniform at one time or another. Those five are Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Lou Piniella (who appeared in four games as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner), and Lee Smith.
  9. WillyM

    The 1916 Red Sox

    The thread about this year's World Series started with a post featuring the cover of the program for the 1916 World Series between the Dodgers and Red Sox. After the conclusion of the Series, with people saying that this year's team was the greatest Red Sox team ever, I took a look back to see how they might compare to those 1916 Sox. It immediately became obvious that the two teams just can't be compared, because the style of play has changed so much. 1916 was still the dead ball era, so the home run statistics are vastly different. Those 1916 Red Sox hit a grand total of 14 home runs for the entire season. The Yankees led the American League with a total of 35 (the Cubs led the National with 46). Three players tied for the Red Sox club leadership in home runs with three apiece. One of them was a pitcher named Ruth. The other two were center fielder Tilly (or Tillie) Walker and backup first baseman Del Gainer. To give you an idea of how baseball changed when it came out of the dead ball era, six years later Tilly Walker hit 37 home runs for the Philadelphia Athletics, more than the whole Yankees team had hit to lead the league in 1916. Walker didn't win the home run title in 1922, finishing second to Ken Williams of the Browns, who hit 39. Walker's former teammate, the Babe, who had hit 54 in 1920 and 59 in 1921, missed about a quarter of the season in 1922 and wound up with 35. One other note about 1916 - the man who led the American League in home runs that year (with 12) was Wally Pipp of the Yankees - the same Wally Pipp who was taken out of the lineup nine years later to give a start to a young guy named Gehrig - the first of 2,130 straight games in which Gehrig would be the Yankees' starting first baseman.
  10. What would a Red Sox - Dodgers World Series be without an ex-Oriole? Brooklyn Manager Wilbert Robinson played for the Baltimore Orioles in three different leagues, the American Association, National League, and American League. He finished his playing career as player-manager of the Orioles for the final three months of the 1902 season, before the club moved to New York in 1903.
  11. I really thought Houston could knock the Red Sox out, but obviously I was wrong. The Red Sox played back-to-back five-games series against two teams that each won 100 or more games this season, and went 8-2 in those games. You've got to give them their due. That was impressive.
  12. I also want to express my appreciation for Buck's work. After the way he brought the team back into contention after all those years of sub-.500 records, he will never owe me a thing. I will also admit to being perhaps the only person in the world who thought Buck was making absolutely the right decision by bringing in Ubaldo Jimenez to face the Blue Jays in the bottom of the 11th in the 2016 wild card game. It has been almost universally forgotten that Ubaldo had pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball against those very same Blue Jays five days earlier. Maybe Buck could have brought Britton in instead of Jimenez. Maybe Zach would have held the Jays scoreless in the 11th, and the 12th, and goodness knows however many more innings it might have taken before the Oriole offense would have scored another run. Then again, maybe he would have gotten lit up real quickly and the Orioles would have lost the game anyway. But I'm sure Buck knew that whatever move he made would be second-guessed if it didn't work out, just as John Gibbons knew it as he managed Toronto in that same game. It goes with the territory of being a manager. Of course, all the moves Gibbons made worked. His Jays won that game. And now he's an ex-manager, just like Buck is.
  13. No, I don't. I moved to the Philadelphia area in the 1970's and to York County, PA in 1995. I still live in York County. But when I arrived in York County and discovered that I had access to Orioles telecasts on MASN's forerunner, Home Team Sports, I thought I'd arrived in heaven.
  14. I grew up in upstate New York, in the Albany area. A lot of people were Yankees fans, but there were Red Sox fans, Giants fans, and Dodgers fans (this was the mid-1950's). So there wasn't any one team that everybody rooted for. My father subscribed to Sports Illustrated magazine. In either 1955 or 1956, when I was six or seven years old, SI's preseason baseball issue included full-color pictures of all the major league teams' uniforms. I decided it was time for me to choose a favorite team. My favorite color was orange, so I looked to see which team's uniform included more orange than anyone else's. And the Orioles, with the orange script Orioles across the chest, with the little orange bird and the orange bill on the cap, were the clear choice. Some years later, I found out it was possible to order an Orioles cap by mail for 75 cents. I wrote out a nice letter, as professional as I could make it look in my childish scrawl, and got out three quarters to put in the envelope with the letter. Then I put a stamp on the envelope and hurried to the mailbox to send it off to Baltimore. And when I got back home, I found my three quarters still sitting on the kitchen table. I had forgotten to enclose them with the envelope. The Orioles sent me the cap anyway. I wore it proudly for many years. Considering the number of times I've gone to Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards in the ensuing years, I'd say sending me that cap was a pretty good investment for the Orioles.
  15. I'm planning to go to Sunday's game. It's not definite at this point that it will be Adam Jones' last game in an Oriole uniform, but I want to be there in case it is. I'm going to feel somewhat like I felt 42 years and one day earlier. Who knows what the Orioles' starting pitcher in Sunday's game will be doing seven years from now? If anybody is curious about what those last two sentences are referring to, check the Sept. 29, 1976 post on the Orioles History board.
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