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  1. 25 points
    The beast is done. https://www.orioleshangout.com/2019/12/11/lukes-2019-rule-5-draft-preference-list/
  2. 23 points
    Today, Stan "the Fan" Charles and Press Box sponsored a luncheon with Dan Duquette at Padonia Station in Cockeysville. Yours truly was there, and I'll try to recap the event as best as possible. I didn't bring an audio recorder, so what I can give you is from my notes. Some of this you may have heard before. Dan mentioned that he used Harry Dalton's blueprint for the Orioles. Specifically, pitching, pitching, pitching and......pitching. He quoted former O's pitching coach, George Bamberger's definition of tendinitis, "the pitcher got smoked the last time out." Pitching is a "perishable commodity." Dan brought in some of the best pitching people available. Billy Castro, played for Bamberger; Rick Adair is very good with the veterans and developed Felix Hernandez in the minors. Earl Weaver was the "Godfather of Sabermetrics." He didn't want the other team's hitters letting him know if his pitcher was tired. Earl had a guy in the stands with a speed gun to keep track of his pitchers. Some teams are relying heavily on sabermetrics, while others, namely Atlanta's John Schuerholz (the best GM he has ever known) relies totally on his scouts. Dan likes to rely on both; it's a powerful combination. The difference in 2012 was the bullpen pitching. Buck had 5 or so pitchers he could go to in the bullpen with confidence. "We haven't traded any young pitching because we like them. I could have traded Dylan Bundy 15 times in the last week alone." Moving Tommy Hunter to the bullpen was another Bamberger type move. Back in the day pitchers got their start in the bullpen and worked their way to the bullpen. The whole bullpen is coming back. In the 1966 series, Davey had just faced Sandy Koufax and one of the batters after him asked him what kind of stuff Koufax had. Davey responded, "I don't know; I didn't see it. If I did, I know you couldn't hit it anyway." We have a core of guys up the middle. Wieters' RBI total has gone up the last three years and calls a fantastic game. AJ Hardy led all infielders in chances and is very dependable. Jones is a terrific 5 tool player. He does everything on offense, and everything on defense. Dan hopes one of the them will be the first Oriole in a while to have a 100 RBI season. They got lucky finding Miguel Gonzalez; "he stabilized the team." That was thanks to Fred Ferriera. He listed several players Fred found in his career including Vlad Guerrero. Tillman made adjustments in his pitching and did a great job. We still have Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman on the horizon. Chris Davis had a breakout year. During the famous Boston extra inning game, Chris Davis missed on his first two pitches, so Wieters went out to talk to him. Davis said he was having trouble with his two-seamer, and Wieters jokes he thought it was his four-seamer. Buck remembered Davis from the scouting reports when he was with Texas. He thinks Chris Davis can handle 1B in 2013. Dan also likes Betemit as a RH DH and Valencia as DH versus LHP. Valencia was in the running for rookie of the year in 2010. Alexi Casilla has better range than any other second baseman in the league and that includes that guy from NY (Cano). Machado really turned the interior defense from a liability to an asset. Next year, we'll have the core back and hope to resign Joe Saunders. The ballclub is pretty well set but they would like to add a middle of the order bat. One person asked him about Jones' continued lack of plate discipline and his role as clean-up hitter. Dan feels AJ is a number three hitter with Wieters as the #4 versus LHP. Dan feels that Buck will find a way to use both McLouth and Reimold in LF. Dan modeled his work in Boston from watching Buck with the Yankees. He credited Andy MacPhail with the Jones-Tillman trade for Bedard. Andy put a lot of the core elements in place. Dan called Andy to thank him and invite him to the playoffs, but Andy declined. Asked about LJ Hoes in 2013, Dan simply noted he's a local kid who did a great job in 2012. How about Adam LaRoche? Dan said he's Washington's isn't he. When the crowd told him he's a free agent, Dan joked that there's no such thing as a free agent. Everyone wants to see the team make a splash in December but he's wants a team to make a big splash in October. The best part? Well for me anyway, I was able to ask Dan a question about payroll. As you might expect, I noted how we should see at least another $10M from MASN depending on the negotiations with the Nationals, MLB is giving us an additional $25 million in 2014, and we just had a 20% increase in attendance. I continued, "the spin in the media is that Reynolds was in part a financial decision." Now if money is tight for 2013, when does he anticipate being able to spend more and maybe get payroll to $100 million? "So what's your question? When can we spend more money?" Yes, we have more money from operations and also from the industry coming in. He didn't see the benefit in discussing payroll in public. We need to be cost effective and one way to do that is through our farm system. Also, we have more than enough resources to have a competitive team year after year. On the way out, a man at the bar stopped me and thanked me for asking that question. He then said, "you had him, you should have gone for the jugular." I didn't want to do that, particularly in such a public meet and greet forum. The man, somewhat agitated by the team, insisted over and over that he would have hit him a lot harder, a lot harder. I was glad I went. You can't beat $15 for such an opportunity. Dan was very nice, very pleasant and approachable. I was able to get a picture with him, and have him sign a 2012 Camden Yards commemorative baseball. I told him I was impressed that before he decided to take the job, I read he went to pray about it. He mentioned that he went to the Shrine of St. Jude, close to the ballpark in Baltimore. We both know that St. Jude is the Catholic saint of lost causes. He smiled when I told him I think some of his prayers may have been answered. Finally, I told him I thought it was a bold move to bring up Machado, considering other GMs may have wanted to preserve his service time. "He was ready," Dan said. Note to the OH staff, if you could arrange for me to meet with Dan again, I'd be most happy to oblige.
  3. 19 points
    The Hangout will always be a politics free area. The question now is whether the Hangout will continue. It is something I've discussed with Michael and will sleep on as I consider all of the reasons why I want to take the time and energy to continue to support a sport that wants to be political. I support people of every race, sex, religion and sexual orientation. I have tried to make a place where none of that mattes, but now we exist in world that demonizes those of us who just want to celebrate what brings us together. I have a son who is a police officer now and I have to decide whether I can support a sport that glorifies an organization that hates police officers. An organization that has members/supporters who have shot and killed police officers for no other reason that they were doing their job. I was going to make a decision but now have given pause. I will take some time to hear from trusted sources and then make the decision I can live with. At the end of the day, I have to look myself in the mirror and be able to like what I see and know I'm doing what's best. I am trying my hardest to take my political opinion out of this decision but when baseball is forcing this upon us, I have to decide whether I can come to some kind of decision that takes many peoples best interest in mind. I respect so many people on here, but in these times, as a leader of this community and site, I have to make the final decision. Do I continue to provide a politics free place where people can focus on baseball? Does that help? Or am I supporting a sport that hates my son and everything I stand for? Without getting more political, there is so much more to BLM than social justice, and the fact that major league baseball doesn't realize this has given me major pause. All my life I've been about being as fair as possible to everyone I've met. I've hired and led people of all races, religion and sexual orientations. I've prided myself that I've never treated anyone unfairly due to any of those reasons. Now baseball wants to shove politics down our throats. In the past baseball has helped integrate this country by rightfully integrated baseball with Jackie Robinson and although it was just the first of many things they needed to do to be truly inclusive, it was a huge step in this country. Like MLK, Jackie Robinson was a true hero who fought against true racism within this country. Their fights and struggles for equality make them absolute American heroes. We are all better off because of their struggles to help this country get past true racist policies. Now, we have people who have hijacked "social justice" for political causes and major league baseball has decide to support this and I'm struggling with this decision. I will always be the first person to support peaceful protesting but it's clear that these same forces have joined forces with groups like ANTIFA to bring their political ways to the fore front while using "social justice" as a mechanism to hide behind. MLB has now chosen a side. They have decided they will choose the anti-police, the anti law and order, and anti Capitalism side. As someone who has served under this flag in hostile countries, I can not idly stand by while MLB not only allows, but celebrates those who kneel during our national anthem, the song meant to bring us all together as Americans. Notice, I didn't put a color in front of that term. There should be no color to being an American. But we have forces in this country that hate that term and hate this country, and now MLB is celebrating this in the name of "social justice". I realize I have strayed into politics in this post. But I wanted you to know all of the things I'm struggling with as I decide the future of this site. I want you to know that any decision that I make will not be in anger or because it was emotional, but because I ultimately had to do what I feel is right. I will realize that no matter what I decide to do their will be a group of people who will not approve. I hope at least you will at least understand where I'm coming from and understand why I decided to make the decision. Regardless, thank you for all of you support over the years.
  4. 18 points
    My thoughts on the five players acquired for Manny Machado including their ceilings, most likely, and floors. http://www.orioleshangout.com/2018/07/18/machado-traded-to-dodgers-for-five-prospects/
  5. 18 points
    Sometime you just don't know what to say or write. This is certainly one of those times. How do you make sense of someone like Mike Flanagan taking his own life? WBAL's Gerry Sandusky broke the story and then said, "Police did not immediately identify the cause of death, but sources confirmed that Flanagan took his own life "despondent over what he considered a false perception from a community he loved of his role in the team's prolonged failure." I'm not doubting the reporting or the source, but I'm not sure we can know for sure why Flanagan did what he did. It may have been several things. Unless he left a note or told someone why before he did it, no one will really know. I do know he had some other issues going on so I don't think it was all over the Orioles failures or his role or perception of the baseball community. But, I also don't think we will ever know for sure. It's sad regardless and I'm sure there's about 1,000,000 people who would have liked to have been on that walk with him to convince him otherwise. The saddest part in these kinds of situation is the nice things people say about you afterwards. If only the person could have heard these things before, maybe they would have had second thoughts. Flanny obviously got to a point where he didn't realize what he meant to so many people. Unfortunately, I think a lot of us do that in our own lives. We forget or don't say I love you, or I care about you, or I appreciate your friendship. It's only after they are gone that it hits you sometimes. I was lucky enough to have a few dinners over the years with Flanagan. He was always fun to talk to about the past, but the one thing that always came across was how much he loved the Baltimore Orioles organization. He wanted nothing more than to see the Orioles become winners again and I know it pained him to see the Orioles in such disrepair. I think he appreciated me for running Orioles Hangout and I think he knew we shared that common desire to see the Orioles become better. In the end I hope his life will not be defined by his death, but at the same time, I hope perhaps this ultimate act will somehow, someway encourage the Orioles organization to make some real change. A change that could bring the organization back to the ways that made Flanny fall in love with it in the first place. I know there's a ballgame going on up in the heavens tonight. Flanny will take the mound to the roar of the crowd. He'll look in for the sign and see Elrod Hendricks smile through his mask before putting down one finger for the heater. Mark Belanger will lean forward on the balls of his feet as Flanagan begins his windup. Cal Ripken Sr. will move to the top of the steps of the dugout to get a better look as Flanagan releases his fastball. As Flanny releases the ball he'll realize it was his heater of his youth, and as Wild Bill Hagy looks on with his feet propped up on his beer cooler in section 34, the ball will find the mitt after it passes the black of the plate. The umpire will yell, "Strike One," and 54,000 Orioles fans will jump to their feet and applaud. Flanny will look around and with a smile on his face, he'll know he's where he was supposed to be. Rest in Peace Mike Flanagan. We will always remember you. http://orioleshangout.com/blog/tonys-take/323/flanagans-death-is-painful-but-perhaps-hes-at-peace-now
  6. 17 points
    http://www.orioleshangout.com/2019/05/03/orioles-prospect-hot-sheet-april/ Article is up, feel free to promote any strong April performances I may have snubbed, there were a lot to choose from. Mason McCoy, Zach Pop, Ryan Mountcastle, Gray Fenter, Tyler Joyner are among the guys who didn't quite make it.
  7. 16 points
    No offense, I think you are way off base about what BLM represents. I will not go further except to say that it is not about hating police. Regardless I don't see folding the site as the answer. Hope you reconsider and we can move on.
  8. 16 points
    On a positive note this is the first positive contribution Mark Trumbo has made to the club this year!
  9. 16 points
  10. 15 points
    Cant say I'm thrilled with the offseason "upgrades" but it is what it is, I guess...Instead of lamenting though...I thought I'd share a little holiday cheer with a medley of my favorite singing impressions I performed on LA morning TV. Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday!
  11. 15 points
    There is so much I could say. But for now, I'll just quote from a thread I did on Frank's 75th birthday. A huge piece of my childhood died today.
  12. 15 points
    Seems like whenever I see nostalgic posts about the 2012-16 era, there’s all this good feeling about 2012 and 2014, but with 2016 all anybody ever brings up is Buck not using Zach Britton in the playoff game. But to me, 2016 was a really fun year that’s now very underrated. - We were coming off an 81-81 campaign in which we had to win our final six games just to reach .500, and those wins came against teams that had clinched playoff spots and didn’t really care. - We had lost Wei-Yin Chen in the offseason, and replaced him with Yovanni Gallardo, a move that was questioned by many. - We seemingly had signed Dexter Fowler to a very favorable deal, only to have the Cubs woo him away at the last minute. So, the mood that spring was pretty mixed. I wouldn’t say expectations were very high, despite having extended Davis and O’Day, traded for Trumbo and brought over the mysterious Hyun Soo Kim from Korea. But here’s what happened: - The team started off red hot, winning its first 7 games. Every time the team would sink towards .500 in the first half, the Birds would rip off another winning streak. In the first 77 games, the O’s had three 7-game win streaks and another stretch where they won 8 of 9. - The team was bipolar in July, suffering losing streaks of 5, 4 and 5 games sandwiching winning streaks of 4 and 5. - It looked like the team was fading away in August. It fell from a season high 18 games over .500 on July 25 to only 11 over by August 31. - But the team pulled it together in September, going 17-12 and finishing 7-2 and closing the year with series wins against Toronto and New York. It took until the final day to guarantee our spot in the Wild Card game and to learn whether we would play at home or on the road. Some of the individual highlights: - Zach Britton was unhittable, and went 47 for 47 in save opportunities. We needed every one to secure our playoff spot. - Mark Trumbo led the league with 47 dingers. - Matt Wieters, who ticked off a lot of fans by accepting his QO, had a bunch of very crucial, high leverage hits, including a game winning single on Opening Day, two homers in the regular season finale, and several other key hits in between. JJ Hardy got hurt on May 1, and Manny filled in very ably at SS for 43 games. Hardy returned and played very well the rest of the year, his last productive season as an Oriole. Manny was a stud all year no matter where he played, and had a great year at the plate. - Hyun Soo Kim was an on-base machine all year, and had a really critical pinch-homer in the 9th inning of Game 158 that turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead that Britton held onto in the bottom of the 9th. That homer arguably saved our season. - Dylan Bundy was forced into the roster and pitched very credibly despite his minimal MiL experience. He had a jaw dropping relief appearance where he struck out 7 in 2.1 innings and topped out at 98.5. He was inserted into the rotation eventually and highlights included a 7 inning one hit shutout. - Trey Mancini got a late September call-up and hit a homer in his debut with his mom watching, and two more in the next three games with his family in the stands. - Chris Tillman had an outstanding year but got hurt down the stretch. Improbably, Ubaldo Jimenez, who had been banished to the bullpen, was reinserted into the rotation and the team went 5-2 in his 7 starts, posting a 2.45 ERA and finishing with a masterful 6.2 inning one-hit shutout in critical game 159 against the Blue Jays. - Kevin Gausman was masterful over the last two months, posting a 2.83 ERA in his final 12 starts. He won the playoff-clinching season finale, allowing only 2 runs in 7.2 IP. For me, it was a thrilling, roller coaster season with many team and individual highlights I’ll always remember.
  13. 15 points
    The Orioles will be interested in free agents this winter but only after the markets sets itself and we only have the leftovers to dig through? I for one am shocked and don't think I've ever seen such a strategy employed in the history of this franchise! This changes everything!
  14. 15 points
    I think we all need to get over it. Politics and sports, especially baseball, have always been intertwined. Throughout history, forever, and it always will. From MLB's historical exclusion of black players, to its co-mingling with the United States military and government overseas (Read an excellent book Called The Empire Strikes Out (it is not necessarily a critical view of baseball during the age of American Imperialism but merely a "hey this stuff happened and it kinda explains why the Caribbean is nutty for the game.") Baseball and politics have always intermingled. What happened the night before last in Boston to an Orioles player is an entirely germane topic for an Orioles messageboard. And shying away from uncomfortable conversations only goes on to allow systemic and wrongheaded ideas to continue to be perpetuated. Perhaps if more people weren't so unnerved by having adult conversations about uncomfortable topics then there would be fewer Boston chuckleheads (trust me I have far more choice terms for them but I respect the language rules here) harassing not just Adam Jones but others in their day to day lives. Now, this is an Orioles sports messageboard and it is not appropriate to randomly open a thread discussing the finer points of race theory and intersectionality as it applies to the modern world. But this was a fairly specific and remarkable event considering the responses that came from Orioles ownership, Red Sox ownership, MLB and the MLB PA as well as stories and comments from other players around the MLB. Adam Jones and this issue was the center of the MLB world for a day, and shutting down any valid conversation about that over an arbitrary rule feels wrong. Pretending it didn't happen when this board is consiered basically THE place for Orioles discussion and one of the most popular and recognized fan communities is simply a disservice.
  15. 15 points
    This is my story. As some of you may or may not know (not sure if I mentioned it before on here,) I am a police officer in Baltimore City. Yes, I was there for the riots. Yes, I did the 12 hour shifts right by the CNN famous Penn North location, for 7 straight days. Lucky me. In December of 2015, I was severely hurt in an accident while going to help another officer in a fight. Hurt enough to be out of work for several months at the time. That is when Workman’s Comp started screwing me around. When you are used to a routine, getting up, getting ready, putting on gear and realizing that each day may be the day that someone you are talking to or someone you might not even see comes up behind you and kills you, or tries to take out you and your coworkers, and now that is taken away and the doctors and insurance adjusters in your case feel like you are faking your injury, when you wake up everyday in more pain than the last, fighting just to have some semblance of a life, it wears on you. Sitting at home, doing nothing, can only go so far. Luckily, that is where Frederick Keys baseball, and eventually Austin Wynns, comes into play. From February to June, I was a complete wreck. Phone calls. Appointments. Therapy. Pain. Pain from moving. Pain from standing still. Pain from sitting. Pain from being painful. Doubting what was going on, doubting if I was even really injured, and replaying what happened over and over and over again. Thinking “what if.” In late April, I walked down the little grassy hill on the first base foul side in Nymeo Field (Frederick Keys) towards the Keys bullpen. The same hill I had spent the several years playing on when I was a kid. I had been to several games before this during the season and had started having some favorite players. One was Wynns. I was never much of an autograph person, but I walked down and saw him and Jonah Heim warming up. I ended up getting both of their autographs. Then, about a month later in Bowie, Wynns was there, having just been called up earlier that day. I was the only one that recognized him and ended up saying “hi” to him and having a short conversation, mainly a “congrats on getting called to Bowie” and a “good luck.” At this point, I was still living a surreal, living nightmare. The pain was increasing, I was losing movement and the doctor that the insurance company had given me was less than caring. Work only cared about why I wasn’t back at work yet. No matter how much I told the doctor that his treatments weren’t working, all I could hear was “oh well. You’ll have to live with it.” In my job, that would mean I wouldn’t HAVE a job. Regardless, I couldn’t just sit around the house. My self-prescription was more baseball. Further trips. Hello Norfolk! At this point, I figure a longer drive to a different state and stadium would help clear my mind. Setting out at a lovely 4 am for Norfolk, I was intent on making it to a blistering hot 12:05 PM game. I arrive right before the gates open and get an alert on my phone. Austin Wynns had been called up to Norfolk the day before. I walk in and there is only 1 player on the field at this time, stretching and getting ready in the scorching stadium. Too tired to notice the pain and heat, I made my way down towards the field and called out to him. He stopped and came over. “Hey Austin, did you steal my schedule or something?” “Nah, the Orioles might have, though.” We chat for a bit and end with the usual “congrats on getting to Norfolk and good luck.” He drives in the only run of the game. The 5 hour drive back actually seems to go by quickly as things seem better. Not but 2 weeks later, several things happen. Wynns comes back to Frederick, Jonah Heim is traded away, and Wynston Sawyer gets injured. Wynns is now the starting catcher for Frederick during a time that, whether by fate or coincidence, Frederick is the team with the most home games that week. By this point, Workmans Comp has stopped with the payments, the job has been sending me to their doctor, who is sending his “reports” to HR, which in turn sends me a letter that tells me I can’t do my job, so it might be time to leave. I’m still fighting to find a doctor that will listen and treat me, instead of dismissing me because they are being paid by the insurance company. Coworkers have stopped even checking on me, I’ve been ignoring family and friends because I feel like no one really cares. I miss some games because of appointments and a general apathy to wanting to go out or even be around people. Finally, I get the stubbornness to go to another Keys game, as the drive up 70 is soothing. Wynns is starting, as he is the only catcher on the roster at the time. Mercedes hasn’t yet packed his bags from Delmarva and Zack Kapstein appears to be a player only on paper. I head back down the familiar hill again, slightly hoping I slip on the slope and crack my head open on the rocks nearby and can finally get the medical attention. Instead, I make it down safely as Wynns is putting his gear on. This time, he speaks first. “Hey man, haven’t seen you in a bit. Everything ok?” Maybe it was a long day. Maybe it was the “everything ok?” Maybe it was the childhood version of me popping out, giddy. Whatever it was, I explained to him about my job and my injury as he stretched. He could have easily just have ignored me, or cut me off, or whatever. Even when the starting pitcher came out, Wynns waved him off for a bit to listen. He added some words here in there, thanked me for what I do, then walked over to the fence, shook my hand and said “keep me up to date and I hope things go well for you. Good luck.” With that simple act, the weight of the world seemed to fall off. I’m not an emotional person, but I damn near broke down right there. For the first time in months, it felt like someone cared. I would love to say that he hit a home run that night. It was actually 2 weeks later and I got it. During the next few weeks, I would talk to him and keep him up to date as things finally seemed to be progressing. Then, in the middle of one game, I got a call. New doctor, new test results. Come in and schedule the surgery needed so I could get my normal life and career back. I told Austin on the concourse and got another handshake and a “you’re a great guy. Keep doing you and you’ll get through it just fine.” Also got a bat from him that night and I gave him one of my business cards. He got called up to Norfolk the next day. We ended up friending each other on Instagram. Didn’t think much of it, but was happy. Then, moments after surgery, the fiancé took my picture of me in the hospital bed, sling and all, and all hooked up, with me giving a barely coherent thumbs up. This picture ended up on Instagram. While waiting in the car for the fiancé to get my medicine, I got an alert that someone had liked my picture. The person that had been kind to me all season when he had no obligation to be, who gave a few words of encouragement that seemed to take the weight off, the person who seemed to be in the right place at the right time, liked the picture. A very small gesture, but after everything I had gone through, it meant (and still means) the most to me. That is why, no matter what, I will always root for him. Whether it is with the Orioles or with another team, I will be there for the first game he plays. He earned a fan for life, for being himself.
  16. 15 points
    These extensions are HORRIBLE ideas. Showalter is 56, Duquette is 54, both on the wrong side of 50. Past their primes, both are bound to regress. Showalter is on a walk year after coming off injuries that required 2 surguries. Duquette is being extended after a career year in team win turn-around numbers, and he wasn't even playing in the majors the previous year. I doubt if either is going to be worth their salaries in the last 2 years of their contracts. They'll be albatrosses around the neck of this franchise for years. After all, we're a mid-market team. We can't afford to trhrow our money around on contracts that don't pay according to the proper dollar-per-win equation. We obviously are paying them for past performance instead of what we think their future performance will be. Let's just hope one of them can extend their career by DH'ing. Does anyone know if either one cost us a draft pick?
  17. 14 points
    All these posters were in the game thread in the 16th inning. Kudos to them! maybenxtyr 0’s84 spiritof66 Finisher (justified his name) Tony-OH (hey, it’s his job!) Hallas OFFNY Spl51 Enjoy Terror Moose Milligan (but slept through several innings) LA2 (yeah, but it was 5:20 pm in South Korea!) Honorable mention to Chavez Ravine who fell asleep in the 15th inning in front of his TV. Can of corn did a drive-by shortly after the game ended, and I’m not sure if he was actually watching or not. Me? I went to sleep in the middle of the 4th inning with the score tied 1-1.
  18. 14 points
    First, thanks for Tony for letting me post this on the site. I found this in Roch's blog yesterday. Please read this site and consider a donation to this cause that will help Former VP of Baseball Operations Jim Duquette's little daughter.. http://www.active.com/donate/stepforwardmddc/PDuquet1 This is a great way for the Hangout to help..... As a group can we donate $1000 to this cause????? More???? I'll start the ball rolling with a $100 donation!!!!! Thanks and Blessings, BB
  19. 13 points
    Hopefully they at least let Elias take down that picture in Dan's old office.
  20. 13 points
    Below is a message I sent to Tony, and he suggested that it might be a good topic for the Hangout Club thread. A brief bit of background - I was born when Eisenhower was president, and became a first time father 5 years ago. Believing in efficiency, I went the 'let's go with triplets route.' Three boys later, we found that out that each of three is severely autistic. Though we didn't know it at the time, when we moved to Florida from Pennsylvania, the town we relocated in is home to a university with a tremendous autism clinic, which provides services for a varied clientele, including the son of a famous college and NFL quarterback. Well, what follows is an email I sent to Tony about what a kind, generous thing Weams did for our family. Tony and Weams have been so supportive, and it means the world to me. They are good, good people, in my humble opinion. Hi, Tony. Just wanted to let you know about a really, really decent thing Weams did for our family. We wanted to see if we could take the triplets to Tropicana Field, and hang out in the outfield area to see the Rays and Os. Naturally, we were concerned whether the autism would cause any heartburn on the Rays' stadium staff. Michael went out of his way to get in touch with the Rays' special services group via the Orioles' staff, and was most successful. Between Chris Martrich with the Os and the Tampa folks, they were phenomenal. Last Saturday, the Rays put us up in an area in the stadium that had a great view, but was accessible with the strollers we had to use with the kids. That in and of itself would have been a lifetime memory, but that was the beginning. The Rays gave us passes for batting practice (the Trey Mancini friends and family were there in full force), and it was just a great experience. The batting practice area, lights and sounds were a little overwhelming for 2 of the 3 kiddies, so mom took them to their seats. Big mistake. Chris comes over to talk to me, and asked how things were going. Next thing I know, Buck Showalter trots over to talk to my son Nicky and me (as Nicky tried to play with the Orioles patch on Buck's jersey - not the best thing to do less than 18 hours after Ubaldo's Friday night start). I am in shock, and Buck could not have been more kind or gracious. Lifetime memory, now enhanced. But that's not all. Chris trots over with baseballs for each of the triplets, autographed by Jim Palmer. Lifetime memory, on steroids (sorry Brian and Raffy). I know you are a busy man, and didn't want to bore you, but just as you did with getting us in touch with Monica Barlow in 2012, and Weams in 2017, you have done miracles for my family. I am very grateful. Best regards, Richard (HbgOsFan)
  21. 13 points
    Went to see the Bay Sox play in New Britain CT tonight. Awesome game, sorry to see Bowie come up just short at the end. But what my family and I will take from the night was a display of generosity from Henry Urrutia. Set up... I bought 4 tickets for this game, specifically the 4 seats immediately to the left of the Bowie dugout. I wanted to be able to show support for the O's prospects, and sit in a place that I had never sat before, with the ability to see into the good guys' dugout. More setup... Bowie had a rough start, but we cheered loudly for them, and they definitely noticed and appreciated us. Brandon Waring tossed one of my 13-year twins a ball after he recorded the last out of an inning (and she now has such a huge crush on him!). Gary Kendall tossed my other twin a foul ball, and we were all thrilled. On to Henry Urrutia... he definitely noticed how much we were cheering for him and his team. Even made eye contact and smiled at us a few times. But he also noticed a family behind us, especially this little 4-year old boy, who had been asking his dad if he could have a ball, even asked for a bat. Finally, Urrutia caught a fly ball to end the 8th, and while running in from RF, my daughters and I managed to catch his attention, wildly waving and pointing to the little boy behind us. Henry basically walked right to the railing, and flipped the ball to me, which I immediately handed to this boy, who just about smiled so big his face came off. We yelled "thank you" to Urrutia, and thought that was that. We sit back down, I glance into the dugout, and notice Urrutia went back into the clubhouse. He emerged about 20 seconds later, game bat in hand, walked up the side dugout steps, and motioned for me to take the bat. Now I don't know what you would have done, I know I thought for an instant about keeping the bat (how many people can say they were handed a game bat from a Cuban defector?). But I had a feeling that Urrutia intended the bat for the young one behind us. I turned around and handed the bat to the little boy and his dad. They just about jumped out of their skin. The look on the boy's face was just so happy and pure and good, it just made us smile and giggle. I turned back to the dugout, and Henry had a smile on his face, he winked at me, then went back to his business. Fantastic memory for everyone involved. Definitely a huge Urrutia fan moving forward. What a great way for him to show appreciation to fans. (Oh, and it looks to me like Henry can flat out play ball)
  22. 12 points
    How about a "letter", signed by all participants here, directed to the appropriate executive in the O's organization (with copies to Mike Elias and any other relevant high-level decision-maker) detailing the rationale for the Orioles organization recognition and support of the Orioles Hangout? I'm confident that there is sufficient talent among the readers and posters of OH to formulate a successful appeal.
  23. 12 points
    Adley, a man of pedigree, a disciple of Pat Casey, from humble Oregon Roots, and by the way, a pretty good ball player. Baltimore, you have been blessed. Embrace him. Oregon's gift to Baltimore.
  24. 12 points
    Just texted a friend who is a Yankee fan, "O's take 4th in a row, but all against rebuilding teams." 🤣
  25. 12 points
  26. 12 points
    Hey Rick, nice to see you join the boards! I'm a big fan of your restaurant, and I have would probably have fond memories of the 1983 World Series if I was alive then. Best of luck on any future interviews in the warehouse.......I'm sure this 3rd (or is it 4th?) time it will finally happen for you!
  27. 12 points
    Good God, one awesome season and it's like Sons of Sam Horn around here when the slightest bit of adversity comes our way. This is how you deal with a losing streak? This is how you react? If anything, this fan base should have an iron stomach after getting kicked in the nuts repeatedly for the previous 14 years leading up to the 2012 season. And this is how we're reacting? One losing streak doesn't wash away everything that was built over the past year. Yes, the starting pitching is depleted but if you want to look at something positive from yesterday, at least Freddy Garcia gave us a strong start. Davis is still mashing. Nick looks like he could be heating up again. Sack up and remember how things used to be. This is how you react when JJ has lost his groove? Man, I know who I'd want in my corner if I was in some trouble and it's not many of you.
  28. 12 points
  29. 11 points
    Well, good for Tom Davis. He's been a steady presence on Orioles broadcasts for years. He's got a job, he does it well. I think I've told this anecdote before, but my favorite Tom Davis memory was back on the HTS days. I had to be about 10 or 11 years old. Anyway, watching the game, it goes to commercial. And Davis was portly back then, certainly not the big man he is now. So they're running the commercials and someone at HTS made an error and threw it back to the studio for about one second when they weren't supposed to, they were supposed to run another commercial. But during that second you could see Tom Davis behind the desk reaching into a bag of what looked to be Roy Rogers, and doing so very excitedly. At age 10 I could spot a Roy Rogers bag from 200 yards. Anyway, it quickly went away and they played the commercial. Then they threw it back to the studio when they were supposed to and Davis was there with a big grin on his face, kinda hoping no one saw that. It's one of the enduring mental images of my childhood.
  30. 11 points
    Yeah, not sure where you are coming from here. Neither Gausman or Schoop are Bedard level players. Although I would have liked to have seen at least one impact guy gotten in return, neither player's value was going to much higher than they are right now. Let's face it with Gausman. He's really a #4 pitcher, maybe #3 at best. He'll pitch better in the NL because they only have to pitch to 7 major league hitters out of 9 in the lineup (#8 guy gets waked a lot in order to pitch to the pitcher) but he was not going to be a guy you extend so might as well move him. As for Schoop, he has major red flags for plate discipline and his range will only diminish as he gets older. I loved watching Schoop for the Orioles, but he was free agent next year and if the Orioles want him back after next year he'll be a free agent and they'll have money to spend (not saying they would do it). Let's face it, MacPhail made one great trade with the Mariners for Bedard. I think the Orioles got a decent return for the two considering the fact that Orioles fans probably value Gausman and Schoop more than the rest of baseball.
  31. 11 points
    I was 13 years old when the Orioles beat the Phillies in the 1983 World Series. I still remember watching Scott McGregor make that pitch and Cal Ripken making a two-handed catch to finish off the series. In my lifetime, the Orioles had never had losing record, and in fact won less than 90 games only three times, two of which were strike shortened years (1972-1981). If you go back to 1966, the Orioles had appeared in six World Series, won three, and made it to the playoffs in eight of those years. A big part of that was the "Orioles Way" The Orioles Way was real as players learned it from the time they were signed, through the minor league and onto the big league team. Everything from how to take leads, make cut offs, work counts in order to get on base (working a walk was encouraged), and to "Work Fast, Change Speeds, Throw Strikes" was taught to everyone. "Perfect practice makes perfect" was a Cal Ripken Sr. motto that they lived by. The overall belief was that hard work, professionalism, and a strong understanding of fundamentals were the keys to success at the major league level. The Orioles never had the highest paid players or signed the best free agents, but they won year and year out because the Orioles were a synchronized cohesive organization. They had great managers and coaches, many of which would go on and manage elsewhere. Heck, my High School coach Harry Lentz was a "bird dog" scout and friends with Cal Ripken Sr. and he taught us the Orioles Way at Northeast Highschool! Despite the fact that our high school rarely even put kids into college baseball, we were always in the running for County and sometime state Championships in in 1991 the school won a "National Championship" under Lentz. Why? Lentz and Coach Kohlhafer were great coaches, but we were taught and used the "Orioles Way". In fact, I truly believe my knowledge and love of baseball to this day was cemented by the Orioles Way. In 18 years under the "Orioles Way" (1966-1983), the Orioles did the following: .588 - Winning Percentage (1168-1168) 17 - Winning Seasons 0 - .500 seasons 1 - Under .500 Season 6 - World Series 3 - World Championships 8 - Playoff Appearances 8 - ALCS appearences 8 - Division Championships The Orioles eventually would go away from the "Orioles Way" as Earl Weaver retired and Cal Ripken Sr. was fired. They started trying to fill voids with second class free agents and their drafting and development started to go downhill. In the last 35 years since that World Series, the Orioles have done the following: .475 - Winning Percentage (2612-2879) 11 - Winning Seasons 1 - .500 season 22 - Under .500 seasons 0 - World Series 5 - Playoff Appearances 3 - ALCS appearences 2 - Division Championships Now I know you can't really know when the Orioles way stopped being taught, but many feel when Cal Sr. was fired so did the Orioles way, though the way the team was being built certainly had changed before then. Regardless, until the Orioles can find someone to lead them that will once again instill an "Orioles way" throughout the organization, this organization will remain the dysfunctional mess it's been for most of the last 35 years.
  32. 11 points
    A conversation had begun to stem in another thread about Joe Jordan's hitters from this year's draft, so I felt it was better served to bring it to the forum as its own thread for better discussion. Out of the 50 rounds, only 19 of them were used for position players. Out of the 19 selected, only 12 of them signed (Devin Harris the only one inside the top 25 that didn't sign) Jordan has 12 hitters that he selected in the draft that signed. 2 - Catchers 1 - 1B 1 - 2B 2 - SS 1 - 3B 5 - OF C - Justin Dalles - .212/.255/.263 in 40 G, 8 2B, 16 RBI, 29% CS He batted .324 with 15 HR, 47 RBI, 7 2B at South Carolina. The 8 doubles shows some gap power and that he'll need more strength to translate that into HR's professionally. C- Michael Ohlman - .500/.500/.750 in 2 G, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 50% CS High schooler I know a lot of people were clamoring for us to sign. Small sample size to judge. 1B - Tyler Townsend - .129/.211/.247 in 22 G, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB Batted .434 at Florida International with 24 HR, 77 RBI, 16 2B. He has legitimate power, but he had a wrist injury not long after he started playing. I'm not judging much from this year since a wrist injury, even minor ones, seem to take people's offensive games away from them. 2B/3B - Tyler Kelly - .274/.364/.326 in 52 G, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 3 SB Batted .307 at UC Davis with 4 HR, 40 RBI, and 20 2B. He's been splitting time between 3rd and 2nd (33 to 14) and has walked more than he has struck out (28 to 24). SS - Mychal Givens - yet to play He won't play until next year in a game, but we'll all be watching him. SS - Michael Mooney - .219/.305/.301 in 39 G, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB Batted .306 at Florida with 2 HR, 24 RBI, and 6 2B. He's never displayed much speed and he has been splitting time between 2nd and SS (31 to 12). His light hitting mold is coupled with solid defense as he's only commited 1 error at 2nd in 136 chances. 3B/1B - Mike Flacco - .269/.323/.420 in 56 G, 13 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 6 SB Batted .399 at Catonsville with 14 HR and 51 RBI. A little older for a JuCo player but that's due to his back injury a few years ago. He's displaying a lot of XBH power with a respectable average. He's splitting time between first and 3rd (31 to 23). OF - Steve Bumbry - .233/.358/.379 in 36 G, 6 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB Batted .283 at Virginia Tech with 10 HR and 40 RBI. He started off in a terrible slump and spent some time on the DL. He has since started to adjust to minor league pitching and is batting .257 in his past 10 games. OF - Kipp Schutz - .256/.348/.322 in 36 G, 5 2B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB Batted .392 at Indiana with 5 HR and 34 RBI. He's a contact guy that hits for average without much speed. OF - Michael Planeta - .298/.329/.415 in 55 G, 11 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 6 SB Batted .332 at CC Glendale of Arizona with 18 2B, 10 3B, 41 RBI, and 1 HR. He stole 4 bases as well. OF - Kyle Hoppy - played 1 game and did not reach base The 3rd positional high schooler taken by the O's. He hit .551 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in his senior season for Orchard Park High. OF - Brenden Webb - .182/.357/.242 in 10 G, 2 2B, 1 RBI Batted .342 at Palomar CC with 8 HR and 40 RBI. --- While he is not a drafted offensive player, I feel I should include him since he is doing so well as a non-drafted free agent. 1B - David Anderson - .279/.394/.448 in 47 G, 11 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 34 RBI He batted .377 at Coastal Carolina with 21 HR and 82 RBI. He has walked more than he has struck out (32 to 28) and has spent all his time in the field at first. Overall, some of the top picks are not hitting for as much average as expected, but with the small sample size and kids playing over a 100 games for the first time in their careers that can be expected. Kelly, Anderson, and Planeta have been the best offensive performers so far with a little left in the season. It's not time to judge any of these draftees, but there are definitely encouraging signs. I'm not at all worried about Townsend, and I expect him to have a solid season next year. Along with the rest of the power hitting prospects, they will have the winter to bulk up and condition for a full season of wooden bats which will give us a much better reading on where they are. I'm pretty happy with what I see, and I hopeful of their continued growth.
  33. 11 points
    I knew this was gonna happen. I thought it was gonna happen before OD, but then I thought maybe (just maybe), you could refrain from having a tantrum about AM until after that. 'Guess not. This is the crux of it right here. For all your talk about how the franchise sucks from top-to-bottom, and how it needs to be fixed accordingly, you don't actually believe in rebuilding it. Instead, you want the fast-food version: Go thru the drive-thru window, make a bunch of trades... and voila! It's done! It's SG's one-winter McDeal Meal, based on the 99-cent menu of players other teams don't even want. Face it, SG, your standards for making deals are just way too low. You don't know the difference between rebuilding and making McDeals, so you're eager to settle for crappy deals, just to make deals. We have three example of this already, in the short time that AM has been here. Exhibit A was Wieters. For all your talk about "buying low", you said that AM should give Boras "$10 million...$15 million...whatever it takes". AM got it done for $6 million, and without a ML contract. Who was smarter about that, him or you? Seems to me that he was a lot better at "buying low" than you were.. Exhibit B is the Erik trade. For all your talk about "selling high", you said AM should be happy to take Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman, and just make the trade. Fortunately for the rest of us, AM wasn't happy with that, and didn't settle for it. Which is exactly how we also got Butler and Mickolio. Tell me, SG, do you think they're trash? Do you think neither one of them has a potential upside? You think AM was stupid to get them for the exact same price that you were willing to pay for a lot less? Or was it a good thing that he didn't do what you wanted? Who was smarter about that trade, him or you? Seems to me that he was a lot better at "selling high" than you were.. Exhibit C is the BRob trade. Looking at how he thinks, and based on nothing else, I figure he wants Pie, a pitcher or two, and Cedeno. I don't know, but that's what I think. Does he need to get those guys? Beats me. Probably not. But evidently he needs to get more than the iffy, marginal spare parts the Cubs were offering, guys who they don't even really want. Good for him. I'm glad he hasn't signed on to the McDeal Meal you want to settle for. Look, unlike you, he's not gonna make trades just for sake of making trades. He's got OCD, not ADD. He's not gonna be rash and crazy, he's gonna be thorough and methodical. Anybody can see this in the guy, just by looking at how he does things. If this is a surprise to you, then you've spent your time doing things other than paying attention. He's already told us what he's gonna do. He hasn't spoken in code. He's said it out loud, and in Plain English. There's no mystery to it. Here's what he said: This is not a quick-fix kind of problem. He didn't realize it at first, but once he got here and nosed around, he discovered how much work needs to be done. He's gonna do this right, and that means fixing things from top to bottom. There's big holes in lotsa places, and not all of those holes are just in the young-talent department either. Given the scope of the problem, the soonest we can be expected to contend is 2010. He didn't say to print-up the 2010 WS tickets. He said 2010 is the *soonest* he expects us to contend. He's gonna do this in stages. The first stage is to build a solid foundation of pitching and defense. By implication, that means he's gonna focus first on reducing how many runs we need to score in order to win, and concentrate on increasing production later. Whether you like it or not doesn't matter. The first batch of explicit short-term goals was to stock up on young P's, fix the BP, and improve the D. That's what he said he was gonna do, that's what he's done. In addition, it appears that he targeted the OF as something to fix. It's been an issue forever, and he's got it looking good too, even though he never promised to do that. So, to review, he's done what he promised to do, plus he also appears to have maybe fixed the OF... which is *more* than he promised to do. Meanwhile, back in the world inside SG's head, AM is somehow being a dope because he hasn't pursued a 1-year rebuild. Which is nuts. It's impossible to do a 1-year rebuild. Nobody in the entire history of baseball has ever done that. But you insist that it't not only possible, but quite do-able. Which means one of two things: Either you're just way, way smarter... and not just way smarter than AM, but also way smarter than every GM who ever lived. Or else you don't have a friggin' clue about what rebuilding actually means. Which one do you think is more likely? If I gotta choose between trusting him or trusting you, here's the choice I see: Either I can trust a guy who grew up with GM-ness in his blood...who's grandfather basically invented the whole idea of a farm system...and who's father built the O's into the best franchise in baseball in a way that lasted for decades after he left...a guy who's already got 2 rings of his own... and who said that coming back here and fixing the Baltimore Orioles was his Dream Job.. and who has already done *more* in his first 9-months on the job than anybody I can think of... Or else I can trust the message-board poster who's never once called a trade that actually happened, who repeatedly wants AM to "buy high" and/or "sell low", and who's upset because we're not making McDeals to get rejects from other teams. I'm voting for the guy who has shown me that he actually knows how to "buy low" and "sell high"... not the guy who makes empty claims about it, but then knee-jerks every chance he gets to do the exact opposite of those things. This ain't fantasy baseball, SG, this is the real thing.
  34. 10 points
    Without access to Baseball America, I compiled rankings from MLB Pipeline (MLB.com), Keith Law ($), and ESPN ($) to create a Composite Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects list. Reminder, the O's first four picks are #'s 2/30/39/74: Wrong thread... mods feel free to move it to the Amateur Draft forum.
  35. 10 points
    We probably can just leave this as a running thread to chronicle the 2019 season.
  36. 10 points
    The Orioles claimed Jack. I guess I wasn't so crazy after all. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/01/orioles-claim-jack-reinheimer-designate-austin-brice.html
  37. 10 points
    Amid a season that sees the club potentially facing a historically bad season, an old, familiar feeling has begun to permeate throughout Orioledom. What began as whispers of a coming ownership transition, grew a bit louder with the hiring of Oriole legends. It then grew louder still after Dan Duquette's multi-layered conference call, speaking on a new plan for the future of the organization. Manny and Zach were then traded for seemingly solid returns, and it grew louder still. Things were/are in motion... whispers have become rumblings, and maybe it's just the thunderstorms raging over the area, but I think it's more than that. With other trades seemingly coming down the tracks, and with today's discussions of making a play for top International talent, Victor Victor Mesa, the positive (and long overdue) need for change seems well underway. The hope is that these whispers and rumblings will grow into loud applause... a show of sincere appreciation. In the meantime, I'm getting an old, familiar feeling: Joy in being an Orioles fan. For me, that has been a long time coming.
  38. 10 points
    Think they'll know it was us?
  39. 9 points
    There is some sentiment that Maikol Hernandez could end up being one of the better prospects in this J2 class. He is just not as polished as some of the higher ranked SS’s. A 6-03 175 lb. SS, who gets some comparisons to Correa and ARod for his smoothness, arm and power potential. Mostly a line drive hitter, gap to gap, at present. And Basallo is the highest rated catcher in the DR. A LH hitting catcher at 6-03 200 lbs, he has a very strong arm and a power bat. There is some concern that he outgrows catcher down the line. There are a few more signings around the level of the highest ones in 2019, bonuses in the the $400k plus range. One is a LH power hitting corner OF, the name escapes me at the moment. The first two generally rank in the top 30-35 in BA and MLB. Overall, from what I have read, it is a well regarded class with the top group being their best prospects in a long time to sign internationally. And that is BA’s Ben Badler and the MLB guy, Jesse Sanchez, saying that. If that is bargain bin stuff, sign me up. Koby Perez has stated that next year’s class is going to be where they make a big splash as most of the top guys have been committed for two years. I think they have done an outstanding job establishing relationships and credibility thus far.
  40. 9 points
    After a long, gloomy winter in which I have exuded realism about the Orioles’ near term future, spring training has arrived and I am growing more optimistic daily based on the incessantly positive remarks coming from Brandon Hyde, Doug Brocail and a litany of players. Lord it makes me happy! The hell with realism, there will be plenty of time for that later!
  41. 9 points
    Surprised his shadow didn't have him on "Ignore."
  42. 9 points
    His “spin” rate isn’t very good...
  43. 9 points
    We had a dude once named Villar. He was @Roll Tide's favorite star. He hit for the cycle, played 162 But Mike said Easton Lucas would do.
  44. 9 points
    I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone here a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the opportunity I have been afforded by @Tony-OH and @weams to contribute to the Hangout with my writing. I also am thankful for all of you who have checked on and read the work all season long. As all of the responses to Tony's thoughts on his future and the future of OH show, this is a strong and passionate community of Orioles fans who support the team and value the exchange of opinions and thoughts this site provides and that is something we all should be thankful for. I thank all of you for your support and wish you all a wonderful day spent with family and friends. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
  45. 9 points
    The fact that Luke is the only person I've ever allowed to really affect the rankings and allowed him to have his take on every profile speaks to how highly I think of him. I enjoy the back and forth with him and he's been a great add to the site and hopefully for many years to come!
  46. 9 points
    He's 8-for-23... what else do you need? He sooooooooo hot that his average went up 70 points last night. For Jonathan Villar to do that he'd have to go 10-for-6 tonight. That's unpossible! It's good that he turned it all around yesterday, because on Sunday it went down 55 points, and I have to think he was on the verge of being released.
  47. 9 points
    Yeah, Frobby has been polluting this board with that "levelheaded, responsible" crap for way too long now. Makes it hard to get a good torches and pitchforks mob started.
  48. 9 points
    I met Merv Rettenmund about 2002-2004 at John Rubinow's "Pro Ball Camp" at the Padres facility in Peoria, Arizona. It was basically whole bunch of us never-weres and has-beens playing in the MSBL trying to up our game with major league coaches. Merv asked why I was an O's fan, and I told him I was 9 years old in 1971 when I saw him play in Tokyo, Japan (My dad was in the Navy). Turned out Merv and I lived fairly close to each other in San Diego, and we stayed in touch. He even came out and was the "bench coach" for one of my teams' MSBL games. When I saw this thread, i emailed him the original post, and he called today. We talked about the O's of that era, and his career. He gave me permission to post the below. (And told some stories I won't post!) Merv's a great storyteller, and talks fast. I was scribbling notes as quickly as I could... - In 1970, when Blair got drilled, Merv wasn't playing much, but was hitting bullets, and only had a .226 batting average to show for it. But (to the best of his recollection) he was near the top in homers on the team. Earl was very loyal to his vets. When they got back to Baltimore after the beaning, Earl gave a newspaper interview, where he called out Merv, saying "we can't have .226 hitters in there". After the beaning, Merv got some regular playing time and put up monster numbers the rest of the year. in the world series that year, he had a +/- 17 pitch ab against Tony Cloninger, and got knocked down. A few pitches later, he drilled a opposite field HR. He thinks it was part of the reason the Reds later traded for him. Note: Jack Tatum, who drilled Blair, was scared as well, and it affected him deeply. 1971, He had the most AB's of the outfielders, FRobin was getting older, Buford's knee was problematic, and Blair was playing scared. Merv was the fastest and best hitter of the bunch at that time. He said even when he would take a bad swing, it seemed like everything was falling in. (High BABIP) Side story: When the O's would be in Fenway or a couple other ballparks, and taking BP, the opposing pitchers would run by and say to Blair stuff like "got one for you today, Blair", an intimidation tactic. One Red Sox pitcher would keep a list of numbers written in his hat, and if the situation permitted, he would drill the hitter, then walk up and stare down at him. 1972: "I had a [crappy] year. Was not hurt it was all mental, and never got it back" There was a strike that year, and when the season started he said he was out of shape, and could never get it going, the whole team seemed to get old at the same time. He tomahawked a homer off John Hiller to straight away center at the Old Tiger stadium, and Earl Weaver told him to start pulling more and hitting more homers, which was not his game. 1973, Had spurts of hitting well, but Bumbry showed up and was the real deal. Merv said Bumby was fastest he saw until Bo Jackson. Baylor grew into left field. Merv also severely bruised his sternum somewhere along in here, and said it hurt like hell. 1974, (Cinn) He was playing center field when Hank Aaron hit his 714th to tie Babe Ruth 1975, (Cinn) Was supposed to be in a platoon with Griffey Sr., George Foster, and Cesar Geronimo, but they only faced a couple lefties through first 30 games. And George Foster hit a monster home run that opened eyes, and he became the regular left fielder and never looked back. He said he felt great that year, and had high hopes, but played little. Misc: Earl Weaver was a stathead, and was an early adopter of matchups on a game by game basis. Merv enjoyed playing for Earl. Not sure of the year, but there was an Old Timers game at Shea stadium, the O's vs. Mets, a 1969 reprise. Merv showed up and Earl asked if he could play. Merv said, "Sure, if you can get me a hip replacement". Earl says "Good, cause you're hitting 3rd", and Merv told him, "Hell you wouldn't hit me 3rd when I COULD hit!" When Petco park opened in San Diego, the first time Pittsburgh came to visit, he met the Pirates general manager from 1971. (Joe Brown), and Joe Brown told Merv he was in the meetings where they discussed a shift against Merv. Pirates SS Jackie Hernandez was playing up the middle in the 2-1 game, and Merv hit a hard ground ball up the middle, right at the waiting Hernandez for the final out of the 1971 series. He said he could be off a bit here or there in some of the stories, he said it all kind of blends together these days. He's 74, and has a couple of kids he works with as a hitting instructor in San Diego, but will soon retire from that and travel more. Cheers, Kyle
  49. 9 points
    I see a lot of people have read this topic, but no one has commented. That's O.K., most if not all of you didn't know who he was. I did. While I didn't know him well enough to call him a friend, the life he led had an impact. Rob was the "worship leader" who graced us with his talent most Sunday nights at our church in Timonium. What stands out the most to me is what he did outside the church. Rob co-founded the Cool Kids Campaign dedicated to helping kids who were, or had been, cancer patients. Some of the well-known advisors to the campaign are Brooks Robinson, Scott McGregor, Ken Singleton, Kimmie Meissner, and Bruce Laird. As we all know, cancer is an insidious disease. 34 years ago, it claimed my mother, and my father twice had cancer before he died. In some way, I bet most of you has known someone who has fought it. To me, kids with cancer, is the greatest sadness of all. Rob wanted to make a difference in those lives. His father was a baseball hero, but what Rob did made him a hero in many lives as well. Rob Belanger fought a hard battle with cancer for a couple years, but earlier this year, the inevitability of the end was certain. There was no more that could be done. Knowing that, it would be easy for one to give up, and withdraw. Instead, up until two weeks ago, there he was, using his music as a gift to worship the Lord. Prayers go out to his wife, daughters, mother and family and friends. Thanks to Weams for posting this notice.
  50. 9 points
    I hereby declare my respect for whoever chooses to take the high road and stop participating in this nonsense, no matter what "side" they're on.
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