I’m guessing that a claim was probably filed against Elias and the Orioles for pension fraud (possibly by the agent of a coach on the staff that didn’t get the pension benefits), but since MLB approved Holt before the season as one of the 4 coaches designated to receive pension benefits, that’s why this is a non-story. The quote from the MLB spokesperson said Holt received prior approval from the league and shared it with the MLBPA, so the only possible explanation is that the MLBPA is challenging Holt’s approval since he wasn’t a full-time uniformed coach this year, and that is likely what this botched article by Bill Madden is attempting to convey. Even if a charge of pension fraud was filed by the MLBPA, or the agent of a coach separate from the MLBPA, it sounds like it’s dead in the water because MLB released a statement saying Holt was approved and there is no ongoing investigation that could result in discipline for Elias/Orioles.
Simply put, Bill Madden did a piss poor job of reporting this accurately, and tried to connect it with the Astros, which is why the article lead with “Ex-Astros” and “fraud” to get readers to click on it. In reality, all Madden had to do is verify the story with MLB, like our local beat writers did, and he would have been told that this is a non-issue because Holt received prior authorization from the league to receive pension benefits, meaning this was not some covert, fraudulent attempt by Elias to get Holt on the pension plan without going through the proper approval process. That’s why most of us thought from the very start that this story didn’t pass the smell test, and now we know we were proven correct in that assessment.
I prefer Valaika as well. I don't think Wilkerson is a a good major league player, but as I said, he's a decent guy to have in the system.
I think Urena will get first shot to stick as the everyday 2B, but Valaika could be in the running for sure.
Elias has brought in different technologies that are supposedly used to help evaluate players as well as help them improve. They used those vests, those devices on the knobs of the bats and Statcast.
What I'm saying is that Elias may want to take a look at what they missed with Yaz. Clearly his development or lack thereof was not on Elias' watch, but he brought in these technologies and they apparently did not indicate that Yaz had the potential to do what he's done.
I also clearly stated that I never had Yaz on any of my lists so you can take the smart ass "What did you miss?" comment and keep it to yourself because that's disrespectful. I don't have nearly the access that the Orioles have on all of his data (Data was collected on AAA players in 2019 and available to the teams) so the question becomes, why did Yaz show nothing and then with some quick changes with SF coaches he becomes an impact player?
If I'm Elias, I want to know the answer to that.
I also clearly showed that Elias's record of bringing in similar players to a Yaz has been pretty dismal.
When you take the two together, I think it's fair to ask the question what did they miss? If you don't fine, but at the end of the day, Elias gave away an impact player for nothing and has acquired none in two years. those are facts that can't be denied no matter how much you wanna wear orange colored glasses.
Today's guests were Kenny Roby (of Six String Drag). His song "Silver Moon (for Neal Casal)" was his video contribution. We also had a Zoom conversation with him. Neal Casal was slated to produce his latest CD The Reservoir in some West Coast sessions in the summer of 2019, but Casal's untimely death (suicide) put a change in those plans and Roby regrouped in Woodstock NY and finished the album there.
Paul Messinger (a big Orioles fan - he wrote a song the O's used for promotional purposes in the early 90s), is primarily known as a blues harmonica player. But for this appearance, he did an unusual poem only accompanied by his flute. His somber solo piece "I Can't Breathe" is as moving a piece of art as we've had on our 17 episodes. His Zoom interview was very poignant as well. He tragically lost his 21 year old son about 12 years ago and he reflected some on how he someone managed to continue as an artist, while observing how my own family was marked by tragedy yet unexpectedly found a way to move forward with music. I'm stepfather to my two girls, ie my bandmates in Secret Monkey Weekend. They lost their Dad when they were 4 and 9, respectively.
We take Sunday November 1st off for my birthday. Then we return for our season finale on Sunday November 8th at 4pm Eastern with producer - recording artist Mitch Easter (R.E.M.'s first two albums) and drummer - songwriter Will Rigby (The dB's and Steve Earle & The Dukes), a friend of our family.