« July 2004 | Main | September 2004 »

August 2004 Archives

August 1, 2004

J Hairston, CF?

My "coming-real-soon-now" research articles on the Orioles are in a perpetual state of construction, reconstruction, and redaction, so to keep this blog from sinking into total paralysis I'll add my thoughts on Jerry Hairston's move into center field yesterday.

This was a surprisingly bold and creative move for manager Lee Mazzilli and rest of the Oriole braintrust. It was spurred in part by the injury of Luis Matos, which led to Karim García, Larry Bigbie, Tim Raines Jr., and Darnell McDonald taking turns in center for the Birds over the last two weeks, with none showing the ability to handle the position both offensively and defensively.

Continue reading "J Hairston, CF?" »

August 2, 2004

Bird songs revisited

ESPN.com, arguably the Internet's best (and unfortunately, most bloated) source of general sports information, has posted a Page 3 feature on the at-bat songs for every American League team, including the Orioles. Songs for all MLB teams are to appear in the near future.

The topic of player-selected intro songs came up in an April post here, and the ESPN.com page adds a few more to that list, along with a couple of song changes since then:

Brian Roberts: "Shake It Fast" by Mystikal
Miguel Tejada: "Hit 'em Up" by TK
Rafael Palmeiro: "California Love" by Tupac
Jay Gibbons: "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World
B.J. Surhoff: "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits and "Evenflow" by Pearl Jam
Jerry Hairston Jr.: "Hot in Herre" by Nelly
John Parrish: "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes
Eric DuBose: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Buddy Groom: "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive

Other teams' selections reflect a high proportion of recent popular hits, including a healthy dose of hip-hoppers and hard rockers. Many Latin-American players select music from their native culture. Some players specifically request that no music at all be played before their game entrances.

A few observations:

Ex-Oriole David Dellucci, an Italian American outfielder now playing for the Texas Rangers, chose the theme to The Godfather. Lee Mazzilli must like this guy.

Another guy who once toiled in obscurity for the O's, Seattle manager Bob Melvin, is allegedly a master at identifying rock tunes. Now if only he could figure out how to turn around that team he's managing...

August 11, 2004

Orioles in the media: The Sun

Note: This is part one of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media.

Publication name: The Sun (aka The Baltimore Sun to avoid confusion with other papers with "Sun" in the name)

Beat writers: Roch Kubatko, Joe Christensen

Columnists: Peter Schmuck, Laura Vecsey, John Eisenberg

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • if a game was played, one game recap about 24 column-inches (800-900 words) long
    • one team notes story 600 to 900 words in length
    • brief recaps of Oriole minor-league affiliates
  • Weekly:
    • "Orioles Focus" column on Sundays
    • minor-league notes column, usually on Mondays
    • Orioles-related opinion columns appear irregularly during the week
  • Other:
    • bite-size opponent scouting report appears before the first game of each series
    • feature-length articles in the "Orioles at 50" series have appeared infrequently this year

Print edition rates: newsstand $0.50 Mon-Sat, $1.66 Sun; subscriptions are cheaper, depending on the package

Print circulation area: Baltimore City plus counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard

Web page: http://www.baltimoresun.com/

Link to Orioles coverage: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/

RSS feed of Orioles coverage: http://baltimoresun.com/templates/misc/blogxml.jsp?slug=/sports/baseball

Web site notes: Pre-final drafts of Orioles news stories appear on the web site the night before being published in the print edition. The final versions appear online at about 4:00 a.m. on the day of publication. Free registration is required to access most stories and some areas of the site. Stories are archived on the site for two weeks. A fairly active Orioles bulletin board is also linked to the site. Stats and box scores on the site come from The Sports Network, which supplies the basics but doesn't offer nearly enough detail to satisfy the statheads.

Archives: Articles since 1990 are archived electronically by the Newsbank and Proquest services. The Sun's web site offers paid access to the Newsbank database, but free access is usually available from Maryland public libraries. Articles prior to 1990 can be viewed on microfilm in libraries throughout Maryland as well as at the Library of Congress in D.C.

Corporate ownership: The Sun is owned by the Tribune media conglomerate, which counts among its assets the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday. An account on the Sun web site will also work on other Tribune news properties, and vice versa.


Continue reading "Orioles in the media: The Sun" »

August 15, 2004

Orioles in the media: The Washington Post

Note: This is part two of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media. I must admit to some potential for bias here. I am more familiar with the Post, which has been my main newspaper for years, than I am with other news sources. So it is not surprising that I have many things to say about it. However, I will try to be as objective as possible in my analysis. —tbw

Publication name: The Washington Post

Beat writer: Dave Sheinin (with occasional substitutes)

Columnists: occasionally Thomas Boswell, and more rarely George Solomon and William Gildea

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • one story about 24 column-inches (~900 words) long containing a game recap (if a game was played) and team notes
    • brief recaps of area minor-league affiliates, including Bowie and Frederick
  • Other:
    • Orioles-related opinion columns and features appear infrequently

Print edition rates: $0.35 Mon-Sat, $1.50 Sun

Print circulation area: The District of Columbia, plus the following:
In Maryland—counties of Charles, Montgomery and Prince George's.
In Virginia—counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, plus the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.
Also available on newsstands in many major cities nationally.

Web page: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Link to Orioles coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/sports/baltimoreorioles

Link to local minor-league baseball: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/areaproteams/minorleaguebaseball/

RSS feed of Orioles coverage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/leaguesandsports/mlb/baltimoreorioles/rssheadlines.xml

RSS feed of Boswell columns: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/columns/boswellthomas/rssheadlines.xml

RSS feed of local minor-league baseball: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/areaproteams/minorleaguebaseball/rssheadlines.xml

Web site notes: Free registration required to view current articles, which are archived for two weeks. Game recaps are posted within hours after the game ends, although stories may not be finalized until after that. Rudimentary stats and transaction information are provided by SportsTicker. A sparsely populated and difficult-to-navigate forum is also available.

Archives: As the Post is one of the nation's most prominent newspapers, its archive is accessible from nearly everywhere. The paper's web site offers a free search portal to its archives, although you will have to pay to view the articles. Those archives are managed by ProQuest (modern full-text archive since 1987; historical archive from 1877-1987). Less-comprehensive archives are also maintained by other services, many of which are subscribed to by businesses, universities, and public library systems. They include Lexis-Nexis Academic (articles since 1977), Newsbank (1977-), and Factiva (1984-). Microfilm versions are also widely available.

Corporate ownership: In addition to the Post, The Washington Post Company owns Newsweek magazine, El Tiempo Latino, the educational brand Kaplan, and a host of smaller media properties, including regional papers and television stations.


Continue reading "Orioles in the media: The Washington Post" »

August 18, 2004

Cust's last stand with the O's?

(Note: The media series will resume soon.)

Onetime hot prospect Jack Cust, a 25-year-old hitter for the Orioles' Triple-A Ottawa farm team, has had a hot and cold season at the plate: a huge and prolonged slump at the start, followed by a gradual recovery climaxing in a hot July, then lately another big falloff in production. As of Tuesday night's game his batting line was .240/.359/.449, not horrible but well below his career averages.

Now, a story in the Washington Post indicates that his stay with the Oriole organization will almost certainly end after this season, when he will become a free agent.

'It's Been the Worst Year for Me,' Says O's Farmhand Cust” (Washington Post)

Here are Cust's quotes from the story:

On the lack of attention being shown him this year by the organization:

“[The Orioles] have no type of concern for me.... I'm just playing for next year.”

“It's been the worst year ever for me.... It's the first year baseball hasn't been baseball for me. It's just coming to the field and getting a couple at-bats.”

On his decreased playing time in the field:

“I'm not getting any better. I'm getting worse. The whole rhythm of my game has been taken away just by not being able to do what I like to do. You can't always do what you want to do, but there can be a compromise.”

Referring to a visit to Ottawa by Oriole co-VP Jim Beattie in which Beattie never said a word to Cust:

“You [Beattie] could at least say, 'Hey, I know you've had a rough year.' Whatever. Say something. You're there for three days and you can't even show your face. . . . I don't care anymore.”

Continue reading "Cust's last stand with the O's?" »

August 25, 2004

Orioles in the media: MLB.com

Note: This is part three of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media.

Publication name: MLB.com; Baltimore Orioles' site may go by baltimore.orioles.mlb.com, orioles.mlb.com, or TheOrioles.com, all of which point to the same site

Beat writer: Gary Washburn

Columnists: none who cover the Orioles regularly

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • game recaps (about 800-900 words)
    • team notes (usually 800-900 words)
    • live game webcasts (Flash required); audio or video broadcasts require paid subscription
    • official box scores, statistics, roster transactions
    • audio and video broadcasts for subscribers
  • Other:
    • player features (usually 800-900 words)
    • team press releases provided by the Orioles' public relations office

Print edition: none

Web page: http://www.mlb.com/

Link to Baltimore Orioles front page: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=bal

Link to Orioles news coverage: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/bal/news/bal_news_index.jsp

Link to Orioles press releases: http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/press_releases/index.jsp?c_id=bal

RSS feed of Orioles news: http://mlb.mlb.com/partnerxml/gen/news/rss/bal.xml

RSS feed of MLB news: http://mlb.mlb.com/partnerxml/gen/news/rss/mlb.xml; feeds for other teams' news are also available on the site.

Web site notes: News stories are posted on the site within hours after games or other newsworthy events occur. Stories do not expire. Online features include a continuously updated scoreboard of all MLB games; current and historical statistics provided by Elias Sports Bureau, the official stat-keeper for MLB; schedule; team promotions; minor-league updates; team history; fan forum; community outreach; and a section for kids. Multimedia features are available, although game video and audio require a paid subscription. Other commerce-related areas are fantasy leagues, a memorabilia store, ticket sales, and ballpark information. And MLB.com is the only place to find MLB's official rules on the Internet.

Archives: A searchable archive of articles goes back to 1999. Search options are limited, and the engine is faulty in that it seems to list two instances of every matching article.

Corporate ownership: Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., is a spinoff company owned jointly by MLB's 30 teams. It was created in 2000 to concentrate on the distribution of so-called new media content related to MLB.


Continue reading "Orioles in the media: MLB.com" »

August 26, 2004

A few August thoughts

I hate to keep interrupting my media criticism series like this, but I don't want to go too long without commenting on the state of the Orioles. So brace yourself for some semi-random thoughts and observations...

Continue reading "A few August thoughts" »

August 27, 2004

Calvin Pickering, PCL—and now MLB—masher

To follow up on another favorite ex-Oriole of mine, Calvin Pickering was finally called up by the Royals on Sunday and hit three homers in his first two games subbing at DH for the injured Ken Harvey. Despite going homerless in the three games since, his batting line still reads .263 BA/.333 OBP/.842 SLG for a 1.175 OPS. This came after Pickering put on an awesome hitting display at Omaha of the Pacific Coast League:

2004 Omaha Royals Batting Statistics for Calvin Pickering
88 299 65 94 213 12 1 35 79 0 3 7 70 7 85 0 1 8 .314 .451 .712

Rob Neyer and Rany Jazayerli of the weblog Rob and Rany on the Royals express mixed feelings about Pickering's promotion. While they are glad that C. Pick is finally getting his chance on the big stage, they fear that it may be too late for him to make a lasting impact on the team. Years of watching the Royals' torturous mismanagement have imbued Rob and Rany with an instinctive pessimism, and they wonder if Allard Baird and the powers that be in K.C. truly recognize the value of Pickering's bat, given how long it took them to call him up and that it took the injury to Harvey (.747 career OPS) to force their hand.

There are quite a few similarities between Pickering, who got some pub here back in April, and Jack Cust, who has fallen out of favor with the O's this year. Both are powerful hitters with lousy defensive reputations who have gotten stuck at the Triple-A level. At 27 (he'll turn 28 in a month), Pickering is about two years older than Cust, but because Pickering missed a lot of games in the past due to injury, his minor-league statistics and Cust's through 2003 look like mirror images of each other. (Click the links above and you'll see what I mean; Cust walks a good deal more, but their rate stats and games played at each level are uncannily close.)

The two sluggers' fortunes have diverged in 2004, however, as Cust has struggled to find his swing for most of the year while Pickering has been locked in launch mode. Despite Cust's relative youth, I think that Pickering is the better bet to succeed in the majors, based on their recent performance. If the Royals let go of Pickering at year's end, he would not be a bad pickup for the Orioles—or any other team in need of a DH, for that matter.

About August 2004

This page contains all entries posted to The Orioles Warehouse in August 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2004 is the previous archive.

September 2004 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33