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April 2005 Archives

April 4, 2005

But at least we've kept a team out of Washington, right?

From an interview with baseball prospect guru extraordinaire John Sickels:

MN: Picture 2007: Matt Clement, Bronson Arroyo, Jon Papelbon, John Lester, Abe Alvarez. What do you think of that with run support that is slightly less than it is now in Boston?

JS: I think the Sox are well-positioned for the next few years, certainly. There should be some barnburner races with the Yankees, and heck, maybe even the Blue Jays and Devil Rays. The only team in that division that really has no chance to be interesting in the near future is the Orioles.

(Emphasis added.) Not that it takes an expert on the minor leagues to figure that out.

For openers

Ah, yes. Baltimore's favorite day of the year to play hooky has arrived. And what a splendiferous day it is. Nearly a century ago in his treacly timeless poem “Casey at the Bat” Ernest Thayer wrote, “Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,” and certainly there are no clouds to be found at Camden Yards this afternoon, where the Birds are opening their 2005 regular season against the Oakland Athletics. But a gusty wind is swirling, and Miguel Tejada had to dive to snare what should have been a routine popup by Nick Swisher. As I write this, Luis Matos has just put the O's up 2-0 with a home run off left-hander Barry Zito. Rodrigo López is making the start for the Orioles.

Update: The Orioles were victorious, 4-0, behind the splendid pitching of López and three relievers. Troublingly, Javy López left the game early with a sore back.

Continue reading "For openers" »

Whither the O's in 2005?

It's been a while since I looked at what others have been saying about the Orioles, so here are a few quick outside hits mixed in with my comments.

Virtually everyone is picking the Orioles to finish third in the American League East this year. That includes such widely read mainstream sources as The New York Times (write-up by Murray Chass) and The Washington Post. A few prognosticators have the O's pegged lower, and hardly anyone is willing to nudge them above Boston or New York.

While I'm not going to make any bold predictions, I will submit that the Orioles' chances of making the playoffs this year are better than they have been since the late '90s. Those chances are not high, mind you, just better. It would take a lot of good breaks and a regression by the Sox or Yanks for the Birds to make the leap to contention this year. Given the ascendancy of New York and Boston and the greater ability of those northeastern rivals to patch holes using their financial resources, it's hard to imagine the O's making the postseason in '05. But it's no stretch to say that the Orioles will be a competitive team in the context of the league, if not within their division.

Continue reading "Whither the O's in 2005?" »

April 13, 2005

Burning bridges before you cross them

How to win friends and influence people.
By Steve Kline

Step 1: Give up a couple of crucial three-run homers in your first week with your new team.
Step 2: Whine about how much you dislike your new team in your first week with your new team.

To be specific, first you should start with general grievances:

"I'm miserable," Steve Kline said. [...] "It's not what I thought it would be," Kline said, declining to address the negative specifics emanating from his brief time in Baltimore.
Then move on to pointing out how much better it was before:
But he said that among other things, he missed the "leadership" involved in playing for Tony La Russa and the Cardinals - "the way guys went about their business. I miss a lot about the guys in St. Louis. ... St. Louis always got me geared up to play there."
Don't forget to criticize your new teammates:
But both home runs came after defensive plays that could have been made. "Really stupid plays," Kline said, taking care not to assign blame.
(Editor's note: what exactly would assigning blame sound like?)
"I'm so used to (Edgar) Renteria and Jimmy (Edmonds) running down my mistakes and picking me up," he said, recalling his Gold Glove teammates with the Cardinals.
Oh, yes, last but not least: bash the fans.
"There's nothing worse than getting booed at home," Kline said. "St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people."

What exactly does that leave out? Spitting on an American flag during the anthem before the game? Punching Cal Ripken in the nose?

Kline's a good pitcher who had a bad week, his first week with a new team, and he's frustrated. (Although the column implies that his unhappiness isn't just because of his performance.) But doesn't he have a wife, an agent, a former teammate... somebody to whom he could vent -- anybody other than a reporter? Because somehow I don't think this is quite the right way for a player to convince fans to stop booing him. Or to get one's manager or teammates on one's side.

Sheesh. You'd think a 32-year old, 9-year major league veteran, would have a little more common sense.

About April 2005

This page contains all entries posted to The Orioles Warehouse in April 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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