O’s FanFest 2010

Orioles FanFest 2010 was held this past Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center.  FanFest returned to January and the Convention Center after being held on the Saturday before Opening Day at Camden Yards.  Honestly, the Convention Center is a much better location for this event and that sentiment was echoed by the many fans that I talked to at the event, especially Season Ticket holders like me, who got in free (see ticket below).

  

 One of the highlights of FanFest are the Fan Forums that the O’s put together each year.  The forums for this year can be seen below. 

 

 

As a Season Ticket holder we get the opportunity to attend the State of the Orioles forum with O’s President of Baseball Operations Andy McPhail and Manager Dave Trembley.  Below you can see Andy and Dave on the stage with O’s broadcaster Jim Hunter.  By the way, last year they sat on top of the Visitor’s Dugout and the fans were in the box seats. 

 

 One of the neat bonuses of this forum and actually, of all fan forums, is the ability of fans to ask questions of the panelists.  Many of you know that I’m the father of Orangebird (otherwise known as Jordan) and of course Jordan had an excellent question for Andy and Dave. Below you can see Jordan standing next to mic man, as he was about to ask his question. 

 

 This question and Andy’s response were noted by the blog, Camden Chat in their posting about Fanfest:   http://www.camdenchat.com/2010/1/24/1267753/fanfest-2010-im-feeling-pumped  The pertinent excerpt, which refers to Jordan as BaltimoreSportsFan, is as follows:

“By the time I made my way downstairs to the main stage Dave Trembley and Andy MacPhail were on the stage giving the State of the O’s address. They addressed a lot of things, nothing earth shattering, and took questions from the audience. One question was from our very own BaltimoreSportsFan about the base running mistakes of 2009. McPhail and Trembley both loved the question and Andy told BSF, ‘When you get a little older, come see me about an internship.’ Then Dave gave the stock answer about not making mental mistakes. He also said that one backfield at Spring Training will be dedicated to base running drills, so we’ll see. “

 

After the forum we got a chance to talk to both Andy and Dave, both of whom reiterated what a great question it was and that it definitely is an issue of concern that will be addressed.  Andy very nicely agreed to have his picture taken with Jordan and his sister Lyndsay as you can see below.  Notice their T-shirts.

 

The next forum that we attended was the Welcome to Baltimore forum featuring Garrett Atkins, Mike Gonzalez and Kevin Millwood. We were able to speak with Kevin Millwood before the forum and get his autograph.  He was very unassuming and shorter than I thought he would be.  He had his attractive wife (gee, what a surprise) with him as well.

We also were able to chat with Mike Gonzalez, and pass on greetings from my good friend Jon Cooper who works the Atlanta Braves and MLB.com, amongst others.  Gonzo’s face lit up when I mentioned Coop and he more that happily signed our ball.  Coop said he was a great guy and from what I saw, I totally agree with him.  By the way, as you may be able to see, Gonzo looked like he was ready to go to a skate park afterwards.

 Additionally, Jordan got some great advice from Baltimore Sun columnist Peter ******* (that’s his real name) on what to do to prepare for a career as a sports journalist.  Peter also gave me the scoop that the O’s had signed Miguel Tejada to play 3B!!!  I guess he liked us or something.   

We then walked around a bit and did “something fun,” per my daughter’s request, then returned in time for the Hitters forum featuring Garrett Atkins, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis.  The attire they wore was quite interesting.  B-Rob was sporty casual, with a day’s growth of facial hair.  Nick looked like a transient bum with a very bushy beard and mustache (I hope Mrs. Markakis likes it).  But All-Star and Gold Glover Adam Jones was styling big time with a VERY nice dark suit featuring a matching tie and pocket square.  Joan Rivers and the style mavens on E! would be very impressed!!!

Well, as an equal opportunity Dad, I was able to fulfill my daughter Lyndsay’s wish to ask Adam and Nick her question at the forum, which was, “How do you hit home runs so far?”  After the place bust out in laughter, Adam replied by saying he didn’t really know, but when he squares up on a ball it flies out of the park.  Nick sort of just agreed with Adam.  I then did my best to explain what they meant to my very happy daughter. 

 

We also attended the Rookies forum, which featured last year’s stellar rookie class of Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.  This forum was absolutely jam packed and was by far the best attended.  All five of them were impressive and shared a lot about their experiences last year.  Jordan once again got to ask a question and this one was a lighthearted one.  He asked Brad, Brian and Chris if they had figured out where in their house they were going to put their Cy Young Awards!!!  Everybody cracked up!!  Then the guys basically said they hoped to get better and to have a healthy season first before they could even dream of winning any awards.  

As you may have notice above, Jordan was wearing his Matt Wieters Facts T-shirt.  Above is a fan wearing the orange version of that T-shirt. 

 

The event wasn’t all about baseball as you see below.  That is Lyndsay, the new captain of the Ravens Cheerleader squad with two Ravens cheerleaders. They were also signing copies of the Ravens Cheerleader’s swimsuit calendars, but we passed on that.

 

 Below are some shots of what the FanFest looked like.

 This picture shows the O’s retired numbers on the wall along with booths for the O’s Minor League Teams. 

This picture shows part of the kids’ area which included a bounce pit and a speed pitch. 

 This picture shows a panorama shot of fans milling around the floor.

This is Lyndsay getting her dyed Orange and White.

This is the end result of the hair dye (temporary of course) 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present Felix Pie, up close and personal.  He was signing for some fans prior to sitting down for the assembled rabble.  By the way, we were stunned by how many people pronounced his name like the math symbol Pi, rather than Pee-ay. 

Felix’s autograph  

And of course any FanFest wouldn’t be complete without a picture with The Bird!!!! 

 

Speaking of pictures, for a donation of $5 per picture for Haitian relief we got pictures with former O’s shortstop and current O’s Minor League coach Mike Bordick, who was surprised by the Miggi signing!!

 And we also got a picture with O’s pitcher Brian Matusz, who is a bit taller than me!!  It was interesting to compare Brian and Adam’s attire.  Brian looked like he wore a shirt he got at Target, while Adam looked like he was wearing an expensive suit.

In closing I can say that the place was abuzz about the O’s and that the sense of optimism about this year is very high.  I say its time for Oriole Magic to return!!!

http://www.myspace.com/oriolesmusic

 

LET’S GO O’S!!!!

 

CHAI 5!

It’s time to give the Orioles a great big Chai

 

5 for their current five game winning streak!!!

 

 

 

Let’s see how the Baltimore Sun’s “Ricig” views these wins!

 

Orioles 6, Mets 4

 

 

47580058.jpgOrioles 5, Mets 4

 

Orioles 7, Phillies 2

 

 

47619981.jpgOrioles 6, Phillies 5

 

 

47629743.jpgOrioles 2, Phillies 1

 

Let’s see if they can make it to 18 in a row!!! 

 

 

I didn’t know that Brooks could jump that high!!!

 

 

Whacko for Flacco!!!

Earlier on Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles

drafted third baseman Mike Flacco from the

Community College of Baltimore, Catonsville

(formerly Catonsville Community College) in

the 31st round of the 2009 Major League

Baseball draft. Mike Flacco, 22, is the younger

brother of Ravens starting quarterback Joe

Flacco, 24.

 

Mike Flacco

 

 

   

The Orioles were one of several teams who

were interested in Mike Flacco, who as a

freshman, hit .399, with 14 home runs and 51

RBIs.

 

This was the first time that he had played

baseball in three years after suffering a back

injury playing football.

 

Catonsville Coach Dan Blue calls Flacco

humble and unassuming, happy to just go about

his business, which usually includes class in

the morning, baseball in the afternoon and then

dinner out with his brother. Mike said that he

tried cooking a few times, with not-so-yummy

results. Instead, the brothers head out for dinner

at a nearby restaurant and some light

conversation. Soon, Mike hopes, he can join

Joe as a professional athlete.  

 

Mike Flacco was happy that the Orioles drafted

him today, though it rankled the 22-year-old

slugger that he lasted until the 31st round.

“Yeah, I was disappointed that I didn’t go

sooner,” said Flacco, the CCBC-Catonsville

third baseman and brother of Ravens

quarterback Joe Flacco. “I thought I did pretty

well at my workout at Camden Yards last week.

Joe was pretty mad, too. But being ticked off is

good motivation. Now I have to prove to [the

Orioles] that I was a better pick than where they

took me.”

 

The Orioles were his team of choice, and

Flacco’s selection will certainly create a buzz for

the club, given his brother’s success as the

Ravens’ starter.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Mike Flacco

said he had received cyber-congratulations via

text messages from a couple of dozen friends in

the first hour after learning his baseball future.

“I was laying on the living room floor when my

mom got on the computer and saw my name on

mlb.com,” he said. “[Orioles scout] Dean Albany

called a couple of minutes later. He said they

were happy to get me, that they like my

athleticism — and for me to show them now

what I can do.”

Flacco’s response? I’m ready.

“I’ve got no timetable [for progress],” he said. “I’ll

take things one day at a time and just try to get

the barrel of the bat on the ball.”

But playing “what-if” can be tantalizing, he said.

“Playing at Camden Yards would be awesome.

If I were to get up there, I think a lot of people

would show up just because I’m Joe’s brother,”

Flacco said.

“Who knows, if I make it maybe Joe and I can

live [in Baltimore] together. Maybe we could get a mansion — though Joe would have to foot the

bill for awhile.”

At the very least, Mike Flacco said, his selection

“definitely insures that Joe will be an Orioles fan

for the next couple of years.”

The Wait (or is that Wiet) is Over!!!!

The top prospect in Major League Baseball, Catcher Matt

Wieters, will be making his MLB debut tonight for my O’s at Camden Yards!!!  Wieters, who is Baseball America’s Player of the Year, played three years at Georgia Tech before being selected by Baltimore with the fifth overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft. The 6-foot-5, switch-hitting catcher split time between Class-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie last year, where he hit 27 homers, knocked in 91 runs and had a lofty .355 average. This season he was batting .305 with five homers and 30 RBIs with Triple-A Norfolk through Tuesday. 

As if to validate the promotion, Wieters was 4 for 4 with four RBIs through eight innings against Toledo on Tuesday night.

 

What does Matt Wieters look like?

 Matt Wieters breaks up Minnesota's no-hitter with a leadoff single in the ninth. The Twins beat the Orioles, 2-0. 

Orioles designated hitter Matt Wieters hits against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

 

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters looks on from the dugout during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. The 22-year-old catcher was 0-for-2 in the Orioles' 11-3 victory. 

 

Orioles prospect Matt Wieters makes a throw to second base during a drill at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

 

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters laces a line drive to left during batting practice at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

 

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters waits his turn at the batting cage on the second day of spring training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

 

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters warms up a pitcher during the first day of spring training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

 

Florida Marlins shortstop Robert Andino (left) attempts to tag out Orioles designated hitter Matt Wieters at second base in the second inning.

  

 

What are people saying about Matt?

 

 Andy MacPhail, Orioles president of baseball operations: “You have a switch hitter who can play defense at a position where defense is valued, who has demonstrated early on an acumen for handling the game behind the plate, and who has a chance to hit in the middle of your lineup as a switch hitter. Those things all together are a very rare thing, and that’s why he’s drawn the attention that he has.”

Chris Tillman, Orioles’ top pitching prospect and a teammate of Wieters’ the past two seasons: “I love throwing to him. He’s such a big guy, but at the same time, he’s always so low to the ground and gives you a great target. If you’re missing the zone, he knows exactly what to do. He definitely has the mental part of the game down. He knows what he’s doing out there.”

Kevin Goldstein, analyst for Baseball Prospectus: “He’s certainly the best catching prospect baseball has seen in an incredibly long time, at least since [Minnesota’s Joe] Mauer and maybe even longer than that. He’s a once-in-a-generation-type prospect. If you follow the way baseball works, he should get better over the next five years, which is potentially terrifying.”

 

Danny Hall, Georgia Tech baseball coach: “I’ve always said Matt is one of the special guys, just a cut above everybody else. The game doesn’t come easy, but he’s one of the guys that can slow the game down. I think he can handle it.”

Brad Bergesen, Orioles pitcher, who also played with Wieters at Double-A Bowie last year: “He’s the first guy I’ve seen come in with that much hype and live up to it. I’ve told everyone he’s truly the real deal. He’s got the complete game. He’s got the physical side of it, the mental side of it. It’s exciting for the fans that they finally get a glimpse of Matt Wieters. I don’t think there’s a question if he’s ready. He has the talent and the mental side also. He has unbelievable tools, so it will be exciting to see what he does up here.”

David Stockstill, Orioles director of player development: “He knows in his mind that there are expectations that he has of himself, and it’s not to be a Double-A ballplayer, or a good Triple-A ballplayer. It’s part of the process to get to where he knows he wants to be, and where he knows in his mind that he will be.”

Aubrey Huff, Orioles First Baseman: “I’m absolutely excited to see him. I’ve always been a big fan of his. The kid has got a great head on his shoulders. In spring training, nothing seemed to rattle him even with all the hype around him. I don’t expect all this hype to affect him one bit. He’s above all that. He just seems like a big old country boy, just a simple-minded guy that loves to play the game.”

Adam Jones, Orioles Center Fielder and 5-tool player:  “It’s going to be fun. We’re in the big leagues. He’s not. I think we’re looking at it as, ‘It’s good he’s done with the minors.’ I don’t want to say he mastered the minors, but he did what he had to do.”

Yahoo Sports’ Big League Stew blog author Kevin Kaduk wonders if there has ever been as much hype for another position player in the history of professional baseball: “So wunderkind catcher Matt Wieters is finally on his way to Baltimore and his Friday arrival has some of the bloggerati breathlessly comparing him to O’s backstop greats like Chris Hoiles and Mickey Tettleton (those guys had maybe 2 tools at best).”

“Seriously, though, the Wieters’ hype is the most I can ever remember for a rookie position player. Since I’m having a bit of trouble recalling other heralded arrivals, does anyone want to refresh my memory of other top prospects whose MLB debuts were greeted with everything just short of Sunday morning palm fronds? And remember I’m talking about position players here, since pitching prospects routinely get a lot of attention for their first starts.

 

Jason Berken, newly called up Orioles Starting Pitcher (who won his MLB debut on Tuesday) and was Wieters’ teammate in the minor leagues during the past two seasons: “He does an unbelievable job. His hitting speaks for itself, but behind the plate he is very, very good. Last year, right from the beginning, the whole rotation clicked with him. He throws well and calls a great game. Everyone is excited to get him here and I am too, we’ve had a lot of success together.”

“He’s the total package, he does everything well. All the hype is worthy. Until yesterday he’s the best player I’ve ever played with. He did things last year I’ve never seen before. He was doing stuff in Double-A I couldn’t believe. Everyone should be excited, he’s an unbelievable player.”

 

On FanHouse.com, Matt Snyder offers some advice to fantasy owners  for the rest of Wieters’ 2009 season:

“He’s no secret. He’s viewed by many as the best prospect in baseball and he’s owned in most fantasy leagues (63 percent in Yahoo as of Wednesday morning). Let’s take a look at what we can expect, though. He’s going to play most everyday; otherwise the Orioles would be stunting his development. He’s obviously not going to catch everyday, but I’m betting the O’s use him at DH on days when he doesn’t suit up in the tools of ignorance.”

“Wieters got off to a bit of a slow start — by his standards — in Triple-A this season, but he’s recently amped it up. He’s hitting .368 with 12 RBIs in his last 10 games. According to pretty much every scout, he’s got the potential to be a Mike Piazza-like hitting catcher.

 

                     

 

For every Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria who doesn’t really go through an adjustment period you have a handful of Upton brothers’ who need a year or more. Using everything at my disposal — which, unfortunately, doesn’t include a crystal ball — I’m saying Wieters is more Braun and Longoria than Upton. The Orioles have been very deliberate and have made sure not to rush him. He’s ready, and bringing him up in the midst of a hot streak is exactly the right time.”

Expected Line: 100 games played, .280, 15 home runs, 60 RBI, 45 runs.

 

Scott Pianowski pokes fun at the attention surrounding Wieters’ call-up in a recent entry on Yahoo Sports’ Roto Arcade blog:

“In a stunning move, the Orioles are apparently ‘not’ going to retire Matt Wieters’ jersey before he plays in his first game Friday.”

 

Also, if you haven’t already checked it out, go to MattWietersFacts.com. The mock Hall of Fame plaque on the right-hand side of the page is quite humorous, and the quotes are great!  

 

Matt Wieters Timeline

May 21, 1986 — Matthew Richard Wieters is born in Goose Creek, S.C. His father, Richard, pitched in the minor leagues with the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago White Sox from 1977 to 1981.

2001-2004 — Wieters plays all four years on the Stratford High (Goose Creek, S.C.) varsity team as a catcher, pitcher and first baseman. He is an All-American, All-State and All-Region selection as a senior in 2004 after hitting .407 with seven home runs and 34 RBIs.

June 29, 2005 — Wieters is named to the Freshman All-America team by Baseball America after batting .366 with 10 home runs and 68 RBIs in 60 games for Georgia Tech.

June 7, 2007 — The Orioles select Wieters with the fifth overall pick in the MLB draft. Wieters hit .359 with 35 home runs and 198 RBIs in 185 collegiate games at Georgia Tech, and also spent time as the Yellow Jackets’ closer during his three seasons.

Aug. 15, 2007 — Near the signing deadline, the Orioles and Wieters agree to a contract with a franchise-record $6 million signing bonus.

September to November 2007 — Wieters plays for the Honolulu Sharks in Hawaii Winter Baseball, hitting .283 with one home run and 17 RBIs in 31 games. He also has nine doubles, one triple and 12 walks.

April 4, 2008 — In his first professional game, Wieters goes 2-for-3 with two home runs in Single-A Frederick’s 7-3 win over Lynchburg. He hits .345 with 15 home runs and 40 RBIs in 69 games for the Keys before being promoted to Double-A Bowie in June.

June 28, 2008 — Wieters is 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in his first game for the Baysox, a 7-1 win over Altoona. In 61 games for Bowie, Wieters hit .365 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs.

September 2008 — The Baysox make the playoffs for the first time since 1997, but are eliminated in the first round by Akron after Wieters goes just 2-for-15 with four walks. Baseball America names Wieters as the Minor League Player of the Year, and he’s also chosen as the publication’s top prospect for the Single-A Carolina League and Double-A Eastern League.

February 2009 — Wieters is selected as the No. 1 prospect in the minor leagues by Baseball America.

March 2009 — Wieters hits .333 with one home run and five RBIs in 20 games for the Orioles during spring training, but is assigned to Triple-A Norfolk to start the season.

April 17, 2009 — After suffering a minor hamstring injury, Wieters is removed from the Tides’ game against Gwinnett for precautionary reasons. He misses four games before returning to the lineup on April 23 against Durham.

May 26, 2009 — On the MASN telecast of the Orioles game against the Toronto Blue Jays, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail announces that Wieters will be promoted to play against the Detroit Tigers Friday at Camden Yards.

 

Lastly, even the Oriole Bird is excited!!!

 

 

Happy Birthday, Brooks!!!!!

BrooksRobinson3.jpg Brooks Robinson image by joesttmandipautographs

 

                   

Wow, look at that leap!!!

This is what the O’s road uniforms used to look like.

 

The Human Vacuum Cleaner!! 

 I, of course, was at this game!!!!

I used to have a print of this hanging in my room growing up!

Brooks with his Gold Gloves

Cool SI cover that I’ve never seen!

 

Hall of Fame Induction

 

 I dare you to hit it to me!  Love the socks!

br.jpg brooks robinson image by bigbamafan

 

Brooks Robinson - BASEBALL HALL OF FAME WEEKEND

A recent Hall of Fame induction ceremony

 

Great picture of Brooks at Memorial Stadium during the 1970 World Series

 

Bottom of O’s Order is the Bottom!

The Orioles got shortstop Cesar Izturis for his glove,

 

                 Orioles shortstop Cesar Izturis (left) prepares to throw to first base as Texas Rangers third baseman Michael Young slides during the third inning.

 

catcher Gregg Zaun for his leadership

 

 Orioles catcher Gregg Zaun looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards.

 

and left fielder Felix Pie for his supposed all-around potential.

Orioles center fielder Felix Pie can't haul in a fly ball hit by Boston's David Ortiz in the sixth inning.

 

To me, Pie looks lost in the outfield and overmatched at the plate.

None of the three was pursued for what he would do offensively in 2009, but there were reasonable expectations that they would actually know how to hit the ball!!.

A month into the season, the regular bottom three in the Orioles’ lineup has produced the worst combined offensive statistics for similar batters in the majors.  OUCH!!!

 

                

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Overall, the Orioles’ No. 7 through 9 lineup spots have hit a combined .189, which is 26 points lower than any other big league team, including NL clubs that use pitchers to hit!!!!!  It’s the worst in the AL by 40 points.

The bottom three’s awful performance is so noticeable considering how well the top 3 batters are doing: Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have combined to lead the majors in most offensive categories.

Consider this: The Orioles are sixth in the AL with 116 runs scored despite Pie, Zaun and Izturis touching home just 17 times combined in 22 games. In comparison, Roberts has scored 19 runs, Jones 24 and Markakis 23 

However, the Orioles want you believe that it is still early as evidenced by these quotes:

“I don’t see any reason for any sort of panic by anybody. We are all swinging the bat pretty well,” said Zaun, who is hitting .111 in 54 at-bats this year. “Felix is putting good swings on the ball, he is doing some things. Cesar has been consistent. I’ve been consistent with the quality of the contact and the quality of the at-bats. We just haven’t had as much fall in for us as the guys up top.”.

“We’re a little disproportionate now; we’re a little top heavy,” club president Andy MacPhail said. “I’m pretty confident that we have the internal options to address that, either with the guys we currently have or the other options that are available internally. It’s one of those issues that we’re keeping an eye on, and we’re mindful of how we can address it as we go on.”

Given the personnel, Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley said he has no concerns about the early season slumps. After all, Zaun, for instance, was a career .251 hitter entering the season, and Izturis was a career .260 hitter.

“Those guys are going to come around,” Crowley said. “They are going to stay strong mentally, they are not going to make any crazy changes with their batting stances, and they are going to end up getting their share of hits.”

As for Pie, 24, who is batting .157, Crowley said the club knew it had to demonstrate patience when it brought him north from Florida.

“When we left from spring training, we knew he was an inexperienced ballplayer and we were going to take our time, give him some at-bats,” Crowley said. “Pie is going to learn. Pie is going to be better the second half of the year than he is the first half. Because that is the way it is when you are learning on the job.”

Izturis has already showed significant improvement, batting .355 during a nine-game hitting streak that ended with an 0-for-2 performance Wednesday. His average sits at .242.

“A slow start can happen to anybody,” Izturis said. “We’re trying, and hopefully in a couple days we will be fine. It is early, so we just have to keep trying and see what happens.”

Orioles manager Dave Trembley stressed that the bottom third of the lineup doesn’t have to possess high averages so long as it contributes strong at-bats.

“It would be to our benefit if guys in the bottom of the lineup would have one or two quality at-bats a game, and that doesn’t necessarily mean get hits,” Trembley said. “Walks, pitches seen, move runners, productive outs. And with two outs, the guys hitting eight or nine find their way on base any way they can so the lineup gets rolled over.”

Trembley isn’t looking to make a change at this time. But his patience may wear thin as the season progresses.

“This month is coming to a close and we’re hoping that we’ll show some improvement,” Trembley said. “We have to be more balanced. That’s really important.”

I’d look for more at-bats from catcher Chad Moeller

 

 Orioles catcher Chad Moeller goes into the stands to catch a foul fly ball off the bat of Boston's Dustin Pedroia during the first inning. The O's fell to the Red Sox, 2-1.

 

and more playing time in left for Lou Montanez

                                   Lou Montanez scales the left field wall, watching Jim Thome's home run sail into the stands during the third inning. The Orioles fell to the White Sox, 8-2.

and Luke Scott,

                              Luke Scott doubles to center in the fifth inning, scoring Aubrey Huff. The Orioles scored three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth en route to an 8-5 win over the Rangers.

with the very real possibility that Nolan Reimold,

                                 

who is tearing up Triple A, will be recalled and Pie sent down.

Orioles to honor Jackie Robinson

Players, coaches will wear No. 42 for Wednesday night’s game

The Orioles and Major League Baseball will honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson Wednesday on the 62nd anniversary of the day Robinson broke the major league color barrier.

All uniformed Orioles personnel will wear Robinson’s No. 42 for Wednesday night’s game against the Texas Rangers, the team announced in a news release.

The Orioles will auction each player’s game-worn, autographed No. 42 jersey on http://www.orioles.com, starting at 6 tonight and concluding at noon on Tuesday. The auction proceeds will benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Robinson played his first major league game, for the Brooklyn Dodgers, April 15, 1947. He went 0-for-3, but scored the deciding run in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Braves in Brooklyn.

Jackie Robinson Day

 

The Emblem Source Jackie Robinson Day April 15th Commemorative Patch - MLB.com Shop

 

With Satchel Paige

Touching Home after Homering in First Game with the Montreal Royals

 

Stealing Home

 

Hall of Fame Induction

 

There’s nothing that Brooks won’t sign

In his lifetime, Orioles Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson has given thousands of autographs, scribbling his name on everything from baseball cards to body parts – arms, legs, heads and feet. He has signed body casts, sneakers, golf gloves and footballs.

 

Brooksie recently listed the top 5 the strangest items he has been asked to sign:

1. A pet rock

“Remember that fad? I used a Sharpie and the autograph turned out fine.”

2. A brassiere

“The woman was wearing it at the time. At a card show in Chicago, she just pulled down her dress a bit and asked me to sign her bra. Who am I to say no to that?”

3. Easter eggs

“Someone wanted them autographed before an egg hunt.”

4. A photo of former Orioles teammate Frank Robinson

“The fan didn’t have my picture, so he had me sign Frank’s instead. I did and then wrote, ‘We’re not brothers, just cousins.’ “

5. A musty old locker from the Orioles’ clubhouse at Memorial Stadium

“The guy swore it was my locker too.”

Of course, I have several Brooks autographs prominently displayed in my house!

Oriole Bird cartoon returns!

Seventeen years after he flew the coop, the Oriole bird has returned to The Baltimore Sun.

Starting on April 7, the whimsical cartoon – a stamp-sized favorite of Sun readers during the team’s heyday 40 years ago – has graced the sports pages.

“Hopefully, in that one inch of space, this classic little Oriole can capture the essence of last night’s game,” said Mike Ricigliano, the cartoonist who is drawing it. Ricigliano’s oddball work has appeared in The Sun (and, previously, The Evening Sun) for more than 20 years.

The original caricature first appeared in the paper in June 1966, during the Orioles’ championship season, and quickly became a beacon for readers “who looked for it as eagerly as they did the daily weather forecast,” The Sun once wrote.

Created by the late Jim Hartzell, a longtime staff artist, the bird caught on quickly. When Hartzell retired in 1979, his cartoon friend went with him. When readers complained, the paper resurrected the bird, employing a number of artists to draw him. By 1992, the Oriole was gone.

Until now.

“The Oriole bird cartoon represents a memorable time in the history of Baltimore, the Orioles and The Baltimore Sun,” said Tim Wheatley, assistant managing editor for sports. “It symbolizes Baltimore’s sense of humor, love of sports and optimism. The new cartoon continues that feeling of fun and hope.

“The old cartoon was something that readers looked forward to every day because each one was unique, and we think the new [one] will have the same effect.”

Here in order are the cartoons, starting with the Opening Day victory over the Yankees and continuing until today’s:

Opening Day: Orioles 10, Yankees 5

 

 


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Orioles 7, Yankees 5

 

Yankees 11, Orioles 2

 

Orioles 5, Rays 4

 

 

46194679.jpgOrioles 6, Rays 0

 

 

Rays 11, Orioles 3 (I was at this game, unfortunately)

 

 

46277366.jpgOrioles 10, Rangers 9 Also, be on the lookout for my new blog http://jewsonfirst/mlblogs.com/

Orioles Opening Day 2009 – Awesome!

Wow, that was sooooooo much fun being in the Yards and enjoying the energized O’s fans rooting loudly and stridently for their Birds while sending Tex a message that his kind wasn’t welcomed in these parts!!!  The crowd was into every at bat and wasn’t afraid to show their pleasure:

The Orioles congratulate Brian Roberts (1) after he scored in the third inning on a two-run triple by Adam Jones.

Or their dislike of Tex, which was fierce and sustained to a level I haven’t heard since the ultimate “me” player, Reginald Martinez Jackson, played for the Yankees.  He was hated so much that even Orangebird’s Grandma rooted for “that damn Reggie” to strike out!  Here’s a sample of the fan’s reaction to Tex after he made one of his 4 outs:

Orioles fans boo the Yankees' Mark Teixeira on Opening Day at Camden Yards. 

 

The game started a bit late because of rain, but none of fans spirits were dampened!  We even had a dead celebrity sighting on Eutaw St.:

Tom Connelly wears an Elvis costume as he promotes the Maryland State Lottery on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

And some fans getting in some early practice in case they were shown on the “Kiss Cam”

Corey Hahn (left) gets a kiss from Manon Geoghegan on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

The pre-game ceremonies began with the introduction of the Evil Empire.  What was particularly funny was that every single person introduced was lustily booed, including trainers, clubhouse attendants, bullpen catchers, etc.  The loudest boos were of course for you know who.  And they were loud and long!  Here’s the view from our seats in the first row of the upper deck behind home plate (obviously my digital camera is better for close-up shots):

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Then it was time for the Orioles to run down the Orange Carpet.  Here are some pics of the intros:

Pitcher Koji Uehara jogs through a line of Orioles flags during player introductions on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

 

Orioles manager Dave Trembley is introduced during pre-game festivities on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

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Then it was time for the ceremonial first pitch from Vice President Joe Biden, who was surprisingly booed quite loudly.  Maybe it was because he was wearing an Army hat instead of an O’s hat!

 

Vice President Joe Biden throws out the first pitch on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

Then it was time to “Play Ball!”  From the get go, Brian Roberts got on base and was continually disrupting CC’s concentration. 

Brian Roberts hits a single in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees. The Orioles second baseman went 3-for-4 and scored two runs. 

Both him and Jorge Posada were not in sync and I witnessed 2 wild pitches and 2 misplays by Jorge.  Jorge continued his poor defensive effort later in the game with another 2 misplays!  I think Jorge needs to remember that the position he plays is called catcher!!

 

Yankees starter CC Sabathia talks with catcher Jorge Posada during the Orioles' season opener at Camden Yards.

 

Both B-Rob and Adam Jones had great games.  B-Rob was 3-for-4 (a double and two singles) with a walk and Adam was 3-for-3 (a two-run triple and two singles) with two walks.  They combined for five of the O’s 10 runs!

 

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones (left) comes to the dugout after scoring in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Nick Markakis.

Speaking of center fielders, I must say that new Yankees center fielder Gardy looked very slow out there and was completely unable to catch up to anything hit in the gaps!  He won’t remind anybody of Mickey Mantle or even Mickey Rivers!

Go to fullsize image

Eventually the O’s knocked out the $161 million dollar man who gave up six runs on eight hits, five walks and two wild pitches in just 4 and 1/3 innings.  Additionally, he didn’t strike out anybody for the first time since July 25, 2005.  The next pitcher was some schlub named Jonathan Albaladejo, who sounds like the child of Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo and Jessica Alba!

He was followed by some guy named Phil Coke.  I’ve never heard of that guy, but he was flat and he fizzed out rather early ran out of gas.  How else do you explain him giving up a homer to Cesar Izturis, who had something like 4 home runs prior to Opening Day!!

 

Cesar Izturis rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the eighth inning.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that these guys prefer Pepsi to Coke!

snl1.jpg image by pbmcd

By that point the game was over and all that was left was the post game celebration!!!

 

The Orioles celebrate their 10-5 win over the New York Yankees on Opening Day at Camden Yards.

 

Luke Scott (left) congratulates Orioles closer George Sherrill after the Orioles' 10-5 win over the New York Yankees on Opening Day. Sherrill allowed no runs and no hits in the ninth, preserving the win for the O's.

 

Orioles first base coach John Shelby congratulates center fielder Adam Jones after the O's 10-5 win over the Yankees. Jones was 3-for-3 with three runs, two RBIs and a triple.

 

The Oriole bird returns

 

HOW ‘BOUT DEM O’S, HUN!!

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