Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’

Rainy Days And, Well, Pretty Much Any Day These Days

Wednesday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmbT5XC-q0 (pretty accurate?!)

Thursday:

YoungPickOff.jpg

Unfortunately, things didn’t go much better tonight.  Glen Perkins was on the hill against the Orioles and allowed four runs through the first three innings.  The Twins managed to claw back and tie the game, but Jose Mijares couldn’t hold the lead in the eighth inning and the Twins lost yet again.

I’ve been working a lot lately and thus not able to update this blog as frequently as I would like to, but suffice it to say that the Twins are in a pretty big rut right now.  The bats go silent all too often, the bullpen is in shambles, and it seems like at least once every five days a starting pitcher gets tattoed in the early innings like Perk did tonight.

Troubling stat: the Twins have allowed 35 homers this season…and hit 19.  And this is with Carlos Silva, Brad Radke, and Johan Santana NOT on the staff!

Notes:

-The Twins also recently sent Alexi Casilla down to the minor leagues.  Personally, I think that was an overreaction on the part of whoever made the decision, but hopefully it snaps Casilla out of the funk he is in.  I just don’t see it working out, as I don’t think that Tolbert is as good as Alexi.

Preview (13-16, 4th, 5.0 GB KCR): Chris Jakubauskas (1-3, 5.76) vs. Scott Baker (0-4, 9.15). With the way King Felix and Erik Bedard (Saturday and Sunday’s starters) are pitching for the M’s, we better beat Jaku tomorrow night or things could get even uglier.

MLB Predictions: 2009

1908Cubs.jpgEach year, usually after receiving the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview issue, I make a complete set of MLB picks.  It’s always fun to look back at them and see how right/wrong (wrong far outnumbering the right!) I was at the end of the season.  Here they are for ’09:

AL East:

Boston

Tampa Bay (Wild Card)

New York

Toronto

Baltimore

AL Central:

Minnesota

Chicago

Kansas City

Cleveland

Detroit

AL West:

Los Angeles

Texas

Seattle

Oakland

NL East:

Philadelphia

New York (Wild Card)

Florida

Atlanta

Washington

NL Central:

Chicago

Milwaukee

St. Louis

Cincinnati

Houston

Pittsburgh

NL West:

Los Angeles

Arizona

San Francisco

Colorado

San Diego

AL Champion: Boston

NL Champion: Chicago

World Series Champion: Chicago

So, after 100 long seasons of waiting, I think this is the year that the Cubbies will finally win the big one.  I just think that their pitching is too good not to make a deep playoff run.

Moose In The Hall? Yes.

364523_Mike-Mussina-060604.jpgI know I’m a little late to jump into this discussion, but recently it was announced that Mike Mussina will be retiring from baseball at the age of 39, coming off arguably his best season (20-9, 200 IP, 3.37 ERA) in professional baseball.  Right away, all the buzz about his decision was not so much focused on him leaving the game, but whether or not he is Hall of Fame-worthy.  Before I put my two cents in, here’s a look at some of Moose’s career stats that may be vital for his Hall bid in the future:

W-L: 270-153

K: 2,813

CG: 57

SO: 23

ERA: 3.68

Looking at those stats, Mussina is what I would consider a borderline HOF case.  He has a lot of wins, but not quite 300…a lot of strike outs, but not quite 3,000…a good career ERA, but not quite dominant.  However, if I could cast a vote, I would put Moose in the Hall based on one key area: winning percentage.  That 270-153 record translates into a .368 winning %, which, at least in my opinion, is quite remarkable.  Of course, many of you out there will point out that his W-L totals were inflated by playing for the Yankees for so many years, but even when you look back to Moose’s days in Baltimore, he just didn’t loose many games.

In borderline cases like these (as I can also see the case against Moose), what I like to think of is whether or not the Hall of Fame would somehow be cheapened or degraded if the player were let in.  I don’t see that happening with Mike Mussina, as he has been a great MLB pitcher during the last decade and one that fans will remember for many years after he leaves the game.

I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw

MattGarza.jpgLast night, as I sat down to watch the Boston Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS, I was rooting for the Sawx to win the AL pennant.  I just know a lot more about the Sox and figured it would be more interesting to see them back in the World Series then the upstart Rays.  When the final out was recorded (remarkably, in favor of Tampa Bay), however, I found myself feeling good for the improbable Rays franchise for two reasons: seeing former Twins succeed, and seeing a franchise that never should have been winning something significant.

I have been closely following major league baseball since 1998 (the whole McGwire-Sosa thing, you know), the same year the then Devil Rays (along with the Arizona Diamondbacks) were introduced into the game.  Within a few years, once the Rays organization had time to prove to me how inept they were, I made the prediction that the Rays would never win a significant championship in the history of their franchise.  I though this for two reasons: First, the Tampa Bay area really isn’t suited for a major league baseball franchise, as the fan support is terrible (too much sun in Florida, I think).  Second, they play in what amounts to the high-rollers division of the American League…the AL East.  While the Yankees, Sox, and Orioles (although you would never know it considering how many bad decisions they make with it) have incredible streams of revenue, the Blue Jays and Rays are pretty much left in their dust.  To me, the chances of someone other than New York or Boston winning the AL East were as good as someone knocking the New England Patriots off the top of their weak NFL division the last few years.

So, as the final out was recorded last night, I was glad to see the Rays bring at least some happiness to the few fans in TB who follow them with a passion (like I do my Twins).  Also, I was happy for former Twins Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett (and Grant Balfour, I guess) for their winning performance.  Garza clashed with enough Twins coaches to make his departure imminent, but I don’t begrudge him for that, as the Twins have a very strict organizational stance on pitchers that Garza didn’t feel he could work within.  I liken it to the Twins telling David Ortiz to push the ball into an often wide-open left field, something he wasn’t going to do and thus needed a new team to start fresh with.  As for Bartlett, he never really played up to his true potential for the Twins, so I’m glad to see him step up and become a leader for another club.

Finally, I was wondering throughout last night’s game what team the Twins (and specifically manager Ron Gardenhire) were cheering for.  At first, I thought that perhaps the bitterness at losing Garza and Bartlett would have them leaning towards Boston, but then I consider things further and reached a different conclusion.  Being a Little League coach for three years in my home town, my face always lit up when a former player experienced success elsewhere, so I bet a guy like Gardy (and a close-knit team like the Twins) were rooting for their old pals.

All season long I doubted the Rays.  First, their ability to win the AL East, and second their ability to advance deep into the postseason.  They have proven me wrong at every turn, and I now finally believe they have a shot at accomplishing the unthinkable…winning a World Series championship.  If I were the Devil right now, I’d start getting the heaters installed, as things could get a bit chilly down there if the Rays have their way this week.

Nothing Much Changes (And That’s Not A Good Thing)

slap.jpgThis past weekend, I was unfortunately unable to watch much (i.e. any) Twins baseball, thus I really don’t have any specific comments about the games.  On Friday, the first scheduled contest in Baltimore was rained out.  I was at a wedding during the Saturday doubleheader, but heard on the radio on the drive home that the Twins scored 12 runs in both games.  Today, I watched the Vikings (only play once a week, you know) and would have followed the Twins closer had not the first time I channel surfed over to FSN North the Orioles were up 4-0 en route to a 7-3 victory.

I suppose I should be happy that the Twins finally won a series on the road, but the White Sox also swept their contests with the Detroit Tigers to remain on top of the division.  It’s getting real late for this.

Preview (82-65, 2nd, 1.5 GB CWS): Kevin Slowey (12-9, 3.63) vs. Scott Lewis (1-0, 0.00).  Lewis was very impressive in his major league debut, but it was against a terrible Orioles team.  If the Twins have designs on becoming a playoff team, we should beat this guy (and also win this series, I don’t care if it is in Cleveland).  Plus, the White Sox are in New York this week, so perhaps the Bombers can find their ******** sticks at an opportune moment for the Twins.

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

rain.jpgTonight’s opening contest between the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins was rained out in Camden Yards, precipitating a double-header that will occur on Saturday.  The first game will start at 4:00 p.m. Central Time, while the second game will begin 20 minutes after the completion of the first.  The White Sox were also rained out and will play a doubleheader against Detroit tomorrow as well!

League Notes:

-I saw that Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians improved to 22-2 tonight.  Can you say “Cy Young Award”?!

Preview: (80-66, 2nd, 1.0 GB CWS): For the first game, the matchup will be Glenn Perkins (12-4, 4.11) against Garrett Olson (9-7, 6.43).  The second game will pit Scott Baker (8-4, 3.66) against Daniel Cabrera (8-9, 5.26).

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