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The Baltimore Orioles
2006-04-21 13:23
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The last team to beat out the Atlanta Braves for a division title was the wire-to-wire World Champion 1990 Cincinnati Reds. The last team to beat out the New York Yankees for a division title? The 1997 Baltimore Orioles. In the eight seasons since then, the Orioles have finished above fourth place exactly once (2004, thanks to the collapse of the Blue Jays), finished within fewer than 20 games of first place once (2000, when the Yankees finished the season with a dreadful 3-15 slump capped by dropping the final three games of the season to the O's by a combined score of 29-6), and not won 80 games in any single season. For all the attention heaped on the Pirates, Royals, Tigers and Brewers, Kansas City and Milwaukee have been at or above .500 more recently than Baltimore, and the Tigers appear to be more likely to do so in the near future than the Orioles. Quite simply, the Orioles are one of the worst franchises in baseball, giving locals a feast of famine with the newly imported Natspos. (Seriously, is it that abhorrent to be a Phillies fan? With their new ballpark and annual runs at the wild card, the Phillies are the pick of the litter in the mid-Atlantic region, but they barely outdrew Baltimore last year. Sorry. Where was I?)

The O's have shuffled the deck chairs by bringing in yet another collection of over the hill, overrated and overexposed veterans to compliment . . . nothing. The Orioles are horrible. There's no budding future here. Just because they're able to float slightly higher in the water than the Royals doesn't make them anything but an affront to their fans.

But I'm getting carried away. Let's find some positives here: They've finally dumped the Big Ponson Toad. Tonight's starter Kris Benson is nothing special, but he's a huge upgrade over Sir Sidney. Letting J.P Riccardi overpay B.J. Ryan and giving the closer's job to Chris Ray represents both solid baseball economics and highlights one of the few young bright spots in the organization. Luis Matos recent injury just might clear room for Nick Markakis, who broke camp with the club despite having just a half season at double-A under his belt, to Wally Pip him, which would rid the O's of yet another home grown disaster.

I couldn't understand the decision to bring back Sam Perlozzo as manager as the team's winning percentage under him down the stretch was nearly 40 points lower than it was under Lee Mazzilli last year and it was a widely reported story that the Orioles appeared to collectively throw I in the towel by the end of August. But I must say, I like his line-up construction. Putting the slow-footed, but high-on-base-percentage Jeff Conine in the two-hole suggests progressive thinking, and burying big-name 2004 free agent Javy Lopez and new pick-up Kevin Millar in the seventh and eighth spots suggests a true meritocracy that refuses to allow name recognition or salary to determine playing time. In addition, Perlozzo has just two lefties in his line-up and he has them separated by no fewer than three righies in both directions. Part of that is a side-effect of one of them being the rookie Markakis, who of course hits ninth, and of having just two lefties to begin with, but Joe Torre—who started the season with his four lefties paired up in two different spots in his line-up, continues to write Bernie Williams' name into the line-up, and has buried last year's AL OBP leader Jason Giambi in the fifth spot—would be wise to take notes.

Speaking of Giambi, swelling in his right forearm resulting from being hit by a pitch on Wednesday (Bernie Williams pinch hit for him in his final at-bat of that game in Toronto) might keep him on the bench tonight. Meanwhile, Tanyon Sturtze was reportedly available on Wednesday and, having had another 48 hours to rest his balky back, should definitely be in the mix tonight. I needn't tell you, neither of these things is good news, though with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound looking to repeat his fantastic start in Minnesota last weekend, it wouldn't be the worst idea to at the very least put Giambi at DH and allow someone other than Miguel Cairo to man first base.

Baltimore Orioles

2005 Record: 2005 Pythagorean Record:

Manager: Sam Perlozzo
General Manager: Mike Flanagan

Home Ballpark (2005 Park Factors): Oriole Park at Camden Yards (94/95)

Who's Replacing Whom?

  • Kevin Millar replaces Rafael Palmeiro
  • Jeff Conine replaces Sammy Sosa
  • Ramon Hernandez replaces Larry Bigbie and B.J. Surhoff by pushing Javy Lopez to DH, thus pushing Millar to 1B, thus pushing Jay Gibbons into the outfield
  • Corey Patterson replaces Eric Byrnes and David Newhan (DL)
  • Raul Chavez replaces Sal Fasano and Geronimo Gil
  • Luis Terrero replaces Luis Matos (DL)
  • Kris Benson replaces Sidney Ponson
  • LaTroy Hawkins replaces B.J. Ryan while Chris Ray takes over the closer job
  • John Halama replaces Steve Kline
  • Jim Brower replaces Jorge Julio
  • Sendy Rleal replaces John Maine and James Baldwin
  • Chris Britton replaces Eric DuBose and Jason Grimsley
  • Endy Rodriguez replaces Todd Williams (DL)

Current Roster

1B – Kevin Millar (R)
2B – Brian Roberts (S)
SS – Miguel Tejada (R)
3B – Melvin Mora (R)
C – Ramon Hernandez (R)
RF – Jay Gibbons (L)
CF – Nick Markakis (L)
LF – Jeff Conine (R)
DH – Javy Lopez (R)

Bench:

L – Corey Patterson (OF)
R – Chris Gomez (IF)
R – Luis Terrero (OF)
R – Raul Chavez (C)

Rotation:

R – Rodrigo Lopez
L – Erik Bedard
R – Kris Benson
R – Daniel Cabrera
L – Bruce Chen

Bullpen:

R – Chris Ray
R – LaTroy Hawkins
R – Jim Brower
L – John Halama
R – Sendy Rleal
R – Chris Britton
R – Eddy Rodriguez

15-day DL: OF – Luis Matos (R), R – Todd Williams, L – John Parrish
60-day DL: R – Aaron Rakers, L – Tim Byrdak, UT – David Newhan (L)

Typical Lineup

S – Brian Roberts (2B)
R – Jeff Conine (LF)
R – Melvin Mora (3B)
R – Miguel Tejada (SS)
L – Jay Gibbons (RF)
R – Ramon Hernandez (C)
R – Javy Lopez (DH)
R – Kevin Millar (1B)
L – Nick Markakis (CF)

Comments (207)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-21 14:02:33
1.   Shaun P
Cairo has never faced Benson, so maybe Andy starts at 1B tonight? Lineups aren't up yet, and with Torre, youneverknow . . . he might decide the team needs a cheerleader again.

Not that it matters for tonight, but is anyone else as surprised as I am that Camden Yards played as more of a pitchers park last year?

2006-04-21 14:20:55
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Shaun, Camden's Park Factor has been in the 90s for 9 of the last 10 years. The way I see it, that's a strike against Park Factors rather than the truth about Camden Yards. That is, park factors (lowercase) are real and significant, but the numbers we have to represent them (Park Factors, uppercase) I've always viewed with suspicion.
2006-04-21 15:22:54
3.   Jeteupthemiddle
Giambi at first, Bernie DH.
2006-04-21 15:49:30
4.   Levy2020
MLB.com has Giambi at DH and Phillips at First.
2006-04-21 15:50:49
5.   Rob Gee
4 With you PF data...seems like it may just involve explaining the weather - good luck there.
2006-04-21 15:55:37
6.   Jeteupthemiddle
4 you are right. When I checked at 6:15, it had Giambi at first and Bernie at DH. I suppose Giambi's arm his hurting him more than he thought? Or perhaps someone told Torre that Giambi shouldn't be anywhere near the field when Wang starts.
2006-04-21 16:01:53
7.   rbj
So which game in this series is going 4 hours?
2006-04-21 16:03:23
8.   Rob Gee
46 Wahoo! Is 2H, 1 BB, 1 SO too much to ask?
2006-04-21 16:12:33
9.   randym77
They just said the lineup was changed because of Giambi's swollen arm. He can't throw very well.
2006-04-21 16:15:28
10.   Jeteupthemiddle
9 yeah, but what was the effect of the swollen arm?
2006-04-21 16:16:04
11.   Dimelo
I like today's lineup.
2006-04-21 16:18:37
12.   wsporter
That was a nice top half by Wang, he has that sinker working early. I'm watching the Orioles ComCastnet feed. Buck Martinez (that should make Simone happy) is really talking up Wang like he's the new found Tommy John.

Randym 9 this may sound mean but are they saying "He can't throw very well" compared to a normal first baseman or himself?

2006-04-21 16:19:49
13.   randym77
Wow. Jete just missed a homerun. But it's a standup triple.

I'll never understand how he can blow bubbles while running around the bases. I'd bite my tongue off if I tried that.

2006-04-21 16:20:51
14.   Simone
rbj, I'm dreading the inevitable weird crazy neverending game already.

Jeter on fire. Nice Sheffield.

2006-04-21 16:21:43
15.   randym77
LOL! Quit picking on poor Giambi, you two.

They said the bruise on his arm is huge.

2006-04-21 16:21:55
16.   standuptriple
Did somebody call me out?
2006-04-21 16:22:18
17.   Dimelo
That was unfortunate for ARod.
2006-04-21 16:23:04
18.   randym77
Wang is looking great tonight.
2006-04-21 16:24:16
19.   randym77
16 Yeah, Derek Jeter did. ;-) He's got the only two Yankees triples so far this season.
2006-04-21 16:24:51
20.   Zack
randym, you should know better than to say such things, but lets keep up the gbs!

I'm liking Wang's mulletish look out the back of his cap!

2006-04-21 16:26:38
21.   Zack
ugh, mlb.tv feed is super choppy right now
2006-04-21 16:27:32
22.   SF Yanks
were on pace to score 8 runs
2006-04-21 16:40:14
23.   Marcus
Bernie woulda had that.
2006-04-21 16:42:58
24.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Cano is 92nd in the AL out of 98 elegible players in pitches per plate appearance.
2006-04-21 16:47:12
25.   Zack
oh come on Wang, what gives?
2006-04-21 16:48:57
26.   Stormer Sports
Come on Wang, settle down.
2006-04-21 16:49:55
27.   claybeez
What was that?
2006-04-21 16:50:41
28.   Stormer Sports
Oh boy! Can't thorw strikes, losing track of base runners!
2006-04-21 16:50:54
29.   wsporter
Mora was out!!!! What a crap call.
2006-04-21 16:51:04
30.   randym77
He was out. This inning should be over.
2006-04-21 16:51:18
31.   Shawn Clap
That's why you want a taller, left-handed 1st baseman. Carlos Pena, hurry up.
2006-04-21 16:51:43
32.   Stormer Sports
That's it. Get somebody up. Proctor my Proctor.
2006-04-21 16:51:48
33.   claybeez
Man, we were almost out of it. Ump, may have blown the call, but Chien-Ming put himself in that position.
2006-04-21 16:52:08
34.   Zack
Thats hardly a reason to demand Pena as opposed to Phillips...

The more troubling thing is what the F is up with Wang?????

2006-04-21 16:52:12
35.   randym77
Proctor is warming up.
2006-04-21 16:53:51
36.   Zack
After looking unhittable, Wang suddenly loses it when he goes into the stretch..hopefully we can just chalk it up to losing rhythm/angle
2006-04-21 16:53:55
37.   Stormer Sports
Inconsistent starting pitching is the most difficult thing to watch.
2006-04-21 16:54:03
38.   wsporter
Buck Martinez made the point that Wang seemed to loose his arm slot as soon as he had to pitch from the stretch. Does anyone recall this as a pattern with him?
2006-04-21 16:54:36
39.   Stormer Sports
Boston up by two. Papi...
2006-04-21 17:00:03
40.   Stormer Sports
Come on Sheff! Let's pick Tiger up here!
2006-04-21 17:02:14
41.   Stormer Sports
Way to get down the line! Come on AROD!
2006-04-21 17:11:34
42.   wsporter
It's gratifying to realize that Kevin Millaaaahr bugs the crap out of me even in an O's uniform.
2006-04-21 17:13:13
43.   Marcus
Back on track. I think the key for Wang is to get every batter out. It will be a lot easier for the Yankees to win if he does that.
2006-04-21 17:15:07
44.   Zack
This looks like it may be one of those super annoying games where for now apparant reason we can't hit a total bum...
2006-04-21 17:21:16
45.   wsporter
Rob G, there's the man!
2006-04-21 17:21:24
46.   Zack
Robbie!
2006-04-21 17:22:02
47.   Zack
Andy, take some pitches, don't be so anxious
2006-04-21 17:22:44
48.   randym77
Robby, Robby, Robby! Man, that was a high one.

My feeling is that Wang is easily rattled. He always looks so calm, but he's still pretty inexperienced. When someone gets a big hit off him, it seems to shake his confidence.

2006-04-21 17:33:13
49.   42YrOldRookie
I think tonight is Andy's night. The sophomores Cano and Wang are carrying the Yank's water and it would be most fitting for Andy to get a nice hit. His D looks good so far.
2006-04-21 17:37:15
50.   Zack
If Phillips is is any sort of big situation, Torre will pinch hit Bernie...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-21 17:37:55
51.   Zack
Once again, unable to get a simple fly ball...unacceptable..
2006-04-21 17:39:05
52.   rbj
Clutch A-Rod.
2006-04-21 17:39:32
53.   Zack
thank you Arod
2006-04-21 17:44:51
54.   Zack
The O's feed is now showing some drunk guy in a bar talking about Brooks Robinson...
2006-04-21 17:49:41
55.   Stormer Sports
If you cant pitch with runners on, you wont be in the Majors long.
2006-04-21 17:51:51
56.   Zack
This is another example of where Torre can't handle a bullpen. Bringing in Proctor with the bases loaded and no outs doesn't make sense, and can lead to disaster. With the game potentially on the line, you bring in a top guy, THEN your long reliever...
2006-04-21 17:52:25
57.   Zack
well, doesn't matter now...
2006-04-21 17:53:55
58.   JeremyM
Not a good inning by Wang. I think the rose is off of this bloom.
2006-04-21 17:57:03
59.   Stormer Sports
Unless Moose can pitch every day. This team is in for another year just like '05. No doubt about it.
2006-04-21 18:03:52
60.   rbj
59
You mean when the Yankees won 95 games and the division? I'll take it.
2006-04-21 18:04:11
61.   randym77
What a mess this is turning out to be. :-P
2006-04-21 18:04:55
62.   JeremyM
Proctor is proving that it is better to be good than lucky after all, as his has run out. Great choice to bring in, the human green light.
2006-04-21 18:15:33
63.   yankz
Only 1 K for Wang? Dang.
2006-04-21 18:17:51
64.   claybeez
Wang's outing was frustrating and we know Proctor's M.O. with the bases loaded, but we're still in it.
2006-04-21 18:18:11
65.   rbj
I really hate first pitch swinging.
2006-04-21 18:18:43
66.   claybeez
So, does this mean Cairo at 1st the rest of the way?
2006-04-21 18:19:21
67.   randym77
50 Prophetic.
2006-04-21 18:19:27
68.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Cano really really wants that "fewest pitches seen per plate appearance" crown. He will not be stopped.
2006-04-21 18:21:21
69.   yankz
This is a joke.
2006-04-21 18:22:27
70.   yankz
WOOHOO! Probably the best case scenario.
2006-04-21 18:22:56
71.   42YrOldRookie
at least we know that Bernie could pinch-walk for Cano...
2006-04-21 18:32:04
72.   yankz
Is ESPN GameCast not showing the Yankees as having a 1B b/c the defense is that bad?
2006-04-21 18:33:25
73.   Stormer Sports
On a happier note, Beckett got touched off for 3 HR's, but the Sox still lead.
2006-04-21 18:33:52
74.   claybeez
Just tuned in to watch Glaus crush one off Timlin. Tie ballgame.
2006-04-21 18:34:58
75.   randym77
It was Cairo at 1B.
2006-04-21 18:35:35
76.   singledd
At least Bernie didn't kill the inning.
Anyone want to pack Phillip's bags?
2006-04-21 18:36:45
77.   yankz
Yahoo Captain!
2006-04-21 18:36:52
78.   rabid stan
Didn't look like the Yanks scouted Rleal. Guy's a RLOOGY. Lefties have had trouble against that change all year. Bernie should've batted right. That, or let Andy go.
2006-04-21 18:37:20
79.   Stormer Sports
LOL. Oh Gary.
2006-04-21 18:38:34
80.   rabid stan
Watching the O's broadcast. Something to do with his delivery that hides the pitch from lefties.
2006-04-21 18:39:01
81.   rabid stan
Damn
2006-04-21 18:41:03
82.   yankz
Anyone else think this is a really cool coincidence:

Albert Pujols tied Todd Helton for the second-fastest active player to reach 1,000 hits, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning against Chicago on Friday night.

Pujols and Helton needed 3,003 at-bats.

2006-04-21 18:42:10
83.   Shaun P
Ugh. I can't believe Torre hit GOB for Phillips. Though I notice that Phillips didn't exactly have a stellar night at the plate (again). Sigh.

Why the fascination with Proctor here? EVERYONE is rested. Why not Villone at this point? He might throw lefty, but a LOOGY he is not.

The good news is, LaTroy Hawkins is warming up for the O's. With their bullpen, I'd say no game is ever out of reach.

2006-04-21 18:42:56
84.   Shaun P
yankz, that 82 is pretty cool - but don't leave us hanging! Who got to 1000 hits the fastest?
2006-04-21 18:44:04
85.   rbj
84
Ichiro. 2997
2006-04-21 18:44:25
86.   Stormer Sports
I'm still pretty hapy with Proctor as of late. Even tonight has been adaequate.
2006-04-21 18:46:10
87.   rbj
Er, that should be 2977, for Ichiro, as per the AP
2006-04-21 18:46:36
88.   Shaun P
85 grazie, rbj
2006-04-21 18:47:44
89.   yankz
Sorry guys- didn't mean to leave that out.
2006-04-21 18:48:13
90.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

I think Joe will leave any reliever in there so long as they are retiring batters. I'd like to see Smith in the 9th.

It's been tough for Phillips, but he has looked overmatched in virtually every at bat this year. Not just rusty, but simply overmatched. As long as Giambi is out 1B (AVG nearly .100 points higher when he playe defense), you wont see much of Phillips. There is no sense in whining about, or expecting it.

2006-04-21 18:49:00
91.   rabid stan
Here comes our man Sturtze.
2006-04-21 18:50:33
92.   Stormer Sports
Although I cannot believe our bench is as sorry as it is. There wasn't someone we could have signed with some pop off the bench. Even Tony Clark or Dustin Mohr would have been better than this bunch.
2006-04-21 18:50:45
93.   Shaun P
Oh #%(&.

Markarkis is a rookie, not much experience above AA. But the guy's a LEFTY - where is Villone?!

2006-04-21 18:51:20
94.   Stormer Sports
Why not Smith here?
2006-04-21 18:51:37
95.   rabid stan
O's feed says Tanyon has been "consistent".
2006-04-21 18:52:59
96.   Stormer Sports
rabid,

95 Too be fair to the local broadcast, they said "consistent over the years, but as of late has been having trouble."

2006-04-21 18:53:03
97.   Shaun P
94 Great point Stormer - Smith would be an even better idea that Villone.

I'm glad Sturtze got the out, but I really don't want to see him coming out for the 9th. Of course, if the Yanks take the lead here, Mo will get ready . . .

2006-04-21 18:54:33
98.   Stormer Sports
Jays tied up the Sox! B.J. Ryan sure would have looked good in pinstripes. I'll trade one Villone and three Mike Myers' for one B.J. Ryan.
2006-04-21 18:55:30
99.   Shaun P
95 96 Indeed Tanyon has been consistent over the years. Consistently awful.

The DEVIL RAYS gave up on him, fer cryin' out loud!

Fortunately for us, LaTroy Hawkins can be just as bad.

2006-04-21 18:58:00
100.   Stormer Sports
97

Shaun,

I agree. Why not use Smith and see if je can breathe some life into the bullpen, and team for that matter. He's been solid. Give him a shot. Yanking Proctor for Sturtz to face a lefty only made sense if it was for "confidense" purposes. Even in that case, it still makes no sense.

Giambi's night tonight is exactly why Phillips simply cannot get any more starts at 1B. He can start at DH for a while to appease you guys, but I'm not willing to trade Giambi's production for some clown with a .300 avg in AAA. Giambi's offense goes right into the toilet when he's not out there on defense.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-21 18:58:20
101.   Shaun P
Oh no, they say he's got to go, let's call Godzilla!
2006-04-21 18:59:53
102.   Stormer Sports
Giambi might be on base if he didn't start future bat boy Andy Phillips.
2006-04-21 19:00:48
103.   rbj
Sweet, Jorge!
2006-04-21 19:01:24
104.   Stormer Sports
Hell yes!

Now can someone, ANYONE, walk over to Jorge and tell him how to run the bases in this situation. I don't want to see any more of Jorge's . . . oh Bubba, thank God.

2006-04-21 19:01:34
105.   randym77
Yeah, Jorgie! Nice double. A few more feet and it would be a homerun.

Bubba is pinch running for Posada.

2006-04-21 19:02:13
106.   Shaun P
100 Agreed that Giambi's offense takes a big plunge when DHing, but it was the bruise on his arm that keep him out of the field tonight.

With Wang on the mound, I don't mind taking that hit to put Phillips' glove at 1B. And Stormer, Phillips didn't hit an empty .300 at AAA. He hit .300 with patience and power. I wouldn't call him a clown at all. In an organization that recognized what it had, Phillips would have been playing regularly back in late '04, would have developed normally by now, and wouldn't be pressing at the plate to take advantage of the meager chances he's finally gotten.

Thank you, LaTroy Hawkins! Robbie, try laying off the stuff out of the zone, huh?

2006-04-21 19:02:25
107.   Stormer Sports
It's Mariano "Cano" Duncan reincarnate.
2006-04-21 19:04:11
108.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

So what do you propose. Trade Giambi so that we can take a chance on Phillips? DH Phillips on a regular basis when we had Tino last year and Ruben in good form in 2004? I'm not sure how you get him into this lineup, you?

2006-04-21 19:04:39
109.   singledd
I say bring in Rivera. Let the Yanks score 2 in the 9th.
2006-04-21 19:05:44
110.   singledd
Put Phillips in the OF. He's got to be better then Shef or Mats.
2006-04-21 19:08:01
111.   Stormer Sports
Well, top of the order in the 9th, I like our chances. It sure would be nice to win a game in the 9th inning instead of having it done to us.

This is one of those rare times I'd gladly trade Sheff and Arod for Manny and Ortiz, just for one day.

2006-04-21 19:08:15
112.   mikeplugh
How does a $200 million team have Miguel Cairo hitting with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th with the tying run on 2nd?

Where is the bench? Hideous.

2006-04-21 19:10:35
113.   Stormer Sports
Face it guys. Phillips simply does not have a place on this team. It's not his fault. It is just the way it is. An injusy is the only thing that will get him out there more than twice a week.

So Sturtz in the 9th. I'm not sure what to make of this.

At this rate, Mo is going to have one hell of a strong arm the second half of the year.

2006-04-21 19:11:58
114.   Stormer Sports
There aren't too many managers that will yank their catcher with only one payer remaining. Joe never would have done this in the past. Muy interesante.
2006-04-21 19:12:05
115.   rabid stan
Yeah, top of the order in the ninth. Too bad the O's closer is a 24 year-old the Yanks have never seen before. Those guys seem to have their number.

Damon grounds, Jete singles, Sheff pops and Arod K's.

Any takers?

2006-04-21 19:12:11
116.   yankz
Oh my God. Sturtze could give up 5 HR in a row and he'd still be in there next close game.
2006-04-21 19:14:25
117.   Stormer Sports
Cosmo "the K man" Kramer has been replaced by Alex "the K man" Rodiriguez. It's too bad we're not up by 6, then I would guarantee a HR by Arod in the 9th.
2006-04-21 19:15:38
118.   Stormer Sports
Christ, I'd rather see Donny Baseball out there in the ninth rather than Arod.
2006-04-21 19:15:42
119.   wsporter
If we get both Sturtze and Proctor turned and pitching well that would be huge for a number of reasons. Sturtze looks like he has his splitter working.
2006-04-21 19:16:38
120.   rbj
Good job Tanyon.
(When was the last time anyone said that)
2006-04-21 19:16:51
121.   Stormer Sports
Again, why not SMITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I keep forgetting that salary has more to do with playing time than skill on this squad.

2006-04-21 19:17:14
122.   yankz
117, 118, you're joking, right?
2006-04-21 19:17:40
123.   yankz
120 You know this just means he'll be in there every night.
2006-04-21 19:19:23
124.   Stormer Sports
122

No, I'm not kidding, I'm venting, and preparing myself in advance for Arod and Sheff in the 9th. The anti Tino and O'neil in the 9th inning of games.

2006-04-21 19:20:17
125.   Shaun P
Stormer, you're kidding, right? Trade Giambi to play Phillips?! There's no need. Phillips should be the fulltime DH. He's a far better option than the singles-only hitting 36 year old GOB.

Except for a 3 week stretch last May, Tino last year didn't hit at all. The Yanks got AWFUL production out of their DHs last year. A league average DH, in all probably, would have meant 97 wins and homefield advantage in the ALDS. Maybe more.

And though Sierra did hit 17 homers in '04, his OBP was .296! With all the problems the Yanks had in finding a 1B that year, Phillips could have come in very handy.

mike 112 - the bench has been ugly since what, at least 2000? Too bad Chili Davis and Rock Raines can't play anymore.

2006-04-21 19:20:45
126.   claybeez
Nice job by Sturtze and Myers.
2006-04-21 19:20:59
127.   wsporter
121 I think the way Myers has handled Major League lefties over the last few years has a lot to do with it.
2006-04-21 19:21:13
128.   rbj
As long as Tanyon's got his splitter, I don't mind seeing him out there. My concern is that he'll get straightened out, be effective for a month or two, then get an emergency start and have that screw it up for him the rest of the year.

With the top of the order, the team damn well should tie it up.

2006-04-21 19:22:23
129.   yankz
111 You say that in most cases youd take Arod and Sheff over Ortiz and manny.

Now youd take Mattingly over MVP Arod??

2006-04-21 19:22:58
130.   Shaun P
And for all the remembered clutch goodiness of Tino and O'Neill - which may be fond memories clouding reality - I'd take Sheff and A-Rod over the both of them in a heartbeat.

119 Agreed, MFD - not least because Torre relies on them so much.

Ray hasn't given up an earned run yet. I'd say he's due, hmmm?

2006-04-21 19:24:05
131.   Stormer Sports
125

Of course I'm kidding, you can't trade Giambi. I was asking you what we should do. I would love to see Phillips in there for a while at DH. Then we could put this debate to rest one way or the other.

However, I'm a baseball fan and a Yankee fan, so it's just hard for me to say bench Bernie for Phillips, although it might be the most prudent course of action.

2006-04-21 19:25:54
132.   Shaun P
OK, somewhat off topic - but anyone else notice that Ray has a huge rear? He's gotta be a power pitcher then, right?

OK Cap'n, that's the way to start it . . .

2006-04-21 19:26:11
133.   Stormer Sports
129

I'd take Ortiz over any player in the league in the 9th inning, including Arod. You and I both know that if Ortiz played 1B last year, he'd be the MVP. Not taking anything away from Arod, because I think he's Gold Glove in the field, but he aint no David Ortiz in the 9th, and you know it.

2006-04-21 19:26:21
134.   rbj
130
Pretty little streak you got going there, Ray. Be a shame if anything happened to it. . .
2006-04-21 19:26:47
135.   Stormer Sports
Who is this UMP? Fucking strikes at the shoe tops!~
2006-04-21 19:27:19
136.   wsporter
130 MFD, Ray has looked very tough so far. He's got a realllly heavy fastball. That was a great walk.
2006-04-21 19:27:24
137.   rabid stan
Ok. Almost there
2006-04-21 19:27:42
138.   Stormer Sports
Here you go guys. Here is Arod's shot (YET AGAIN) in the 9th, to prove it!
2006-04-21 19:27:51
139.   Shaun P
134 Indeed, quite a shame rbj - that 0.00 looks so nice . . .
2006-04-21 19:28:58
140.   randym77
C'mon, A-Rod! Make Stormer eat his words. Please? ;-)
2006-04-21 19:29:39
141.   Shaun P
Relax, A-Rod, let it come to you . . . now's not the time to press . . .
2006-04-21 19:29:50
142.   Stormer Sports
140 I hope he does!
2006-04-21 19:30:13
143.   Stormer Sports
Shaun,

All he does is press, in the 9th.

2006-04-21 19:30:28
144.   claybeez
Hittable pitch.
2006-04-21 19:30:38
145.   Stormer Sports
Set your fucking clocks by it guys. Like the sun coming up tomorrow.
2006-04-21 19:30:46
146.   Shaun P
That was close. Damn.
2006-04-21 19:30:58
147.   JeremyM
At least it wasn't a GIDP.
2006-04-21 19:31:06
148.   randym77
Sigh. It's all on Giambi now.
2006-04-21 19:31:35
149.   Shaun P
I like the double steal on indifference - c'mon Godzilla!
2006-04-21 19:31:38
150.   claybeez
When he's pressing he always swings at one way out of the zone like he did a pitch or two before, up and in.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-21 19:31:57
151.   Stormer Sports
Mats might get to the plate. They guy who should be batting 4th! Here we go Mats, come on baby!
2006-04-21 19:32:14
152.   rabid stan
GOJIRA!
2006-04-21 19:33:14
153.   Stormer Sports
150

That's because Arod folds up loke a tent in tense situations! It's fine in Seattle or Texas, but he aint in Kansas anymore.

2006-04-21 19:33:43
154.   rbj
I swear, sometimes I think this team is trying to give me an ulcer.
Bloop hit Matsui
2006-04-21 19:33:45
155.   Shaun P
Good eye, Godzilla, good eye . . .
2006-04-21 19:33:58
156.   randym77
C'mon, Hideki! Even a walk will do...
2006-04-21 19:34:11
157.   Stormer Sports
Mats AB, no matter the outcome, is already better than Arod's.
2006-04-21 19:34:32
158.   Stormer Sports
Wow! We got a good call there!
2006-04-21 19:34:42
159.   Shaun P
154 You and me both, rbj. Or high blood pressure.
2006-04-21 19:35:12
160.   Shaun P
You've got to be friggin kidding me. How was that a strike?
2006-04-21 19:35:15
161.   rbj
Motherfucker!
2006-04-21 19:35:18
162.   rabid stan
Well, that was a lot of crap.
2006-04-21 19:35:22
163.   yankz
NO!
2006-04-21 19:35:40
164.   Harley
As for Ortiz as Mr. Clutch, the good guys over at Baseball Prospectus ran the numbers, and, as one might expect, Ortiz's rep is based primarily on a single season and some fanboy wishful thinking.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

2006-04-21 19:35:47
165.   Stormer Sports
Why not just ring him up on the check swing if you're going to call the next pitch a strike no matter what? Fucking ump!
2006-04-21 19:36:07
166.   JeremyM
This team truly sucks. If it's close, swing.
2006-04-21 19:36:11
167.   rbj
Good night, all.
2006-04-21 19:36:13
168.   wsporter
That was Ball 4.
2006-04-21 19:37:29
169.   Stormer Sports
I'm not talking "close and late" which is too far broad a statistic. I'm talking about when a hit wns or ties the game, primarily in the 9th. And in that sitauation, Arod is no better than Bubba Crosby.
2006-04-21 19:37:29
170.   randym77
That was Ball 5. :-P
2006-04-21 19:37:38
171.   Shaun P
I'd love to see a shot of that last pitch from overhead, though there's no way the Orioles feed shows that.

Anyone got the WOR feed? Was that pitch really over the plate at all?

2006-04-21 19:38:38
172.   wsporter
165 Stormer that is a great point. Matsui has to be aware of that. But if he did check and the ump thought he did too and called it that way what the hell is the asshat making up for?
2006-04-21 19:38:50
173.   Stormer Sports
We suck, let me count the ways.

Next time Joe, save Stinnett to pinch hit for Arod, would ya!

2006-04-21 19:39:29
174.   singledd
These guys are heart-breakers.. no doubt.
But we will still tale the penant.
(PS.... well....)
2006-04-21 19:41:06
175.   yankaholic
The UMPS were ridiculous tonight, remember how the scoring started, a blown call with bases loaded 2 outs?? Wang would have gotten out with 0 ER.. and this was strike 3?? I think Yanks have gotten the short end on the calls a lot in this young season.. i heard King George is at the stadium, he might not be too happy!!
2006-04-21 19:41:40
176.   Shaun P
169 Stormer, statements like that kill your credibility, man. I hear where you're coming from - I wish A-Rod hadn't struck out too - but geez . . .
2006-04-21 19:41:46
177.   rabid stan
171 Notice the way the O's feed buried Andy dropping on first a step ahead of Mora in the third after the first replay?

Then they spent the rest of the night talking about the Yanks breaks on strikes and balls at home. Rich.

2006-04-21 19:42:21
178.   Stormer Sports
172

That's just the way it works. Ryan would have had to throw a clear ball right there not to have it be called a strike. I've seen it a million times. Mats has to be swinging there. He's got to know what the ump is thinking.

2006-04-21 19:43:49
179.   yankaholic
I have seen partial comments on opponent TVs but this O's team was as bad as it was partial.. they were calling terrible and as someone pointed out, they just referred to the blown call as "infield single" thereafter
2006-04-21 19:44:47
180.   mikeplugh
This team is trying to give me a heart attack. Could I be any more depressed after getting the bases loaded and Matsui at the plate against a 24 year old kid with a full count and then watch ball 4 turn into game ending strike 3?

Ugh. It's going to be a long wait until tomorrow.

2006-04-21 19:46:46
181.   Stormer Sports
rabid,

My favorite was the "you just dont get that call at Yankee Stadium, you just dont." Remember one thing above all, these are sports journalists, not actual journalists, they don't have to think, or are ever held accountable for what they say. Open any column by Rosenthal or the like on Bonds' perjury charges. I have yet to see one article in a major publication which describes the legal standard correctly. Irresponsibly misleading people about what Bonds legal situation actually is. They are not journalists. That's why we call them "writers" and not journalists or academics, because that is what they do, write, nevermind researching the facts.

As for the O's boys---Where have they been the last few years, if anything, the calls go the other way.

Matsui tonight for example, only 6 inches outside, strike 3!

2006-04-21 19:48:23
182.   Shaun P
I've had this thought for years. You put a camera directly over home plate. High resolution, enough pixels to make sure everyone knows, 100% for certain, whether or not the ball caught part of the plate.

What would the harm be in that? Its only half of the question, sure, but its an important half. You leave the rest up to the home plate ump - but for whether it actually catches the plate or not, you use technology.

2006-04-21 19:50:27
183.   domvjr
How can you kill ARod, in the first he should have had a hit, and he bounced it off Benson's fat ass right to Tejada, and in his 3rd at bat, he is robbed of a hit by that man Tejada again. He did put the Yanks ahead in the 5th with a single. I just can't understand the constant bitching, by some posters, when he makes an out!
2006-04-21 19:52:30
184.   Stormer Sports
Not when he make an out, when he makes the out in 9th, over, and over, and over and....
2006-04-21 19:53:48
185.   SF Yanks
Wow... I'm just starting to calm down now. I was highly, highly, highly, annoyed for the last ten minutes.
2006-04-21 19:54:17
186.   yankaholic
ARod should try being Manny, take it easy, infact i read he came 5 hrs before the game @ toronto.. he needs to sopt it.. STOP
2006-04-21 19:55:05
187.   randym77
The postgame guys are blaming it on Matsui. Yes, the calls were awful, but they thought he should have swung at least.
2006-04-21 20:02:31
188.   yankz
Someone should run the numbers. I doubt A-Rod actually blows the game in the 9th "over, and over, and over and.... " as much as a lot of ppl think.
2006-04-21 20:02:39
189.   rabid stan
Sox and Jays in the 12th.

It would be pretty annoying if Boston wins another close game. Just sayin'.

Somebody needs to bust Papelbon too. I know that ship has sailed tonight, but I'm hoping the Yanks capitalize if they get a crack at him in the short series 5/1 - 5/2. In fact, I hope he's still perfect (afterwards, not so much).

2006-04-21 20:06:53
190.   wsporter
Boston lost. Yes.
2006-04-21 20:07:00
191.   rabid stan
Ok. Jays win.

My night just got a little better.

2006-04-21 20:14:55
192.   nick
just to add a little perspective: Ortiz and Ramirez K back to back leading off 12th in tie game--they also both made outs in the 9th, game tied
2006-04-21 20:16:19
193.   rbilotta
Just saw the highlights, or lowlights on "SportsCenter." Umps are killing us this year. Even SportsCenter was showing what horrible calls the Umps made in this game.
2006-04-21 20:20:09
194.   wsporter
A. J. Burnett left the game with what was described as a "sore elbow" tonight in the 4th. That could be really bad news for Toronto.

What is it with those Florida Marlin guys? Our guy, Penny, Burnett and Beckett have all had one thing or another. Over work, under work, wrong kind of work or just bad luck?

2006-04-21 20:27:55
195.   dpmurphy
"just to add a little perspective: Ortiz and Ramirez K back to back leading off 12th in tie game--they also both made outs in the 9th, game tied"

They also had 3 homeruns between them, just to add a little perspective. The choice between arod and ortiz in the ninth is a no brainer for anyone with any sense, just to add a little perspective.

"Umps are killing us this year."

For the whole year? Are you kidding me? Blaming the umps for one game is pretty bad, but blaming the whole year on the umps is pathetic.

2006-04-21 20:37:39
196.   Shaun P
194 MFD, hasn't Burnett already been through Tommy John surgery? That elbow soreness could be a big uh-oh for Toronto.

The others? Bad luck, I'd say, between Beckett's blisters, Pavano's various maladies over the years, and Penny's nerve issue. But I'm no doctor! It will be interesting to see what happens with Willis and the kids Florida has now.

195 Fortunately there's more to a game than just the 9th inning, in which case you're right, the choice is a no brainer for anyone with any sense. A-Rod over Ortiz every time. Ortiz's alleged clutchy-goodness is more a myth than anything else, as 164 correctly points out.

2006-04-21 20:52:02
197.   markp
164 and 196:
Amen! The media ignores every Ortiz failure and never fails to show any failure by Arod over and over. When Arod gets the big hit, they'll show it briefly. When Ortiz gets a big hit, they show it for weeks afterward.
Ultimately the impression is that Ortiz has dozens of late inning heroics while Arod only has a couple. The reality is that, over the course of their respective careers, Arod has a higher percentage of "clutch" hits (just as he has a higher percentage of non-clutch hits.)
2006-04-21 21:01:01
198.   rbilotta
@dbMurphy : Not the "whole" year but at couple games...season isn't that old, but don't add words if you are criticizing
2006-04-21 21:04:40
199.   rabid stan
194, 196 Ugh. I hate the Marlins. These guys kind of deserve it just for being associated with that team.

They've made baseball appreciably worse in the last ten years. Not that the Cubs should be let off the hook for blowing the '03 NLCS, but as a fan of the sport, I feel deprived of a Cubs/Yanks World Series.

Anyone who was part of the '97 or '03 championship squads is tainted in my book.

That goes for Sheff too. I wish we got Guerrero just as a matter of principle (I don't care if I ever see Pavano again).

2006-04-21 22:54:47
200.   Zack
Wow, this whole thread was really annoying...Back to the old Arod debate in a game that really had nothing to do with him...

Today was the tale of two Wangs: the Wang with nobody on base, and the Bizarro Wang with runners on, where he suddenly turned into Al Lieter...Anyone Wang can still pitch from the Windup with men on?

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-04-22 03:45:16
201.   randym77
The talking heads on the post-game show said Wang's problem is that he is very much a groundball pitcher. He doesn't strike them out, he gets them to hit grounders. Which is fine when there's no one on base, but if there is, things can quickly get out of hand.
2006-04-22 06:07:09
202.   wsporter
201 It looked like Wang's pitches were flattening out when he pitched from the stretch. Buck Martinez was theorizing on the always annoying O's broadcast (i.e. O's never get a strike call at Yankee Stadium) that because Wang doesn't include his hesitation move in the stretch it changes his grip on the ball which changes the movement on his sinker. Whatever.

200 Wang doesn't seem to do a great job holding runners on out of the stretch so why not pitch from the wind up with a runner on first? More stolen bases, big leads taken by base runners and hit and run baseball but there will hopefully be fewer balls roped to the outfield. Why he pitches from the stretch with the bases loaded is a mystery anyway given his problems.

2006-04-22 06:38:14
203.   mikeplugh
I can't blame Wang or Chacon for their inconsistency or for their shortcomings. They have never proved anything at the Major League level for any extended period of time. Frankly, I don't see either of them as anything more than a 4th or 5th pitcher on a good team.

At this point, both of them are trying to fill the 3rd slot on the world famous New York Yankees, which is an impossibility. Neither of them is good enough to live up to that. Wright and Pavano aren't really good enough to live up to it either, but they have a longer track record to judge by.

The 4th and 5th starters only have to be solid to make a valuable contribution. Wang can fit that role with a very good #3 in front of him. In 1998 we had Pettitte, Cone, and Wells carrying the load with Irabu and El Duque following up behind. Irabu was 13-9 with a 4.06 ERA which is remarkable consider the bad memories we have of his time in pinstripes. El Duque was found money.

You don't even have to look at such a historical team for an example of the 1-3 pitching we've enjoyed in the past. Let's look at the Yanks 1-3 over the last 10 years with 4 and 5 in parenthesis.

1996 Pettitte, Key, Rogers (Cone, Gooden)
1997 Pettitte, Wells, Cone (Gooden, Rogers)
1998 Pettitte, Wells, Cone (Irabu, Duque)
1999 Pettitte, Clemens, Cone (Irabu, Duque)
2000 Pettitte, Clemens, Cone (Duque, Neagle)
2001 Pettitte, Clemens, Mussina (Duque, Lilly)
2002 Pettitte, Clemens, Mussina (Duque, Wells)
2003 Pettitte, Clemens, Mussina (Wells, Weaver)
2004 Mussina, Vasquez, Lieber (Brown, Contreras)
2005 Mussina, Johnson, Pavano (Wang, Chacon)
2005 Mussina, Johnson, Pavano (Wang, Chacon)

See any difference over the last 3 years?

2006-04-22 06:39:07
204.   mikeplugh
Of course the duplication of 2005 should be 2005, followed by the same staff in 2006.
2006-04-22 06:51:36
205.   mikeplugh
One last one....

Not that these random thoughts mean anything but:

1. The Yanks haven't won it all without Pettitte and Cone together.

2. The Yanks haven't been to the Series without Pettitte.

3. Gooden and El Duque were about as good a 4th starter as you can find anywhere in baseball.

4. Pettitte, Clemens, Oswalt went to the Series last year. We did not.

5. If we had signed Pettitte, would Clemens be retired, or a Yankee? Would we now have Pettitte, Johnson, Mussina?

2006-04-22 07:59:00
206.   Dan M
That Strike 3 on Matsui was no different than the Ball 4 they gave to Markakis, when Proctor walked in what turned out to be the deciding run. I have no problem with the ump calling that pitch a strike in normal circumstances, but you have to call it both ways,
2006-04-23 23:18:10
207.   Yu-Hsing Chen
This game sucked,how the hell do all the contested calls go the way of the O's?

Wang's enigmatic so far this year... he's either lights out or burned out. nothing inbetween ... the 3rd inning was the weirdest ... how the hell does a pitcher that finished the first 2 inning with 15 pitches suddenly missing all pitches by a mile?.. to the point he's force to use a full windup to pitch in a 2 out full count bases loaded situation.... and then still gets a bad call.. gah.

Wang's stuff is very very good though, just need to find consistency...

I suppose it's better to get bad calls early in the year than late anyway... these things.. "usually" evens out.

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