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A Sunday Roundup

baltimore sports roundup orioles lassoThis was a busy weekend in both local and national sports news, a rare circumstance for early summer. The best way to handle it is to cram it all into one glorious post, so here goes.

The Orioles lost to the Angels today, dropping the series 2-1. You have to love Melvin Mora‘s heart though, going hard into Halos catcher Mike Napoli while attempting to score in the ninth on a tag-up. The collision left both men hurting, and that’s the way it should be. Plays like that are going to come up and you want men on your team willing to step into it. I’m not sure it makes the loss go down any easier, but it’s good to see.

Interim manager Dave Trembley still has a winning record at 6-5. I also like his comments at Roch’s blog, about starting Fahey over Bynum:

“The way it is right now with this team and the way it might be in the future is it might be built around pitching and defense, and if that’s the case, I think you put the best guys out there that can catch the ball.”

Brian Roberts has been named as the lone Baltimore representative to the All-Star game. It makes sense to a point, but it’s hard to make a case against either Bedard or Guthrie.

I really, really want to write about how the fan vote for Barry Bonds is proof that the system is broken. Unfortunately, his stats say otherwise. He’s hitting .304 with 16 HR and 40 RBI, rendering any argument against his inclusion kind of silly. System’s still broken though.

In an absolutely out-of-nowhere move, Mike Hargrove resigned today from his job as manager of the Seattle Mariners. The reason? His “passion has begun to fade”. The man would rather leave the game than give his team anything other than 100%, despite the fact that they’re one of the hottest teams in baseball. That, friends, is class.

I also wonder: with Sam Perlozzo‘s history in Seattle (he was Lou Piniella‘s third base coach there from 93-95), could that be his next stop?

Steve Trachsel went on the DL, and Kurt Birkins replaced him. Since Birkins is serving in long relief, that means the O’s will need a starter. All signs point to young gun Garrett Olson. His stats at Norfolk have been impressive enough: 7-6, 3.46 ERA, 104 IP, 94 K, 31 BB.

The Reds fired manager Jerry Narron.

That fan protest in Pittsburgh came and went, and by all accounts it was kind of a bust.

They took the opposite approach to the one taken here last September, opting to stage their walkout during a sold out tilt. If they ended up with a thousand fans leaving their seats that’s pretty good, but it doesn’t look like much when it’s such a low percentage of the total attendance.

No wrapup yet from the Average White Guy, who stopped by here last week to leave a comment.

I haven’t said much about Wimbledon yet because, frankly, week one hasn’t been that interesting. We’ve seen precious few big matches and/or upsets, unless you count American James Blake going down to Juan Carlos Ferrero in the third round, which I don’t.

That all said, the prospect of a FedererNadal rematch remains tantalizing. Should they meet again it’ll represent a reversal of what we saw at last month’s French Open. As good as Nadal is on clay, Federer is equally that good on grass. And as long as clay is the only surface on which Nadal continues to dominate he’ll never pose a legitimate challenge to Federer’s throne, assuming the latter remains healthy. But should the young Mallorcan manage to beat Federer at Wimbledon? We’d have a hell of a story leading up to August’s U.S. Open.

Good luck on tour, Dan. We’ve been there ourselves (some of us).

9 comments to A Sunday Roundup

  • Joe the Guy

    I was looking at Guthrie’s last 10 starts on the ESPN site and his last five team losses, all no decisions (@BOS, TOR, @LAA, COL, WAS) his run support has gone down in each game: 5,4,3,2,1

    And it was more or less the same shit tonight. They started off decent but when He needed Them (after the poor 4th inning) what did they deliver: 123 fourth, stranded runner at 2nd in the fifth, 123 sixth, 123 seventh.

    I’ve been following the kid because I was @ The Massacre and I obviously had never heard of him and fell in love. It’s been hard to watch him pitch so well and reap so little benefits, hence the All Star snub.

    My ESPNews just looped and the O’s highlight is on again. Freeze frame zoom on Mora’s foot under the tag. nightmares.

  • dan the man

    The O’s got out-pitched, plain and simple. Lackey is ugly but nasty. And the Angels bullpen is beyond solid. We put up a fight and no, that’s not good enough, but yes, it’s a positive. If Melvin is called safe, it’s a whole other ballgame. Same goes if that strike zone is a little bigger for Guthrie. But bottom line we just couldn’t get the hits. Sunday day games are killing us but there’s still a different vibe and intensity under Trembley than we’ve seen.

    COREY PATTERSON: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAN JUST PUT DOWN A BUNT. This is quite possibly one of the more interesting storylines to follow as the season winds down. Will Patterson’s amazing defense be enough to get him signed again in Baltimore? Cuz let’s face it, I don’t want Jay Payton playing CF. I want Patterson there regardless of his batting average. It’s when you couple his nearly automatic out (which wouldn’t be nearly as automatic if he would just bunt) with Bako’s auto-out that we start to have problems. We could conceivably keep Corey and replace Bako with House in ’08. But if we can land a legit CF free-agent then fuck it. Love watching Corey play though when he’s running and jumping and doing all the things he’s good at.

    Good for B-Rob. Somebody finally realized he’s one of the best 2Bmen in the game. HRs be damned, the dude is slugging the crap out of the baseball and playing Jeter-esque defense and wreaking havoc on the basepaths. Honestly, I’d rather have him in the All-Star game than either Bedard or Guthrie. Guthrie will get his as will Bedard, when the wins come. In the meantime, stay right here in B’more and rest up for the second half.

    By the way: the O’s will tear it up in the 2nd half, you watch.

  • Joe the Guy

    Roberts over Bedard and Guthrie? I’m just not buying it. We only get one Default Automatic All Star and by damn we better make it count . What about my “No Love For Guthrie” stats?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Yes, Brian Roberts is clearly the best Oriole. For proof, let’s look at the Bedard-Clemens game. They were neck and neck for most of the game, neither giving up anything. But Bedard’s pitch count was considerably higher than Clemens’. He was mowing them down, for sure, but Clemens was cruising – until Brian Roberts gets on in the 4th. He plays with Clemens, dancing around on first, clearly sucking away at his focus and energy, and then takes off and could’ve stolen second standing up. We didn’t score that inning, but that was definitely the beginning of the end for Old Roger.
    The thing that makes me happiest with Roberts’ baserunning is that, since its the most important part of his offensive game, he’s swiping bases regardless of the attention he’s being paid. In the past, we’ve heard him say he stops running when the pitchers pay more attention to him (same with Corey), but now it doesn’t seem to matter even a little bit.

  • Joe the Guy

    Andrew I nearly got fired trying to prove that Roberts isn’t the best Oriole. Couldn’t do it, he’s the best. I was hoping it would be Markakis though. Roberts leading hte team in Runs, hits, trips, walks, steals, OBP, AVG and even SLG.

    I guess I believe in the 3 rules of baseball: pitching, pitching, pitching

  • Mike L

    the replays showed he got under the tag. but the ump was clearly out of position, and when the throw beats you by as much as i did, 99 times out of 100 the defense gets the call. i dont aruge with the decision to tag up though. even though its vladi if that ball took one hop, or was a foot off one way or another, brand new ball game. bottom nine. gotta be agressisve. you know he wanted it too. even though guthrie got credit for the loss, another fine performance. just one bad pitch.

    you think trachsel going on the DL is the same as when baez went on the DL? give trachsel a “2 weeks to get your head out of your ass” stint. diagnosed with a strained glute none the less. uh huh. yeah. cough bullshit cough. olsens numbers are pretty nice. id love to see what he can do. but i think we called up birkins. this is the 3rd time weve called him up. give olsen a chance.

    hey, 6-5, not bad. i like what trembleys doing. o’s baseball win or lose is getting back to being exciting again. i was glued to the tv at work for the last 2 innings yeasterday. even though we lost, thats what the sport is all about. i think i would have rather seen melvin just truck over napoli there at the end, maybe jar the ball loose and then theres no contreversy. but what are you ganna do. he was safe.

  • dan the man

    It’ll be a better honor for Guthrie if he gets AL Rookie of the Year. The All-Star game is a joke anyway. ‘Roids in LF and Derek Jeter and about 20 snubs from clueless baseball “fans”. Although it is annoying that seemingly no one in the national media realizes that Bedard has the most strikeouts in the game.

    The O’s need some bad teams to string together a bunch of wins and maybe cut that 10 game deficit from .500 to, like, 4 or 5. The White Sox aren’t great, but they’re certainly not terrible. We got 4 with them, then the Rangers, then the WSox again. Is anyone else realizing how retarded the schedule is this year throughout baseball?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I like what I’ve seen out of these guys lately. Much more fired up. Even when they lose, and John Parrish isn’t involved (why is he still with the big league club?), I find myself intrigued how they make it come down to the wire.

    I find that I really like Trem’s style. If you don’t have enough decent hitters, make crazy line-ups that get the job done (line up construction is over rated anyhow, but you might as well have your best OBP guys up higher along with the guys who can work a count to pieces, so Millar and Roberts in the top four actually makes total sense to me). Use the bullpen with some inkling of a leash, and show some accountability, and don’t put it on the players. If John Parrish blew it, it’s the manager’s fault for putting him in a situation where he couldn’t excel. It doesn’t make any actual sense, but that’s how baseball works, and Trembley gets that and accepts it. I never bashed Perlozzo, and I never will even if he deserves a lot of blame, but he always said that his players should have done better and that it was their fault we lost game X – but the buck now stops with Trem, and I like that.

    SO, in light of that, here’s why I think we’ll have a pretty good second half and (shh) maybe even see the light of .500 at the end of it, and Dave Trembley will remain the manager:
    1) We’re playing like a fucking baseball team instead of the Jamaican Bobsledding Team
    2) A couple of these guys are due for a hot second half because they historically play better in the second half for whatever reason (Huff) or can’t slump all year with such a sweet swing (Markakis)
    3) We’ll get Jaret Wright back!
    3) I mean Miggy
    4) So far, if you break the teams we’ve played into 3 groups called Good (Angels, Athletics, Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Twins, Red Sox, Padres, D-backs), Bad (Yankees, Royals, D-Rays, Rangers, White Sox, Nats), and Average (Blue Jays, Rockies), we’ve played an extremely unbalanced schedule so far (no pun intended):
    45 games (13-32) against the Good, with 29 to go
    24 games (17-7) against the Bad, with 43 to go (assuming we lose Thursday’s game)
    12 games (5-7) against the Average, with 9 to go

    So, if we play exactly as we have been, we’ll go 43-38, leaving us at 78-84…

    Would that be okay with you all, after what we’ve been through so far? I would expect us to play better – call it the X factor that Trem has appeared to add to this team which Sam lacked – and it’s only a stretch to think about .500, not a total fabrication.

  • dan the man

    Wow, nice roundup of the schedule. I agree it’s been crazy unbalanced. This team CAN have a good 2nd half if they keep up the intensity (and maybe aqcuire someone?). Unless Trembley does something stupid, I think he’s almost guarenteed to have the rest of the season at this point.