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Conversation Pieces

baltimore oriole erik bedardSorry for the slow-posting week. I’ve been trying to finish up an article for PressBox and it’s been more difficult than I expected. But, hey, it’s not like anything happened this week, right?

Heading into the weekend I thought I’d round up a few things and give a bit of analysis, then throw the floor open.

Chalk up another win for Andy MacPhail in the “making all the right moves so far” category: he’s looking to lock up Erik Bedard.

Smart, smart, smart. Find out if you can extend him, make as hard a push as you can, and then get what you can for him if it just isn’t going to happen.

For those of you in the Baltimore area who would like to listen to the Wizards as they struggle early on, you can now do so on WCAO 600 (scroll down).

This was brought up in the comments earlier and I think it’s worth revisiting: what do the Ravens do if Kyle Boller plays well? Do you buy into it and say he turned the corner, or do you stick with the idea that they need to groom someone to become a franchise guy?

Is it me or does anyone else squirm a little bit when it comes to Roch Kubatko‘s close relationship with Anita Marks and the Orioles flagship? Roch’s job as a Sun reporter is to, well, report. Anita’s job as a host on the flagship is (although I doubt she’d admit this) to basically help promote the team. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with Roch (or any other reporter) doing guest radio spots, but I do think that in this case it’s become a wee bit too cozy (witness the softball Aubrey Huff interview this week).

Last but absolutely not least, Terps basketball is finally underway. I haven’t said much yet but I have been paying attention. Look for more regular Terps coverage as the season goes on, but in the meantime feel free to post your early season thoughts.

18 comments to Conversation Pieces

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I missed the softball Huff stuff…can anybody enlighten me to the exact softballness of the whole thing?

    Thought you might like an update on some of our boys, who are all playing for championships in fall ball out west. Matt Wieters had a big game yesterday, with an RBI double and an RBI triple to help Honolulu stop a losing streak. He’s batting .296 with a homer and 17 RBIs in 29 games, putting up a .819 OPS with the Sharks. Meanwhile, his once and future teammate Brandon Synder is hitting .378 with 2 homers and 15 RBIs in 26 games, good for a .942 OPS. The Hawaiian Winter League isn’t supposed to be hard by any stretch of the imagination, but these guys are destroying the A ball/Japanese players here. I’d say Bowie will look pretty good next year.

    In the Arizona Fall League, our boys will be playing for the Championship. We’ve got 4 guys making some sort of impression around here – including Hayden Penn, who was struggling terribly but recently pitched 5 innings of 5 hit ball – I’m not very excited about him anymore (I still refer to him casually as Mr. 108 for his era in 2006), but I assume with more arm strength he’ll look more like what we thought he was, if he doesn’t get traded this offseason (a real possibility). Jake “The Steal” Arrieta has gone 16 innings with a .938 WHIP and a 0.00 ERA and 16 Ks and is up for AFL CY Young equivalent, as is Bob McCrory with his 1.5 ERA and .666 WHIP in 12 innings with 11 Ks. Lastly, Nolan Reimold is coming off a disappointing, injury filled season by hitting .245 with 6 homers and 23 RBIs in 29 games, good for a .783 OPS.

    The Pheonix Desert Dogs (that’s us) will play the Surprise Rafters (who host two guys from Cleveland named Michael Aubrey and David Huff on Saturday. Penn blanked the Rafters in the last regular season game of the year, for what it’s worth.

    Anyway, our guys are playing really well, so that’s good news for us baseball guys on TLC. I know the fall leagues are small sample sizes, but it shows that Reimold and Penn are healthy, Wieters doesn’t forget everything once he holds wood instead of metal, and that Arrieta might be freaking amazing.

    Lastly, praise Xenu we’re not sitting on our hands, Mussina/Ryan style and waiting to do something with Bedard. That’s progress if nothing else is, Andy MacPhail.

  • dan the man

    Nice update there on the youngsters – at least it ain’t bad news, right?

    Yup, MacGettinItDone keep gettin it done right so far. I fully expected lots of delays with a Bedard extension, so it’s great to see they are going right after him. Because even if you’re rebuilding, you gotta win some games for confidence’s sake. You have to give the kids you’re patrolling out there every night a chance to win at once every five games, especially in the AL East. Aces are rare.

    Neal, I almost commented here about Roch’s last post before this post, which means it’s at least slightly obvious that at times he’s tried to convince us controversial players aren’t all bad with some cushy interviews. And Anita is so blatantly a salesperson for the O’s and the Ravens. But I get the impression she’s also a true fan, so I’m ok with it. But damn I can’t stand the Ravens radio shows, they are so hollow and boring. But if Roch is going to keep appearing on shows and letting players speak through his blog, then he needs to just make the transition to radio/MASN. And honestly, I think they are trying him out a little bit – he was up in the booth and in the stands quite a lot on MASN this season. Everyone knows who he is from the blog so maybe you attract a little more MASN ratings with “Roch from Roch Around The Clock” on TV.

  • Harry O'Sullivan

    let me reply to the comments above about Roch and Anita being too cozy on her show. I say NO WAY. Its just the type of Humor Roch likes to portry. Anita has too much class to let something like that go on IMHO. but Like Dennis Miller say’ that is my opinion, but I could be wrong” I think Anita is closer to David Sagehdi from Ruths Chris?? aw who cares… lets put some good players on the field in 2008 and win some ball games.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I got to watch the AFL championship today, particularly Reimold and McCrory playing roles. I didn’t see Reimold’s at bats (he was the DH) but he went 2-5 with a run scored…

    but Bob McCrory! Man oh man he looked excellent. Worked quickly, hit the outside corner repeatedly (2 Ks in the inning) and looked confident in the championship game as the Pheonix Desert Dogs won 7-2 this afternoon.

  • dan the man

    should we be going after torrealba or nah? doesn’t look like the mets are gonna sign him and the o’s do need a backup for/platoon with ramon

  • neal s

    I get what you’re saying, Harry. By “close” I mean the potential conflict(s) of interest involving an O’s reporter getting too cozy with a show host on the flagship. It’s not meant to attack Anita or Roch personally, just to point out the potential problems resulting from their chummy business relationship.

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Orlando Cabrera, one of the few offensive weapons the Angels had, traded for Jon Garland (giving the Halos a fucking tremendous rotation) – everybody say bye bye to Miggy while he’s still here….

  • dan the man

    orlando cabrera just got traded for garland. that leaves a hole at ss for anaheim… too early to speculate about miguel being on his way over there?

  • dan the man

    you beat me to it, AiR!

  • Joe the Guy

    Late Breaking News:

    from the “Actually…We Don’t Need That Fourth Year After All” Department:

    Mike Lowell resigns for 3yrs @ 12M +
    Mariano Rivera resigns for 3 yrs @ 15M

    I would say that I agree with both moves, circumstantially.

    I’m assuming our L.C. GM’s wouldn’t want to pay 36 year old Mike Lowell over ten million dollars, or MO 15M when:

    “Rivera saved 30 games last season, his lowest total since 2002 and posted a 3.15 ERA, his highest since his rookie year in 1995.”

    However both teams didn’t really have a choice, not signing either player would have done more harm short term than good long term.

    Right?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I’ll agree – but the Sox certainly didn’t need Lowell back. They could’ve easily bring up Brandon Moss or trade for someone or whatever and push Youkilis to third no problem. This was a good move for them, but its got some real backfire potential.

    The Yankees, though, man oh man – they’ve spent well over 300 million dollars to have the same team as last year but without their best pitcher so far (or their second worst pitcher, to be fair). I mean, 41 year old Mariano Rivera being paid 15 million dollars in 2010? That’s just stupid money.

  • dan the man

    the question is, do we really want ervin santana? he’d most likely be the centerpiece to a tejada trade. i guess he’s similar to d-cabs but with slightly more success. 25 yrs old. 5+ era. got sent to AAA last year. sounds a little too familiar for me – i mean, i dunno if i can stand having another d-cab type pitcher with crazy talent and no know-how.

    i really hope cabrera gets traded. i just don’t see how you fix a guy who flinches every single time the ball reaches the vacinity of the plate. how do you fix that? that shit is ingrained psychologically and way harder to fix than a shoulder flying open or something. i dunno man.

    ervin/daniel thoughts?

  • Andrew in Rochester

    I don’t like Santana one bit. Make Brandon Wood the centerpiece instead, or Erick Aybar, but Santana just looks mediocre to me, and we don’t need a 25 year old project right now.

  • dan the man

    I agree. We need prospects, not projects. The Angels are most definitely going to go after Miguel Cabrera first, as is everybody who’s looking to make a big trade in the infield. Tejada seems to be stuck as everyone’s second option.

    Tejada? Bargain bin? Dude won the MVP… sure seems like awhile ago now.

  • Joe the Guy

    Sadly…this is too true about Mikey Tejada

    Now that ARod and Lowell are off the table we STILL need to wait for someone to grab Cabrera for the Tejada talks to really heat up.

    Wierd…

    I’m down with keeping him, I always hate getting 60-70 cents on the dollar

    A SOLEMN VOW:

    MacPhail will win my heart and 08 Immunity from my sword tounged LC posts if his first “real” move is to extend Bedard

  • Andrew in Rochester

    Here’s the good news – between the Angels and the Dodgers, the Pigeonhole Principle says that one of them will get no Miguel Cabrera, but both are going to need somebody to see baseballs, hit baseballs, and both teams have very good farm systems we can pick from, so we’ll probably get a good return on Tejada this offseason after Cabrera moves. Best case would be Cabrera going to someone else like the Mets, making LA and LA get into a bidding war over us. We can dream, right?

    If Bedard isn’t interested in extending, trading him will do 2 important things:
    1) it will speed up the rebuilding process considerably – Matt Kemp plus Clayton Kershaw plus someone else (as has been rumored) would be a Teixeira type haul for us.
    2) nobody will be able to say MacPhail isn’t in charge or that Petey is still calling the shots when the 2 most popular, successful players get traded for no-name younguns. In this town, that’s huge.

  • dan the man

    That’s a good point. Although in my mind, trading Roberts would signify who is really in charge, since Angelos nixed that deal. I still say you try to keep Roberts. Not because he’s the best second baseman out there, because he’s not, but because he’s the one Oriole vet on the team that can have a positive influence on younger guys.

    I agree with you about signing Bedard, JTG, but it’s really not up to MacPhail, it’s up to Erik. It’s clearly MacPhail’s intention to sign him, but we have to see if Bedard’s heart longs for Canada.