Monday, July 31, 2006

Here's what I'm hearing

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Some of which or all of which maybe true....

The Orioles Front Office realized about a week ago, that the market for all of the bums on this team, RLopez, JLopez, Hawkins, Millar, Conine, etc, was virtually non existent. There was some minimal interest in Hawkins, but the FO determined that even though they knew it was going to take a huge offer to get Angelos to move Tejeda, that their efforts should be focused there.

As it turns out, the offers for Tejeda were pretty decent, but nothing mind blowing. And you can't always believe everything you read. Teams have becom increasingly more conservative with top-notch ML ready prospects the last few years, as the economics and the FA structure of the game has changed. Consequently, the Orioles were left with in most cases with someone else's ML problems and some quality prospects. And I think in most cases the O's were looking for ML ready field players, and pitching prospects. Whereas the two best offers, sort of were in reverse, ML ready pitchers and field player prospects. So there wasn't a real good match.

From what I have deciphered the Orioles probably would have done the Astros offer that included Oswalt, but they wanted to guage the market on Oswalt before that took place. The Orioles felt that in giving up Tejeda, they had to get both guys who could help now, and help for the future. They were concerned that with Ensberg's recent struggles, and Oswalt's contract situation that by the end of next summer, they could have virtually nothing in return for Tejeda.

I would have taken that chance and flipped Oswalt in the offseason or at the deadline next year, but the Orioles concern was that the market for FA's to be has been drying up considerably in recent years. And I think, they may have a point. Therefore, they felt if they were going to flip Oswalt it had to be now. By the time they had checked around and got back to Houston, the Astros for whatever reason, had decided Oswalt was staying in Houston. I think by that time the Orioles had found suitable trade partners in Texas, New York (Mets) and probably even Los Angeles (although the offer here was not as substantial). But at least from what I am hearing, it was the Astros that backed out of this.

Then the Orioles tried to salvage something with what was left. But found that there was little market left, and that most other teams who were making trades had more suitable targets left. There is still some hope that a waiver trade maybe made. But I don't see that as likely happening.

Anyway, that is what I know right now, which doesn't really help matters, but I think it does explain some things.

I am disappointed, but will continue to hope that at some point things will get better. And as a consolation, we still have the best SS in the game.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Time to say goodbye

Go back in the archives and you'll find I had trouble deciding whether or not Miguel Tejeda should be traded in the offseason.

Well there is no wavering now.

Be gone with him.

And its not because I don't like Miggy. I do. But let's get what we can right now. From all reports, it sounds like there are two puruers, the Angels and the Astros. Everyone says the Angels have the better prospects. And if you believe Baseball America, and there is no reason not to, that is all true.

The Angels had 3 guys ahead of the Astros top ranked prosect Jason Hirsch in BA's offseason rankings. But Hirsch was also ahead of Jered Weaver in the rankings. If I'm the Orioles, I'm looking for one major leaguer for Tejeda, as well as a position prospect and a pitching prospect.

If you deal with the Angels, you've got to get either Brandon Wood or Erick Aybar, both SS prospects. And since they aren't going to trade Jered Weaver right now, you probably don't get as solid of a pitching prospect. LA's next best pitching prospect is probably Joe Saunders. He was 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA with Salt Lake before going 7 innings in a July 18th win over Cleveland. But with the health of numerous Angel pitchers questionable down the stretch would they risk giving him up? That might mean you've got to go all the way down to A ball to get a prospect from the pitching ranks. Tommy Mendoza and Nick Adenhart both started the season at Low-A Cedar Rapids with Adenhart jumping to the Cal League five starts ago. Mendoza throws harder, but Adenhart may have the best curve in the organization. The lefty was 10-2 with a 1.95 ERA at Cedar Rapids, and is now 3-1 with 4.55 in the Cal League. But both of those guys are at least another full season and probably two away.

I also think the major leaguer to return to the Orioles from LA is a bit of a reach. The Angels want Tejeda to play third. Macier Izturis has been playing third recently, but I don't want him in Baltimore. And there isn't a fourth outfielder that I'd take. So if its me, I'd want Wood, Dallas MacPherson or Casey Kotchman, and then I'd take either Mendoza or Adenhart, but would push for Adenhart. However, if they try to make you take Izturis instead of MacPherson or Kotchman, I'd demand Saunders. And they might actually try to hold onto Wood, and make you take Aybar, which is ok, but then you've got to get MacPherson or Kotchman -- the one you like better, and I like Kotchman, and probably Saunders.

That's why I think Houston might be the better partner. Adam Everett currently is the Astros SS, so he'd be the guy they'd like to get rid of immediately. I'd take Everett to be the everyday SS if I had to. But I would take an OF and let Brandon Fahey play SS. Still, the Astros have the pitcher closest to the majors in this whole situation, and that is Jason Hirsh. The 6-8 250 pound righthander is the Astros top prospect and is 12-2 with a 2.03 ERA at Round Rock (AAA). I also took a liking to lefthander Troy Patton, who just bumped from High-A to AA. With Salem he was 7-7 with a 2.93 ERA, while striking out 102 in 101 innings. His first start with Corpus Christi he struck out 6 in 5 2/3. He is 0-1 with a 1.59 there. But the guy I get most excited about is Hunter Pence. Pence has had a huge year at AA this year, after turning 23 earlier this year. He's hitting 299 with a 362 OBP and a 579 slugging pct. His 24 homers are matched by 24 doubles and 7 triples in just under 400 At-bats. He's stolen 13 bases to boot. If I could get Hirsh, Pence and Patton, I'd do the deal immediately.

I might even consider it without Hirsh, if I could get Pence, Patton and Chris Burke.

Again, I like Tejeda, but I'm ready to move on. I need something to get me excited about the Orioles again.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What the Kruk?

I have to agree with my good friend Josh Martin. And oh man does in pain me to do that. He's a Pitt fan and everything. And you can read his article at with a premium membership. Or you can just believe me that he ripped John Kruk for his remarks about umpire Angel Hernandez and his generosity during Monday night's Dodgers-Dbacks game.

You see after Hernandez tossed Dodger first base coach Mariano Duncan from the contest. Duncan, a known hothead, tossed his hat at Hernandez, or off his head and onto the field. After the commotion ended. Hernandez gave the hat to a young fan in the stands. Kruk thinks, and Duncan agrees, that Hernandez should have to pay to replace the hat.

I'm sorry but that is flat out silly.

Sure Major League Baseball may have rules against throwing equipment into the crowd and Hernandez' job is to uphold the rules. But what he did here was made a young fan happy. And as far as I am concerned, that should be baseball's concern right now. Find ways to make young fans happy. Hernandez did that, by making the most of a bad situation. Kruk is just wrong on this.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Random Ramblings

I like Padraig Harrington to win the British Open before. I've liked him before in majors. But for some reason, I like him again.

Do the Braves have a chance in the NL East? I didn't think so either. But they are hitting the snot out of the ball right now. Still it seems 11.5 is probably too much to overcome, because we don't expect the Mets to just totally tank from here. But at 5 back in the Wild Card race, I guess you have to call them a contender there.

Sprinkle me a Blue Jays fan for the second half. I figure if they play well, either the Red Sox or Yankees won't make the playoffs. Smile.

Why did I chuckle when I saw a truck full of junkyard cars today, carrying one with a University of Michigan vanity plate on it? Was it Mario Manningham that made me giggle?

Orange picked eighth in the Big East today. Good stuff. 1-10 will do that kind of stuff for you. But the outlook remains upbeat around the Hill. Seriously, I think they have to be better than last year, scoring a few points will keep them in many games. But I wonder how much the defensive losses will hurt. The D was not bad last year, but losing 7 starters can't be a good thing.

Major disappointment out of it all was Matt Reid not being academically eligible to begin play this fall. He joins Jermaine Pierce and Andrey Baskin on the casualty list. Although we sort of expected that, now didn't we.

Bruce Arena has been hired by the New York Red Bulls. Didn't take him long to land on his feet did it? We weren't happy with Arena and his managing of the US in Germany. But its no doubt that he's a top notch coach and will do well for New York.

The Orioles go for 4 straight wins tonight. That would be a season high. Scary isn't it? And scarier still that Russ Ortiz gets the ball. Oh, we love Russ.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Some things I've been thinking

Yesterday was the worst sports day of the year.

Aubrey Huff is a good pickup for the Astros, but it won't make a significant difference. He isn't going to Carlos Beltran them to the playoffs.

I'm a Blue Jays fan for the rest of the season. I figure if the Jays play well the rest of the way, at least one of the Red Sox or Yankees will be golfing in early October. That makes me smile, so go Jays!

The Mount's basketball schedule is out. I'm excited by it. Some games against winnable opponents out of conference. And some interesting non-conference games at home before Christmas. Maine, James Madison, and American at home, could all be victories. Road games at NC State, and Maryland provide a big-time atmosphere. And trips to Lasalle, Winthrop will hopefully be returned next year. Although my guess is that one of those games is not a return trip. Either way it could be a great non-conference home schedule in '07-'08. As the annual battle with Loyola will also be at the Mount that year, its in Baltimore this year. Return trips to Binghamton and Lafayette are possible places to gain a win on the road.

The Live Updates of the Tour de France are not as exciting or compelling this year without Lance in the race.

Very surprising to me that there are only three National League games and four American League games. I don't ever recall an All-Star break extending so long for so many.

Syracuse's latest committment, Nick Provo a Tight End from Florida seems to me like the type of recruit that Syracuse is going to need to get back to the top of the Big East. The SU coaching staff, must outevaluate the other schools, and sell kids who might be a half-step slower or two inches shorter than the blue chip, that they believe in their ability and they can make them shine at a BCS school. Then they must do that.

Not many top kids are going to want to come after the 1-10 embarrassment that was last season. So you have to find kids who others have set to the side and outrecruit your peers for them.

But Provo did have offers from Minnesota and South Carolina, so there were others who thought the kid could play at the next level. I like the get.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Good for Young

Any chance that last night's all-star game game-winning triple, MVP performance gets Michael Young the credit he deserves as one of the top players in the game?

Unfortunately, I don't think so either.

It was an exciting conclusion to a rather drab game. But come one year, maybe one month, heck one week from now, people aren't going to remember it. And likely most will forget about Young.

He's buried down there in Texas, and if you are without the MLB Extra Innings package (pity you) you hardly see him play. And now with the unbalanced schedule, he only comes to most parks in the AL once a year. But the people in LA, Seattle and Oakland know about him.

I've liked him for a long time. Might have been the night I saw him hit his first major league homer, in an interleague game at Dodger Stadium. I remember Vin Scully saying it was a nice moment for the young kid in a game close to his childhood home.

Since that time, he's become a run producer in the middle of the Texas order. Last year, he led the AL in hitting and drove in 91 while hitting 24 homers. He finished 11th in the MVP voting. The guys in front of him were mainly deserving, and he does share the spotlight (or did last year) with Mark Teixeira. He has been an all-star the last 3 years, but I'll bet there were a lot of casual baseball fans last night, who were really questioning who this guy was.

Well now he has the All-Star MVP to add to his resume. And the resume continues to grow. He isn't the best player in the game. But there aren't too many position players I'd take over him. Vlad, ARod and maybe Ichiro from the American League. Certainly, Pujols and maybe Derrek Lee or David Wright in the NL. But that's about it. He's just entering those prime years at a top position.

Maybe last night gets him some of the credit he deserves. But somehow I doubt it.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zidane certainly left a final impression

I just wrote a followup to my Zidane post from the other day, but it was lost somewhere in the blogsphere. So, this post is basically a test. Good LuckAds by AdGenta.comTags: , , , ,

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Random Thoughts

The Luis Matos era is over in Baltimore. The outfielder was DFA'ed before last night's loss. The Orioles maybe trying to sneak him through waivers. But for what reason, he's had four years to prove himself and hasn't. He's better off getting a chance somewhere else.

I was the founding member of the Luis Matos fan club. Back when he was 0-for-18 or whatever he was to start his ML career, and I saw his first hit. At that point, I became a fan. But it just never worked out for Matos in Baltimore. Too bad, and good luck. I know there is at least one other fan saddened by the news.

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Why was I thinking of Dan Pasqua -- when Dan Johnson homered for the A's last night?

Why was I thinking of Dan Pasqua period?

Lots of bikes in town this weekend. Kinda noisy. But it shouldn't be bad on the golf course.

Speaking of golf, Tiger might have his groove back a little. Or at least his swing. He shot 4 under this morning, to make the cut at the Western Open. Still a lot of golfers on the course, but he's gone from Tied for 82nd to Tied for 27th. Not a bad day's work.

Unfortunate that the BC Open had to be moved due to the Susquehanna flooding. Not something we like to see. Never played (golf) at Turning Stone, but I've played a few hands there before.

Anybody else remember the Activision game Stampede for the Atari? Amazing how far technology has come. Great game though. Watch out for the Black Angus.

Yesterday was officially 8 weeks til the first college football game. So we're one day closer today. My thoughts remain the same. Go Chippewas.

Have a great weekend.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

So long to Z

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Sunday marks the end to the great career of Zinedine Zidane. And now that he has performed so remarkably in this Cup run, many are calling for him to stay on.

To that I ask, "Why"?

For someone who already won a World Cup title in 1998, and has had a great club career, what is playing in Europe really going to bring to the guy. Seriously, he's reached the top, he's not going any further. And if he continues to play, we'll be left of images of his declining play.

Can't we just take this Cup and remember ZZ for it. I mean shouldn't Jordan have stopped after that shot in Utah. Did we really need those years with the Mystics?

Zidane doesn't need that. He's had a great career, and he's been great in this Cup.

A wise basketball coach once told me, "Final Impressions are lasting impressions."

I prefer to remember Zidane based on this glorious run. Now is the proper time for him to call it a career.


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