Written for your enjoyment by: Raff
The Orioles enter play tonight 13-28, that means they've won 11 of 23 since their 2-16 start. 11-12 isn't so bad is it? But when you throw away the first 18 games of the season (and I know you can't do that) they aren't that bad are they?
Of course the offense has been anemic -- and the pitching hasn't been good enough. But guys like Jeremy Guthrie, Kevin Millwood and Brian Matusz have pitched better than their records indicate. The pitching is still lining up for the Orioles, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta look set to graduate from AAA this summer - and Zach Britton is the top Oriole prospect at AA. But there isn't any offense on the horizon. Both Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder have struggled in Norfolk after impressive springs - and the middle of the diamond doesn't have anyone pushing to break through either. I think the Orioles thought the were set with an outfield of Markakis, Jones, Pie and Reimold for years to come. But it doesn't look so good now. Only Markakis has even come close to the expectation - and Pie continues to be one injury after another.
Playing in the NL - or least away from the East Coast might help. Can you believe San Diego and Cincinnati are Division leaders at the moment? But let's face it, the Orioles have too many holes to even think that having to play 35% of its games against the Yankees, Red Sox - and the Rays (the best team in baseball) is the problem. But then again if they were playing Milwaukee, the Cubs, and Pittsburgh the majority of the time, they might be able to develop some confidence. Or they'd at least be closer to that 11-12 record of the last 23 games - which would at least make you want to turn on the TV.
According to BG - Greg Paulus was on campus for an interview today. My Syracuse connections couldn't confirm anything for me yet, but the consensus was that it would be a good move. Paulus is a leader in every sense of the word. The Orange quarterback led SU to a 4-8 record in Doug Marrone's first season, including a win over Rutgers. For the record, we're in favor of it - anything that connects the Orange to the Mount is a good thing as far as we're concerned.
Lacrosse sort of connects them - and there were some who were saying, the Mount's inclusion in the tournament cost the Orange. Because the thought was that had Siena beaten the Mount in the MAAC Final - then Siena would have gone to the Carrier Dome - and Army or perhaps Loyola would have been in Charlottesville. Just a thought.
BG also mentioned that he doesn't expect Justin Burrell to remain committed at the Mount. My information on that was a little more positive. I got the sense that Burrell was still mulling things over - but whatever he did - he wanted to play next year. He can't do that at Holy Cross - as the Crusaders don't have a scholarship available.
As of now the Mount has at least one scholarship available - with the defection of Donte Morales. There is also the possibility that Tayvon Jackson, who has finished his undergraduate work, will forego his final year of eligibility - but were waiting on official word on that decision. Getting players this late in the game is not usually the best way to work the system. But in recent years the Mount has had success with Pierre Brown and still has high hopes for Kristian Krajina. You may recall John Schwarz never played a minute after being a similar recruit.