Noteworthy day

Some notes to wrap up another year of blogging for me here at MASNsports.com.

Thanks to everyone for reading all year and Happy New Year!

Right before the 2010 season began, I made some fearless predictions about the O's and the AL East. Here are some of those predictions and how they fared vs. what really happened.

Steve's predicted 2010 AL East standings:
Boston 94-68
Tampa 91-71
New York 90-72
Baltimore 79-83
Toronto 72-90

The actual standings were:
Tampa 96-66
New York 95-67
Boston 89-73
Toronto 85-77
Baltimore 66-96

O's home run leader: Nolan Reimold (Luke Scott hit 27)
O's wins leader: Brian Matusz (it was Jeremy Guthrie with 11 while Matusz had 10)
O's OPS leader: Nick Markakis (Scott led here at .902)

Final word on Hobgood: During my recent lengthy interview with Matt Hobgood, I asked him about his work at Athletes Performance Institute in Carson, California and what he is doing to lose weight and improve his conditioning.

He admits he came into the 2010 season at a higher weight than he should have.

"I put on about 15 pounds, I did. I'm a big guy, I won't be like a Tillman or Matusz, I'm just a bigger guy. I'm a baseball talent in a football player's body basically. Conditioning will always be something I will have to work on and constantly keep in check.

"I was working my butt off there (at API). I started there as soon as I came home. I was working out with Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman and picked their brains about some stuff. It was a good experience for me.

"For me, mostly it's working on the body fat. My body fat is at about 15 percent right now which is two percent from where I ended last year. It's all about what kind of weight you are carrying around, not so much a number."

No doubt the bashers will rip him for these comments, also. But I appreciate his candor and openness on this issue.

Can Adam Jones really hit second?: Yes, he can. While I clearly understand that there will be plenty of criticism over my opinions sometimes, I was a little surprised at some of the reaction when I suggested that Brian Roberts, Jones and Markakis could hit 1-2-3 for the Orioles.

Some thought I had lost my marbles, the few that were there already.

I still have a few. Sometimes I feel fans put too much stock in the numbers, stats and sabermetrics and if something doesn't fit nicely, they are not open to it.

I won't revisit all my reasons for this, they are listed here. But Jones, perhaps, could benefit more than anyone by Roberts creating havoc on the bases and disrupting a pitcher's attention span.

Yes, it was a small sample, but when they hit 1-2-3 in April of 2009, it was the best the O's offense had looked in years.

By the way, when MLB Network was discussing the Orioles the other night, they listed a projected lineup. It began with Roberts, Jones and Markakis.

Congrats to a friend: When Towson University beat LaSalle in college basketball on Wednesday night, Spiro Morekas was there to broadcast the game, as usual.

He has been the voice of Tiger athletics for most of the last 25 years and Wednesday's broadcast was his 1,000th as the Tigers' voice, counting football, men's and women's hoops and lacrosse over the years.

When I first started at the Towson campus radio station as a freshman in 1979, Spiro was just starting also and we become close friends and broadcast many Tiger games together.

Spiro is an excellent broadcaster, a guy who just goes about his job working hard, always prepared and doesn't seek attention in doing so. He was also a morning sports-talk host at a local station until station management made the terrible decision to dismiss a long-time, loyal employee.

Congrats on 1,000 Spiro, you have become a Towson sports fixture. He may not be the tallest guy, but he's become huge over the years to fans, players, coaches and everyone else involved with Towson athletics.

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