MacPhail talks about the surge and offseason

MacPhail talks about the surge and offseason
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the club's vast improvement over the last two months hasn't changed his approach to the offseason. "It really hasn't had that huge an impact over those issues we think we need to address," MacPhail said. "There isn't anything that's, 'Oh gee, we don't need to address that now.' I think we're still trying to take as realistic a six-month view of this as we can. "We made no secret of the fact that the first thing we'd...
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Roberts likely done for 2010 (w/Tyler update)

Roberts likely done for 2010 (w/Tyler update)
Brian Roberts remains out of the lineup tonight and he isn't expected to play tomorrow, ending his season after 59 games. Roberts has been bothered by headaches since the Tampa Bay trip. He's missed the last four games. Manager Buck Showalter has been vague when pressed for details about Roberts' condition, suggesting that reporters talk to the second baseman or a team physician. Roberts declined to meet with reporters today, but apparently will do so tomorrow afternoon. The medical staff...
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Orioles lineup

Orioles lineup
Corey Patterson LF Nick Markakis RF Jake Fox DH Luke Scott 1B Felix Pie CF Ty Wigginton 3B Matt Wieters C Robert Andino 2B Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP Still no Brian Roberts, who might end up being shut down this weekend.
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Scott the MVO

Scott the MVO
Luke Scott has been voted the winner of the Most Valuable Oriole award for 2010 by members of the local media who cover the team on a regular basis. Nick Markakis and Ty Wigginton also received first-place votes. Jeremy Guthrie placed second and Markakis finished third. Adam Jones was the only other player to receive votes on the ballot. Scott ranks sixth in the American League with a .538 slugging percentage and a .904 OPS, and is 14th in home runs with a team-leading and career-high...
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What's going on

What's going on
I'm not posing a question with the title of this entry, though I'm also interested in your lives. Just wanted to check in during a commercial break on Wall To Wall Baseball with Tom Davis and Dave Johnson. We just finished 90 minutes on MASN, leaving the last 90 minutes exclusively on ESPN Radio 1300 AM. I'll head to Camden Yards after 2 p.m. and prepare for O's Xtra and the game that follows. I'll post the lineup, hopefully, around 3:35 p.m. I need the Orioles to post it first, and...
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Post-Game 2 Showalter

Post-Game 2 Showalter
With the doubleheader sweep, the Orioles are 33-22 under manager Buck Showalter after beginning the season 32-73. According to Elias, this marks the first time since 1900 that a manager took over a team in August or later and won more games than the team had won when he arrived. Also, the Orioles have surpassed last year's victory total of 64. Oh happy days...and nights. "You're always looking for improvement," Showalter said. "When you step back at the end of the year, you want to feel...
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Starters finishing strong

Starters finishing strong
Three starters taking their final turns in the rotation this season have posted a 0.41 ERA. Never can say goodbye. Kevin Millwood tossed seven scoreless innings on Wednesday. Chris Tillman allowed one run over seven innings tonight in Game 1. Jeremy Guthrie has shut out the Tigers over eight innings in Game 2. They're proving to be a tough act to follow for left-hander Brian Matusz and Brad Bergesen, but these guys love the competition. Koji Uehara has replaced Guthrie, with a shot at his...
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This and that (updated)

This and that (updated)
Nick Markakis just hit his 11th home run to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the third inning. He drove an 0-2 pitch an estimated 382 feet to right field. That's five hits for the Orioles, and we don't have any outs in the third. Me: "When's the last time Robert Andino has played both ends of a doubleheader?" Guy next to me: "When he was 12." Josh Bell is appearing at an Elkridge Wendy's tomorrow at noon. That frosty machine is going to get a workout. He might be scratched from the...
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Post-Game 1 Showalter (and O's lineup)

Post-Game 1 Showalter (and O's lineup)
Starter Chris Tillman was the obvious topic of conversation after the Orioles' 10-6 victory in Game 1. "Chris was outstanding," manager Buck Showalter said. "I'll tell you, the cutter was a really good pitch for him. Liked the way he gave up the home run early and responded. You really like to see shutdown innings after the runs we scored, too. That's a sign of maturity as he goes forward." How important was this outing for Tillman going forward? "Him or me?" Showalter replied,...
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Leaving on a high note

Leaving on a high note
Chris Tillman's final start turned out to be an outstanding one. Also, good call by manager Buck Showalter to allow the right-hander to take the mound again, and pitch him in Game 1 so he wouldn't have to wait. Tillman held the Tigers to one run - Don Kelly's homer - and three hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out a season-high seven. Tillman threw 102 pitches, 70 for strikes. After walking 12 batters over two starts, Tillman issued only three in his final two outings....
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Breaking out in the fourth (updated)

Breaking out in the fourth (updated)
The Orioles didn't have a hit through three innings. Now they have four hits, six runs and two hit batters. Corey Patterson started the rally in the fourth with a bunt single. The Orioles loaded the bases on a walk to Nick Markakis and a Jeremy Bonderman pitch that hit Luke Scott. Felix Pie singled off the out-of-town scoreboard to tie the game, 1-1, and leave the bases filled, and Adam Jones emptied them with a double to left. Jones is two RBIs away from tying his career high of...
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Orioles lineup; Berken update

Orioles lineup; Berken update
Corey Patterson DH Nick Markakis RF Ty Wigginton 3B Luke Scott 1B Felix Pie LF Adam Jones CF Robert Andino 2B Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis SS Chris Tillman RHP Reliever Jason Berken is visiting the clubhouse today while waiting to have his right shoulder examined by a team physician. Berken, who was diagnosed with a slight tear in his labrum, hasn't started a rehab program. However, he said the shoulder feels great.
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Showalter on his staff and B-Rob's status

Showalter on his staff and B-Rob's status
Manager Buck Showalter says he wants to address his coaching staff before the conclusion of the World Series, speeding up the timetable that he originally laid out. "That's not something that I'm going to string along for very long, in fairness to everybody concerned," he said. "We've had a couple conversations with them. It was a tough day yesterday, and obviously real tough today with two games, but I'm going to try to speed up the process before they all leave so they know what's...
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Roberts not available today

Roberts not available today
Orioles manager Buck Showalter still hadn't posted his lineup before meeting with reporters at 1:30 p.m., but he told us that second baseman Brian Roberts hasn't been cleared to play today. Roberts was examined yesterday by a team physician because of recurring headaches. He tried to work out on the field with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells earlier today, but the session didn't go well enough for him to play. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. I'm heading back downstairs to check the...
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Let's play two

Let's play two
Now that the instant gratification of yesterday's postponement has worn off, it's time to prepare for today's doubleheader. I'll pass along the lineups for Game 1 at 1:05 p.m., when the clubhouse opens to the media. It seems like forever since I've walked inside Camden Yards, but I should be able to find it. Also need to check on second baseman Brian Roberts, who's missed the last two games because of headaches. He was supposed to be examined yesterday in Baltimore. I'd add headaches...
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O's minor leaguer suspended

O's minor leaguer suspended
Orioles minor league shortstop Alfredo Zambrano, a member of the club's Dominican Summer League team, has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone. Don't know much about them, but they're considered a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension begins at the start of next season. Zambrano, 17, batted .140 in 18 games. So much for performance enhancing.
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Orioles upcoming starters

Orioles upcoming starters
Chris Tillman will make one more start this season, in Game 1 of tomorrow's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Jeremy Guthrie will start Game 2, which is set to begin 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. Left-hander Brian Matusz takes the ball on Saturday, and Brad Bergesen starts Sunday's season finale. Jeremy Bonderman will start Game 1 for the Tigers tomorrow, followed by Rick Porcello. I placed a lot of emphasis on Tillman's previous start, and he responded by reducing...
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Tonight's game postponed; Doubleheader tomorrow

Tonight's game postponed; Doubleheader tomorrow
The Orioles just announced that tonight's game has been postponed due to the rain. A single-admission doubleheader is scheduled for tomorrow beginning at 4:35 p.m. The second game will begin 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener. Both games will be broadcast on MASN2. Tickets for tonight's game may be exchanged for seats of equal value for tomorrow's doubleheader or either of the other two remaining home games this season. Fans may also hold their tickets until the 2011 tickets go...
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Answering one Koji question

Answering one Koji question
The question doesn't actually come from Koji Uehara. It's about him. Just like any other free agent, Koji Uehara could be offered arbitration after the season. The rules aren't different simply because he came here from Japan. Do I think it will happen? Not at this point, but I once had serious doubts that he'd still be pitching in late September. I did, however suggest from the very beginning that he had the stuff and the past experience to be a closer. I just wondered if he'd stay...
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This, that and the other

This, that and the other
It's Thursday, it's raining...enough already. Way too soon to pass along postponement information, but I'd be shocked if we have a game tonight. I'd greatly appreciate final word coming before I drive to Camden Yards, but the chances of it happening are pretty slim. There might be a "window" somewhere later tonight. I'd keep it shut so the rug doesn't get wet. See what happens when you fill up Tropicana Field? The players freak out and they can't score. The Orioles took two of...
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