Quick non-AFL check

Quick non-AFL check
Players from the Orioles' organization are spread out beyond Arizona. Lou Montanez has played two games in Puerto Rico, going 3-for-7 with a double, home run, RBI and walk. He's also been hit by a pitch. Busy man. Luis Lebron, added to the 40-man roster yesterday, has pitched in four games in the Dominican. He's tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two. Radhames Liz has made two starts in the Dominican, allowing one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings....
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Lincecum goes back-to-back

Lincecum goes back-to-back
San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum won another NL Cy Young today, but he also became only the second pitcher to receive fewer first-place votes than another candidate. Lincecum received 11 first-place votes, 12 second-place and nine third. Runner-up Chris Carpenter received nine votes for first, 14 for second and seven for third. St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright received 12 votes for first, five for second and 15 for third. Javier Vazquez finished fourth, and Dan Haren...
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Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)

Revisiting the Steve Johnson roster decision (plus AFL update)
Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, said it's "understandable" that so many fans are obsessing over Steve Johnson's exclusion from the 40-man roster. But he also noted during our brief conversation earlier today that Johnson spent the majority of the 2009 season pitching at the Single-A level. The Orioles are counting on other teams passing on the chance to select him in the Rule 5 draft. It might be a different story if Johnson had finished the season at Triple-A Norfolk and...
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Yo, Adrian

Yo, Adrian
If you woke up feeling a little different today, perhaps a little more energized, it's because free agency has officially started. It's not too late to rush out and buy a cake. You should have gone to sleep earlier so today would arrive faster. Sort of like Christmas. I'm not quite as pumped about it. The rumor mill spins out of control and the Orioles will be linked to just about every player on the market. I find it more annoying than anything else, and I'm not alone. The Orioles'...
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No runs, no hits...one Erik?

No runs, no hits...one Erik?
ESPN's Keith Law posted his top 50 free agents, which you can read by clicking here (you need to be an insider). The top three shouldn't surprise you: Matt Holiday, Jason Bay and John Lackey. Law ranks third baseman Adrian Beltre at No. 27, with the following comment: The last time Beltre entered his walk year, he had a career season, with 48 home runs and a .388 OBP in 2004, levels he had never seen before and wouldn't see during the course of his five-year contract with Seattle. This...
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Roster move

Roster move
The Orioles have claimed catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds and designated pitcher Chris Waters for assignment. Tatum, 26, batted .239 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 64 games at Triple-A Louisville. He appeared in 26 games with the Reds and went 11-for-68 (.162) with one homer and six RBIs. Tatum is a former third-round pick who will compete for a backup spot in spring training. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive catcher in the Reds' system in...
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Born to blog, and to update Bergy

Born to blog, and to update Bergy
My ears are still ringing from the Springsteen concert last night, so I'm having trouble hearing this blog. At least I still have my voice, though I tried my hardest to destroy it during Thunder Road. There's nothing like a 3 ½-hour show from The Boss to leave you exhilarated and drained at the same time. I could have sprinted all the way back to my car, but I would have collapsed on the hood and slept for days. (And the only redemption I can offer is beneath this dirty...
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Rough day for Perrault

Rough day for Perrault
Orioles farmhand Josh Perrault served up a two-run homer to White Sox prospect C.J. Retherford in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving Peoria Javelinas a 5-4 win over the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL championship game. The Desert Dogs had won five straight titles before today. Perrault was charged with two runs and three hits. He also struck out two. Matt Angle, leading off and playing center field, was 2-for-4 with a triple and run scored. Third baseman Josh Bell, batting sixth, went...
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The Wieters strategy (w/interesting Matusz stat)

The Wieters strategy (w/interesting Matusz stat)
The Rays keep playing that exaggerated infield shift with Matt Wieters at the plate. Second baseman Sean Rodriguez drops into shallow right field, shortstop Jason Bartlett swings around to second and third baseman Evan Longoria occupies the shortstop position. It's an interesting perception of Wieters, considering that one of the most common questions posed to him last year was, "When are you going to pull a ball for a home run?" He kept going to the opposite field. Wieters flied to...
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Gonzo's baby girl (updated)

Gonzo's baby girl (updated)
It looks like we'll start on time tonight. The tarp's off the field, players are warming up and the lineups are being introduced over the PA system. Closer Mike Gonzalez is the proud father of a baby girl, Arianna Marie Gonzalez. She's 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and she's 19 1/2 inches long. Gonzalez claims that she's "gorgeous." Aren't they all? Manager Dave Trembley commented on Monday's record-low crowd at Camden Yards. "I think it's always nice to have a lot of people, but you...
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What's going on with Gonzo?

What's going on with Gonzo?
Is Mike Gonzalez the closer tonight? Not if his mechanics still need to be ironed out. I wouldn't count on Gonzalez getting the ball in the ninth inning unless the Orioles have a comfortable lead, but you decide. "I'm not sure when I would use him, whether that be the seventh inning or eighth inning or ninth inning," manager Dave Trembley said. "He came here to be the closer. Like I said before he left to attend the birth of his child, I thought it was in his best interest and in the...
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Welcome Matt to the cleanup spot

Welcome Matt to the cleanup spot
This might comes as a total shock to many of you, but the lineup was the primary topic in manager Dave Trembley's pre-game media session. No lie. "Let's do what we can to get the offense started and score some runs," he said. "Changing it up is a good idea. Change the routine a little bit." Trembley won't commit to batting Miguel Tejada second, Matt Wieters fourth and Adam Jones fifth for an extended period. He's taking it on a game-by-game basis. In fact, you can expect Craig Tatum...
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Tejada second, Wieters fourth

Tejada second, Wieters fourth
Here's the Orioles lineup: Felix Pie LF Miguel Tejada 3B Nick Markakis RF Matt Wieters C Adam Jones CF Nolan Reimold DH Garrett Atkins 1B Ty Wigginton 2B Cesar Izturis SS Brian Matusz LHP Koji Uehara was scheduled to throw another bullpen session today in Sarasota. He was expected to throw 25 pitches, duplicating Sunday's count. Here's the Rays lineup: Bartlett SS Rodriguez 2B Zobrist RF Longoria 3B Pena 1B Upton CF Aybar DH Navarro C Kapler LF Niemann RHP
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Roberts: "Whether that means 15 days or 25 days, I don't know."

Roberts: "Whether that means 15 days or 25 days, I don't know."
The strained abdominal muscle that forced Brian Roberts out of Friday's home opener has improved enough that it's no longer a concern for him. His lower back, however, continues to disrupt the first month of his season and leave a gaping hole atop the order. Roberts received another epidural yesterday to ease the discomfort in his lower back. He's been told to rest before being re-examined by a specialist in three days. "Initially, I came out of the game because of my stomach, but the...
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Lineup changes coming?

Lineup changes coming?
Following last night's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, which might not have actually happened since nobody was there to see it (you know, the ol' tree falling in a forest), manager Dave Trembley suggested that he might shake up the lineup. "Yeah, I probably should do something," Trembley replied when asked if he'd consider it. "You lose your leadoff hitter, that isn't the greatest news in the world when that happens. And then you've probably got eight other guys trying to make up for his...
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Rookie stopper

Rookie stopper
I knew that Mike Gonzalez left the team to be present for the birth of his daughter in Arizona. I didn't know he took most of the city with him. You probably can't blame last night's record-low attendance entirely on the Orioles' lousy start. Monday night games against the Rays aren't a big draw. But it's still painful. Brian Matusz takes the ball tonight, and I'm asking him again to behave like a veteran anchor of the pitching staff and end this skid. No pressure, kid. Matusz...
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Down on the farm

Down on the farm
Brandon Erbe took the loss tonight in his Triple-A debut. Erbe allowed four runs and six hits, with three walks, in 4 1/3 innings in Norfolk's 6-3 loss to Charlotte. Erbe struck out three, but his pitch count soared to 85 before Jim Miller replaced him. Charlotte starter Dan Hudson allowed a leadoff homer to Jeff Salazar before retiring 14 in a row. Josh Bell had an RBI double in the ninth, and he scored on Rhyne Hughes' single. The rally ended when former Oriole Greg Aquino retired...
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Wrapping up another defeat

Wrapping up another defeat
During his post-game session with the media, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said, "I think for the most part guys are doing the best they can." Dave Trembley talks with the media after the O's 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay I'd love to hear the exceptions. Jeremy Guthrie turned in a solid start, one that was worthy of a victory. His ball has more movement than last season. He's not pitching up in the strike zone as much. His slider is better. His record would be better if the Orioles would score...
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When you're going bad...

When you're going bad...
Tonight's attendance: 9,129. That's the smallest crowd in the history of Camden Yards. Just when it appeared that Garrett Atkins would come up with a big hit in the seventh, Carl Crawford raced into left-center field and made a sensational diving catch. Crawford looked like an NFL receiver laying out for a pass, except he only used one hand to make the grab and it was covered with an outfielder's glove. So it wasn't exactly like an NFL receiver. No shoulder pads, either. Luke Scott...
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Could tie-breaker also be heartbreaker? (updated)

Could tie-breaker also be heartbreaker? (updated)
Ben Zobrist just tripled in the sixth inning to score Carl Crawford and break a 1-1 tie. Zobrist came home on Evan Longoria's fly ball. Rays 3, Orioles 1. Jeremy Guthrie retired eight in a row before Crawford doubled with one out, making him 3-for-3. Guthrie's completed six innings, but his pitch count has exceeded 90 and the bullpen is busy. The Orioles are 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position tonight, including two chances in the second inning, to leave them 9-for-58 on the season....
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