Ken Rosenthal takes a shot or two at the Orioles

Ken Rosenthal takes a shot or two at the Orioles
Well, it wasn't Keith Law this time. A frequent critic of the Orioles over the years, Ken Rosenthal takes a few pokes at the team in a column today. The former Baltimore Sun reporter and columnist, who now works for Fox Sports and MLB Network, makes some valid points and remains, in my opinion, one of the top writers/analysts that covers the game. However, Rosenthal does seem to often have a little extra zing or two heading the O's way. To me, the timing of today's posting, on the same...
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Passing along rehab advice: Spoone has been where Erbe is going

Passing along rehab advice: Spoone has been where Erbe is going
As Brandon Erbe continues to progress from his surgery last August to repair a torn labrum, he can turn to Chorye Spoone for advice. A fellow Maryland native, Spoone had shoulder surgery in September 2008 and has pretty much made a full recovery after pitching 132 innings last summer for Double-A Bowie. "I told him there will be days when you feel like something is hurt in your arm and it hurts to throw, like during your throwing program," Spoone said. "But you need to realize that the...
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What to make of spring training stats?

What to make of spring training stats?
So now we get to the next phase of spring training. The games begin. They don't count, but for the fans not heading to Sarasota, it gives them some stats, pitching lines, home runs, and wins and losses to track. Mike Hargrove used to say something about September and March being like fool's gold. A player's performance at the end of the year after the callups, or in spring training can be quite deceiving. Every year, someone hits a ton in March then can't buy a hit the first week of...
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Is the Baseball America list a sign of trouble for the Orioles?

Is the Baseball America list a sign of trouble for the Orioles?
I have gotten a similar question this week after just two Orioles were listed among Baseball America's top 100 prospects for 2011. The Rays had seven and the Yankees six players on the same list. "How can the O's have lost for 13 years and that's all we have to show from our farm system," several fans have asked? We need to keep in mind that the Orioles had four players on the same lists in 2009 and 2010. If one big job of a farm system is to send players to the majors, the O's have...
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Machado on Baseball America's ranking and his goals for this year

Machado on Baseball America's ranking and his goals for this year
When I talked to Orioles 2010 first-round draft pick Manny Machado this week, I asked him his reaction to being named baseball's 14th best prospect by Baseball America. "It's an honor to be ranked that high, but I really don't look into the rankings. If I'm No. 1 or No. 100, I just want to give 110 percent and be the best at what I do," Machado said. The 18-year-old shortstop from Miami is about to begin his first full season with the Orioles after playing nine games late last...
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Machado is ready for his anticipated first full season in O's organization

Machado is ready for his anticipated first full season in O's organization
After a winter of workouts where he put on a few pounds to get stronger, shortstop Manny Machado describes himself as "super excited" for his first full season with the Orioles. Machado, the third pick in round one of last June's draft, spent time working out this winter near his Miami home where his workout partners sometimes included the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. "This whole winter I've been here in Miami working out at the University of Miami with my trainer, Monica Swasey," Machado...
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Keys GM addresses the team's lease situation

Keys GM addresses the team's lease situation
Here is an update on the Frederick Keys and their lease situation. Last week, the city of Frederick released a request for proposals for use of Harry Grove Stadium for the 2012 season. Those proposals must be submitted to the city by April 15. The Keys, who have minor league territorial rights to Frederick and Montgomery counties, are the only affiliated team that can file a proposal to play there. But an independent league team could and it appears an Atlantic League team could file a...
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Callis feels O's best move is for Britton to start at Triple-A

Callis feels O's best move is for Britton to start at Triple-A
In an interview, Baseball America's Jim Callis talked about Zach Britton's readiness to pitch in the major leagues. But Callis believes the Orioles' best move is for Britton to begin this season back in the minor leagues. "I think he is ready for the big leagues. He has no obvious weakness and did get in 12 starts last year at Triple-A and pitched well," Callis said. "That said, the Orioles have no shot at contending this year, so from a team standpoint, I don't think it makes any sense...
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Two Orioles make Baseball America's top 100 prospects list

Two Orioles make Baseball America's top 100 prospects list
Even though he has only played nine pro games, Orioles shortstop prospect Manny Machado has been rated as the game's 14th-best prospect by Baseball America. O's lefty pitching prospect Zach Britton was rated 28th by Baseball America, which today is releasing its latest top 100 prospects list. Earlier, Britton was rated 11th by ESPN's Keith Law and 19th by MLB.com. Machado was ranked 24th by MLB.com and 26th by ESPN's Law. No other O's prospects came close to making Baseball America's...
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Looking back on one very wise decision

Looking back on one very wise decision
If we think back to last July, as it appeared that the Orioles were likely to name Buck Showalter as their next manager, there was one great debate ongoing. The debate was about just when Showalter should take over the team. Many fans, it seemed well over 50 percent to me, felt Showalter should not take over the club until the season was over so he could start fresh in the dugout on opening day 2011. We can look back now and say that Andy MacPhail's timing of Showalter's hire could not...
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Looking at some minor league strikeout totals

Looking at some minor league strikeout totals
If you look at the statistics of some of the top Orioles' minor league batters from the 2010 season, one stat that may jump out at you is the strikeout totals. O's hitters finished first and second in the Eastern League in strikeouts in 2010 while Baltimore farmhands were first, second and fifth in the Carolina League. Brandon Waring fanned 179 times last season to lead the Eastern League with Tyler Henson second with 156. Frederick's Ronnie Welty was first in the Carolina League with 159...
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The time of year when hope does spring eternal

The time of year when hope does spring eternal
Fans can come up with some interesting theories. One I saw recently was that the reason it was taking so long for Vladimir Guerrero to get his Orioles physical was because he was having second thoughts about signing with the club and would end up elsewhere even after agreeing to terms. Then I saw the headline on Peter Schmuck's Baltimore Sun column that read, "Guerrero looks a bit subdued in signing with the Orioles." Oh, no, I know what is coming next. "See, he really doesn't want to...
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Wrapping it up with Keith Law

Wrapping it up with Keith Law
Here is the second and final part of the interview with ESPN's Keith Law, picking up where we left off. Steve Melewski: A couple more things, Keith. We kind of diverted from the minor leagues, but this was also interesting, getting your take on these other topics. How do you see the young pitching. (Jake) Arrieta, (Brad) Bergesen, (Brian) Matusz and that group? Keith Law: "Matusz, to me, is the ace. He has the potential for four average or better pitches and probably three...
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The Keith Law interview, uncut and unedited

The Keith Law interview, uncut and unedited
The interview with ESPN.com's Keith Law and some of his quotes published here last week certainly got some fans stirred up. I had mentioned that this week I would publish the entire interview here and now is the time. Since it takes a lot of words to read through a 17-minute interview, I will publish it in two posts. The second one will follow this by a few hours. Some of these quotes you read before, some you have not seen. This time I am just publishing the entire interview, questions and...
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A little more on the Frederick Keys lease situation

A little more on the Frederick Keys lease situation
There is another article out today on the Frederick Keys' unsettled lease situation that I have written about previously. Click here for an update from Baseball America's Josh Leventhal. The city of Frederick is expected to accept bids on the 2012 lease through April 15 and an Atlantic League team is expected to bid to basically try to move in on the Keys' turf in a move that could potentially push the Keys out of Frederick. The article quotes Keys' owner Ken Young saying: "We need to...
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Some minor leaguers need to bring extra gloves this year

Some minor leaguers need to bring extra gloves this year
With the news coming out of Sarasota this week that Brandon Snyder will put the catching gear back on for a look at that spot in the big league camp, it reminds me of a topic we've discussed here before: defensive versatility in the O's minor leagues. We began to see some of it last summer. This year, we should see players at times playing somewhere that would not normally be their regular position. For instance, first baseman Joe Mahoney played four games in the outfield at Single-A...
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The O's minor league spring training schedule

The O's minor league spring training schedule
The Orioles have announced the schedules for their minor league spring training squads. The clubs will play 16 spring training contests. Minor league pitchers and catchers will report to camp in Sarasota on Sunday, March 6, while position players will report on Thursday, March 10. There will be four games each day with a Triple-A, Double-A and two Single-A games with the two O's higher level squads playing at one site and the two lower level clubs at another. If the higher level teams are...
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Adam Jones' take on "First Take"

Adam Jones' take on "First Take"
While waiting to see how distracted Albert Pujols will be waiting for the all the money his next contract will provide, I took some time to watch the video of Adam Jones' appearance on ESPN's "First Take." What, ESPN covered the Orioles? Yep, Adam was in Bristol this week. Click here to see that video. (Yeah, I'm slow getting around to see this, guess I was distracted.). "We're going to go out and play hard and the sky's the limit really because I think everybody is optimistic about...
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Hearing from the man with the O's plan in Sarasota

Hearing from the man with the O's plan in Sarasota
Now that spring training is here, David M. Schwarz is getting to see his vision come to life. Schwarz is the design architect and master planner for the improvements and renovations to the Orioles' facilities in Sarasota, Fla., which include Ed Smith Stadium and the club's Twin Lakes minor league complex. "For us, it was extremely important to make something that felt quite at home in Sarasota," Schwarz said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "Sarasota has a style that is...
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They came to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler

They came to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler
It was a cold and blustery morning in Harford County. Not a day exactly made for a ballgame, but that didn't stop hundreds from making their way to St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Jarrettsville to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler. The man, who was an Orioles employee since their first season in 1954 and umpires attendant since 1960, died at 86 on Thursday. The stories about Ernie and kind words from so many have been pouring in ever since and today was a time for a final goodbye. The...
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