The 2009 draft: Joe Jordan with updates on Henry, Tolliver and Wirsch

The 2009 draft: Joe Jordan with updates on Henry, Tolliver and Wirsch
Here is a followup to an article with O's scouting director Joe Jordan addressing some of the pitching injuries to hurlers the O's selected in the 2009 draft. In this post, he talks more specifically about some of those pitchers. Despite the injuries that impacted so many of the 2009 draftees last summer, Jordan remains quite hopeful for the pitchers taken in the top 10 rounds that June. Right-hander Randy Henry was the fourth-round pick that year from South Mountain Community College in...
Continue reading

O's prospect Britton fired up to make a run at rotation spot

O's prospect Britton fired up to make a run at rotation spot
If some baseball prospects fly under the radar, Orioles pitching prospect Zach Britton isn't one of them. Maybe fans didn't know much about Britton when he was drafted in the third round out of a Texas high school in 2006, pitching at Rookie League Bluefield that summer. But it seems everyone now knows his name. Britton was named Carolina League pitcher of the year in 2009 and he pitched for Team USA in the Futures Game last July. He ended the 2010 season thriving at Triple-A and was named...
Continue reading

Two O's on list of MLB's top 50 prospects

Two O's on list of MLB's top 50 prospects
The Orioles have two of baseball's top 24 prospects, according to MLB.com. In announcing its top 50 prospects last night, MLB.com named left-handed pitcher Zach Britton as the game's 19th best prospect and rated shortstop Manny Machado as the 24th. Britton, who turned 23 on Dec. 22, went 10-7 with a 2.70 ERA in 26 starts last year between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. The lefty, who was added to the O's 40-man roster in November, gave up two earned runs or fewer in 21 of 26...
Continue reading

One argument that fans are not losing interest in baseball

One argument that fans are not losing interest in baseball
According to a Harris Poll, pro football is the most popular sport in the United States. Among people that follow at least one sport, 31 percent say football is their favorite sport while baseball is second at 17 percent. In 1985, 23 percent in the same poll listed baseball as No. 1, so the sport is losing ground since then. There are some that think baseball is completely dwarfed by interest in the NFL and some that say the sport just doesn't generate the interest it once did. Oh,...
Continue reading

The O's 2009 draft: Addressing some pitching injuries with Joe Jordan

The O's 2009 draft:  Addressing some pitching injuries with Joe Jordan
When it comes to the Orioles' 2009 draft, Matt Hobgood is not the only pitcher the O's selected then that has dealt with or is currently dealing with injury issues. The club selected 12 pitchers among the first 20 rounds in that draft, signing 10 of them. Of those 10, six pitched fewer than 50 innings last summer. They selected six pitchers in the first 10 rounds and five of those hurlers dealt with some type of injury last season. Here is a rundown: Round 1 - Hobgood: Currently...
Continue reading

Some names in the news: Damon, Cashman and Vladdy

Some names in the news:  Damon, Cashman and Vladdy
Starting the countdown to FanFest and spring training with a look around the AL East. Color me surprised by Tampa After years of watching the Tampa Bay Rays build an impressive franchise by signing and developing young talent as well as anyone, it was interesting to see their latest additions. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez on the Rays? What is the AL East coming to? Maybe Andy Pettitte will sign with them too. Rays fans are going to notice a drastic difference in their left field defense...
Continue reading

Spending some time in the broadcast booth with Keith Olbermann

Spending some time in the broadcast booth with Keith Olbermann
I am not even sure which exact year it took place. I think it was the 2005 or maybe the 2006 season. But it was in Staten Island, N.Y., one night where I got to share a broadcast booth for a while with Keith Olbermann. Yes, this is another one of Steve's minor league stories. I was broadcasting Aberdeen IronBirds games and the Birds were on the road playing in the beautiful Richmond County Bank Ballpark against the Staten Island Yankees. The park provided an amazing view of Manhatten and it...
Continue reading

A little more Vlad talk

A little more Vlad talk
What is that game we played as kids, was it musical chairs? You know where you dive for the seat as the music stops. At the end there is one kid and one chair. Is Vlad Guerrero the kid and are the Orioles the chair? Is what seemed like a remote possibility now more likely after yesterday's other moves in baseball? If reader response on our blogs here and other message boards and call-in shows is any barometer, it seems a lot of fans are clamoring for this to happen. There is nothing wrong...
Continue reading

MacPhail: Guerrero report "is not accurate"

MacPhail:  Guerrero report "is not accurate"
In an e-mail this morning, O's president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail responded to a report that the Orioles are close to signing slugger Vladimir Guerrero. "Report is not accurate," MacPhail wrote to MASNSports.com. Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio reported last night, via Twitter, that Guerrero was close to accepting a deal from the Orioles. Guerrero, who turns 36 in February, hit .300-29-115 last year with Texas and is a free agent. He finished fourth in the American League in...
Continue reading

Who will be the next Oriole to sign a long-term contract?

Who will be the next Oriole to sign a long-term contract?
It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that the Orioles moved to lock up two of their better home-grown players and signed Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts to long-term contracts. Who will be the next Oriole, home grown or not, to sign the next megabucks deal? The Orioles have signed four of their six arbitration-eligible players to 2011 contracts but there hasn't been any indication the club is moving to lock up any of them to longer deals, at least not right now. After three seasons...
Continue reading

Buckball: Will O's skipper continue turnaround in 2011?

Buckball:  Will O's skipper continue turnaround in 2011?
No doubt, Orioles fans quickly became believers in manager Buck Showalter last season. He took over an O's club that was 32-73 and then went 34-23 from Aug. 3 through the end of the year. The O's winning percentage was .308 before he got there and .596 after he took over. The O's posted winning records in both August and September for the first time since 1996. But, will this truly be Showalter's second season as O's skipper? Well, Steve, duh, of course it is. Silly question,...
Continue reading

More with Jordan on Matt Hobgood

More with Jordan on Matt Hobgood
Here are some more quotes from my conversation with Orioles' scouting director Joe Jordan on the selection of Matt Hobgood with the O's 2009 first-round pick. The 20-year-old right-hander, who was taken with the fifth overall pick, is 4-9, 4.48 in 29 starts covering 120 2/3 innings the past two seasons with Bluefield and Delmarva. Hobgood has been criticized by fans for his performance and conditioning and Jordan has received criticism for his selection of the former California high school...
Continue reading

Joe Jordan on Hobgood's selection: "I am due scrutiny on that."

Joe Jordan on Hobgood's selection: "I am due scrutiny on that."
Recently in this space, Matt Hobgood, the Orioles' first-round draft pick in 2009, talked about his shoulder injury. Hobgood has a strained rotator cuff and has begun the process to rehab the injury. He cannot pinpoint exactly when the injury occurred, but does know that the fastball velocity he had as a high school senior has been missing in his two pro seasons. On Tuesday, O's scouting director Joe Jordan spoke candidly and at great length with MASNsports.com about his selection of...
Continue reading

Reynolds on Ripken, his defense and life in the American League

Reynolds on Ripken, his defense and life in the American League
In my recent interview with Mark Reynolds, we spent time on many topics, to include all his homers and all his strikeouts, but we also took time to visit on other aspects of his play and career as well. For instance, did you know that Reynolds is still somewhat a newcomer to third base? In college, at the University of Virginia, he was a shortstop before a guy named Ryan Zimmerman showed up a year after him. The head coach needed to move one of them off short. Reynolds felt that since he...
Continue reading

Will Adam Jones have a breakout year in 2011?

Will Adam Jones have a breakout year in 2011?
Among all the Orioles, the player that seems to evoke the greatest disparity of opinion on his play and his future from fans is center fielder Adam Jones. The commentary can range from fans writing in to say they think Felix Pie - not Jones - should be the center fielder to others saying that now is the time to sign Jones to a long-term contract. Some see Jones and see future greatness, while others see a player with holes in his swing who frustrates fans with moments of less-than-heads-up...
Continue reading

Tackling a few O's topics

Tackling a few O's topics
You get it. Tackling a few topics - an appropriate term for the weekend of football that is now here. But back to the topic at hand for this blog, here is a take or two on an O's topic or two. A tale of two players It has been pointed out before - many, many times - that some players don't seem to want to come to Baltimore through free agency. I can only conclude now that Adam LaRoche was one of those players. At his Nats press conference Friday he said Washington was "a place I wanted...
Continue reading

The story of one fan that will miss the 2011 season

The story of one fan that will miss the 2011 season
By now most readers of this blog have probably come to learn that I have had a life-long passion for my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles. My close friends and family know that later in life I developed a passion for a college baseball team, the Florida State Seminoles. For two seasons, in 2005 and 2006, I was the radio play-by-play broadcaster for FSU baseball. It didn't take me long to learn of the program's amazing history and many remarkable traditions along with its...
Continue reading

Mark Reynolds talks about the K factor

Mark Reynolds talks about the K factor
Since the Orioles acquired third baseman Mark Reynolds more than a month ago, fans have gotten excited about his home run potential. But others have expressed concern about his league-leading strikeout totals, as well. Reynolds doesn't shy away from the topic of his strikeout total of 638 over the last three seasons. He led the NL in strikeouts all three years and would like to cut down on the whiffs when he joins the O's lineup in 2011. "Growing up and in college, I'd never been a (big)...
Continue reading

O's need to be good hitters, but also smart hitters

O's need to be good hitters, but also smart hitters
The Orioles scored just 613 runs last season and that was next to last in the American League. Many fans are expecting that total to make a major jump after the additions of Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy. Plus, the O's hope to have Brian Roberts for a full season and perhaps see hitters like Nolan Reimold and Matt Wieters hit more like they did in 2009. If all that happens, the club could score a lot more runs in 2011. But in addition to being better hitters this coming season,...
Continue reading

After dealing with injuries, Coffey is hopeful for health in 2011

After dealing with injuries, Coffey is hopeful for health in 2011
Lefty Cameron Coffey finally made his anticipated minor league debut for the Orioles last August in the Gulf Coast League and he went 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in seven games. Some fans may have assumed, as I did, that it just took time for Coffey to make it to the mound following his elbow ligament replacement surgery in March 2009. But while Coffey's comeback from Tommy John surgery progressed fine and he was throwing well last spring training, his delay in getting in a game last summer was due...
Continue reading