O's withdraw contract offer to Givens

O's withdraw contract offer to Givens
It was not looking good earlier this week for the Orioles to sign their second-round draft choice, Florida high school shortstop Mychal Givens. Tonight it looks like the O's have closed the door on negotiations and will move on without signing Givens. O's scouting director Joe Jordan tells MASNsports.com "we no longer have an offer on the table." In the weeks leading up to the draft, the Orioles thought they had a handle on the dollar amount it would take to sign Givens. On draft day,...
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No blame in Givens situation

No blame in Givens situation
Joe Jordan's track record as Orioles' scouting director is very good. We can all look at his drafts and see the talent he has added to the organization. His decision to withdraw a contract offer to second-round pick Mychal Givens was not made lightly. When I spoke on the phone with him Wednesday night he sounded pretty down about the whole thing. After all, he and his scouts put in a massive amount of time and effort in scouting and getting to know Givens. To not get the player signed is...
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O's agree with Coffey on big bucks deal

O's agree with Coffey on big bucks deal
When the Orioles were unable to sign second-round draft pick Mychal Givens, O's scouting director Joe Jordan said this would now allow the club to pursue other players later in the draft that the O's felt were "second round talents." It's clear tonight, one of the players he was referring to was high school pitcher Cameron Coffey. Check out this story out of Houston tonight and the big dollars the O's are giving Coffey. Before you ask why he lasted until round 22 of the draft, one...
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Joe Jordan comments on the signing of Coffey

Joe Jordan comments on the signing of Coffey
O's scouting director Joe Jordan has confirmed that the O's tonight have finalized a contract with their 22nd-round draft pick, Houston high school left-handed pitcher Cameron Coffey. Reports out of Houston and from Baseball America say Coffey will receive a signing bonus of $990,000, more than some late first-round picks got this year. Jordan would not confirm the amount of the signing bonus but it is reportedly one of the largest bonuses ever given a player taken outside the first ten...
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Minor League affiliates begin play Thursday

Minor League affiliates begin play Thursday
The Orioles four minor league full-season affiliates begin play tomorrow night. Chris Tillman is the scheduled starter Thursday at 7:15 when the Tides open at home vs. defending International League champion Durham. Those expected to join Tillman in the Norfolk rotation are Jake Arrieta, Brandon Erbe, Troy Patton and Alfredo Simon. We have not heard the rotation order after Tillman. Zach Britton, the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 at Frederick, will make his Double-A debut and...
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Draft talk with MacPhail

Draft talk with MacPhail
When the First-Year Player Draft rolls around come June will the O's be in the market for a position player or another pitcher? Some wonder if, with a farm system stocked pretty well with pitching but some say short on position player talent, the O's will opt for the position player this time. The Orioles have the third pick in the draft following Washington and Pittsburgh. Andy MacPhail was a guest on the Scott Garceau show Tuesday on 105.7 FM the Fan in Baltimore, the O's flagship radio...
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Post-game notes: Coming up short vs. Tampa

Post-game notes:  Coming up short vs. Tampa
In suffering the blown save in the last of the 9th in Tampa's 4-3 win over the Orioles Tuesday, four of the five batters he faced reached vs. Mike Gonzalez. He threw 15 pitches, seven for strikes and gave up two runs in 1/3 of an inning. Up until the 9th, the O's pen worked three scoreless innings and Tampa was 1 for 9 vs. the pen. The Orioles fall to 35-22 all-time in openers. They lost on Opening Day for just the 3rd time in the last 11 games. They are 8-9 when opening on the road, now...
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Heartbreak in Tampa

Heartbreak in Tampa
The bottom of the ninth set up nicely for new O's closer Mike Gonzalez. Tampa had the bottom of the lineup coming up. But Gonzalez gave up a two-run single to Carl Crawford with the bases loaded and one out as Tampa stole the game from the Birds 4-3 on Opening Night at the Trop. The O's offense had to rely on three solo homers on the night. The Birds just could not get the clutch hit to break this game before the ninth. They went 1 for 12 tonight with runners in scoring position, but...
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Power outburst

Power outburst
Who said the O's need a true cleanup hitter? Their three homers tonight ties for third most hit in O's history in an Opening Day game. They had four vs. KC in 1982 and four vs. Tampa in 2006. They hit three vs. the White Sox in 1964 and three vs. Milwaukee in 1993. With three homers tonight, the O's have now hit 51 homers in 57 all-time Opening Day contests. Most O's Opening Day homers, all time: 6 - Brooks Robinson 4 - Cal Ripken Jr. 3 - Gus Triandos, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray 2 -...
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Early impressions

Early impressions
You certainly can't draw many conclusions from the first few innings of the first game, but...... *Adam Jones told Gary Thorne before the game "if someone needs a kick in the butt this year, I'll do it. If I need a kick in the butt, I hope someone will do it." Minutes later, he went out and hit a Jamie Walker "rocket ship" off the center-field wall. Then he homered to right in the third. That's leadership. In his last five Opening Day at bats, Jones is 5 for 5 with a triple,...
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Previewing the opener (plus pitcher stats)

Previewing the opener (plus pitcher stats)
The Baltimore Orioles begin their 57th year of Major League Baseball tonight at 7:10 p.m. on the road vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. The O's are opening on the road for just the second time in 15 years. The O's went 64-98 last year while Tampa finished at 84-78, one year after winning the American League championship. Tampa sported baseball's best record in spring training games at 20-8 with two ties. In the last 13 years, the team that had the best spring training record in the Majors made the...
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The Orioles' Opening Day stats

The Orioles' Opening Day stats
I've put together some stats to see how the Orioles players have fared in their careers on Opening Day. Right-hander Kevin Millwood will make his 7th career Opening Day start tonight. He is 2-4, 3.34 in previous openers. Last year, Millwood and Texas whipped Cleveland and Cliff Lee 9-1 in the opener as Millwood allowed just one run over seven innings. Millwood's Opening Day starts: 2003 - Philly at Fla: 6IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 4K 2004 - Philly at Pitt: 6IP, 7H, 2R-ER, 0BB, 4K 2006 - Tex...
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For Rowell: Back to the dirt

For Rowell:  Back to the dirt
Billy Rowell is changing positions again. He's moving back to the infield and back to third base. Also, Rowell will begin this year with the Class-A Frederick Keys instead of playing for Bowie as some had speculated he might. Rowell, the Orioles first-round pick in June of 2006, played in right field at Frederick last year. In his first three seasons in the organization he played at third base. "I feel like this is a good plan. The new farm director John Stockstill has a plan for me in...
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Steve's official predictions for the 2010 season (plus a Rowell update)

Steve's official predictions for the 2010 season (plus a Rowell update)
Billy Rowell update - I spoke with Billy Rowell tonight and he confirmed that he is moving back to the infield and will start this season with Class-A Frederick. The 21-year-old Rowell is moving back to third base, a position he played from 2006 through 2008 in his first three years in the organization. He played right field at Frederick last year. He may spend some time in the DH role early in the year as he re-adjusts to infield play. Rowell played outfield for the most part in spring...
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Weekend preview: Angels at Orioles

Weekend preview:  Angels at Orioles
Game Preview LA Angels (68-44) at Orioles (47-67) With the Orioles struggling and the Angels surging, this may not be the best time for the Orioles to challenge the two-time defending AL West champs. But, ready or not, the clubs begin a four-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Camden Yards. Pitching Probables for the LAA Series: Fri, 7:05p - Chris Tillman (0-0, 5.19) v. Jered Weaver (12-3, 3.73) Sat, 7:05p - Brian Matusz (1-1, 7.04) v. John Lackey (5-5, 3.88) Sun 1:35p - Jeremy Guthrie...
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A ray of hope for Chris

A ray of hope for Chris
Chris Ray has not had too many good days during this 2009 season. When he looks at the stat sheet he sees an ERA of 7.16. But there have been better days lately. Ray has not allowed an earned run over his last seven games, covering 8 1/3 innings. "I feel good," the 27-year-old right hander said. "It's a lot easier to pitch when your arm doesn't hurt. I'm on a pretty good roll right now and hope I can keep it up. I've been more consistent lately." Ray did not pitch in the Majors...
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Tonight's pitchers: Tillman vs. Weaver

Tonight's pitchers:  Tillman vs. Weaver
RHP Chris Tillman (0-0, 5.19) tonight will make his 4th Major League start of 2009, his 2nd at home and the 1st of his career vs. the Angels. In Tillman's first two starts, he gave up a combined 8ER and 14 hits in 10 2/3 vs. KC and Detroit. Last Saturday at Toronto, Tillman pitched very well, allowing just four hits and two runs over 6 2/3 innings for his first career quality start. He walked three, fanned four and threw 110 pitches. Tillman, still looking for his first win or loss, has...
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Tillman wins and offense explodes in 16-6 romp

Tillman wins and offense explodes in 16-6 romp
On the night Chris Tillman picked up his first Major League win, he got overshadowed by a stunning night of Orioles' offense. Felix Pie became the fourth Oriole to hit for the cycle and the O's tied a team-record with 12 extra-base hits in a 16-6 romp over the first-place Angels. All this offense from an O's club that scored seven total runs in the Oakland series and had scored 12 total runs the last five games. Pie joined Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Aubrey Huff as Orioles that...
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Pie apologizes to Scioscia

Pie apologizes to Scioscia
Just a few minutes after he became the fourth Oriole ever to hit for the cycle, Felix Pie was in the O's clubhouse issuing an apology to Angels' manager Mike Scioscia. Apparently, right after Pie hit a two-run triple in the 7th to reach the cycle, he was gesturing toward the O's dugout. Scioscia, out to remove his pitcher, saw it and didn't like it. "I'm sad because I showed too much emotion on the field," Pie said. "I apologize, but it was too much emotion, I apologize to Mike...
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Post-game Notes and Tillman quotes

Post-game Notes and Tillman quotes
We could not have seen this coming. Not after the Orioles scored 2, 3, 1, 3 and 3 runs in their last five games. Not after the Orioles were batting .163 their previous five games with runners in scoring positon and had just one ten-hit game in their last 8 contests. But they produced season highs in runs and hits and batted around twice tonight in a 16-6 win over the Angels. The night saw: Dave Trembley talks with the media after the Orioles 16-6 win over the Angels *Felix Pie become the...
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