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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Matt Wieters talks about batting fourth

Matt Wieters talks about batting fourth
Matt Wieters is a pretty low key guy with his interviews. No matter how much reporters tried today, he was just not going to make a big deal out of batting cleanup in tonight's batting order. He's batted fourth before in college and the minors, but tonight is in that four spot for the first time ever in the Majors. "It's just a new spot. Go out there and try to get hits and try to put runs up on the board. No change at all, just have to square balls up and find holes tonight. ...
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The Shorebirds' bats are streaking

The Shorebirds' bats are streaking
The Delmarva Shorebirds have gotten off to a great start under first-year manager Ryan Minor. They are 4-1, in first place, with four wins in a row and putting up some big offensive numbers. Delmarva scored six runs in the 9th Monday to beat Greensboro, 11-6. Tyler Kelly, a 13th-round draft pick last June, has nine RBI the past two games and 10 for the year to lead the South Atlantic League. In his first three games, he went just 2 for 12. In the last two, he is 5 for 11 with a homer and...
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Well, at least the starting pitching has been good

Well, at least the starting pitching has been good
An Orioles fan can hang his or her hat on that right now and almost nothing else. Through seven games, the ERA of the starters is 3.89 with four quality starts. Last April, the O's didn't produce a fourth quality start until game 16. But the solid pitching has been wasted by blown saves, awful hitting and base-running mistakes. The pitchers can only do so much. But moving forward, if they continue to get decent work like this from the starters, the wins should come. At least a few and...
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Post-game notes: Garza and Rays top Orioles

Post-game notes:  Garza and Rays top Orioles
With the 5-1 loss vs. Tampa Monday, the Orioles fall to 0-4 on this homestand and 1-6 on the year. They have lost four in a row since the season's only win, last Thursday vs. the Rays. It's the O's worst start since 2002. The Rays, who went 4-5 at the Yard last year, are 45-57 all-time at Camden Yards. He's pretty good: Tampa's Carl Crawford, who went just 2 for 10 vs. the O's last week, went 4 for 4 tonight with a double and solo homer. Winning pitcher Matt Garza gave up just one...
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Clubhouse quotes after the loss to Tampa

Clubhouse quotes after the loss to Tampa
Here are some of the post-game comments from the O's clubhouse after the 5-1 loss at home to Tampa. The O's fall to 1-6 for the first time since 2002. Nick Markakis of the frustration on not scoring a lot of runs so far: "It's not fun, it sucks. Overall, our pitching is doing a great job. Our offense needs to pick it up. I know for myself in the three hole I need to be more aggressive and get things going. "We all need to relax, it's a long season. No, it's not the way we wanted...
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And then depression set in

And then depression set in
Well, another night of little offense, clutch or otherwise. The Orioles are 1-6 with four losses in a row and are 0-4 on the homestand. Tonight's attendance of 9,129 was the smallest crowd in Camden Yards history. Tonight they went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position in the 5-1 loss vs. Tampa. Felix Pie's homer leading off the game, his first-ever leadoff homer, produced the O's only run. The O's are now 1 for 17 the last three games with RISP and just 9 for 57 (.158) in that stat...
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Tonight's attendance

Tonight's attendance
....was just announced at 9,129. Yes, that is sparce. That is the first time in the history of this ballpark a game attendance has been under 10,000. The previous lowest attendance for a game in Camden Yards history is 10,130 on May 26, 2009 vs. Toronto.
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Numbers and notes

Numbers and notes
Here are some notes and stats concerning tonight's game. The Rays scored two in the 6th vs. Guthrie to take a 3-1 lead. This is interesting. Stolen base attempts this year by Tampa. First series vs. O's: Went 1 for 4 Second series vs. NY: Went 7 for 7 The Rays easily led the AL in steals last year. Does this mean Matt Wieters is getting a rep for throwing out runners, even with a good team like Tampa. Or am I reading too much into that stat? Luke Scott was 0 for 10 in his career vs....
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To bunt or not to bunt

To bunt or not to bunt
Sometimes when a team is struggling to score runs they have to do unconventional things. In the American League, that could include a sac bunt in the second inning of a game. You don't see it often. Maybe the Orioles should have dropped one there tonight. They had runners on first and second vs. Matt Garza with no outs in the bottom of the second. Number seven hitter Garrett Atkins did not bunt. Instead he swung away and hit into a 6-4-3 double play. It was a bit of a rally...
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Luke Scott's take on fan criticism: "I'm frustrated too"

Luke Scott's take on fan criticism: "I'm frustrated too"
If you don't think the Orioles' players notice that the fans have been rather critical of their play so far, just check out the conversation I had with Luke Scott in the clubhouse today. In one sense he called out the fans for criticism of the team, but he also tried to explain his thoughts more in depth as well. Audio: Luke Scott sounds off on fan criticism to Steve Melewski Here is what Luke said on the topic of fans criticizing the club over the 1 and 5 start. "Well, I mean, I can go...
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No issues with Rowell

No issues with Rowell
You may have noticed that Billy Rowell of the Frederick Keys played the first game of the season, went 0 for 4, and has not played since. Rowell is not hurt. He was feeling the effects of a bad cold over the weekend and even stayed in the hotel one night as the Keys played a season-opening series at Lynchburg. Rowell may return to the lineup tomorrow night when Frederick plays its home opener. New Keys manager Orlando Gomez will be with the team for the first time tomorrow. He missed the...
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Jones goes from Gold Glove to Golden Arm

Jones goes from Gold Glove to Golden Arm
MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko, who is providing constant updates on the Ravens-Colts game today from M&T Bank Stadium, noted that Orioles center fielder Adam Jones stood on the sideline during warmups wearing a Johnny Unitas jersey. Jones is playing it smart. He's a Colts fan because he's a huge Peyton Manning fan, but he must know how poorly that choice would be received in Baltimore. Better to sport the Unitas jersey. That softens the blow. And you can't go wrong anytime you pay tribute...
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Talking to Bergesen

Talking to Bergesen
Brad Bergesen continued his running program yesterday, the third time he's picked up the pace without having any issues with his leg. Bergesen told me that he starts with a five-minute walk, then a five-minute run, then a five-minute power walk. "It all felt good," he said. "I've been doing my core training for three weeks now, going into a fourth. Everything's good. I still feel (the leg) a little, but I'm able to do everything. It's not like it's painful or anything." Asked if...
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To Dye for

To Dye for
A report from FOXSports.com that free-agent outfielder Jermaine Dye is willing to play first base next season, and how he could be "a right-handed hitting alternative at first for several clubs, including the Braves, Mets, Giants and Orioles," has stirred up some readers. It's important to stress that the report doesn't state that the Orioles are interested. They're just tossed into the mix because they need a first baseman and a right-handed bat for the middle of their lineup. Back on...
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