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June 15, 2010

O's news, notes and opinions - updated

Orioles injured reliever Jim Johnson (slight tear in right elbow) threw from 120 feet today and said that he felt no problems. Johnson is expected to graduate to throwing from the mound next week and then work into rehab games the week after that. “I’ll get a better idea of where I’m at next week after throwing bullpens,” Johnson wrote in a text message. “I’m pretty positive about the outlook so far, but I’m not setting any dates yet.”

Brad Bergesen, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday to make room for Alfredo Simon, will start for the Tides on Thursday. He'll probably make at least two starts for the Tides before he's re-evaluated for a potential callup.

The Orioles have agreed to terms with eight more draft picks and 23 of their 49 selections in total. The recently signed players are Riley Hornback (12th round), David Richardson (17th), Scott Copeland (21st), Tanner Murphy (22nd), Christopher Clinton (23rd), Timothy Adleman (24th), Austin Knight (Boys’ Latin, 37th) and Travis Strong (39th).

Bobby Valentine’s comments to ESPN.com on Monday about his interview with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and owner Peter Angelos only reinforced my belief that he won’t be the team’s next manager. I don’t know Valentine other than what I read, but it’s well documented that he’s a bombastic personality, and I have my doubts about how that would mesh with MacPhail and Angelos in the long term. MacPhail was again very tight lipped about the managerial process Monday, saying only that it won’t be settled until the All-Star break at the earliest, he’d prefer an experienced candidate, and he has no current interviews scheduled but that probably will change when the team returns home next week. He wouldn’t comment on specific candidates, but it’s well documented that Buck Showalter is on the team’s list. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s at Camden Yards for an interview next week. Still, I haven’t swayed from my belief that former Cleveland Indians skipper Eric Wedge is the favorite for the job.

• Speaking of MacPhail, he made it clear Monday that while he is getting plenty of calls about a couple of the team’s decently performing veterans, he has no interest in dumping guys like Ty Wigginton and Kevin Millwood for the sake of salary relief. “We’re not in the salary dump business,” he said. Unless the Orioles make Jeremy Guthrie available or Millwood rediscovers his April form, it appears that Wigginton will emerge as their top trade chip and I’ve heard multiple teams are interested.

• I spoke to former Oriole Aubrey Huff at length Monday and much of the conversation was on his former team’s struggles. I’ll have more from Huff on the site later today, but he essentially agreed with multiple other evaluators and scouts that the club put too much pressure on some of its younger players and didn’t surround them with enough productive veterans. “You have a lot of young players over there that just don’t have a lot of veteran guys to protect them,” he said. “It’s a hard situation to win in when you are going against the best in baseball and your bringing a lot of young guys up and you expect them to save the franchise.”

• Did Oriole pitchers really walk former farmhand Eli Whiteside three times in one game Monday night? Add that to a growing list of unimaginable and dubious feats performed by the club this season. Allowing opposing starters to register quality starts in 17 of the past 18 games may be at the top of that list.

• Finally, here’s a feel-good story definitely worth reading about Cody Young, the Orioles’ 47th-round draft pick and a cancer survivor. Young has already agreed to terms with the club.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 1:54 PM | | Comments (30)
        

Comments

Eli Whiteside was more than a farm-hand. He did play for the O's for a brief period during that heady summer of 2005 when we battled the Red Sox for AL East supremacy.

We were talking at home. Who will be the O's All-Star rep. We came up with an interesting answer. It should be any fan that has been to every home game. They derserve to see a real game.

Why Wedge, what is his appeal? I mean, it wouldnt surprise me, the club cannot do anything right. A personality like Bobby V is exactly what the club needs.

Jeff, are the O's the worst run organization in sports ? Seriously, who is worse?

Wtf, figures Wedge would be the top candidate. Even keeled demeanor like DT, Lee Mazilli, and Perlozzo. That's the way Angelos and McPhail like them. Nice and quiet....

The Orioles should be looking to buy, not sell players. If a team is willing to part with a quality player that can improve this team, do it now. The Orioles are out of the playoff race for 2010, but that doesn't mean the veteran rebuilding process has to wait until the season is over.

But, I do have one question; how many players have the Orioles listed on their no trade list? This might be another obstacle the Orioles will have to overcome.

The Orioles are a great organization. Aside from drafting Cody Young with the 47th pick in this year's draft, what they did 12 years ago speaks to the heart of what makes anything in this world elevate to the stature of greatness. I hope the kid continues to do well. And I hope the Orioles continue with their excellence.

OH NO - Please NOT Wedge??
Just another Loser!! Lost 97 games in Cleveland - He'll lose 120 here!
Why can't we get a former Major League manager who has at least (I'm settling for medicore) a .500 record??
Hey - no good players want to come here - no good managers want to either!!

Cody Young (47th Round, Anderson University) is the real deal, and don't be fooled by the late round pick. He is big (6-4), fast, hits with power (Anderson U was the top hitting team in the country, all NCAA divisions) and average, and is a outstanding outfielder with a great arm. Perhaps most important is the fact he is a great person, someone who inspires all of those around him in a most positive way. Professional baseball, professional sports for that matter, need more people like Cody Young. Oriole fans - he's one to keep an eye on!

Why would we want Eric Wedge? The man was fired in Cleveland! And they evidently thought Gnats reject Manny Acta was better than him. Angelos and MacPhail ought to get the best man available which in my opinion is Valentine. So what if he might not agree with them. This organization does not need another "yes" man!

HIre Valentine! I am tired of losing and this organization is becoming a national joke!

Cereal O, I agree. Eric Wedge would be the wrong guy for this team. Bobby V or Buck Showalter are needed to right this ship. And while I don't think they're the worst run club in MLB (thanks Pittsburgh!), we're pretty darn close.

Great feel good story! Thanks so much. Puts it all into perspective. God bless that kid.

I really wish the Orioles would consider Buck Martinez for the club. He knows the organization inside and out.

June 15 - 2010 Orioles W17 L 47 .266 23.5 games behind NY and Tampa
1962 Mets - W 16 L 41 .281 23.5 games behind Dodgers
interesting that both were 23.5 out. I really think this team will contend for worst team ever!

Jeff,

We all see the weakness on the field. But, is there anybody who can give us an objective assessment about the rest of the organization and all of its departments? And, are they open to objective outside critiques?

It seems to me the Orioles need to pull a Costanza and do everything the opposite of what they would normally do.

It can't hurt at this point. It just seems every decision they have made for a long time has not panned out.

They already traded Huff. If they get rid of Wigginton, the tickets to Camden Yards should be free. It's outrageous to expect fans to pay to see what is essentially the torture of AA-level players.

"are the O's the worst run organization in sports ?" They are not the worst run organization in the game. They have made good trades despite the poor results this season. I still believe that B-Rob's return will make this a completely different club. No it won't help Weiters or Atkins find a hit, but it will bring back everything he does to stabalize the defense and rev up the offense which will help the pitching since they won't feel like they have to throw a no-no everytime out. This season is lost, but the optomism we had in the spring will again be warranted. Its hard I know, but hang tough.

I think Baltimore needs to pull off a Caroll Rosenbloom and somehow trade owners, this time a bad owner for a good owner.

Hey, it's been done before, right here in Baltimore.

I saw some of the Norfolk Tides game today on TV -- just enough to really scare me! They lost to the Clippers 11-0. They were out hit 18-4. Meredith and Castillo got raked. Aubrey, Hughes, Reimold, Snyder, Bell -- none of them looked impressive. It was a lot like watching an Os game. Sorry, but the help isn't coming from Norfolk anytime soon.

Besides Angelose, yep, AngeLOSE, the root of the problem here is Andy McPhail.

How in the world he doesn't give Brett Myers and Vladdy Guerrero a looksie, before they signed elsewhere, is beyond me.

That's two vets that could have protected some of our young players, (in the world according to Huff). Huff daddy is right. Having Guerrero in the lineup, (5.5 Million for goodness sakes), and Brett Myers, (a mere 3.1 Million), and we might have another 10 wins! Or not.

He signed Atkins at 4 Million....a guy who couldn't hit in COLORADO!!!

McPhail should be the next head to go...the sooner the better.

With Angelos making the decisions, Wedge will be the next manager of the O's. Many pundits mentioned better candidates with more credentials, but again, we're talking about Angelos.

I think when everyone talks about some of the orioles starters as failures they overlook that not all pitchers find their nick as starters. Plus while Gonzalez injury hurt it gave us a chance to find Simon, and Hernandez in the closer setup role.. Berken has been very solid in the BP too often overlooked.. Much is made of wieters power but he has 3 more HR than Mauer and mauer took how many years to show some power.. I still believe the younger orioles hitting will improve with their experience this year.. I don't want Macphail to make moves just to make them but I will be surprised if lugo, wigginton, millwood and even scott are here the end of july..

Name: Peter Mackanin. Interim Mgr of the Pirates (knows punishment) and Reds (knows success). Currently the bench coach for the Phillies. I think he might also be the guy yelling, "Hey Howard! Sit on the bench next to me." - I mean, what does a bench coach do?

First of all there are many owners in MLB that get the same treatment as Angelos. If you are objective, which most aren't that comment here, then you have take a look at the big picture. Let's see, the Pirates have been loosing as long as the O's. The Cubs haven't been to the world series in what 100 years. Toronto was label a disaster last year and that ownership has been ripped up north and those fans don't even like baseball. Oakland has dumped more players because they can't pay them, so how do they're fans feel about ownership. Then you have Tampa, they have no money, bad owner and no fans.

So for people in B'More to keep pointing the finger at Angelos is rediculous. He put a baseball guy in charge just like the fans demanded and stayed out of the lime light and he still gets ripped. He spent lot's of money in the past on FA's and look what it got us nothing, except the "Why Not" season.

This is a MLB baseball problem not and individual team problem. We need a Salary Cap and to scrap the Unbalanced Schedule to level the playing feild. Did you see Aubry Huff's comment towards that yesterday?

Also look at the Texas Rangers, Tom Hicks said publicly that he wasn't putting anymore money in the club so MLB had to make them a loan to keep operating.

You cannot compete in the AL East or any other division with out either endless capital to throw at these guys or you need MLB to challange the union for a Cap.

On the Manager, Valentine is a head case who put himself above the team always and yes he got fired too. Wedge is too much like Trembley and the fans will not give him a fair shake either.

I happen to like the way Juan Amuel is running the club at the moment. It's a gerat opportunity for him to show his stuff. I see much more energy from the players.

No more retread managers. By the way all managers get fired eventually, it the nature of the beast.

Buck Showalter needs to be the next manager. He has a proven track record of developing young talent. This organization has seen almost all of its top prospects take a step back this year. There needs to be a systemic change in development from top to bottom. Buck has done it before in Arizona and New York. Get it done Andy

If you think attendance is bad at Camden Yards now, just hire Eric Wedge! If this organization cannot come up with a manager who has a winning record this time, and one whom fans who have been watching the O's for decades feels is suitable, they deserve dis-interest in the team. Huff has the right idea. They need to surround the young players with some good, reliable veterans instead of trading away the decent ones they surrently have. Unless, the trading of them brings a couple of positioned veterans the O's need. Please, no more double AA prospects. What has this idea of building from the bottom up netted this team after 13 years? Let's start with a kick-a-- manager and work from there. I think the front office better start listening to drum-beats from the fans.

Why not Eddie Murray as the next Mgr. For that matter why not Earl? Than at least we'd have something to root for.

Jeff,

Do he O's have any interest in Jake Fox?

...............................................................................................
Jeff Z's: Not that I've heard.

I have heard that players like Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford and Roy Oswalt may be available to sign. What are the chances the O's may make a run for at least two of these veterans. I think they would be good additions and could help the anemic hitting. Oswalt could replace Millwood's tired arm and he is a better pitcher anyway.The O's have got to spend some money on talented vets that are still in their prime or we can wait another 10 years before we reach 500

Nice catch by Jones in center. Another gold glove game! Yuck, now down 2-0, do the O's pitchers revolt against this revolting lineup?

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.


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