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February 17, 2009

Orioles: Guthrie and the WBC

WBCGIANTLOGO.gifCongratulations to Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who has been chosen for the Team USA roster for the World Baseball Classic. And, of course, congratulations to Jeff Zrebiec for breaking that news a few minutes ago.

Jeremy is a great story ... going from waiver claim (or, as we like to call it, the steal of the decade) to Orioles No. 1 starter in the course of just a couple of seasons. Now, he gets to represent his country in the WBC and he's both thrilled and humbled by the opportunity.

"It's neat to have the opportunity," Guthrie told Jeff this morning. "I've never put a jersey on that says USA. So that's a great honor. It's obviously very humbling."

Check out Jeff's story here.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:31 AM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Just baseball


Good for him...

When should O's consider locking him up?
(See Ervin Santana this offseason 4-30mill)

Pete's reply: He needs to have a real solid year and then it will be time to talk about that.

I think this cements his place as one of the best pitchers in the game today. It looks like he's only going to get better. I know the primary concern is signing Roberts to an extension, but we should be just as concerned about locking Guthrie up to a long term contract as well. What is is Free Agency status?

Be prepared for an injury-filled season for Guthrie. He'll be on the DL by the All-Star break. This WBC is bad news for pitchers. See peter Gammons' blog here:

Which means he can go over to the WBC and let another pitcher have a few more innings of spring training pitching.

I guess this is his chance to play for a winner...well we hope so anyway. Lets just hope he's not injured.

Great news for Jeremy .
Off - topic - Pete are you attending A-Rod presser ?

Pete's reply: No, but I wish I was.

I think the organization letting him play in the WBC is a terrible idea. The WBC is a distraction from spring training and the event should be scheduled during the off season.

It is a great honor for sure, and ratifies what we already know - Guthrie is a top caliber pitcher (if we ever scored runs in his starts he would be much more recognized with a stellar W-L record).

HOWEVER - color me as someone that is not a fan of the WBC. Send the minor leaguers and college kids. I would rather save my pitchers for the regular season. We need Jeremy to anchor this staff.

I wish the WBC would get cancelled,I don't see a point in it. Good luck to Guts though and a wish for his safety.

Anti-WBC fans have no national pride. This is particularly egregious coming from fans of a team that hasn't been over .500 in 12 years, so it's hard to make the argument that a pennant is at stake. Don't you love your country?

Pete, With the possibility of injury and loss of time from spring training. Do you think the WBC should be played before spring training?

WBC is a joke. A major league player shouldn't risk his career, nor should he reduce his value to his team by wasting energy on these exhibitions. Their only value is in filling dead time on sports networks so that the nets can collect ad revenue.

What is the purpose of the WBC again? does it replace the lack of olympic baseball? i don't know how we can get excited over this thing.

I think I still need some convincing before I cement Guthrie as an "ace". He may be the ace of the O's recent terrible rotations, but I don't think he's much more than a third or fourth starter on a good rotation. I will fully admit that I could be wrong. I guess the season will tell, and I'm willing to give him that time. I've just seen too many guys come out of nowhwere, tease pitching coaches for year, and then go back to nowhere.

Heck, how many times have the O's seen this in the past decade? Jason Johnson, Jose Mercedes, and Rodrigo Lopez all fit the same mold of the supposed golden arm found on the trash heap. And that's just off the top of my head. How many others were supposed to be "aces" that we stole or found?

I think one of the greatest honors for athletes is to be asked to represent their country as one of the best players in their sport. I agree that the regular season is very important, but that's just because we know no better. Representing your country and saying that you took on (and hopefully beat) the best players from other countries must be quite a feeling. I know I get excited and root on for the US team in any world competition - Baseball, Soccer, Basketball, etc.

Good Luck to Guthrie and the other Oriole players going to represent their countries.

"Great honors" and "humbling patriotism" aside, the WBC is a stupid publicity stunt that should be conducted (if it absolutely MUST be conducted) in the fall... after the real and important Major Leagues games are over with.
It's stupid for the simple reason that it does not accurately represent the talent base of a given country.... you know..... like the Olympic baseball teams we put together which don't do that either.
I really thought this fiasco was done with year before last.
Now here it is once again, invading our spring training schedules and creating situations in which the conditioning of key players could and will be interfered with.
It's just a bad idea.

honor, schmoner...I just hope nobody gets hurt. I don't think the O's are having a breakout year, but with only two starters locked, do we need the chance to have a possible injury? I know, I know...its a patriotic thing but is it for the glory of the game or so heads of management or players "union" can get more into the coffers? Lets send the politicians...we can sure use a break from them.

I agree with the above comments. Once again the O's take one step forward and two backwards. Guthrie should remain with the team throughout spring training and ready himself for the season. The baseball classic is a great idea just played at the wrong time of the year. If he goes you can kiss off any productivity from him this year for the O's.

Congrats to JGuth. I was hoping no Orioles would have/get to play in this thing. Seems like last time around the players who played in the WBC got off to terrible starts and a few ended on the dl. Too early in the season for players esp pitchers to be playing for keeps.

Screw injuries! We have something to root for this year. One of our own has a chance to win something. Maybe, just maybe we can be within spitting distance of the wild card at the break, that is nothing to get to excited about. Watching a Baltimore Oriole throw some meaningful pitches is something that I have been looking forward to for a long time. I'll take anything to root for.

Japan takes this seriously. They have national pride. We do not.
I just spent 8 years being accused of being "with the terrorists" because I don't believe in the Iraq war or the use of torture. Where are all those sanctimonious country-first people now, when there's a chance that their favorite team's pitcher might wear the Stars and Stripes? Let's make this a national issue. This is healthy patriotism, and we need more of it.

Pete's reply: Oh, stop with the political BS. You always give as good as you get, so don't pull that victim stuff. I agree on Guthrie, however.

Maybe when it comes down to pitching Guthrie on 3 days rest or Burnett/Beckett in the WBC, the manager will choose Guthrie since he's not on a contender and is expendable if he gets hurt - see 2008 All-Star game and Sherrill.


I am going to Toronto for the first Saturday to catch both games :
U.S.-Canada then Italy-Venezuela. Any information on Guthrie and what his role will be on the U.S. team? How much pitching time might he actually see? Is Dave going to make sure he stays on an "Orioles Spring Training Workout Program?"

Pete's reply: He'll be in the rotation and he said he's been told he'll pitch one of the three warmup games. Don't know after that.

I think the games should be played in the dead of winter when we are dying for some baseball.

Political BS? Excuse me? Are you saying it's BS to look at sporting events in light of the larger national culture? Peter, I expect better of you. There's a lot of politics in sports -- look at the way steroids in baseball have been pursued by Congress, while ignored in other sports. Sports aren't played in a vacuum.

I'm not the victim of the last 8 years -- the country is. But I am wondering where all our supposed patriotism, so much in vogue, goes when the WBC rolls around. I'm sorry you think this is BS. And I'm not writing this, at this point, because anybody will read it but you. Think on it and you might end up agreeing with me.

Pete's reply: I've got no problem with political commentary here, but the comparison was a total stretch. That's why I called it BS. If it had been relevant, I wouldn't have called you on it. I mean, from the sound of things, I think the election went your way. Maybe it's time to look forward.

Why is your reporting on Jeremy Guthrie and the World Baseball Classic so much better than your reporting on the NFL Pro Bowl?

Pete's reply: Probably because we're in Florida instead of Hawaii.

How many pitchers from the Yankees and Red Sox are on the roster and how many of them are starters? It seems odd that the Orioles have been well represented in this event but clearly have inferior talent to most of MLB. Let the teams with big payrolls supply players, they can better afford to lose a player to injury than the small and medium market teams.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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