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June 15, 2011

Big O-Zone

I've got mixed feelings about the way home plate umpire Jerry Layne has called tonight's game at Rogers Centre.

Being a baseball purist, I think his double-wide strike zone is an abomination, though he has been consistent regardless of who's on the mound.

Being a guy who loves a full night's sleep, I like the way it has kept the game moving along and a brisk pace.

The difference in this game -- and it's not a big difference -- is that Jays starter Ricky Romero has had terrific command and has kept the ball out of the middle of the strike zone. Jake Arrieta has pitched well, too, but he has left a couple of balls close to the hot spot and the Jays have a pair of solo homers as a result.

Oh, and there's the uncanny ability of the Orioles to turn an opportunity into an embarrassment, as they did in the fourth inning, when they had runners at first and second with no one out. Adam Jones got himself out swinging at two balls well down and off the plate and Vladimir Guerrero swung at the first pitch and bounced into a room service double play. It's what they do.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 8:38 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Just baseball


It must be cold in the Orioles dugout. Showalter wearing a turtleneck and a jacket.

Toronto was looking forward to the Orioles visit so they can back over .500.

I guess signing these old guys like Vladimir and Derrick indicates we have no farm system. Those kind of players compliment teams that already are on the verge. They are not players you build around.

We can lose just as well with, say, Brandon Snyder. I hope we see some deadline trades, but this team's system has got to start acquiring and developing some quality position players and instilling a hitting approach that makes opposing pitchers work harder.

Yes, Adam Jones is falling back into his bad habits again by swinging at the slop.
Why, who knows. Vlad is Vlad. I had no idea that he was as quirky as he is, I still like him. Truth be told though, Matt Wieters is really turning into a solid hitter! Now if we could find a number 1 pitcher, Andy Mac doesn't really seem to have any burning desire to obtain one. While growing the arms and buying the bats is a very interesting idea so is communisim in theory by the way. However, neither seem to work in real life! Our number one arm is either injured, not pitching up to expectations, years away or simply does not exist in an Orioles uniform. Does Angelos have thay kind of time to wait around, do I have that kind of patience as a fan, No! The Orioles look like they are well on their way to their 14th season. It has me most unhappy =(

PS Derrek Lee hit into a room service double play too, I think it ended the game. You know his defense is nice, but I don't see the fire in the belly from him

Pete, how does this offense look their pitchers in the eye after games like this?

I was tremendously proud of Arrieta tonight. He was aggressive, went after everyone (especially Batista) and really pounded the zone. One or two HR don't bother me as long as they're solo was refreshing to see Arrieta going right after every hitter. If he can continue to have that kind of command and consistency, he'll be our best starter. He's already got the best makeup and confidence on the mound of all our pitchers.

McPhail has to shoulder most of the blame for our anemic offense. Bringing in Guerrerro (to the tune of 8 Mill!) is looking worse with every weak AB. I can;t remember the last time he hit the ball hard somewhere;the only consistency is his total lack of plate discipline. How many times has he swung at the first pitch and produced either a DP or weak popup?
And Lee is clearly done-he can't get around on a decent fastball anymore. Teams are actually better off just throwing a 90 MPH fastball down the middle with him.
Reynolds is never going to hit above .200 as he is merely guessing up there and has looked terrible for the most part-eiher getting caught looking or wailing away at a breaking ball that's out of the strike zone.
So in a nut shell, the above 3 "bats' are what McPhail brought us. I can't stand watching the feeble offense!!!! The sad part is that here it's only mid June and the annual fire sale is almost on. This time, there isn't much market for over the hill vets like Lee and Vlad so we are stuck with another dismal second half.

I love the people still blaming AM. Would you rather have Luke Scott and his .220 average hitting cleanup as our DH? Or playing first and failing to scoop all the balls D-Lee does?

Aside from the Gregg disaster, AM made all the right moves this offseason. He cannot be blamed for players underachieving.

Peter - I can't take it anymore - any objective person following baseball knows there's not much hope coming from the minors...this is another decade of losing. We made our first pick in the draft and then the rays, Sox and Jays took 20 players before we took another? that's because they get supplemental picks because people covet and sign their players. Nobody covets Orioles. McPhial has been a DISASTER! Perhaps Angelos is also to blame - but we have everyone's leftovers - Guererro, Lee, Reynolds, Gonzalez - next year Jeter?'s just plain depressing and I am done checking the scores...I have folloed them for 40 years and they're just a sad organization and there's no hope like there is in KC and Pittsburg...the O's just stink.

Pete's reply: I share your frustration, but I don't think it's quite that hopeless.

Thought I'd share. Where do I start.....

1. Demote Kevin Gregg's status as closer and replace him with Uehara, who is the best reliever on the team. Gregg is just painfull to watch and I never like the idea as him being a closer.

2. Dump Mike Gonzalez and eat the rest of his salary. Considering his 11 H/9 innings, 2.5 HR/ 9 innings, and 1.68 WHIP, anyone would be an upgrade. Need a lefty? Premote Hendreckson. At least he came through at times.

3. Am I the only person who thinks Mark Reynolds is given WAY too much credit for his defense at 3B? Don't have a solution, just sayin'.

4. I would say 'trade Jeremy Guthrie', but I think June is still early. Probably closer to the Deadline....

5. Stop putting Derek Lee in the middle of the order. He is the worst hitter on the team right now, behind Nick Markakis, who shouldn't even be batting 2nd. Both of these players are killing the team, especially that high in the order.

6. Furthermore, take Guererro out of the 4th spot. I don't care what his resume says - he is a glorified singles hitter now. The Orioles must have the worst 1 thru 5 lineup in the entire league.

7. Lastly, Showalter needs to reevaluate and restructure his lineup according to who is hot and who isn't hot, because the way he has been doing it isn't cutting it . Am I the only person who see the bottom half of the lineup is better than the top half?

Oh, Nolan Riemold is 4 for his last 30, also is batting .063 this month with 3 BB's, and is a worse fielder than Luke Scott. Demote him

Yes, Pete, you're on the money with your "It's what they do" comment. Sad but true.

You'd have to believe that Buck has raised the issue with these players, but why do the same problems that plagued this team during Trembley's tenure, continue during the Showalter era?

If I were Buck Showalter, I would gut this team immediately. Anyone above the age of 25 is either traded our dumped outright. Start fresh with new talent and new veterans that can produce.

You get what you put into it. Garbage in - Garbage out!

Lee is starting to look like he's losing his edge on the field, which has been his big contribution this season. In fact, his batting average is moving towards that of Reynolds, but without the home runs. Vlad is fun to watch. Have you ever seen anyone who seems to enjoy himself more? Big problem is the bottom half of the order (now that Hardy has moved up). It's a rally-killing hole of blackness.

These, folks are your 2011 Baltimore Orioles, brought to you tonight by Andy B. Macphail and his nephew Lee H. the 4th!

The aged, the infirmed and the incompetent, handpicked form baseball's trash heap and delivered straight to your living room via MASN.

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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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