Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore Orioles’

Average Distance From Majors To Affiliates: American League East

Baltimore Orioles (average: 266 miles)
Baltimore to…
…Norfolk Tides (AAA): 240 miles
…Bowie Baysox (AA): 29 miles
…Frederick Keys (A): 49 miles
…Delmarva Shorebirds (A): 110 miles
…Aberdeen Ironbirds (A): 36 miles
…Bluefield Orioles (Rookie): 366 miles
…GCL Orioles (Rookie): 1,006 miles

New York Yankees (average: 544 miles)
New York to…
…Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA): 125 miles
…Trenton Thunder (AA): 67 miles
…Charleston RiverDogs (A): 771 miles
…Tampa Yankees (A): 1,142 miles
…Staten Island Yankees (A): 18 miles
…Gulf Coast Yankees (Rookie): 1,142 miles

Boston Red Sox (average: 550 miles)
Boston to…
…Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA): 45 miles
…Portland Sea Dogs (AA): 108 miles
…Salem Red Sox (A): 682 miles
…Greenville Drive (A): 962 miles
…Lowell Spinners (A): 31 miles
…GCL Red Sox (Rookie): 1,474 miles

Tampa Bay Rays (average: 682 miles)
Tampa Bay to…
…Durham Bulls (AAA): 702 miles
…Montgomery Biscuits (AA): 509 miles
…Charlotte Stone Crabs (A): 71 miles
…Bowling Green Hot Rods (A): 794 miles
…Hudson Valley Renegades (A): 1,235 miles
…Princeton Rays (Rookie): 782 miles

Toronto Blue Jays (average: 1,215 miles)
Toronto to…
…Las Vegas 51s (AAA): 2,254 miles
…New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA): 591 miles
…Dunedin Blue Jays (A): 1,355 miles
…Lansing Lugnuts (A): 301 miles
…Auburn Doubledays (A): 220 miles
…Gulf Coast Blue Jays (Rookie): 1,355 miles

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Now Batting For The Baltimore Orioles…

Remember what I said before, when the Orioles called up Chris Tillman to make his major league debut?  I’m gonna go ahead and stand by those thoughts, because Brian Matusz has arrived.

Baltimore’s first round pick in the 2008 draft, Matusz  ate up the bus leagues this season.  He started out with the Frederick Keys in the Carolina League before a 4-2 record, 2.16 ERA, and 75 strikeouts in 66.2 innings convinced somebody that maybe he should be testing himself against stiffer competition.  So it was on to the Eastern League with the Bowie BaySox, where he only went 7-0, 1.55 ERA, 46 strikeouts in 46.1 innings, and allowed the league to hit .189 against him.  The only start he didn’t win was his last one, on August 1, when he was pulled after just an inning.

Totals between the two levels: 11-2, 1.91 ERA, 121 strikeouts in 113 innings.  I’d say he was ready for The Show.

Now Pitching For The Baltimore Orioles…

As a Red Sox fan, last year’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays scared me from the start. Young and talented in all aspects of the game, they had the look of a team that could expect to contend in the division for years to come.

I hate to say it, but the Orioles are starting to engender some of the same feelings. They already have an offense filled with up-and-coming stars (Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Matt Weiters) and the pitching staff is also young, with more help on the way.

The team’s top pitching prospect, Chris Tillman, arrived on Wednesday, making his major league debut against Zack Greinke and the Kansas City Royals. The 21-year-old Tillman, Baseball America’s 22nd ranked prospect, arrived from Seattle with Jones and George Sherrill in the Erik Bedard trade in February 2008 and has torn up Baltimore’s farm system ever since: 11-4, 3.18, 154 strikeouts for AA Bowie last year, 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA and 99 strikeouts for AAA Norfolk in 2009.

Tillman didn’t pitch great in his debut, but he kept it close, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings.  Matt Albers held it there and the offense scored five runs in the seventh and eighth to win 7-3.

The Great Baseball Road Trip of 2009: Day Two – June 26 – Baltimore

I don’t know how ballplayers do it. I woke up on Friday morning in a darkened hotel room. For about fifteen seconds, until I thought to roll over and look at the clock, I literally had no idea where I was or what time it was. (It was 10:42. Nine hours of sleep never felt so good.)

Friday was probably the day I was looking forward to the most. Not only were we going to see a game at Camden Yards, which I’ve always heard good things about but never before visited, but we were also going to be joined by Extra P for the second annual Bus Leagues Baseball Organizational Summit. Though his seat wasn’t with ours, he WAS in our section, and we figured that we’d have plenty of time to hang out and tell blogging war stories well into the night (“Why, I remember where I was in Aught-Seven, when Cowherd took down The Big Lead. It was a Tuesday. The day dawned gray and grim, and I knew something rough was in the offing…)

Before the game, however, we needed sustenance. Chris had been talking all week about CiCi’s, a reasonably priced pizza buffet about ten minutes from the hotel. Tim wasn’t feeling well and had some homework to do, so he stayed behind at the hotel while Billy, Chris and I went to lunch. We had a little trouble getting there – the VZ Navigator on my phone wasn’t recognizing the address and I am ridiculously inept at reading a map (which is why I have GPS in the first place); OF COURSE I belonged in the front seat – but made it after about half an hour. I’d like to think the additional time in the car whetted our appetites. Once there…who knew there were so many different kinds of pizza, and all in one buffet line? Joe Croce, Mike Cole, I salute you.

We made it back to the hotel in one piece, relaxed for a while, and headed to the ballpark. Our parking pass directed us to Lot D, which was located directly in front of MT Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. As we walked around the stadium, Billy spotted a wall with a bunch of names on it. We went over to take a look, figuring it had something to do with players, only to be disappointed when we realized that it was just a list of people who had purchased Personal Seat Licenses when the stadium was being built. Talk about disappointment.

baltimore war memorialThat disappointment was tempered as we approached Camden Yards, however. After Billy crossed the street illegally, against the direction of two attendants who were directing traffic (he insisted that he heard one of them say, “Go,” so he went – and waved when he got to the other side of the street), we found a nice war memorial just outside Eutaw St. It was a beautiful setup that more than made up for the disappointment of the PSL “monument”.

From there, we entered Eutaw St. It was still early, so we were ablemo vaughn plaque to walk around and explore without too much interference from other fans. Billy was especially interested in finding the baseball plaques that Extra P had written about last month after his previous trip to Camden Yards. I realized he had found them when I went to say something to him and saw that he had drifted twenty feet away and was staring intently at the ground. I left the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame or whatever it was I was checking out at the time and followed his lead, wandering around with my head down for the next five minutes. More than once, I crouched in the middle of the soon-to-be-crowded walkway to take a picture with my cell phone.

Our seats were located in the leftfield grandstand, just off the foul line (Chris was very reassured by the fact that he had to look up, rather than down, to see the top of the foul pole). The Orioles were hosting the Nationals, so we figured attendance would be light and we could find better seats as the night went on. Until then, we spread out in our row, the four of us taking up six or seven seats (Chris and I are big guys; we like our space, if at all possible). Quite possibly the highlight of the night came during the National Anthem; somebody (okay, me) forgot to tell Billy that the crowd shouts, “OH!” just before the last lines. I was looking at the back of his head and I could practically see the disgusted look on his face. It was great.

Extra P joined us sometime after the first pitch, grabbing an empty seat in the row in front of us until their rightful owners arrived to boot him back to our row. We were sitting there, talking and minding our business, when an usher suddenly appeared at the end of the row.

“I need to see your tickets.”

“Sure,” I said, reaching into my pocket and forgetting momentarily that Extra P was in the wrong seat. As the usher looked at his ticket, I noticed four people standing on the steps at the end of the row.

“This isn’t your seat here. Your seat is down there,” he said, waving toward the front row and reaching for mine and Tim’s tickets. “You need to sit in the seat number on your ticket. We’re close to a sellout tonight. This isn’t general admission!”

It reads like he said it nicely. He didn’t. We moved closer together as Extra P gathered his stuff and found his seat. When the dust cleared, somehow, there were only three seats at the end of the row. This did not make the usher happy.

“You NEED to SIT in the SEAT NUMBER on your TICKET,” he repeated. “We’re close to a SELLOUT tonight. It’s not GENERAL ADMISSION out here.”

I tried to explain that the four of us were together, so we would be within a four-seat range rather than specific seats, but he wasn’t overly interested in listening to me at that point, which is one of the few things that can get me mad. I was starting to heat up when Billy led the way by sliding down into an empty seat next to him. Chris, Tim and I followed suit, and further crisis was averted. But still, it was a frustrating moment, mostly because the group whose seats we were sitting in hadn’t said anything to us before grabbing the usher. All they had to do was say, “Excuse me, I think you’re in our seats,” and we would’ve moved over without debate. Their first move was grabbing the usher, however, and his attitude only served to make the problem worse.

We left a few minutes later to grab some food (and because I really wanted to make the people next to us stand up). My destination: Boog’s, the BBQ place on Eutaw St. that Extra P had written about so glowingly for ESPN. I’d smelled it earlier and needed to get me some of that, regardless of the prices, which are a little high (I think it was $9 for a pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw, and beans). Billy followed his nose as well, and we agreed afterward that it did not disappoint. Unbelievable quality. I even ate the beans.

You can't tell from this picture, but I'm standing a row above Extra P, who is trying to keep himself from falling over backwards

You can't tell from this picture, but I'm standing a row above Extra P, who is trying to keep himself from falling over backwards

We went back to our seats a couple innings later and watched the suddenly potent Orioles lineup light up the Nationals pitching for eight runs in the sixth inning. An inning later, I moseyed down a couple rows to talk with Extra P (all the while, expecting the usher to look up, see me, and order me back to my seat). The game ended surprisingly quickly (just a smidge under three hours), we enjoyed a post-game fireworks show (that explains the 45,024 in attendance), and that was that. On the way out, I suggested we look again for the ultimate baseball plaque, the one marking the spot where in 1993 Ken Griffey Jr. became the only player to hit a ball off the warehouse. We had looked earlier with no luck, but Extra P had at least an idea of where it was and so served as our guide. After a few minutes of searching, he tracked it down, much to the delight of Chris, the biggest Griffey fan I know.

griffey plaque

Outside the ballpark, we went our separate ways, Extra P on the road to Virginia, our merry band of travelers back to the hotel. There was a bar next door, so we headed over for a drink (sadly, we were too late to get quesadillas). One beer turned into two, then a few shots, and by the time the bell rang for last call I was pleasantly buzzed for the first time in recent memory. We were still hungry, though, so Billy drove us to a nearby McDonald’s to pick up some food (which did not have a dollar menu), then it was back to the hotel. Billy went to bed and Tim tried to get some work done while Chris and I worried about what was truly important in life: looking up as many of the Seinfeld videos as we could remember from the previous night. At some point, half-sober and three-quarters asleep, I decided I needed to post. It didn’t go very well.

So ended Day Two.

Extra P. Joins the Road Trip

There is an alarming trend afoot in the blogging world. People who are expected to stay home and type all day are actually meeting in person. It’s a little bit like a scene from Dawn of the Dead, with pale, monosyllabic creatures advancing slowly toward one another.

OMDQ and I are in the vanguard of that movement. We met for the first time last season when we toured Cooperstown together. Now, we’re making it two years running as we will be meeting at Camden Yards later today.

I’m taking my trusty camera, so look forward to some documentation. I’m also sure OMDQ will verbally harass me to talk to Ryan Zimmerman so I can explain the Z-Meter to him. I’m just not sure how much of that “nodding without listening and yearning for escape” I can stand, so I’m still weighing my options.

Anyway, let the party begin.

Now Batting For The Baltimore Orioles…

As Extra P told us yesterday in the latest installment of his award-winning Z-Meter, Matt Wieters is now a Baltimore Oriole.  He was called up earlier this week and will make his major league debut tomorrow, Friday, against the Detroit Tigers.  Birds Watcher is PUMPED about this.

I could tell you all about his stats last year, when he was Baseball America’s Player of the Year, or how he was rated as the number one prospect in all of baseball by that same publication, but you know all that already.  What don’t you know about?

How about Matt Wieters Facts?

Praise Jesus for Google, is all I can say, because that’s what led me to this magnificent corner of the web.  Some may accuse this site of basically ripping off the “Chuck Norris Facts” phenomenom, and while the concept is the same, some of the content is amazingly, extraordinarily different.

  • Matt Wieters Went The Wrong Way After Bunting, Ran 26,000 Miles, And Beat The Throw To First.
  • Matt Wieters Broke A Bat Last Night. Nobody Knows What Happened To The Ball.
  • Matt Wieters Hit A Homerun Into McCovey Cove In San Francisco. From New York.

That’s just a taste.  Oh, and they’ve also created his Hall of Fame postcard:

matt-wieters-hof-postcard

You have no idea how tempted I am to buy one of these.

Now Pitching For The Baltimore Orioles…

June 2 is a good day in the recent history of Orioles pitcher Radhames Liz.  Last season, he pitched a no-hitter for AA Bowie.  This year, he was recalled from AAA Norfolk on that date and made his season debut the following night against the Minnesota Twins.

Liz went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four to earn his first major league victory (he was 0-2 in nine games in 2007).  His catcher, Ramon Hernandez, noted that Baltimore’s 2007 Minor League Pitcher of the Year pitched like he belonged in The Show:

“He threw more strikes. That was the big difference,” catcher Ramon Hernandez said. “He stayed more middle, and he was throwing more strikes early in the count and then he got more aggressive.”

Sounds similar to the compliment Pedro Martinez recently paid to David Price.  Be, aggressive, B-E aggressive. 

The most recent “Now Pitching For” subject, Homer Bailey, did not exactly receive a vote of confidence from Reds manager Dusty Baker, who basically told reporters that the only reason Bailey got the call for Thursday’s start against Philadelphia was because he was already on the 40-man roster (Bailey took the loss for Cincinnati, allowing five runs, but only two earned, on four hits in 6.1 innings).  Liz, on the other hand, can take the mound with the knowledge that he will have a chance to succeed or fail on his own merits:

Even before Liz’s strong performance, Orioles manager Dave Trembley made it clear that Liz wasn’t in the big leagues for one spot start.

“This isn’t a tryout, this isn’t an audition,” Trembley said. “He’s going to pitch.”

It’s gotta be nice to know that you’ll have a job, at least for awhile. 

Previous “Now Batting”: Evan Longoria (Rays); Jed Lowrie (Red Sox), Jeff Clement/Wladimir Balentien (Mariners); Jay Bruce (Reds)

 

Previous “Now Pitching”: Justin Masterson (Red Sox); Jeff Niemann (Rays); Luke Hochevar (Royals); Max Scherzer (Diamondbacks); Nick Adenhart (Angels); Homer Bailey (Reds)