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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gay Minor League pitcher Jason Burch was just waiting for the right question

Still, through his Minor League career that stretched across six seasons and four Major League Baseball franchises, Burch kept to that mantra: No one asked, no need to tell. During a game for the BaySox in 2008, a rare opportunity presented itself. Sitting in the bullpen, one of his teammates, a pitcher from Latin America, asked him if he had a girlfriend with whom to spend their upcoming break. The door opened and Burch strode right through it.

“I’m not interested in girls. I’m gay. And I don’t have a boyfriend.”..

That wasn’t the only time he shared his sexual orientation with teammates. He opened up to people he trusted, men he had known for a while and people he considered true friends. That list of trusted teammates simply wasn’t very long, as the life of a Minor League player is full of change. He played for five different A+ and AA teams, and two Major League spring trainings, in just his final two seasons in baseball. Players are traded, moved up, dropped down and sent to other teams all season long. Opportunities to build deep, trusting relationships with teammates are few and far between.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 03:18 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, coming out, gay rights, jason burch, orioles, rockies

Monday, February 16, 2015

With 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, Baltimore’s conspiracy theories need re-examining

...So I’m not buying what MLB is selling: the idea that the Orioles’ legal entanglement over Mid-Atlantic Sports Network TV-rights fees with the Washington Nationals and MLB is not at least a contributing factor to their wait to host the All-Star Game again. That just doesn’t ring completely true to me…

 

NattyBoh Posted: February 16, 2015 at 12:49 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, masn, mlb, orioles

Saturday, February 14, 2015

School of Roch: Which Orioles bring the most spring curiosity?

Orioles questions that need answering.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 08:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adam Jones and When an Aggressive Approach Goes Too Far - GammonsDaily.com

So when Jones gets into pitchers counts, he’s not being patient enough to get his pitch.

Last season, Jones offered at 73.9% of all pitches thrown to him in three-ball counts, which was third-highest in baseball. His ability to remain deliberate within the boundaries of the strike zone was even more appalling, as his 62.7% chase rate with three balls in the count led all of baseball in 2014. The result: Jones got on base much less frequently than he should have, posting a .400 on-base percentage in three-ball counts, which was third lowest in the majors and significantly lower than the .565 league mark.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, orioles

Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.

Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.

There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


School of Roch: Orioles who need to get defensive

Showalter is getting defensive about the Orioles in 2015.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, orioles

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Dan Duquette puts Toronto in past, focuses on Orioles

He insisted that Toronto’s advances did not distract him from seeking to put a better club on the field in 2015.

“It’s important for the Orioles fans to know that my focus — and my singular focus — is on improving the team,” he said. “We do that day by day, trade by trade, addition by addition. We did that this year in the offseason like we’ve done it in the past.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dan duquette, orioles

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Orioles Do Something, Add Lottery Ticket in Travis Snider | FanGraphs Baseball

Breaking down the Snider trade.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

School of Roch: Showalter on Duquette and Wieters on his throwing progression

Catcher Matt Wieters revealed that he expanded the distance on his throws yesterday to 150 feet. He had been playing catch at 120.

The rehab’s going well and going how it’s supposed to from all the talk I’ve gotten with Dr. (James) Andrews and my physical therapist down here and Richie (Bancells),” Wieters said. “Everything’s kind of moved along and we’re preparing for me to be ready for opening day. We still have a good couple of months before we’re there, so it’s still going to be a lot of work to put into it, but that’s what I’m preparing for. We’re trying to get all the steps checked off before we get there.

“We’ll see when I’m actually going to be able to get behind the plate and catch in games during spring training, but it’s just a matter of making sure the arm has been tested enough to where when we do get into games with adrenaline and a little bit of pressure that we’re ready to go.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, matt wieters, orioles

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Jays end negotiations for Orioles’ Duquette - Sportsnet.ca

Things have to be uncomfortable in the Orioles front office right now.

Negotiations for Dan Duquette are over after the Toronto Blue Jays refused to consider the Baltimore Orioles’ demands for promising right-hander Jeff Hoffman and two other top prospects as compensation for the executive.
...
Beyond Hoffman, the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, the Orioles are also believed to have been seeking catcher Max Pentecost, the 11th overall pick in 2014, infielder Mitch Nay and more, demands that the Blue Jays at no point contemplated because of how steep they were.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

Friday, January 23, 2015

Updated thoughts on the Dan Duquette situation - Baltimore Sun

For a long time Dan Duquette was a pariah in baseball. Peter Angelos took a chance and brought him back. Although I understand Angelos’ desire to either keep Duquette in Baltimore or get significant return from the Blue Jays to let him go, I can’t see how forcing Duquette to stay in Baltimore will turn out to be a good outcome.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

Friday, January 16, 2015

Arthur Rhodes officially retires

MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that reliever Arthur Rhodes has officially retired from baseball.

Rhodes hasn’t pitched since 2011, but I think he still deserves a proper sendoff. 20 years, 900 games, 1,152 strikeouts, one All-Star berth, and two of the biggest earrings you ever saw.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pitching Grandpa Tries Out With Orioles

They say he’s in the best shape of his life!

Hendrickson, 40, may be getting up there in years — as evidenced by the fact that he became a grandfather last fall — but after the left-hander put up some pretty decent numbers in the Independent Atlantic League with the York Revolution last year (1.54 ERA in 55 appearances), he wants to give it yet another go.

boteman Posted: January 15, 2015 at 02:19 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hollywood Reporter: TV Broadcaster Challenges MLB’s Secret $25 Million Deal With Washington Nationals

The motion to vacate the arbitration ruling is largely premised on the role that Proskauer Rose played. The law firm represented the Nationals during the arbitration, but allegedly has conflicts — it has been involved in many MLB matters including the antitrust lawsuit over TV deals that is about to be presented to the 2nd Circuit. It represented the Mets in the Bernie Madoff affair, the Tampa Bay Rays in salary disputes with players, and much more.

In fact, on Monday, MASN told the judge that the law firm was “even more intertwined with MLB than was previously revealed,” counting 74 separate engagements, including 49 that occurred during the arbitration. These matters included representing the MLB in the Biogenesis investigation, in the dispute over the league’s one-year suspension of Alex Rodriguez and former MLB commissioner Bud Selig in the 2012 extension of his $22 million-per-year employment contract.

The Orioles and its broadcaster only threw up a number of soft objections to Proskauer’s involvement during the arbitration, but is now using its legal bat to drive home the point that MLB used the law firm to gain an illicit advantage over the arbitration process. The Nationals argue that MLB’s conflict of interest is “irrelevant” because the firm represented the league in unrelated matters, but the Orioles/MASN assert that MLB and Rob Manfred — who becomes the league’s new commissioner this month — “maintained almost complete control over the Arbitration and Award.”

And why exactly does the MLB care what MASN pays to the Nationals for the right to televise its games? If MLB used Proskauer to sway the arbitrators, what did MLB stand to gain from favoring one team over another?

As detailed in prior stories on this dispute, MLB privately paid $25 million to the Nationals to soothe team owner Ted Lerner’s own problems with being forced to license its games at a discount. Now, MASN tells the judge that the arbitration award must be vacated because “MLB had (and still has) a direct financial interest in the outcome.”

On Monday, Alan Rifkin, an attorney representing MASN, delivered an extraordinary sworn affidavit (read here in full) in the courtroom battle over TV money. It attempts to explain MLB’s stake.

Rifkin says he had discussions with Manfred — then the MLB’s chief operating officer — in August 2013. According to Rifkin, Manfred wrote that MLB had “resolved” the Nationals’ claim for additional telecast rights fees for 2012 and 2013 and that the league would “fund the entire cost of the resolution.”

At the time, Rifkin thought that MLB was going to pay the Nationals $7.5 million and believed this was a mistake because he says it “would only encourage the Nationals to believe that they were entitled to telecast rights fees in excess” of what the team deserved.

Only later, he says, did he learn that MLB had actually paid the Nationals $25 million. Manfred wanted to know if the Orioles would consider allowing the MLB to recoup the money through the proceeds of a sale of MASN, says Rifkin. The entreaty was allegedly rejected. ...

A spokesperson for MLB said the league had no comment about yesterday’s court filings. In prior papers filed by Manfred in the case, he wrote that MLB only plays a “support role” in the arbitration, that the process was well known by the Orioles, and that during the proceedings no party complained that it hadn’t been given an opportunity to present its case nor ever objected to the procedure.

JE (Jason) Posted: January 14, 2015 at 01:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: lawsuit, masn, nationals, orioles, peter angelos, tv rights

New Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh expects big year from Chris Davis - Baltimore Sun

Chris Davis is a good buy-low candidate.

“There were times when he hit [a bunch of] home runs in a month and hit .360, and it was like, this guy’s like Babe Ruth compared to Triple-A. I know it’s the minor leagues, but I’ve seen it on the baseball field, so when he hit 50-plus home runs, it wasn’t like, ‘Wow.’ And I don’t expect it every time, either, but at the same time, it’s something he’s capable of doing.”


While he understands that his connection with Davis will be a storyline, Coolbaugh insisted that he’s not with the Orioles to be Davis’ personal hitting coach. He said his immediate goal is to develop a rapport and trust with all of the Orioles’ hitters.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: buy low candidates, chris davis, orioles

Friday, January 09, 2015

5 bold predictions for the rest of the MLB offseason. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

Alas, nobody’s seriously expecting the 20-second pitch clock—the best of the pace-of-play procedures tested in the Arizona Fall League—to be instituted anytime soon, but one league source said the “one foot in the batter’s box” rule that was also tested does have some legs (pun intended).


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Former Orioles relief pitcher Stu Miller dies at 87 - Baltimore Sun

Reliever and long-time pitching coach passes.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, orioles

Monday, January 05, 2015

Former Orioles GM Hank Peters dies at 90 - Baltimore Sun

The architect of the Orioles teams of the ‘80’s.

Even the worst trade he made — sending promising outfielder Don Baylor and 20-game winner Mike Torrez to Oakland in 1976 for outfielder Reggie Jackson, who skipped town after one season — failed to ruffle Mr. Peters.

“I know I didn’t get smart overnight and I didn’t get dumb overnight, either,” he said.

Colleagues called him even-keeled to a fault.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 05, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, orioles

Sunday, January 04, 2015

School of Roch: Rasmus, Aoki and Ethier still among Orioles’ outfield options

Roch Kubatko runs through some Orioles outfield options.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: andre ethier, colby rasmus, nori aoki, orioles

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

School of Roch: Orioles have real interest in Rasmus

I’m still hearing that the Orioles don’t have serious interest in free agent Ichiro Suzuki. However, they do hold legitimate interest in another left-handed hitting outfielder, Colby Rasmus, and have maintained a dialogue with agent Casey Close since the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: colby rasmus, orioles

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mess with MLB? Lose your All-Star Game

We heard a couple of weeks ago that Petco Park in San Diego was likely to host the 2016 All-Star Game. This conflicted with an earlier report that Camden Yards in Baltimore would play host.

Today Roch Kubatko of MASN confirms that, no, Camden Yards will not be the site and cryptically adds that “Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to have much desire to do the Orioles any favors these days.”

It has to be cryptic, I assume, because Kubtako’s employer is at the center of the reason why MLB doesn’t want to do the Orioles any favors. As we’ve noted, MASN — which is owned and controlled by Orioles owner Peter Angelos — is in pitched litigation with MLB and the Washington Nationals over rights fees for Nats broadcasts on the network both teams share. Just a couple of weeks ago MASN won a discovery motion in the case, and you don’t have discovery disputes in cases where everyone is being all amicable with one another.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, litigation, masn, nationals, orioles

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Despite losses, Orioles still perched on top in AL East - Sports - The Boston Globe

No excuse? How about if the price tags on the available starters are unreasonable? Don’t get me wrong. Getting an ace would be great. Getting an ace at the expense of too much talent, though, is a price they shouldn’t be willing to pay. That’s especially true if you believe having the ace will only get the team to 84-88 wins.

To do: Find an ace. The Red Sox have no excuse for leaving themselves short in this area. They have player and financial resources to obtain free agents such as Max Scherzer or James Shields, and trade for Cole Hamels, David Price, or Jordan Zimmermann. John Henry said the team can go over the $189 million luxury tax threshold for a year. And they need another lefty in the bullpen.

Ugh.

5. As fun as it is to pore over some sabermetric stats, batting average, home runs, and RBIs pretty much tell the story of a hitter. For a top-of-the-order speed guy, walks, on-base percentage, and stolen bases do the same.

Backup job at DH?

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Orioles — The Orioles were the fourth team Lavarnway ended up with in December, when he was passed around on waivers from Boston to the Dodgers to the Cubs and now to the Orioles. Lavarnway could compete for a backup job at DH.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Thursday, December 25, 2014

HardballTalk per MASN: Orioles Re-Sign Delmon Young

Happy Xmas Orioles fandudes—you’re getting a Delmon!

Delmon Young is staying in Baltimore, as Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the 29-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has re-signed with the Orioles on a one-year deal worth $2.25 million.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: delmon young, orioles

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Orioles still interested in Padres’ Seth Smith and Will Venable, sources say - Baltimore Sun

Smith and Venable aren’t great but they are useful players.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, padres, trade rumors

Saturday, December 20, 2014

School of Roch: Wieters on his rehab and opening day

“Right now, it’s my goal and I want to be ready to start the season on opening day, but at the same time, we’re too early to know,” Wieters said. “This is not something where we want to set a deadline date where I need to be ready. I don’t want to rush it and have a setback.
“I think everybody’s end goal is for me to get back healthy and be full go and be ready to go. That’s my goal. I want to play as many games as I can and catch as many as I can, but at the same time I need to see what kind of reaction I’m going to have as far as fatigue that we’re going to have to push through.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2014 at 08:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: matt wieters, orioles

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