Reasons for hope as the Orioles season trudges along

As the Baltimore Orioles crawl towards the finish line in what has been arguably their worst season ever, several veteran Orioles are doing their best to instill some hope in what has been a disappointed fan base.

Free agent pitching acquisition Andrew Cashner delivered a quality start Tuesday night against the Mets, going seven innings and giving up just two earned runs on five hits while striking out three and walking three.  Cashner (4-10) dropped his season ERA to 4.71 and has rebounded nicely since his clunker on August 2 against Texas.

In his last eight starts, Cashner has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in six of them. Cashner has begun to right the ship at the same time as fellow free agent signing Alex Cobb has seemed to turn the corner as well.

Cobb (3-15) has lowered his ERA from 7.23 on June 10 to 5.31 now. Unfortunately for Cobb, it has not translated in the win/loss column as he appears headed to a potential 20-loss season. Cobb has given up one earned run in four of his last five starts but has just one win to show for it as the year-long struggle at the plate continues for the Birds.

Other Orioles who have seen recent upticks in play include outfielders Trey Mancini and Mark Trumbo. Mancini has raised his batting average from .220 to .235 out of the All-Star break by hitting .300 month in the month of August to-date. Mancini has four homers and ten RBI in what is already his most productive month on the season.

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Trey Mancini has picked up his play since the All-Star Break. Image Credit: AP

After exploding on the scene last season, Mancini had gotten off a rough start in the 2018 season. While he won’t reach his production levels from 2017, it is an encouraging sign that he now appears poised to salvage what is left of this forgotten year.

Trumbo has taken his season average from .250 at the All-Star break to .264 currently. This is thanks in-part to what has been a massive August for the 32-year-old Trumbo. In the month, Trumbo is hitting .350 with 5 homers and 13 RBI and is getting on base at a .372 clip. Not to mention that he’s doing this with knee discomfort that had Buck Showalter talking about an injection as recent as Sunday.

The Orioles sit at 36-84, a whopping 49.5 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. This is not an attempt to put lipstick on a pig by any means. This season has been a disaster of epic proportions. Long-standing Orioles Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Zach Britton, Brad Brach, and Kevin Gausman are gone and it remains to be seen what the returns for those players will produce.

But it is encouraging to see some of the key veteran players remaining on this team play well down the stretch. All four players figure to factor heavily in the equation in regards to next year’s team while Cobb and Mancini have potential to be here through the rebuild and the hopeful eventual rebirth of the team.

Stay faithful Orioles fans. There are reasons for hope.

Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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Three things to watch for as the Ravens take on the Rams Thursday night

The Baltimore Ravens will take on the Los Angeles Rams Thursday evening at M&T Stadium in their week one preseason matchup.

The Ravens look to build off of their preseason-opening 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame game last week in Canton Ohio.

Here are three things watch for during Thursday night’s contest.

1) Who plays and for how long? 

According to ESPN‘s Jamison Hensley, Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco said that he expects to play in Thursday’s game. If Flacco does play, could this mean the debuts of the revamped starting receiving corps of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown?

If any of these guys see the field on Thursday night it is unknown how long they will play. Traditionally Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has had his starters play a series or two in the first preseason game. It would mark the first preseason action for Flacco since Aug. 27, 2016 versus Detroit as he missed all of last year’s games with a herniated disk in his back.

What impact will Flacco’s apperarance have on the playing time of the other Ravens quarterbacks? Robert Griffin III performed well in the preseason opener while Lamar Jackson struggled and looked like a quarterback who needs as many reps as he can get this preseason.

It will also be intriguing to see if veteran defensive stalwarts Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle see the field Thursday night. Suggs is entering his 16th season and has looked great in camp this summer. Weddle is entering his 12th season but you wouldn’t know it from this clip after joint practice with the Rams on Monday as he seems as charged up as ever.

2) Who keeps their momentum going and who bounces back?

The toast of the town late last week was Ravens third-year linebacker Kamalei Correa. Correa was a beast against the Bears, finishing with six tackles, three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. His effort earned him some praise from Harbaugh.

Going into the contest, I was anxious to see what impact new defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale would have on the defense and Correa’s big night was a product of returning to outside linebacker, his natural position. It will be interesting to see if Correa can provide another big night and continue to remove himself from the roster bubble.

Looking to bounce back for the Ravens would be wide receiver Breshad Perriman. The trials and tribulations of Perriman have been well documented and on the Ravens first possession last Thursday night, Perriman provided another moment to his list.

This interception led Gordon McGuiness of Pro Football Focus to take still frames of two plays from Perriman’s last two games against the Bears.

Perriman finished the night with two catches for 19 yards and has quite a mountain to climb to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

3) Offensive Line play

Ravens quarterbacks were sacked eight times last Thursday night. Six of the eight sacks were endured by mobile quarterbacks Griffin and Jackson.  This is an alarming trend considering both players move significantly better in getting away from pressure than Flacco does.

Orlando Brown Jr led the group in total snaps and performed satisfactorily in his first taste of NFL action.  It’s worth noting that the remaining leaders in offensive linemen snaps (Jermaine Eluemunor, Bradley Bozeman, Maurquice Shakir, and Randin Crecelius) are not anticipated to be starters for the Ravens but it leaves the offensive line’s depth in doubt.

Given Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda’s injury history, this is a definite area of improvement for the Ravens this Thursday night. Lewis returned to practice on July 28 after sitting out a few sessions with a nagging ankle injury. He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Yanda came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Monday and returned to practice on a limited basis. This is a great sign for the Ravens as he is working his way back from a fractured ankle he suffered in week two last season. He also suffered a partially-torn rotator cuff while lifting weights in December and underwent a procedure to fix it up. The shoulder injury is actually what’s held Yanda out to this point. He is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

The Details:

Image Credit: Baltimore Ravens

Orioles win 9-6 to avoid sweep in Arlington

ARLINGTON- The Baltimore Orioles were able to salvage the final game of a four-game set with the Texas Rangers on Sunday, scoring a 9-6 win in order to avoid being swept for the 15th time this season.

Mark Trumbo had a huge day at the plate and got started early with a RBI single off Rangers starter Drew Hutchison in the top of the first scoring Jace Peterson who singled on the first pitch of the game.  After Yefry Ramirez relinquished the lead in the bottom of the first, catcher Austin Wynns clubbed his third homer of the season, a three-run-shot, to put the O’s back in front 4-2.

It was a rough day for Ramirez though who failed to get out of the second inning.  After issuing a lead-off walk to Willie Calhoun to start the second, Drew Robinson doubled to deep right to put runners on second and third with nobody out. A Shin-Soo Choo sac fly cut the lead to 4-3.

Unfortunately for Ramirez, he was unable to weather the storm and would surrender two more hits,two more walks, and two more runs in the inning and left the game with two outs in the frame. Tanner Scott relieved Ramirez and worked out of the situation by striking out Ronald Guzman which kept the deficit at 5-4.

After Jonathan Villar led off the third with a walk, Trumbo delivered the first of his two homers on the day to give the Orioles a 6-5 lead. Scott worked a scoreless third and fourth for the Birds before yielding to Donnie Hart for the bottom of the fifth.

Hart took over protecting a 7-5 lead in the fifth after Villar added a solo shot to his day to extend the Orioles lead. Hart went 1.2 scoreless innings striking out three before Miguel Castro came in to finish the sixth inning.  The Orioles extended their lead to 9-5 in the top of the seventh inning when Trumbo added his second homer of the game, a two-run shot.

Trumbo finished the day 3-4 with 2HRS and 5RBI and Villar reached base in all four of his at bats going 3-3 with three runs scored and a walk. Villar is 8-17 since joining the Orioles via the Jonathan Schoop trade.

Castro pitched a scoreless seventh before turning the ball over to Paul Fry who struggled with his control in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Calhoun flied out, Fry walked Robinson and Choo before throwing a wild pitch to advance the runners. Rougned Odor grounded out to cut the lead to 9-6 and that would close the book on Fry as Mychal Givens got the final out in the eighth.

Givens pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season. Scott took the win for the Orioles to get to 2-2 on the year out of the bullpen. The loss went to Hutchison for the Rangers who fell to 1-2 on the year.

The Orioles (34-78) are off Monday before opening a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays (56-56) on Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

Image Credit: AP

Three things to watch for as the Baltimore Ravens preseason begins

The Baltimore Ravens will head to Canton Ohio to kick off their 2018 preseason schedule against the Chicago Bears in the NFL Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night.

It will mark the first time the Ravens take the field since their heartbreaking 31-27 season-ending defeat against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017. That loss landed Baltimore out of the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

With most of the starters not expected to play on Thursday, here are three things I am watching for as the Ravens start their 2018 campaign.

1. Lamar Jackson

The buzz around Baltimore has been significant surrounding Lamar Jackson ever since the Ravens traded back into the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to select the 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback out of Louisville 32nd overall.

Jackson’s accolades and statistics in the collegiate ranks are unprecedented. To go along with his Heisman Trophy, Jackson was the 2016 and 2017 ACC Player of the Year. He was also a unanimous first team All-American in 2016. In Jackson’s final two years at Louisville he amassed 10,375 total yards and 96 total TD’S.

So what does all of this mean at the next level? Absolutely nothing. The learning curve for Jackson begins for real this Thursday night and I cannot wait to see how the “future” of the quarterback position in Baltimore looks in his first test as an NFL quarterback. It will be interesting to see who starts the game, but it is expected that both Jackson and Robert Griffin III will receive significant playing time.

Jackson channeled his inner Bart Scott when asked about his debut:

2. Wide receiver corps

While nothing has been announced as of yet, it is unlikely that the Ravens new look receiving corps of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown will see much action in Thursday’s opener.

That means the spotlight will be on Chris Moore, Breshad Perriman, and rookies Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley as they look to establish themselves as contributing members of what has recently been a very disappointing position group of late for the Ravens.

Moore has the inside track to be the number four receiver and is looking to improve upon his numbers from last season (18 catches 248 yards and 3 touchdowns). Moore is entering his third season in Baltimore out of the University of Cincinnati and Thursday could prove a key moment for him as he looks to gain a stranglehold on that fourth receiver spot.

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Breshad Perriman is fighting for a roster spot. Image Credit: Sporting News

The much maligned Perriman is entering his fourth season with the Ravens. The first- round draft pick in 2015 missed his entire rookie season with injuries and has struggled in his two seasons since, tallying just 43 catches and three touchdowns. After the Ravens picked up his roster bonus, he is now battling to make the week one roster. This could be Perriman’s last chance is Baltimore and a good showing on Thursday night could relieve some of the pressure he is sure to be feeling.

Scott and Lasley appear poised for significant reps at receiver in the preseason opener as well. Scott, a fourth-round pick out of New Mexico State has struggled out of the gate at training camp. Lasley was drafted in the fifth round out of UCLA and has been the more impressive of the two in training camp so far. Look for both to be featured prominently in the Ravens offense on Thursday night.

3. New Defensive Coordinator

While the 2017 Baltimore Ravens defense finished sixth in the NFL in points-per-game allowed (18.9), many Ravens fans, myself included, were excited when Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees retired one day after the 2017 season ended.

Often times Pees would sink into a “prevent” style defense when the team had the lead late in games.  This was a contributing factor in the Ravens inability to hold on to a 38-29 lead in the fourth quarter of what became an AFC North division clinching loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Enter Don “Wink” Martindale who was promoted to Defensive Coordinator this off-season. Martindale struggled in his only prior stint as an NFL defensive coordinator when he guided the Denver Broncos to a last place finish in total defense.  That hasn’t stopped many Ravens including Tony Jefferson from raving about him this offseason:

While it is just the first preseason game, the excitement around town is noticeable. Amid the Orioles fire sale, the Ravens will look to provide a welcomed distraction for Charm City as they get their 2018 campaign underway on Thursday night.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Orioles Split Two Games Against the Division Leading Red Sox

BALTIMORE- Amid the aftermath of the Manny Machado trade and the execution of a trade of closer Zach Britton, the Orioles were able to notch a series split against the AL- East leading Boston Red Sox in Baltimore.

Britton was shipped to the New York Yankees for three prospects during game two on Tuesday night and learned of the trade during a rain delay in the contest. Britton spoke fondly of his time in Baltimore.

Rain played a prominent role in this series with two rain delays in game one of the series and another in game two. Game three was postponed to close out the rain filled set.

Game 1 (5-3 BOS): The series opener followed a familiar pattern for the 2018 Orioles as starter Kevin Gausman, who took the loss to fall to 4-8 on the year, was unable to make it out of the fifth inning and the offense provided no runs until the 8th inning.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

Image Credit: NESN

Gausman’s trouble started in the second inning when Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland slugged his 12th home run of the season to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. It was the 20th homer allowed by Gausman this season which ranks him in a three way tie for 6th most in the MLB.

Gausman settled down until the fifth inning which proved to be his last.  Xander Bogaerts doubled to right to start the frame. After a Brock Holt ground out Gausman issued three straight walks to Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. The third of these walks extended the Red Sox lead to 2-0.

After a Mookie Betts strikeout, Andrew Benintendi delivered the knock-out punch for Gausman when he hit a ground rule double scoring Devers and Leon to extend the lead to 4-0. Miguel Castro relieved Gausman and J.D. Martinez reached on an infield single scoring Bradley Jr. and making it a 5-0 deficit. Moreland grounded out to end the innning, but the damage was done.

Red hot Jonathan Schoop got the offense going with a two-run shot in the bottom of the 8th to cut the lead to 5-2. Caleb Joseph cut the lead to two with a one out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth scoring Renato Nunez. Jace Peterson grounded into a double play to end the game giving the Orioles their fourth straight loss.

Game 2 (7-6 BAL): As the trade rumors swirled regarding Britton, the Orioles were able to grind out a 7-6 victory over the Red Sox. Yefry Ramirez got the start for the Orioles and pitched well, going five innings while giving up three earned runs and striking out six. Ramirez did surrender three solo shots to Martinez, Blake Swihart, and Betts.

The Orioles offense received a spark from Schoop again as he delivered a two-run shot to left in the bottom of the third inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Tim Beckham continued his own run of strong play as he deposited a two-run shot of his own to left center in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead.

Beckham struck again in the bottom of the sixth with a sac fly extending the Orioles lead to 5-3. Schoop and Adam Jones delivered back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 7-3.

Orioles pitching was able to stave off the Red Sox until the top of the 8th when Betts led off with a single off Orioles reliever Paul Fry. Mychal Givens took over for Fry after a Benintendi fielder’s choice and was greeted by Martinez’s second homer of the game to cut the lead to 7-5.

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With Zach Britton gone, the Orioles will turn to Brad Brach in the late innings. Image Credit: USA Today

With the Britton deal all but official, the Orioles could not turn to the often reliable closer in the ninth. Brad Brach came in and made it interesting giving up an infield single to Bradley Jr. to lead off the ninth. Bradley Jr. finished the play at second base due to a throwing error from Beckham. A Holt ground out moved Bradley Jr. to third and he scored on a Devers infield single to make the lead 7-6.

Brach was able to induce a double play off the bat of Betts to end the game and give the Orioles their 29th victory of the season. Brach picked up his 11th save in the process and Ramirez picked up his first major league win.

The Orioles prepare to host the Tampa Rays for a four-game set in Baltimore starting Thursday evening. Alex Cobb will be on the bump looking for his third win of the season.

Image Credit: NBC Sports

Orioles Head to Toronto to Open Post All-Star Break Play

TORONTO- The Baltimore Orioles will head across the border to start post All-Star break play with a three game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.

It will mark the first game for the club without former All-Star shortstop Manny Machado who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects on Wednesday night.

The Orioles enter the three-game series with a record of 28-69 which lands them in last place in the AL East, 39.5 games behind the division-leading Boston Red Sox (68-30). The Blue Jays first “half” of the season was a struggle as well and they will enter the series with a record of 43-52 which is good for fourth place in the division. They sit 23.5 games behind Boston.

Last meeting: The last time that these two clubs met was a series to forget for the Orioles as the Blue Jays swept the four-game set at Rogers Centre from June 7-10. The Orioles are 1-6 against Toronto this season and are just 2-8 over their last ten in Toronto dating back to last season.

In that four-game sweep, the Orioles dropped two extra inning games including a 5-4 decision in the opener that saw Brad Brach squander a 4-1 ninth inning lead to get the game into extras where the Blue Jays would win on a Aledmys Diaz single off Miguel Castro.

The Birds dropped a 5-1 decision in game two of the series with the Jays. This loss accounted for one of their 26 games so far this season in which they have scored 1 or less runs.  Toronto took the third game 4-3 in 10 innings and finished the sweep with a 13-3 drubbing in which Alex Cobb was beaten like a drum to the tune of nine runs on 11 hits over just 3.2 innings.

Toronto leads the all time series 334-293.

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Dylan Bundy will look to bounce back in the series opener. Image Credit: CBS Sports

Game times and pitching matchups: 

Game 1: Friday, July 20, 7:07 pm- Dylan Bundy (6-9, 4.35ERA) vs. Sam Gaviglio (2-3, 4.58ERA)- MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 2: Saturday, July 21, 1:07pm- TBD vs. Marcus Stroman (2-7, 5.86ERA)- MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Game 3: Sunday, July 22, 1:07pm- TBD vs. J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29ERA)- MASN, 105.7 The Fan

Notes on the Blue Jays:

  • Happ, who will take the ball in game three for Toronto, is currently the subject of trade rumors with the Phillies and the Yankees reportedly interested. The 35-year-old lefty is likely to find a new home before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
  • Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson has struggled mightily this year for Toronto.  He has played in just 36 games due to various injuries and is hitting only .234 with five homers and 16 RBI on the year.
  • The 2018 Blue Jays offense has been paced by Yangervis Solarte who is hitting .241 with 16 home rubs and 48 RBI in his first year with the club.

Notes on the Orioles:

  • Bundy will be looking for his first win since June 23. He will be making his third start since coming off of the disabled list with an ankle injury. In his last two starts since returning from the DL Bundy has given up 10 earned runs over 7.1 innings pitched.
  • The Orioles will be looking for someone to step up at the plate with the trade of Machado. Machado played a part in 113 of the Orioles 345 runs on the season. The team is 29th in the MLB and runs scored and just lost roughly 33% of that already meager production.
  • It remains to be seen who else will be traded before the trade deadline, but the Orioles are expected to be active in trying to move closer Zach Britton, reliever Brad Brach, and the longest-tenured Oriole, Adam Jones.

Image Credit: Associated Press

Examining the Orioles 2018 Season to Date: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Baltimore Orioles came into the season with expectations to challenge for at minimum the second Wildcard spot in the American League.  The team had brought back most of its notable offensive firepower from last season and had bolstered their rotation through the free agent signings of Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner.

However, as the Orioles and their fans are enjoying the 2018 All-Star break, the team is sitting at 28-69 overall, a whopping 39.5 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox. Only the Kansas City Royals at 27-68 have a worse record than the Orioles on the season.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the 2018 season to date.

The Good

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Manny Machado at the 2018 All Star Game. Image Credit: Getty Images

At 28-69 it is extremely difficult to locate any positives with this ball club, but the one player who stands out is soon to be ex-Oriole Manny Machado.  Machado is having yet another monster season hitting .315 with 24 homers and 65 RBI as we hit the All-Star break.  Not surprisingly, Machado is also the only Orioles representative at the 2018 Mid-Summer Classic.

It is expected that the club is nearing a trade for Machado prior to the end of the All-Star break which means that we may have seen the last of Machado in an Orioles uniform. Machado will hit free agency this summer and many Orioles fans will be hoping he doesnt sign in the Bronx with the New York Yankees.

Honorable Mentions for the good would include center fielder Adam Jones  (.275, 10 homers and 36 RBI) and outfielder/DH Mark Trumbo (.251, 12 homers and 28 RBI) who have put together decent seasons in what otherwise has been a year to forget for Orioles fans up to this point.

The Bad

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Image Credit: MassLive

The bad could go on and on but some points have to be slotted into the ugly category so to start off the bad lets look at Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini.  Mancini was a lightning rod for the Orioles offense last season finishing the year with a .293AVG while belting 24 homers and adding 78RBI. Mancini, 26 was late in arriving to the majors but many Orioles fans were expecting more of the same from “Boom Boom” in 2018.

Mancini has struggled throughout the year and is hitting just .216 with 12 homers and 26 RBI at the All-Star break.  Mancini has not been the same player since he crashed into the wall at Camden Yards on April 20 against the Cleveland Indians. Prior to the injury that saw him miss two games, Mancini was hitting .284 but has seen his average drop consistently ever since.

Also lumped in with the bad are the struggles of second basemen Jonathan Schoop. After a career year in 2017, Schoop is hitting .229 with 10 homers and 25 RBI to this point in the year.  Schoop missed 20 games with a right oblique strain from April 14- May 8 but was hitting just .230 prior to the injury. With Machado on the way out the contract talks (or lack there of) with Schoop could garner headlines this summer.

The Ugly

Where to start? Let’s start with the absolute abyss that is Chris Davis and the Orioles financial obligations to the first baseman.  Davis is enjoying what could be the worst season in MLB  history hitting .158 with nine homers and 28 RBI through the first “half” of the season. The Orioles owe the 32 year old over $90 million over the next four seasons and Davis has been so poor that he has been benched at multiple points throughout the year.

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Alex Cobb has had a miserable first season in Baltimore. Image Credit: USA Today

 

Davis is not alone in the ugly category to say the least. Free agent signing Alex Cobb is the second most disappointing Oriole to date. Cobb, who arrived in Baltimore after Spring Training had begun on a four year $57M contract, has yet to find his footing with the Birds. Cobb is 2-12 on the season with a 6.41ERA. Cobb had been a consistently reliable starter throughout his tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays but he has been Ubaldo Jimenez bad this year for the O’s.

For the rest of the ugly let’s consider the plethora of other reasons that this team is a dumpster fire. Colby Rasmus is not an MLB player and walked away from the club. Chris Tillman is barely a Single-A caliber pitcher at this point but is still being considered an option for starts in the second half of the season.

Tim Beckham is not an MLB third basemen. Trumbo cannot play the outfield. Danny Valencia, Craig Gentry, and Jace Peterson shouldn’t rank in the top ten on your team in games played if you have any aspirations for the playoffs. Furthermore Valencia, Gentry, and Peterson are taking at bats from younger players who should be getting the call up from the minors.

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Image Credit: The Baltimore Sun

Which brings me to the ugliest of the ugly.  The Orioles organization as a whole is a complete and utter failure. No one seems to know who is in charge although according to sources it is not pending free agent GM Dan Duquette. If Brady Anderson is in charge now or in the future should we be optimistic about the guy who lobbied to bring in Cobb and other free agent bust Cashner?

Why at 28-69 has not a soul been fired including pending free agent Buck Showalter? I’m betting at this point that no one is going to be. There will be trades of fan favorites and some of the younger players folks have been pining for will be called up from the minors, but will we see any accountability from a coaching/front office perspective? If so when?

It has been a “first half” to forget in Charm City. There is plenty of intrigue regarding the Orioles and how their team and organization will look when they arrive at the end of the season and into the future.

Unfortunately it won’t be the on the field intrigue that many had hoped for in March.

Image Credit: MLB.com