Podcast Episode 28: ‘Astroball’ author Ben Reiter lays out blueprint for how Elias & Mejdal will rebuild the Orioles

Image Credit: Eutaw Street Report 

Welcome to Episode 28 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

The guys spend the first 45 minutes of the show talking all things Ravens. First, Jake, Nolan, and Ian revisit Baltimore’s 26-16 win over the Falcons from this past Sunday (3:30). You’ll also hear an extended Ravens quarterback debate (9:20) as our team has differing opinions on whether Lamar Jackson or a healthy Joe Flacco should lead the Ravens offense to (hopefully) the team’s first playoff berth in four years. As we do every week, we’ll go over Who’s Trending (30:49) and some things to watch for on Sunday as the Ravens enter Arrowhead Stadium for a 1:00 pm tilt with the #1 seed in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs (39:39).

71TL+MlkkTLUp next, we welcome in our special guest for Episode 28 – Ben Reiter, author of Astroball: The New Way To Win It All (45:44). There’s no one better to tell Orioles fans everything they want to know about Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal than Reiter, who’s written a book detailing the processes Elias and Mejdal implemented to rebuild the Astros under Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow. Along with going over the storyline of Astroball, Reiter gives specific examples of how Elias and Mejdal used analytics. Reiter also provides some insight into how these same techniques will be used to rebuild the Orioles. It’s a must-listen interview for all Orioles fans eager to see what Elias and his team can do.

After Reiter’s call-in, Nolan and Ian jump back in, reacting to the Milwaukee Brewers decision to non-tender former Oriole fan-favorite Jonathan Schoop (1:05:18). Don’t worry, the gang also talked about Caleb Joseph and Tim Beckham being non-tendered by the Orioles too.

With the Maryland men’s basketball team off to a hot 7-1 start, the next part of the show takes a look at Mark Turgeon’s 2017-18 team (1:14:00). With the Terps making the Top 25 last week, the guys lay out their season projections for a talented, young Maryland team.

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 28 (1:25:22).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille. For a limited time only on behalf on Charm City Bird Watch, you can receive a 10% discount off any entree dish when you tell your server or bartender the promo code Charm City.’

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Podcast Episode 27: The $24.75 million Ravens quarterback decision, ‘Orioleball’ coming soon?

Image Credit: Camden Chat 

Welcome to Episode 27 of the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast with site owner Jake McDonnell, editor Nolan McGraw, and author Ian Schultz.

The first 40 minutes of the show dive into all things Ravens, starting with revisiting Baltimore’s 34-17 win over the Oakland Raiders from Sunday (5:28). From there, the guys break down the ongoing Flacco vs. Jackson debate and the key quotes gathered from head coach John Harbaugh’s Monday press conference (13:49). As always, we go over Who’s Trending (25:52) and some key things to watch for on Sunday when the Ravens head to Atlanta to face the Falcons (37:07).

Up next, we welcome in this week’s guest, 105.7 The Fan Digital and Carroll Varsity‘s Joe Schiller (44:38). Schiller gives his takes on the Ravens, Flacco/Jackson, and the recent addition of Sig Mejdal to the Orioles’ new front office headed by Mike Elias.

After Schiller’s call-in, Nolan and Ian provide further insight into the much improved Orioles front office (1:00:50). Can Elias and Mejdal recreate ‘Astroball’? Will the new regime reach out to free agent outfielder Adam Jones to spark a reunion? All of this and more coming your way on this week’s Orioles segment.

To wrap up the show, we dive into our weekly numbers segment, taking a look at the best Baltimore sports athletes to wear the number 27 (1:13:27).

You can find the Charm City Bird Watch Podcast on SoundCloudiTunes, and Google Play. Please leave us a review on iTunes, we love to hear your feedback and may read it on a future episode. Thank you for listening!

The Charm City Bird Watch Podcast is brought to you by Seven Sports Bar & Grille. For a limited time only on behalf on Charm City Bird Watch, you can receive a 10% discount off any entree dish when you tell your server or bartender the promo code Charm City.’

Orioles hire former NASA Engineer Sig Mejdal as team’s Assistant General Manager

BALTIMORE — Hours before Baltimore Orioles employees depart the warehouse to enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday, the team announced the hire of a new Assistant General Manager. Sig Mejdal, a former NASA Engineer, Houston Astros Analytics Guru, and close colleague to Orioles’ new General Manager Mike Elias, joins Elias’ team in the rebuild of the Birds.

Shortly after the Elias hire became public, it was rumored that Mejdal would be coming to Baltimore with his Astros colleague. During Elias’ introductory press conference on Monday, the new general manager made it clear that he was moving quickly to build his front office staff. 48 hours after the press conference ended, Elias had already recruited and hired his guy that he has a long, successful history with.

According to a press release from the Orioles, Mejdal will ‘oversee all aspects of the club’s growing analytics effort while assisting and advising Elias in all manner of Baseball Operations decisions’. Mejdal will report to Elias, which reiterates what the Angelos brothers stated about Elias having ‘full autonomy to build his staff and make decisions on all baseball matters that he believes will make Orioles successful on the field, entertaining to fans, and impactful in the community’.

“Sig Mejdal is one of the most experienced and accomplished analysts working in baseball today,” said Elias. “To have him join our Orioles organization is a major moment for this franchise, and I look forward to him charting the course for all of our forthcoming efforts in the analytics space.”

During his time with Houston, Mejdal formatted the team’s analytics department with specific attention to data and player analysis. Prior to his tenure in Houston, he worked for the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s director in Amateur Draft Analysis. Before he worked in professional baseball, Mejdal was a biomathematician for NASA.

Take: The Orioles weren’t kidding when they said they were going to use analytics. In a matter of weeks, the Orioles went from not utilizing analytics (a big part of today’s era of baseball) at all to potentially having the best analytics department in baseball. Not only does Mejdal’s career resume speak for itself, but his contributions to the Astros led to Houston drafting more Major League players than any other team during his tenure.

While both Elias and Mejdal were on-staff with the Astros, Houston went from fifth place in the American League West division to World Series Champions in four years. The Astros are now respected around baseball and have a solid foundation in-place. There’s a ton of work to do, and it’s yet to be seen if the Angelos family will actually allow the front office to make decisions on their own. But, adding Mejdal to Elias’s team is another huge step in the right direction for the Orioles in their quest to rebuild the organization.

Image Credit: Bleed Cubbie Blue