(Potential) 2011 Orioles Lineup(s)

Since the Orioles 25 man roster is, for the most part, set, this is typically when people start predicting the lineup for the season. When you have a manager like Buck Showalter, such is not the case. Buck loves to have options (which he definitely has with this team), and he has shown in his career that he will change the lineup whenever he sees fit (which has been quite often at times). First off, let’s predict the 25 man roster, by position (I will not include pitchers at this point, that is still up in the air):

Matt Wieters
Jake Fox (who will also serve as our all purpose utility man)

1st base:
Derrek Lee
Jake Fox will also spend time here. Luke Scott might see a few days here too.

2nd base:
Brian Roberts
Brendan Harris/Robert Andino/Cesar Izturis. Orioles will probably carry one of the three. Theoretically, they could carry two. My guess is Andino or Harris because the Orioles need a backup for Roberts.

JJ Hardy

Third base:
Mark Reynolds
Jake Fox and Robert Andino might see time here too.

Left Field:
Luke Scott
Felix Pie and Reimold will compete for the fourth OF spot. Theoretically, the Orioles could easily carry both thanks to Fox’s versatility. Vlad will not be allowed within 100 yards of a baseball glove.

Center Field:
Adam Jones
Felix Pie will serve as Adam’s backup. There’s also Matt Angle, but he is a huge longshot to make the team, even if Reimold or Pie get traded.

Right Field:
Nick Markakis

Designated Hitter:
Vladimir Guerrero
Luke, Lee, Fox, and others will find time here too. Don’t be shocked if Roberts DHs a few days too.

Now that we have that out of the way, I think this will be the primary lineup (the lineup that Orioles fans will see most often this year barring injuries):

Roberts- 2B
Markakis- RF
Lee- 1B
Vlad- DH
Scott- LF
Reynolds- 3B
Jones- CF
Wieters- C
Hardy- SS

I don’t see a hole in that lineup anywhere. Everybody in this lineup is at the very least an above average hitter for their position. Jones and Lee could easily be switched, but Jones seems to be more comfortable batting in the middle of the order. I think he’ll do a terrific job batting seventh.

Here’s what Buck will trot out on Sundays, when he typically gives certain players a day of rest:

Pie- LF
Markakis- RF
Lee- 1B
Vlad- DH
Reynolds- 3B
Jones- CF
Fox- C
Andino- 2B
Izturis- SS

This is why I think it would make a great deal of sense for the Orioles to carry two of Harris/Andino/Izturis. Both Hardy and Roberts are injury prone, and therefore, should be rested at least once per week.

Now, Vlad’s going to need a rest once in a while. He’s an old man now. Buck probably won’t kill our lineup by giving him off the same day as everyone else, so this is what I think the Orioles lineup will look like once a week:

Roberts- 2B
Markakis- RF
Lee- 1B
Scott- DH
Reynolds- 3B
Jones- CF
Wieters- C
Pie/Reimold- LF
Hardy- SS

That lineup would allow the Orioles to give Luke an extra day of rest from the field and rest Vlad without sacrificing too much offense.

Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, those should be the lineups Orioles fans should see over the course of the season.


Andy Can Pettitte Any Time He Wants: A Tribute to Andy Pettitte

I’m not going to lie, when I first heard Pettitte was retiring, I was actually happy. It’s like the bully who beats you up every day for 15 years has moved away and you know he’ll never beat you up again. Pettitte has dominated the Orioles since pretty much the day that he came into the majors. Sitting here hearing the press conference and reading people’s reactions on Twitter though, I’ve come to realize something:


I can’t believe it took me 15 years to realize that fact. Andy never talked trash, he never ran his mouth. Looking back, all he’s ever did was respect the game and respect the players. Looking back, he’s always been a classy guy. Yes, he did make a HUGE mistake by getting involved with HGH/steroids and Roger Clemens, but looking back, Andy has handled that whole situation like a true professional. Looking back, Andy’s one of the fiercest competitors I can remember in my 24 years of life. All Andy has ever focused on in his career is winning. And when it mattered, though it was painful to watch, 70% of the time, Andy came through every time. I can’t help but respect a guy like that. It’s taken me 15 years to admit this but you know what?


I will save the Hall of Fame debate for another day, right now, can we all just please appreciate and respect a special pitcher. Regardless of whether or not you think he’s a Hall of Famer, no one can deny he’s a special pitcher, and a special guy. I’ll miss him. Except when the Yankees play the Orioles.

The Argument Against Cliff Lee to the Yankees

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or you simply don’t watch baseball, in which case get off this site now), this really good pitcher is a free agent after this season. Maybe you know him, Cliff Lee? Yeah, he’s pretty good. Scratch that, he’s REALLY good. OK, OK, he’s GREAT. Undoubtedly, he will be seeking a big payday, and I have no doubts that he will get it. Everybody assumes that Lee will go to the Yankees. Everybody, that is, except for me. I’ll probably be dubbed a “Yankees hater” for this, but I assure you despite the fact that I despise the Yankees, my argument has NOTHING to do with bashing the Yankees. It’s simply bringing up several factors that I believe will hinder the Yankees chances of signing him.
Reason 1: He’s a true ace.
In order to understand this argument, you must understand something. Cliff Lee is a true ace. A true ace is the kind of guy who’s a killer on the mound. He wants the ball as much as possible, and if you told them that they’d get to start on three days rest, they would probably be happy. Most of all though, they want to be the ace. Now, the Yankees, they already have CC Sabathia, who is a true ace in my mind. See the Catch 22 about having two aces? One of them is not gonna be happy, and chances are, it would be Cliff Lee who would be the #2 starter, and he knows this. Granted, Cliff Lee could be willing to sacrifice being the ace to play on the Yankees. But judging by his personality, I don’t think that’s very likely. This reason would also eliminate such teams as the Phillies, Red Sox, Giants, Rockies, etc.
Reason 2: Cliff Lee and the media get along about as well as AJ Burnett and Jorge Posada.
OK, maybe that’s a bit too extreme, but my point is Cliff Lee has never been a fan of the media. He’s a guy who just wants to play baseball. I’ve watched his interviews, and I can tell that he does not really want to be doing them but he knows that he has to. Mauer is the same way, and I think history will repeat itself. Cliff Lee would probably not want to pitch in the media capital of the world where he couldn’t take a crap without it being on the tabloids. He’s not that kind of guy.
Reason 3: Cliff Lee seems very happy in Texas.
Cliff Lee smiles about as often as Buck Showalter. That being said, Cliff Lee has been doing a lot of smiling in Texas over the past few months. Cliff Lee strikes me as the kind of guy who just wants to be happy with where he is. Also, keep in mind that Lee has played for 4 teams in a little over a year. I’m pretty sure at this point, Lee would welcome some stability.
Reason 4: Texas knows how important Cliff Lee is to them.
What is the Rangers #1 offseason priority? Resign Cliff Lee. Not resign Josh Hamilton. Resign Cliff Lee. Their ownership group has come out and outright said it. They finally have an agressive ownership group who has seen what Cliff Lee has brought to the Rangers over the past few months. I find it hard to believe that they would let him walk. And they definitely have the money to resign him and also probably give Hamilton the money that he deserves and wants. Plus, Nolan Ryan is one of the owners, and I think he would know how important having an ace like Cliff Lee is, seeing as how he was one himself.
See? It has more to do with Cliff Lee than it does about the Yankees. Granted, any of the reasons could fly out the window if Cliff Lee so chooses. Do I have sources? No. Just my opinions and what I’ve noticed about Lee’s personality. I also don’t think it would be smart for the Yankees to give Cliff Lee a huge deal, but that’s a different story.

What is a TRUE diehard fan?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions… you’re probably not a diehard fan. Some of these are a bit extreme, but you get the point. This was written by Charlie Scheuneman, one of the most devoted fans I’ve ever met. 

1) if you have never cried when your team lost a huge game

2) never got so angry that you could not be approached for hours after a game because of a loss or used some piece of your body as a weapon in anger 

3) can’t recite the highest and lowest points of your franchise on command without having to go to google

4) know the name of every player on the team by position on command and 90% of minor league staff

5) Will stand up for your team regardless of having people make fun of you or being out numbered by **** talking ***** *******

6) YOU ARE NOT A BANDWAGONER that never wore your colors until they did well

7) have at least 10 items of clothing reflecting your team

8) name a pet after something associated with your team

9) the order of your life goes birth of child, marriage/ teams championship

10) you hate your rival and would never ever let your child wear their uniform in teeball

11) all day you are waiting for the game and if you can’t catch it you can’t wait to see the box score

12) Whenever you see somebody repping your team you become automatic friends and can go on for hours about your team

13) Your team is YOU, no exceptions..bar none biggest rule…You live and die for your team and they become your life style not a hobby, or something you can attach yourself to. not some group, but a family, not a during the season thing, but a year round commitment to the love of one cause

14) you can’t have a 2nd favorite team because in the life of a die hard it is your team or nobody at all

I can honestly say that I am that way with the Orioles and Ravens. No doubt in my mind. 

My Orioles dream team

Let’s imagine a hypothetical world where I am the GM. I can put together a dream team of current major leaguers. If I could design a baseball team, this is exactly what it would look like. Performance is not always my #1 concern, as some of these players are just simply guys I like.

C- Buster Posey. Great bat, great glove, and as a former catcher myself, I love how he works with pitchers. More often than not, I see him control the pitchers out there and get rid of problems before they become too big. I’m a huge fan of Matt Wieters, but I’d LOVE to have Buster Posey. 
1B- Paul Konerko. A guy who is here not just because of his performance, but simply because I’ve been a huge fan of him for quite some time. I love the way he goes about playing- he shuts his mouth, and he lets his play do the talking for him. I’ve had the honor of meeting him, and he is very down to earth. The fact that he’s quietly been one of the best first basemen for the past 5 years ensures his spot on this team.
2B- Robinson Cano. As much as I hate the Yankees, I have nothing but respect for Robinson Cano. First off, he’s one of the best hitting second basemen that I’ve ever seen. After seeing him, my friend said that his swing “is poetry in motion”, and I couldn’t agree more. Secondly, his defense is underrated. He’s very quick, and he has the arm that rivals most shortstops. Thirdly, I can’t hate a guy who loves to play the game as much as Robinson. He reminds me of a young Griffey- you can tell that there’s nothing else in the world he’d rather be doing than playing baseball. 
SS- Hanley Ramirez. Hanley has quickly emerged as the elite shortstop in the NL. Is there anything that this man can’t do? He can hit for average, hit for power, his speed is off the charts, and he’s finally shut up his critics by greatly improving his defense. The fact that he is so young is just icing on the cake.
3B- Evan Longoria. With all due respect to Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod is no longer the best third baseman in the AL, or even the AL East. Longoria came with a lot of hype, and so far he has lived up to every single bit of that hype. He’s a terrific hitter, and the scary thing is, he’s an even better fielder. He creates a ton of runs on offense, and saves a ton of runs on defense.
LF- Josh Hamilton. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Hamilton. I’ve been a huge fan ever since I first saw him take BP. He put on the best show I’ve ever seen from a hitter as he effortlessly hit homer after homer after homer all over the field. And I’m not talking wimpy barely clear the walls homers. I’m talking “holy sweet mother of Jesus” homers. His defense is underrated, probably because his bat is so good. Not a natural center fielder, but I’d gladly take him as my left fielder.
CF- Adam Jones. I’m probably the biggest Adam Jones fan apologist/super fan out there. I defended him when pretty much every other Orioles fan wanted him to be sent down to Norfolk in May. Now, I have no words for those fans because Adam Jones’s performance has said enough. Great hitter who can now hit both for average and for power, great base runner, and now I can officially say a great fielder. Right now, he’s finally playing like he deserves to be a Golden Glover.
RF- Nick Markakis. I know I will be called a huge homer for choosing him and Adam, but you know what? I’ll admit it, I am. Allow me to defend Markakis though. Nick is one of the most underrated players in the league. The Orioles have never really given him ANY protection, but when they have, he’s been a heck of a hitter. And his defense? Simply golden glove caliber. He’s deserved it for the past two years, and this year is no different. Yes his assists are down, but that’s mostly because nobody is stupid enough to try to run on Nick Markakis anymore. I’m fully confident that on a good team, he’d easily be a .300/20 HR/85 RBI guy. I’ll take that from a #2 hitter any day.
DH- Adam Dunn. Best power hitter I’ve ever seen. And now that he has learned to hit for average, he’s one of the best HITTERS I’ve ever seen. He’d love it at Camden Yards too.
Starting Lineup:
SS- Hanley Ramirez
RF- Nick Markakis
3B- Evan Longoria
DH- Adam Dunn
LF- Josh Hamilton
1B- Paul Konerko
2B- Robinson Cano
CF- Adam Jones
C- Buster Posey

2010 Orioles Drinking

The official 2010 Orioles drinking game, created by me and the long suffering O’s fans on Twitter. I’m open to any suggestions because it’s very rough at this point. This is to be done with beer because I’m Irish.
One sip:
1. Orioles GIDP
2. Orioles strand a runner in scoring position.
3. Ty Wigginton or Luke Scott are caught not hustling.
4. Gary Thorne says something stupid (assuming it doesn’t fall under any of the other categories)
5. Jim Palmer talks about himself or his career.
6. The Orioles get a basehit.
7. Corey Patterson is referred to as a spark.
8. An Oriole makes a great defensive play
9. Every time an O’s hitter has a first pitch out.
10. An Oriole excluding Adam Jones and Corey Patterson takes a walk.
11. Gary Thorne makes a shameless plug for a promotion.
12. Any Oriole has an at bat longer than five pitches.
13. Adam Jones strikes out swinging at a pitch he should not have swung at.
14. Will Ohman retires a right handed hitter.
15. An Oriole strikes out.
16. Gary Thorne laughs at one of his own jokes.
17. Corey Patterson steals a base.
Two sips:
1. Orioles get a hit with RISP
2. Gary Thorne goes out of his way to defend an Oriole
3. Nick Markakis gets out on three pitches or less.
4. Cesar Izturis or Julio Lugo or Garrett Atkins get a hit.
5. Corey Patterson or Adam Jones take a walk.
6. Jim Palmer tries to discuss strategy but really has no idea what he’s talking about.
7. Jason Berken pitches less than 1 inning.
8. The Orioles go down 1-2-3.
9. An Orioles pitcher has a 1-2-3 inning.
10. Camera cuts to Juan Samuel looking pissed.
11. Camera cuts to Orioles starter looking upset/angry as bullpen blows lead.
12. Matt Albers or Mark Hendrickson actually get someone out.
13. The Orioles score off a ground ball out.
14. Garrett Atkins doesn’t strike out.
15. Izturis or Lugo actually get a base hit.
Three sips:
1. Orioles get an extra base hit.
2. Kevin Millwood goes an inning without allowing a homer.
3. Gary Thorne says something that has nothing to do with the game at hand.
4. Miguel Tejada doesn’t GIDP in a GIDP situation.
5. The Orioles intentionally walk someone they probably shouldn’t have intentionally walked.
6. Nick Markakis throws somebody out.
7. Gary Thorne calls Adam Jones an Golden-Glover.
8. An Oriole (excluding Corey Patterson) legitimately steals a base
9. Alfredo Simon blows the game.
Chug beer if:
1. Orioles get a homer
2. Matt Albers comes in.
3. Garrett Atkins does something productive.
4. Cesar Izturis and Julio Lugo BOTH get hits in an inning.
5. Lugo or Izturis get an RBI.
6. An Oriole gets the save.
Drink two beers if:
1. Gary Thorne goes two whole innings without saying something stupid/irrelevant.
2. An Oriole not named Lugo, Cesar, Atkins, Wigginton, Jones, or Scott hits a homer.
3. Matt Albers has a 1-2-3 inning.
4. Jason Berken is allowed to pitch over 2 innings.
5. Alfredo Simon has a 1-2-3 inning.
6. An Orioles starter allows no homers, excluding Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie.
7. Alfredo Simon goes a whole inning without walking someone.
8. The Orioles win.
Drink three beers if:
1. Cesar hits a homer.
2. Lugo gets an extra base hit.
3. You catch Ty Wigginton sprinting.
4. Atkins hits a homer.
5. Brian Matusz actually gets the win.
6. Kevin Millwood allows no homers for the whole game.
Drink as much as you can if:
1. Matt Albers records a win.
2. Garrett Atkins is up for Player Of The Game.
3. The Orioles win a series.
4. The Orioles hit better than .250 with RISP for a whole game

Orioles Tragic, feel it happen!

It’s taken me almost two months to feel the depression needed to write this… but here it is! “Orioles Tragic”, a parody of the Orioles fight song “Orioles Magic”!

Something tragic happens, every time you go
You make the tragic happen, the tragic of Orioles’ Baseball!

When the game is close, and the O’s ain’t hot
There’s a thundering whisper from 30 fans to give it all they’ve got 

And you never know who will blow the game
Every game there is never a star
That’s the tragic of Orioles’ Baseball! 

Orioles tragic! Feel it happen!
Orioles tragic! Feel it happen! 
O – R – I – O – L – E – S ! 

Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! 

Something tragic happens, every time you go
You make the tragic happen, the tragic of Orioles’ Baseball! 

When Trembley moves and we score no runs
Nothing could be more painful
Nothing could be less fun! 

You’re having an affair with another team
You’re the reason we lose when we lose
And you know what the tragic means! 

Orioles Tragic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Tragic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Tragic! Feel it happen!
Orioles Tragic! Feel it happen!

O – R – I – O – L – E – S ! 

Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! 

Orioles Tragic! Feel it happen!

Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! Tragic! 

Something tragic happens….