Welcome to Blog of Team’s annual recap of Team’s hideous exploits. Blogs and fans of Team who stuck with Team in 2010 deserve combat pay.
Amid seemingly endless, mind-numbing losing, there was a changing of guard, a cleaning of house and a new attitude that led Team to productive August and September. Since, Team has done some redecorating in infield, moves that give this Blog hope and others indigestion. More importantly, perhaps, Team completely purged coaching ranks in an unmistakable sign it’s trying to “change the culture,” to use an oft-repeated phrase.
2010 was also, in many ways, Year of Luke Scott. Luke’s bombastic bat almost matched his big mouth as fans tried in vain to love him despite his penchant for giving footrubs to Orly Taitz and firing all his guns at once and exploding into space or whatever.
Anyway, without further preamble, please enjoy The Year that Was!
Jan. 5: Amid record Baltimore snowfalls, deposed longtime third-baseman and Fan Favorite Melvin Mora sorts way through stack of job offers.
Jan. 6: Randy Johnson announces retirement. Blog of Team tips cap.
Jan. 11: San Francisco Giants sign Aubrey Huff for $3 million in what time would reveal to be best offseason bargain bar none.
Jan. 20: “Monstruo de Cuadrangular” and future Most Valuable Oriole Luke Scott signs $4 million deal with Team, skipping all that arbitration mess. Also around this time hopeful Blog of Team pathetically tries to hype very weak Adrian Gonzalez trade rumors.
Jan. 23: Miguel Tejada returns to Team, signing one-year, $6 million contract. It’s cold out. Fans dreamily roll over and make up scenarios in which this isn’t terrible idea. Blog of Team is first to pencil Tejada in for cleanup. People freak. Tejada hits in four-hole opening day.
Jan. 29: Nestor Apparicio fires himself from own radio station, saying of Team “They’re bad people. They do bad things. I don’t believe it will ever get fixed.” Then radio station spends whole of 2010 whining because Team won’t grant it interviews. Nestor does not keep promise to stop talking. Still though, Blog finds WNST to be decent sports yak alternative and tunes in often via Internet.
Feb. 1: Memlo does deal with Colorado Rockies! Good onya, brother. Rockies proceed to underperform, miss playoffs.
February: Evil Google throws thousands of Blogs for loop when it announces end of FTP-based publishing. Blog of Team fires Google, sort of, but not really. Blog definitely gets mad.
Feb. 20: Manager Dave Trembley tells Baltimore Sun that new additions Kevin Millwood and Mike Gonzalez will help Team compete and also will mentor young kids. Blog of Team stupidly gets pretty excited about Major Mike…
“You can help the young guys, you can lead the way and I know you want the ball,” Dave says, kicking off Year of Ugh.
Feb. 23: Blog of Team eats lunch in Yurt. Has no idea what happened in Blatzmo.
Feb. 26: Around this time rumors on Internets start to swirl about Nolan Reimold’s personal issues. Blog withholding links out of sense of decency. But, you think Roch gets a lot of crazy commenters?
Feb. 27: Luke Scott, reacting to Gilbert Arenas debacle in Washington and Plaxico Burress self-inflicted gunshot wound in New York, sounds off on MLB’s clubhouse gun ban. Luke admits policy is correct one but tells Sun:
“Barring a tactical entry where terrorists come in and hold us hostage, that’s about the only thing that could possibly warrant me carrying a gun in the clubhouse. That’s highly unlikely, and I admit that. But my personal belief is I don’t want to suffer from the poor choices of others.”
People kind of move away from Luke on proverbial Group W bench. Luke was only just getting started — both in terms of hitting and ranting.
March 3: Bloggers note ferocity of early 2010 schedule. Blog of Team allows that “early promise could be over quickly: Team has 10-game road trip during second half of April in Oakland, Seattle and Boston. Then Team caps month hosting Champs for 4-game set.” Sigh. In retrospect, only thing wrong was use of word “promise.”
March 10: RIP, Willie “3-Dog” Davis.
March 14: Team hits halfway point in Spring training. B-Rob sidelined. Reimold stinks. Wieters can’t get hit to save life. Kevin Millwood ERA is galactic and Major Mike injury rumblings grow louder. “Perception collides with reality,” writes Pete Schmuck. Couple bright spots? Luuuuke looks less lost at plate; Ty playing decent in field.
March 26: Brian Bob takes first spring hacks. Ugh. So many ughs…
March 28: Blog of Team chills with Team broadcast luminary Joe Angel.
That what Blog of Team is talking about!
April 2: RIP, Mike Cuellar.
April 9: Team drops 2 out of first 3 in Tampa, Trembley rips Trop. Then Team comes home and Mike Gonzalez blows (another) 9th inning lead and more or less gets booed out of Camden Yards. Forgive Blog’s French – Fuckin’ ugly. Maybe ugliest Opening Day ever in Balto.
April 11: BLOGGER DAY. Os Bloggers, in face of endless futility, display passion and knowledge that deserves recognition for serious.
April 13: San Francisco Giants move to 6-1; Aubrey Huff has jokes.
April 17: The Orioles are 1-11. Blog of Team posts depth chart:
April 18: Brian Matusz collects his (and Team’s) second win on season as Ty Wigglebacher shows All-Star form with bat. Trembley is not stupid man but he keeps good face on. Still, though, he’s prone to bouts of saltiness. “We’ve been facing Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale since the start of the season, they’ve been reincarnated every time we play,” he says. Also, remember this shitshow? Too depressing to even write about. Maybe it was just media hype. Blog has uttered two cusswords and it’s only April.
April 24: In one of most putrid displays in recent memory, Team runs record to 2-16. In this game Team had 3-run lead, but blew it, then came up short with a 7-6 loss in Boston. It’s just not there. Nothing is there. Friedrich Nietzsche couldn’t fix Team, let alone Dave Trembley. Adam Jones says offense coming to life. He’s hitting .215. Reimold hitting .159. Whatever, “batting average doesn’t matter.”
April 25: Paroxysms of “Fire Trembley” come to head in Media as Blog of Team, one or two others, continue to support him. Diamond Dave’s supporters are fewer and far-er between than Himalayan Snow Leopards. But, like our feline brethren, we’re fierce and proud and we ate a bunny rabbit. On inside, even dumb Blog knows T. has kind of got to go. Blog pens RIME of the SCAPEGOAT MANAGER. Blog hates to pat Blog on back but c’mon – that was awesome.
May: Blog fires Gross Nasty Google, relaunches in Cool WorldPress. Google jellus. Tip of cap to Z.K. at C.C. for advice and counsel on that tip.
May 2: Team sweeps Boston? Matt Albers gets two of three Ws in series?? No wonder Albers is on Red Sox now. Hahah Red Sox, you’ll learn. Sweep-clinching win was dramatic, 10-inning affair. It sends message to league that Boston (and Jonathan Papelbon) are quite beatable.
May 12: Reimold, hitting circa .200, booted to AAA to sort out biznass.
May 19: Garrett Atkins, hitting .221, goes 0 for 3 with a GIDP in 4-3 loss at Texas. Hoots n hisses.
May 22: Blog sponsors Rex Barney’s Baseball Reference page. World jealous.
May 30: BLOG GETS MARRIED!!! YAY!!!
May 31: Team has 15 wins going into June.
June 2: Armando Gallaraga perfecto botched by Ump.
June 3: Millwood “runs” record to 0-6 with loss in Bronx that was quite over by third inning thank you very much. Kevin had some decent starts, too, it should be noted. But results rarely changed.
June 4: Dave Trembley is fired after six straight losses in latest road trip debacle. He’s replaced by third base coach Juan Samuel. Neither Dave nor interim Juan is with Team anymore as of this writing. Team did make one bit of history in 2010, with three skippers each at the helm for more than 50 games. You could look it up. Don’t bother.
June 8: Amazing, scintillating debut of Stephen Strasburg. Baseball stops to take notice. Nats proceed to ride him like that horse in “True Grit” until he blows out elbow.
June 9: Dumb Bobby Valentine rumors swirl. Blog pushes for hire. But Bob is too busy yapping his way out of jobs to actually show he is “right fit” for Team. Turns out patient Team was wary of Bobby V., and rightly so, and avoided what probably would have been a disastrous hire. Good work, Mr. Andy Mac.
June 10: Six IPs, three ERs for Jake Arrieta in Major League debut win over Yankees and A.J. Burnett. Fantastic. Also David Hernandez gets first career save.
June 14: Around this time, Blog believes, Garrett Atkins gets benched, hitting .214. It wasn’t a motivational benching. It was a plain old “you suck” benching.
June 16: In rubber match, Aubrey Huff takes Jeremy Guthrie into McCovey Cove to help “Seal” series win for Giants. It’s been pointed out ad nauseum, but for posterity’s sake: Aub. is hitting .305 and helping carry Gints (sure, in a somewhat weak division) for $3 million while Garrett Atkins, getting $4.5 million, is circling toilet bowl.
June 17: Nicky comes as close to questioning Team’s heart as he may ever. “You still have to be professional and go out and play every day [...] I don’t know what the hell is going on around here.”
June 24: Nicky and Peter G. Angelos meet for dinner in Balto. Unclear what was said but word is Nicky has some things to say about future of Team. They both say nice things afterward. Baltimore Sun notes that “It is believed that Angelos had not met with a player since May 2006, when he discussed a contract extension with then-third baseman Melvin Mora.” Year about half over. Depressed yet?
June 27: Team sweeps Nats. Washington hurler calls sweep “devastating.” Fans of Team revel in being on other end of stick for once. Garrett Atkins DFA’d. Koji comes back from latest DL stint. Faint, fluttery signs of pulse.
July 1: Josh Bell makes MLB debut, gets hit.
July 10: Chris Tillman takes no-no into 7th at Texas, outduels Cliff Lee in 6-1 Team win.
July 11: BlogOsphere erupts into conflagration over whether Os should tank games for draft picks or play to win. Obviously play to win is answer and anyone who argues different is an ass.
July 13: National League gets off losin’ streak at All Star Game as stars continue to align for S.F. Giants.
July 22: Ty Wigglebacher flips or something. Can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. Jobbed on a close play?
Actually Blog does remember. Ty put sweep tag on J.J. Hardy at 1st base but Blue called him safe and Ty freakin’ lost it. There was an Ump Bump. Now J.J. is on Team and TyTy is on Rockies. Ain’t it funny how da Woim Toins? For record, interim skipper also Freaked, executed pretty sweet frisbee throw with ballcap.
July 29: The Buck Sh_walter era begins in Baltimore! Sort of. Hiring is announced but Juan to coach until Aug. 2. Miggy leaves team for 2nd time, this time bound for San Diego.
Aug. 1: Buck talks of squirrels, nuggets and pile-jumpers. Nobody is really sure what he means but it seems to make sense.
Aug. 8: Former Team ‘Roid Balloon Jay Gibbons ends season of penitence, comes up on Dodgers big club looking fit and less puffed up. Meantime Balto. is in middle of taking 3 of 4 from White Sox and pissing off Ozzie Guillen. “We should come in here and beat these guys,” says ChiSox pitcher Mark Buehrle. Aterward Ozzie has nice things to say about Team and Buck says his guys are “playing for pride.” Also it starts to dawn on fans of Team that Team has shot at .400!
Aug. 11: That’s weird. Brad Bergesen beats Cleveland with a complete game, two-hitter. Team is 8-1 since Sh_walter’s arrival.
Aug. 17: RIP Bobby Thomson. Also, Team comes to terms with June draft pick, short stop Manny Machado, handing him a Wieters-esque, $5.25 million bonus.
Aug. 20: Untraded by Team, presumably because, well, SOMEBODY’s gotta play, Wiggy explains rules of baseball to Henry Blanco of Texas.
Also during this series, on Aug. 22, Josh Bell takes Cliff Lee deep, twice, for first two MLB home runs. Blog of Team watches barrage from Jim Palmer party suite!!!
And feisty Nick M. tossed on Aug. 20 for arguing balls and strikes. Things get weird as Felix Pie takes over in right. It just doesn’t feel right. Buck, apparently sensing same, gets tossed later in game.
Aug. 22: Lou Pineilla retires.
Aug. 25: Team seals 13th straight losing season. Luke Scott hits 25th home run. Fans delight in budding friendship between Armed One and young fan favorite Felix Pie. Even Blog gets into it, trying to let bygones be bygones with respect to Luke’s penchant for saying soaringly inappropriate things.
Blog has even mitigated stance on Luke’s now-seemingly-shelved rants about guns and God.
Hahaha. Little did Blog know Luke was just months away from turning it up wayyy past 11.
Aug. 29: Sooooo weird. Team sweep Angels for second time in month. Mike Gonzalez gets a “hold,” and lowers ERA to 4.11, and Koji gets 1-pitch save in 1-0 road win over Los Angeles. Was this the little Team we married?
Sept. 4: NYJER-gate
Sept. 17: Derek Jeter fakes getting hit by baseball to get on base. Os fans laugh. But, weirdly, some “experts” in Balto. yak-sphere secretly covet Janky mascot.
Sept 28, 29: Ken Burns airs “tenth inning” annex to “Baseball” documentary. It was silly but DAVE ROBERTS definitely stole that base though. That was big. Also, it did decent job of painting The Bonds Portrait for posterity.
OCTOBER: For 13th Straight October, Baltimore is quiet, except for Team taking 3 of 4 against Detroit to close out regular season with a 66-96 record, 30 games back of Tampa Bay Rays. Still, Team had best record in AL East since Buck’s arrival. It was hopeful end to horrible campaign. MLB sports a delicious little playoff and Giants win it all…
Oct. 30: Sh_walter cleans house, removing entire 2010 coaching staff. Later we learn of replacements: Jim Pressley in for Terry Crowley, who becomes roving hitting instructor or something. Willie Randolph in as bench coach. Mark Connor in as pitching coach. Only one Blog will miss is T-Bone Shelby. But that’s purely a personality thing. New coaches, new culture. Blog of Team still wonders if purge had to do with Nicky’s aforementioned “meeting” with Mr. Angelos. No way to know.
Nov. 19: Icky commish Bud Selig admits he’s mucking about with ideas that would expand playoffs make regular season irrelevant.
Dec. 4: As Adam Dunn, Victor Martinez and Adrian Gonzalez go “off the board” in hot stove market, fans grumble. A lot. And yet many argue other teams overpaid for these guys.
Dec. 8: Apparently unable to control his mouth any longer, Luke Scott reprises February rant about guns with new bout of oral spew concerning President Obama’s birth certificate. Luke, buddy, you’d better hit this coming year, that’s all Blog has to say.
Dec. 9: During Winter Meetings Team gets busy, trading for Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy for some guys and re-signing Koji. Only departure of note is David Hernandez. Many folks react to Reynolds deal by invoking Garrett Atkins, proving that they should stick to NFL or at least do a few rudimentary Internet searches before spouting off. Blog wonders if Atkins comparisons, however ignorant, might light fire under Reynolds this coming season. Team also places “hold” on Ceasar Itzuris’ services, so to speak; fans see this as new reason to worry about Brian Roberts’ health.
Dec. 13: Saying 2010 was “one of the hardest years of my life,” Roberts says he’s over health problems and excited to play with new infield crew.
Dec. 14: Earl Weaver debunks New York Times report of his death, confirming his aliveness and lamenting bad knees, inability to play golf. Really, New York Times? You have bury Earl Weaver?
Dec. 15: Every single person in Baltimore has opinion about Adam LaRoche. First base remains gaping hole as of this writing. Team hasn’t had legitimate first baseman in a long, long time and excuses are wearing thin.
Dec. 17: Team signs retread Jeremy Accardo for bullpen. Team “negotiates” with Kevin Gregg, who apparently is sorting through actual stack of offers.
Dec. 19: Wayward O’s friends goad tipsy Wayward O into predicting Team will finish ahead of Yankees. Blog makes prediction on Twitter, edits Tweet following day for grammar, and refuses to take it back. There is a least a 15 percent likelihood this could happen.
Dec. 23: Apparently feeling Christmassy, Pirates sign Parrot Fatkins to Minor League Deal. Ha ha ha.
It’s entirely possible that other things happened that were significant. Please let Blog know in comments. Blog might be will be traveling so don’t fret if your comment doesn’t get approved right off…