incremental victOries

Posted in baltimOre, buck shOwalter, octOber on October 6th, 2012 by The Wayward O

When it came down to crunch time, Team played small ball. And Team played it well!

They were up 2-1 in 7th when Ryan Flaherty, who had fallen victim earlier to a low Yu Darvish breaking ball, appeared to learn from his mistake, fouling off that same pitch to stay alive and, ulimately, winning battle by punching breaking ball on outside corner into left field.

Flaherty pulled up at first, got fist bump from Wayne Kirby, and Darvish — who exhibited strange behavior with phantom injury in sixth inning — retrieved ball from outfield and pointed to chest as if to say “Yeah. He got me.”


The battle that won the war? TBS via MLB.com

In humble opinion of Blog, it was key moment in entire game full of incremental victories offensively for Team. It helped Buck as he sought to take control of game, starting with Buck’s move to put Robert Andino on first as pinch runner and accruing additional returns from there…

Andino took third on Derek Holland’s wild pitch. Blog thought at time “Flaherty probably doesn’t take third on that play.” It’s hard to know whether he would have — but, hey, Andino did.

Then Andino scored as Big Game Nate McLouth smacked a clutch single.

Adding that run at that moment was an immeasurable boost for Team and its chances.

Even a bullpen that had been stellar all year had to love seeing its margin for error doubled. Adding that run likely also made Buck far more comfortable sticking with Darren O’Day, one of game’s great heroes, who grinded through six of game’s most crucial outs.

Buck’s reliance on O’Day then set up Brian Matusz’ three-pitch humbling of Josh Hamilton, likely ending strange Hamilton Era in Lone Star State. After all Matusz has been through, and class he has shown, that has to have been moment (on national stage no less) to remember forever.


Big spot. TBS via MLB.com

Then it was tack-on time in ninth. When Jim Thome walked with nobody out, every person in entire world — even in INDONESIA as Adam Jones might say — figured on pinch runner.

But not Mr. Buck. He left matter in Andino’s hands and Robert, just as his counterpart Flaherty had done earlier, keyed inning with a hit in a big spot. Dino’s double moved Jimmer to third and credibly allowed Buck, with one out at that juncture, to pinch run for Thome.

Fans of Team have seen Jimmer get thrown out at home in at least one sac fly situation and move made perfect sense. Manny Machado’s single then scored pinch runner Lew Ford.

Buck’s moves from sixth through ninth encapsulated genius we’ve seen from him all year; he rarely makes moves simply because they’re obvious; instead he relies on years of thought to guide him. His moves often yield positive results that defy immediate measurement.


Bruisers. Image via MLB.com

“With our team, it’s just a bunch of guys that raised the bar, and wouldn’t give in, and still haven’t,” Buck told camera crews after game.

Maybe, but with power bats of Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds going a collective 2 for 17 with one walk and one sac fly between them, Buck did some bar-raising of his own.

they’re hOrrid

Posted in baltimOre, red sOx on August 17th, 2012 by The Wayward O

they are gOne and eddie remains

Posted in baltimOre, machadO on August 11th, 2012 by The Wayward O

This is crazy times for Team of Blog! Man-child hath awaked and appears to have complete set of natural baseball bona-fides bestowed by Tide of Eons upon The Chosen Few.


Image via Roch’s Blog

Meanwhile, Mr. Eddie Clarence Murray — without whom Cal Ripken Jr. would basically have been another Don Mattingly — is getting statuefied at Stadium of Team in ceremony that will surely bring Tear to Eye of Blog of Team and many who knew baseball As It Was during Those Times.


Image via some Web page

Mr. Eddie prevailed over the dirt-digging, race-baiting New York muckrakers who tried to paint him and his family a grifter and destroyed his ability to trust reporters. They are gone and Eddie remains. Proud. Brilliant. Triumphant. Enough said.

UPDATE:


Image via Orioles.com

Makes sense he’s batting lefty since we all remember him batting from left side in our minds’ eyes. Nice job on hair, too, not to mention signature double hatbrim.

gOnna be messy at third

Posted in baltimOre, Uncategorized on June 11th, 2012 by The Wayward O

Blog would like to apologize to Fans of Blog (Fan of Blog?) for posting hiatus, but things have gotten busy, as they always seem to do this time of year. June weekends fill up faster than an old lady at an all you can eat Stuckey’s breakfast buffet.

Some thoughts that seem relevant as 2012 season slowly takes on its personality:

- Team’s winning record does appear to have occurred despite presence of certain glaringly deficient comparative stats, a situation which normally wouldn’t bode well over full season (25th in MLB in OBP, one notch, incidentally, below Washington Nationals; 25th in walks and 18th in hits). But bullpen heroics, despite a few burps, have gone on apace and appear to be real

- Recent losing jag, in which Team underperformed badly against Kansas City among others, was an illustration of above. Team arguably has righted ship despite bleeding away an early, early division lead. Whether leaks have been stoppered among waves is another matter

- Translation: Buck already pretty much locked for AL M.o.Y.

- Take a few injured guys off sidelines (Brian Roberts, Zach Britton, Nolan Reimold) and assume a mildly optimistic amount of production and Team gets deeper, better, more competitive very quickly. This is especially true for Reimold

- Roberts! Blog believes strongly that B-Rob should be plugged in at DH between at least now and All Star Break. Get him 50 at-bats at DH, maybe three or four starts at second base, before even contemplating messing with Robert Andino’s role. Doing it this way, in Blog’s opinion, potentially solves more problems that it potentially creates: It protects B-Rob, spells Andino – who has been slumping – and does NOT throw major psychological wrench into how Team functions. Those of you who only see numbers, and who don’t believe in Team psyche, should probably go work for IBM and stop writing about baseball because it’s real and it matters. Sticking Andino at third — or worse in outfield — now in a bow to Roberts would just further complicate an already messy third base situation. It’s going to be messy at third this year no matter what they do (barring a trade or the like for real third baseman). That shouldn’t be Andino’s job and while we all love B-Rob and know what he’s capable of, nobody’s really seen it yet and there’s certainly no guarantee it can last

- First person Blog knows of to correctly report B-Rob’s imminent return to game was Yankees color man Ken Singleton, who mentioned it in an off-hand remark during a YES broadcast about one week before rest of world had story

- Speaking of Yankees, they are playing lucky and can’t seem to lose despite some huge holes in roster. Derek Jeter’s torrent of magical nubby banjo hits goes on and Mark Teixeira is hitting again. Kind of glad they’re playing somebody else for now, who ever that might be. Mets lost a hideous little soul-crusher to said Yankees, for example, yesterday

- Blog’s current understanding of Red Sox, reading news accounts, is that they dislike it when they lose ballgames and they dislike it when umpiring calls go against them. And, yet, they continue to lose ballgames anyway

- Blog has been having some fascinating conversations with people inside Team organization lately. There are some great people working for Orioles and, without perhaps saying anything you didn’t already know, they are just as proud of this vintage and as hungry for a winner any rabid fan

- Blog was in Maine over weekend. It’s nice up there. Ordered a chicken salad sandwich Sunday for road trip home and asked counter lady whether lettuce was “whole leaf or shredded.” Lady replied that “the lettuce is whole leaf, but then we shred it.” Blog was relieved to hear this because Blog does NOT like lettuce that come shredded right out of ground

hip-hOp line dancing

Posted in baltimOre, handsOme, win cOlumn on May 13th, 2012 by The Wayward O

False necromancers who seek answers in bunk stats…

Are no match for sum-total of serendipity derived at unspeakable nexus of talent, luck and determination.

at least luke dOesn’t beat up kids

Posted in baltimOre, red sOx on December 9th, 2010 by The Wayward O

Sox-ual Healing: Whatchu think? Division crown wrapped by up Aug. 1?
Bolg of Meat: [Blog would] say Os won’t clinch till about Sept. 20
   Assuming they get a 1b
Sox-ual Healing: Funny
Bolg of Meat: Do you have cough drops?
Sox-ual Healing: I don’t.  Sorry
  I know a store up on 86th and Columbus that has ‘em though
Bolg of Meat: see 2008 Tigers & 2010 Mariners
  Just saying. Loaded for bear and underperformed
  Thanks for cough drop tip. Can [Blog] take subway there?
Sox-ual Healing: You can
Bolg of Meat: Does EEI have streaming audio?
  [Blog listens] to DC/Balt. yack all day
  Too much football talk about Haynesworth & Ray Lewis
Sox-ual Healing: Yeah EEI is perfect online
  But honestly, I think they’re a bunch of arrogant SUV-driving, ultra-macho-to-compensate-for-small-[wieners]-and-childhood-sexual-abuse a$$h*les
  And I don’t like listening to them. I much prefer 98.5 The Score
Bolg of Meat: You’re man of people!
Sox-ual Healing: They’re the type of people that go to church but don’t really believe in God, and [redact, redact, redact] UGH. hate them
Bolg of Meat: Wow
  You are clued into their mental states!
Sox-ual Healing: I am.  In a lot of ways Boston is a really ignorant, small-minded town
 Bolg of Meat: Yeah
Sox-ual Healing: I feel at home with the liberal intellectual elite, but the commoners annoy me (jokes, but also not really)
Bolg of Meat: Very provincial, as [Blog's] Grandma used to say
Sox-ual Healing: I think the FAN is really good for sports talk. Why? Because they stay focused on sports. They don’t have any inside jokes, they’re not a boys’ club
  EEI is just a glorified frat house
 Bolg of Meat: WFAN?
Sox-ual Healing: Yeah
Bolg of Meat: [Blog hasn't] tuned in since [Blog] sold car (except for Mets game broadcasts while sitting on Rockaway Beach)
  But before 1050 came on scene, FAN was worst joke
  Mike and Mad Dog going on 45-minute rants about horse racing … radios switching off everywhere
  Might be better now
Sox-ual Healing: I wasn’t around then, but Mike and the Mad Dog broke up, so now you just have Francessa for 5 straight hours, followed by Steve Somers at night
Bolg of Meat: [Blog doesn't] mind Schmooze in small doses. He talks Mets good
  But Francessa? Fuggettaboutit
Yanks offer Cliff Lee 7 years / $160 million
Hard to focus on work right now
Sox-ual Healing: Yup
Bolg of Meat: At least partially because EEI is blasting in [Blog's] headphones
Sox-ual Healing: You tuned in, eh?
Well you’re lucky; Dale and Holley is on til 2 p.m., they’re not so bad. But The Big Show With The Big O starts at 2, and I think you’ll hate it. They just yell and talk over each other the whole time and do a lot of sound bytes, and laugh at jokes you don’t get unless you listen every single day
Sox-ual Healing: [Fred Smerlas’ Thugs Slug Teens for $$$]
Bolg of Meat: LoL
  Wow. That story
Sox-ual Healing: I know
Bolg of Meat: Say what you want about Luke Scott, he doesn’t beat up kids