Wow! Busy week at work. Where has the week gone? But I figured I'd check in for Friday...
It's hard to get real excited over a player like Lou Montanez (at least his upside) but it's hard not to like the guy. Hey, it's rare but late bloomers do happen in baseball. See Howard Johnson. Or Jeremy Guthrie.
You know, this whole Hayden Penn thing is a real drag. Every time he looks like he's about to get a break, he suffers another injury.
I'm still rooting for the guy but the truth is that he hasn't been the same pitcher since he had surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow in May of 2007. Look at his numbers in the minors since his fantastic 2006 run at AAA.
One year ago, I was biting my nails and prepping a scathing post attacking the Oriole front office and Peter Angelos for failing to sign Matt Wieters. This year, I have no such angst.
I actually have confidence that the Orioles will sign their top pick Brian Matusz before the mid night deadline. Apparently, so does everyone else:
Eric (Albany): Only 3 of the Top 10 picks have signed....of the 7 left how many don't reach an agreement?
Jim Callis: I did an Ask BA on this that you can check out at baseballamerica.com, too. I think of the 11 unsigned first-rounders, 10 eventually will sign. Allan Dykstra's hip condition worries the Padres, so that deal might not get done. As for the rest of the guys, we're in the rhetoric stage where the clubs say they have to be financially realistic and the players say they really will consider going back to school. Don't buy it, I think they'll all sign.
Peter Schmuck: Matusz was in Baltimore yesterday for a physical, so it's down to the final dollar figure and roster conditions. Since I don't believe the kid is going to leave several million dollars on the table and risk his valuable arm on another college season, I'm pretty confident something will be announced late this afternoon. Hope they don't make us sweat it out all night.
Roch Kubatko: It will be a major shock if the sides reach an agreement late tonight and Matusz's signature winds up on a contract. But it's expected to happen tomorrow before the midnight deadline. Both sides sound very confident.
I feel much better than I did last year. I hope my trust is not misplaced.
Grimace(s) of the Day:
The collected grimaces of Shin-Soo Choo, Franklin Gutierrez and Jamey Carroll after the Orioles score 8 runs in the 8th last night.
Aubrey Huff clears waivers. Hurry up and trade him before he remembers he's Aubrey Huff and not the second coming of Boog Powell.
Also clearing waivers were Kevin Millar, Jay Payton and Jamie Walker. You've got to trade walker for anything decent. If the O's have one area of depth, it's the bullpen. Jay Payton could actually be a useful right-handed bat off the bench for a contender. Ditto for Millar.
The creator of Orioles blog Weaver's Tantrum, Desert O aka Dave aka Vegas has now hiked more than 1500 miles from from Georgia to Massachusetts. I encourage all in the oriole blogosphere to head over to his other blog, A Bite of the Appalachian, and post some words of encouragement. (BTW, it's a fascinating read...)
Song of the Week:
Sticking with Chicago-based bands from the early-90's, Urge Overkill with "View of the Rain". Later...