Friday, September 4, 2009

Base Hits: 100 Losses, Sarasota Awaits and Revisiting Felix Pie

Since 100 losses seems to have reared its ugly head again, (many consider it a foregone conclusion), let's see how bad it would have to get for the O's to reach the century mark.

For the Orioles to lose 100 games, they would have to go 8-20 to close out the season. Their month by month records for 2009:

Mar/April 9-13
May 14-15
June 12-14
July 9-16
August 10-20

Baltimore is already 0-2 in September so it would take an 8-22 record for September and October to reach such lows. Throughout this interminable drought of winning seasons, the Orioles have flirted with that level of futility but only achieved it once: last September when they went 5-20.

There are more games left due to playing into the first week of October but even if the Orioles swept the Rangers this weekend they could go 5-20 to finish the year and lose 100 games.

The Orioles are not going to sweep the Rangers. With Adam Jones and Brad Bergesen shut down for the season and Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz soon to follow...this hopeful fan is losing hope.

It's quite possible at this point that we will see triple digit losses for the first time since 1988. (And we still won't get the first overall pick...the Nationals have 8 games on us.)


Sarasota sees the last FSL game at Ed Smith Stadium (by the Reds affiliate) of the season and for the foreseeable future as the Baltimore Orioles prepare to move their Spring Training home there in 2010.

The Florida State League is a high A league and while I can't imagine the O's changing affiliations from Frederick to Sarasota, I also can't imagine them doing nothing with Ed Smith Stadium. The GCL Orioles maybe?


Baseball America has a spotlight article on Oriole prospect and Frederick Key Zach Britton. (subscription only) The key to his success?

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Britton throws a four-seam fastball, changeup and slider. His out pitch has been an exceptional sinker.

"It's not a two-seam grip, its an actual sinker grip which I learned from (Scott McGregor) our pitching coach in (short-season) Aberdeen," Britton said. "I kind of throw it with a type of curveball grip, which gives it a little more sink and gets more ground balls. I throw it about 50 percent of the time when I'm throwing fastballs."

According to, Britton has induced grounders at a 65% rate in 2009. Nothing wrong with a sinkerballer in Camden Yards.


As you probably know, Adam Jones sprained his ankle during the Yankee series and will likely miss the rest of the season. That sucks.

However, Felix Pie will be a regular in the outfield for the rest of the season. That is awesome.

If you've been reading the blog this season, you know that I have been a strident supporter of Pie remaining the Oriole. I backed him when Lou Montanez outplayed him during Spring Training, I backed him when he struggled to start the season and only relegated him to "the 4th outfielder" when Nolan Reimold was called up and showed he was more deserving of an everyday role. But I still believed in Pie and thought that Dave Trembley wasn't utilizing him enough as a defensive replacement or pinch runner. (Even with his early season struggles in left, Pie has been the best defender in the Baltimore outfield this year.)

So this silver lining to a bad injury, these 28 games of opportunity are Pie's shot. Maybe they keep him in left and move Reimold to first. Maybe they trade Pie (or Reimold(!!!)) in a package for a veteran pitcher or young third baseman. Regardless, I believe Pie will increase his value to the team, either as trade bait or a player in September.


Off topic.

I love the Baltimore Orioles. No surprise. But I live and die with my beloved Washington Redskins just as much, if not more.

The team under Daniel Snyder has been frustrating. They underachieve, the front office signs aging players, there is a coaching merry-go-round and all of it never seems to gel right. But I'm an Orioles fan. I know how to root for a loser.

The team gouges its fans. Parking, concessions and tickets are ridiculously expensive. They charge admission to training camp. They have a captive, loyal audience that they milk for every dime they can. But I've excused it because pro football is a TV game anyway (in my opinion) and I'm all for a guy making a buck. Football is a business too.

But this may be the last straw...the team is suing fans who default on their (insane) 10 year season ticket contracts. Including 72-year-old grandmothers like Pat Hill:

On Oct. 8, the Redskins sued Hill in Prince George's County Circuit Court for backing out of a 10-year ticket-renewal agreement after the first year. The team sought payment for every season through 2017, plus interest, attorneys' fees and court costs...

Hill is one of 125 season ticket holders who asked to be released from multiyear contracts and were sued by the Redskins in the past five years. The Washington Post interviewed about two dozen of them. Most said that they were victims of the economic downturn, having lost a job or experiencing some other financial hardship.

OK, if someone can't or doesn't pay for their season tickets, the team is well within their rights to revoke the fan's claim on those seats and sell them elsewhere. Redskin season tickets are still a hot commodity; those won't be empty seats for long.

But to sue for the entire value of the ten-year contract? Your biggest fans? And you're the richest team in the NFL?

It's too much. I'm taking a break. I can't root for the Redskins this year. time to find a new team for 2009...and maybe beyond.

Boooo, Mr Snyder! Booooo!

1 comment:

math_geek said...

Go all Baltimore, the Ravens have one of the most fun teams to watch in the NFL right now.

Exciting veterans, fantastic young players, and one of the best feel-good stories in the NFL in Michael Oher. Not to mention an excellent FO, which makes following the team so much more relaxing.