Tuesday, November 20, 2012
As anyone who comes here regularly has noticed, the frequency of my posting has fluctuated quite a bit over the past year and a half and it's trending toward much less. I have never claimed to be a great writer but I did take pride in the fact that I could take some interesting angles on certain subjects and that I wrote on a regular basis. I am finding time to write (and do it well) harder to come by and while I keep kidding myself that over that next hill I'll find more, it's just not going to happen in the near future. If I'm not writing on a regular basis, I'm not sure what I can hang my hat on. I'd rather shut the blog down than let it continue a slow death and just go inactive.
Thanks to anyone who came here to read my ramblings. Dempsey's Army was always a very personal project to vent my thoughts and post analysis on the Baltimore Orioles and the fact that anyone came to check it out was more than I ever expected. Beyond that, thanks to all those who linked to my posts, invited me to participate in special events, extended me press credentials like I was a real writer or let me write on other sites. None of these were goals but they were wonderful and welcome surprises.
Goodbye, don your rally caps and let's go O's!
Monday, November 19, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I have a post up this morning over at Camden Depot.breaking down player contribution to this season's team with what GM brought them to town. Enjoy!
Friday, September 28, 2012
Part 2 of the weeks chats boiled down to their Oriole essence...
Dave Cameron, Fangraphs.com
12:03 Comment From Preston
Could the Orioles outperforming their expected wins based on WAR mean that we are over-valuing defense and under-valuing bullpens in the equation?
12:03 Dave Cameron:
12:05 Comment From Person hscer
if the wild cards end up atlanta st. louis oakland baltimore, who has the best chance at the WS? the worst?
12:05 Dave Cameron:
I think St. Louis is the best of those four teams. Baltimore's probably the worst.
12:05 Comment From The Oriole Bird
Do you expect the O's to be a big player in this year's free agent market? If so, whom would you expect them to target?
12:06 Dave Cameron:
Yeah, my guess would be that they'll look to add a big name pitcher to the rotation. I could see them in on Greinke, Haren, or Peavy.
12:24 Comment From TKDC
Say the Yankees are a game back of the Orioles on the last day of the season and they play either before or at the same time (so a win could be meaningless). If possible, would you throw your ace, or would you save him for the one-game playoff?
12:25 Dave Cameron:
The play-in game should be a bullpen day, so I'd use Sabathia and watch the scoreboard very closely.
12:55 Comment From Dan
Without making any changes to the roster, Baltimore will be a __ win team in 2013.
12:55 Dave Cameron:
12:59 Comment From Scott
Does Bundy pitch over 100 innings in the majors next year?
12:59 Dave Cameron:
Don't think he's ready yet, no.
Wallace Matthews, ESPN.com
8 games left - what's your guess at the Yanks record? Let's say 5-3. That would mean the O's would have to play to 6-1 to force a tiebreaker. So ... Yanks pretty much a division lock?
Wallace Matthews (12:34 PM)
I figured at the start of this stretch the Yankees would win at least 6 of these last 10 games, and more likely seve. They are 1-1 so far, so sticking with my gut, that means a final record of 95-67
Ian Miller, Baseball Prospectus
Roger (Washington DC):
So 2012 has seen the debut of Harper, Machado, Profar, and Bundy. At least two and quite possibly three of them are up for good. Is this the greatest group of teenagers collectively in the majors at the same time? More importantly, what the heck is happening to the standard development curve?
I can't say for certain that they're the best group of teens ever, but OTOH, I can't think of any other group, so maybe, yeah!
The second part of your question is far more interesting to me, though. Is this just a fluke, or is it something more profound? Are diets or training regimens or something else entirely causing players (kids) to develop faster than ever? I think that's a very real possibility, but it's not a question a liberal arts guy like me can answer.
Tony La Russa, ESPN.com
How good for the game is it that we've seen teams like Baltimore, Washington, and at least earlier in the season, Pittsburgh, have some success this year?
Tony La Russa (3:31 PM)
I think one of the problems with our system is so often the city and the fans going into spring training don't have a realistic chance of being excited. Like Tampa Bay if you draft smart and develop well, you can build a nucleus and make some moves to jump into the competition.
Keith Law, ESPN.com
The Orioles run differential is down to -1. Thoughts?
Klaw (1:07 PM)
Which means they've played roughly like a .500 team. There's been a weird emphasis on the O's run differential potentially turning positive, as if that's a binary variable. It's not. The point is that a team that barely outscores its opponents on the season doesn't end up 20 games over .500 without a lot of good fortune.
What do you think is the ceiling for Tillman? Been looking pretty good this year.
Klaw (1:25 PM)
He has looked good. Looking at him as a potential above-average starter again.
Do you think Showalter is a big reason for the O's success this year? Seems like he manages circles around people...
Klaw (1:27 PM)
I think he's a reason, but no manager can entirely explain their success this year.
How do you see the Machado/Hardy situation playing out in BAL for 2013?
Klaw (1:28 PM)
If I were the GM there I'd try to trade Hardy and get Machado back to shortstop, which I believe is his long-term position.
Think Jonathon Schoop could be the O's long term answer at 2B, or is he more likely to move to 3B and take over there when Machado goes to SS?
Klaw (1:32 PM)
Third base. But I think he was rushed this year.
I'm glad the O's called up Bundy to get his feet wet. What situations would be ideal for Bundy to pitch i.e. mop up duty or close contests?
Klaw (1:50 PM)
I'd rather use him in longer outings than short ones. Not concerned about the score, just don't want to see him used like a short reliever, warmed up more than once in a game, asked to come in and air it out for a few pitches, etc.
I have seen a lot of Orioles fans says that the reason Bundy is able to pitch now is because the Orioles made him throw three inning starts earlier in the season. What is your response to this?
Klaw (1:55 PM)
Mr. Law, I have a three-part Davis question for you: Ike's overall numbers are not good, but is there anything in his swing that says he's not the player he was or is not healthy? Chris Davis is having a breakout year...that looks almost exactly like his career slash line. Is this the "real" Chris? Finally, can Khris hit enough to overcome his fielding limitations? Thanks!
Klaw (2:00 PM)
Ike: will always swing and miss, but there's power there. This is probably the real Chris. Khris (Brewers prospect) probably gets there as an extra guy.
Mike Newman, Fangraphs.com
4:10 Comment From The Oriole Bird
What kind of future, if any, do you see for LJ Hoes?
4:11 Mike Newman:
Tweener type. Potentially a 4th outfielder, but I don't think he contributes quite enough to be considered a starter.
4:41 Comment From Jeremy Strain
Did you get a chance to see Delmonico with Delmarva before he got hurt? What's your take on him?
4:42 Mike Newman:
Yes, and I've written about him at FG at length. I liked the hit tool, but LOL'd at their attempts to make him a 2B. He will be ranked on my list of the top 1B prospects I've seen this season.
Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
Mike (San Diego)
You have no idea how much I'm rooting for Oakland, LAA, Baltimore, and Tampa to have the same record. Bring on the chaos!
Jayson Stark (1:33 PM)
Easy for you to say. You don't have to travel 12,000 miles in 72 hours to break all those ties!
Curt (Trappe Md)
Very exciting time to be an Oriole fan this year which is something we have not had for almost 20 years, but how do you explain a team without 1 player having an average of 300 is knocking on the door of the division title?
Jayson Stark (1:35 PM)
It's incredible, isn't it? And only one pitcher making 20 starts! I'm going to quote my friend Casey Stern of Sirius/XM fame. Heard him say one day the Orioles aren't a great team, but they're one of the greatest stories ever. Totally agree.
How about them Birds!!! With the schedule that both teams have remaining (Red Sox and Rays for O's, Jay's and Sox for Yanks) what realistic chance do the Orioles have of winning the East outright?
Jayson Stark (1:41 PM)
I don't like their chances, based on the schedule alone. The Yankees finish with the Blue Jays and Red Sox, two teams that are 37 games under .500 just since Aug. 1. The Orioles also get the Red Sox at home, but those three games in Tampa Bay to finish up look awfully precarious.
Does Matt Wieters deserve any MVP consideration, he has done a masterful job handling the O's rotation mess.
Jayson Stark (1:57 PM)
He'd be in my top 10. He's had a fantastic season. Really fulfilling expectations that people had for him.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Where we boil all the weeks baseball chats down to their Oriole essence...
(For the first time in the history of this semi-regular feature, the Baltimore Orioles are seemingly the talk of the baseball world and there is so much here after Tuesday's chats for a post. I'll post part two from this week on Saturday...)
Dan Szymborski, Fangraphs.com
12:05 Comment From Joel
How excited were you last night (if you watched the O's game), when you saw Dylan Bundy jog out to the mound? Any impressions?
12:05 Dan Szymborski:
Unfortunately I wasn't. Because I had run upstairs to get a bite to eat because I hadn't had any lunch and I was hungry. I got back in time to see the last pitch in Valencia. I'm going to look back at the game this afternoon. That's why awesome starting prospects need to have announced debuts.
12:15 Comment From Os Fan
I Steve Johnson.
12:15 Dan Szymborski:
I Dan Szymborski.
12:34 Comment From JT
How should the Orioles handle their postseason rotation? Do you think a Rockies-esque paired pitching system would suit them best?
12:34 Dan Szymborski:
I dont' think you want to go with anything too crazy at this point - dangerous time to start experimenting. The WC game is, however, the focal point of the offseason that all planning should go through - it's the only game in advance that you know for a fact will risk your elimination.
12:37 Comment From The Oriole Bird
I'm going to the doubleheader today. Think I'll see Bundy pitch?
12:37 Dan Szymborski:
Hope so! Good luck!
12:47 Comment From Os Fan
Dangit, that was a "less than three" heart there. What gives cover it live?
12:47 Dan Szymborski: Ah, so you're not Steve Johnson? Definitely gotta dig that ultra-slow loopy curve that he has.
12:49 Comment From STiVo
Estimate the likelihood of the following happening today: The Orioles sweep today's doubleheader against the Jays, and the Yankees lose to the Twins. If this occurs, the O's will be 0.5 games ahead of the Yankees.
12:50 Dan Szymborski:
let's say 36% for winning both and Yankees 35% lose to Twins. That's what, 12%?
12:54 Comment From Darn Zimbowski
Dan Duquette's #1 priority this offseason...?
12:54 Dan Szymborski:
1:04 Comment From Penguinis
Last week, Dave Cameron said Mark Reynolds is "awful" at first base, while a general consensus of Oriole fans, broadcasters, and Buck Showalter seem to think he's playing gold glove caliber defense. What do you think? And if he's actually any good, why does UZR hate him?
1:04 Dan Szymborski: I don't think he's quite that awful. I don't think he's all that good. After watching Reynolds at third, he's going to inevitably look good. Like how after you watch a rerun of Suddenly Susan, Two and a Half Men doesn't seem so bad.
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com
Ryan (State College)
Whats the most fascinating storyline left with so few games to play?
Jerry Crasnick (1:02 PM)
Ryan, For me, it's the Orioles and A's both making spirited runs at the wild card spots. But you can also look at the fallout that will ensue if the Tigers and Angels fail to make the playoffs. I'm a Little Engine that Could type of guy, so I like the underdog storylines.
Harrison (New York)
Who are your AL and NL managers of the year? (I've got Buck Showalter(AL) and Don Mattingly(NL))
Jerry Crasnick (1:08 PM)
Harrison, I'll go with Showalter in the American League. As for the National League, I think the first place managers -- Johnson, Baker and Bochy -- will all get some support. You can make a strong case for Dusty Baker given how his team played in Votto's absence, and the way he didn't let his contract status become a distraction.
Nick (College Park)
Jerry, given that they don't have an ace, I wouldn't make the O's a favorite vs. anyone in the WC, but in a full series, I think they've got a fighting shot. They've got a good record agains everyone but Texas, I think. I think we've also reached the point in the season where almost nothing they do will surprise me. What say you?
Jerry Crasnick (1:39 PM)
Nick, I spent two months writing off the Orioles, then I just threw up my hands and decided they're for real. There are some things in baseball that can't be fully explained by the numbers, and that team's success is one of them.
So would you give Jim Johnson/O's bullpen the O's MVP? or Showalter? or Adam Jones?
Jerry Crasnick (1:44 PM)
Jay, That's a really apple and orange-y comparison. I would probably go with Adam Jones because he does so many things day-in and day-out for that club. He has really matured into a leader and a guy who's accountable every game. Throw in the power and the defense in center, and he's an incredibly valuable piece for that club. I think he helped keep them together when Markakis went down with what could have been a crushing injury.
Jason (St Louis)
The Orioles may be for real as you say but they don't have the look of a team built to make a run in the playoffs, if you want my unsolicited honest opinion. They've got to lose an extra innings game one of these day at a minimum.
Jerry Crasnick (1:46 PM)
Jason, I hear you. The rotation looks iffy for October and you have to wonder when the strain of pitching all those one-run and extra-inning games will catch up to that bullpen -- a la the Braves of 2011. But I'm past the point of saying that team"can't" do anything.
Bill Parker, Baseball Prospectus
What do you think of the 2012 Orioles?
I'm in favor. Look, I know they probably aren't a great team, etc. In my mind, though, there's a difference between wanting a setup that makes it more likely that the best teams come out on top (which is kind of what my last answer was about) and actually wanting the best teams to always come out on top. If we've got a good, competitive system, and you're a mediocre team that somehow beats that system over a full 162-game schedule, good for you! I'd love to see an Orioles-Nats World Series, both because I spent a few years down there and it'd make me happy, and because I think it makes for the best story.
Looking at the remaining schedule for Wild Card contenders and Division leaders, who do you see making playoffs when all the dust has cleared?
I think the Yankees win the AL East, because they get to play the Twins now. I think the White Sox win the Central by default, because nobody wants it at all, and obviously the Rangers win the West. I don't see a compelling reason to go against the current WC leaders, Baltimore and Oakland. In the NL, with the Brewers getting creamed as I type, it's all but set in stone: Washington, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and St. Louis.
Orioles-Nats would be great for baseball. As a lifelong O's fan- back to the days of Brooks Robinson, this season has been a very pleasnat surprise. And how about the Nats- no more "first in war, first in peace and last in the American League". Gonzalez just struck out 200. Walter Johnson was the Washington player to do that!
Not a question, so I don't have an answer, I just love the excitement.
Jeff Sullivan, FanGraphs.com
12:07 Comment From Kyle
Where's the love for the O's Steve Johnson? Guy is so good.
12:08 Jeff Sullivan:
The Orioles overall make so little reasonable sense that it's hard to focus on any one individual player of theirs. Sure, we could focus on Steve Johnson for a little bit, but then it's like, shouldn't we just be talking about the Orioles? What on earth is going on with the Orioles?
12:16 Comment From The Oriole Bird
Over the next three seasons, how many times do you expect Adam Jones to post more than 4.5 WAR?
12:17 Jeff Sullivan:
I'll say one time? And another time where he's very close. And one time where he's more like 2-3, due to either underperformance or injury
David Schoenfield, ESPN.com
Hey David, with 8 Games left for the Orioles, 1 1/2 games back in the East and 1 1/2 games up on the A's (3 1/2 on Angels), where do you see Baltimore's season going from this point?? And if they make the playoffs, how far do you see them going?
David Schoenfield (2:07 PM)
I think the Yankees win the East and the O's take the first wild card. The lack of an "ace" would seem to hurt them in the wild-card game, but of course Showalter would have a very quick hook. But I don't see them beating the Rangers in the Division Series. Nothing they do would surprise me though. An O's-Nats Beltway Series would be pretty fun.
Monday, September 24, 2012
This team has broken a lot of records on their way to their improbable playoff chase, individual and team, franchise and league. Here's a look at some of the notable, the obscure and downright bizarre.
Jim Johnson breaks the franchise saves record
It seems almost fitting that Jim Johnson broke the Oriole's single season saves record during the only winning season that the team has had since lefty fireballer Randy Myers set the old mark of 45 back in 1997. After years of being the best reliever in the Oriole bullpen and watching men not nearly his equal get big buck to come to town and fill that role, Johnson has shown that becoming a proven closer does not require receiving training from Ra's al Ghul to develop that poise and steely determination that all closers seemingly possess. You just have to pitch well, keep the ball in the park and generate outs. After watching that "proven closer" label being thrown around by Oriole management and having Johnson's ability to close questioned by a few in the local media, it's nice to see the guy succeed and get in line for his own huge payday, first in arbitration and then in free agency. 47 saves...and counting.
Adam Jones hits more doubles than any other Oriole centerfielder
Jones has racked up 31 home runs but he'll not sniff Brady Anderson's famous mark of 50 set in 1996 and no other center fielder is likely to. But what Jones has done during his breakout season is tie Anderson for the team record of doubles from an Oriole center fielder with 37. I like Jones' chances to break that record over the team's last nine games.
Strikeouts of various iterations
The Orioles set their franchise record for batting strikeouts as a team at 1019 in 1964. That total was not exceeded for 46 years when the 2010 Orioles took the crown with 1056. The 2011 Orioles blew right past that (thank you Mark Reynolds) with 1120. But this team is more than 100 strikeouts beyond the 2011 total and still has nine games to go. However many more strikeouts are added to the 1227 these batters have already been rung up, it's hard to imagine this total being approached again.
In addition, this team will also set the franchise record for most players with 100 strikeouts on a team. The 2011 Orioles only had 2. The 2008 team had 4. This team has 6! (Wilson Betemit, Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters) And Robert Andino, with 97 is knocking on the door.
Manny Machado is officially the most successful 19-year old to ever play for the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, he's actually 20 right now but this is his age 19 season. He has 14 extra base hits. (Brooks Robinson had 5 during his age 19 season). He has played in 41 games. (Wayne Causey played in 51 for the 1956 Orioles). His bWAR is 1.1 and his fWAR is 0.7. Nobody else is even close to half of those totals.
Winning Percentage in One Run Games
Even after yesterday's loss to the Red Sox, the 2012 Orioles are tied for first (with the 1981 Orioles) for the highest winning percentage in one run games since 1901. I'll give the 2012 O's the tie-breaker on the identical .750 winning percentages because they have won 6 more games and '81 was a strike shortened season.
Extra Inning Games
I believe, if the Orioles win their next extra-inning game, they will tie the record for consecutive extra inning wins. But even if they don't, this is still one of the greatest extra-inning performances in baseball history. Taken in terms of winning percentage and the number of extra inning games played, their 16-2 mark is only exceeded by the 1949 Cleveland Indians (18-1) and the 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates (19-2).