Bartolo Colon Makes Sense for the Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have been linked to nearly every free agent not named Robinson Cano this offseason. While the likes of Matt Garza or the presumably soon-to-be posted Masahiro Tanaka would give Baltimore a much needed top of the rotation starter, everyone with a cursory knowledge of the O’s understands that the team won’t commit the years or dollars required to sign a pitcher of that ilk. Instead Orioles fans are left to agonize over the rumors of a potential Jason Hammel return or Chad Gaudin signing. One free agent pitcher that could front Baltimore’s rotation and come at a reduced cost is former Athletic Bartolo Colon.Pin It Tweet
Who the Hell is Francisco Peguero?
The Orioles announced the signing of outfielder Francisco Peguero to a one-year contract last Friday. The signing left many O’s fans asking, “Who the hell is Francisco Peguero?”
Good question. We can unequivocally say that Francisco Peguero is not former big league closer Francisco Cordero, though both hail from the Dominican Republic. Peguero should also not be confused with fellow Dominican Francisco Cabrera, who played parts of five seasons for the Atlanta Braves and famously drove home human-sloth hybrid Sid Bream with the game winning run in the 1992 NLCS.Pin It Tweet
The Auction Block for Jeff Samardzija
The Chicago Cubs are at an interesting crossroads in the rebuilding project administered by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Chicago has a minor league system loaded with some of the top young talent in baseball. Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Javier Baez, and Jorge Soler figure to join Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo in the Cubs’ lineup sometime in the next two seasons. While the future lineup looks promising, the starting rotation options aren’t quite as sunny.Pin It Tweet
Making Sense of the Orioles’ Jim Johnson Trade
The Baltimore Orioles confirmed baseball’s worst kept secret when they dealt closer Jim Johnson on Monday to the Oakland Athletics for second baseman Jemile Weeks. Johnson, who had saved 101 games over the past two seasons, was rumored to be on the trading block since the end of the regular season. The trade ticked off the Baltimore faithful and raises more questions than it answers for the Orioles.Pin It Tweet
Tomlin’s Gaffe Inches NFL Closer to WWE
The level of play and quality of officiating in the NFL have been on a steady decline over the past several seasons. The rein of Commissioner Roger Goodell has delivered the NFL to new heights financially while the on field product has suffered. What the NFL touts as parity my trained sports watching eye views as an abundance of subpar teams. The league is now clearly more concerned with marketing and staying in the news cycle than with insuring integrity or quality on the field. The actions of Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin, who stepped on the field in front of Ravens’ kick returner Jacoby Jones last Thursday, sinks the NFL even further from legitimate sports enterprise to sheer WWE-style entertainment.Pin It Tweet
Terrence Jones Tops NBA Early Season Breakouts
The Houston Rockets have been big winners in each of the past two NBA offseasons with the trade for James Harden prior to the 2012-13 season and the signing of free agent big man Dwight Howard last summer. Harden and Howard have made the Rockets relevant but the emergence of second year forward Terrence Jones has solidified Houston’s starting lineup. After spending most of his rookie season in the NBA Developmental League Jones has been one of the league’s early breakout stars this seasons. The 2012 first round draft pick was inserted into the starting lineup replacing Omir Asik in the fifth game of the season and has scored in double digits in six of his eight starts. After averaging just 5.5 points in 19 games as a rookie Jones is averaging 9.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and shooting a robust 54% from the floor. Jones has teamed with Howard and small forward Chandler Parsons one of the NBA’s most productive front courts.
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Rangers Let Tigers off the Hook
Two years ago the Detroit Tigers, in a moment of weakness and desperation following a knee injury to Victor Martinez, handed free agent slugger Prince Fielder a nine-year contract worth $214 million. The signing shifted 1B Miguel Cabrera to the more demanding hot corner and gave the Tigers two of baseball’s most feared sluggers. Now, after flopping in the postseason Detroit has sent Fielder to the Texas Rangers for 2B Ian Kinsler. The deal serves the Tigers on several fronts.
As the baseball hot stove cranked up the talk was that Detroit would entertain offers for AL Cy Young Award winner Maz Scherzer. The 29-year-old Scherzer is set to become a free agent following the 2014 season and with Cabrera, Fielder, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez signed to expensive long-term deals the prospects for retaining Scherzer seemed dim. The Fielder trade frees the Tigers from one of those deals and could provide the flexibility to retain Scherzer, or sign a suitable replacement next offseason.Pin It Tweet
The Orioles’ Matt Wieters Charade
When Matt Wieters was making his rapid ascension through the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system he was dubbed “Mauer with power,” a nod to Twins’ All Star catcher Joe Mauer and Wieters’ own long-ball potential. When Wieters arrived in Baltimore some enterprising fans created a Wieters’ facts website that made boastful claims about Wieters’ general manliness and fictional feats of strength. O’s first baseman Aubrey Huff dubbed the young catcher “the switch-hitting Jesus” as fans and media flocked to get a glimpse of Baltimore’s next shining star. That was 2009.
Now, in the winter of 2013, Wieters’ future with the club is cloudy. Manny Machado has dethroned Wieters as Baltimore’s hardball savior. The Mauer and Johnny Bench comparisons have receded as Wieters has settled into his role as a dependable though not spectacular catcher. While Wieters has excelled on defense his offensive production has lagged. The two time All Star bottomed out offensively in 2013, posting career lows in batting average (.235), on base percentage (.287), and slugging percentage (.417). In Wieters’ defense, he did post a career low BABIP of .247, a number that is substantially under his career BABIP of .283, which suggests that he could see a significant rebound in 2014.Pin It Tweet
Orioles Prospects Shine in Arizona Fall League
The Surprise Saguaros downed the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League championship on Saturday, November 16. The score was only significant to diehard baseball fans but Baltimore Orioles’ fan should take notice. The Solar Sox lineup featured a trio of Cubs top prospects in Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler. Bryant, who was named league MVP, teamed up with Angels prospect C.J. Cron to put on an impressive power show throughout the fall season. The powerful Mesa lineup was not enough to overcome the squad from Surprise.Pin It Tweet
League of Denial is Enlightening and Infuriating
I recently completed reading League of Denial, the Fainaru brothers attempt at uncovering the NFL’s closely guarded secrets concerning the extent of the league’s concussion problem. The book is a fantastic read that features great storytelling, some heartbreaking tales of personal demise, a wealth of research and medical information, and enough league sanctioned chicanery to make even the most diehard NFL supporter blush. By page six my stomach was doing somersaults.Pin It Tweet