Monday's roster cuts clarified the Orioles' roster picture, but an injury to Brian Matusz muddied it back up. ... Zach Britton authored another impressive performance in Monday's win over the Tigers. ... The Ravens are taking a closer look at Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi. ... Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski wants to box in Baltimore, and these are some potential venues. ... Jordan Williams earned honorable mention All-America honors.
Baltimore is blessed with a bunch of talented sports bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. I often link up to these local writers in my morning Coffee Companion posts, but instead of just exchanging anti-social links with them, I have decided to be slightly less anti-social by exchanging emails with them in a somewhat regular Q&A feature called Blogger on Blogger.
Keith Law, the lead baseball writer for Scouts Inc., has been critical of the Orioles' offseason moves, so I thought my readers might read to see what he had to say about the additions of Vladimir Guerrero and J.J. Hardy, the Matt Wieters debate and where the Orioles stand in the AL East.
Maryland didn't receive an NIT bid, meaning the Terps won't appear in a postseason game for the first time since 1993. ... The Tigers rocked Brian Matusz and the Orioles' bullpen Sunday, pounding out 17 hits en route to a 9-1 victory. ... Hip soreness casts Justin Duchscherer's regular-season readiness into further doubt. ... The NFL lockout could send economic and emotional ripples throughout the area, from players to fans to business owners.
Brian Matusz went 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 16 walks in his 11 starts after manager Buck Showalter's arrival in early August. According to ESPN's Mark Simon, the "Matusz mystique" can be attributed to the pitcher's late-season success against left-handed hitters.
In last week's Five for Friday post, I half-filled my coffee mug with orange Kool-Aid, listing five reasons to be optimistic about the Orioles finally breaking the .500 mark in 2011. But today, my mug is half-empty, and the sweet taste of winning baseball has been replaced by Haterade.
The race for the fifth spot in the Orioles' rotation is wide-open right now. Veteran Justin Duchscherer and Chris Tillman are the frontunners, but Ryan Drese, Zach Britton and Rick VandenHurk are all in the running, too. Let's handicap each pitcher's odds of making the Opening Day rotation.
Will this be the summer the Orioles break .500? In this week¿¿¿s Five for Friday post, I will highlight the five biggest reasons to be optimistic that the Orioles will get it done in 2011 (you better start planning that parade, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake).
NFL owners and players decided Thursday to keep the current CBA in place for an additional 24 hours so that negotiations can continue. ... An appeals court in the Dominican Republic granted Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon's request to be released on bail. ... Brian Matusz got his 2011 season underway with two scoreless innings in the Orioles' 2-0 loss against the Twins. ... Michael Phelps posted the fastest times in the world this year in both of his events Thursday at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. ... Jason Arnott scored the game-winner as the Capitals beat the Blues, 3-2.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday that the Ravens will hand more control of the offense to Joe Flacco, who will have more freedom to audible and call plays. ... Harbaugh said that re-signing Marshal Yanda is a "major issue" on the offensive line. ... Alfredo Simon's appeal to be released from a jail in the Dominican Republic was rejected Thursday. ... Orioles starter Justin Duchscherer felt "awesome" while throwing a BP session.
Never and I chatted about a lot of things Wednesday, from Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and the talented young pitching staff to the Buck Showalter effect and the blueprint for winning in the AL East. Neyer also gave his outlook for the Orioles in 2011, though my headline kind of spoils the big finish.
Baseball America released its list of the top 100 prospects in baseball this morning and two members of the Orioles organization cracked the top 28: shortstop Manny Machado and left-handed starter Zach Britton.
Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle is looking to get cleared for contact over the next couple of weeks.. ... Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon could be released from a Dominican prison soon. ... With these Orioles, parking behind the outfield fence is a bad idea. ... Carmelo Anthony is a different player and person as he returns to New York.