Dylan Bundy, who agreed to a guaranteed $6.25 million major league contract on Aug. 15, said he is excited to get back on the mound after spending most of the summer in a holding pattern as he and his agent negotiated with the Orioles.
Entering Monday night's series opener against the Twins, the Orioles are a season-high 30 games below .500. Buck Showalter's squad has to go 16-22 from here on out to avoid hitting the century mark in the loss column. Thirty. That number has a lot of significance today. Four years ago, on August 22, 2007, the same day the Orioles announced that manager Dave Trembley would return for the 2008 season, the Orioles endured one of the lowest points in franchise history when the Rangers scored 30 runs on them at Camden Yards.
Brian Roberts, a crumbling franchise cornerstone, hasn't played for the Orioles since he suffered a concussion sliding headfirst into first base against the Red Sox on May 16. It was his second concussion in less than a year; the second baseman got the first by infamously hitting himself in the head with his bat late last season.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti explained his decision to hire John Harbaugh over Rex Ryan three years ago. ... The Ravens expect Matt Birk to be ready for the season opener. ... Ravens Super Bowl hero Jermaine Lewis was arrested and released on bail. ... Current and former Ravens players are caught up in a scandal at the University of Miami. ... Brian Matusz had an uneven outing in the Orioles' 8-4 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday night, but his teammates saw some positives as he returned to the major leagues. ... Dylan Bundy plans to reach the majors by 2013. ... Brian Roberts isn't sure whether he'll play again this season.
Nolan Reimold slammed Jason Frasor's first pitch into the visitors' bullpen on Wednesday night to give the Orioles a walk-off win in extra innings. ... Adam Jones and Ozzie Guillen exchanged words after the game. ... Vladimir Guerrero was given a day off, but manager Buck Showalter said not to read too much into it. ... The Ravens play the NFL's "Dream Team" in their preseason opener on Thursday night. John Harbaugh expects to get "cheered rabidly." ... Joe Flacco said he told team officials that he wanted tight end Todd Heap to return. ... Free-agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery won't be joining the Ravens after visiting the team Tuesday.
Steelers linebacker James Harrison blasted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl. ... Steelers safety Ryan Clark doesn¿t think that Ravens-Steelers is a real rivalry. ... In the post-lockout frenzy, the Ravens will have to focus on these five priorities, which include finding a pass rusher. ... Marshal Yanda, who is considered the Ravens' top priority, is reportedly "coveted" by the Redskins. ... Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has picked up the amount of physical activity that he is doing, but he is still not symptom-free. ... The American women beat France to reach the World Cup final.
The Orioles are plummeting out of contention, having lost four in a row, nine of their past 10 games and 18 of their past 24. They are 15 games back in the AL East -- can you believe that it's up to 15 now? -- and most of their recent losses haven't been close as they lost three of their past four games by a touchdown.
For much of this season, the Orioles met reasonable expectations by treading water around the .500 mark and sometimes playing very good baseball against some of the league's best teams. But they have been slowly sinking in the standings in June, and they reached a new low Thursday night against the Cardinals.
Brian Roberts still isn't ready to give a timetable for his return, but the Orioles second baseman feels he is making legitimate progress for the first time since starting to experience concussion symptoms May 16. ... Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas faces a rematch with Lance Berkman, the hitter who put him in the hospital with a hard line drive to the head. Jakubauskas will start Wednesday against the Cardinals. Zach Britton pitches the opener Tuesday, and Brian Matusz is listed as Thursday's starter. ... Former Orioles manager Davey Johnson lost his Nationals debut on Monday. ... The Capitals hope Troy Brouwer will provide some elusive leadership.
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 feature called Blogger on Blogger.
Jeremy Guthrie allowed six runs Tuesday night and the Orioles couldn't dig out of that early hole in a 9-3 loss to the Pirates. ... Second baseman Brian Roberts was not cleared to begin baseball activities during his third appointment with a concussion specialist, a development that pushes back his return until after the All-Star break. ... Orioles pitching prospect Dan Klein has been diagnosed with a shoulder injury that won't require surgery but could end his season. ... Ravens safety Ed Reed still isn't "100 percent" healthy. ... The next time NFL owners meet over labor, there is hope it will be to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.