With the help of a pair of home runs from catcher Jake Fox, the Orioles smacked around the Pirates, 13-3, on Thursday. Matt Wieters went 4-for-5 in the win. ... Coach Fang Mitchell rejected an offer to remain at Coppin State, saying the contract was "unacceptable." ... It was a wild start to the Round of 64.
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 But today, my mug is half-empty, and the sweet taste of winning baseball has been replaced by Haterade.
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.
The Orioles arrived in Sarasota with plenty of intrigue, a starting lineup already pretty much set in stone and rotation with perhaps just one opening. But Buck Showalter's bullpen is wide-open, which give us an opportunity to do a little spring speculation.
Vladimir Guerrero passed his physical Thursday and finalized his deal with the Orioles. To make room for Vlad, the Orioles put Alfredo Simon on the restricted list. ... The Maryland women picked up a big win over Duke. ... Tamir Goodman -- aka the "Jewish Jordan" -- was back in Baltimore on Thursday conducting a basketball clinic.
I appreciate a good beard when I see one -- maybe it's because I can't grow one above my neck -- so I am bummed out to see that Orioles starter Jake Arrieta had shaved off his amazing Al Borland beard from FanFest. It was breathtaking.
Maryland suffered another crushing loss on Tuesday night, but after falling short against Virginia Tech, coach Gary Williams said, "I'll take that effort every night from our team." ... The Ravens placed the franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. ... Former Miami coach Randy Shannon turned down the Maryland defensive coordinator job. ... Longtime Orioles umpires' attendant Ernie Tyler was laid to rest. ... Russia's Irina Shayk got the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
The Ravens and coach John Harbaugh agreed to a contract extension on Monday. ... When spring training opened Monday, Buck Showalter started to mold the Orioles into his team. ... Koji Uehara and Kevin Gregg are eager to compete with each other for the closer spot. ... Under Armor agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball (and Cam Newton?). ... The Capitals lost to the Coyotes.