Thursday, February 26, 2009

O's-Card's, Put One In The Win Column

Danys Baez really is trying to come back as a starter. He gave up two runs on a hit and three walks in his one inning of work against the Cardinals today, and I think it's more likely that he gets caught than that he makes the rotation.

Matt Albers, on the other hand, helped his case with two perfect innings including a K and three groundouts. Looks like he's back relatively healthy.

So is Chris Ray, who threw 9 pitches in his perfect inning.

Nolan Reimold homered, doubled, and walked - maybe he'll get a chance soon after all. So did Justin Christian, but I don't really care about him.

Scott Moore hit a three-run homer himself, helping his case for a utility spot ever so slightly (probably not).

Brandon Snyder also had a couple of hits. It would be really good if he could establish himself as big-time position prospect behind Wieters and Reimold, because the O's are lacking on that side of the ball in their farm system.

The O's got their first Spring Training win, beating St. Louis 11-3. Read more ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hennessey Being Shelved?

"Brad Hennessey has apparently impressed Dave Trembley with his control. All I have to say is; 3.35 BB/9 in 2008 and 3.67 BB/9 career." - Me, from the Training Camp Round-Up post.

Hennessey started today's game against the Mets. A walk and a single in the first, with only half of his pitches going for strikes. Two walks and a single in the second, before being removed due to an elbow injury. Maybe his control was off because he was hurt. Or maybe he has merely OK control, as evidenced by his walk rates every year of his career.

I think it's a combination of the two, but anyone expecting Hennessey to be the next Jeremy Guthrie (#1 draft-pick doesn't live up to his potantial but then finds himself with the O's and becomes a quality starter) is going to be dissappointed. The two guys aren't that similar, though I thought this was interesting (guess from where):

They're both fastball/slider/change-up pitchers, but Guhtrie throws harder (93 vs. 89) and is just better in pretty much every way (and his pre-2007 data points where in much fewer innings than Hennessey's). That doesn't mean Hennessey can't be a valuable member of the 2009 pitching staff - they do need someone to pitch those innings out of the #5 rotation slot or as a longman from the pen. If he's healthy; my immediate thought when I heard forearm tightness + elbow pain was Tommy John surgery. They're saying it's not serious, so we'll see what happens.

The O's lost the game, by the way, 9-3. Chris Waters relieved Hennessey and allowed a couple of the runners to score. Another rotation candidate - David Pauley - only managed to record one out while giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Ross Wolf (who?) was able to get some outs without letting any runners cross the plate. Brian Bass got some outs but gave up a pair of runs. Ryan Keefer (I didn't know he was still with the team) had a 1-2-3 inning, and Jim Miller finished it out with a perfect ninth. The offense was mediocre and plagued by poor baserunning (I think we saw enough of this last year). At least it sounds like the defense is flashing some leather, with diving catches in the outfield by Adam Jones, Justin Christian and Nolan Reimold, and some nice plays by Scott Moore at third. It's like night and day compared to yesterday's game - luckily those pitchers are the ones the O's are counting on to be competitive in the future, and today's pitchers are just holding down the fort.

Read more ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

O's-Italians, They Think They'll Win The WBC?

The "Orioles" played their first baseball game of the year today, sending a team of back-ups and minor-leaguers against the Italian World Baseball Classic team (which also had some O's farm-hands: Mike Costanzo and Jeff Fiorentino - plus former Oriole, Sal "The 'Stache" Fasano).

It is a travesty that it isn't televised: however am I going to get by without seeing Craig Brazell hit? Thankfully Roch Kubatko kept the O's faithful informed, and I can piece together the goings on from his posts:

Top 1st:

First-round draft pick Brian Matusz starts things off on the mound for the O's.

He gets ahead 0-2 on the first batter but gives up a single up the middle. Matusz picks him off, and then records a groundout to Scott Moore at third and a flyout to left by Costanzo to end the inning.

Roch: "He threw 20 pitches, 14 for strikes... It looked like Matusz had good velocity on his fastball."


Bottom 1st:

Roch: "Justin Christian and Donnie Murphy lined out in the first inning, and Moore struck out."

Moore's throw on the grounder in the top half of the innings wasn't great either, apparently. He needs to really impress people this spring to find a job on the team (even though his performance will likely say very little about his true talent level). I'm actually pulling for Murphy to take the spot that Chris Gomez probably has the lock on right now.

Top 2nd:

It's Troy Patton time in the second.

The first batter hits a grounder through the left side for a single, but retires the next two guys with a groundout to third (no word on throw quality) and a flyout. A walk puts two on, but Patton gets out of it by getting the next hitter to ground to second on the first pitch.

Roch: "Patton, who didn't pitch last year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum, threw 11 of his 18 pitches for strikes."

Luke Scott was a good return all by himself, but if Patton can recover from his injuries the Tejada trade could be a steal.

Bottom 2nd:

Oscar Salazar - who's fight for a roster spot took a major hit with the Ty Wigginton signing - grounds out to the pitcher.

Super-uber-prospect Matt Wieters draws a walk and Lou Montanez singles to right, with a Craig Brazell flyout in-between.

This set up a good opportunity for Nolan Reimold to make an impression, but he popped out to first. Two runners stranded.

Top 3rd:

Brad Bergesen in for the third, and he should stay out there for two innings.

He gave up a single - and then the runner stole second when Wieters bobbled the transfer - but kept Italy off the board.

Roch: "Bergesen, who works just as quickly in Fort Lauderdale as he does in Frederick and Bowie, struck out the next two batters. He was pumping one strike after another."

Might he be the mystery starter who Rick Kranitz thinks might win a job in the rotation to start the season?

Bottom 3rd:

Here comes the offense.

With one out, Justin Christian singled and stole second. Donnie Murphy drove him in with a double to left, and then he came in to score on a Scott Moore double off the wall in right-center. After a Salazar strike-out, Matt Wieters walked for a second time. Craig Brazell singled in Moore, and then the umpires ended the inning for some reason.

3-0 O's.

Top 4th:

Roch: "Bergesen retired the side in order, including a strikeout, in the fourth. Very impressive outing."

Bottom 4th:

Roch: "The Orioles stranded two runners in the fourth, with a diving backhanded catch by the second baseman robbing Justin Christian of an RBI single.

Lou Montanez struck out looking. Nolan Reimold walked and moved up on a wild pitch. Justin Turner reached on an error and stole second after Christian's line drive. Donnie Murphy bounced to the mound."

Attaboy, Nolan.

Top 5th:

Roch: "Chris Tillman dominated the three batters he faced in the fifth inning.

Tillman struck out the first batter, got ahead 1-2 before inducing a bouncer to second and closed the inning with another bouncer to third on a 2-2 off-speed pitch. He was throwing hard and locating his fastball with Uehara-like precision.

Of the 14 pitches thrown by Tillman, 10 were strikes."

I still have Tillman above both Matusz and Arrietta on the Big Three depth chart.

Bottom 5th:

Roch: "The Orioles got a two-out, bloop double from catcher Guillermo Rodriguez in the fifth. Scott Moore grounded out, Oscar Salazar struck out and Craig Brazell flied to center."

Rodriguez came in for Wieters (if they won't pitch to him anyway, why not give someone else a chance to hit?) the previous inning.

Top 6th:

Roch: "Jake Arrieta didn't allow a ball out of the infield in the sixth. He induced a ground ball to first, fielded a tapper near the mound and struck out the next hitter. He was popping the catcher's mitt with such force, planes were diverted to the Miami airport.

I'm not even sure what that means, but he was throwing hard."

Which Big Three (definitely need a better name for them - "Big Three" is so standard. ) member will win a Cy Young first? Now those are the kinds of arguments it'll be nice to have again.

Bottom 6th:

Roch: "Lou Montanez struck out, Nolan Reimold reached on an error and Justin Turner lined into a double play."

Top 7th:

Wilfredo Perez (meh) takes his turn and strikes out the side. Future bullpen fodder, but not a bad arm to have around.

Bottom 7th:

The subs are coming in to play: Robby Hammock at C, Blake Davis at SS, and Brandon Snyder making an appearance at 3B.

Roch: "Robby Hammock flied out in the seventh. Davis and Snyder grounded out."

Top 8th:

Often overlooked but MinorLeagueBaseball sleeper prospect David Hernandez is on in the eighth.

Roch: "David Hernandez didn't allow a ball out of the infield in the eighth, getting a called third strike and two grounders."

One of the groundouts went to Snyder at third, who he bobbled the ball and made a bad throw to first (though the out was still recorded).

He might want to get used to coming in from the pen. though I think that's a role he could be very successful in.

Bottom 8th:

Only info. is a home run by catcher Adam Donachie to make it 4-0.

Top 9th:

Jim Hoey in to close it out.

Roch: "Hoey threw nine of his 14 pitches for strikes. He allowed an infield hit, with Snyder making a lunging stop at third, but got a fly ball and the double-play grounder from Costanzo."

Bottom 9th:

They let the O's hit even though the game was over, but nothing came of it.

Great day for Orioles' pitchers. Their final line was 9 IP, 4 H (all singles), 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. They got strike-outs and groundballs, and limited the walks - that is definitely the recipe for continued success. Maybe the team should use eight different pitchers for every game. My question is; do they get to play the Orioles Magic song after the win?
Read more ...

Crazy Joe Might Be Right (Not Joe Morgan)

Joe Sheehan might have hit his head or something, because during his chat at BaseballProspectus today he was asked the following question:

"Which young outfielder do you want in 2009 and beyond: Adam Jones or Justin Upton?"

Now in most baseball circles that would be pretty ludicrous. Jones is looking at Torii Hunter upside and Upton is being compared to Ken Griffey Jr.

Sheehan: "Just based on the defensive difference, I'd take Jones. I'm not sure that opinion will be shared."

Not shared indeed. But is it as crazy as it sounds?

In his prime the hope is that Jones will be about a .290/.350/.500 hitter (which seems low but is really a little bit better than any year Hunter ever had with the bat). That's about a .370 wOBA, which would be worth 1.8 wins on offense over 600 PA. Combined with 1 win defense in center, Jones would be an almost 5 WAR player. You can be more conservative and say 4.5 WAR, as his defense should slip while his offense improves.

Upton may end up being a beast with the bat (say, .310/.400/.600 - that's a .425 wOBA, or 5 wins with the bat in 600 PA), and guys who enter the majors before their 20th birthday tend to have solid careers at the very least. Since Upton plays right (-0.75 instead of +0.25 for center), and not all that well (-0.5 to be generous, though CHONE projects him at -1.1 for 2009), he'd also come in as an almost 5 WAR player (since the replacement level in the NL is lower than in the AL).

That is the power of defense and positional adjustments. My immediate reaction was that Joe is bonkers, but it's really a lot closer than some might think. I'd like another year of defensive data for Upton, but if he really is that bad out there I might have to pick Adam Jones too.

If Felix Pie can figure things out then the O's are going to have a sick outfield.

[Edit: It's kind of funny that almost one year age I was comparing Adam Jones to failed outfield prospects like Darnell McDonald and Jeffrey Hammonds. Now I'm comparing him to a guy who was just one of the best outfield prospects in the game. Does that mean Upton will flame out (unlikely), or maybe that I was right in saying Jones had a better track-record than those guys and would outproduce them? Only time will tell.] Read more ...

Categorized 2008 Offensive Value

Over at the BaseballAnalysts they've got an interesting article showing the best (& worst) hitters from 2008 (using linear weights - like in wOBA) based on where they hit the ball.

The most successful hitter when pulling the ball was Jorge Cantu (51.82 runs - that's 5 wins just from pulling the ball), and the top 10 where all right-handed (which makes sense, since a ball pulled to the left side of the infield (by righties) is more likely to be a hit than one pulled to the right side (by lefties)). New O's shortstop Cesar Izturis (-8.54) was second worst, but had some good company - Joe Mauer was easily in last place at -10.18 runs.

Manny Ramirez (22.21 runs) was tops at hitting the ball to center, with Nick Markakis rounding out the top 10 (14.41 runs).

Ryan Howard's prodigious opposite-field power puts him first at going the other way at 26.69 runs. Nick Markakis makes a second appearance at #7 (13.21 runs), and Jeremy Greenhouse had this to say:
"Nick Markakis, Matt Kemp, and Manny Ramirez all show up as top center and opposite field hitters. These guys are at times described as "pure" hitters, and there's why. I'd presume each one is quite talented at going with the pitch."
Nick pulled 6 HR in '08; hit 10 to center; and sent 4 to the opposite field. Three of his four longest home runs (by "true" distance, from HitTracker) were actually hit to left-center field. It's the kind of accross-the-board hitting talent that indicates that Markakis may still be improving as a player.

The article also had a link to a similar study done by Dave Studeman over at the HardballTimes. He categorized it by type of ball in play (Not In Play, Groundball, Line-Drive, or Fly Ball) instead of where it was hit.
"I was curious to see which other batters posted such an “even” profile. Here’s my list, in descending order of total runs above average, of the best all-around hitters in baseball last year:

Player NIP GB LD Fly Tot
Pujols A 25 9 20 24 77
Jones C 19 4 18 15 56
Berkman L 17 2 6 27 52
Ramirez H 13 11 9 19 51
Wright D 12 3 23 11 48
Holliday M 9 14 12 11 46
Bradley M 12 7 9 17 46
Markakis N 14 7 12 8 42
Utley C 11 -2 16 16 41
Ramirez M 7 3 13 13 37
Ramirez A 11 1 10 10 31

Very few surprises here. Well, you might be surprised to see Nick Markakis here, but you shouldn’t be. He’s one of the best young hitters in baseball."
The M Ramirez was just from Manny's time in LA. He was 13-5-14-32-63 overall.

Being at least 7 runs above average in each category puts him in even more elite company:

Player NIP GB LD Fly Tot
Pujols A 25 9 20 24 77
Ramirez H 13 11 9 19 51
Holliday M 9 14 12 11 46
Bradley M 12 7 9 17 46
Markakis N 14 7 12 8 42

I've said it before and (barring a sudden Ben Greive-ing) I'll say it again: $66 M was a steal. Read more ...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Orioles Training Camp Round-Up

Some early training camp info. (thanks to Roch Kubatko for the great coverage):
  • Brandon Snyder may see some time at third-base. His bat should play a lot better there, so it'll be to his advantage if he can handle the position. Given his play the last couple of years, having Billy Rowell at third in the minors doesn't seem like quite as big of an impediment now.

  • David Pauley has four pitches; a sinker, slider, curve, and change-up. Having another guy who can mix things up will be nice - if he makes the team. And even if he doesn't, it was still a worthwhile trade.

  • Ryan Freel is taking groundballs at short in an effort to see if he could be the back-up there. Over at Tom Tango's Fans Scouting Reports from 2008, Freel has two shortstops (Brendan Ryan & Ryan Theriot - weird coincidence that they all have "Ryan" in their name) and a kinda shortstop (Jerry Hairston Jr.) in his most similar players. I think he'd be OK to put out there in the late innings if Izturis is pinch-hit for, but I wouldn't start him there too often unless a fly-ball pitcher was on the mound.

  • Ty Wigginton won't be taking grounders at short. He will be playing a lot against left-handed pitchers. Duh.

  • Gregg Zaun was a great signing. His contract will be worth it for his on-the-field contributions, but everything I've read indicates that he's putting a lot of time and effort into being a leader and mentor for the younger players. And this was nice to hear about pitching prospects - "be focused on the process and not the immediate gratification."

  • Felix Pie and Alfredo Simon aren't in camp yet due to Visa problems. It always surprises me when players don't get this type of thing worked in advance. Pie is going to get every chance to show he can play, but this still doesn't really look good. Simon is fighting for a roster spot, but I never expected him to make it anyway.

  • Chris Ray throws hard with movement. He'll be nice to have at the back end of the pen.
  • Jim Hoey throws hard without movement (or that much control). He's getting up there in years for a prospect, and his chances look even worse given the number of other pitchers in camp. He probably wouldn't even be one of the first guys called up from the minors in case of injury.

  • Everyone is in the best shape of their lives. Except Aubrey Huff, who's repeating last year's off-season of not picking up a bat or doing much working out. If he has another huge year, I wonder if other players will stop working so hard over the winter. "I watched a lot of TV and forgot which direction to run around the bases - I'm ready for a big year."

  • Scott Moore passed through waivers, but has a big hill to climb to win a spot as a utility player on the team. I like Moore's versatility and offensive potential, so I hope he was some success in Triple-A and gets another look later in the year.

  • Rich Hill is making progress, but still doesn't look like an effective major league pitcher. There still a lot of time though, and a Rich Hill circa 2007 would be a huge boost to the rotation.

  • Not exactly news, but Jake Arrietta has a very good fastball. Command, movement, and velocity.
  • Chroye Spoone is hurt again. After his 2007 season, I was expecting big things from Spoone in '08 - I'm a big fan of the power sinker. He got injured though, and was less than effective when on the mound. It's nice that the team doesn't need to rely on him as one of their best pitching prospects, but I'm still holding out hope that he can slot in behind the Big Three eventually.

  • Mike Cuellar is in camp working with the pitchers, which is pretty cool. He's already helped Jamie Walker with his change-up.
  • Brad Hennessey has apparently impressed Dave Trembley with his control. All I have to say is; 3.35 BB/9 in 2008 and 3.67 BB/9 career.

  • Koji Uehara has control of a bunch of pitches, and seems to be acclimating himself well in his new locale. He sounds like jokester, but he's also serious about learning his teammates names and is teaching them a new Japanese word everyday.

  • Matt Wieters seems to have a level head on his shoulders, and he's been launching the ball in batting practice.

  • Luke Scott would prefer not to DH exclusively, but he'll do whatever he needs to to help the team. And he came to camp with a big beard.

43 more days until Opening Day. Read more ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Community Projections: Jeremy Guthrie

Congratulations to Jeremy Guthrie on making the USA roster for the World Baseball Classic. The WBC is a good idea in theory - and I really do like the idea of it - but there are a lot of issues in practice. Injury risks, and stars not playing, and messing up Spring Training, and so on. Hopefully there won't be any negative repercussions for the O's #1 starter (maybe their only legitimate big league starter).

Jeremy Guthrie was a failed prospect (former #1 draft pick) when he was picked up off the scrap heap from Cleveland. After starting 2007 in the pen, he quickly transitioned to the rotation and has been the team's best starter ever since.

I looked at Guthrie in the middle of last season; mainly at how he puts up ERAs so much lower than what they should be given his peripherals.

2007: 3.70 ERA but 4.41 Fielding Independent ERA and 5.10 tRA (98 tRA+)
2008: 3.63 ERA but 4.53 FIP and 4.84 tRA (101 tRA+)

He's done it two years in a row and I have no idea why. Here's some more info. (thanks FanGraphs):

2007 6.31 2.41 2.62 1.18 .250 .277 75.1 19.3 42.5 38.2 11.2
2008 5.66 2.74 2.07 1.13 .247 .267 76.7 18.2 43.8 38 10.5

That drop in strike-out rate is the most troubling thing.

Here's a cool graphic of Guthrie's stuff (stolen from Harry Pavlidis at

It's for data through June for 2008. FanGraphs has the average speed of his pitches being about 0.5-1 mph less for each. Guts throws hard and has pretty good stuff. Let's look at the pitch outcomes with Josh Kalk's Pitch/FX tool:

Pitch Balls Strike Called Strike Swinging Foul In Play Out 1B 2B 3B HR
Fastball 849 411 124 469 327 82 18 4 18
Curveball 78 42 19 31 34 12 2 0 0
Slider 237 101 66 140 96 23 6 0 9
Change 144 65 70 91 60 23 4 0 0

When he hangs the slider it gets hit pretty hard. He didn't give up as many hits on hanging curveballs - most of the hits off of curves where out of the zone (usually low). Guthrie started throwing a few more curveballs and a lot more change-ups in 2008 at the expense of some sliders and fastballs. His change-up might have been his best pitch, showing a near 10 mph difference from his fastball with very similar movement (a little more sink) and a similar release point. He got swinging strikes on 15% of the change-ups he threw, compared to 10% for sliders, 9% for curveballs, and 5% for fastballs. That batters didn't hit it for much power is also a plus. Considering the velocity, I expected his heater to be more effective.

Looking at starting pitchers from last year (86 of them on FanGraphs), Guthrie has the 13th fastest fastball at 93.2 mph (in-between Zach Greinke and Matt Garza). The 12 guys ahead of him averaged 8.3 K/9 with only Edwin Jackson under 7.3 K/9 (he was at 5.3). The 12 guys after Guthrie averaged 6.84 K/9 with only two guys below Guts' 5.66 (Daniel Cabrera at 4.75 and Mike Pelfrey at 4.93).

Velocity does have some relationship to strike-out rate (even more FanGraphs goodness):

Guthrie is the dot that's at (93.2, 5.66). It looks like he's one of the very few pitchers who throws hard and doesn't K many guys.

The big elephant in the room is his BABIP. With values of .277 and .267, Guthrie has been "lucky" the last couple years (it should be closer to .300). Some pitchers have been able to maintain BABIP below .300, but not 30 points below. This is were there may be some small link with the pitch selection. Guys that threw more change-ups (say, in the top 35 of % of pitches being changes - Guthrie's 35th) had slightly lower BABIP (.294 instead of .300). That's shaky at best, but given his otherwise unimpressive assortment of skills (though he is an excellent athlete and a good fielder) I don't know what else explains the rate at which he gets outs on balls in play. Maybe he's just been lucky two years in a row. I don't really expect it to continue, but I'm hedging a little by predicting a slightly better ERA (converted from tRA) than one would expect given his peripherals.

My projection is 180 IP with a 4.37 ERA, but the current projection for the community WAR project is 180 IP with a 4.17 ERA. He should still be an average to slightly above-average starter, and the official stopper of the Orioles' staff. Read more ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Go Team Russia

Alex Ovechkin just scored the kind of goal where he should probably be ejected from the game for having too much talent. He stole the puck from Montreal; raced towards the goal; was kind of tripped; slid on the ice; and poked the puck just passed the goalie (while still down). Absolutely absurd. You just shouldn't be able to do stuff like that. No video available, but they'll be replaying it on ESPN for the next 5-10 years.

I'm not a particularly big hockey fan, but the Capitals have been pretty exciting to watch this year. Read more ...

For The Next Five Years, Batting Leadoff...

The big news today is that Brian Roberts and the O's have agreed (pretty much) to a four year, $40 M extension.

There were rumblings about it for a while now, but I was hoping that they'd make it a four year contract (starting this year and going through 2012) instead of an extension (starting next year and going through 2013).

In the 2009 projection post about about Roberts, I looked at what his decline would have to look like to justify various deals.

3 year, $30 M extension:

2010 600 152 38 4 7 57
.281 .350 .405 .343 2.7
2011 575 144 35 3 5 48
.274 .336 .381 .326 1.7
2012 550 136 32 2 3
42 .269 .325 .358 .311 0.7

3 year, $36 M extension:

2010 600 152 38 4 7 61 .283 .357 .408 .348 3.0
2011 575 145 37 3 5 53 .279 .346 .391 .335 2.1
2012 550 139 34 2 4 43 .275 .333 .374 .320 1.2

These assumed gradually worsening defense and baserunning, as well as inflation in baseball salaries. The free agent economy has gotten worse (less than a month ago I thought Orlando Hudson would get around 2/$18 M - now he's looking for 1/$5 M) and so the dollars per win is probably not going to be quite as high as I anticipated. That means Brian will need to play a little better to be worth the same amount of money, but I'll disregard that for the sake of the argument.

4 year, $40 M extension:

2010 600 152 38 4 7 61
.283 .357 .408 .348 3.0
2011 575 145 37 3 5 53
.279 .346 .391 .335 2.1
2012 550 139 34 2 4
43 .275 .333 .374 .320 1.2
2013 525 130 31
1 3
37 .267 .320 .354 .308 0.4

That - like the 3/36 one - doesn't seem unreasonable. That problem is; the more years you roll the dice with an aging second baseman, the more likely you are to come up with Neifi Perez (for example). Roberts would be worth $40 M total for those four years, but he won't be worth $10 in 2012 (closer to $7.7 M) or 2013 ($2.8 M). Since the years in which Roberts should be a bargain (2009-2011; though maybe just through 2010) are the ones in which the team is least likely to be competitive, I'm not particularly excited.

Of course Roberts could age very well and still be an above-average player at age 35, but it's probably even more likely that he's a replacement level player at that time. I haven't disagreed with Andy McPhail's moves very often (and usually when I do I end up eating some crow), but this is another one of those occasions.

On the bright side, Brian is great in the community and a fan favorite (and so I see Peter Angelos' fingerprints on the extra year). He's still a very good player right now and I'm happy to have the chance to watch him play in an Orioles' uniform. Plus I won't need to lose sleep over one of the the holes the team will need to fill in the infield in the coming years.

Congratulations to Brian, the team, and the fans - I'll be cheering for him to prove me wrong. Read more ...