Sunday, February 23, 2014
my two-week old rant about the team's lame offseason look as stupid as possible. I love that the Birds are only committed to Cruz for one year, and I trust that they're smart enough to keep an outfielder's glove away from him. He's paid the price for his dalliance with performance-enhancing drugs, having served a 50-game suspension last season. Nelson has slugged .515 over the past six years, and he should give the Orioles another productive bat in the middle of the lineup. The O's are a better team today than they were a week ago. I don't know why that surprises me.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Game 4 of the 1970 World Series, with a younger Palmer in his home whites reaching back for a little heat as Boog Powell tries to hold the Cincinnati runner (Lee May? Looks like a pretty big dude) close to first base. Sure, Palmer ran out of gas in the eighth and Eddie Watt blew the O's lead - and the game - behind him, but Baltimore clinched the Series a day later behind Mike Cuellar, so it's all good.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
I haven't spent much time lately working to complete my 1959 Topps set, but in paging through the binder to find Whitey, I was happy to see several completed pages. I'll share a scan of one such page below, featuring Lockman, Orioles Hall of Famer Moe Drabowsky (in a Cubs uniform), and an excellent Luis Aparicio/Nellie Fox combo card.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter have developed an M.O. in Baltimore of quantity over quality, scooping up minor league free agents and fringe major leaguers by the sackful in the hopes that a few will pan out and make a positive impact on the big league club. That's how Nate McLouth and Miguel Gonzalez came about, but it's frustrating to see a team that's got a promising young core steadfastly refuse to loosen the purse strings. I want to be proven wrong, but I just don't think that a Grapefruit League roster that reads like a "Who's Who" of "Who's That?" is going to pass muster in the cutthroat American League East.
Yes, yes, there is that foundation of Jones, Davis, Wieters, Hardy, Machado, Tillman, Chen, and Gonzalez. Not a bad start. But take a look at the reams of extras the O's have gone bargain hunting for this winter and tell me what you think.
On the 40-man roster, they've added Brad Brach, Kelvin de la Cruz, Edgmer Escalona, Liam Hendriks, Ryan Webb, Johnny Monell, Michael Almanzar, Jemile Weeks, David Lough, Francisco Peguero. Beyond the 40-man, you'll find Cord Phelps, David Freitas, Chris Marrero, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Xavier Paul, Quintin Berry, Luis Vizcaino, Delmon Freaking Young, Alfredo Aceves, Aaron Laffey, Alex Gonzalez, Jack Cust(!), Evan Meek, and Matt LaPorta. Breathtaking.
Sure, I'm being a bit cynical. Several of those guys will probably be stashed at Norfolk or even Bowie to fill roster spots, only to be called upon in a roster emergency. But those are all of the players with MLB experience who have been added to the Baltimore organization since the end of the 2013 season. Webb and Lough are the big gets. A setup reliever and a 28 year-old defense-first outfielder. The sheer volume of the names is staggering to me, and I just wonder if other teams operate in those kind of numbers.
On that note, remember Greg Walker? He was the White Sox' pre-Frank Thomas first baseman, and had three 20-homer seasons for the Pale Hose in the mid-80s. He went downhill in a hurry, and the O's picked him off the heap in May 1990 after Chicago cut him loose. But at age 30, he was done. He played his last 14 games in Baltimore, batting .147 with no extra-base hits, and receiving his walking papers in July. Greg Walker himself probably doesn't remember being an Oriole.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
If today's player is wearing number 25 (which is my best guess), this is a very young Don Baylor. "Groove" debuted with the O's in 1970, but played a total of just nine games with the big league club in 1970 and 1971. So my slightly informed supposition is that these pictures were all snapped on one day between the 1972 and 1974 seasons.
Baylor was already managing the Colorado Rockies by the time baseball caught my attention in 1993, and even the 1980s cards that I accumulated in adolescence showed him as a barrel-chested veteran slugger. It's almost surprising to see him as an athletic, streamlined prospect. But indeed, Don swiped at least 22 bags in each of his first eight MLB seasons, peaking with 52 steals in 1976. I imagine that whoever took these pictures, be it my grandmother or one of my aunts or uncles, they couldn't help but feel starstruck while milling around on the Memorial Stadium field in the presence of all-time greats like Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson, as well as stars of present and future like Boog Powell and Don Baylor. Some of them were close enough to reach out and touch. It was the 1970s, and the Baltimore Orioles were the class of baseball.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
There's a strong possibility that the photo above was taken on the same "photo day" as the Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer snapshots that I showed off way back in 2009. I used carbon dating (or, ya know, uniform-based context clues) to determine that those pictures were taken in the 1971-1974 window of time. The presence of one John "Boog" Powell, though he looks awfully blurry and kind of disinterested, does nothing to disabuse me of that notion. Tomorrow I'll share another photo from this set that may help narrow down the date range further. Are you intrigued? Why do I ask so many rhetorical questions on this blog? Aw crap, that was another rhetorical question, wasn't it?
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
non-O's card of the year. Now, back to my regularly-scheduled programming, which is filled with days of not buying new Topps products.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
the most memorable inning of Sakata's career took place in 1983, so it would be neat if this were a postcard of '83 vintage too.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Last week, my mother was going through some of my grandma's old photos and found a few that she thought would be of interest to me. I'll share them with you in the coming days, starting with a scenic postcard of Memorial Stadium: