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Joe Polek

Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters. Joe is a huge sports fan, but most importantly he lives and breathes Baltimore (and Maryland) sports. He routinely gets back to Baltimore for a Ravens game once a year, and while living in Maine, went to Foxboro and Fenway whenever the Ravens or Orioles came to town. A couple of his highlights were being at the final game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, and also sitting in left field for “2130”, and “2131” (Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak). Find Joe on Twitter at @JPonSports.

O’s Should Re-Tool for 2018, Not Rebuild

Brady Anderson and Dan Duquette talk with a microphone.
The Baltimore Orioles are 42-49, which is good for 4th place in the American League East, and 5 games out of a wild card birth. Since 2012, the O’s have been a very competitive team, especially in what many consider the toughest division in baseball. They have spent a significant amount of time in first place over the last couple of years which is why their fall since May this season has been so hard for fans to handle. The tough season this team is having is not a “rough […]

PiR: Despite Tight Standings, These Birds Aren’t “In It”

Chris Tillman, Orioles pitcher, wipes his brow with his arm.
REALITY: The Baltimore Orioles have only won 32% of their last 40 games. Over the last 40 games the Orioles are 13-27. That is .325 ball and a 53-win pace over a full year. — Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) June 23, 2017 PERCEPTION: Over the first 33 games of the season, the Birds were 22-11 and had the best record in baseball. Since then, they are 15-27. Which puts them at 37-38, the 15th best record in baseball. So, what has happened? It’s all about the pitching. Yes, they could do […]

PiR: Orioles Defying the Nerds’ Projections Yet Again

Buck Showalter stands with his hands on his hips.
REALITY: The Baltimore Orioles are defying new-age baseball stats. Well, the Orioles Are Doing it Again https://t.co/QtiNu2J0rL — Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) May 10, 2017 PERCEPTION: Outside of our Editor-in-Chief Tony Lombardi, I am the oldest regular writer on this site, and I’m okay with that. But I’m probably, also, the one guy who can’t stand the new-age stats. Frankly, half of them I don’t even understand. I couldn’t care less how fast a bat was hit out of the park, or what a players RC, RC27, ISOP, SECA, WAR, or […]

PiR: O’s Take the High Road, Kim Gets a Hit Off a Lefty

Baltimore Orioles OF Hyun-soo Kim swings his bat.
REALITY: Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia kept their cool when the rest of their teams didn’t. Dustin Pedroia's full thoughts: pic.twitter.com/CD1m40xlKa — Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) April 23, 2017 PERCEPTION: I gained a lot of respect for Dustin over the weekend. That statement from him after Sunday’s game says it all, and it should end any more retaliation talk. Pedroia knew Manny didn’t try to hurt him on Friday night. And Pedroia did not like that his pitcher threw at Manny’s head. Here's Pedroia/Machado exchange, initiated by Pedroia, after Matt Barnes […]

PiR: O’s Start Season with Logjam in the Outfield

Mark Trumbo of the Orioles in ready position in the outfield.
REALITY: Baltimore has a crowded outfield, and even more waiting in the wings. PERCEPTION: Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim and Mark Trumbo were obviously going to make the roster, but after that it was a battle.  Joey Rickard, Seth Smith and Craig Gentry won that battle. Trey Mancini also did his part to make the roster. He and Trumbo will share time at DH, and in the field. Plus Anthony Santander is on the 10-day disabled list. But then you also have Pedro Alvarez in Norfolk whose bat could earn […]

PiR: O’s Err in Letting Christian Walker Go for Nothing

Christian Walker throws in Spring Training.
Maybe you are new to the Eutaw Street Report. Let me explain this article a bit. I remember growing up reading the sports pages of the Baltimore Sun newspaper every single day. I really looked forward to one specific article that ran every month or so that was a “Fact and Opinion” column. I believe it was John Eisenberg who wrote it. It must have been popular, because I remember the sports editor of The Aegis in Harford County, Randy McRoberts, copying the idea every now and then in his […]

PiR: Sizing Up the O’s as the Offseason Approaches

Matt Wieters prepares to swing.
Reality: The AL East had three teams in the playoffs. Perception: Two of those teams, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, did not win a single game in the playoffs. The Toronto Blue Jays have won four games so far, but are currently down 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. Going into the postseason, the division had a 60% chance of putting a team in the World Series. I live in the south, where folks have this strange conference loyalty. When their team isn’t in it, they root […]

PiR: All-Or-Nothing Offense Will Only Ever Get So Far

Chris Davis and Manny Machado give a low five after Machado's home run.
Reality: The Baltimore Orioles have won more games than any other American League team since Buck Showalter became the Manager of the team. Buck Showalter is Baltimore's greatest manager since Weaver. Buck Showalter made a horrible boneheaded decision tonight. Both can be true. — Dan J. Glickman (@DanJGlickman) October 5, 2016 Perception: That fact has been lost to many fans. Maybe it was only in the heat of the moment last week, but there were so many Orioles fans tweeting that it was fine to fire Buck in the 24 […]

PiR: O’s Back in the Postseason Yet Again

Tommy Hunter holds an armful of beers as a teammate dumps champagne on his head.
Reality: The Orioles have made the playoffs three times in the last five seasons. The Orioles have made the postseason three times in five years since bringing back the cartoon bird. pic.twitter.com/IfxLNR135C — Justin McGuire (@JMcGuireSN) October 2, 2016 Perception: After not even getting to .500 from 1998 to 2011, this stat still gives me chills. There is a lot that goes into that… the start of the Manny Machado era. Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter arrived. And yes, the cartoon bird too. It was a total change in the […]

PiR: It’s Going to be a Tense Final Week in Birdland

Wade Miley of the Orioles pitches.
Reality: Trey Mancini became the 3rd player in MLB history to hit a home run in each of his first three starts. Perception: Mancini has been great so far. He is 4-for-11 with a double and three home runs. He has five RBI and two strike outs. Obviously, his career is not going to continue like that, but it’s a nice start and it’s been a good pick-up for a team that was really struggling offensively. Mancini got his chance after spending three-plus seasons in the minors. He was always […]

Perception is Reality: Buckling Up for the September Stretch Run

Manny Machado and Pedro Alvarez low five.
Reality: Chris Davis has 38 Home Runs on the year. Perception: In terms of Home Runs, Davis has had a really good season. He is likely to hit 40 home runs for the 3rd time in his career. However, when you look inside the numbers a bit more, it has been a really frustrating year. He is on pace to have the 2nd lowest number of hits, total bases, doubles, RBI, and second-lowest slugging percentage and OPS since his first full season with the Orioles (2012). He is also close […]

PiR: Settling in for a Wild Home Stretch in the AL East

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
Reality: Chris Tillman is 16-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 starts. Tillman's line: 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 BB and 4 strikeouts, threw 105/65. O's starters have 9 QS last 13 games with 3.15 ERA. — Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) September 11, 2016 Perception: Tillman is having a really great year, on pace to have the best season of his career. In 2013, Tillman went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 starts. Tillman will probably get four more starts during the regular season and he missed about […]

PiR: O’s Need to Continue Streak of Winning Septembers

Caleb Joseph in his catcher's gear.
Reality: Caleb Joseph has 0 runs batted in in 2016. Caleb Joseph still has a few weeks to sidestep some infamous baseball history https://t.co/kNv3Wy8Ld6 — Dan Connolly (@danconnolly2016) September 7, 2016 Perception: I really like Joseph so it’s hard for me to write this. But Joseph already has set the all-time record for a non-pitcher for AB without an RBI in a single season at 120. The record for any player is 137, set by Oscar Jones, a pitcher, in 1904. Oscar Jones, a pitcher, had 0 RBI for the […]

PiR: Kevin Gausman Turning Into the Ace the O’s Need?

Ace Ventura's head on Kevin Gausman's body.
Reality: Mark Trumbo is the 7th player in Orioles history to hit at least 40 home runs. Other #Orioles to hit 40: Davis (53 and 47), Anderson (50), F. Robinson (49), Gentile (46), Palmeiro (43), Cruz (40).. Eighth time. — Rich Dubroff (@RichDubroffCSN) August 28, 2016 Perception: Trumbo becomes the 7th Orioles (and the 8th overall time for the team) to hit that mark. The last time it happened? 2014 when Nelson Cruz did it. Most fans know the similarities in those two players. Cruz signed a one-year contract with […]

PiR: AL West’s Dominance of O’s is Nothing New

O's Steve Pearce reacts to a called third strike.
Reality: The Baltimore Orioles have struggled against the AL West all season. .@Orioles' record by division, in 2016: AL East: 26-21AL Central: 21-8AL West: 12-21Interleague: 8-5 — O's Stats & Facts (@BirdlandStats) August 21, 2016 Perception: This is not a rare occurrence for the O’s. The AL West has never been nice to the Birds. Since 2012, against American League teams only, Baltimore’s lowest winning percentage is against the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Their record against the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics is better. […]

PiR: One in Five Jonathan Schoop Homers Has Won the Game

Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop celebrate.
Reality: The Baltimore Orioles went 5-5 on their third and final West Coast Road Trip of 2016. @Orioles are"holding steady" after strong 1st half: coming off 5-5 road trip, they're 15-15 since All Star break. 45 gms left, 25 at HOME. — Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) August 15, 2016 Perception: As I said in this column one week ago, the Orioles needed to go 5-5 on the trip and they would be just find and that’s exactly what they did. They need to play .500 ball on the road, and with […]

PiR: Dylan Bundy O’s Most Important Deadline “Acquisition?”

Dylan Bundy pitches with the White Sox 1B coach in the background.
Reality: Since the All-Star break, in five starts, Dylan Bundy is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Dylan Bundy over his last four starts: 1.90 ERA, 23.2 IP, 12 H, 3 BB, 29 K — O's Stats & Facts (@BirdlandStats) August 7, 2016 Perception: That ERA is 10th best among AL starters in the second half of the season. Giving Bundy a chance to start every five days is probably the best move the Orioles have done this season, and it basically makes him the best move they made at the […]

PiR: Wade Miley Not Great, but Better than What O’s Had

Wade Miley of the Mariners pitches.
Reality: The Baltimore Orioles traded for left-handed pitcher Wade Miley. Perception: The Orioles did what the Orioles needed to do…pick up a starting pitcher, and a lefty at that. So why are Orioles fans all up in arms? Dan Duquette did exactly what he set out to do. Did you really think a pitcher like Chris Sale was coming to Baltimore? If you did, you need to do a bit more research on how things work. As we’ve said on this site many times before, the Orioles simply don’t have […]

PiR: Upton Would Provide O’s a Lift, Now and in October

Melvin Upton Jr. holds his bat.
Reality: The Baltimore Orioles have been in talks with the San Diego Padres about acquiring outfielder Melvin (no longer BJ) Upton Jr. Orioles and Blue Jays said to be leaders for melvin Upton Jr. Also been discussed in bigger deals involving more padres. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2016 Perception: I’ve heard a lot of fans say “Why are the Orioles trying for an outfielder instead of a pitcher? We have outfielders!” Let me try to explain. The Orioles are in desperate need of a quality starting pitcher, yes, […]

PiR: O’s Bats Cool As Summer Sizzles On

Manny Machado finishes his swing and watches as the ball flies, while the Blue Jays catcher stands behind him.
Reality: The Orioles have struggled to score runs since the All-Star Break. From 6/26 to 6/29, the @Orioles scored 35 runs over 27 innings. Before today, they scored just 2 runs in their previous 27 innings. — O's Stats & Facts (@BirdlandStats) July 21, 2016 Perception: Before Thursday’s win, the Orioles had scored just two runs in the previous three games. For a team that leads the league in home runs and is in the Top 10 in baseball in average, runs, and RBIs, the Yankees series was just not […]
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