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About Phil Backert

Phil Backert

Phil Backert grew up in Rising Sun, Maryland loving the Orioles, Ravens, and Terps. After going away to college outside Philadelphia and playing baseball for four years, he moved back to Maryland, and currently resides in White Marsh. Phil interned with Sports Talk 1570AM, WNST during college which eventually led to producing “The Fighting Ungers” on Saturday mornings after he graduated. When FOX Sports 1370AM launched, Phil jumped on the opportunity to produce full-time. He produced “The Rob Long Show” from 2008-2011 until management decided to flip formats from sports talk to news. Phil is currently a Producer for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

The Rundown: Jonathan Schoop Exceeding Expectations

Jonathan Schoop smiles during Spring Training 2015.
The Orioles start a West Coast swing tonight, which means there will be a lot of late nights in Baltimore, leading to heavy eyes and extra coffee in offices all over Charm City. After another Boston Red Sox loss, the O’s now have a 4.5-game lead in the American League East. Speaking of the Red Sox, they decided to hold a team meeting after their recent loss and former Orioles pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez has been demoted to the minors after struggling once again. It’s a good time to be […]

The Rundown: Kevin Gausman Relying Too Heavily on his Fastball

Matt Wieters and Kevin Gausman walk from the bullpen.
It has been a very frustrating start to the week for the Orioles, as they have blown three-run leads in consecutive games, dropping both after coming off back-to-back series wins against the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. The team will turn to Ubaldo Jimenez on Wednesday and pray he can find a way to pitch well enough to stop the losing streak at only two games. Thursday is a much-needed off day, and then a series against the Tampa Bay Rays begins on Friday, when the team will […]

The Rundown: Pedro Alvarez Providing Big Lift to O’s Offense

Pedro Alvarez of the Orioles prepares to hit.
The Orioles will look to bounce back against the Boston Red Sox after dropping the last three games of the four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The O’s will have Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman take the mound in the series, which should give them an opportunity to find a way to win two games.   GALLARDO RETURNS THIS WEEKEND After completing his final rehab start on Monday night, Yovani Gallardo is expected to return to the Orioles on Saturday and pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. We should […]

Word on the Street: Kim Continues to Impress

Hyun Soo Kim and Wayne Kirby bump fists.
Hyun Soo Kim picked up three more hits Friday night and is hitting .391. He is adjusting to MLB play very nicely. Press play or read below for more. After dropping the first two games of the Boston Red Sox series and looking like a team that may not be in the same class as their counterpart, the O’s found a way to win the next two games of the series despite horrific starting performances by Mike Wright and Ubaldo Jimenez. After a win on Friday night against the New […]

The Rundown: May Unkind to Chris Davis Once Again

Chris Davis prepares to defend at first base.
The Orioles will look to even the series against the Boston Red Sox tonight, with Kevin Gausman taking the mound against former O’s prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. I hate labeling games must-win at the end of May, but the Orioles need to keep pace with a team that has been clicking on all cylinders for the entire month. These are the games you like seeing Gausman start as it will only benefit him later in the season.   WILSON CONTINUES TO IMPRESS Tyler Wilson will never be a top of the […]

The Rundown: O’s Have No Problem Forfeiting Draft Picks

orioles player matusz with arm back about to throw pitch
Chris Tillman looks to win his seventh game of the season as the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros. The Astros are one of the, if not the, most disappointing teams this season as they currently sit in last place in the American League West after earning a trip to the playoffs in 2015. Houston is currently riding a four-game losing streak so the O’s need to take advantage and with Tillman, Tyler Wilson and Kevin Gausman scheduled to pitch this series, the opportunity will be there […]

The Rundown: Will the Jimenez Roller Coaster Stabilize?

Ubaldo Jimenez throws in a Spring Training game.
The Orioles will look to bounce back against the Seattle Mariners, who come to town for three starting today. The O’s, of course, had their seven game win streak snapped on Sunday when Darren O’Day lost focus on two pitches due to the first base umpire not knowing what a check swing is. In the end, the O’s took two of three from the Detroit Tigers and no one can be upset about that. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox are also playing out of their minds so the Orioles haven’t […]

Word on the Street: Great Early Results for Tillman’s New Arsenal

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
Chris Tillman‘s tweaked arsenal of pitches has him hurling as good as, or better than, ever early in 2016. Can he keep it going against Detroit? Click play or read below for more. Chris Tillman takes the mound tonight for the Orioles against the Detroit Tigers and will look to win his fifth game of the season and continue his huge bounce back season. The right-hander has a 3.05 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP, but more impressive is his 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings which ranks in the top 25 […]

The Rundown: Manny On Fire, But Jones Stays Ice Cold

Manny Machado swings in the on-deck circle.
After struggling throughout the Yankees series and in the opener of the Athletics series, the Orioles offense woke up in the final two games of the weekend, highlighted by an 11-run outburst on Mother’s Day. The inconsistency of the offense has been the biggest surprise this season, but they showed once again that they can flat out rake when everyone is clicking. The O’s now have a seven-game stretch against teams that are struggling big time in the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. This is a big opportunity for them […]

The Rundown: How Will O’s Line Up in Hardy’s Absence?

Paul Janish bats in spring training.
The Orioles let a chance to win the series slip away against the Chicago White Sox and instead settled for a split, along with suffering a couple of injuries. The New York Yankees come to town struggling in a big way as they have dropped five consecutive games. The Yankees offense ranks 28th in baseball and their pitching ranks 24th. There is no denying this is a bad baseball team right now and the Orioles have to capitalize on that this week.   HARDY SUFFERS HAIRLINE FRACTURE IN LEFT FOOT […]

The Rundown: Gausman Pitches Well, but Offense is in a Rut

Manny Machado holding baseball bat with frustrated look
The Orioles will look to end their two-game losing streak on Tuesday night with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound for the Birds. Buck Showalter will also try and navigate through a bench that currently consists of the backup catcher that night, an outfielder in Nolan Reimold and a player in Hyun-Soo Kim that can’t be used as a pinch hitter, pinch runner, or defensive replacement. One of my biggest complaints with Showalter over the years has been the lack of him using the bench to keep the starters fresh throughout […]

Word on the Street: O’s Cruising, and Gausman Should Give a Boost

orioles pitcher gausman arm back before throwing pitch
The Orioles have been cruising along nicely in the early going, starting off at 10-4 and building a 3.5-game cushion in the AL East. The return of Kevin Gausman should give the rotation a much-needed boost. Press play or read below for more: The Orioles took two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays in a big early season series and now will look to continue their winning ways this weekend in Kansas City against the defending champions. I have been very critical of the starting rotation and despite teetering […]

The Rundown: Buck Needs More from Starters, Walker & Mancini Rake

Christain Walker completes his swing.
April baseball consists of rainouts, cold weather, and scheduled off-days and the Orioles have had to deal with it all through their first 11 games. The O’s return home on Tuesday night to take on the Toronto Blue Jays and begin a stretch of 13 consecutive games. The team – and especially Mike Wright, who will take the mound in the first game – is probably looking forward to finally getting into a routine as the third week of the season begins.   SECOND GUESSING BUCK Twitter was buzzing Saturday […]

The Rundown: Ubaldo’s Personal Catcher?

Ubaldo Jimenez throws in a Spring Training game.
Dating back to last season, the Baltimore Orioles are currently riding a 10-game win streak. The start this year has been very impressive with the starting pitchers throwing the ball well and the offense showing signs of what many people expected from them heading into the season. It’s amazing to think that the team can be without Adam Jones and move a rookie into the leadoff position and into centerfield and not miss a beat. There will be challenges throughout the season, but the awful start to spring training seems […]

The Rundown: How Will Orioles Fill Out Lineup, Rotation?

Zach Britton looks into home plate.
We have reached the point in spring training where I am refreshing every weather website ten times a day to see what the outlook will be for Monday. That’s how close we are to Opening Day. However, with the start of the regular season days away, the Orioles still have questions to be answered.   STARTING ROTATION Miguel Gonzalez struggled this spring and most thought he was pitching for his job on Tuesday night. Gonzalez answered the bell, but apparently that wasn’t good enough. The Orioles decided to part ways […]

THE RUNDOWN: Could Joey Rickard be a Full-Time Player?

Joey Rickard in a home run trot.
The 2016 spring training for the Baltimore Orioles can be summarized by one word: injuries. The Orioles aren’t the only team dealing with injuries, but from Brian Matusz to Jimmy Paredes to T.J. McFarland to Matt Wieters and finally Kevin Gausman, there has been no lack of players missing time in the month of March.   GAUSMAN’S TENDINITIS NO NEW ISSUE Gausman says he hopes to be back by the first or second week of the season. The way the early part of the season is scheduled, the Orioles would […]

THE RUNDOWN: Gonzalez Struggles, Walker Auditions at a New Position

Miguel Gonzalez pitches against the Red Sox.
Opening Day is about three weeks away and there are still many questions surrounding the Baltimore Orioles, one of the latest involving catcher Matt Wieters. This seems like it was more of a scare than anything else (as X-Rays and MRI were clean), but any setback this late in spring training could put a player’s status for the start of the regular season in question. If Wieters is able to get back in game action next week he should be fine, but this is another reminder that no one knows […]

The Rundown: Injuries More Worrisome Than Early Results

Brian Matusz throws in Sarasota.
I have learned not to read too much into spring training stats so I will dismiss the first ugly starts for Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez. However, I stayed positive last year with Bud Norris during his spring struggles and we all know how that story ended. The good news is, games are in full swing now and fans can see the roster Dan Duquette and company worked hard to put together this past winter.   INJURIES EARLY IN CAMP Regardless of the sport, the number one goal for teams […]

Yovani Gallardo Rumors Show O’s Desperation

buck showalter standing by fence talking to dan duquette
The Orioles have once again become desperate. It appears it is no longer if, but when the team will sign right-hander Yovani Gallardo. This sounds all too familiar to 2014 when the organization panicked and signed Ubaldo Jimenez in spring training. As we’re all aware, that deal hasn’t led to the kind of results they’d hoped for. Gallardo is a durable veteran pitcher, which this team desperately needs. The soon to be 30-year-old has pitched at least 180 innings in every season since 2009 along with at least 30 starts […]

THE RUNDOWN: Waiting for Some Movement

Chris Davis smirks while in extended Spring Training for the Baltimore Orioles.
The MLB Winter Meetings is two weeks away and there will finally be some action to talk about as the off-season has remained relatively quiet since the end of the World Series. There have been plenty of rumors however; especially involving the Orioles with the many needs this team has in order to put together a team to get back to the playoffs next season.   ANGELOS INVOLVED IN DAVIS NEGOTIATIONS   This shouldn’t be a surprise is expected when a team will have to commit six or seven years […]
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