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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: 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 […]

THE RUNDOWN: O’s Will Look to Improve Rotation, OBP

kansas city royals alex gordon about to hit the baseball
Alright, Birdland, we all know what went wrong this past season. With the playoffs getting underway, it’s now time to look towards the critical offseason of the Baltimore Orioles. Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette spoke to the media on Monday afternoon and gave a blueprint on what is to come. IMPROVING ROTATION IS TOP PRIORITY This was clearly the biggest reason the O’s aren’t getting ready to play October baseball. The Orioles can’t go into next season with Miguel Gonzalez, Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson and others fighting for the last […]

THE RUNDOWN: More Bad News for Harvey, & Time to Look Ahead

baltimore oriole alvarez swinging bat after hit
After last night’s postponement, the Orioles will again attempt to begin a three-game series with the Nationals in the nation’s capital, which means the paid attendance and viewers get to watch pitchers pretend to be hitters. I’m not sure what baseball was thinking when this series was scheduled last year, but hopefully this isn’t an issue again. If the Orioles were still in a playoff race this would be a bigger story, but since they aren’t, the competitive disadvantage will get swept under the rug. HARVEY’S INJURED ELBOW FLARES UP […]

THE RUNDOWN: How About that Jonny Beisbol?

baltimore maryland orioles player with arms up
We all know that after the sweep of the Oakland A’s in the middle of August, the Orioles’ season took a turn for the worse, as they lost 16 out of 20 before finding a way to win four of their last five. If they found a way to just win four games out of those 16 losses their record would be flipped and we would be on the edge of our seats for the last three weeks of the season. This team had their flaws all season and battled […]

THE RUNDOWN: Don’t Question O’s Effort, or Jones’ Leadership

adam jones fist pumping fan in stands as he runs by
After another brutal week for the Orioles, their playoff hopes have become more of a pipe dream than anything resembling a potential reality. The starting pitchers continue to struggle and the offense is lucky to finish a game with more than three runs. Another struggling team, the Tampa Bay Rays, comes to town tonight for the start of a three-game series and the O’s are hoping a return to Oriole Park is what they need to turn the season with only a little over 30 games left to play.   […]

THE RUNDOWN: Jones Playing Too Shallow?

Adam Jones makes a catch in spring training
Exactly a week ago I wrote about the Orioles completing a four-game sweep of the Oakland A’s and how they were sitting pretty in the wild card picture. Now, the team has lost five straight, are back to .500 for the first time since late July and are 2.5 games out of the second wild card position. Who knows what the storyline will be next week, but the confidence looks at an all-time low right now watching these guys play and even though I respect the comments Manny Machado made […]

THE RUNDOWN: Clevenger Forcing His Way Into the Lineup

Steve Clevenger of the Baltimore Orioles swings in Spring Training 2015.
Baseball is such a funny game. One day you get no-hit and drop two of three from the Seattle Mariners and the next thing you know, you complete a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics. It’s so easy to have a football mentality and react to every outcome, but the adage of “it’s a long season” is so true. However, with fewer than 50 games left in the regular season, wins hold more meaning and losses come with just a bit more sting.   O’s Facing Elite of Elite Starters […]
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