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: O’s & Tigers Ready to Face Off

three orioles players running side by side
While O’s fans have plenty to gripe about, should we so choose –  no primetime games, we have to wake up extra early just to tailgate on Friday, in this writer’s opinion, the O’s are about to face the best team in baseball in the Detroit Tigers, etc. – but as Buck Showalter said yesterday, all of these complaints beat knowing what your tee time is today. The Orioles are back in the playoffs, and are primed to make a deep run this time.   ALDS Roster Includes Jimenez Well […]

THE RUNDOWN: Birds Take Off for Final Regular Season Road Trip

orioles pitcher chen after just throwing ball
The final week of the regular season begins tonight for the Orioles as they head to New York to take on the Yankees. There are really only two goals for the team as they play out the last two series: get everyone healthy, and stay that way. The O’s still have a chance for the best record in the American League and their goal is to win every game, but as we have seen in the last week, all it takes is a high fastball to the back to knock […]

THE RUNDOWN: Postseason Rotation Musings

pitcher for baltimore orioles with arm back before throwing ball
Another series, another round of unlikely heroes leading the Orioles to victory. The four-game set against the New York Yankees started Friday afternoon with a walk-off hit for Jimmy Paredes and ended on Sunday night with a walk-off hit by Kelly Johnson. Just O’mazing. Now the Toronto Blue Jays come to town against a team fully motivated to clinch a division title in Baltimore. Magic number down to 3 It has been enjoyable to watch social media blow up after every Orioles win with a countdown of the Orioles magic […]

THE RUNDOWN: Magic Number Dwindles, Miller Tiring?

orioles andrew miller with arm back before throwing pitch
The Orioles will finish their 11-game homestand this week with a three-game set starting tonight against the Cincinnati Reds. The rosters have expanded, a couple trades were made, and the final stretch run towards a division title has begun. September may be the longest month ever for O’s fans as we wait for the Birds to clinch the East. The Magic Number is Down to 19 This number fluctuates by the game, but the fact remains, the Orioles have a real shot to win the division before they hit the […]

THE RUNDOWN: Tillman Putting it Together, Gausman Struggling

orioles player tillman holding hat brim looking down
After near panic set in last weekend with the Orioles being swept by the Chicago Cubs while having three former teammates dominate them on the mound, and having their lead in the American League East dwindle, the O’s returned home and returned to their winning ways this week against the Tampa Bay Rays. Their lead in the East has also grown to seven games over the New York Yankees. The Orioles continue their 11-game homestand tonight with the start of a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins over the Labor […]

THE RUNDOWN: Wallace Key to O’s Success

baltimore orioles catcher and pitcher huddled talking to referee
The Orioles lose Matt Wieters for the year, Manny Machado for an extended period of time on two separate occasions, Chris Davis struggles offensively all season long plus makes a stint on the Disabled List, and their big offseason signing in Ubaldo Jimenez has been moved to the bullpen. Yet, the team is 20 games over .500 and in cruise control to winning the American League East. Ubaldo Jimenez moving the bullpen Buck Showalter made a bold move when he decided to move Jimenez to the bullpen. I know that […]

Davis Needs to Be Moved Down the Batting Order – Now!

batter holding bat with mouth open looking off into distance
Buck Showalter is very loyal. This is one of many reasons why players love playing for him. However, one of his greatest strengths as a manager is also one of his bigger weaknesses. When Jim Johnson blew three consecutive saves last season in May and again in August, Buck stayed with him. You could make the argument that Showalter staying with an average pitcher as the team’s closer led to the Orioles missing the playoffs. Showalter has another huge decision to make this year with another former All-Star – Chris […]

Looking at Early August Schedules in the AL East

Darren O'Day and Jose Bautista share glances.
I try to look only a couple series ahead when it comes to baseball schedules. We have heard a lot how difficult the Orioles schedule is for the rest of the season, but how do their next couple series stack up against the rest of the American League East? Let’s take a look. The Red Sox are not included because that blow out loss last night pretty much cements their fate in terms of competing for the division. I feel like they have been done for weeks, but if you […]

Down O’n The Farm: Bundy Hiccups, Walker, Alvarez Earn Promotions

orioles player at bat waiting for baseball
With the Orioles (and several minor league affiliates) on their All-Star break, I think it is a good time to check in on how some of the top prospects are doing. This is based off the top 10 prospect rankings according to Baseball America that was released in the offseason and then a couple of notables.   1. Dylan Bundy Bundy has struggled in his first two starts with the Frederick Keys after a stint with the Aberdeen IronBirds. Bundy has an ERA over 7.00 and has given up six […]

Big Second Halves from Davis, Manny, Ubaldo Could Propel Birds

manny machado with hands on knees waiting in outfield
With less than a week until the All-Star break, the Orioles find themselves three games up over the second place Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East and nine games over .500. It seems like it has been a struggle and the O’s haven’t played their best ball yet, but the record indicates otherwise. With the second half of the season underway, here are some questions concerning the Orioles the rest of the way:   What to do with Chris Davis? The hope is that Chris Davis snapped out […]

Soft Schedule Is Here – Can Birds Take Advantage?

baseball player looking up after hitting ball at home plate
The Orioles finished a 13-game stretch against American League East opponents with an 8-5 record and now return home for 11 straight games against teams with a sub-.500 record. After the 11-game homestand, the O’s go on the road for a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox, so the next 14 games will be against teams with (currently) more losses than wins. The O’s find themselves only 1.5 games back from the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the East. Between the schedule and the Blue Jays and […]

Down O’n the Farm: Bundy Impresses in First Start After TJS

bundy pitcher for baltimore orioles
Every couple of weeks I like to check in to see how the top minor leaguers in the organization are faring, so I figured I would update those who do not follow the farm system closely. This is based off the top 10 prospect rankings according to Baseball America that was released in the offseason and then a couple of notables.   Dylan Bundy – It has almost been a year since the top prospect underwent Tommy John Surgery and he is finally seeing “real” game action. In his first […]

Birds’ Offense, Not Pitching, Keeping Them in Neutral in 2014

hardy batting for baltimore orioles
The Orioles offense has become a mystery as of late, and it has happened at a time where they are finally getting the starting pitching needed to compete on a consistent basis. Not many people predicted the Orioles offense to be ranked 10th in runs in the American League in the middle of June. With the injuries to Manny Machado, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters, the projected starting lineup in March never came to be. It is ironic that their struggles are coming in a month where they are finally […]

Tillman, Jimenez, Davis, Machado – Plenty to Worry About in Birdland

orioles player on mound after throwing ball
After a weekend that saw the Orioles lose two of three to the Oakland A’s and have their star third baseman, Manny Machado, act immature on multiple occasions, the team is coming up on a crucial two-week stretch in their schedule. The schedule hasn’t been kind to the Orioles all season long and it doesn’t get any easier with the next 13 games coming against the American League East. We will find out over these next two weeks how fun this summer will be in Birdland. In order for it […]

COUNTERPOINT: O’s Need Samardzija to “Win Now”

pitcher for chicago cubs with arm back holding baseball before pitch
Depending who you believe, the Orioles are either a) the leading candidate to land Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija; or b) they haven’t had one conversation about him. Would Samardzija help the Orioles? Of course! The question is, who would the Orioles have to give up to acquire the pitcher? The conversation would start with Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy and would continue with Eduardo Rodriguez, Mike Wright, Hunter Harvey (can’t be traded until after the MLB draft), Jonathan Schoop, Christian Walker, and Dariel Alvarez. The O’s would have […]

Time for a New Closer

orioles player after just throwing pitch
With another blown save last night by Tommy Hunter, it is time for Buck Showalter to move in another direction before it is too late. Showalter is very loyal as a manger; it is his biggest strength, but also his biggest weakness. Showalter believes strongly in a track record and that allows him to stick with a struggling player. However, Hunter does not have a track record as a closer. He is not coming off a great season like Jim Johnson was last year. In fact, many people even questioned […]

Starters Can’t Go Deep, Bats Can’t Make Opposing Starters Work

orioles team player flaherty up to bat
When I read the options for ESR’s poll question of “What O’s problem will be their biggest going forward?” (lack of power, inability of starters to go deep, low on-base percentage, or bullpen struggles) this morning, I immediately thought, “No option for all of the above?”  I kid of course, but each option is a concern and it has led to the .500 start for the Orioles after their first 24 games. The lack of power is probably the least of my concerns. The weather and the combination of the […]

Down O’n the Farm: Yoon Struggles, Weeks Surges

pitcher for baltimore orioles after throwing pitch on mound
All of the Orioles’ minor league affiliates have at least 10 games in the books so far this season, so I figure this is a good time to take a look and see how some of the baby birds are doing. I never look at the records of these teams as I care more about the progression of each player, but the record will be noted to keep you informed.   NORFOLK TIDES (3-8) Kevin Gausman – Gausman has started two games, pitching a total of 8.2 innings. The organization […]

Still Plenty of Questions for O’s as Spring Training Winds Down

orioles player at bat waiting on pitch
We all wanted it, we all hoped for it, but deep down, we all knew it was unrealistic to expect that Manny Machado would run down the orange carpet on Opening Day. The Orioles made the right decision in announcing Machado would start the season on the disabled list. Machado could miss a week, two weeks, maybe most of April, but the O’s knew it was more important to have Machado’s patented line drive swing hitting doubles later this summer than in April. They wisely decided not to rush him. […]

Duquette’s Words Leave No Doubt: He’s Preparing O’s for the Postseason

orioles team giving high fives on baseball mound
With the recent moves the Orioles have made, there seems to be one common denominator (other than the obvious one, good ballplayers). Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter clearly have in mind to go after players who succeed down the stretch and into October. After every transaction, Duquette always finds a way to use the word “playoffs” when mentioning why the organization went after that particular player. On the signing of Delmon Young: “The thing he does well is he can hit when you need a hit in the playoffs.” On the […]
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