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ESR Joins The Fanimal on 105.7

Colby Rasmus finishes his swing and watches the ball as he starts to run.
Did you know that 105.7 actually has SPORTS TALK on Saturday mornings now, as opposed to just financial advice snoozefests? At least for an hour, anyway. From 8-9 AM (for now – stay tuned), the Editor-in-Chief of this here site and of our sister site, Russell Street Report, Tony Lombardi, hosts “The Fanimal,” a jam-packed hour of sports talk geared solely towards those of us who root for the Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. Tony is joined by Miles Goodman and a local musician every episode. This week, Tony was kind […]

Orioles Are Just Pretending to Try to Contend

Mike Wright winds up to pitch.
The Orioles played their second MASN-televised game of the spring on Wednesday, a game started by Mike Wright, another less-than-thrilling name thrown into the mix for the fifth and final spot in the rotation. On the broadcast, announcers Jim Hunter and Jim Palmer fawned over the big right-hander for retiring six of the seven batters that he faced. Never mind the fact that he continuously missed his spots, throwing just 16 of his 31 pitches for strikes while facing a travel roster of Cardinals minor leaguers. On the radio side […]

Thursday Thoughts: When It’s Not Just About Ryan Flaherty

Brady Anderson and Dan Duquette talk with a microphone.
This is a weekly column that usually dives into some random thoughts about the Orioles/MLB. This week, I’m keeping things a bit more focused, as one issue in particular has drawn my ire. – A.S. I just spent about 10 minutes writing some of my Thursday Thoughts piece for @EutawStReport. 500+ words of anger and confusion and vitriol and had to step away. Gonna have to come back to it and polish. The #Orioles are frustrating as hell, folks. — Andrew Stetka (@AStetka) February 28, 2018 The Orioles continue to […]

Offseason Review, Spring Battles to Watch, & ’18 Predictions

Colby Rasmus swings and watches the ball fly.
Hello again, Orioles fans!  It’s been a long offseason but once again hope springs eternal as the Birds are back in Sarasota getting ready to begin the 2018 season. There’s a cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the team though, as it looks like the end of an era is here as there will be a mass exodus of players, coaches and front office executives after the season ends. For now though the team is still together and has one last shot at ending the World Series drought in Baltimore before […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links – Masahiro Gausman?

Kevin Gausman pitches in Sarasota.
The Birds got in the win column yesterday against Tampa, winning 2-1. So no more worrying that they would match 2016’s 0-10-2 start to Grapefruit League play, I suppose. Here’s Hunter Harvey throwing some gas in the start: Hunter Harvey, the @Orioles No. 4 prospect, was 💪 in his #SpringTraining debut: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K pic.twitter.com/hqSZJ4lcpk — MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 28, 2018 Gimme dem links. Hunter Harvey Stellar in Start, After Long Road to It Britt’s recap of the game and Harvey’s outing. […]

The Rundown: Rasmus Could Be Part of Effective Platoon

Colby Rasmus plays catch.
Welcome to the 2018 edition of “The Rundown” where I will try to highlight some of the bigger storylines involving the Orioles throughout the season. Let’s get right into it.   Right Field Competition The Orioles’ need for another left-handed hitter in their lineup led them to signing Colby Rasmus to a minor league contract. Barring a huge development, Rasmus will be in a platoon role and will help add more balance to the lineup against right-handed pitching. Rasmus may make his biggest impact defensively, as he is still considered […]

Monday’s O’s Links: The O’s Put the Funk in Dysfunctional

Pedro Alvarez of the Orioles prepares to hit.
The O’s went winless (though they managed a tie!) during the first weekend of Spring Training action. I think it was 2016 that they didn’t win a Grapefruit League game until like St. Patrick’s Day or something, right? Remember not to get caught up in these results, friends. Here are some things to get caught up in instead. With No Deal from O’s, Flaherty Starting Over with Phillies Don’t focus on the fact that it’s Ryan Flaherty being discussed here; the lede is buried. In this piece by Eduardo Encina […]

The Curious Case of Colby Rasmus

Coby Rasmus with his bat & Rays batting helmet.
The rabbit hole that is the 2018 Orioles offseason got deeper this week, as the Orioles locked up Colby Rasmus to a one-year, $3 million minor-league deal (with up to $5million with incentives). Dan Duquette, in an interview with Roch Kubatko, stated about Rasmus, “Colby Rasmus is a proven veteran player in the AL East who is a versatile outfielder with power and speed to make a meaningful contribution to the 2018 team.” I have only one issue with that comment, and I think Terry from Happy Gilmore can best […]

Friday’s O’s Links: Spring Training Games Start Today!

Manny Machado trots around the bases.
I have great news and not-so-great news. The great news first – BASEBALL IS ON TODAY! You can watch the Birds start Grapefruit League play against the new-look Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 on MASN, or listen on 105.7 The Fan. The not-so-great news: Mike Wright will be on the bump to kick things off. Not exactly setting the tone for a great season, huh? Here’s to Mike getting through his scheduled two innings without having a complete meltdown. In the meantime, whet your whistle with today’s O’s links: Orioles […]

Thursday Thoughts: Flurry of “Meh” Moves Don’t Move Needle

Colby Rasmus of the Rays.
This is a weekly column that dives into some random thoughts about the Orioles/MLB. I used to do eight as a nod to Cal Ripken Jr. As of last year, I’ve be cut it down to four or five, so consider it the Earl Weaver–Brooks Robinson era of Thursday Thoughts. – A.S. 1. The Orioles have added to their rotation over the last week, signing Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal and bringing back Chris Tillman on a one-year contract. These two pacts, considering the money involved, are completely fine […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links: Rasmus? Really?

Colby Rasmus rounds the bases after a HR.
My 11-month old is napping, so I have a couple minutes to get you some links on this gorgeous Wednesday. Let’s get right to it. Bird’s Eye View Episode 225: Pitching Staph Are we back to weekly BEV episodes?! Or is it, like this 70-degree weather over the last couple days, just a tease? Either way, listen in to hear Jake & Scott give their thoughts on Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, this year’s radio crew, and plenty more. Locked On Orioles: Episode 1 Justin McGuire, who does the awesome Baseball […]

Monday’s O’s Links: Chris Tillman is Back

Chris Tillman winds up to pitch.
In the least surprising move of the offseason, the Birds brought back Chris Tillman this morning. We all expected this, and it’s finally official. Chris Tillman is returning to orioles. Deal agreed to. — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 19, 2018 With incentives, the Tillman deal can reach up to $10 million. $3M is guaranteed. — Dan Connolly (@danconnolly2016) February 19, 2018 Player Opt-Outs Could Have Really Helped the Orioles Over at Camden Depot, Nate DeLong argues that, with the odd course this offseason has taken regarding free agent signings, along […]

Friday’s O’s Links: Straight Cashner, Homie

Andrew Cashner in an O's hat and Sunglasses.
You may have heard that the Orioles emerged from their winter hibernation yesterday and actually signed a pitcher. Let’s talk about that – and some other stuff – in today’s O’s Links. Here’s hopin’ Cashner negotiated an exemption from the Orioles’ stupid archaic facial hair policy that allows him to keep that sweet beard. Happy first Friday of Spring Training, Birdland. The Orioles are Paying Money to Andrew Cashner Jeff Sullivan writing about the Orioles? Be still my heart. If you’re looking for fancy-stat reasons to be bullish on Cashner…look […]

Orioles Sign Andrew Cashner to Two-Year Deal

Andrew Cashner pitches for the Padres.
Hey, they finally did something! Source: #orioles are signing RHP Andrew Cashner to a 2-year deal with $16 million guaranteed — Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 15, 2018 Andrew Cashner, most recently of the Texas Rangers, joins the Orioles as a much-needed actual MLB starting pitcher. That’s fun! Less fun are Cashner’s recent numbers and very concerning peripherals, of course. He was 11-11 for the Rangers in 2017, pitching 166.2 innings, allowing 156 hits, striking out 86 and walking 64, while posting a 3.40 ERA and 4.61 FIP. On the bright […]

Thursday Thoughts: Dark Cloud Hangs Over O’s Spring Training

Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, darkened.
Spring training is technically underway. But it’s important to remember that as we ease into another season, that stretching and building up your strength is important. We are going to ease into Thursday Thoughts for this season right here after what has been a strange and puzzling winter. It’s odd that Spring Training is underway even though it feels like the offseason has yet to start. That’s not just an Orioles thing, either, it’s that way throughout MLB. There are so many prominent free agents still on the market, you […]

Wednesday’s O’s Links: 2018 Gets Underway!

Miguel Castro throws in Sarasota.
I just can’t help myself. Logically, I know that this Orioles season is shaping up to be 162 games of disappointment and misery, perhaps the start of another stretch of dark years resembling 1998-2011. Even with that thought gnawing at the back of my mind though, I still get a bit giddy when I see the pictures of baseball players tossing and jogging down in Sarasota start scrolling through my Twitter feed. Then I think to myself, “hey, the last time everybody seemed this down on the Birds in February […]

Happy “Pitchers” and Catchers Day! I Guess?

empty baseball field with sun rising
Happy Pitchers & Catchers Day, Birdland! Yeah, that’s about the reaction I expected. For months, I’ve been using the (admittedly, bad!) joke that “Orioles PitcheR and Catchers report on February 13!” Never in my bleakest dark year-flashback dreams did I believe that I’d STILL be able to make that stupid joke as said pitcher and catchers were first reporting to the Ed Smith complex in Sarasota this morning. The Orioles haven’t signed a single legitimate big league starting pitcher since the 2017 season came to its disappointing close, despite that […]

O’s Probably Have Little Chance of Re-Signing Schoop Either

On Tuesday, the Orioles settled on a 1-year deal with their All-Star second baseman, Jonathan Schoop for $8.5 million, as the two sides avoided arbitration. Schoop had filed at $9 million, while the Orioles countered at $7.5 million before eventually agreeing to terms. The agreement leaves only Kevin Gausman without a Major League deal among the Orioles’ seven arbitration-eligible players, with a hearing date set for Monday, February 12th. While Schoop will be earning a raise of $5.025 million from last year’s contract, the interest of the Orioles and their fans […]

What in the Name of Earl Weaver is Going On Here?

Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette at O's Fan Fest on stage.
Since the conclusion of the 2017 season, countless articles (including my own) have been penned on what the Orioles could do to be ready to compete in 2018. From Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn to Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas, the thoughts and postulations over the Orioles future have been bountiful, with many of them holding a great deal of validity and intrigue. However, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Sarasota in 2 weeks (February 13th), I’m as confused as Biff Tannen witnessing a flying Delorean as to what the […]

Orioles Fans Aren’t Happy

A lonley oriole fan watches from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
I know, I know…I’m not exactly uncovering Watergate here. But before you give that headline a quick “a-duh!” and move on, give me a moment. I have data to support this assertion, and it’s not just of the looked-at-social-media-and-my-face-melted variety. First off, we need to acknowledge that Orioles fans are far from alone in being frustrated at our team’s lack of (or negative) movement this offseason. The talk of MLB has been the ridiculously low temperature of the usual “hot stove,” and how free agents are, as a group, languishing […]