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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.

Moving Adam Jones Up to 2nd in the Order

baltimore orioles player adam jones swinging bat
Is it time to re-visit the way that batting orders are constructed? Typically, your best hitter hits 4th as the “clean up” hitter. Since I was a little boy, I have never understood why. I mean, the 4th hitter in the line-up is only your 4th hitter in the first inning. If you go down in order in the 1st, he is your lead-off hitter in the 2nd. Later on in the game, he could be hitting at any spot of the inning. Because of that, I have never fully […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Roster Crunch About to Amp Up?

oriole player paredes swinging baseball bat
REALITY: J.J. Hardy was set to start a rehab assignment this weekend, but the team deemed him “not quite ready” for games. PERCEPTION: It was reported Wednesday night that Hardy expects to not need any more than about 20 at-bats on his minor league rehab, meaning that, hopefully, within the next couple weeks, Hardy could be recalled to the Orioles. If he is, what happens? Jonathan Schoop has proven himself to be the Orioles “every day” second baseman. I say every day in quotes because Orioles manager Buck Showalter will […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: No Nellie? No Problem!

baltimore maryland orioles player with arms up
REALITY: The Orioles led the league in home runs in 2014, and currently lead the league in 2015. PERCEPTION: The Orioles may have as many wins as they have losses, but it’s not because of their offense. Everyone was worried about the loss of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis and how the team would recover their offense. Well, that has not been a problem at all. Travis Snider has filled in nicely for Markakis, so stat-wise they cancel each other out. Yes, Cruz’s numbers are not easy to duplicate, but […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Can These O’s Heat Up on Homestand?

jones batting at orioles game with crowd in background
REALITY: Matt Wieters said a target date for his return could be May 1st, but that is not set in stone. PERCEPTION:  I think it’s more realistic to say that Wieters will not return in a full-time role before the All-Star break. This is not an easy injury to return from, and for a guy playing one of the most demanding positions he will need a lot of rehab to get back to a place of playing a three-hour game each night. We know that Caleb Joseph is fully capable […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Bubble Players Make Final Push

baltimore orioles reimold waiting for pitch
REALITY: Ubaldo Jimenez has improved this spring, but a glance around Twitter reveals that he doesn’t seem to be making many new fans. PERCEPTION:  Why is that? Why are Orioles fans hoping or wishing that Jimenez fails? Everyone complains that the Orioles do not spend enough money in the offseason. You do realize that if Jimenez fails, you can kiss any chance of the Orioles spending money in future offseasons goodbye? Last offseason, the Orioles spent the most money they have ever spent on a free-agent pitcher to sign Jimenez. […]

Is a Matusz Trade in the Works?

orioles baseball pitcher about to throw pitch
REALITY: Pitcher Hunter Harvey will have his innings monitored in the minor leagues this year. PERCEPTION: Harvey is supposed to be the next young pitching stud. If the Orioles are monitoring his innings this year, that means they could be pulling him up when rosters expand in September. I doubt that he would make a significant enough contribution this season to where they pull him up in August and add him to the playoff roster, but they want him to get some major league experience. That means the Orioles could […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Davis Gets Work in RF

baseball player looking up after hitting ball at home plate
REALITY: Chris Davis started Saturday’s Spring Training workout in Right Field. PERCEPTION: If Davis moves to RF on a regular basis, this really changes the Orioles defensive lineup. With Jones in CF and Davis in RF, you now take away a position for a bunch of other guys. Originally Travis Snider, Steve Pearce, Alejandro De Aza, David Lough and Delmon Young were battling for LF, RF, and DH. They would now be battling for just LF and DH. I think that with Davis in RF, Snider is the leader for […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Crowded ST Competitions

orioles players sitting around fence watching something
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 happened every month or so that was a “Fact and Opinion” column. I believe it was John Eisenberg who wrote it. (Ed note: Yes, it was John. Check out his most recent stuff at BaltimoreRavens.com). It must have been popular, because I remember the sports editor of The Aegis […]

5 Questions as Pitchers & Catchers Report

empty baseball field with sun rising
It may not feel like it anywhere outside of Florida and California, but it’s baseball season! I have already been to my first game, as I went to opening day at the University of South Carolina and watch the Gamecocks drop their first game against the College of Charleston. It was a frigid 40-degree night, but I didn’t care. I was at a baseball stadium, watching baseball, with my dad. There may not be anything better. As the Orioles get ready to start Spring Training, I have been trying to […]

Let’s Let Dan Duquette Work!

dan duquette speaking at orioles press conference
The Baltimore Orioles front office has some work to do. They signed J. J. Hardy during the playoffs, and that was a great start, but since then O’s fans have become very nervous. Nelson Cruz signed a 4-year, $58 million contract with the Seattle Mariners Monday. The Orioles will get a compensatory pick (between the first and second rounds) in next summer’s draft, but that doesn’t fill the hole left for this season. They have to find someone to replace Cruz’s .271 batting average and especially his 40 home runs. […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Rumors in Birdland

baltimore orioles player after just hitting ball
Reality: The O’s and Nick Markakis are close to agreeing on a new deal.  Perception: Markakis will very likely finish his career as a Baltimore Oriole. Jeff Passan from Yahoo reported Thursday that his sources say the Orioles and Markakis have made significant progress on a four-year deal believed to be worth about $10-$12 million per year. Earlier in the week it was said that Markakis agent was meeting with other teams about his client. However, they were just trying to get leverage. It’s likely that other teams weren’t really serious, […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: So Long, Brian Roberts

md orioles player waiting for pitcher
Reality: Brian Roberts is officially retiring from Major League Baseball. Perception: Roberts announced on Fox Sports Radio that he was “moving on to the next stage of his life”. In 14 major league seasons, Roberts was one of the best players to ever put on an Orioles uniform. He has more than 1,500 hits, more than 365 doubles, and 285 stolen bases. Roberts isn’t quite Hall-of-Fame material, but he’s definitely one that should be in the Orioles Hall-of-Fame. Unfortunately, Roberts suffered through 11 losing seasons with the Orioles 2012 playoff […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: O’s on the Brink

orioles manager sitting in front of microphone during press conference
Reality: Jeremy Guthrie didn’t get the response he expected when he wore a shirt that read “The O’s Ain’t Royal” t-shirt to the Game 3 post-game press conference. Perception: Guthrie thought he was being playfully funny. That’s why he apologized on twitter later. Samuel Njoku from CBS Baltimore tweeted: Remember that time when Terrell Suggs wore that shirt with Tomlin almost tripping Jacoby Jones? No? … nobody? I love Njoku’s perspective 99% of the time, but I don’t agree with this one. Suggs shirt was playful, and even the Steelers […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

we wont stop orioles towel
Reality: The Royals and Orioles are evenly matched, which makes for great games. Perception: I’m not sure there could be two teams that are more evenly matched than these two teams. It not only shows in how close the games are, but also in how long these games are taking. The first two games of the ALCS took nine hours combined, and were played in a 24 hours period. The Orioles have never been swept in a postseason series, and I don’t see that happening this year either. They will […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Baseball’s TV Problem

poster for mlb postseason
Reality: Baseball might be hurting themselves by putting the playoffs on networks that are not accessible to everyone. Perception: Colin Cowherd from ESPN said, “”ESPN, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, TBS, TNT, ESPPN2, MLB network… Are the MLB playoffs trying to play hide and seek with me?” Pay Sajak tweeted: “Maybe MLB can get 2 or 3 more networks to air their playoff games. Right now, I’m able to find them in under 30 min.” That’s the sense many are getting. I don’t have cable or satellite so without […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: October’s O’s & Tigers Aren’t May’s Versions

empty baseball field with postseason 2014 written on field
Reality: The Orioles will play at least two, maybe three, day games during the American League Divisional Series. Perception: That’s not the best news for Orioles fans. The O’s were just 24-30 in day games in 2014 (as opposed to 72-36 during night games). The Tigers were 32-29 in day games. The Birds actually have the worst record of any playoff team in day games. So it’s not a perfect set up for the Orioles, but due to TV rights and overlapping all all of that, we just have to deal […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Who Will Step Up at Hot Corner?

orioles player with arm out and one leg up in air
Reality: Orioles third basemen have committed 5 errors in the past 7 games. Perception: Ryan Flaherty has two, Jimmy Paredes has two, and Kelly Johnson has one. Johnson also had one playing second base last night. The players sure aren’t making it easy for Buck Showalter. As Buck looks to finalize a playoff roster, who do you go with at third? Flaherty was the best defensive option, but the team picked up Paredes and Johnson to hopefully help some offensively too. Defensively, Flaherty still gets the nod, especially because he […]

Perception is Reality: O’s Should Clinch During Homestand

fireworks going off at camden yards
Reality: This is a special season for the Orioles. Perception: It’s everyone contributing something. I mean think about it – over the weekend, Buck Showalter gave many of the big names a day off, and everyone on twitter gave up on that game Sunday before it even started. I tweeted that the Orioles would win that game, because that’s exactly what they have done all year. They went on to do just that, and they just continue to win. Without Matt Wieters and Manny Machado, the Orioles players have each […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Some O’s Deserve Awards this Season

orioles player blowing bubble from gum standing next to team manager
Reality: The Orioles have played in front of tiny crowds the last 2 nights. Perception: The Orioles still had a 6-game lead in the American League East on Monday, but were swept by the Cubs in Chicago. A lot of fans were very discouraged and started wondering if the Orioles would be able to recover. So when the Birds got back to Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday night, they were welcomed home by just 13,000 fans in attendance. Everyone took notice, and on twitter I defended us against everyone […]

PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Ubaldo Hits the Pen

orioles player on mound after throwing ball
Reality: Ubaldo Jimenez was demoted to the bullpen. Perception: After signing a contract worth $50 million this offseason, Jimenez has not lived up to expectations. He is 4-9 on the season with a 4.83 ERA in 20 games. Something had to be done, and there weren’t many options. No matter how bad some fans gripe, Jimenez was not going anywhere. They invested a lot of money and years into him and they are going to give him every chance they can to get back on track, especially during the offseason. […]
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