I got it! The Orioles starting center fielder’s last name is Pie. There has to be something funny to say about that…
The Baltimore Orioles fan-base has had very little to cheer about since a brief period of relevance during the mid-nineties. This once proud franchise was a powerhouse from the early 1970′s to the early 1980′s bringing home two world series championships and appearing in three more. Their 1971 team that lost to the Willie Stargell led Pirates, was the last team to boast four twenty game winners and is in the conversation for best pitching rotation ever. Their hall of fame skipper Earl Weaver was caustic and funny as hell. If you want to see some of the best umpire chewing out of all time, look at this from the interwebs.
In an attempt to return to mediocrity, the Oriole’s roster has changed quite a bit from that year’s bag of crap. They have added quite a few veteran baseball players that, in past years, have proven that they know how to play baseball. Notable roster additions include; Derek Lee, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, Justin Duchscherer and Kevin Gregg. The team has also added notable disciplinarian and team turner arounder Buck Showalter (the nickname Buck comes from being “buck naked” in the lockerroom, during his playing days).
Today’s game pitted the American League East basement dwellers against the Philadelphia Phillies who many pundits predict have a starting rotation to rival the 1971 Orioles hurlers. Roy Oswalt made his Phillies spring debut opposing Orioles youngster Chris Tillman.
This was kind of a “meh” day for Oswalt. He went two innings giving up a run, one walk and two hits. Because of the amount of scrutiny surrounding the Phillies this spring, it seems like all the ridiculous minutiae of spring training is being brought to the forefront. Pitchers like Oswalt use spring training to sharpen up and get ready to carve people up during the regular season. Guys like Kyle Kendrick use spring training to try and solidify their roster spot. I think the guys on this pitching staff know what they are doing and no amount of meh days are going to make me think otherwise.
None of the aforementioned Orioles appeared in today’s contest. The only Baltimore starters that appeared today were Matt Wieters and Felix Pie. Wieters went 3-4 with two RBIs. Wieters is sort of an interesting story. His nickname in college was “God.” I believe this may have set a little bit of an unrealistic ceiling for him. I think calling nineteen year old kids God may not be a very good idea.
The Orioles pulled this game out 6-5 despite a late Phils rally that included back to back homers from Michael Martinez and John Mayberry.
Positives from the game were Howard crushing an RBI double (this one would have been gone without the wind) and the back to back homers in the ninth inning.
Negative include a shaky outing by Lidge. It seems that closers can never pitch in non-save situations, not even in games that do not count. DeFratus and Worley got smacked around a little bit today. These guys do not fall into the Oswalt, Halladay, Lee category of pitcher that has nothing to prove. All of us want to see a little more from these guys.
Next up for the Phils, the Boston Red Sox.