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2011 Season Starts Now For The Baltimore Orioles 13

Posted on August 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Will Buck Showalter be able to return magic to the Orioles' uniform?

Though the calendar may say that it is August 2010, for all intent and purposes, the 2011 season has begun for the Baltimore Orioles.

With the Buck Showalter era beginning on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the new skipper will be spending the next two months looking to determine which current Orioles he believes can be part of the future for the franchise.

For just about every player, the next two months can be considered an audition as very few roster spots seem certain for 2011.

Finishing 2010 with a flourish would be a great boost for the Orioles as Showalter looks to set the tone for the future.

Once among the most successful franchises in baseball, the Orioles have not had a winning season since 1997 and have seen their season victory total decline every year since 2004.

The job for Showalter will not be just to assemble a talented roster, but also to restore a winning culture to a team that has become accustomed to losing.
Read the rest of this entry →

Happy Anniversary Peter Angelos; Anyone Feel Like Celebrating? 22

Posted on August 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Lawyer Peter Angelos became owner of the Orioles 17 years ago.

This week marks the 17th anniversary of the Baltimore Orioles being purchased by the group led by lawyer Peter Angelos.

In August of 1993 Angelos and his group of minority owners that at the time included writer Tom Clancy bought a team that was enjoying their second season in a baseball stadium that had launched a new era in sports stadium construction and was without question one of the premier franchises in all of sports.

Under the direction of managr Johnny Oates and led by third year pitcher Mike Mussina and future Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., the 1993 Baltimore Orioles finished tied for third in the American League East with an 85-77 record.

Though the team lost 13 of their final 19 games to finish 10 games behind the division champion Toronto Blue Jays, attending baseball games at Camden Yards was a happening. The Orioles finished second in the American League with an overall home attendance of 3,644,965 (45,000 per game).

Despite an overall downturn in baseball attendance over the next few years brought on by the strike of 1994, there was no decline in fan interest in Baltimore. Over the remainder of the decade, the Orioles finished first or second in the American League in attendance every season, including leading the league for four straight seasons between 1995 and 1998.

Baltimore thrived early in the era of Angelos as they made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 and reached the American League Championship Series following the 1997 season.

However, 1997 proved to be the on-the-field peak for the Orioles as they went 79-83 in 1998 and have not had a winning record since. Read the rest of this entry →

Goodbye Miguel: Orioles Trade Tejada Again 9

Posted on July 29, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Tejada struggled at third base for the Orioles.

For the second time in three years, the Baltimore Orioles have traded veteran infielder Miguel Tejada. This time the O’s dealt Tejada to San Diego for minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer.

Tejada leaves a team that has the worst record in baseball and is 33 games out of first place for a squad that is currently leading their division and looking to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season.

After playing third base for the Orioles this season, the Padres expect Tejada to see action at both third base and his natural position of shortstop.

Offensively, Tejada has struggled at times this season hitting only .269 with seven home runs and 39 RBI. He is a career .288 hitter with 292 home runs and 1,224 RBI.

After playing in the American League for his first 11 major league seasons, Tejada was traded by the Orioles to the Houston Astros prior to the 2008 season and hit .298 with 27 home runs and 152 RBI on his two seasons with the Astros. Read the rest of this entry →

Orioles Finally Pull The Trigger And Hire Buck Showalter As Manager 32

Posted on July 29, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Buck Showalter will become the new manager of the Baltimore Orioles on August 3rd.

After two months under the guidance of interim manager Juan Samuel, the Baltimore Orioles finally have a permanent captain for their floundering ship with the hiring of Buck Showalter to take over the team beginning on August 3rd.

After hiring the interim manager to eventually be the permanent manager after each of the last two managerial firings, the former manager of the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers becomes the first Baltimore manager to be hired from outside the organization since Lee Mazzilli in 2004.

Showalter began his coaching career in the New York Yankees organization and became manager in 1992. He led the Yankees to the best record in the American League in the strike shortened 1994 season and in 1995 led them to the first wild card playoff berth.

Despite the success, a deteriorating relationship with Joe Torre led to his dismissal following the 1995 season. The Yankees went on to win the World Series in 1996 and again from 1998-2000. Read the rest of this entry →

So Andy MacPhail, Is The Barn On Fire Yet? 17

Posted on July 28, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Team president Andy MacPhail may not have noticed yet, but the barn is definitely on first for the 2010 Baltimore Orioles.

Less than two weeks ago, Baltimore Orioles president Andy MacPhail said that the team was in no hurry to hire a new manager because “it’s not like the barn is on fire right now. The players are doing a nice job for Juan [Samuel].”

Over the last two weeks, the Orioles have won just two of 13 games and suddenly there is again reasonable doubt as to whether the Orioles can muster enough victories over the final two months of the season to avoid eclipsing the modern record for baseball futility established when the New York Mets went 40-120 during their inaugural 1962 season.

So, my question to Mr. MacPhail is whether the barn is burning now?

The energy the team showed early in the tenure of interim manager Juan Samuel has disappeared.

Since staging a dramatic comeback on July 20th to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10 in 13 innings, the Birds have managed just one win in eight games and been outscored 52-20. Read the rest of this entry →

Lou Piniella Started His Career As A Baltimore Oriole 25

Posted on July 23, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Lou Piniella played in four games for the Baltimore Orioles in 1964.

A more than 40 year career in major league baseball that began with a brief appearance as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 1964 will evidently end following the 2010 season as current Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has announced his retirement.

In a week that will culminate with former major league manager Whitey Herzog (also a former Oriole) receiving a plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame, an interesting question is whether Piniella will someday join Herzog at the Hall of Fame.

The similarities between the managerial careers of Herzog and Piniella are actually much greater than you might initially anticipate.

Both were among the best managers of their era and won multiple division titles. However, they each were able to claim the World Series title only once during their managerial tenures.

In 18 seasons as a manager (14 full seasons and four partial seasons), Herzog won six division titles (three with the Kansas City Royals and three with the St. Louis Cardinals), three pennants and the 1982 World Series title. He posted an overall record of 1281-1125(.532 winning percentage) while guiding his squads to a winning record in 10 of his 14 full seasons as a skipper.

Unless something unexpected occurs in the next few weeks, Piniella will complete his 22nd full season and 23rd overall as a manager. His teams have also won six division titles, but Piniella has managed only in one World Series. That was in 1990 when his first season with the Cincinnati Reds ended with a surprising four game sweep over the mighty Oakland A’s in the World Series. Read the rest of this entry →

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