Monday, April 4, 2011

Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Orioles

Before heading back to the frozen tundra of Michigan for their home opener, our beloved Detroit Tigers must make a pit stop in Baltimore for a series with the Orioles. How fun. Maybe Alex Avila can get a ball out of the infield in this series!  Ha...okay I'm done picking on the kid.

The Tiggers bounced their way to one win in three tries against the Yankees while the O's sit pretty at 3-0 by sweeping Johnny Damon and the Tampa Bay Rays.  Is the Orioles pitching really that good or is Tampa really going to struggle without Carl Crawford?  Only one way to find out.



Overview

Founded as one of the eight charter franchises in the AL, the O’s began as the original Milwaukee Brewers in 1901. They quickly realized their mistake of being in Wisconsin and relocated to St. Louis as the Browns for 52 pathetic years before settling in Baltimore in 1954. Some all-time greats have played there such as Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Frank Robinson, and of course, Cal Ripken. They haven’t won a World Series since 1983 and currently suffer through life in the AL East watching Boston and New York attempt to outspend each other and not being smart enough to draft like the Rays. Toronto’s there too, but they’re Canadian. They don’t even really count.

This year the Orioles have repeated the same mistake that they always do. They’re sending out an abortion of a pitching staff and expecting a group of ex-superstars past their prime like Vlad Guerrero, Derrek Lee’s corpse, and JJ Hardy to make up the difference in the run column. It looks like they haven’t learned from the signings in previous years of Sammy Sosa, Albert Belle, Javy Lopez, and others.

Camden Yards is one of the best looking ballparks in the major leagues, but they ruin that by playing John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” every day during the 7th inning stretch. I know in Baltimore they like living in the past, but c’mon guys. At least move into the 90’s and play “Whoomp, There It Is”.

Face of the Franchise
Future First Ballot Hall of Famer Matt Wieters may have a career OPS+ of 92 in 226 games, but don’t tell that to Oriole fans. This is the guy they’re counting on to lead the team back to the promised land. The 5th overall pick of the 2007 draft is a 6’5 switch hitter whose first major league hit was a triple off of Justin Verlander. What a dick.

Despite having better players around like Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, this is the guy that O’s fans salivate over. He’s supposed to be their new Ripken. He’s been hyped up so much that anything short of shattering Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, or Ivan Rodriguez’s numbers will be seen as a great disappointment.
Orioles fans are stupid.

Old Friends

None. Clay Rapada was with them in the spring, but it looks like he didn’t make the cut. Too bad. I always liked Clay.

Other Superstar Players

Vladmir Guerrero
Nick Markakis
Derrek Lee

Most Hated Oriole
Luke Scott should be beaten senseless with a crowbar and thrown into a wood chipper. Never has there been such an average ballplayer that just completely torches the Detroit Tigers like he’s the lovechild of Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds. On horse steroids. With an aluminum bat.  Guns don't kill Tigers.  Luke Scott kills Tigers.

For his career, Scott has hit .359 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI against Detroit in 64 at bats over 20 games. His OPS vs. the Tigers is 1.394 and his OPS+ is a ridiculous 218. The past three years, he has averaged 457 at bats per year. Against Detroit, he averages a homer every 6.4 at bats. If you put that into the 457 at bats, he would hit 71 long balls if he faced Detroit pitching all year. Why the Twins or White Sox haven’t signed him just to be pricks, I cannot understand.

He continued his Tiger abuse this spring by taking Max Scherzer deep twice. How has he fared against some of our current guys in the past?

Justin Verlander: 4/14, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Enrique Gonzalez: 2/3, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Brad Penny: 4/7, 1 2B
Ryan Perry: 1/1, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Daniel Schlereth: 0/0, 2 walks

Ugh…I have to stop. Only newcomer Joaquin Benoit has had success with Mr. Scott, forcing him to go 0-7 so far. And as one final fun fact, Our Hero, Nate Robertson, faced Luke 7 times. In that time Scott was 3-3 with a double, 3 RBI, and 4 walks. Thanks for nothing once again, Nate.

I have nightmares about Luke F’n Scott. Seriously, Tiger coaching staff. Put down the unfiltered Marlboros and the ding dongs for a second and put together a fucking scouting report on this guy. This stuff amazes me. At least have someone useless like Brad Thomas hit him in the head.

Actually, Scott has a groin owie and may miss some of the series.  Thank you, Jeebus.

Fanbase

Very sad. They still miss Cal Ripken. Many are abandoning the team for the nearby Nationals since they at least have a future with the huge draft picks they’ve managed to put together in recent years. Wieters has given some of the Maryland faithful hope, but more and more are staying away now.

I have one friend that is an Orioles fan. After they acquired all-or-nothing third baseman Mark Reynolds in the offseason, I ran into him at a bar and told him about it. He slowly put his head in his hands, looked up, and ordered two shots from the bartender for himself. Poor guy.

Other than masturbating to their VHS tape of Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record, Baltimore fans spend most of their time rooting for their football team they stole from Cleveland. By wearing purple camouflage, constantly complaining about NFL referees, and praying that Ray Lewis is done stabbing people, they have managed to distract themselves from the fact that their once proud baseball franchise has been awful for 13 years.

I’m sure ex-sideburned Oriole heartthrob Brady Anderson has a few dozen illegitimate children in the Baltimore/DC area entering the age where kids starting liking baseball. Maybe that will help.

So yeah…they suck. The Tigers have to beat up on teams like this in 2011 if they want to stay in the AL Central race. Beat the crappy teams, play .500 against the good ones, and you’ll have yourself a good season.

And if he plays and they give Luke Scott anything decent to hit, fire Jim Leyland, Rick Knapp, and the other stooges on the spot.

3 comments:

momotigers said...

Nice feature...will we be blessed with one of these for each new opponent?

SRogo said...

That would be the plan...

Kev-O said...

that Brady Anderson comment almost made me fall of my chair, I forgot about that sexy one year steroid run he had