Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Let's Just Say We Were Beaten By the Best

After watching last night's game, I made a snarky comment to myself about how atrocious the Orioles are this year. I mean, they're bad. This year's Oriole team channels the hopeless 1988 squad, who lost 107 games and had Billy Ripken as their second baseman, 20 years before he'd become a bald studio analyst for the MLB Network. The 2010 squad provides a similar mix of inept hitting and bad pitching that can only be tolerated with lots of liquor and small amounts of self-hatred. It's the kind of team that makes you really feel for a fanbase. Hey, Oriole fans, if it's any consolation to you, at least most of you don't live in South Carolina.

Of course, naturally, after I ripped on them like a frat boy on an AV dweeb, tonight the Orioles beat the Giants, 4-1, behind Jake Arrieta, a fresh-faced rook with all of one major league start under his belt. To be fair, Arrieta is a decent prospect with some pretty good minor league numbers, but...yuck. This is a series you expect the Giants to sweep. Yes, take nothing for granted, blah blah blah, but subconsciously we all figured the Giants would roll through these three games before heading off to Toronto. Now they go into a rubber match against Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore's most consistent pitcher, and a soft-tosser who you just know is going to give the Giants fits. I'm scared.

A few random notes...

-If Denny Bautista didn't walk every other batter, he could be something along the lines of Felix Rodriguez circa 2000-01. His stuff is just filthy. I'd read the old scouting reports, but I never imagined how great his fastball was until I actually watched players get blown away by it time and again. Every Bautista appearance is an exercise in chain-smoking due to his wildness, but if he ever gains even a modicum of control, he'd be a major asset. Of course, six other franchises already lost their patience waiting for that talent to manifest, so ration out the optimism in tiny doses.

-I'd like to take the time to gush about Andres Torres. He's the leadoff hitter the Giants have been waiting for essentially since Kenny Lofton appeared for two months in 2002. He's got the speed, the plate patience, the alley power, and the great defense. He's effectively enabled the Giants to kick Aaron Rowand to the curb. He showed this kind of talent last season by slugging .533 as a backup, but no one believed he could hold his own as a regular, given his uninspiring minor league track record.

Oops. As it stands now, Torres is literally one of the best players in the league. What are the chances that Torres sustains this incredible hitting display? Let's not speak of such things. Let's just hope and pray to whatever god (or lizard person) you believe in that he's the once-in-a-blue moon player who just suddenly gets it in the second half of his career and starts playing like an All-Star. Maybe something like this guy.

-Baseball Reference, aka the most awesome website in the history of the world, has now features old mug shots on each player's page, which is bad news if you decide to check out how Don Mossi's career went. This, of course, leads me to this absolutely hilarious article by Josh Wilker of Cardboard Gods, on an old baseball card of Mossi's.

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