Roar from 34's blog
I'm taking my third turn as a MASN Guest Blogger this week. My first post of the week looks at the company Mark Reynolds is keeping in the lower echelons of the batting average category. Turns out he's surrounded by players the Orioles either tried to or at least considered acquiring during the past two off-seasons. Guys like Adam Dunn and Adam LaRoche.
MASN has headlined the post "Pondering what might have been for the O's."
Here's a sample ...
Boog Powell's hits, unlike his barbecue, were not often tender. Never was that more true than 47 years ago to the day of this post when, on June 3, 1964, Powell blasted the longest of his 339 career home runs, an estimated 490-foot shot at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium that powered the Orioles to a 5-1 victory.
The Orioles head to Oakland this weekend to begin a series with the A's at Overstock.com Coliseum, which was once known as McAfee Coliseum, which was previously known as Network Associates Coliseum, which was originally known as Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. But friends just call it The Oakland Coliseum or The Coliseum.
If there's one thing we can be grateful to Peter Angelos for it's not selling the naming rights to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Age, injury, and an improved Orioles lineup may all contribute to the end of an impressive seven-season run for two of the team's cornerstone players.
Brian Roberts or Nick Markakis (sometimes both) has finished in the top two for doubles among Orioles players every season since 2003. That streak is in jeopardy as the injured Roberts is currently fifth on the team for doubles and Markakis is ninth.
Doubles are the less-attractive sister of the home run, so the pair's efforts aren't glamorous. More workmanlike.
"It's like a feeding frenzy of sharks. One hits the bait, and the next thing you know, pieces start flying. You see what sharks do: They just feed off making a frenzy. It's a lot of positive energy. It was fun."
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This looked to be a season when the Orioles would have some real pop in the lineup. The acquisitions of Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee, and Mark Reynolds gave the Birds three players who have hit 30 or more homers in a season to supplement Luke Scott's streaky, but powerful bat.
So far, the O's power potential has not been realized. No player is on pace for 30 home runs.
Wednesday night's 15-inning marathon between the Orioles and Yankees left me grasping for comparisons. The game that came to mind most immediately was the four-hour, 22-minute contest between the same two teams on Sept. 5, 1997. That one only went nine innings, but it was the longest nine inning American League night game in history. And unlike Wednesday night's contest, it was time well spent as the O's beat the Yankees 13-9.
One of the great things about extra innings in baseball is that it ratchets up the drama for fans. Any moment could be the moment that decides the game. Every pitch matters because you don't know what will happen next. Unless, of course, you do.
I posed this question to my wife Wednesday night when Buck Showalter made the call to the bullpen for Michael Gonzalez in the top of the 15th inning with nobody out and two runners on base: "How many pitches will it take before the Orioles are losing?"
She guessed eight. I said three. Turns out we were both being generous.
Last week the Orioles had two starting pitchers finish nine innings. Zach Britton got a no-decision for his efforts against the Mariners on Thursday while Brad Bergesen earned the complete game victory on Sunday against the Rays. Years ago this wouldn't have meant much as starters regularly went deep into games, and there weren't relief specialists. Nowadays, it does. We've even developed terms like "innings eaters" to describe pitchers who, at the very least, can post 200+ innings a season and provide the bullpen some regular rest.