August 2011

Gonzalez reacts to the trade

Here a couple quotes from lefty reliever Michael Gonzalez, who found out about 3 p.m. ET that he had been traded to the Texas Rangers for right-hander Pedro Strop.

[on his reaction to the trade]
It’s kind of a mixed reaction for me right now. I’m excited. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to try to win the championship now, and especially right now that I’m feeling good. The bad part is obviously I wanted to do more here in Baltimore. It’s one of those things where I’m very thankful for Andy giving me the opportunity and having faith that I could come and get it done. Like I said, I wish would’ve been able to be better for the fans and things like that. But it is what it is. I tried my best toward the end and go out there and try to get something done.

[on if he Wished he pitched more of last two years like he has lately]
More than anything, it’s kind of a pride thing for me. It’s understanding and knowing what you’re capable of doing, and that’s being able to go out there and show what’s what, especially when you hear people talk about the beast of the East and it’s one of those things where you know if you’re healthy, you can go out there and get it done. I think that was the most frustrating for me. It was that I was obviously brought here to help the team win in those types of situations, and not being able to do that was tough for me.

[on being in a pennant race and close to home]
I’m excited, of course. Obviously I’m leaving great teammates. I think we had pretty much a good chemistry going here toward the end. It felt good, but it’s one of those things where I’m going to go to Texas and see what these guys are about over there. if they’re anything like Tommy [Hunter], I’m going to be all right.

[did you wake up today thinking this was possible?]
I’ve been hearing rumblings for a while, but I seriously didn’t wake up this morning thinking that. I was just coming to the ballpark and lay someone out in ping-pong.

Seriously, I just felt good. It was one of those things where I was going up there, I was taking it day by day and trying to go out there and put a goose-egg up. I really wasn’t thinking about that toward the end.

[listen to offers from Baltimore next season?}
I’d love to show them what I’m capable of doing, like I said, when healthy. Yeah, of course. Everything about here is great. I liked everything having to do with it. Like I said, the only thing that I’m disappointed about is not being able to go out there and show what I’m capable of doing.

Gonzalez traded to Texas

The Orioles  traded lefty Michael Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later.  The club has also recalled  lefty  Zach Phillips from Triple-A Norfolk.

Gonzalez, 33, went 2-2 with one save and a 4.27 ERA (46.1IP, 22ER) in 49 appearances for the Orioles this season.  He has not allowed a run in his last 13 appearances, surrendering five hits and one walk with 15 strikeouts over 12.1 innings.  Gonzalez went 1-3 with one save and a 4.01 ERA (24.2IP, 11ER) in 29 games in his first season with the Orioles in 2010.

Phillips, 24, was acquired on July 19 from Texas in exchange for minor league infielder Nick Green and cash considerations.  He went 1-1 with one save and a 2.63 ERA (13.2IP, 4ER) in 14 games for the Tides after beginning the season with Triple-A Round Rock.  Phillips entered 2011 with a career minor league record of 30-36 with a 4.08 ERA (637.1IP, 289ER) and 615 strikeouts in 180 games (98 starts) in the Texas organization.

Orioles/Blue Jays lineups and pregame tidbits

*In case you missed it, the Orioles traded Michael Gonzalez to Texas today for a pitcher to be named later. More on that and a few roster moves, here.

*Matt Wieters tweaked a quad last night running home in the 10th inning and he’s out of the lineup today. It’s not considered serious at this point, according to manager Buck Showalter and the expectation is he will be back catching for tomorrow’s day game.

*Reliever Jason Berken (right elbow discomfort) played catch today for the first time since going on the disabled list and the plan for him is to go fly to extended spring in Sarasota on Friday. Berken is tentatively slated to pitch in some sort of rehab game on Sept. 8.

*Chris Davis (torn right labrum) is going to need a few rehab games before he can rejoin the team. Davis has been working out in extended spring and the plan is for him to get into a game Sunday or Monday.

*September callups are tomorrow and the Orioles expect to have 2-3 new players here for that.
ORIOLES LINEUP
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Robert Andino 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Ryan Adams 2B
Craig Tatum C

Jo-Jo Reyes LHP

BLUE JAYS LINEUP
Yunel Escobar SS
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Kelly Johnson 2B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Jose Molina C
Mike McCoy CF

RHP Henderson Alvarez

The speculation around MacPhail

There was quite a lot of buzz around USA Today’s report Tuesday night that president of baseball operations Andy MachPhail would be resigning, so I wanted to address it a little here.

The story, which cites two unnamed high-ranking Orioles officials, quotes MacPhail as saying “we’ll see” when asked about his future, a topic he has declined to discuss at all this season. Basically, the report didn’t say anything that the local media hasn’t already been reporting and speculating for a while now: MacPhail is not expected to return in his role next season.

In fact, it would be an upset if he did. To be clear, it wouldn’t be a resignation since MacPhail’s contract expires October 31. MacPhail has also made it clear that he doesn’t want to address his future, although he told me in Anaheim last weekend that he was well aware it’s going to be come a hot topic. Tuesday’s report –and the speculation as to who will replace MacPhail before anything is official — is only the beginning.

For more on the future of MacPhail and the organization I did a blog with his quotes and manager Buck Showalter’s thoughts, which you can read here. Or you can read the story on the unstable state of the front office from last week here.

Orioles/Blue Jays lineups & pregame tidbits

*’The Orioles reinstated reliever Troy Patton from the restricted list and designated Mark Hendrickson for assignment.  Patton, who attended a court hearing in Texas stemming from this winter’s DUI arrest, will miss  Sept. 22’s game to attend a mandatory drug and alcohol orientation class. Assuming all goes well with the classes, Patton will have the charge expunged from his record.

Hendrickson, will have to go through optional waivers before reporting to Triple-A and will be put back on the 40-man roster tomorrow.

*The Orioles are expected to make a pair of roster moves concerning their 40-man tomorrow, clearing room for Hendrickson and one more player. With three new players expected to be added when rosters expand Thursday,  Rick VandenHurk and Jeremy Accardo are two likely candidates to join the club. Neither pitcher is on the team’s current 40-man.

*Congrats to reliever Jason Berken and his wife, Emily, who had their first child, a girl named Hadley Lane, born at 12:04 p.m today. Berken is on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness and the plan is for him to head to extended spring in the new few days to start his rehab.

*Top Draft pick right hander Dylan Bundy will be officially introduced tomorrow at Camden Yards. Second-round Jason Esposito is slated to be in Baltimore on Sept. 8.

*Chris Davis (right labrum tear) took 25 swings off the tee today in extended spring and the team is targeting for him to get into some sort of rehab game on Sept. 7. Cesar Izturis (groin strain) is slated to play in a game on Friday.

*Jo-Jo Reyes, who starts tomorrow, will become the latest Oriole to leave the team with his wife set to have labor induced around Sept. 7. The couple are expecting their second child, a boy and while that date could change, expect Reyes to leave for a day or two to fly back to California.

*Finally, I’ve gotten a few questions on right-hander Jake Arrieta’s rehab process and so far, so good on that front. Arrieta, who had a bone spur on his right elbow removed by Dr.  Lewis Yocum has been going to physical therapy three times a week home in Texas and said he he’s never had this much extension in that area in his life.

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Robert Andino 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Ryan Adams 2B

RHP Jeremy Guthrie

BLUE JAYS LINEUP

Yunel Escobar SS
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Kelly Johnson 2B
Brett Lawrie 3B
J.P. Arencibia C
Mike McCoy CF

LHP Brett Cecil

*Finally, I’ve gotten a few questions on right-hander Jake Arrieta’s rehab process and so far, so good on that front. Arrieta, who had a bone spur on his right elbow removed by Dr.  Lewis Yocum has been going to physical therapy three times a week home in Texas and said he he’s never had this much extension in that area in his life.

Orioles/Yankees lineups

*Chris Davis will start taking baseball swings in extended spring training tomorrow to test his ailing right shoulder.

*Jason Berken’s wife, Emily, will also have labor induced on the couple’s first child in Baltimore tomorrow morning, and he will join Davis in Sarasota a few days after that. Berken is currently on the DL with right elbow discomfort and manger Buck Showalter said the team is targeting for him to throw in a rehab game on Sept. 8 and make a return around the middle of next month.

*The Blue Jays come to town for a three-game series starting tomorrow, with Jeremy Guthrie, Jo-Jo Reyes and Tommy Hunter slated to throw. Zach Britton is tentatively scheduled for Friday’s series opener in Tampa, although things could change.

*Lefty reliever Troy Patton is expected to rejoin the team tomorrow. Patton is on the restricted list and had flight problems today which prevented him from returning to Baltimore prior to Monday’s game.

*Prospects Manny Machado and Steve Bumbry were on the field watching pregame batting practice at Camden Yards today since Class-A Frederick is off. Machado, the organization’s top prospect, will join MASN as a pregame guest and the pair of young infielders both spent ample time chatting with Oriole hitting coach Jim Presley as well as some of the other current O’s hitters.

I’ve written before that Machado is close with Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who he worked out with several times this offseason in Miami and has looked up to since he was a little kid. Being a top-ranked high school infielder of Dominican descent, it’s easy to see why Machado drew some comparisons during last year’s Draft, although that’s not an easy label for anyone to live up to.

Machado said he texted Rodriguez that he was at Camden Yards today and A-Rod said the two would sit down and talk at some point. I asked Machado if he would cross enemy lines and go into the Yankees clubhouse and he said, no.

“I can’t do that, I’m an Oriole,” said Machado.

Since Rodriguez left the Yankees to have an MRI today, I’m guessing that meetup probably won’t happen…

ORIOLES LINEUP
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Adams 2B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 3B

Alfredo Simon RHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez SS

Freddy Garcia RHP

Girardi on the Yanks’ anger

By now you’ve probably already heard that manager Buck Showalter wasn’t happy with the “hypocrisy” of the Yankees, who are not about the Orioles’ refusal to schedule a last-minute doubleheader Friday and now will use up the team’s remaining off day September 8. (You can read Showalter’s comments here.)

Here is what Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters this morning.

[What's your feel on when the makeup game will be. Any more word on Sept 8?]
I’ll let the powers to be handle that. We’ll just worry about playing these games, getting two games in today and playing tomorrow and trying to win the series.

[Orioles proposed back to back doubleheaders?]
“Yes…Physically how do you do that?  I mean, how do you physically do that when you’re playing day after day after day. You talk about risking injury to players and trying to manage a pitching staff. I don’t think it’s physically possible.

It’s not, it’s not fair to the product of the game.It’s one thing if you have to make them up at the end of the year as the last two days of the season and you have to do it and you have extra bodies.

That’s why I’m a proponet, when you do play split doubleheaders you’re able to add a pitcher and a position player. If you use that pitcher the first game you can add one the second game. To me it makes sense because the most important part of this game, I think, is the competitive play on the field and the product.

If you have guys hurt or injured and they are on the fifteen day disabled list and can’t play because you played two doubleheaders in a row, to me that hurts the game.”

[what other possibilities are there other than 9/8?]
“The end of the season, you do it the Thursday after the Tampa game. We could do a split doubleheader at our place  There are lot of different things you can do.”

[If the roles were reversed you wouldn't like that?]
“These are circumstances that aren’t normal. It’s kind of like the Marlins had to go up to Seattle because they had a concert. I’m sure they weren’t happy about it.

They didn’t move it to a neutral site. I’m sure they weren’t happy with it. Cleveland had to go play in Milwaukee because of crazy circumstances. Sometimes the circumstances dictate what happens.”

Showalter on the Yanks anger over weekend scheduling

The scheduling drama surrounding this weekend’s set with the Yankees isn’t going away, as manager Buck Showalter fired back when asked about New York’s frustration with the Orioles’ in refusing to schedule a doubleheader on Friday.

Showalter said the Yankees called president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail on short notice — about 24 hours before the games would be played — and the Orioles said no for a variety of reasons, including the shock and planned tribute for former pitcher and broadcaster Mike Flanagan, who took his own life on Wednesday afternoon.

“First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny quite frankly,” Showalter said.  “That didn’t sit with me very well. I can tell you that. We didn’t say much – I think we had an April rainout there – and they just told us when we were playing. We were Ok with that. Like I told you the other day, you tell us when we’re playing, we’ll play. The whole scheme of life, the things that really consume you.

We understand that sometimes our opinions on things are not relevant. They come to me when there is two options and talk about it from a baseball standpoint. Every club does that. But some of it kind of has a feeling of [hypocrisy]. I don’t know. I don’t dwell on it. Their opinion on what the Baltimore Orioles should do for their fans and for their organization isn’t really that relevant to me personally. I can tell you that. We’ll do what’s best for our fans and for our organization and we expect it back that they’re going to do the same on their side.”

Both Yankees manager Joe Girardi and player rep Curtis Granderson expressed their anger on Friday through the media and an issued statement, regarding the Orioles’ handling of the schedule, which now takes away New York’s lone off day Sept. 8. On Saturday, general manager Brian Cashman also made his dissatisfaction known, and there are rumblings that the Yankees will call the Commissioner’s Office to complain further.

“I’m real confident that our guys have thought about every possible thing and we hope that the scenario we’ve had coming back home here never presents itself again,” Showalter said. “I’m sure if [the Yankees] stopped and thought about it, if the same thing that happened to one of their greats, that they probably would have given a lot of consideration to how they were going to handle that day.

You want me to keep going? A lot of people don’t really care about what our opinions are about different parts of baseball. We play baseball. If there’s something out there, it’s all about what’s best for the fans and a lot of different things. Where it fits into us with all the great modes of how we’re able to do this between travel and food, I just find it …. Is it raining, is it snowing, is it 18 innings, nine? Let’s go. We hope one day that we can be as competitive as they are. I respect where they are in the season and what their people are saying about the competitive part of it, but it means something to us, too.

We’ll continue to do what’s best for the Baltimore Orioles and the fans, which are the same thing. Along the way, we’ll wear that. Sometimes we confuse some things from a real life standpoint compared to what we’re actually doing here, OK? Obviously, there’s more but I’ll stop there.”

Orioles/Yankees lineups

Sorry for the late start today on the blog. Although I wasn’t a victim of any power outages from Hurricane Irene, I woke up this morning to find my car was moved from the Fells/Canton area to a “safe locale” on the other side of town. So, when I headed out to my car this morning, sans my usual morning coffee, it was missing.

Not the best way to start the day. Anyway, all is well now and the Orioles have outfielder Adam Jones back in the lineup for the first time since Wednesday.

As expected the team placed lefty Troy Patton on the restricted list to tend to a court hearing stemming from this winter’s DUI arrest in Texas. Patton is expected to rejoin the team on Monday, with lefty Mark Hendrickson recalled and here for today’s doubleheader in his place.

Both games are on today: a separate admission doubleheader that begins at 1:35 and 7:35. There are still some bad feelings between the two clubs as the Yankees made it no secret that they were angry about not being able to play a DH Friday –and now have to give up an off day — and the Orioles stunned by New York’s insensitivity given that they were coming off a long three-city roadtrip (that included the West Coast) and dealing with the sudden death of former pitcher and team broadcaster Mike Flanagan. More on that later.

In the meantime, here are your Game 1 lineups…

ORIOLES LINEUP

J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Adams 2B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 3B

Zach Britton LHP

YANKEES LINEUP

Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Francisco Cervelli C

Bartolo Colon RHP

Os/Yanks Sat DH ppd, DH now on Sunday

After consulting with Major League Baseball and the National Weather Service, tomorrow’s scheduled day-night doubleheader between the Orioles and Yankees has been postponed due to expected bad weather as a result of Hurricane Irene.  Tomorrow’s 1:05 p.m. game will be made up on September 8 at a time that will be announced at a later date. Tomorrow’s 7:05 p.m. game will be played as part of a split admission doubleheader at 7:35 p.m. this Sunday, August 28.
This Sunday’s doubleheader will begin with the regularly scheduled afternoon game at 1:35 p.m.  The game originally scheduled for Saturday, August 27 at 7:05 p.m. will now be played on Sunday at 7:35 p.m. Tickets dated August 27 at 7:05 p.m. will only be accepted at the 7:35 p.m. game on August 28. No exchange is necessary and fans should bring their original tickets to the ballpark gates for admission.

Saturday’s 1:05 p.m. game will be made up on Thursday, September 8 at a time that will be announced at a later date. This change marks the second rescheduling of the game originally scheduled for April 22, which was postponed by rain. Tickets dated August 27 at 1:05 p.m. or April 22 will be accepted only for the game on September 8. No exchange is necessary and fans should bring their original tickets to the ballpark gates for admission.

Fans who are unable to attend the regularly or rescheduled games this weekend may exchange their tickets for any remaining game during the 2011 season, subject to availability. Ticket exchanges must completed by September 28.

Parking passes will be honored for the makeup games only and are non-transferable.

Fans who have purchased tickets through StubHub should visit http://www.StubHub.com, call 866-STUBHUB (866-788-2482) or e-mail customerservice@stubhub.com for complete information about StubHub’s rainout policy.

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