Notes on WBAL, O’s farm system and Manto

A few notes…

*Jeff Manto, who recently rejoined the Orioles organization, as the new Minor League hitting coordinator will be inducted into the International League (Triple-A) Hall of Fame. He played in 298 big league games, hitting 31 home runs for the Indians, Phillies, Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners, Tigers, Yankees, and Rockies. Manto was selected in the 14th round of the 1985 draft by the California Angels and reached the Triple-A level in 1989, hitting 30 homers in his first two IL seasons with Richmond and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

In 1994, despite being traded midseason, Manto led the IL in home runs (31) and RBI (100), earning MVP honors. His best season in the Majors came with the Orioles in 1995 when he hit .256 and with 17 home runs and 38 RBIs in 89 games. That season he made history by going deep in four consecutive plate appearances between June 8-10.

*The Orioles will broadcast 14 Spring Training games on WBAL Radio, starting with the spring opener at the Tampa Bay Rays from Port Charlotte on Friday, February 28 at 1:05 p.m., and includes the home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, March 1, along with seven additional home games in Sarasota. Three of the 14 broadcasts will feature 30-minute Pre-Game and Post-Game Shows.

MASN previously announced that they will broadcast six Orioles spring training games: March 1, 7, 8, 15, 17 and 24 as well.

The full WBAL schedule is below: 
Friday, February 28                at Tampa Bay Rays                 1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 1                  Toronto Blue Jays                    1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 2                     at Boston Red Sox                  1:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 4                    at New York Yankees              7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 8                  Boston Red Sox                      1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 9                     Pittsburgh Pirates                   1:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 15                New York Yankees                  1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 16                   at Toronto Blue Jays               1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 17                  Minnesota Twins                     7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 22                at Tampa Bay Rays                 1:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 23*                Pittsburgh Pirates                   1:05 p.m.
Monday, March 24                  Boston Red Sox                      1:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 26*          at Tampa Bay Rays                 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 27*              Tampa Bay Rays                     7:05 p.m.       
*- Includes Pre-Game and Post-Game Shows

*’s Keith Law ranked all of baseball’s Minor League systems and the Orioles come in at No. 10. The Os top five prospects are impressive and Law notes that again, with the biggest issue the organizational depth. You can read the rest of that story (ESPN Insider required) here.

Here is the O’s blurb..
10. Baltimore Orioles

Very top-heavy, but a strong front five, all on the top 100, due in no small part to a string of four straight solid first-round picks since the Matt Hobgood fiasco. (Hobgood, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 draft, has a 5.05 ERA in his career and hasn’t made it past Class A.)

Their depth is improving, though it’s still behind where it’ll need to be to keep the club competitive in the AL East, and more investment in intriguing international amateurs like Olelky Peralta will help bolster the system.

1 Comment

Oh, dang. when you said there was WBAL news, I thought we were finally going to hear that Fred Manfra had been canned. How much longer must we wait? He is absolutely the worst play-by-play announcer in any league, in any game, EVER. Several times a game, every game, I find myself going, “WHAT HAPPENED??? WHAT JUST HAPPENED???” He’s too slow, too wordy, and too inaccurate. Maybe he should do TV. Viewers can at least have a fighting chance of SEEING what happened, then Fred can comment all he wants.And I squirm every time he says “shoulderS high” or “letterS high.” The rest of the world says “shoulder high” and “letter high,” Fred. Don’t try to teach us a grammar lesson. Fred also comes from the “go into your homerun call on every fly ball, just in case it goes out” school of broadcasting. And the funny thing is his signature homerun call is (brace yourself) “going, going gone!” Whoa, too original for ME! ANd then Manfra has this odd way of sounding excited when an Oriole strikes out, or an opponent hits a home run. With all the good announcers we used to have, you could tell if something good or bad happened for the Orioles by the tone of the announcer’s voice. Really, we deserve better!

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