Friday, August 31, 2007

Pulling up lame

9 straight losses.

The worst 10-game homestand in team history.

Outscored 100-44.

What else is there for the Orioles to do this season? Lose 100 games? Break the losing streak record set by.... the Baltimore Orioles in 1988?

Just when you think the O's can't sink any lower, they go ahead and completely prove you wrong by doing something that was previously thought to be impossible.

At the beginning of the year we though this could have been a team to break .500 and end the 9-year losing streak that draped itself over the city like a black cloud. But that didn't happen. Instead, the cloud started raining the baseball equivalent of frogs, a sure sign of the Armageddon.

So as the season comes to a miserable end, get the younger players (Reimold, Olson, Knott, House) some regular playing time, even if they don't necessarily deserve it (Fiorentino, Majewski).

Then in the offseason make the trades that need to be made (Tejada, Roberts and Bedard) and release the dead-weight. Pay for your mistakes for once. Don't allow them to take up roster spots. That costs more than any amount of money at this point.

MacPhail has a daunting task ahead of him. He's got to take the worst organization in all of professional sports and turn them into something respectable again.

Think he's stressed out at all?

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I was getting worried there for a bit.

I saw that Stars would be coming to the 9:30 Club on October 20th on the band's website, but when the 9:30 Club released the calendar for their fall shows, the Stars show wasn't listed.

Finally, I got the e-mail last night. Stars will indeed be performing at the 9:30 Club on October 20th, so I bought 2 tickets faster than you can say "Your Ex-Lover is Dead."

What can I say, I love this Montreal-based alt-pop band and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Amy Millan's voice is like a soft-spoken seductress whispering in my ear and Torque Campbell hits all the emotions a man feels while in a relationship but never dares confess. And while they can get a little corny every now and then, Stars usually hits every note they aim for.

For people not familiar with the band, Stars will be the "oh, that's who does that song" kind of band.

Their first album, Nightsongs, I never bought, but from what I can tell from listening to the 30 second snippets from iTunes, it sounds like their weakest album. I'll get around to buying it eventually.

Their next album, Heart, was hit or miss, but when they hit, they hit the bullseye. The opener, "What the Snowman Learned About Love" is an epic track, beginning with a simple techno-esque drumbeat intro that instantly does a 180 and becomes something completely different. Slowly, one-by-one, more musical layers are added and the lyrics don't kick in until about 2 minutes into the song.

"What the Snowman Learned About Love" is where Stars begins for me and it's the album opening track that I compare all others to.

But wait, it gets even better. "Elevator Love Letter" is a bouncy, yet melancholy ode to one's job getting in the way of love.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album fumbles over itself a bit, before being salvaged by "Time Can Never Kill a True Heart", "Look Up" and the tragic "Don't be Afraid to Sing."

And while I may be a little hard on Heart, it's still an amazing album, which would have been hard to top, but Stars did just that with Set Yourself on Fire.

Simply put, Set Yourself on Fire is one of the best albums to come out of the alt-pop scene in the 2000's. It's chock full of amazing songs, from the death of a relationship in "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" to the optimistic epic "Ageless Beauty."

But the real zinger on the album is the title track. Usually, title track songs are muddled attempts at saying something important. I don't know... all I can say is that I usually find them to be letdowns.

Not here.

"Set Yourself on Fire" is hands-down Stars' best track in their history. At first listen, the song may appear to be a jumbled mess, with too many musical layers and too many sound changes. But this is the kind of song you let yourself sink into like quicksand, slowly making yourself aware of what's going on around you. And in the end you'll be asking yourself "what is that one thing?"

SYOF was such a hugely successful and popular album that the album was re-released in 2007 as Do You Trust Your Friends, with each song being covered by the band's closest friends, mostly indie-Canadian alt-rock bands.

So after SYOF, I didn't expect Stars to top that album with their next release, In Our Bedroom After the War, but I was pleasantly surprised when it was released. Currently listed with a release date sometime in mid-September, the band opted to release the entire album digitally -- get this -- only 4 days after the album was completed back in July.

Is that cool or what?

Rather than let the album get pirated and downloaded illegally in the time before its release, the band allowed people to purchase the album from iTunes and other legal music download sites.

IOBATW was an initial disappointment. I thought the Stars sound was too stripped down. I thought they sorely missed the synthesized sounds that engulfed most songs on SYOF. But as I listened, the album continued to grow on me. "The Night Starts Here" is an excellent song to have on in the background before a night on the town, "Take Me to the Riot" is Stars at their mid-relationship argument best and "Life 2: The Unhappy Ending" is a slick tale about yearning for the life-affirming feelings of pain and loss instead of numbing suburban happiness.

I'd probably put IOBATW between SYOF and Heart as Stars' second best album. It's more consistent than Heart, but it doesn't come close to the grandness that is SYOF.

At any rate, I could sit here all day and tell you how great this band is, but you just need to experience the band on your own if you haven't already. At first you may dismiss them as hokey-sounding, pussy-rockers, but take another listen and shed the pretentiousness you may carry around with you as a music fan.

I can't freaking wait to see this band live. And while I think Stars may be the rare band where it will be hard for them to duplicate their complex sound on stage, I am eager to find out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

American Beauty

The year was 1999.

Star Wars was back. Y2K was upon us. And late in the year, after the summer buzz surrounding The Blair Witch Project and The Sixth Sense wore off, the Oscar season began, and American Beauty, the movie that would eventually win Best Picture, and for good reason, was released. And with a growing fervor that lasted until after the awards, American Beauty won the hearts and minds of the American movie-going audience.

I re-watched this movie last night, and I must say, it's held up.

Kevin Spacey is amazing in his performance as Lester Burnham, a family man in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Spacey's facial expressions, delivery and body movements are all perfectly telegraphed. For me it's a toss up as to which is the better Spacey performance: Lester Burnham or Verbal Kint.

And the excellent cast doesn't end with Spacey.

Annette Benning is also perfect as Carolyn, a failing real estate agent who is desperately trying to one-up Lester in her own mid-life crisis. Chris Cooper is effectively creepy and then oddly sympathetic as the ex-military next-door neighbor. Wes Bentley is cool as the calm but mysterious Ricky, Thora Birch as Jane is full of repressed angst, and Mena Suvari is naively seductive as the object of Lester's misplaced desire.

Director Sam Mendes hasn't yet lived up to his debut, although both Road to Perdition and Jarhead were both solid follow-ups. Instead of using fancy tricks, Mendes just points and shoots and his simple directing style heightens the tension that is always taking place between the characters.

But what is probably the most memorable thing about American Beauty is this, the humor. It's wickedly funny. Spacey steals the show as a man with nothing to lose, blackmailing his boss all the way down to working at a burger joint and Benning scores huge with her hysteric outbursts in response to Lester's antagonizing ways.

At age 20, this movie had a huge impact on me, and it still does. Watching it last night it reminded me not to take the people I love for granted, and to appreciate the things I have, but not let them control me.

And that's hard to do sometimes.

FILM SCORE: **** (out of ****)
BEST PART: The whole thing.
STATUS: Millennial classic.

Snakes on a Plane

With the wife out of town and nothing to do last night, I turned on HBO and saw that the infamous Snakes on a Plane would be coming on next. I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed a Yunegling and some Wheat Thins, and plopped down on the leather sofa to be entertained for 90 minutes.

Maybe I should have had a few more Yuenglings, perhaps all 6 of them, because damn this movie was horrible. I understood the internet hype surrounding the film before its release. The title alone is B-movie awesomeness. But as most things with a built-in hype machine go, SOAP was a massive let-down.

First off, the film takes itself too seriously. David Ellis is no Spielberg, but he has directed decent movies before (Cellular, Final Destination 2). Maybe New Line should have gone with a real B-list director. Someone who could have really upped the cheese-factor like Fred Olen Ray (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) or Brian Trenchard-Smith (Leprechaun 4: In Space).

Ellis makes the film too polished, too pristine. A B-movie needs a dirty picture and lots of grain. Make this movie look like it was shot on a shoestring budget (not the $35 million it was made with) and make it look like it should have debuted late at night on the Sci-Fi Channel on a double-bill with Octopus.

The acting is a problem too. It's too normal.

Sam Jackson hams it up the best he can when the script lets him, but even he turns in a standard performance. Yes, his "I've had it with these muthafuckin snakes on this muthafuckin plane" line is great, but we need more, dammit! We need semi-flubbed lines! We need actors staring off into space when they're supposed to be looking at one another! Too bad that SOAP came out before Grindhouse, because done right, SOAP could have easily trumped that film in it's purposeful badness.

Yes, the gore is rather plentiful, and as you can expect, there are plenty of snake bites on rather unpleasant body parts. But as it stands, SOAP, while a bad film, is just too good and too serious to be the bad B-movie it wants to be. There's a reason this thing was a failure after it was released. I'm just glad I didn't spend a cent on this "phenomenon."

FILM SCORE: ** (out of ****)
BEST PARTS: High heel in the ear (not even snake related!)
STATUS: Failed B-movie phenomenon and for good reason.

Set your watch

The Orioles have become so predictable that it's not even funny anymore. You could set your watch by them.

April: Get off to a decent start
May: Continue that decent start to give fans hope
June: Be lucky to win 7 games all month
July: Bounce back a little, give fans reason to watch
August & September: Suck relentlessly.

And here we are again. It's late August, and the Orioles are in the middle of a 7-game losing streak.

Ironically, the Orioles haven't won a game since they removed the interim tag from Dave Trembley and announced that he would be the manager next season.

I wonder if they wish they would have waited until the end of the season.

Ya think?

I'm not saying that Dave Trembley is the problem. Even Connie Mack wouldn't be able to get this team to perform better. But the Orioles should have waited until the season ended to review the field of available managers and go from there. Now they've tied themselves to Trembley for a year, and contributed to the Orioles horrible play these last 7 games.

As for the team itself, they ought to be ashamed like a child who has returned home after being caught stealing. Especially the bullpen, which is shaping up to be the second worst bullpen in baseball for the second year in a row. Whatever Flanagan and Duquette did last season, it didn't work. Maybe the Orioles should have a "See what we did with the bullpen" night where they flush $42 million down a toilet during the 7th inning stretch. That'll get me out to the yard.

This offseason, changes better be in order. MacPhail needs to offer up everyone in a trade. Even Markakis. (Waits for gasps to end) It's time to change the make-up of this team and start over.

Maybe they shouldn't even be called the Orioles anymore.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I went to Philadelphia last week for a Wolf Parade show at the Theater of Living Arts. My friends and I missed out on tickets for the D.C. show at the Black Cat, but coming from Baltimore area, the it really makes little difference.

Philly is a little less than 2 hours from Baltimore and the downtown area is a breeze to get to from I-95. To get to D.C., one must brave the perma-jammed Beltway and then navigate their way through numerous back roads riddled with stoplights in order to get to the Black Cat or 9:30 Club. And in the end, the difference in drive-time between D.C. and Philly is smaller than one might expect.

Once we got to Philly, we didn't even need a map, since the city is laid out in a grid-like fashion, with numbered streets running north and south. So we took our exit intending to head straight for the venue, but decided last minute that some Philly cheese steaks would hit the spot before the show. So we drove to the approximate place we remembered Geno's and Pat's to be located, and after making one simple right hand turn, we found the cheese steak capital of the world, no problem.

Since we had been to Pat's the last time we were in Philly, we opted for Geno's this time. And I'm glad we did. The lady at the window was nice and patient while my friends made up their minds. The cheese whiz was used sparingly and the bread was soft. Surprisingly, the sub was smaller than I expected and my stomach was still roaring with hunger after I was finished. So we shrugged our shoulders and headed across the street to Pat's, agreeing that the only way to definitely decide which was better was to eat them both back to back.

At Pat's, the guys working the counter were your standard Philly guys. They had no patience for menu gazing while in mid-order, but they rang you up and gave you your sub in record time. I also enjoyed the signs that read "Speak English when ordering" next to the window.

As I sat down, I was amazed at the amount of cheese whiz dripping from the sub. Not a good sign. Also, the bread was a little tougher than at Geno's.

Overall, I give the nod to Geno's for less cheese whiz and softer bread, but if you like cheese whiz, then Pat's will be the spot for you.

Little did we know we'd regret the decision to slam 2 cheese steak subs in a row later on in the night.

Anyway, we parked the car in a garage near the TLA and headed toward South Street, the cultural center of the city. We had a few drinks at a bar where another typical Philly guy was throwing a fit. I don't know what it was about but he purposely slammed into some stacked chairs while going to the bathroom and didn't bother to pick them up. Turns out he was the bartender's girlfriend or something.

After being frozen out by the wind from a rare mid-summer rainstorm whipping through the open doors, we headed to an Irish bar with a closed door across the street and watched the first quarter of a pre-season NFL game. Barely paying attention to it, we shot the shit as our stomach's punished us for drowning them in cheese whiz, grease and now Yuengling lager.

After nearly puking, we headed over to the TLA at 9 p.m. Perfect timing. The second opening act, Plants and Animals, was about to start.

The lead singer looked like he belonged in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but they were just standard retro alt-rock hipsters from Montreal, the city where all the new bands seem to come from nowadays. Anyway, they filled the time and space with decent music for about 40 minutes and got off stage fast enough so that Wolf Parade could set up their instruments.

A half an hour later Wold Parade was on-stage, opening with "It's a Curse". They proceeded to play a lot of new stuff, which sounded great. I can't wait for the rumored new album. As a matter of fact it can't come out soon enough. My list of favorite bands is a constantly changing one, and after seeing them live, Wolf Parade now sits atop that list.

I was surprised to see a mosh pit by the stage, as Wolf Parade hardly screams MOSH!, but after all, this is Philly, so I guess people are used to beating up on each other, shaking hands and then buying each another a beer. The highlight of the moshing culminated when a kid was crowd surfing and then opened an umbrella while the band played "Shine a Light."

Pretty cool.

My friend joked that Dan Boeckner looked like death personified. I thought he looked like a fish singing into the microphone. Regardless, he rocked the fuck out of the joint, has a hot wife and is currently a member of one of the hottest indie-bands out there today.

Meanwhile my friends are I are pasty middle-class drones working our lives away in offices. I don't think Dan will mind our feeble attempts to make ourselves feel better.

In the end, seeing Wolf Parade, one of my favorite bands, in person was definitely the highlight of the trip. But just being back in Philly was the second. I just love it. And even though Philly doesn't necessarily love me back, I still love it anyway.

And maybe that's what they mean by brotherly love.

Escape from New York

I know I'm 26 years late to the party but I finally saw Escape from New York last night.

And I may ruffle some feathers here, but while watching the film, I couldn't help but think how much better it will be once it gets remade with Gerard Butler as Snake Plissken.

Now, I loved Gerard Butler in 300. Hell, I even loved the guy in Tomb Raider 2 and Dracula 2000. The guy can flat out own the screen. But he won't come close to Kurt Russell's bad-ass performance as Snake, although every other aspect of the remake should surpass the original.

EFNY just seemed too clunky. I know Carpenter isn't exactly a narrative director, but some pacing would have been nice every now and then. And if modern Hollywood is good for one thing, they know how to churn out economical thrillers. There were just too many wandering scenes in the original EFNY, and I think more plot devices and action set pieces will make the remake more entertaining.

I'm not expecting the remake to be anything more than a mindless action flick. But if done on the level of another Carpenter remake, Assault on Precinct 13, the remake of Escape from New York could be a lot of fun. More fun, even, than the original.

I am starting to feel for my man John, though. The man can't catch a break. Hollywood is having a feeding frenzy on his early work, with Assault from Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog and now Escape from New York all having been already remade or scheduled for remakes soon.

So as long as Hollywood stays away from the classics, remakes could update some uneven cult movies and make them fun for the rest of us.

FILM SCORE: ** (out of ****)
BEST PART(S): Russell as Plissken, Barbeau's boobs, the last 10 minutes of the film.
STATUS: Remake should surpass original's fun factor.

Monday, August 27, 2007

White Rabbits - Fort Nightly

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to find good new music. And when I first came across White Rabbits on Sirius radio's Left of Center, I was eager to dive into the NYC 6-piece band's debut offering, Fort Nightly.

The White Rabbits sound is very reminiscent of The Walkmen, circa Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone. Except here, the arrangements are much more polished and the band has fused their sound with a very agreeable, albeit minor, Latin/Calypso flavor. And while Fort Nightly could very easily turn into a commercial for a Caribbean island, White Rabbits do a good job of keeping the Latin/Calypso influence from taking over the entire record.

The band fills out the rest of their musical space with a a slightly out of tune piano, razor sharp guitar licks, maracas, tamborines and fuzzy drums. And it's a plus that there is so much happening in the background, since Matthew Clark's vocals lack an edge and are usually free of emotion. Whereas bands like Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, and The Walkman have an instantly recognizable lead vocalist, Clark fails seduce the viewer into hanging onto every word he sings. Clark has the pipes, but all too often he comes across as cover-band generic.

That said, the arrangements really work wonders to compensate for the lack of a gripping vocalist. The first 7 or 8 songs of the album are close to perfection, but the album does tend to slack off toward the end. "The Plot" is sure to be the hit of the album, containing an aggressive guitar riff that picks up from the beginning of the song and lasts until the very last note. Clark's anonymous delivery actually benefits on this track, as he becomes a narrator using catchy cinematic wordplay: "He gets up late/He gets upset/I watch it all happen from the foot of the bed" before erupting into a chorus of "He's not impressed." Without a doubt, "The Plot" is the album's most polished and catchiest track.

If there is one drawback to Fort Nightly, it's this. The album is all there in the first listen. You may pick up on a certain aspect of a song in repeat listens, but it won't conjure up many emotions or images the second or third time through. And that comes from the White Rabbits knowing exactly what they want to do. Had they searched around helplessly in the dark for a feeling or an image every once in a while, they may have given this album a deeper layer that it desperately needs to hold up in repeat listens.

That said, this is an enticing debut album from an enticing band. And you know what they say about rabbits, so I'm sure we'll be hearing from this band in the future. I only hope they take a step back and come to the table a little less sure of themselves the next time around.

Fort Nightly isn't going to make you stand up and demand change, and it isn't going to help you get over a broken relationship. But it is great music to have on as you're about to go have a night out on the town. It's full of energy and it's loud, and sometimes that's all you need.

ALBUM SCORE: *** (out of ****)
TOP SONGS: "Kid on My Shoulders", "The Plot", "Navy Wives" and "While We Go Dancing"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This is going to be the shortest blog entry of the season because I am speechless.

The Orioles lost 30-3 today to the Texas Rangers, a team worse than even them, setting a modern day record for runs given up in a game. The last time 30 runs were scored in a baseball games was the turn of the century.

No, not the most recent turn of the century... the other one. Try 1900.

I could go into all the things that have changed since 1900 but why bother. Pretty much everything in the entire world has changed since 1900. I don't think one thing that was done in 1900 is still being done today. Even simple human things that have taken place since man walked the Earth have changed. People took shits differently back then.

The funny thing is, this is the first game after the Orioles named Dave Trembley the 2008 manager. Way to play for the new coach, guys!


Hey, at least Matt Stover kicked a field goal to avoid the shutout! I guess the Orioles sent down JR House to add him to the 40-man roster.

Son of a bitch Orioles!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cry me a river

After last night's 6-5 come from behind victory over the Boston Red Sox, Brian Roberts had this to say about the amount of Red Sox fans at Camden Yards...

"I don't know why so many Red Sox fans want to be here and Oriole fans don't," Roberts said. "You look around and you realize that you're swamped in red. It gets really old. To see Wily Mo [Pena] run off the field to a standing ovation after just tying the game is annoying.

"[Orioles fans] are missing out on an opportunity to watch one of the best pitchers in the league against a first-place team. Bedard was phenomenal tonight and deserved a lot more than what he got. I thought what we did in the eighth and nine innings was pretty impressive, too.

"You'd just like to have the support of our fans. We have a pretty darn good team. When we win, I know people will come out. But it would nice if they came out to support us when we're in the process of developing a winning team."

I like Roberts, I really do. He plays the game the right way and has kept his emotions about losing to himself for the most part. But I 100% disagree with his comments.

Here's why...

The Red Sox are what they are, a phenomenon. And winning the World Series only made that phenomenon even worse than it was. Now you've got the green and pink hat wearing fans acting like they know what the hell they're talking about when they probably couldn't tell you the name of the street where Fenway Park is located.

In simple terms, their World Series victory created what is called "bandwagon fans." Bandwagon fans are either from Boston, have family in Boston, know someone in Boston, or just want the attention that comes along with being a Red Sox fan.

And these bandwagon fans sprout up all over the country and go to see the Red Sox play when the team comes to their town.

In Baltimore, it's multiplied by a thousand because of it's closeness to Boston. A lot of former Boston natives live in the Baltimore and DC area.

It also doesn't help that the Orioles are a terrible team, not having a winning season in what will be 10 years. So it only takes common sense to know that when the Red Sox are in town, there will be a lot of Red Sox fans there. It's the same when the Yankees are in town too.

We've been over this, how many times now? Yet each time the Red Sox or Yankees are in town the bitching resurfaces somehow.

It's not our fault. It's the front office's. When they give us a reason to see a game when the Red Sox or Yankees are in town, it'll be harder for opposing fans to get a ticket.

I promise.

So when Roberts makes a comment like this, it makes me mad. Because after all, we're hard-working people. We don't have a large disposable income like Brian Roberts has. So when the Orioles are fumbling their way toward their 10th straight losing season, you can bet your ass that Orioles fans aren't going to spend their hard-earned money to see a losing team, especially when they know that they'll be surrounded by rowdy Red Sox bandwagon fans, looking to start a fight with an Oriole fan, proving their Red Sox fandom.

So if Roberts is frustrated, and I understand why he would be, he needs to storm into Andy MacPhail's office, slam the door behind him, put his finger in Andy's face and say, "I'm sick of this shit. You better do something about it."

Taking it out on the fans is wrong. Besides, last night's game sold out months ago, so it's not like O's fans saw that Bedard was pitching and then turned on the TV to watch So You Think You Can Dance instead.

And finally, the more and more sports are viewed as a business, the more and more we need to start viewing fans as customers. And if the Orioles are going to keep trotting out a crappy product each season, then those customers are going to find something else to do with their hard-earned money and free time. After all, we shouldn't be psyching ourselves up to go to baseball games. Do you psyche yourself up to go to Wal-Mart when you know it will be crowded, with long lines and 3 lanes open? No, you either wait until there's a NASCAR race on when crowds are at their lowest, or you go some where else to spend your money.

The same thing applies here.

Oh and one more thing. When Brian Roberts is playing for the Red Sox or Yankees in a few years, I'm sure he'll be talking about how great his fans are, to support his team on the road.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


It was only going to be a matter of time before the Orioles gave me some more fodder for this blog. For a few weeks there, I thought they deserved a break from me. After all, Trembley had the team playing above their talent level and they were winning series' left and right.

But now that the Orioles have lost 5 of their last 7, and have yet again made some head scratching roster moves and trades, the light is back on here at the offices of the Bad Oriole.

In case you missed it, which you probably did now that most Baltimore sports fans are obsessing over every little detail that comes out of Ravens training camp (and rightfully so -- the Ravens actually give something back to the fans), the Orioles made a small flurry of moves today, trading John Parrish to the Mariners for minor-league OF Sebastien Boucher and basically giving away one of their more useful players, Chris Gomez, to the Indians for $20,000 in return.

Scratching your head yet?

Why the Orioles decided to wait until now to start making these kinds of moves is beyond me. MacPhail has said millions of times that he needs time to analyze the organization. Did that extra week and a half since the non-waiver trade deadline really allow him to get a better understanding of the way things are in Baltimore?

Did he see a reason why Gomez should be parted with for a measly $20,000?

Gomez was actually one of the players on this team that had a role and fit in it well. Plus, unlike half of the current roster, he could have been useful here next year as well. Now I don't know what his contract status is like, if we can re-sign him next year, or if this is an issue that is even worthy of being discussed. After all, it was Chris Gomez. But on this roster, Chris Gomez is one of the guys you'd like to keep if a roster purge is suddenly in order.

And if this is the beginning of a roster purge, Brandon Fahey, Jay Gibbons, Steve Trachsel, Paul Bako, and Jay Payton better be next. I'd rather have Chris Gomez on the team over any one of these bums, even if the team is forced to eat a large majority, if not all, of their salaries.

On the other hand, John Parrish is a guy that needed to go. Parrish came up in 2000, amazed O's fans for 1 inning in his first start by striking out the first 3 batters the Yankees sent to the plate. But after that, it was a roller coaster ride with Parrish which was mostly made up of lows. He fought through injuries and control issues for 7 years and is still the same pitcher he was that day in 2000.

The Orioles didn't get much back for Parrish, and that's understandable, but it would be nice to see the O's try to get some RH batters. But Boucher will never see the majors.

But then again, these are the Orioles. Boucher could be called as soon as he arrives in Baltimore.

So in the end, I really am only crying over spilled milk. But the milk that was spilled was somewhat fresh, whereas the other cartons of milk in the fridge are all rotten and need to be poured down the drain.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dead Line

It comes as no surprise that the Orioles made no moves at the trade deadline yesterday, instead deciding to ride things out as they are, hoping that the recent string of winning baseball will continue. (The Orioles are 20-15 since Trembley took over as manager and have won 8 out of their last 10 games.)

It’s not smart to change your approach after a few weeks of winning baseball, especially when the Orioles have been one of the worst teams in the league for the last 10 years. The Orioles knew what they needed to do yesterday and failed to do it.

No one was asking for the sky. Well, at least no fan with a brain.

Now we’re stuck with Steve Trachsel, who makes another start tonight in Fenway Park, which is practically a guaranteed loss. Meanwhile Garrett Olson continues to dominate in AAA.

In a perfect world, tonight would be Trachsel’s last start, and Olson would take his place in the rotation next time around. Whether you put Trachsel on waivers or release him, it doesn’t matter. He’s starting to hurt this organization, even if he pitches well.

Here’s why.

Trachsel is a goner after the season while Olson has a legitimate chance to make the rotation next year. Why are we wasting time with Trachsel when we can build for the future today?

Like I said, hopefully tonight will be the last time we ever have to see Trachsel pitch in an Orioles uniform. But remember, these are the Orioles we’re talking about. Whenever the most obvious move is sitting in front of their face, they usually do the exact opposite.

So don’t be surprised if Steve Trachsel finishes the season in the Orioles starting rotation.

Yesterday, the lack of moves at the deadline showed us that the Orioles aren’t aggressive with MacPhail at the helm.

Dealing with Trachsel after tonight’s start will show us if they’ve changed at all.