Monday, July 30, 2007

Congrats Cal!

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I took a few minutes from watching the Yanks run up the score on Daniel Cabrera in the early innings yesterday afternoon to watch Cal Ripken's Hall of Fame induction speech (you can watch it from the Baltimore Sun site by clicking here), and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a little choked up.

Basically from the time I was born to the time I was almost 18 years old, Cal was a constant with the Orioles. There were some pretty rough years in there and a couple playoff runs. Jim Traber, Larry Sheets and Lenn Sakata gave way to Craig Worthington, Joe Orsulak and Randy Milligan, who then gave way to Jeff Manto, Jeff Huson and Leo Gomez. But Cal was always there. Now there's no one like that.

Melvin Mora and Jay Gibbons are the only players on the Orioles who were with the team when Cal finished the final game of his career standing in the on-deck circle with fans chanting "we want Cal" as Brady Anderson struck out to complete the 98th loss of the 2001 season. And no offense to them, but I don't think too many people are going to look back 10 years from now and say, "Gibbons and Mora ... they were Orioles baseball." At least not with the fondness and reverence that goes to Cal.

So here is my congratulations to Cal on his Hall of Fame induction. For 21 years, he was Orioles baseball.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Personal Quest: Keep Dmitri Young and Kevin Millar in the area!

First of all, let me just say for the record (and for your convenience) that there are a couple places I go for trade rumors, and no, is not one of them:

Ben Maller's MLB Rumors page on Fox Sports.

Yahoo! Sports MLB Rumors.

That should be enough to keep you occupied for 20 minutes at work. On to the good stuff...

The Washington Post passively mentioned that Dmitri Young could be traded to a contender if the price is right.

Meanwhile, The Sun says what we already know, that Kevin Millar is "one of the Orioles most marketable players" (that they might be willing to part with, at least).

These trades simply cannot happen.

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Young has to stick around, if only because he has the best screen name in The Dugout: SteakGrowsOnDmitri. That and If_Anything_I_Could_ Say_That_This_Cabrera are the only two on the site that I actually replace the player's real name with in my mind.

Also, when resident crazy man Jose Guillen was not re-signed by the Nationals after the 2006 season, I was so disappointed. Who else was going to call another team's manager "a piece of garbage"? Enter Dmitri Young.

Like Guillen, Young is a reclamation project who was given an unconditional release by his former employer. But Young is even crazier than Guillen. And he was an All-Star this year!

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Besides his .390+ OPS, Millar cannot be traded because, as SC at Camden Chat said, "Millar is kind of like the Rally Monkey, only he's a player on the team."

And because there's a corny between-innings video that they show at Camden Yards where O's players pick the best singer on the team, and after the majority vote goes to Millar, the video shows him in Benito Santiago shades going "DA NA NA NA NA NA DOCTOR FEEL GOOD!!!!!!"

And who can forget the Ray Lewis dance?

That's worth the price of admission right there.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What? The trade deadline is in eight days?

Being an O's fan (or a Nats fan for that matter), it's pretty easy to forget when the trade deadline rolls around. Because trade deadlines are for "good" teams that are "still in the hunt," or at least teams with good players that someone else might want.

So as I wake up from my month-and-a-half long sleepwalk through the local sports scene to realize that, hey, they're actually still playing baseball and someone I've heard of might change teams soon, it's time to take a look at who might get unceremoniously shipped away from our local losers.

With Miguel Tejada hurt everything gets real boring around here, because who's even worth talking about if not for destined-to-fail Tejada-for-so-and-so-pitchers rumors?

On the Nats all eyes are on Chad Cordero. And honestly who else is worth a damn? Jon Rauch would add bullpen depth to a contender and his name has been tossed around also, but trading away your two best relievers -- both of whom are under 30 -- doesn't seem real smart for a team that's building for the future.

Don't get me wrong, no one's building a franchise around a bullpen, but not having one will certainly slow the process (just ask the Orioles).

Allegedly Ryan Church is on the block, and if Jim Bowden had his way he'd replace Church with Adam Dunn. That's a great idea but I don't see any way that Bowden has what it would take to get Dunn from the Reds. Although I wouldn't have thought Royce Clayton and an over-worked Gary Majewski would have been enough to get Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez from the Reds, so I guess anything is possible when dealing with Bowden's former employer.

For the Orioles there are a few trade options I guess.

They could dump Kevin Millar off on some team that needs a DH or first baseman who gets on base at a .390 clip (that's what he's doing this season ... I didn't believe it myself until I looked it up). The obvious fit is the Yankees but he's said he doesn't want to go there -- or anywhere for that matter.

Steve Trachsel could get some looks from teams who are REALLY strapped for starting pitching (even Rodrigo Lopez got some looks last July). But his departure won't really be much of a loss for the starting rotation with Garrett Olson proving he deserves a shot, nor will Trax bring much of anything in return. So who really cares?

Other than that, there's your typical list of guys who are only in rumors in Orioles fan circles because we want to see them gone, not because there are actually any takers. Danys Baez tops the list of course. Jay Gibbons is a close second. Some have even suggested Chris Ray, but he's got huge upside so why trade him when his value's never been lower?

Yep. Nothing but questions. Boring questions that no one really cares to know the answers to.