Monday, May 4, 2009

Dat Nick

Bombs away in the first inning for Nick the Stick. Great freaking start tonight. Let's see if Shit Bird (that's Eaton) can actually hold a lead.

Lord, Crawford stole six bases yesterday. Imagine what he can do against Double G. 10? 30? The possibilities are endless....

Come on Birdland, let's get out of this funk.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Another night...another lead pissed away

(Yes, this guy has 3 RBI against us tonight.)

Tell you what, if MLB games only lasted four innings, the O's might be undefeated. Dat Nick jumped on Halladay in the first for a two-run job to give us an early lead, only for us to piss it away again. The game's not over yet (it's 8-4 right now as I type this in the top of the 9th), but our pitching has been pathetic again. Hendrickson can't get it done. Sarfate got shelled (shocker). And my boy Chris Ray let up two runs too. Damn it Ray, you're making me look bad. Shape the fuck up homes.

Actual quote tonight from Dempsey (actually I'm probably paraphrasing): "When the O's started 6-2 it was because everyone was hitting. Zauny was getting his hits..."

Really Rick? Really? I know he's your nephew, bro, but come on. You know better than that.

Here's hoping for a ninth inning rally.

Oh, and Rick just said, "You have to respect the Orioles committment to Felix Pie." No, Rick, you don't. And then he said that Montanez is the perfect No. 2 hitter for us. Um....last I checked, we had a pretty good No. 2 hitter.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bullshit Power rankings, take 3

I hate day games during the week (unless I'm at one, of course). There's just something about following online that pisses me off. That, and I can't exactly scream obscenities from my office when Koji gives up back to back bombs.

Pretty good outing by Koji, though. He kept us in the game, and that's what we expect of him. But we lost...again. The losing skid is at three games and we've sunk to 9-13. And that's two series losses in a row. Koji's fine after taking that liner off the chest, as evidenced by this quote from him:

"I'm more upset about giving up that home run. No pain." That's a guy I'll go to war with any day. Of course, that what his interpreter told everyone he said. He may have simply said, "It hurt like a bitch, damn it." No one knows. But I think it was the first one.

OK, so here we go with the third take on the Bullshit Power Rankings. As always, we'll look at the weekly rankings from ESPN and Sportsline for the Birds and the rest of the AL East, and find ways to tear them down. It's fun.

ESPN: Updated April 27
O's: 25th (prev. 22). "The Orioles have lost seven of 10 after starting 6-3." Ah, ESPN. At least they don't make you feel worse about yourself. It's hard to argue with what they wrote. Facts are facts.

Boston: 1st (prev. 8): "The Red Sox have outscored opponents 80-36 during their 10-game win streak." Fucking Boston. They've gotten hot in a hurry and it just seems like nothing they do is wrong. Need a spot starter? Plug one in and get 7 good innings from him. David Oritz is a corpse? Mike Lowell starts hitting. It's sickening.

Toronto: 3rd (prev. 4): "The Blue Jays have won their first six series of 2009." What the hell in going on in Canada? No matter. Cito is still their manager, they'll fold soon. I can't wait.

New York: 10th (prev. 6): "New York's pitching is the worst in MLB with a 6.25 ERA." And CC's only going to get fatter. Tee hee.

Tampa Bay: 18th (prev. 17): "Starting pitching (5.01 ERA) has been an issue for the Rays, who have lost nine of their past 12." This is actually the only ranking I have a problem with (shocker, I know). I'm just saying, the O's are 2-1 against Tampa this year so far, and they are ahead of them in the actual standings. Therefore, they should be above them in the power rankings. For now. Typical.

Sportsline: updated April 28
O's: 23rd (were 25th): "Adam Jones is hittin' and occasionally walkin'. Ssssshhhh. ... Given that their starting rotation is the baseball equivalent of an open sore, the O's are one of the few teams in baseball history that could make an intelligent case for carrying 13 pitchers." Not as incomprehisble stupid as usual, but I can't believe that they actually moved us UP in the rankings after our recent poor play. Eh, I'll take it I suppose. And why the 'ssssshhhh' after the Sugar Bear sentence? It makes NO sense. Is it a secret that he's becoming a man? Fuck and no. Just a case of a writer trying to be creative when he couldn't think of anything better to write. Ugh.

Boston: 1st (prev. 5th):"That whole "they won't hit enough and Kevin Youkilis' 2008 power numbers were a fluke" thing? Not my finest moment. ... What they have that most contenders lack -- hell, that most corporations, universities and governments lack -- is depth. If somebody goes down, the Red Sox don't pull out their hair and shake their fist at the heavens above (well, the team itself doesn't, anyway). They simply plug in the next guy on the depth chart and go about the tedious business of winning regular-season games at a 60-percent clip. ... As for the great David Ortiz, last seen waving at a Damaso Marte happy pitch that his 2007 self would've sent into orbit, he says that he's not hurt. Here's the thing: I no longer trust any athlete who claims, with fists clenched righteously, "I'm not hurt" (nor, for that matter, "I've never ever ever never ever used steroids" or "dude, that kid ain't mine"). We've been burned before. Can you blame me?" I have to be honest, I stopped reading after the first sentence. Whatever.

Toronto: 4th (prev. 4th): "According to my Google Trends report, there has been a sharp spike in the ascription of mythical, extrasensory winning qualities to Cito Gaston since the Jays started kicking tush. ... How many pitchers do the Jays currently have on the DL? 14? 22? ... They haven't lost a series or back-to-back games this season." Seriously, I can barely read this garbage. And, no, I'm not saying I'm a better writer. And I'm not jealous. I'm just saying that you would think a national Web site could find someone better. That's all.

New York: 11th (prev. 10th): "Run! Hoard canned goods! Enter into legally binding suicide pacts with your loved ones! The end of days is upon us, a mere three weeks into the season! ... I don't own a radar gun and I don't trust the inflated readings flashed on stadium and TV screens, but it sure looks like Joba Chamberlain isn't throwing anywhere near as hard as he did last season. ... It turns out that there is a slight difference between the baseball abilities of Alex Rodriguez and those of Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa. Who knew? ... Bullpens are fixable; injury-prone regulars on the wrong side of 30 are generally not. If I were a Yankees fan (cough! wheeze! aah-choo!), that would be what concerns me most." No argument with the ranking, I just can't read the garbage.

Tampa: 17th (prev. 12): "While only dumbasses and talk-radio muckrakers buy into the importance of a single series in early May, it'd sure be nice for the Rays to show a little something against Boston this weekend. ... It remains amazing to me that the Yankees and Red Sox, two organizations that generally have some vague idea what they're doing, pronounced Carlos Pena finished a few seasons ago. ... I know Rays fans have been shrieking about the pitching, especially in light of the staff's generosity in issuing free passes to first base, but it ain't like David Price is lighting up Triple-A (1-2, 3.71 ERA, eight walks and 20 K's in 17 innings over four starts)." Wait, what's that? A legit point! Presented poorly, sure, but some pretty good points in that paragraph. Still not sure how they're behind us in the standings, we're 2-1 against them, and they're ahead of us in the power rankings.

Just another reason why these things are, in fact, bullshit.

Till next time....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April Report Cards – pitchers (get your bottle of Jack ready)

(Poor Kranny has a tough gig, including getting Guts to be consistent.)

OK kids, start drinking heavily, prepare to light yourself on fire, or do whatever it is you need to do to get through this post, because it's time to grade the Orioles pitching staff on the first month of the season. This isn't going to be easy, but if we stick together, we can get through it. Hold my hand.

Before we dive in, let me address a comment left on yesterday's hitter's grades: I fucked up. I know Freel was traded for and didn't sign, and I just botched it. No excuse for that shit. So I manned up and admitted it, let's just move on. Oh, and Gregg Zaun deserved a fucking F.

Let's look at just how bad the pitching staff as a whole as been before we start dropping F-bombs, though. Here are a few numbers to chew on. Trust me, they're going to taste like rotten asparagus, so you won't want to chew on them for long.

Runs allowed: 134 (most in the majors)
ERA: 5.83 (tied for fourth worst. The Yanks have the worst team ERA. Tee hee.)
Average against: .303 (worst in the majors. Ouch babe.)
Hits against: 222 (worst in the majors. No one else even has 200 yet).
Doubles allowed: 52 (most in the majors. Feeling sick yet?)
Homers allowed: 37 (second most in the majors.)
Innings per start: 5.1 (tied for worst in the majors.)
Baserunners per nine innings: 15.0 (third worst in the majors.)

Fuuuuuuuuck. That about sums it up.

Add all of those with the fact that the O's have allowed a shit load of unearned runs, and it's enough to make you wonder how we've even won nine games. Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta can't get here soon enough.

And now, here comes your individual grades. We'll start with the, gulp, starters.

Jeremy Guthrie – 2-1, 5.20 ERA, . 298 avg. against, 27.2 IP.
Look, we all know Guts isn't an ace. Asking him to carry a pitching staff is like asking Steve Buscemi to carry a major comedy. If he can play a small part, he's fantastic. But he just doesn't have the stuff to be a headliner. Same with Guts here. He's a gamer. He'll give you all he's got. But realistically, he's a No. 3 starter. He's been a bit erratic this season, and he's got to start throwing more strikes and stop leaving the ball up so much. Whether he has the talent to be a stopper or not, that's what we need him to be.
Grade: B-. At least he has a winning record.

Koji Uehara – 2-1, 4.56 ERA, .231 avg. against, 23.2 IP.
Koji's one of only three pitchers on this staff with a winning record through a month. And no one has more than 2 wins. To quote Bill Simmons, "I will now gargle embalming fluid." It's hard to argue that Koji's been our best starter so far. And I expect him to keep it up. He throws strikes, he keeps us in games for the most part, and it's nice to get a little Japanese culture in the mix. Although the only thing I know about Japanese culture is Yokozuna and Ichiro. And Tom Selleck in "Mr. Baseball."
Grade: A-. Someone had to get an A on this staff.

Mark Hendrickson – 1-3, 5.40 ERA, .317 avg. against, 18.1 IP.
Hendrickson's a tall drink o' water. Port-a-potty water. There is absolutely nothing good to say about him so far. He's had ONE decent start, and usually throws upwards of 70 pitches per inning. This is going south in a hurry.
Grade: D-. The only thing saving him from an F is his one good start. You know what? Fuck it. He gets an F.

Adam Eaton – 1-2, 7.04 ERA, .338 avg. against, 15.1 IP.
Maybe everyone on the White Sox was at the Hustler Club in Baltimore until 6 a.m. the night before they faced him. That's the only way I can figure that he shut them down. I'll usually never side with Philly fans, but I don't blame them for booing him at the ring ceremony. What do you think of that Cowherd? Seriously. He sucks.
Grade: F. If I could go lower, I would.

Brad Bergesen – 1-0, 5.59 ERA, .326 avg. against, 9.2 IP.
Damn, it was refreshing to watch a young Baby Bird in his first start. Bergy was fantastic then. He got roughed up a little in his last start, but that was against Texas, arguably one of the best hitting teams in the bigs. But I feel like he's injected a shot of life into the rotation. I can't wait for the rest of the flock to follow him up. Love this kid.
Grade: B+. Keep dealing Bradley. Keep dealing.

Alfredo Simon – 0-1, 9.95 ERA, .308 avg. against, 6.1 IP.
Let's keep this short and sweet. The only thing good I can say is that he's out for the year. (All the best, though, Alfredo. I mean that!)
Grade: F.

Here come the relievers. Wait, that implies that they actually provide "relief." Let's change that to "guys who come out of the bullpen."

Brian Bass – 0-0, 7.20 ERA, .317 avg. against, 15.0 IP.
Bass and I didn't exactly get off on the right foot, but I'll give credit where it is due – he has been much better lately. Not that he could've been any worse. For a while, I questioned why he wasn't being sent down, then I realized it. When the starters get shelled and it's 9-0 in the third inning, why not bring him in and let him take a beating? Every staff needs a whipping boy, and he's ours.
Grade: D, only because of his recent efforts.

Dennis Sarfate – 0-0, 5.73 ERA, .262 avg. against, 11.0 IP.
Explain to me again how everyone thought the bullpen was going to be one of the team's strengths in the preseason? Sarfate doesn't pass my "demise test." If a "guy who comes out of the bullpen" makes me want to kick my dog in the throat and shotgun 13 warm Keystone Lights before he even throws a pitch, he fails. Sarfate fails.
Grade: F. I'm in a bitter mood, what can I say?

Danys Baez – 1-1, 3.48 ERA, .139 avg. against, 10.1 IP.
I'm not sure I'm ready to live in a world where Danys Fucking Baez is maybe our most reliable reliever, but that's the world we live in. Love his average against, and his 10-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Not a whole lot to complain about here with Baez. Just hope he stays healthy.
Grade: A. Wow, did that just happen?

Matt Albers – 0-1, 7.71 ERA, .400 avg. against, 9.1 IP
Let's just put it this way: my "demise test" was created by Matt Albers.
Grade: F.

Jim Johnson – 1-0, 3.00 ERA, .278 avg. against, 9.0 IP
Expecting Double J to be as lights out as he was for the first half of last season is insane, but he's still extremely solid. I feel confident when Skip calls on him to do work. One of the few bright spots.
Grade: B.

The Brim Reaper – 0-1, 4 saves, 5.19 ERA, .306 avg. against, 8.2 IP.
When your closer's ERA is over 5, and hitters are hitting over .300 against him, people die of heart disease. It's science. T-minus 2 bad outings until Chris Ray's in the closer spot.
Grade: D. He just makes things too scary every time he comes in.

Chris Ray – 0-0, 5.14 ERA, .323 avg. against, 7.0 IP.
Ray's numbers aren't any better than Sherrill's, but if you watch this team enough, you know that his stuff looks better. He's been solid after his rough start, mainly by fixing his arm angle. At least that's what Jim Palmer says in between stories about himself.
Grade: C. But this could be an A by the end of May. I believe in this dude for some reason.

Jamie Walker – 0-0, 0.00 ERA, .385 avg. against, 3.1 IP.
At first glance, you might say, "Wow, Walker hasn't allowed a run all year! He's great!" But then you realize that his only purpose is to get left handed hitters out. And to teach teammates how to speak redneck. And then you see that lefties are hitting .500 against him, and suddenly he doesn't look so squeaky clean. But you can't ignore that ERA.
Grade: B-.

Radhames Liz – 0-0, 67.50 ERA, .667 avg. against, 1.1 IP
'Nuff said.
Grade: F-----------------------------------.

Back tomorrow with the latest round of the Bullshit Power Rankings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April Report Cards

(I think it's pretty safe to say that Sugar, B-Rob and Nick the Stick have all earned A's for the first month of the year.)

I know that there are two more games (not counting tonight) left in April, but I'm trying to think of new features to write for this blog other than game recaps. So I'm breaking out an April report card for every player who has played in a regular season game for the O's this year. We'll do the hitters today and work on the pitchers tomorrow.

(Side note: what do you guys want to read about on this blog? Do you want daily game recaps, or would you rather us just rant and throw in some cool shit like a minors report, report cards, bullshit power rankings, etc. Tell us what you want and, damn it, we'll give it to you.)

So anyway, sorry about the lack of updates at the end of last week. Not to make excuses, but I've been trying to think of something other than game recaps to post here. Let's face it, you can find those anywhere. Not to mention, I've been trapped in a catatonic state since Eaton threw a quality start. My wife finally waved a bear claw under my nose to slap me out of it. But excuses aren't welcome here, and I don't intend to make any. I dropped the ball last week, and I'm sorry. Won't happen again, honest. My goal is to get a new post up here every day, but we're still working out kinks so that it isn't just a stale game recap. OK, that said, here's your April report card for Dem O's.

B-Rob – .372, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 18 runs, 8 doubles
You know you're having a damn good month when you go through a 2-for-14 slump and you're still hitting .372. I think B-Rob's been overshadowed by Cano and Kinsler's hot starts among AL second basemen, but as the Skipper will tell you, he is the leader of this club. He's a ballplayer, pure and simple, and you can't ask for a better guy to look up to if you are a young guy like Sugar Bear. The numbers are fantastic. The intangibles are even better.
Grade: A

Sugar Bear – .348, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 20 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple
We've all seen Sugar Bear becoming a man so far this month. He's exactly what we were hoping for when we sent Boo Hoo Bedard away. That might've been a steal for the O's in a 1-for-1 trade, let alone a 5-for-1. I haven't seen someone get robbed so much since Barry Zito stole all that money from the Giants. Sugar still makes some kid mistakes, but he just got his driver's license last week, so that's to be expected. This kid's got it, man. And if he isn't playing in St. Louis in July, something's wrong. Fucking Jacoby Ellsbury will probably make it over him.
Grade: A

Big Dick Nick – .389, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 21 runs, 9 doubles
When Camden and I were at Cal's HOF induction a couple years back, he looked at me and said, "They should just induct Nick now and save us a trip back up here." Good times. Andy Mac should just go ahead and lock Taylor Markakis up now. He'll be rippin' tits in 4 years.

If B-Rob is the leader of the club, Markakis isn't far behind, and he is the face of the franchise. He's going to win Gold Gloves (although his assists are going to go waaaaay down this year since nobody will run on him. Of course he just had Blalock nailed at 2nd if Andino could catch.), he's going to hit over .300, he's going to drive in 90-100 or more and he's going to his 25-plus homers. And he once threw a sunbeam past a rooster. What more could you want from a guy? We're lucky to have him, man, so enjoy it Birds fans. It's a fucking treat, isn't it? Seeing him and Sugar patrol this OF for the next 6 years or so is a joy. I don't think Nicky is a 35 homer guy, though. Does he have the power? Certainly. But I just don't think he's that kind of hitter. Does that make sense? Probably not.
Grade: A+

Huff Daddy – .276, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 10 runs, 6 doubles
Goodness, the top four in this lineup is scarier than seeing Teri Hatcher topless. I'd like to see Huff Daddy with a few more homers so far, especially considering two of them came in the same game, but beggars can't be choosers, I suppose. Wait, sure we can. Hit the ball out Aubrey. He will drive in plenty of runs, though.
Grade: B

Ty Wigginton – .227, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 runs, 1 double
Here's where the praise starts to end. Wiggy has been absolutely dreadful at the plate. He's doing an OK job filling in for Mora at third, I suppose, but has been NOTHING like I expected from him at the dish. And I hate watching him at third too. He either makes a nice play and then takes his sweet ass time making the throw, or he can't bend his fat ass over to get the ball. And he looks lost at the plate. The Crow should tape his eyelids open and make him watch game film for 6 hours a day. Look at it this way, he's gotta get better. Right?
Grade: D

Melvin Mora – .313, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 run
Ol' Melvin's got as many homers and RBI as Wiggy .... in 50 less at bats. Good gawd. Hopefully he can come back and hit the way he started before he hurt his 80-year-old hammy. Wiggy also makes him look like Brooks in the field. Come back soon Melvin. We miss you.
Grade: Incomplete. But a B- for the games he did play.

Luuuuuuuuuuuuke – .292, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 runs, 5 doubles
I've never been a big Luke guy. Not really sure why, either. I mean, he doesn't complain, he plays hard, and when he's hot, he can flat out rake. I don't know, man, I just can't get behind this guy. Don't get me wrong, I cheer him every time he's up and I like him. I just....I just....can take him or leave him, I suppose.
Grade: C+.

Double G – .109, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 7 runs, 4 doubles
I get it. He's Dempsey's nephew, he's just here to tutor Wieters, and blah, blah, fucking blah. I don't care. He can't hit a lick. It's borderline embarrassing. Five hits in 46 at bats? Bleeeeech. He's done a great job behind the plate and all (even though he couldn't throw out Bea Arthur trying to steal. What, too soon?), but let's just hope he doesn't try and give The Cure a hitting tutorial when he gets the call up.
Grade: C-.

Cesar Izturis – .230, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 runs, 2 doubles
We certainly didn't sign Izzy for his bat, and I hope he didn't pull the wool over anyone's eyes with his Opening Day homer. That's his one for the year. No mas. One thing I do like about Izzy is that he makes contact. He'll put the ball in play and at least give any runners on a chance to move over and get them in scoring position for the Big Birds. But let's call a spade a spade, he's about as close to an everyday out as you can get for an everyday player.
Grade: C, for his defense.

Felix Pie – .167, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 runs, 0 doubles
I'm officially out of patience with this dude. He LF play is questionable at best. He swings at pitches behind him. He punches infants. OK, I made that last one up. But seriously, how long does he have to play himself out of a job? I know he's out of options and that the job is his to lose, but hasn't he almost lost it yet? Tell you what, if Nolan Reimold keeps lighting shit up in Norfolk, he'll be up faster than you can say "too dee loo, Felix."
Grade: F.

Robert Andino – .333, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 runs, 0 doubles. least he's got four hits.
Grade: I haven't really seen enough of him to properly do we'll say a C. He hasn't been too much of a trainwreck when he does play, I suppose.

Ryan Freel – .133, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 runs, 0 doubles.
Here's how you don't get fans to like you. Get paid millions while many of your fans are losing jobs every single day, and publicly complain about your role, even though you knew the depth chart when you signed. But I'm willing to give Freel the benefit of the doubt, because I understand he's a competitive dude and just wants a chance. He hasn't done dick so far, though.
Grade: F.

Lou Montanez – .167, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 run, 1 double
I know Sweet Lou won the Eastern League triple crown last year, and probably deserved a chance to play up here when Melvin got hurt, but I just haven't seen any progress from him. This isn't his first cup of joe. I like him, but I fear he may be a 4-A player. I think Nolan will do better when he comes up.
Grade: C-. He doesn't get an F because he's only got 12 ABs, and his defense is eh.

So there you go, the first month grades for our hitters. Thank God for the top of the lineup. Now let's see if we can hold on here against Texas and get a series split.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quick Observations

Not to knock Mac off the head story here but I have a couple minutes during Hell-Week to post some random thoughts...

Why can't Jeremy Guthrie get ahead of hitters anymore?

A lot of people have asked how the "Sugar Bear" name has come about...After attending a game and an extended stay at Pickle's one weekend last year, my cousin and I, who will remain as an unnamed reader of this blog but rhymes with Ron Bunslap, came up with it over a few drinks and it just seemed to fit. We'll leave it at that.

Absolutely loved seeing Bergy pitch like that in his debut last night. I feel like doing my best Paul Revere imitation: "The pitchers are coming, the pitchers are coming!" Hopefully, Bergy is here to stay and look for David Hernandez or Troy Patton to be up next, followed by the truly elite prospects in Tillman, Arrieta, and Matusz. 

Nick Markakis is one of the best two-strike hitters I've seen. I feel like every at-bat he has two strikes and still gets the job done. 

Starting to look at the 2009 June First-year Player Draft and it could be very interesting. Obviously, San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg is the top prospect, so with us picking 5th, we have no shot at him. Not to mention word has it that his "advisor" Scott Boras will be asking for a MLB deal worth $25-$50 million. I hope Boras stubs his toe on a Great White's grin. Anyway, Grant Green is a shortstop prospect from USC that I've been keeping my eye on. I feel like he would be an intriguing prospect that could help the O's as Cesar's contract expires at the end of the 2010 season. More on the draft later.

I have officially erased last Friday's game against the Red Sox out of my memory bank. Just pretending it didn't happen. As Mac mentioned earlier, the Prairie Fires assisted me with that task. 

Just wanted to chime in while I can. Mac will keep you updated until next Monday, then I'll be back with him full-force. 

Welcome to The Show, Kid....(and welcome back, Sugar Bear)

We've been waiting (some of us patiently, some of us with more rage than George Costanza) for what seems like eons to see some of what Andy Mac is always talking about. "We're going to grow the arms and buy the bats." I hear that sentence in my sleep. And many of us have seen the Baby Birds throw down on the farm, but we hadn't seen them against real Major League sticks in a real, live Major League game.

Until last night.

Brad Bergesen was the first Baby Bird to leave the nest, and pitched about as well as we could have imagined last night against the White Sox, who are a pretty good veteran group of hitters. One earned run on four hits in 5-plus innings. I'll take that every single time.

But once again, un-fucking-earned runs. Holy shit. This time two more, thanks to an error by Wigginton. I really, really can't wait for Mora to get back. Wiggy's too fat to play third. If that grounder last night were a quadruple stacker from Burger King, there's no chance it gets by Chubby. A team that was supposed to be built on defense LEADS THE AL in unearned runs right now. Yeah, it's early. But you never, EVER, want to be No. 1 in that category. Not even after Opening Day. That's how 90-loss seasons happen, man.

But enough of the negativity. Let's get back to Brad (or Ice Berg as a commenter on Camden Chat called him...). A lot to like about this kid. He works extremely quick, which I always like. And he's got good movement on his breaking stuff. He ain't shorting out any radar guns, but he's going to be solid. And you have to love the Skipper's committment to him. He said something along the lines of Bergeson being in the rotation. Last night wasn't a try out. (Yes, I'm too damn lazy to look up the actual quote. You want that, go to the Sun's website). And he said it as he often does, matter-of-factly. Skip doesn't mix words. I wonder if he's like that at home?

Trembley: "Honey, you're making meatloaf tonight, and we're adding it into the regular meal roatation. This isn't a try out for meatloaf. Now don't fuck it up."

Mrs. Trembley: "OK Skip, I'll do my best."

Nice to see Aubrey get the power stroke working again two. I'm 61 percent sure that the first one he hit went over the warehouse. Yeah, I went there. The second one was a bomb too.

And Nick continued to show why he is Big Dick Nick. Like Camden, I heart him. I truely do.

Damn, it just felt good to see the sticks show back up and knock 74-year-old Jose Contreras around a bit. And it's always nice to get back to .500.

As for tonight, we're already losing 3-0 as Guts is off to a rocky start....again. But Sugar Bear's back, which is always a good sign.

Oh, and we just learned that Alfredo Simon is out for the year.

At least I'm leaving you with some good news.