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Posted by Mackus on 05 July 2015 - 11:46 AM
Posted by BSLBobPhelan on 08 July 2015 - 08:23 AM
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Posted by RShack on 05 September 2014 - 12:51 AM
Hello, campers... how's it hangin'?
I watched the Reds' feed of the 2nd game, just to see what their announcers are like... they're actually pretty good...
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Posted by BSLMichaelWeber on 25 June 2017 - 07:17 AM
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Posted by BSLMikeRandall on 24 December 2015 - 02:22 PM
Thank you all so much for your kindness during this rough time. I don't even know where to start when describing my dad. He built his house with his bare hands back in 1980. A log cabin out in Carroll County where he grew up. He was adored by so many people had so many friends, was always the life of the party. Unfortunately, being the life of the party is what ultimately led to all of his friends out living him. The last five or six years life seemed to unravel around him. He got sober about 18 months ago, but the damage was already done. It's been painful on him, all of the side effects of slow liver failure. He's the life of biggest party of them all now.
Witty, quick with a joke, an old fashioned manly man. He made things, works on his own vehicle, planted a garden big enough that we rarely had to buy vegetables. Hunted and fished, and kept the freezer stocked with deer most winters and fish most summers. Built fires in the fireplace and rarely ran the heaters. An old school kind of guy.
He was a big Orioles, Colts, Terps, now Ravens fan, and his dad had always gotten them season tickets to the O's and Colts when he was a kid. He could tell stories for days. His fandom wained in the 90's and 2000s because "it wasn't the same without Earl". But it came back the last few years because Buck "reminds him of Earl". Same with the Terps. He watches, but "it's not the same without Gary throwing a fit out there." Like I said, old school kind of guy.
I could thank him for so many things, but one that stands out is my competitive spirit that I get from him. When I was a kid, he didn't make life easy on me. He didn't handle me with kid gloves. Whether we were playing checkers when I was a little guy, playing HORSE in the driveway on the regulation height basket, or when he robbed me of a home run in a father/son baseball game when I was 16, he never let me win. I needed to "practice, get better" if I wanted to win. I couldn't play HORSE with him with the basket lowered to 7 feet at 10 years old. How would I ever get better if i make the game easier?
The way he raised my brother and I gave us very thick skin which you need to make it through life's toughest tests. I wouldn't be half the man I am without his guidance.
Make sure you all have a Merry Christmas, and tell your parents you love them.
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Posted by BSLChrisStoner on 19 November 2013 - 09:00 PM
Tonight, Baltimore Sports and Life, LLC claimed our 5th win in Mobbies History, defending our crown as Baltimore's best Pro Sports Blog.
I'd like to thank our contributors for the great work they've done this year... this award is for them. Also, my sincere thanks to all of our posters for helping to drive us to this win, and the support you've provided.
I look forward to taking the next step as a site this year... as we work to become recognized as a legitimate peer to Baltimore's existing sports media leaders...
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Posted by BSLMikeRandall on 29 January 2019 - 10:51 AM
Sorry if this is TLDR. I finished the book Astroball a few weeks back and compiled some notes that I found interesting. Some things related to the O's, some things we can maybe expect from the new regime led by Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal. Some of this might not be news, but enjoy it anyway.
Sig Mejdal (pronounced my-dell) has two masters degrees, was a NASA rocket scientist, but applied what he studied in psychology of astronauts to his dream job, in baseball. He got his start after reading Moneyball in 2003, and sending every team an analytics forward resume, pitching that he could make teams twice as good at drafting by coming up with a way to translate amateur players stats to professional projections. He also went to the winter meetings with brochures, trying to sell himself to anyone whose face he recognized from Baseball America’s photos of front office employees. Knowing most of his brochures ended up in the garbage, one person called him up. Jeff Lunhow, who was just promoted to scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005. He sought Mejdal to become a scout for him. Then Mike Elias, 23, the following year.
Mejdal found that the best college player in 2005 was Jed Lowrie at Stanford. Mejdal feared he’d be laughed out of the room being the new guy and suggesting a short, skinny, second baseman would have a better career than a big, imposing, son of a major leaguer, Lowrie’s teammate, John Mayberry Jr. The Cardinals also liked SS Tyler Greene from GA Tech who “looked like a major leaguer.” The Cardinals ended up selecting Greene at pick number 30, while Theo Epstien with the Red Sox scooped up Lowrie at pick number 45.
Mejdal was right. Lowrie still going strong, earning his first ASG selection in 2018. Greene and Mayberry Jr. never amounted to much.
Lunhow and Mejdal in the wake of Moneyball felt the story showed the scouts to be antagonists. They didn’t want that to be the case. They concluded the human element can’t be eliminated. So in 2006, Mejdal created a metric called STOUTS. Half his performance based algorithms and stats, half scouts analysis. From that, they had some really successful, drafts with the Cardinals, including finding some talent deep into the double digit rounds.
Lunhow eradicated previous biases after so many teams passed on Mike Trout. Mainly because only one of ten New Jersey high schoolers drafted in the first round ever became anything remotely noteworthy, and that was in 1965. Players size, where they are from, what level they play on, none of that matters to them anymore.
In 2010, Elias was sent to Puerto Rico to scout Carlos Correa, a 15-year-old playing ball with men much older than him. Elias noted that he saw Correa hit a line drive off the opposite field (right field) foul pole, and the ball never got more than 10 feet off the ground. He'd never seen that speed off the bat before.
When Lunhow became GM of the Astros in 2012, he brought Mike Elias, then 29, to be his special assistant for scouting. Sig Mejdal came along and was baseballs first Director of Decision Sciences.
They believe a lot in high breaking ball spin rates. They picked up Colin McHugh off waivers despite awful traditional stats. 8.94 ERA over 15 outings, and turned him around. Same goes for Charlie Morton who closed out the final innings of the World Series. They simply had those guys rely on their better pitches more often.
Turned around George Springer. Extremely high K/rate in single-A of once every 3.7 ABs, from swinging too hard. Adam Dunn, striking out the most in MLB in four of his 13 seasons, did so once in every 5.5 ABs at single-A. Springer didn’t swing at bad pitches though, drawing a walk every two games. Just tried too hard on good ones. I'm not sure this is Chris Davis problem because he swings at alot of bad pitches. But it's good to see that it can be fixed with the right coaching.
Turned around Dallas Keuchel, taught him to pitch backwards. His FB topping out at 89mph would appear faster after starting hitters with breaking stuff. They also introduced a lot of video work to the Astros staff, combined with where to attack every hitter, and where to stay away from. This helped Keuchel go from a name that away teams PA announcers always butchered, to Cy Young winner.
In their third year in a row picking number one overall, they narrowed down their options to Brady Aiken, Tyler Kolek, Carlos Rodon, Aaron Nola, Nick Gordon, and Alex Jackson. They took Aiken based on all the information they had compiled over the past three years, based on all the data, all the human elements, and disregarded the fact that he was a high schooler. Turns out upon his physical, Aiken’s UCL was congenitally small, making Tommy John more likely. The Astros lowered their offer to $3.1M. Aiken declined, and eventually was the first number one overall pick in the last 31 years not to sign. But the Astros knew the rules that they would receive compensation as long as they offered 40% of the slot value. The lowball offer was exactly the 40% of the $7.9M slot value for the 1:1 pick. Compensation was the number two pick in the next years draft.
Aiken tore his UCL after 13 pitches into his first competitive action for IMG Academy in Florida.
With the compensation pick the next year, the Astros selected Alex Bregman number two overall. Even if he was undersized by some major league execs. "Allegedly six feet tall? We don't give a shit."
To recap, since the O’s have the 1:1 pick this year, Lunhow, Elias, Mejdal’s three 1:1s were Carlos Correa, Mark Appel, and Brady Aiken. Appel never got out of single-A, went to the Phillies, retired after three years of never getting to the majors. Aiken hasn't gotten out of Cleveland's A-ball in 178 IP with an ERA well over 5.
They let J.D. Martinez get away. A hitting coach with no answers for a player OPSing sub-.700 suggested he “change his swing”. To which Martinez said, “so they can send me to Triple-A after I go 0-for-20 while changing my swing?” He found the stroke on his own when he went to play winter ball in Venezuela. Returning to camp next spring, he begged them to give him a real chance, that he had changed things for the better, he was ready to prove it. The Astros didn’t give him that chance. He wanted 40+ at bats, and only got 15, and then DFA’d.
Lunhow had fired manager Bo Porter after the 2014 season, and knew the next manager had to have worked in many facets of an organization so they know how they all interact. Had to understand the power of analytics, had to be data driven. They interviewed 10 candidates and asked each one if it would be ok if the front office and analytics department sent down the lineup card every day. Many said “yes” which was the wrong answer. The front office wants to give the manager all the data possible, but leave the human element to them. Only they know if someone was battling a cold, didn’t sleep well, had sore legs, didn’t trust a pitch that day, anything. They hired A.J. Hinch.
The Orioles hiring of Brandon Hyde doesn't check all the boxes Hinch did for Lunhow. But maybe Hyde checks enough of them and really buys into what Elias and Mejdal want to do here.
Mike Elias became Jeff Lunhow’s assistant when former assistant David Stearns took over the GM role for the Brewers at age 30, in 2015. The Brewers are a team on the rise. We can only hope Elias has the Orioles going in the same direction soon.
Lunhow and Mejdal believed in chemistry. Just because you can’t quantify it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Someone or something in the locker room is the glue that holds it all together. For the Cubs it was a guy like David Ross. The Astros went out and brought back Carlos Beltran for the same reasons.
I would not be surprised one bit if we see Adam Jones back in an Oriole uniform before he hangs it up.
Beltran knew it was tough for young players to approach veterans for help. Remembered how scared he was to ask Barry Bonds for advice when the two shared a locker room at the All-Star Game. Bonds obliged the young Beltran and took him to the cage and taught him a few things. Bonds would turn the pitching machine all the way up (95+mph). Then starting in the batters box, would move closer and closer to the machine until you physically could not catch up to the ball. Seeing 95mph at 45 feet away makes seeing it at 60 feet away look a lot slower.
Beltran was at least seven years older than anyone else on the team when he came back to Houston in 2017.
Through a complicated study, it was determined a team could win or lose three games based on “in-groups” in clubhouses. If the young guys and old guys were separated, the Americans and the Latinos had their own groups, pitchers and hitters…the divisions, or “fault lines” in locker rooms could be a six game swing because someone’s mind might not be on the task of winning, but on the task of learning a new language, wondering if the old guys despise a youngster. A once poor English speaking Beltran was taken under the wing of an English speaking teammate when he made it to the big leagues. It put him at ease that someone would cross that “fault line”.
Beltran noticed when he got to the Yankees in 2014 that they had three Japanese players, each with their own translator. However, they had five times as many Latino players, many who spoke no English, and they had no translators, so Beltran played that role for them. He lobbied MLB to ensure each team hired a full time Spanish-translator, and two years later they did. But today, walk into almost any MLB clubhouse, and you’ll see a dividing line between the in-groups, the English speakers, and Spanish speakers. Beltran sought to break that barrier.
Beltran united the Astros clubhouse by making things fun. Getting rid of those fault lines. Alex Bregman helped Cuban defector Yuli Gueriel, ten years older than him, with English, and vice versa with Spanish. Just like the help Beltran got as a rookie. Brian McCann held an elaborate funeral for Beltran’s glove after he had DH’d for two months straight. They got replica boxing title belts, and after each win the pitcher of the game and hitter of the game would be awarded the belts. Next win, the belt holders would award it to the next guy.
They had fun as a team. The Orioles version of this was the post-game pie in the face, which was banned by the front office. Somewhere along the way it stopped being fun. Perhaps the Angelos brothers will allow fun things besides locker room ping pong and corn hole.
Beltran was also addicted to the video room not just for himself, but watching for his teammates so he could help them out. He was the one who found Yu Darvish tipping his pitches, exposed that to his teammates who ripped the ball off Darvish in his World Series starts.
A flaw in Mejdal’s algorithms are that they don’t like deadline trades, where one team is giving up lots of potential future value, for a little bit a present value. The Astros trading for Verlander would have been vetoed by Mejdal if they relied solely on math to make their decisions. But they also felt like having the Tigers eat $16M over the remaining two years of Verlanders deal, meant that getting a pitcher like Verlander at essentially a 2/$40M deal, would be impossible on the open market. Even at age 35, a 4/$100M+ for future HOFer would be more likely.
The Orioles pulled the plug at the last minute on trading Zach Britton to the Astros, but no reason why was given. Perhaps Elias won’t be a non-waiver deadline dealer, but they know there are two deadlines. The 2017 Astros were very quiet at the non-waiver deadline while other teams loaded up. They were patient and landed Verlander a month later.
Mejdal doesn’t just hide in the “nerd cave”. He spent three months in the summer of 2017 coaching first base for the Valleycats. Houston’s A-ball equivalent to the Ironbirds. He was there to make sure that even at the lowest level of the system, they are incorporating data into their infield positioning and pitch selections. Among other secret tasks.
Of the 25 players on the Astros World Champion roster, three were inherited by Lunhow when he took over in 2012. Four were draft picks of his. Nine were players traded for, and nine were free agents they had signed.
Five years from now, will three players in the Orioles organization still be here?
Final words of the book: “As the data landscape flattened—as every organization gained access to the same set of numbers and technologies—the new edge might come from those sources that were virtually impossible to quantify and to incorporate into statistical models. There would, in other words, always be a place for human intelligence alongside the artificial kind, and not just in baseball. There would always be a role for gut feels.”
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Posted by BSLRobShields on 30 August 2016 - 10:45 PM
The good news was that the levels weren't too far off. We had found out that we were having twins but then one of the twins didn't make it. The doctor felt that there was still some evidence of the deceased baby and that could be throwing off the levels, so they had us do another blood test.
After almost 2 weeks, we got the results today and everything came back normal. and while you can never rule something out, it's incredibly unlikely at this point.
And because we took this test, we found out the sex of the baby and we are having another boy.
Just so relieved about the health news that the sex of the baby hasn't sunk it that much yet.
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Posted by BSLRobShields on 02 July 2014 - 09:53 PM
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Posted by Moose Milligan on 09 March 2014 - 03:38 PM
A few more weeks until Opening Day but as I've been reading posts on here about how our team is looking and who is battling it out for the #5 rotation spot and in the bullpen...I realized how thankful I am that we're past the days of holding out hope for guys like Daniel CaBBrera and wondering if we can squeeze a good year out of Russ Ortiz or Steve Trachsel...wondering if Aubrey Huff will have a good year at 1B/DH....Knott and House, the all time spring training heroes (SG, I'm looking at you)...Castro/Fahey/Bynum battling it out for a middle infield spot...Radhames Liz....Garrett Olson...guys that we had hope for but deep down we knew that they wouldn't pan out to anything. Brian Burres.
Things are so much better now. It's nice to finally have a spring training where there's some good talent battling it out for the final few roster spots with more talent in the minors that can step up. As it stands now, we'd have Bud Norris #5 and we're looking at signing Ervin Santana with Gausman waiting in the wings.
Feels nice to have a positive feeling in spring training for once instead of looking at guys who are lining up for the slaughter.
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Posted by Il BuonO on 29 December 2013 - 02:27 PM
Hey everyone. Most of you probably know me from the OH as socalbirdfan. Strong likelihood that I may be moving in the near future so I thought I would go with the board suggestion as my name for a board handle.
I have been an ardent supporter of the Orioles since 1970 when I watched them win the series. My love for the team is probably quite a bit different than most. I've never actually been to Baltimore which may end this year. My brother and I have been talking about going to take in a series at OPACY for a few years now and it may finally happen.
Anyway, my Dad was born in Rochester, New York and moved to California when he was in HS. Naturally he continued following the players from his home town team all the way up to the time when me and my brothers were born. I've never been a Dodgers fan until very recently and even that has been on the periphery. Being an Orioles fan in California has been an interesting experience to say the least with yearly trips to Anaheim to see them play the Angels and now indoctrinating my daughters as fans. It's all been worth it to see them finally turn it around as of late.
I was an All City High School player and played against the likes of Brett Saberhagen and former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest, who was a very good SS. Later, I went on to play three years of college ball and garnered All Conference honors in the OF. I had a chance to sign with Tigers after my junior year for a roster spot(they had given all their bonus money to D1 guys and I was D2) but I had family considerations. After college I went on to do some scouting and coaching as recently as last year.
I hope to contribute and join in the discussions here on a regular basis.
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Posted by The Epic on 02 May 2017 - 07:38 AM
I just leveled way up in my career, applying for a job that I thought I wouldn't be able to get.
A lot is about to change for me, and I couldn't be happier.
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Posted by ReggieYinger on 01 February 2016 - 09:15 AM
For the past five seasons, I was employed by the Baltimore Orioles. While my official title was listed as a "Player Development Coordinator", I experienced a wide variety of job responsibilities. However, one thing that remained the same was the fact that I watched a lot of baseball and scouted a ton of players with the Baltimore organization. Working in baseball is a lot of fun, but also a lot of time. This means long days, little pay and sometimes frustration. During my time, I learned a lot not only about what to look for with players, but also about baseball development. There is a lot of action that happens behind the scenes that fans don't see - this plays an important role in how the organization defines itself.
Thanks to Chris, I'll be here on BSL giving you an insight into the world of minor league prospects and the Orioles. I'm not from the "old-school" in regards to scouting and believe that there is more to scouting than just watching a player.
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Posted by BSLMichaelWeber on 27 November 2015 - 04:47 PM
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Posted by DuffMan on 27 January 2015 - 04:45 PM
Duff Boy came into the world bright and early today at 5:15 a.m.! Brooks Steven is doing great and so is Mom! His two big sisters are excited too!
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Posted by Ricker Says on 17 December 2018 - 10:30 AM
Best year of my life.
-Moved to the North Bethesda/Garret Park area (5 minutes from work)
-Started living and have met a great group of amazing people
-Entered 2018 at 340 lbs, should finish 2018 at around 235'ish
-Practiced meditation daily, mindfulness has changed my life and my relationship with my thoughts
-Overcame many fears and doubts and am finally having healthy relationships, and dating has been a ton of fun
-Developed and executed on a great Relationship Sales program that has taken my career to the next level
Many of you remember the loooooonnnng post last winter about everything I was struggling with. Appreciate all of you, and for your understanding as I spent a good part of this year on edge and that certainly came through on here.
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Posted by Slidemaster on 03 August 2018 - 04:42 PM
Forget his WAR. His CAR (class above replacement) is off the charts.
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Posted by Mashed Potatoes on 01 April 2015 - 09:04 PM
1. Got an Op-Ed published in the City Paper, http://www.citypaper...0,3488158.story
2. Said peace out to rent and then heeeyyyyyyy to mortgage payments!
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Posted by Dr. FLK on 16 October 2014 - 09:36 AM
It was an awesome season. They won the AL East. They overcame what should have been crippling injuries. They swept the Tigers in the ALDS despite facing multiple Cy Young winners. They made it to the ALCS, were competitive in every game, but came up short against a team that is absolutely on fire. Tremendous season with a disappointing final 4 games.
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