In preparation for the weekend series versus the Baltimore Orioles, I exchanged five questions with Matt Sadler of Right Off Russell, a Baltimore sports blog. You can see my responses here. Below are my questions, and his answers.
Weiters will finish the Year with a .285 average and 17 HRs. I think He will continue to mature and find his rythem. I don't expect big numbers out of him until 2011, but compared to what the other O's catchers were doing .285 would be a drastic improvement.
2. The Orioles and Phillies are similar in that they are strong offensive teams who have gotten terrible pitching so far. Do you expect things to turn around for the pitching staff? Is there help on the farm?
Not really. The Birds came into the season with 2 starters, Guthrie and Uehara. Everything else was fair game. Brad Bergeson has shown promise and it seems that the GM is allowing Rich Hill and Jason Berken some time to prove their stuff. The big turnaround in the staff will take place over the next year and a half as the next set of top pitching prospects make it to the big leagues.
3. The Orioles have some terrific young players in Wieters, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, as well as some solid vets like Aubrey Huff and Brian Roberts. Do the Orioles seem focused on keeping this core together, or will it get broken up due to cost and talent issues?
Everyone in that core group, except Huff, is expected to be in B'more for a while. Roberts and Markakis just signed big contracts. Jones and Wieters are still early in their years in the bigs. Huff is in a contract year and I suspect he will be gone by the trading deadline. The O's have been known to re-sign a player after trading him a way the previous year.
4. Tell the truth: What do you think of Peter Angelos?
At the moment, I am ok with him. I think he has finally made the decision to hire good management and stay out of the way. If Steinbrenner could get out of his own way to win all those champioships in the 90's there is no reason that Angelos can't do the same.
5. The Orioles are a classic franchise with a long history of winning, but which is experiencing a decade plus run of misery. How frustrating is this? Where does the blame lie? Should we just refer to Question #4?
Of course it is frustrating. I think this year is different. This is the worse the team has been during the drought and yet for the first ttime there is hope. The blame lies in the Yankees..... I say that in jest but its partially true. When Angelos first came into power, the O's were up there in salaries. They found out they just couldn't keep up with the Joneses and stay profitable. So they scaled back... big time. They floundered for several years hoping a couple big names could turn things around. I really think they are finally on track. At least, I really HOPE they are on track.