a guy and a bee

a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us

Tag Archives: jj hardy

orioles, what’s next?

new 2012 logo!

with the ravens season over, it’s time to focus on baseball season. being born and raised in the baltimore area, i was raised as an orioles fan. growing up with the oriole way was great but not being old enough to remember the ’83 world series and not seeing one since has been a tough way to be a fan. as we all  know, the last 14 years have been tough for any orioles fan; however, i can’t give up on them now.

“What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

having grown up as a baseball fan and playing and umpiring baseball for the vast majority of my life, i always watch the game with a critical eye. i sometimes joke that i’ve forgotten more about the rules of baseball them some people know. we all know this year is going to be a another rough year. there was promise when andy mcphail came in and things went okay and now that he is gone, dan duquette is attempting to put his stamp on this organizations. he’s stirred up things in the front office, but has he done enough? we’ve had a problem developing talent for years now and some of those people that were in charge for the last several years are still around. as far as the talent on the field, i haven’t been blown away. seems like more of the same but on a bigger scale. he’s brought in a lot of decent talent and some older talent as well as a mix of foreign born players. many of these guys are expected to strengthen the organization overall but how many of them will make a splash with the big league club? on the surface, i like some of the deals that they have made.

new oriole, tsuyoshi wada

i would have hoped they showed up and made a splash with a #1 pitcher, especially now that Guthrie has been traded, but there’s two sides to everything and one of those guys would have to want to come here as well. now we have a chance with the guys like wada, ayala, hammel, eveland, and a cast of others who we have signed to bolster up a rotation with guys who hopefully have bright futures like britton, matusz, arrieta, and tillman.

they’ve also worked to bolster up the other position players. when i say worked, we don’t know if they will work or if anyone of the trades/signings are any good. right now, none of them remind me of the hardy trade last year but hopefully they will turn into a nugget as showalter would say. i’ll leave all the advance stats and sabremetrics up to the experts like camden crazies and camden depot, but on my gut feel, and i know many of the others feel the same way, it’s going to be a tough season. last year, i had great hope for the team. at the start of the season , i had them at .500 or better, but this year, i think its going to a struggle to even get there.

this year as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of oriole park at camden yards, i am going to continue to enjoy the team and the stadium. for the second year, bee has gotten us a partial game plan for my birthday. it’s been different the last couple years enjoying the game through the eyes of someone who is new to the game. when we get to the stadium, i enjoy watching the game through her eyes and explaining many of the different aspects of the game to her. having been to at least 150 games, from memorial stadium to camden yards, it’s neat to see someone who is new to the sport. i’ve seen great games, terrible games, games in final week of the streak, the orioles vs. cuba game, fireworks games, and many more. this year, again, we will cheer on her favorite player, nick markakis and many others, and give it the old college try. just like the orioles.

what’s next? who knows what will happen. maybe, for a lost generation of orioles fans who haven’t seen a winning team, we will see a billy beane like season and make a run to better than .500 and make a run at the postseason.

see you at the yard! i’ve met lots of great people there over the years so stop by!

oriole park, photo courtesy of me on flickr

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orioles fanfest

fanfest supplies

as you might have noticed if you follow my twitter feed, i attended orioles fanfest today with other loyal fans of this great franchise. since the last 14 years haven’t been the greatest, this annual event is one where friends turn out to see what the team has done in the offseason and where the brass thinks the team is going this year.

dan duquette and buck showalter

i arrived at the convention center right around 10 am when event opened for season ticket holders. unfortunately my buddy jason couldn’t attend this year since his wife gave birth to their first child a little over a week ago so i ventured downtown alone this year. fanfest is a nice combination of orioles player and personnel Q&A, autographs, giveaways, and other activities for kids. after arriving, i heading to the merchandise section. this is an area they have every year for new and game used items as well as a silent auction. i picked a up banner, shirt, hat, a couple programs and some flanny patches. they also have a lot of game worn jerseys out and if you aren’t the first person through the door or pick the lucky pile, you won’t get any of the stars. showalter and many of the other tops players are first to go. there were tons of jerseys from players in the minor league system or who were on the team. one guy was very excited about getting a justin duchscherer jersey although he never played an inning here. there were also game worn pants, helmets, hats, and used bats. i considered getting an autographed luke scott back but figured since he was gone, maybe not or $100.

large turnout

from there i swung into the giveaways area. this was alot better run this year than last. last year the line wound through the middle of fanfest. early on they had brian matusz bobbleheads and orioles magazines featuring matt wieters. later i saw some camo floppy hats. i already had a few from the season. after that i wondered through the main area and listened to some of the panel sessions. after that and wondering around, i got in line for my autograph sessions. last year, when they signed JJ Hardy, i became a big fan of his. he’s my style of player and definitely one this team needs so i wanted to get his autograph. at that station was reimold, hardy, larry sheets, and rick dempsey. i asked rick when he was putting out his next CD. he wasn’t sure yet, LOL.

palmer signing autographs

at the same time slot, i got another ticket to what was supposed to be kevin gregg, jim palmer, and adam jones. gregg had to back out last minute according to @birlandinsider. i asked palmer why he had written his name on the table and he explained to me that one was his signature in 1965 and the other was current. apparently the new one is better for the wrist. it wasn’t as crisp and easy to read so i guess that’s why. darren o’day, who i am not 100% sure who he is yet told me he liked my party hardy t-shirt. he was a recent addition to the team. jones was my final autograph. i had actually gotten his autograph a few years ago at a wendy’s when they were taking players out into the community so it was good to see him again. even talked to him about @baltimoretom per his request. haha.

after taking a spin around the event again, i headed out. i passed on the clubhouse tour this time since my foot was bothering me. it hurts if i stand on it for too long and has for a couple years now but the day was worth it. probably should get it looked at sometime soon. maybe before the next fanfest. hope everyone else that went had a great time too!

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