Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2014 Orioles on Twitter

Now I know that some (most?) of you out there might not be into Twitter, but I've found it to be a fun way to get kind of behind the scenes with some of the players on the Orioles. If you don't know how the site works, essentially anyone/anything can have an account and can "tweet" (write a post) in 140 characters or less. Pretty much every sports team, TV network, sportswriter, etc. in the business has an account. And some of the players do as well, and that's what I'm writing about today.

I got the idea for this post when checking's site for the team, and discovering that they link to a page that purportedly shows all of the team's players' Twitter accounts. Except I noticed more than a few problems with the list they provide.
1) It includes multiple players no longer in the organization such as Chris Dickerson, Danny Valencia, & Jake Arrieta.
2) The Steve Johnson included in their list lives in Australia, and doesn't seem to have any connection to baseball. Definitely not the Steve Johnson currently pitching for the AAA Norfolk Tides.

 So today, I'm doing a rundown of the players who have spent time on the Orioles 25 man roster this year and checking to see whether or not they have a Twitter account.

Zach Britton- @zbritton
Wei-Yin Chen- @WeiYinChen16 be ready to break out your Taiwanese skills
Steve Clevenger- @Clev_45
Nelson Cruz- @ncboomstick23
Chris Davis- Used to have account @ChrisDavis_19 but cancelled it last season after being barraged by people accusing him of using steroids

Ryan Flaherty- @RFlaherty3
Miguel Gonzalez- no account
J.J. Hardy- no account
Tommy Hunter- @tHunter29
Ubaldo Jimenez- no account
Adam Jones- @SimplyAJ10
Steve Lombardozzi- no account
David Lough- @DLOrioles
Nick Markakis- no account
Brian Matusz- no account

T.J. McFarland- @66TJMac
Evan Meek- @meeker47
Bud Norris- @BudNorris25
Darren O'Day- @DODay56

Steve Pearce- @WayneTwentyOcho
Jonathan Schoop- @jonathanmamba46
Josh Stinson- @JStinny19
Chris Tillman- no account
Ryan Webb- @RyanWebb58

Jemile Weeks- @RealJemileWeeks
Matt Wieters- no account
Delmon Young- no account

So that's 17 of 27 2014 Orioles players who have a Twitter account. As you can see, many of the bigger stars on the team do not have an account, and of the players that do, the players vary in their usage of the site from Adam Jones's 21,000 tweets and 140,000 followers down to Steve Clevenger's single tweet and 111 followers. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The 2014 Orioles Walk-Up Song Project- UPDATE 2

Today brings another update in my season long look at the walk-up songs that the Orioles players are using this year. 

Since the first update, I've heard Josh Stinson's song, added another song for Adam Jones, and confirmed that Steve Clevenger still doesn't seem to have a song. Also added since my last post, the Orioles website has been updated. Although it still seems like some of the information does not match with what I've observed at games. But at least it was updated and includes quite a few more of the current Orioles.

Here is a recap if you need it
(This walk-up song project is something that I've enjoyed doing this the past three years (201320122011), although I admitted slacked off on it last year. But I am once again going to try to keep track of the songs that the Orioles players use as their walk-up/warm-up music. I really stayed on top of the songs in 2011, and updated the list six times throughout that year. In both 2012 & 2013, I only wrote the one, original post, but the funny thing is that I continued to take notes on the songs used throughout the season, and then just never got around to writing posts about the updates. Since this list is something that changes any time a player is added to the roster, or they want to change things around, the list is fluid, but here is what I have at this point in the season.) 

If anyone has any information to add or update from what's listed below, please let me know!)

Note-some YouTube links might contain explicit lyrics, if you're offended by that sort of thing.

Zach Britton- "Seven Nation Army" The White Stripes (O's site incorrect )
Wei-Yin Chen"Meng Xiang Qi Dong" Jay Chou (O's site incorrect)
Steve Clevenger- No song yet
Nelson Cruz- "Para Ti" Juan Luis Guerra (O's site confirmed)
Chris Davis"The Moment We Come Alive" Red, "I Get Wicked" Thousand Foot Krutch 
Ryan Flaherty"Bottoms Up" Brantley Gilbert (O's site confirmed)
Miguel Gonzalez- "Return of the Mack" Mark Morrison (O's site confirmed)
J.J. Hardy"Flower" Moby (Hasn't changed it once in three years, O's site confirmed)
Tommy Hunter- "Welcome Home" Coheed and Cambria (O's site confirmed)
Ubaldo Jimenez- "Rie Y Llora" Celia Cruz (O's site confirmed
Adam Jones- "Lose My Mind" Young Jeezy ft. Plies, "Ballin Out" French Montana ft. Diddy & Jeremih, "Club On Smash" Future (O's site partially correct)
Steve Lombardozzi- "Barefoot Blue Jean Night"  Jake Owen (per O's site)
David Lough- "I Could" Yonas (per O's site)
Nick Markakis"Deliverance" Bubba Sparxx (Probably his fourth or fifth year with this one, O's site confirmed)
Brian Matusz- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" Jimi Hendrix (O's site confirms)

Steve McFarland- no info on site or from game
Evan Meek- Possibly either "Master of Puppets" Metallica or "All Summer Long" Kid Rock
Bud Norris- "Nightcall" Kavinsky (O's site incorrect)
Darren O'Day"Thickfreakness" The Black Keys (Also third year using this song, O's site confirmed
Steve Pearce- No info on site or from game
Jonathan Schoop- "Go Get It" T.I. (per O's site)
Josh Stinson- "Hell On Wheels" Brantley Gilbert (O's site confirmed)
Chris Tillman"Kick It In the Sticks" Brantley Gilbert (Fourth year using it, O's site confirmed)
Ryan Webb- "Hysteria" Muse (O's site confirmed)

Jemile Weeks- No info on site or from game
Matt Wieters"Raised On It" Sam Hunt (O's site confirmed)
Delmon Young- "We Dem Boyz" Wiz Khalifa & "Zip & A Double Cup" Juicy J, 2 Chainz, & The Joker (per O's site)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Oriole #974- Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks was called up from AAA Norfolk prior to Saturday's Orioles game against the Royals and he became the first player who was not on the Opening Day roster to make his Orioles debut. (T.J. McFarland, Oriole #944, was called up last week from AAA but since he pitched for the O's last year, his 2014 debut wasn't his O's debut.) So Jemile has now officially grabbed his spot as Oriole #974. 

Weeks' debut has spurred me to think about if the 1,000th player to appear in a game will occur this year or next. Last year 24 players made their Orioles debuts, and Weeks is already the 8th new Oriole in 2014, but I just don't see another 26 players debuting for the team this year, so it will likely happen sometime early next year. If somehow it does happen towards the end of this season, that probably means that the Orioles will have had to deal with more injuries and/or trades than normal. So let's hope it doesn't come to that. 

Jemile was in the starting lineup atop the batting order as the DH for both Saturday and Sunday's games, and he went 3-8 with a triple and two runs scored. I expect his time in Baltimore to be short, at least this time around as both Manny Machado and Troy Patton will be returning to the Birds after an injury and a suspension, respectively. 

Thus far, I have had pretty good luck with getting Jemile's autograph, both at Fanfest and Spring Training. So these bottom two cards are available for trade, if anyone needs him for their collection.

Good luck Jemile! I hope that you have some nice success with the O's!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Finally...Mark Brown

Sometimes, I seem to be missing a signed Orioles card that all the other fellow O's autograph collectors already have, and that seemed to be the case with today's player, Mark Brown. I know that there are a limited number of some of these signed cards out there, so it's possible that all the others were already in a fellow collectors collection, but I was hoping that my day would come with him one day.

And finally, it has...

Not only signed, but personalized too! And a unique inscription of "Blessings". A fellow collector on SCN runs into Mark a few times a year and offered to help me out. Of course, I contacted him near the end of the baseball season last year, and he didn't see Mark again until this April, so my long wait for this signed card was made just a little bit longer. But not only did he get this card signed and personalized, he actually snapped a shot of Mark holding this card that he had just signed for me. That's about as good as it gets!

Now that I finally have a signed copy of Mark's Orioles Crown card, my other two autographs of his are available for trade if anyone is interested.

Orioles team issued postcard

'86 Topps Twins card

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Random Meeting with Joe Torre

OK, so I kind of lied yesterday when I said that I didn't have any more autographs to show off from Spring Training. I have one more I wanted to share. And this post is a long time coming, I had actually intended to write this right after I got back, but it took me forever to snap a picture of this autograph. 

This is exactly the reason that I like to keep a nice white OMLB in my autograph bag, just in case I run into an unexpected Hall of Famer, like Joe Torre. And I know that he isn't exactly a HOFer yet since his induction ceremony isn't until later this summer, but he has been selected for the Hall which is good enough for me. A few fans were asking Joe to include a HOF 14 inscription but he said that he didn't want to do that until he actually is in the Hall (also probably related to $). 

Joe was visiting all of the team's Spring Training sites in his role in the MLB Front Office to work with everyone on the implementation of instant replay. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. That's my dad in the orange Orioles shirt; he's a big fan of the O's orange shirts, chances are he might be wearing one as I write this!

Here's a better picture of my dad and Joe. He had just gotten his game ticket signed after I got my ball signed.

These pictures just remind me of what a fun trip it was, thanks again Dad!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Last of the Spring Training Autographs

While I had an absolute blast on my trip to Spring Training, it's hard to believe that I still haven't gotten around to posting all the scans of the cards I got autographed yet. I know that I can be a bit of a procrastinator, but this is bad. So without any further delay, here are the rest of 'em. (Aren't you glad this isn't a news site or something? I would just now be celebrating St. Patrick's Day or something.)

This post pretty much consists of autographs of coaches, and a few other cards that got skipped along the way.

Anytime you get an autograph of a Hall of Famer, it should probably lead off the post. Palmer is pretty accessible around O's games since he works on the TV broadcasts for MASN, but it's still always exciting to get his autograph. 

I'm not sure how I missed this Tillman autograph in my post featuring the other current O's but I did. And it looks like Chris was only signing one card per person this year, so I chose this nice orange uni Tides card over some other cards.

I can't honestly say when I got this card signed by Miguel. I didn't think it was on my trip but since I'm not sure, here it is!

I don't know how many different signed cards I now have that show Brady on various cards in an orange uniform, but it's more than a few.

Dave Anderson is the O's new infield instructor, and he was kind enough to sign these cards for me at minor league camp one morning. 

Scott was actually in the Orioles big league camp (I believe in 2012) trying to make the team, but faced some injuries and had to retire. He is now a coach for the short season Aberdeen Ironbirds. 

Like Palmer, Mike Bordick works for MASN and is around the team throughout the season. 

Former Oriole Butch Davis has been a minor league instructor for the O's for quite a few years now. He is currently the hitting coach for AA Bowie. 

 The Orioles sure do love to have their former players come back as instructors. Todd is a scout for the team and came into camp for a few days to work with fellow side-arm pitcher Darren O'Day on their shared unique throwing style.

Another former Oriole. Another current Orioles coach. As you can see, Mike is the pitching coach for AAA Norfolk.

You know the drill by now. Scotty pitched for the O's, and is now in the fold as an instructor in their farm system. He made a funny comment about disliking this picture of himself. Mid-80's Fleer sets seem to be full of these awkward shots.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Training Autographs- Minor Leaguers

Now that I've been back from my Spring Training trip for well over a month and the regular season is nearly three weeks old, I think it's about time that I make it through all of the autographs I got in Spring Training. So here is another post that is heavy on pictures and light on words.

Don't act like you mind. 

I'm gonna start off with some players who have actually played for the Orioles at some point over the years. 

Jack Cust was a late Spring signing who headed directly to minor league camp and never had much of a shot to make the O's. He was attempting a comeback but I think might have retired after being cut.

T.J. spent the 2013 season in the O's bullpen as a Rule V pick from the Indians but is back in the minors attempting to stretch out and become a starter down the road. 

Henry also spent some time in Baltimore last year but was edged out of the OF competition during Spring Training. 

This group of players were all at the O's camp during Spring but didn't make the team. 

You've most likely already seen signed custom Orioles OMC cards of most of they players here and I don't have much more to say about them.

 Stupid chrome cards. I even "prepped" this one. Obviously not well. 

I have to give Quintin props, he is a good signer.

 Two consecutive players with B.B. initials whose signatures largely consist of two large B's. Just an observation.

Kelvin's stock in the organization seems to have dropped pretty quickly. He signed a Major League deal, but has since been outrighted off the roster and is sporting an 11.37 ERA through six appearances with the AAA Tides. 

Now that's a proper chrome card signature. 

Could this be the year that Caleb makes the jump to the Majors? At least he's already progressed to AAA after a bunch of years at AA.

Johnny is another good signer, and I like to give respect where it's due. 

Xavier didn't seem like much of a fan of signing, but I still got him a few times. 

I heard from some other collectors that Eduardo was tough but I've never had problems with him. 

Jemile was sooo close to making the O's roster, but David Lough avoided a DL trip. 

The players below all signed for me on my one morning spent at minor league camp.

For whatever reason, Kalina has already decided that Ronald is the player she is going to root for at Bowie this year. 

Chih-Hsien is also with Bowie. 

That's a nice orange uni. 

And these two guys are already out of the organization.

Thanks again for taking the time to sign Alfredo!

Scott, we hardly knew ya!