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Tag:Kevin Millar
Posted on: June 14, 2008 12:37 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2008 12:53 pm
 

O's reliever Jaime Walker loves the throwback uni

from baltimoresun.com

By. Dan Connolly

When Orioles reliever Jamie Walker walked into the home clubhouse yesterday, he was "pumped up."

Walker saw the Orioles' 1979 throwback uniform, the orange stirrups and the cartoon bird hat waiting for him in his locker. It was all part of the Orioles' turn-back-the-clock celebration recognizing the "Orioles Magic" club of 1979, which eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 7 of the World Series.

The Pirates, who began a three-game series with the Orioles last night, haven't been in town for a regular-season or postseason game since Oct. 17, 1979.

"I didn't know we were doing this," said Walker, 35. "To me, this should be our game hat. And I love this jersey; this is one of my favorite jerseys."

It's not the first time Walker has worn the old, cartoon-bird hat.

When he was about 8, he played a baseball-throwing game at a county fair in Tennessee, and he correctly "guessed the speed," on his third pitch. So he was allowed to pick any baseball hat as a prize. He chose the one with the cartoon Oriole, and he wore it everywhere.

"I love that bird," Walker said yesterday, smiling. "Just look at it."

The Orioles wore throwback uniforms yesterday, but the Pirates didn't. Pittsburgh was not an active part of the promotion because the game honored the 1979 Orioles' season and not just the World Series, director of communications Greg Bader said.

"This is a celebration of the birth of Orioles Magic and the 1979 American League Champion Orioles," he said. "While the inspiration for this celebration is the Pirates' return to Baltimore for the first time in 29 years, [Friday's] activities and ceremonies are not meant as a recreation of the '79 World Series."

Remembering the magic

During pre-game festivities, the Orioles honored four former Orioles: Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver; third baseman Doug DeCinces, who hit the game-winning homer that triggered "Orioles Magic"; and the pitchers of record from 1979's Game 7, the Orioles' Scott McGregor and Pittsburgh's Grant Jackson, who also pitched for the Orioles in the 1971 World Series loss to the Pirates. Weaver, who turns 78 in August, received a standing ovation from the Camden Yards crowd.

Afterward, while speaking to reporters, Weaver, in true ex-manager form, defended why he didn't have John Lowenstein bunt in Game 2, which the Orioles eventually lost by a run.

He wasn't the only one reliving those hard-fought games yesterday.

McGregor, who pitched eight strong innings in Game 7 but allowed a two-run, Series-clinching homer to Willie Stargell, talked about the "one bad pitch" he made. But McGregor, who won a World Series ring with the Orioles in 1983, also summed up that magical 1979 season.

"It was a wonderful experience, win, lose or draw," he said.

Millar in lineup

First baseman Kevin Millar, who left Thursday's game in the second inning after fouling a ball off his left kneecap, called Orioles manager Dave Trembley at 10 a.m. yesterday to ask for some time before the manager made up his lineup.

"Oh, I didn't take the call. I screened it," Trembley said. "That would be the last guy I'm talking to."

Still, Trembley listened to the pleas of Millar, who said the knee was swollen but OK, and put him into the lineup in the fifth spot as the designated hitter.

"It feels a lot better than I thought it would," Millar said. "I don't have speed as one of my tools, so it doesn't hurt my speed."

Trachsel update

Right-hander Steve Trachsel was granted release waivers and can become a free agent on Tuesday if he goes unclaimed.

Posted on: March 13, 2008 8:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2008 6:52 pm
 

2008 Baltimore Orioles Season Preview

2007 Record - 69-93, 4th in AL East, 27.0 GB

Key Departures: Miguel Tejada/SS(HOU), Erik Bedard/LHSP(SEA), Corey Patterson/OF(CIN)

Key Acquisitions: Matt Albers/RHP(HOU), Adam Jones/OF(SEA), Dennis Sarfate/RHRP(HOU), Luke Scott/OF(HOU), George Sherrill/LHRP(SEA)

Into the off-season, GM Andy MacPhail made a statement by turning the franchise into a rebuilding state. Unfortunaltly, it will be a while before the O's climb back on the horse and become a contender. Peter Angelos did them in for the past ten years. Now, the O's lose one of the best southpaws in the game, Erik Bedard, but gain a new closer, a very talented center fielder in Adam Jones, and three young pitching prospects. Before that, macPhail dealt shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for outfielder Luke Scott, two young pitchers expected to step in immediatly in Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate, a third base prospect expected to see some playing time and one of the best southpaw prospects in the game, Troy Patton. Even with the departures of Bedard and Tejada, I expect the O's to be better. Both Bedard and Tejada were bad clubhouse players. The O's tossed them out and started new. The 2008 Orioles have a good chemistry of young components along with some oldies to help the young guys out.

 

Offense: The Offense of the O's will be a torture to watch at the beginning, but expect it to get a fire lit underneath after a bad April. Expect to see Ramon Hernandez to bounce back to somewhat of his 2006 form, where he hit .275 with 23 home runs and 91 rbi's. Kevin Millar will start the season at first base. Millar is a good team player, but he is not at all a starter. Hopefully Mike Costanzo or Scott Moore can take over at some point. Brian Roberts comes back to the Orioles after dodging a spew of trade rumors this off-season. Roberts may very well be the best player on the trade block, and will be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. Unfortunatly, shortstop is a horrible position of the O's as well. Luis Hernandez is currently the starter, but is absolutley horrible in Spring Training. Brandon Fahey may very well be a better option and with Hernandez's play, could be the starter at shortstop on opening day. Melvin Mora is doing very well in spring training , but probably will not bring it over to the regular season. He could be a trade chip, but I don't think too many teams will be interested. Maybe either Costanzo or Moore will take over eventually. Here is where the O's are best, the outfield. Nick Markakis is just one of the few top 20, under 25 outfielders. He will get help from Luke Scott, who becomes the new starter at left field. Stuck in the middle of these two is youngster Adam Jones. Expect good seasons from all three of these players.

Pitching: Last year proved that just because you have one of the top 10 pitchers in the game dosn't mean you pitching is good. Adam Loewen and Jeremy Guthrie are in a tight battle for the ace of the staff, while Daniel Cabrera and Steve Trachsel basically sit calm in the 3-4 spots. The other battle is between Matt Albers and Lance Cormier for the 5th rotation spot. The bullpen was where the team was a blow up last season. The had two non-closer's under 4 ERA(Chad Bradford and Jaime Walker). Both Bradford and Walker along with closer george Sherrill will be on the trade block come deadline time. Other than that, the bullpen becomes a toss-up. There are two others who will probably make it, they are Dennis Sarfate and Randor Bierd, who was a Rule-5 pick this off-season. There is also Garrett Olson, Radhames Liz, Brian Burres, Greg Aquino and other battling for the last one or two spots.

Strengths: The O's have a few bright spots. There strong at catcher(Hernandez), second base(Roberts) and outfield(Markakis, Scott, Jones). It will not be a pretty year to be a Birds fan, but it will be fun watching the new guys and the young guys form the team and try there hardest. Probably there best strength is that they have around $30-$40M to spend in free agency next year on young but talented guys like Mark Teixeiria

Weakness: Man, was it easier to just name the strengths. The O's need a first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, and a lot of good youth pitching to become a contender. The good news, they have a potential prospect at just about every position. The offense is half and half, kind of like they have been in spring training. They will be great one day, then come out and fiddle around for 3 hours the next day. If they can become a team that wants to win, who says they can't.

Line-up

player photo1. Brian Roberts/2B

player photo2. Melvin Mora/3B

player photo3. Nick Markakis/RF

player photo4. Aubrey Huff/DH

player photo5. Ramon Hernandez/C

player photo6. Luke Scott/LF

player photo7. Adam Jones/CF

player photo8. Kevin Millar/1B

player photo9. Luis A. Hernandez/SS

*Editors Note: The Projected Line-up is what I believe the O's opening day line-up should look like.

 
 
 
 
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