Orioles End String of Losing Seasons; Pirates Battling To Do the Same

(The following was originally published at The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

The Baltimore Orioles may not win the A.L. East or even make the playoffs, but if the final two weeks of the season end in disappointment, there will be at least one small consolation for the franchise. Thanks...

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Two years ago with Pettitte

The Orioles of 2010 were not a good team. Not like today. But they had a decent offense. Brian Roberts was playing well. Luke Scott was having a career year. Matt Wieters was developing into a major league catcher and hitter and Nick Markakis and Adam Jones were good young players. Plus, Buck Showalter had taken over and the Orioles were playing good baseball and ESPN was calling the team the “Flying Showalters.” All but Scott were in the starting lineup against Andy Pettitte two years ago. Like today, no one knew what to expect from Pettitte coming back after being out since July 18, 2010. Pettitte had a brilliant first half and even made the All Star team that season with an 11-2 mark. So his injury really hurt…just like it did this season.

The first inning got off to a bumpy start. Pettitte was staked to a 1-0 lead as the Orioles’ starter, Chris Tillman was very wild that day.…

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Looking back at the 2012 Staten Island Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Taylor Dugas (OF): Dugas was a strong presence in the Staten Island lineup this season, hitting .306/.465/.373 over 59 games. Pay particular attention to his .465 on base percentage, a product of his drawing a league leading 51 walks, while striking out just 35 times.

Matt Snyder (1B): Snyder hit .299/.397/.428 with 34 RBIs, three homers and thirteen doubles. He also managed to work more free passes to first base (26) than strike outs (19).

Saxon Butler (1B): In 36 games in the NY-Penn League, Butler dominated opposing pitching. He hit .296/.370/.620 with ten homers, fourteen doubles and 36 RBIs.

James Pazos (LHP): In 28 appearances (40.1 innings), Pazos went 2-2 with a 1.79 ERA. He struck out 39 and walked just nineteen.

Players to Watch:
Ravel Santana (OF): The return of Santana, after an ugly ankle injury ended his 2011 season, was much anticipated. A five-tool prospect who had dominated the GCL prior to his injury, Santana struggled this season.…

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Looking back at the 2012 GCL Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Jerison Lopez (2B):Lopez was the cornerstone of the Yankee offense this season. He hit .321/.385/.415 with fifteen RBIs and thirteen doubles. His performance earned him GCL All-Star honors as the Yankees’ lone representative.

Mikeson Oliberto (OF): If Lopez wasn’t the one starting a rally, it was likely Oliberto. The outfielder hit .279/.342/.477 with eight stolen bases, three homers, six triples and thirteen doubles.

Jordan Cote (RHP): Cote was the Yankees 3rd round pick in 2011 and the raw hurler from New Hampshire showed just what the Yankees were excited about when they signed him. He absolutely dominated the GCL, going 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA over 27.2 innings. He gave up no homers, struck out 25 batters and allowed just four walks. He held opposing hitters to a .204 average before being promoted to Staten Island and promptly placed on the 60-day DL (mainly to limit his innings, not due to a specific injury).

Players to Watch:
Austin Aune (SS): This year’s second round pick showed some good stuff this year, though his defense definitely needs some improvements.…

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Appreciating MLB Labor-Ownership Peace

I was a pretty big critic of the CBA signed before the 2012 season started by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. I viewed it as a short-sighted attempt to reduce player development costs, which in the long run would hurt the sport.

That said, it could be worse. After labor disputes...

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