Yahoo Sports - Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter termed the event a “controlled scrimmage.” The opponent used pitchers (including left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada) and a catcher from the Orioles roster. Major league stars such as J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Matt Wieters took only a couple of turns apiece at the plate and played about five innings. And the adversaries played for eight innings total, not a full regulation game. With that context — perhaps you call it “spin” — understood, there’s no other way to put this: A community college team beat the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota chapter, edged the O’s 2-1 in a charity game at Ed Smith Stadium. The O’s look like a charity case, all right. If this were European soccer, or if baseball did relegation, Nick Markakis might be carrying a book bag and a class schedule around Camden Yards this spring. And he didn’t even play! Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel, who has logged 734 career innings in the majors, allowed two runs and three hits over five innings to the Manatees. Those sweet, lovable manatees. SCF freshman Orlando Rivera — a freshman! — went 2 for 3 with a stolen base, scoring the eventual winning run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning.
Holy shit they’re doing it. The Orioles are making a run at the Mets for worst franchise in baseball. Baltimore is in the process of pulling off the greatest reverse Moneyball the world has ever seen. They have successfully taken a team with a middle-of-the-pack salary (18th as of the end of last year) and built the shittiest compilation of MLB “talent” in the league. Any hope that the new wildcard format may have brought to the city of Baltimore has been crushed after this 6th grade AAU traveling team couldn’t even edge out a victory against the fucking State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota chapter. Do you know how hard it is to be worse than community college students in baseball? Do you know how hard it is to be worse than community college students in anything? However, I will commend them on their blockbuster acquisitions of Wilson Betemit and Nick Johnson.
Toronto Blue Jays
Well it’s that time of year again. College chicks are DTF anything, I’ve been sneezing for like 6 straight days, and we have to give Toronto the obligatory “I think they can compete this year.” Fuck that. I’m not getting suckered into that shit again. Toronto is and has been an irrelevant team for years. Even when Carlos Delgado was routinely peppering homeruns off the restaurant windows in centerfield, it just didn’t matter. The Toronto Bautistas will continue to be a joke for as long as they’re in the same division as the Yankees and the Red Sox. Better start blowing Bud Selig for that divisional realignment. Otherwise, it’s gonna be another long summer up there in America minus. Come at me, Drake.
Two teams down and we can finally stop including the rejects at the Thanksgiving kids’ table and talk about an actual contender. Tampa always has the pitching to make a serious run, and they’ve got some pretty solid bats as well. For some reason though, as long as BJ Upton is on the team, I just can’t take them seriously. The guy goes into treadmill cool-down mode any time there’s a ball in the gap.
Boston Red Sox
As much as it pains me to say it, Boston scares me this year. You ever try fucking with an ex-alcoholic after he’s been told no more drinky drinky? That O’Doul’s shit is garbage and it just pisses them off by making them remember the sweet taste of freedom. The Sox are coming out angry after an epic collapse in 2011. Don’t be surprised if they tear shit up right out the gate. I’m (unfortunately) expecting a big bounce back from Carl Crawford and the rest of Bobby V’s squad. It’s cool though. Daniel Bard is a starter now and his no-movement heaters make Kyle Farnsworth look like he’s throwing Wiffle Balls.
Kentucky won the tournament Monday. Must I say more? Pineda’s phantom tendonitis (much reminiscent of Phil Hughes’ “dead arm” of 2011) aside, the Yankees are coming into 2012 strong. A Rod is fresh off the same surgery that restored Kobe Bryant’s illustrious, adulterous career. A Rod is poised to put some 2001 juice numbers on the stat sheet. I’ll take that lineup, that rotation, that bullpen, and that dime-piece Suzyn Waldman over anyone in the league. Tell me Waldman wouldn’t have CRUSHED Smokesmash back in her day.
PS – The best thing about this Baltimore Orioles piece is the part where the community college coach says “I would not claim it as a W.” State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota chapter refuses to even acknowledge a victory against such a shitty team. Like yeah it was a nice tune up game for us, but we need to focus on the real competition, our rivalry match with the Devry University Punching Pandas on Thursday.