Tag Archives: ryan braun

Ryan Braun Versus the Other Cheaters: The Biogenesis PED Scandal

Milwaukee Brewers slugger and 2011 National League MVP copped a plea deal with Major League Baseball yesterday regarding the mountain of evidence that implicated him in yet another Performance Enhancing Drug scandal. The deal was that he would be suspended for 65 games without pay effectively ending his season.

The scandal involving the Miami Florida based Biogenesis corporation involves many more players than Braun. The biggest fish caught in the MLB dragnet is New York Yankees Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez who currently leads active MLB players in home runs. Rodriguez has not played a Major League game this season and after doing time in rehabilitation and minor league games is injured yet again. Since he is an admitted user of PEDs it stands to reason that he will endure a heavier punishment than Braun. Reports indicate that he is attempting the reach some sort of deal with MLB but most do not believe that a deal will be cut.

Somewhere close to 20 other MLB players may be caught up in the Biogenesis scandal. It is an indication that even though most of us would like to believe that the “Steroid Era” is over, that it is not. Far too many players are still evidently finding ways to use PEDs.

Ryan_Braun_AP120224144044_620x350

Ryan Braun proclaiming his innocence of  testing positive of PEDs at Spring Training 2012

All that being said we have to come back to Ryan Braun, who before his initial positive tests for PEDs was considered to be one of baseball’s “good guys.” He is well liked. Many people stood up for him when he was accused the first time. When he tested positive for PEDs he lied or denied the allegations.

Unlike many previous players accused of the use of PEDs who couched their lies in more obscure and less definitive Braun’s comments were bold faced lies. In December 2011 in response to the initial tests he stated “This is all B.S. I am completely innocent” and in February 2012 stated “There are a lot of haters- a lot of people who doubted me and a lot of people who continue to doubt me.” When the allegations of his involvement with Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis came to light in 2013 he said “I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.”  

So Braun lied. A lot of people do when under pressure. But Braun did something that nobody else in baseball did when confronted with the use of PEDs. Like Lance Armstrong he went on the attack. He, his allies and his lawyers went all out to destroy the reputation and livelihood of the man who took his test samples. They went after Dino Laurenzi, the attacked his integrity they attacked his honesty and his character. They did their best to destroy a man who was simply doing his job. That is the real crime here. Laurenzi lost his job and was treated as a pariah.

On the other hand Braun accepted the National League MVP award for the 2011 season, the one in which he tested positive. Braun was caught in 2011. He lied about it, He lied to his team mates, his fans, the media and even got other professional athletes to defend him, knowing all the time that it was all a lie. He got away with it for a time and in the process did all he could to destroy the life and reputation of another man who did nothing wrong, other than not get to a FEDEX drop box quickly enough because of the late hour. At the opening of Spring Training in 2012 he even had the nerve to attack the MLB anti-drug program. It was arrogant, filled with hubris and when I saw it I lost any modicum of respect I might have had for Braun.

The 65 game suspension is far too light in my mind, not because of his use of PEDs but because of his lies, his destruction of another man’s livelihood and his hubris in deciding to do it again. I hope that Laurenzi is able to take Braun to court and strip him of everything and In hope that MLB will strip Braun of his 2011 MVP title.

Mr Braun deserves no sympathy and his actions to admit his guilt were not heroic. They were just another means of a sociopath to attempt to manipulate public opinion to make himself look better and set the stage for a comeback where he can play on people’s inherent need for a redemption story. I would like to believe him but I cannot.

I know that others have done PEDs and that a host of record holders have been implicated including one of the game’s greatest pitcher’s Roger Clemens and Home Run king Barry Bonds. I also know that some other big name players besides Rodriguez are caught up in the Biogenesis scandal. I only hope that unlike Braun that these men behave as men and take responsibility for their actions without the self serving, narcissistic, and sociopathic machinations of Mr Braun who even when admitting guilt practically played the victim.

That would be good for them and for baseball. This era has to end. While I am not satisfied with the 65 game deal that Braun got I know that for once MLB seems to have the upper hand against offenders. I hope that this will lead to the game being cleaned up. That may be a forlorn hope, but judging from the reaction of many players to the current bunch of cheaters the tide just might be turning.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Baseball, News and current events

Baseball in February: The Freedom Classic and an MVP Beats a Drug Charge

I was able to go to a baseball game today. It is hard to believe that there are ball games going on outside of Spring Training but NCAA College Baseball has been underway for over a week. Today drove up to Kinston to take in a game between the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy. The occasion was the Second Annual Freedom Classic.

It was a cold day with temps in the low 50s and winds blowing 15-25 miles an hour but I was able to get together with my friends in Kinston to watch a game for the first time since the Kinston Indians final season ended with a loss to Frederick in the Carolina League Championship series on September 15th.  Though the weather was cold it was good to be back with my friends watching a game at a wonderful baseball venue.  I hate the fact that the Indians owner sold them without a replacement team and did not offer the city a chance to find an owner that would keep the team in Kinston. But at least there was baseball in Kinston this weekend.

Of course spring training is underway and all of the teams are working out.  Lots of moves were made in the post season following one of the most dramatic seasons in baseball history. Big names moved, Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to the Angels, Prince Fielder to the Tigers, Ozzie Guillen taking over the Marlins and a host of other situations.

But despite all the positives there was a cloud during the post season involving the National League MVP, Milwaukee Brewers Left Fielder Ryan Braun reportedly failed a drug test for Performance Enhancement Drugs (PEDs).  Braun appealed the results of the test and Friday it was announced that Braun won his appeal based on issues with the chain of custody of the sample. Evidently the collector of the sample who was required to immediately send the sample to the testing lab via FedEx held onto the sample.

Braun was out proclaiming his innocence today. He was articulate and appeared humble but at the same time there are still questions in many people’s minds about the test and if he was clean or not.  Having been in the military for over 30 years I have been repeatedly drug tested and as a Company Commander had to oversee a unit drug testing program.  When I heard about the process used and the actions of the collector I was appalled. Chain of custody does matter in any type of drug test that can impact someone’s career no matter what line of work they are in.  Failure to safeguard samples undermines the integrity of any drug testing program and there are cases every year where positive results are thrown out because of a chain of custody violation.

I learned about the importance of chain of custody as a Company Commander back in 1986. I had a soldier test positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. We were sticklers about maintaining a solid chain of custody and based on the test results and the un-impeachability of the chain of custody I offered non-judicial punishment under Article 15 and reduced the soldier in rank. Since the soldier was otherwise a good soldier and back then a commander did not have to separate a soldier under pay grade E4 for a first drug related offense I elected to keep the soldier in the Army. The soldier appealed the sentence as is his right and to my surprise I was called to my higher headquarters and had my ass chewed by the group commander and Sergeant Major for not maintaining the chain of custody. I knew that was not the case but the Platoon Sergeant who had accompanied the soldier to the headquarters for the appeal inadvertently left the chain of custody documentation on his desk. When the group commander reviewed the paperwork he thought that the chain of custody had not been maintained. Within 5 minutes I produced the original documents which changed the nature of the conversation, the sentence was upheld and the ass chewing stopped. But I learned that the chain of custody for a drug test or paperwork regarding a failed drug test needs to be airtight to maintain the integrity of the system.

In the case of Ryan Braun I have my doubts, I but the incompetence of the collector who did not adhere to established rules of shipping a sample brought the chain of custody into question. If Braun was indeed innocent as he maintains then he will always have a cloud that follows him. If he lied and the test was really positive then justice was not done because chain of custody was called into question.

The little things do matter.

Since I got home I have had the MLB Channel on all night, that is so much more relaxing than almost anything else on television. Only about a week until the first Spring Training games begin. It may be cold but spring is in the air.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, News and current events

Padre Steve’s Year in Review and Predictions for 2012: The Best Jibber-Jabber on the Web

Once again it is that time of the year when I look back at the events of the last 12 months and say “that was some year.” And what a year it was.  So many things happened at home and around the world that it makes one’s head do the Linda Blair 360.  Yes the year was crammed full of events too numerous to mention and full of the jibber-jabber of “expert” analysis of news commentators, pundits, politicians and preachers.

Every major news agency and many writers publish what they believe to be the major stories of the year about this time and sometimes prognosticate about the coming year. Mostly these articles are so much jibber jabber and I don’t claim this to be inclusive of everything that happened but these are what I think are some of the highlights of the events that occurred in 2011.  Call it my end of year jibber-jabber.

The Environment: Yes there is an environment and whether one wants to assign credit or blame to God, the Devil, Mother Nature or the theory that “shit happens” it has been a year full of natural disasters.  We begin with the 9.1 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan which triggered a nuclear disaster when the Fukishima nuclear plant melted down. There was Hurricane Irene which though only a category one storm was so big and slow moving that it that caused massive damage to the East Coast, especially North Carolina. I got to experience Irene.  Even more frightening was the massive F5 Tornado that pretty much wiped the city of Joplin Missouri off the map. There was a series of wildfires in Texas that burned nearly 4 million acres of land and one fire around Bastrop Texas that destroyed over 1600 homes.  Over in Asia there was flooding that put Bangkok underwater for an extended period of time.

Prediction for 2012: Cable News networks will continue to rake in the bucks covering human misery in all parts of the nation and the world as natural disasters occur.  I predict that there will be major earthquakes, fires, famine and flood, hurricanes  and that many will be really bad.  Sure that’s rather generic but I can be surge that I am not wrong in making this prediction.

World Events: Overseas there was the Arab Spring revolts that brought about the fall of dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and quite probably Yemen. Syria appears to be on the brink of civil war and Bahrain with the help of Saudi Arabia put down its own Arab Spring revolt.  Jordan and other Arab states are quite nervous and the situation in Egypt which began with so much hope has deteriorated as the military faces off against demonstrators as Islamic parties make headway in elections.

Who would have thought that in 2011 that Moammar Ghadaffi would be overthrow and killed by his own people, that Osama Bin Laden would meet his end at the hands of US Navy SEALS and that Kim Jong Il, the nutty leader of North Korea would die.  The European Union looks like its days could well be numbered as the contagion of economic crisis which began in Greece has spread to much of the EU.  The United States withdrew its forces from Iraq just in time for the Iraqis to start to undo everything that their soldiers and ours had fought to achieve since 2005, Iran continues to build nukes and attempt to provoke the United States, Western Europe and Israel while the Israelis prepare to whack Iran. The war in Afghanistan grinds on and Pakistan is more of a pain in the ass than it ever has been.

Padre Steve’s Prediction: You thought things were bad in 2011… they will really be sporty in 2012.

United States Domestic Politics: The United States has had its own political and economic problems as the government seems pretty much to have become a parody of itself.  The President has had an approval rating below 50% for almost the whole year and the Congress God bless them has an approval rating of just 11% a new record which will undoubtedly be broken in 2012.  President Obama is unchallenged in the Democratic primaries and the Republican candidates seem to be doing all that they can to ensure that whoever wins the nomination will lose the general election next year as each takes his or her turn to give their followers hope and then implode.  I mean really, despite all of our economic problems the United States would, if our politicians could get their collective shit together have a bright future compared to the EU and the “new” economies in China, India and Brazil which despite all their success are dependent on us to buy their stuff.

Meanwhile the Tea Party movement has become the kingmaker in conservative politics and the Occupy Wall Street movement gathered steam before going into winter hibernation.

Padre Steve’s Predictions: Expect that both the Tea Party and OWS movements despite being on opposite sides of the political spectrum to continue to influence both major political parties. In 2012 the Congress will sink to even lower lows and for President, Congress and Presidential candidates to do even more stupid things to get just enough of the vote to be elected in November. You thought that 2011 was bad…well it was just the warm up for 2012.

Sports: The sporting world produced its share of excitement and agony as great team and individual accomplishments were overshadowed by scandals. Baseball had a most amazing end to its season in which the St Louis Cardinals defied all odds in winning the World Series after being written off as dead in late August. The Red Sox went from the sure thing to win the World Series to greatest regular season collapse ever seen which resulted in manager Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein leaving the team.  A potential scandal has come up with the alleged positive test for some kind of performance enhancing drug by National League MVP Ryan Braun. The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for Bankruptcy amid the McCourt family feud and Albert Pujols collected his halo as well as about 260 million dollars for the next 10 years from the Angels.

The NFL endured a strike and player lockout by the owners which threatened the beginning of the season but the NFL’s stupidity was totally blown away by the actions of NBA players and owners in their strike and lockout. There were scandals in college sports outside the SEC the most notable being the sexual abuse scandal that shook the nation at Penn State University which brought about the inglorious end to the career of the legendary coach Joe Paterno. The BCS Bowl system appears to have gone from controversial to nearly pathetic in the selection of teams for the BCS bowls.

Padre Steve’s Prediction: The Chicago Cubs will not win the World Series and thereby prove that those that believe that the world will end in 2012 wrong. So as bad as everything seems it could be worse.

So with all that said there was so much more that I could mention but I have to stop somewhere.  I won’t go into the lives and scandals of celebrities because frankly though sometimes titillating they really don’t matter a hill of beans, unless it is your hill and they are your beans.  Likewise the year isn’t over yet and who knows maybe something will happen that will cause me to have to revise this article.

Until then and until tomorrow…

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under News and current events

The Good the Bad and the Ugly: The Day in Sports

Well sports fans it has been a day hasn’t it?  Now most of my day has been spent in transit getting Judy and Molly down to North Carolina so I can go back to work and give Judy a chance to continue to recuperate. With the exception of listening to ESPN radio on the trip and catching the last few minutes of the Army Navy game when we got here I have been playing catch up on sports stories. Of course the Molly loved the ride down here and is passed out on our bean bag at the Island Hermitage as I get ready to call it a night. Of course Molly knows that the trip is all for her benefit and she has already had several long walks and is looking for the deer that populate the neighborhood.

This was an interesting day. There was a doping scandal, a bench clearing brawl, an unexpected winner, a buzzer beater, a major upper level ownership gaffe and a continuation of a decade of dominance and that was just at the Republican debate.  But I jest, the sports world was as scandalous as politics today as several stories broke to steal the limelight from the Presidential primary debaters in Iowa.

Ryan Braun NL MVP Busted? 

Topping the news from the baseball standpoint was the report that National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers tested positive for a banned Performance Enhancing Drug (PED.)  This was a surprise and Braun has been denying the report and appealing the ruling.  If the test is upheld and his appeal denied Braun faces a 50 game suspension.  This is a blow to the Brewers who will most likely lose free agent First Baseman Prince Fielder and the loss of Braun will hurt.  Braun was not someone that I would have thought to have done PEDs but I guess anything is possible. He never in the minors or majors tested positive prior to this.  Baseball is no longer playing games with PED use and I expect that Braun will be suspended as no one else has ever won an appeal for PED use.  However it hurts the game because baseball has worked hard to clean up the mess created during the steroid era and has the most stringent policies in place of any professional sport.  Baseball is not going to mess around with this and because of the risk to reputations as careers goes the extra mile to ensure that if a test is positive that it is not a “false” positive.  From what I have read it appears that baseball and its testing agency are sure that this was an accurate test.  Too bad as the season was one of the most amazing in baseball history and this takes away some of the shine from all of the players and teams that made it great.

The Hansen Brothers and Dean Wormer enter NCAA Basketball

Meanwhile in Cincinnati Xavier and Cincinnati were playing in their yearly “cross town shootout” and with 9 seconds left in the game a bench clearing brawl better suited to a Charlestown Chiefs hockey game and the Hansen brothers.  Both University Presidents issued comments about the brawl reminiscent of Dean Wormer and his comments about Faber College’s Delta House. Methinks that some of these players will end up suspended as well.  Too bad they don’t have a penalty box. See the fight: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Yancy-Gates-decks-Kenny-Frease-in-wild-Xavier-Ci;_ylt=AiT3clAGA6sDmaDIcDxL7cPevbYF?urn=ncaab-wp6817

Classless and Clueless David Stern tries even harder to Blow up the NBA

Not to be outdone in the “no class” category the Commissioner and Dictator of the NBA David Stern made a complete ass of himself and embarrassed a sport already reeling from the self inflicted wounds of the just ended player’s strike. Stern’s office voided a deal between the LA Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would have sent Hornets star Chris Paul to the Lakers. The trade made sense for all the teams involved. In doing so Stern figuratively shot himself and the league in the balls to try to show that he was the boss. He has since back-peddled and the trade will probably be approved in a modified form. By doing this Stern showed his hubris and probably has ensured that the end of his reign as dictator will be only slightly less bloody than that waged by other dictators.  The sad thing is that people were starting to get interested in the NBA again.

Christian Watford and Indiana Shock Kentucky

But the bad news was balanced with good news, unless you are a fan of the Military Academy, University of Kentucky basketball or anyone not named Robert Griffin III at the Heisman Trophy presentation.  The unranked but undefeated Indiana Hoosiers knocked off the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats when Christian Watford sank a last second 3 pointer to defeat the favored Wildcats by a score of 73-72.

Navy Dominates

In Washington DC the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy defeated the Cadets of the US Military Academy, the Black Knights of the Hudson for the 10th time in the last 10 years. It has been termed the Decade of Dominance.  Though I am an ardent Navy fan I do feel bad for the Army players who like the classes before them have went a full college career without having beaten the Midshipmen.

Robert Griffin III wins the Heisman Trophy 

And finally in a presentation of an award that any of the players nominated could have won Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III was awarded the Heisman Trophy.  While I was hoping that Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck considered the top draft choice in the upcoming NFL Draft would win I think that Griffin was deserving. He s the first player from Baylor to win the Heisman.  Griffin completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards.  He had 36 touchdown passes and led the nation with an 192.3 efficiency rating.

It was an amazing day in sports and like life it was a day of the good and the bad and the ugly. But that’s life.

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under Baseball, football, sports and life

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz Oh What a Relief it’s Not: Tides Lose 7-5 as Relievers Melt Down

Zach Britton was impressive in his AAA debut in Norfolk but got a no-decsion

It was an absolutely gorgeous night for baseball in Norfolk with unseasonably low temperatures in the mid-70s and low humidity at Harbor Park on Thursday night, the kind of baseball weather that in this part of the country fans long to have instead of the normally hot and humid weather typical for the 1st of July. On such a night the Norfolk Tides opened a three game home stand with the Charlotte Knights with Zach Britton making his AAA debut for the Tides.

Going into the top of the 7th inning it appeared that the Tides were well on their way to a victory behind the pitching of Britton.  The young pitcher dominated the Charlotte nights and in six innings work had a shutout going allowing only three hits while throwing 45 of 70 pitches for strikes.  The young left hander was in control the entire outing striking out four and walking none as Tides hitters had given him a 4-0 lead powered by Jeff Salazar and Rhyne Hughes who each pounded out a home run over the right field wall.

Jeff Salazar hits his 14th home run of the season

With Britton being on a pitch count Manager Bobby Dickerson brought in Armando Gabino into the game in the 7th inning. Gabino who has for the most part been a lights out middle reliever this season as well as occasional starter had control problems early throwing only 15 of 27 pitches for strikes. He walked Tyler Flowers to lead off the inning and on with 2 strikes on Josh Kroeger surrendered a home run that bounced across the roof to the right field Straub Beer party deck.  Gabino then got Stefan Gartrell to pop up for the first out. Jordan Danks then singled.  The Knights then received a gift from the Tides when on a deep fly ball to right field by Fernando Cortez Rhyne Hughes dropped the ball sending Danks to third and Cortez to second with only one out. Gabino then stuck out Brent Morel before being pulled for Alberto Castillo. Castillo has had his ups and downs this season and on the first pitch he hit Alejandro De Aza to load the bases. Luis Rodriguez singled to score Danks and Cortez to tie the game before striking out Buck Coats to end the inning.

Despite the loss it was a beautiful night for a ball game

The Tides took the lead back in the bottom frame when Robert Andino singled and pitcher Carlos Torres walked both Jeff Salazar and Michael Aubrey. Greg Aquino came in for the Knights and with the bases loaded walked Nolan Reimold to score Andino.  Unfortunately for the Tides they could not take advantage of a bases loaded and one out situation. Rhyne Hughes popped up and Blake Davis struck out swinging to end the inning.  The failure to capitalize on the pitching mistakes of the Knights would prove fatal for the Tides.  Castillo got his act together to send the Knights down in order in the 8th and in the bottom of the 8th the Tides failed to bring across Matt Angle who had reached first on a 3rd strike wild pitch and advance to second when Robert Andino walked before Jeff Salazar flew out to deep right field to end the inning.

With the lead again the Tides brought in Denis Sarfate who has been lights out as a closer this year having 10 saves to his credit.  Tonight however was not Sarfate’s night. After striking out Jordan Danks Sarfate loaded the bases on two walks and a single before giving up a single to Louis Rodriguez which scored two runs and left Rodriguez in a rundown in which he was out but the third runner Alejandro De Aza to score to give the Knights a 7-5 lead that they would not relinquish as the Tides went down quietly in the bottom of the 9th with only Joey Gathright reaching base on a two out walk.

Denis Sarfate (0-1 BS-1 4.08 ERA) got the loss for the Tides while Greg Aquino (1-3 5.25 ERA) got the win and Ryan Braun his 13th save. It was a night that the Tides wasted an opportunity to win the game and gain ground on the Knights but for the miserable performance of normally solid pitchers and the huge error of Rhyne Hughes.

Tonight the teams renew the series at Harbor Park with Zach Clark (0-2 3.09 ERA) on the hill for the Tides facing Jeff Marquez (6-4 4.24).  Tonight is a salute to the Negro Leagues and both the Tides and the Knights will be wearing replica Negro League uniforms as the US Postal Service unveils a commemorative Negro League stamp set in a pre-game ceremony.

In Baltimore Jake Arietta and Frank Mata got beaten up by the Athletics as the Orioles went down to defeat at Camden Yards by a score of 8-1.

See you at Harbor Park tonight.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Win 4-2 and 7-2 in Charlotte: Pitchers Dominate and Home Runs Fly

Jake Arrieta Continues to dominate opponents

After a slow start to the season with a fair number of disastrous outings the Norfolk Tides pitchers and hitters seem to be back in sync and performing to the level expected at the beginning of the season.  Playing  in cloudy and cool conditions On Saturday night the Tides took on the Knights at Knight’s Stadium in Rock Hill South Carolina in front of 3621 Charlotte fans. Tides starting pitcher Jake Arrieta dominated the Charlotte batting order Tides hitters continued to hit the Knight’s pitching staff hard.  Arrieta has been as close as perfect to perfect a pitcher can be this early in the season and absolutely dominating in each game that he has pitched.  Jake won his second of the season against no losses pitching seven innings of scoreless ball bringing his ERA down to an International League leading 0.36 ERA.  Jake gave up two hits and a walk and struck out eleven in getting the win.  Armando Gabino (0-0 2.70) pitched the 8th inning giving up a run on one hit and a walk while striking out two. Frank Mata (0-0 S3 2.00) closed the game notching his third save while giving up a run on two hits and a walk.  Tides pitchers allowed no extra base hits and only 4 hits during the game.

Josh Bell homered against the Knights

The Tides made the most of their hits in this game being very efficient and got their four runs on five hits while playing error free ball during the win.  Catcher Adam Donachie hit his second home run in two days off of Knights starter Carlos Torres and Scott Moore got his second of the season a solo shot also off of Torres.  The Knights had two runs on four hits also with no errors in the loss.

Jeff Salazar continued to pound opposing pitchers

On Sunday afternoon in front of 2835 fans in ideal weather conditions of cloudy with 75 degree temperatures and 14 MPH winds blowing out to Center field in this very hitter friendly park. Sunday’s game Brad Bergeson (1-0 2.57) making his first start for the Tides after being sent down by the Orioles to get back “in the groove” got his grove back dominating the Knights in seven innings scattering 7 hits and allowing 2 runs with a 4 strikeouts and gave up a solo home run to Robert Hudson in the 5th inning.  Alfredo Simon made his first relief appearance after going 1 and 1 and a 1.59 ERA in three starts. Simon pitched a one two three eighth inning and was followed by Ross Wolf (0-1 2.38) in the ninth who also put the Knights down in order with 2 strikeouts.  Knight’s starter Jeffrey Marquez (1-3 6.00) got the loss giving up 4 runs on 6 hits including 2 home runs, one to Jeff Salazar his 4th of the year and one to Robert Andino in five innings work.  Clevelan Santeliz gave up a run on two hits including a home run to Josh Bell and Ryan Braun gave up a run on one hit.

Alfredo Simon made his first relief appearance for the Tides

The Tides hitters were once again very efficient producing seven runs on eight hits with no errors and once again hammering Charlotte pitching with the deep ball with Jeff Salazr, Robert Andino and Josh Bell all hitting dingers from the Tides with Blake Davis adding a double.  The Knights scored 2 runs on seven hits and an error. The error came in the 9th inning on a ground ball off the bat of Robert Andino to C.J. Retherford which scored Blake Davis.

So far in this three game series the Tides have produced 8 home runs which is the largest number of homers in a three game period than I can remember in recent times.  The Tides pitching staff has been superb with the three starters, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta and Brad Bergeson pitching 22 innings and only giving up 5 runs on 14 hits.  The Tides have also played error free ball and not been their own worst enemy.

The Tides and the Knights will conclude this series on Monday with an 11:45 start at Knight’s Stadium. Troy Patton (1-2 6.94) will make the start for the Tides and face Matt Zaleski (2-0 3.50) before travelling to Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta to face the Braves in a four game set beginning Tuesday.

During the series the Tides had Rhyne Hughes move up to Baltimore on Saturday and saw Justin Turner return to the team from his sojourn in the show to make room for the bat of Hughes.  In Hughes’ first two games with the O’s playing in Fenway against the Red Sox Hughes went 4 for 9 including a double with 2 RBIs.  Hughes was one of the best acquisitions made by the Orioles during the latter part of the 2009 season coming from the Durham Bulls in the Tampa Bay system. (See the video of Hughes’ RBI single on Sunday here http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7658009

The Orioles broke a five game losing streak against the Red Sox defeating the Bosox in extra innings 7-6.  This was the first win in ten games for the O’s against the Red Sox.  Although the O’s dropped 2 of 3 to the Sox their bats caught fire for the first sustained time in the 2010 campaign scoring 16 runs on 40 hits against Red Sox pitching in the 3 games and were competitive in the series. The O’s return to Camden Yards where they have yet to win a game this year to face the Yankees on Tuesday getting a day off tomorrow.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides

Tides Bats Come Back to Life: Tides Crush Knights 9-0

Jake Arrieta Got his First Win of 2010

Well sports fans I was not able to make the afternoon game at Harbor Park this afternoon a little thing called work got in the way, however between counseling young sailors I was able to listen to the game in the internet and thus still kept my finger to the pulse of the Tides.  Speaking of the “pulse” the Tides bats which were dead on arrival last night came back to life as if resurrected by the Lord himself.  Part of this may have been due to the weather which was a bit more temperate and a whole lot less wet than last night proving once again if you don’t like the weather in Hampton Roads wait five minutes.

Tides starter and Orioles hot prospect Jake Arrieta pitched seven innings shutting down the Knights allowing only 3 hits while striking out five.  Knight’s starter, International League MVP and White Sox prospect Carlos Torres who had shut down the Gwinnett Braves last week in his first start of 2010 allowed 4 runs on 6 hits giving up 3 walks taking the loss in front of 3002 fans and one that was not in the ball park.  Guess who?

The game was a study in contrast compared with the last two games against the Knights.  Today the Tides could do nothing wrong and the Knights; well their day was very dark, much like the Tides outing last night only this happened in broad daylight.  The Knights only got 4 hits and were held to no runs by Arrieta and Ross Wolf and had their usually solid Shortstop Brent Lillibridge make two errors on the way to the loss and the Knights left 6 runners on base.  I guess that their prayers to Jobu didn’t get answered.

The Tides barrage began in the bottom of the second inning when Rhyne Hughes singled to right and Michael Aubrey doubled to right.  If this had happened last night they would have died on the bases but not today.  Robert Andino singled to break his hitless streak and drove in Hughes to give the Tides their first lead in three games.  Adam Donachie hit a sacrifice fly to right which scored Michael Aubrey and the Tides were up 2-0.  Joey Gathright walked and then Jonathan Tucker flied to center advancing Andino to third.  Jeff Salazar singled to center scoring Andino and advancing Gathright to second.  Scott Moore kept up his solid hitting singling on a soft line drive to left scoring Gathright.  Salazar was out at home trying to score to end the inning.

The third through the bottom of the 7th inning were uneventful for both teams with Arrieta continuing to take down Knights batters although the Tides left 2 runners on base in the bottom of the sixth. Wes Whisler replaced Torres for the Knights in the top of the sixth.  In the bottom of the 7th the Tides started took advantage of Whisler surrendering two walks to Jonathan Tucker and Brandon Snyder bringing Rhyne Hughes.  Hughes has hit well for the Tides and today crushed a drive over the right field fence for a three run home run making the Tides lead 7-0.

In the 8th the Tides brought in Dennis Sarfate to relieve Arrieta and following his last warm up pitch he came out of the game with an apparent injury to his side. No details have been released on the Tides website or Facebook page so we will have to wait and see what the injury is and hope that it does not stop him as he has pitched magnificently in his first two relief appearances.  Ross Wolf then came in to relieve Sarfate. Wolf gave up a single but no runs and the Tides returned in the bottom of the 8th to continue their drubbing of the Knights.  Charlotte closer Ryan Braun came in to relieve Whisler and found no success. Robert Andino reached on Lillibridge’s second error of the game going to second on an errant throw to first.  Adam Donachie was out on a fly ball to Jordan Danks in center and both Joey Gathright and Jonathan Tucker walked to load the bases.  Jeff Salazar then walked to bring Andino across the plate and Scott Moore hit a sacrifice fly to center which scored Gathright.  The inning ended when Brandon Snyder flied out to Knights Right Fielder Josh Kroeger.

Wolf came out to finish the game in a non-save situation in the top of the 9th inning striking out Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger to start the inning. Dayan Viciedo singled to right to prolong the inning before Brent Lillibridge grounded to Third Baseman Scott Moore who threw to Jonathan Tucker at second to force out Viciedo to end the game.

Arrieta and Wolf pitched one of the best games for the Tides in recent memory combining for the shutout striking out 8 Knights and walking only 2 while scattering 5 hits. Scott Moore, Michael Aubrey and Rhyne Hughes continue to lead the Tides offense with big hits in key situations.

With the victory the Tides put an end to a three game losing streak and brought their record back to 3 wins and 4 losses.  The Tides travel to Durham where tomorrow for a four game series where they will face the Bulls with Alfredo Simon on the hill for the Tides and Jeff Bennett who the Tides kicked around last week on the hill for the Bulls.

On the personnel side of the house Kam Mickolio was promoted to the Orioles to replace closer Mike Gonzales who was placed on the 15 day disabled list by the O’s joining Justin Christian who was promoted when Brian Roberts went on the DL.  The Tides return to Norfolk on Monday for a four game home stand against the Gwinnett Braves.  In Baltimore the Orioles lost their sixth straight game losing to the Rays 9-1 prior to traveling west for a series with the hot Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.  The O’s are struggling early to find their center.  They have a tremendous amount of talent and one wonders what is going on in the minds of the Orioles coaching staff and management.  My guess is that if Manager Dave Trembley does not right the ship soon that he may be out sooner rather than later because frankly the Orioles are not this bad of a team.

See you at Harbor Park on Monday where the Weather Channel is predicting a high of 66 with clear skies and evening low of 52.  Of course this is Hampton Roads so keep your weather guessing skills sharp as we might have a blizzard or hurricane instead. If you are around section 102 at Harbor Park come up and say “hello” to me.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball