Dear Baltimore Orioles, I Believe In You.

“Baltimore was bad last year, but this year it will be much worse. Its starting lineup is made up entirely of bums, retreads, and no-hopers. This team is more Major League than the movie.” ~ The Toronto Globe & Mail, April 27, 2019

Dear Baltimore Orioles,

It’s Opening Day and I believe in you.

Sure, I also believe in climate change, e.coli in my romaine, and menopause. These things do me no good, but I must believe in them because they are real.

But, I believe there’s more to you than just bad things.

I don’t believe you are made up entirely of “bums, retreads, and no-hopers.”

Sure, nearly half of your roster — 11 of the 25 players — are enjoying their very first Opening Day in the majors. I’m looking forward to learning all their names.

“It’s a dream come true,” infielder Drew Jackson told The Baltimore Sun. Last year he was playing AA ball in the Dodgers system.

Drew Jackson. I’ve learned one new name already!

I believe that you all have worked up some crazy, ingenious, secret plan that will make you better … better than last year’s historic 115 losses. Better than what everyone else believes is possible.

I believe you’re going to try your best not to suck.

(I can’t believe I had to write that.)

I’m not sure why I believe in you, because it seems pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?

But, it’s baseball season and it’s nice to feel hopeful on Opening Day.

No matter what anyone else says.

I believe in you.

(Please don’t lose 100 games.)

Your Pollyanna Friend, The Baseball Bloggess

P.S. Toronto Globe & Mail Sourpusses: You do know that the bums, retreads, and no-hopers of “Major League” won the AL East in that movie, right? On a bunt … a freaking beautiful bunt.

Go O’s.

 

My Experts Predict The 2019 World Series

Before I unveil my fabulous 2019 panel of baseball experts and their equally fabulous post-season picks, I need to cover two important details.

First, the season has already started. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s kicked it off last week with games in Tokyo, which counted for baseball, but do not count with me.

True Opening Day is Thursday, March 28. This is the earliest Opening Day ever and all 30 teams will play. This early start is to allow teams to scatter a few additional rest days into the season. (Need more rest days? Lose 100 games and you’ll get all of October off.)

The New York Sun, 4/23/1919

Opening Day in 1919?

April 23.

Second, Sports Illustrated.

Hi, SI guys. (And, by “guys” I mean, literally, guys, because girls are generally unwelcome at Sports Illustrated.)

Last year, my experts outsmarted the dude-fellas at SI who were sure the Nationals would win the World Series.

They didn’t.

Neither did the Colorado Rockies, which was the team my cat chose. My cat.

But, the Rockies did make the post-season. Do you know who didn’t make the post-season? The Nationals.

So, Mookie the Cat – 1, Sports Illustrated – 0.

Being outsmarted by my cat apparently did in SI, because there are a lot of words in their latest MLB preview issue (including calling the Baltimore Orioles “ugly” … twice), but no official World Series pick. Best I can tell, they will commit only to predicting the Dodgers will be the strongest team in the NL and the Astros, the strongest in the AL.

Where’s your Series pick, smart guys?

Are you SI, or are you SI’m Afraid To Be Wrong Again?

My 2019 panel of experts is clear that SI is wrong about the Dodgers and the Astros. And, as in previous years, my panel is awesome. Continue reading

Free Baseball ~ Opening Day Edition

Sometimes I write for you. Sometimes I read and listen and watch stuff for you, so you don’t have to. (Isn’t that nice of me?)

Here are a few things I found. Think of them as Free Baseball* from The Baseball Bloggess – like the gift of extra innings that you didn’t expect when you came to the game.

After A Decade In Pro Ball, A Former Pitcher Goes Without Health Insurance

Public Radio International’s awesome Only A Game this week profiled Paul Wilmet, a pitcher who spent nearly a decade in pro ball, including playing three big league games for the Rangers in 1989. Today, he’s nearly blind but, with no pension, long-term health insurance, or benefits from his long baseball career, he’s been unable to get the surgery that could help him see again.

Continue reading

Baseball Is Real & We’re All Number One

If the last five months were the “Off Season” … is today the “On Season”?

It’s The On Season, Baseball Fans!

To be honest, I kinda like the off season. Everybody needs a reset and I like the anticipation of a brand new season … brand new possibilities.

I don’t mind waiting.

Orioles waiting for the game to resume, August 2017 © The Baseball Bloggess

But, I’m glad we don’t have to wait anymore.

(Dear Beloved Baltimore Orioles, My amazing baseball experts don’t think you’re good enough to win the World Series. Nobody thinks you’ll do much of anything this year. But, I do. I believe in you. Please, don’t let me down.)

Continue reading

My Experts Predict The 2018 World Series

“The Yankees will bash their way to the AL pennant. In the end, Washington will prevail, thanks to its stars – and, yes, a little luck.” – Sports Illustrated, 2018 MLB Preview

Sports Illustrated’s  pre-season World Series picks have been amazingly consistent:

2017 – Dodgers (wrong). 2016 – Astros (wrong). 2015 – Indians (wrong). 2014 – Nationals (wrong). 2013 – Nationals (still wrong). 2012 – Angels (wrong).  2011 – Red Sox (wrong). 2010 – (I’ve lost interest).

Sports Illustrated has never correctly predicted the World Series winner in its annual MLB Preview. Well, maybe they have. I don’t know. I got bored around 2010.

All I DO know is that my team of experts – first gathered in 2015 – has never been right and during that same period neither has Sports Illustrated.  To be fair, my panel has also included cats and, in 2016, a one-eyed possum and a crow.

(You gotta give SI credit … totally burned by the Nationals in 2013 and ’14, and they’re picking them again this year. Like Selena Gomez who can’t kick Justin Bieber to the curb, they’ve been screwed over – time and again – but SI just can’t quit the Nats. )

My experts can already tell you, SI will be wrong.

My crackerjack panel of experts – which includes people who don’t even like baseball – will probably be wrong, too.

But, my panel has another incentive: If their team actually wins their division – just their division, that’s all I ask – I will bake cookies for them.

It happened last season.

Here’s Victoria, now 4, enjoying her cookies. (She correctly picked the Indians to win the AL Central.) (Yes, I baked cookies and brownies. I’m swell.)

Opening Day is Thursday. The earliest Opening Day ever. Because baseball is more fun when it’s 30 degrees and there’s snow on the ground.

No time to waste. Let’s get this World Series over with.

Continue reading

Happy New Year (And A Ceremonial First Pitch)

A new season. Finally. And, not a moment too soon.

Can I wish for the World Series?

Too soon?

Well then, let me just wish for today. A day with some baseball.

Where all things are possible.

Here’s your ceremonial first pitch …

 

Now, Play Ball!

(and, go o’s!)

Photo: Orioles Shortstop JJ Hardy. Camden Yards, Baltimore. 2016. © The Baseball Bloggess

My Experts Predict the 2017 World Series

“An hour before Game 5, [Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony] Rizzo has broken out his pregame inspirational and comedic presentation, quoting motivational lines from movies with no clothes on. The Cubs won, so Rizzo did it before Game 6, too. They won again, so he did it prior to Game 7 as well.” ~ Tom Verducci in The Cubs Way

There may be eight-million stories in the Naked City, but that’s city’s not Chicago and Anthony Rizzo won’t be Lady Godiva’ing his way to another World Series. Not this year anyway.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Sorry, Anthony.

How can I be so sure?

Because my crackerjack team of experts told me so and they’re awesome, smart, incredibly good looking, and I believe them. (And, you want to believe them, too. That’s why you’re still reading.)

Continue reading

Happy New Year!

happy new year schoop“Baseball isn’t necessarily an escape from reality, though it can be; it’s merely one of our many refuges within the real where we try to create a sense of order on our own terms. Born to an age where horror has become commonplace, where tragedy has, by its monotonous repetition, become a parody of sorrow, we need to fence off a few parks where humans try to be fair, where skill has some hope of reward, where absurdity has a harder time than usual getting a ticket.” ~ Thomas Boswell, 1984

Happy New Year! May your team play hard, win often, keep a ready bullpen, and always recover quickly from bottom-of-the-9th, two-out, tying-run-on-third heartbreakers.

Thank you to those many people who made me both love and understand baseball, including Thomas Boswell and his Washington Post columns, and my friends Jay, Jim, Renee, and Editor/Husband Randy who will sit through long rain delays, and games played through sleet, cold, my bouts of heat exhaustion in summer, leaky bullpens, and late-inning meltdowns in the outfield.

This is our year.

I’ll see you at the game … or I’ll see you in  November.  Play ball!

(Oh, almost forgot. Go O’s.)

Photo: A’s at Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, August 16, 2015. © The Baseball Bloggess

Congratulations!

davenport

Photo By, And Courtesy Of, Jesse Pritchard. 

Sunrise At Davenport. Charlottesville, Virginia.

Congratulations, Baseball Fans … You’ve made it through another off-season.

It’s Opening Day for the National Champion University of Virginia Cavaliers (wahoowa!) (I did mention “National Champion” didn’t I?).

University of Virginia vs. Kent State from Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. First Pitch is at 4:00 p.m.

And, major league pitchers and catchers have been reporting all over the Cactus & Grapefruit Leagues this week. (Fun Fact: The Baltimore Orioles still only have four starting pitchers in their rotation; I’m sure they’ll figure something out.)

It’s a beautiful day … let’s Play Ball!

Embed from Getty Images

“Packing for Spring Training is a pretty easy process. You just throw everything in the bag, throw it in the truck, and hit the road.” ~ Former UVA Cavalier & Current Baltimore Oriole Pitcher Tyler Wilson

Listen to a great interview with Tyler on this week’s Wahoo Central Podcast here.

Baseball Season is Here. ‘Bout Time.

Happy New Year!

Happy Opening Day 2015

Happy New Year!

For just a few more hours, we’re all undefeated. We’re all #1.

(Except for you, last-place Chicago Cubs … and your pesky NL Central … because you had to insist on starting early.)

cubs cards

An Opening Day Prayer

May your team’s errors in the field be few and your run-scoring doubles be many.

May your pitcher strike out the side far more than he falters, and may he never forget to cover first when necessary.

May it always be sunny in your bleachers.

self portrait

© The Baseball Bloggess

Unless, it’s a night game, in which case, may your stadium lights stay on.

And, may your team play through October and never let you down.

opening day lineup

Play Ball!

*        *        *

(A quick update to my World Series post from Friday: Stevie the Cat is not happy about the Craig Kimbrel trade. Not happy at all.)

stevie says 2015