Before you dive into thinking about this afternoon's contest against the White Sox, I strongly recommend you check out an article written by Orioles fan and Baseball Prospectus writer Jon Bernhardt. Jon wonders whatever happened to Seong-Min Kim, still unsigned by the Orioles, though two months have passed since the supposed 30-day time out period during which MLB refused to approve the contract. Orioles scouts remain banned from organized South Korean baseball games, as Kim himself is banned from competing in them. Whether the O's action was born from incompetence or malice, the sad fact remains that Kim's baseball-playing life is ruined unless he signs for an amount comparable to what was first reported. Yet, Bernhardt writes, the Orioles organization is not returning the phone calls of the Korean sports media who are trying to find out what is going on. Would the Orioles prefer if everyone completely forgot the name of Seong-Min Kim? The answer to that question seems to be yes, which is reason enough to make sure we all remember it.
Back on our home continent, the O's are playing the White Sox again this afternoon, the fourth game of a series which the O's have already guaranteed at least a split. An outright victory would be a heck of a lot cooler than a split, though. I'm not holding my breath, because today's lineup features Endy Chavez leading off, Nick Johnson, and Ronny Paulino. Why is Nolan Reimold on the bench? I don't know, man. Steve Melewski doesn't know either, though he thinks Buck said Nolan would be starting the remainder of the Chicago series. Guess not! Nolan made an unfortunate error out in left field last night, but he's hit safely in nine straight games. Endy Chavez is batting .111.
Actually, let me put a pause on all that piss and vinegar, because according to Roch Kubatko, Nolan is out of the lineup due to neck spasms. I've heard of back spasms, but I think that's the first time I've heard of neck spasms. The beats say that he was treated for it last night and it's still lingering a little bit today. Get well soon, Nolan!
The Orioles will find that today's opposing starter is Maryland's own Gavin Floyd, who, if you believe the stories, was once almost traded to the O's in exchange for Brian Roberts, except the O's insisted on the inclusion of Chris Getz, which the White Sox would not do. Floyd has made at least 30 starts the past four seasons for Chicago, with ERAs ranging from 3.84 to 4.37, and the O's still have Roberts, who, in the words of a CCer, "looks more homeless every game."
Pitching today for the O's is Jason Hammel. Speaking of Melewski, he may be the only person in the world expressing surprise at the O's starters' "sudden" struggles. O's pitchers have only one quality start in their last nine games, and in six of those nine the starter hasn't even gone six innings. Melewski adds that after last night, O's starter ERA is 4.21. Let's use that number as the over/under for O's starter ERA at season's end. What are you taking? Yeah, that's what I thought.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|Endy Chavez - LF||Alejandro De Aza - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Brent Lillibridge - 3B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Adam Dunn - 1B|
|Adam Jones - CF||Paul Konerko - DH|
|Nick Johnson - DH||Alex Rios - RF|
|Mark Reynolds - 3B||Alexei Ramirez - SS|
|Chris Davis - 1B||Dayan Viciedo - LF|
|Ronny Paulino - C||Tyler Flowers - C|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Eduardo Escobar - 2B|