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Blog Spotlight: Right Off Russell

The blog spotlight is back, this time with Right Off Russell, which touches on all local sports but focuses mostly on the Ravens and Orioles. I don't remember how I initially found ROR, but it's become my go-to place for Ravens information (and their Orioles coverage is pretty good too).

ROR mixes news with analysis and during the season featured quite a few interviews with minor leaguers that I thought was just awesome. I linked to some of the interviews when they happened, but if you missed them you should definitely have a listen. Interviewees include Jake Arrieta, Brandon Snyder, Josh Bell, Brandon Waring, Zach Britton, Brandon Erbe, and more.

In all previous blog spotlights I mentioned that I met each of the writers at MASN's Blogger Night last May. I did not meet ROR's writers at MASN's Blogger Night. Rather, I met both Matt and Jeff at the Mobbies Awards party just last month. While Camden Chat won Best Orioles Blog, ROR took home the award for Best Ravens Blog. I had the pleasure of chatting with the ROR guys, along with Ian and Daniel from Matt Wieters Facts at the event.  Matt answered a few questions for me about the Orioles and ROR. Check them out below the jump, then check out ROR, especially if you're also a Ravens fan.

1. Can you tell us the background of Right Off Russell? How did it start and who are the writers?

It started because Jeff is a brilliant sports mind, especially when it comes to Baltimore area sports and he needed a venue to showcase his talents. I had been food blogging for years and figured it might be fun to dabble in the sports world a bit. The 2 of us have been friends for over 15 years, and we were constantly talking about sports already so we figured last year was as good as any to get started.

We currently have 3 writers-
Matt (Me)- Most of the stuff you will see me write is commenting on current stories or other people's opinions.
Jeff- He will mostly write editorial pieces. He is a native of the Baltimore area and he is best at bringing perspective.
Mark- He's the true fan of the bunch. He just lays his thoughts out there. They always make sense but there is so much passion behind his words.

2. You have a lot of great minor league coverage, especially the interviews of players and minor league personnel. Who was your favorite interview and why? 

I think it was Brandon Snyder- both times. He was our 1st interview and he was extremely gracious to a bunch of hacks who had no idea what we doing at the time. Then when were able to talk with him down in Norfolk later in the year, he remembered us and we talked like old friends. He is such a super guy and we hope he makes it in Baltimore and kills it up there.

3. Right Off Russell started right around the beginning of Spring Training '09, so this will be your first year blogging during the Hot Stove season. What are your hopes for the O's off season?

While the O's have money to spend, they don't have the luxury to be reckless. Any large free agent signing HAS to pan out. A Carl Pavano situation would crush them. All that being said, I could get excited about them going after Matt Holliday. I know outfield is not a huge need, but they are in so much need for a big bat that I think it's worth the risk. I think they need to sign a one or two Ty Wiggington types. I really don't want them to invest too much in the corner infielders because I would like to see Snyder and Bell have their chance later in the season. I wish I could say there was a pitcher that I was excited about getting, but really there isn't.

4. I know it's super early, but what do you see for the Orioles 2010 season? Vast improvement? Disappointment? Maybe a 4th place finish?

I am hoping for a .500 season. That is such a crucial barrier for the O's. They have to believe they can compete. That milestone would be the perfect stepping stone going into 2011 when I think the Birds have their chance to make a name for themselves.