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Orioles FanFest on January 19, 2013

Some photos from the Orioles FanFest, which was very well attended, with over 18,000 fans there. Everyone was saddened on hearing the news of Earl Weaver’s passing, when the news broke early in the morning. The Orioles hung a large #4 and Weaver’s jersey on the Fan Forum stage.

There was a sense of anticipation for the 2013 season to begin, and long lines for autographs all day. We were very busy at our booth.

Mendys booth

Our Mendys booth at O's FanFest

Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter

Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter at the Fan Forum

Rick Dempsey signing an autograph

Rick Dempsey signing an autograph

Buck Showalter and Al Bumbry

Buck Showalter and Al Bumbry at the autograph station

Mendys booth again

Our Mendys booth again


MLB Right Now: 5 Major Trade Deadline Deals

I love the trade deadline. It’s a hefty decision for every team in a playoff race to decide if their current roster is good enough for October, and if not, what holes need to be filled and what are they willing, or forced, to send away to fill those gaps. For you baseball fans that have been busy this summer and unable to keep up with all the moves, let me fill you in on 5 major deals that have taken place:

1.) CARLOS BELTRAN traded from the Mets to the Giants: The Giants got the middle of the order bat they needed. Their offense has struggled to put up runs, but they expect Beltran to help change that, as his presence in the lineup will give hitters like Pablo Sandoval and Aubrey Huff better pitches to hit. The Giants are the team to beat in the NL West. Sorry, Dad! (He’s a Padres fan.) It did cost the Giants, though, as the Mets received RHP Zack Wheeler, the best pitching prospect in the Giants minor league system.

2.) HUNTER PENCE traded from the Astros to the Phillies: The Phillies think this is their year. Their lineup is powerful already with Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Raul Ibanez. The only problem is they are all left-handed (Rollins is a switch hitter, but hits considerably better from the left side). Hunter Pence gives the Phillies a solid right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup. Add that to a rotation that has Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick? Wow. Philadelphia gave a lot, though, including Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton, their top two prospects.

3.) UBALDO JIMENEZ traded from the Rockies to the Indians: Can you believe the Indians were 69-93 last year? As of right now, they are a game and a half out of first place with a 53-51 record. This gives the Indians an ace in their rotation, but I’d be worried if I were Cleveland. Jimenez was 19-8 last year with a 2.88 ERA, but he started last season 15-1, went 4-7 the rest of the way and he’s 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA this season. And Cleveland paid dearly, trading four prospects including their top two pitching prospects, Alex White and Chris Pomeranz, players that were expected to be in the Cleveland rotation in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see how Jimenez adapts to the American League.

4.) JASON MARQUIS traded from the Nationals to the Diamondbacks: This is Arizona’s answer to the Giants deal. The Diamondbacks pick up a veteran arm having a solid year in Washington, 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA, who also has success against the Giants, 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA. The D’Backs are going to put up a fight in the NL West. (I just learned that Arizona also acquired reliever Brad Ziegler from the Athletics -good deal! That will strengthen their bullpen.)

5.) KOJI UEHARA traded from the Orioles to the Rangers: As a big Orioles fan, I had to throw this one in. I loved seeing Koji come out of the bullpen. He was our best reliever, but I love what the Orioles got back in this deal. Uehara is the relief pitcher that Texas needed. There is talk about how Uehara struggles pitching in the heat, but I think he’ll get used to it and be fine. If he throws strikes like he always does, he won’t be out on the mound very long. It’s a good pickup for Texas, and a GREAT pickup for Baltimore. Baltimore got back more than expected – two major leaguers, 1B Chris Davis and RHP Tommy Hunter. Both are young, and both fill holes the O’s needed filled. Yes, Baltimore is terrible, but this move makes them a little less terrible.

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-Tony Jr.