Archive for October 8th, 2010

08
Oct
10

Portis out 4-6 weeks

 

Portis has rushed for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season with the Redskins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Ben Linton

For the second consecutive season, Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis will miss a significant amount of time due to an injury. Portis injured his groin Sunday in the Redskins win over the Eagles, which should keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

That leaves second-year man Ryan Torain as the Redskins feature back for the next couple weeks. Torain ran for 70 yards on 18 carries against Philadelphia, highlighted by an 12-yard run where he trucked Eagles safety Quentin Mikell on his way to the endzone. We aren’t sure about Torain’s durability, but he has potential and right now he’s all the Skins got.

Washington put themselves in a bind with this injury. With Larry Johnson and Willie Parker both released, Ladell Betts in New Orleans, and Marshawn Lynch now on the Seahawks, the Redskins are short at running back. The back up right now is Chad Simpson (who?) and Keiland Williams is on the practice squad. Expect the Redskins to pick up a running back, possibly bringing Johnson back as a third down option with Torain as the feature.

Mike Shanahan has been known to make stars out of ordinary backs, so let’s just hope that Torain becomes another Olandis Gary or Mike Anderson for a couple weeks. The Redskins definitely should make note of this and start looking at the best college running backs now, because Portis’s future is uncertain and we don’t know if Torain is the long-term answer. We may see someone new running the ball in D.C. next season.

08
Oct
10

Baltimore Orioles 2010 season recap

 

The Orioles began the season awful, but finished 33-23 under new Manager Buck Showalter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Ben Linton

The Baltimore Orioles came into the 2010 season with hype and hope that this would be the year they would finally break through in the AL East. The Orioles young stars had another year to grow, while veterans were added to the roster to provide leadership. But when the Orioles started 5-18 after the first month, lost 11 of their first 12, and lost their All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts for 60 days, the season seemed lost already.

The Orioles got off to their second-worst start in franchise history, which prompted the firing of Manager Dave Trembley on June 4th, when the O’s were 15-40. A period of uncertainty and doubt followed when Juan Samuel took over as manager while the front office tried to get things straight. Then on August 3rd, the Orioles hired manager Buck Showalter to bring in a real baseball guy with good credentials that knew how to win in the league. The Orioles seemed energized by this move, as they won 8 of their first 10 games and went 17-11 in the month of August. The Orioles would go on to end the season 33-73 under Showalter.

The Orioles had an up and down 2010, and ended in a familiar spot, 66-96, last place in the AL East, for a 13th consecutive losing season. Although it seems like we’ve heard this song before, there is hope for the future in Baltimore, but not all the pieces are in the right place yet. Here are my season awards for the 2010 season:

Team MVP:


Nick Markakis – Although this power numbers were down from a year ago, Nick Markakis led the Orioles in hits (187) and batting average (.297). At 26 years old, we can only expect better things from Markakis in the future. He is already the best hitter on the team, and if he can find some power next year, a trip to the All-Star game may be in order.


Team Ace:


Brian Matusz- In his first full year as a starter for the Orioles, Brian Matusz made the most of this learning experience, and showed signs of promise for the future. Although he may never be a true No. 1 starter, Matusz has potential to be a solid No. 2 starter in the MLB. He started off shaky at 2-9, but won his last six decisions on the year. Matusz ended with a 10-12 record, a 4.30 ERA, and 143 strikeouts, which led the team. His best performance this season was against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 27th, when he went seven innings, allowing no runs of three hits and striking out eight batters.

Team Disappointments:

As sad as it is to say it, the Orioles season was over in April, and it all started after losing to Toronto in the 4th game of the year when Brian Roberts got injured. Roberts only played in 59 games this season due to an injured back. The Orioles lead-off hitter could only manage to get four home runs and 15 RBIs in his time on the field. Roberts plays a tremendous role in the Orioles’ offense, and losing him definitely hurt the whole team¬† as the O’s finished 27th in the league in hitting.

Kevin Millwood was brought in to help mentor a young pitching staff, but it would have been nice for him to lead by example. Millwood struggled mightily this year, going 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA. He did have a lack of run support on most nights, but his final stats are not acceptable. The Orioles have been looking for a veteran pitcher to help their staff, and Millwood was not the answer this year.

 

Showalter has managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers before coming to Baltimore. He is inked through 2013.

 

 

Future Outlook:

Looking ahead to next year, the Orioles will need to be active in the market and in free agency. The O’s will need to add a power bat in the middle of their lineup and another starting pitcher to provide support to the staff. It will be interesting to see what the Orioles do about Cesar Izturis and Ty Wigginton next year, who will both be free agents. The bullpen expecets to see some changes next year as well with Koji Uehara becoming a free agent. The O’s will need to decide who to keep out of Mike Gonzalez, David Hernandez, and Jason Berken as well.¬† In the outfield, will the Orioles trade away Felix Pie, resign Corey Patterson, and hand the starting job back over to Nolan Reimold?

A lot of things will happen this off-season, so keep your eyes on the Orioles as they try to make moves to catch up to their AL East rivals. The Orioles have a long way to go and this season may have been a step back, but as long as the O’s keep their chins up and keep playing the wins will come. As they the Tampa Bay Rays defeat them 5-0 on September 28th to clinch the AL East Division Title, one couldn’t help but remember how not so long ago the Rays were in the same position as the Orioles and how quickly they turned things around. One can only hope that one day the O’s can do the same.




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