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With Kimbrel failures, what decisions will Hyde make in 9th with closer role?

As the Baltimore Orioles return home amidst unprecedented prosperity and an owner soaking fans in the left field bleachers, Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the Craig Kimbrel problems of the Birds bullpen and potential solutions from within before seeking to deal elsewhere for real help this season.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

orioles, bullpen, talked, craig kimbrel, pitch, games, years, week, good, baseball, toronto, batista, blue jays, inning, point, give, trade deadline, people, swept, place

SPEAKERS

Nestor J. Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home. We are W en st Towson Baltimore. Baltimore positive. We’re positively getting into a weekend baseball cooler this weekend. I mean, I won’t have to wear my, my camel hat outfit like I’m riding a camel in the Sahara. Like I was at the Yankees game last week. Girls home this weekend. Arizona Diamondbacks. We will be a fade Lee’s from two until five. I’ve got an interesting Mother’s Day guest added in this weekend. We got Preakness weekend next week. We will be there with scratch offs. And on behalf of Mother’s Day we don’t even have Miss Pac Man scratch offs you only have Pac Man scratch offs but I’m sure misses Pac Man is just as just as well. Our friends at Liberty pure solutions keeping our water clean Big Thanks Doug workman and those folks and Jiffy Lube multi care bringing us on the road. I’m putting together dates for Pappas State Fair I’m wearing my state fair shirt. Oh my where am I safer shirt and I’m going to do a public service announcement. I did a National Kidney Foundation several pieces with money to Clark beautiful lady during a couple of Super Bowl. I’ve also had other guests on mama mish was on she was making me desserts on on Wednesday night we were at the Museum of industry where my wife and I went into the Bethlem steel exhibit. Joe Jordanna I mean unbelievable. I have to get him on the show and talk about the Bethlem steel project but National Kidney Foundation nkf their sante event State Fair and Beaumont and Pappas. We’re all a part of it and serving food and I had all of them and no offense the PAP is no offense to Beaumont, you know I love you Donnie, stay fair had these little tuna ahi little jams that were unbelievable. And look what they do is they give you a chip. It’s like a casino chip. And the old days my wife and I were the celebrity regroup Virginia like picking the food winner. Now what they do is they give everybody a chip and your favorite food you put in the chip. And at the end of the night whoever has the most chips, they won the best thing and I picked state fair so that just want to throw that out. So we’re gonna do a crab cake there. We’re also going to be a Costas. We’re going to be a Coco’s I gotta get over to Marcella. She had some crazy like Berea french fry thing going on the other night it looked delicious. Look, Josiah has been monitoring all things sort of soft, weird week baseball couple games in Washington. The Wednesday night game completely got away a late into the night. And they won. And they haven’t now been swept in a series again for under 20 series. And there’s all this weirdness going on with all that but yeah, behind all this first place this and John means that and Kyle Bradish this and coming home and you’re getting crab cakes and shrimp salad out of this did fade leaves on Friday. The Craig Kimbrel thing just kind of sits in the middle of it because you would have liked to thought we were all going to bed at 910 on Wednesday night instead of like biting nails to handle 1015 And the game lingered and it went longer. And this guy on second base thing we’re all getting still two three years into this. And how could benefit you know, quite frankly, we do get hit the ball. Yeah, wow. Right. And the Kimbrel thing this we’ve been talking about this from the beginning and from the minute Batista got hurt last year. It and nine months later, we’re still in it, right?

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Luke Jones  03:19

Yeah. And look, I mean, we’ve said this over and over. I said this the day that the Orioles signed Craig Kimbrel Craig Kimbrel at his best any other reliever in baseball at their best was not going to be what Felix Batista was to this ballclub for the first five months of 2023. That’s just reality. There is a very shortlist anyone that might approach that wasn’t available right is with their team and is viewed in the same light that the Orioles view Felix Batista. So it was always going to be a challenge to navigate a six month regular season, let alone talking about October and what that kind of an arm can mean in those kinds of high leverage live or die situations in October. But this is a problem. And I mean, we’re at a point now where I think we see what happened over the first few weeks, which was Craig Kimbrel pitch really, really well. But there was no question as far as how much Brandon Hyde was using him how much the Orioles were leaning on someone who’s in his mid 30s. And certainly, you know, more than on the back nine of his career. He’s on the back couple holes of his career. I mean, it’s just the reality of someone who’s been as good as Craig Kimbrel was for such a long time. So we see the hiccups that start in the Oakland series and you say okay, it’s probably time to back off this guy a little bit in terms of expecting him to pitch back to back nights or pitching three times and four games, whatever it might be. And you say that so you know we’ve seen he had a little bit of the reset where they didn’t use him during the Yankee series he was dealing With the upper back tightness, I said to you in that Oakland finale looked like he was uncomfortable, whatever. So, unfortunately, we now see a situation where he hadn’t pitched since Saturday. So, physically speaking, he should have had sufficient rest. He should have been fresh. He should have been sharp. You know, it wasn’t so long of a layoff that you’d say, well, okay, he hasn’t pitched in a week. He comes in and does not do the job on Wednesday night, and it leads to this 12 inning marathon that was a very entertaining ballgame and the Orioles won. And they’ll gladly accept another off day, on the heels of using everyone in your pool bullpen. Not named Mike Bauman. But where do you go from here? I mean, Craig Kimbrel, the last five outings has not finished the ninth inning in four of them. He’s blown saves, he put the club in a position where they have to lean on someone else. And he’s got almost five months of season left, and you’re talking about someone who’s being paid $13 million. And you are talking about someone with a track record and someone who pitched really, really well, the first three weeks of the season three and a half weeks of the season. So we’ve even seen it this year, that he can pitch really well. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:17

what they talked about him having a problem last weekend, right like that there was an arm problem. Now whether you know, that’s real imagine I’ll take it at face value. He went away for a day or two, he threw some side, he came back if there’s an arm problem. That’s one thing, finding the strike zone is another thing. And that’s been the issue for me the last couple of days. Is he hurt? Or just can he not throw strikes? Or is he old? Or is he overused? Somewhere in there doesn’t really matter. It’s not effective right now, and they better find another solution.

Luke Jones  06:53

Yeah, I mean, and the answer can be yes. To all those questions, right? A lot all quite often. It’s not just one thing it can.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:04

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And he can throw strikes because he’s hurt. He’s over you. Yeah, yeah. And he’s making 13. Now, just for clarification, he doesn’t want to go sit in the tank for two days, you know, two weeks and not be there for his teammates. He’s trying to earn his way. He’s a veteran guy. Like I, I kind of feel for him because he couldn’t throw a strike the other night when he needed to. Yeah,

Luke Jones  07:23

yeah. Well, I mean, I feel for Brandon heighten the Orioles and the rest of the bullpen at this point, too. But, I mean, it’s difficult because I mean, you you have $13 million invested. I mean, I’m I’m seeing people clamoring for him to be released. And they’re not releasing him at this point. Nor should they at this point. That said, that doesn’t mean he should be taking the ball for every safe situation, either. Let’s be very clear. And and I saw some people got hung up on Brandon Hyde say and after the game that he’s still the clothes are yatta yatta yatta. I mean, he’s been pulled from multiple games. Now, in the ninth inning, we’re already seeing granted hide waiver in terms of his confidence, he’s not going to throw him under the bus, especially a veteran player. I mean, you’re not going to do that to any, any player of any age or any skill set. As long as it’s not an effort thing. As long as it’s something we’re we’re saying, Hey, we keep telling this guy to do this. And he’s not doing it. You know, he’s struggling. He’s struggling big time. And, you know, just clarification. I mean, a couple weeks ago against Oakland, they said it was upper back tightness. Now, could that be something that pertains to the shoulder? I don’t know. idea, right. I mean, there are guys who struggle, and we find out they’re hurt or guys struggle, and they’re just old, and they’re worn down. And, and this is the reality, and this is why when they signed him, even though I was not against the signing, but I did take some pause, because let me just read off some numbers for you. 6.53 era and 2019 5.28 era in 2020 and 2021. It was split in a really good era for the Cubs, but then a 5.09 era for the White Sox, a 3.75 era with the Dodgers 3.26 with the Phillies last year. So there’s some good in there. I’m not saying all bad. But this is kind of who Craig Kimbrel has been for the better part of five or six years now. I mean, the guy that he wasn’t

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:13

liable, right? 13 million, you want to feel more reliable. That’s it. You can’t count on this. And maybe that was your offseason. point is that the money? The age? Everything. It’s nice when it’s nice. It was nice two weeks ago, three weeks ago, right. And, and when it’s not nice, you better have another solution.

Luke Jones  09:30

Right, right. And that’s why I felt all along even if Craig Kimbrel was going to pitch Well, this wasn’t going to be a case of Craig Kimbrel is going to be your your closer.

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Nestor J. Aparicio  09:40

right to strike 312 out three outs. Let’s shake hands and go have a beer, right?

Luke Jones  09:46

I mean, the consistency and the workload, quite frankly, and that’s where I will stick up, not stick up for him but at least look at it through the lens of he probably did pitch a little bit too much over the first three and a half weeks of the season. And yes

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:58

if you’re gonna win 100 One games, how many save opportunities you’re gonna have in 101 game, you’re gonna have 75 Save opportunities, maybe 80, they played a hell of a lot of close games last year, but whatever it is, whatever that number is, it’s more than any one guy’s gonna have it, you’re not gonna have 72 saves, especially 35 years of age, that’s not going to be where it is. So there’s gonna have to be other solutions to begin with. And, Dude, you are the oldest of old school guy. You’ve been talking about that almost every day for five months.

Luke Jones  10:27

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I mean, you know, it’s just a unique, as I’ve said over and over and over. And I don’t mean this. patting myself on the back thinking Craig Kimbrel was going to have these kinds of struggles this soon this early in the season. If anything, I was thinking I was envisioning something like this, maybe come July in August, right? Even worse, right in the past, right. And that’s where this is concerning. And again, it’s not true. Not looking at this through a lens of oh, he’s totally done. He might be. But I’m also not going to make that decision the second week of May, you know, I don’t think that would be a responsible call either. But, yeah, you need to look at this. And maybe you do need to expedite what we’ve been saying for quite some time, which was they were going to need to add at least one very legitimate high leverage back end of the bullpen whether he’s sometimes closer or whether he’s there. Unreal, Fireman eight thinning type what Batista was for the Orioles two years ago before they traded Jorge Lopez, you know, someone like that. Someone who has that kind of arm, I think. And Wednesday was a great example of this Nestor. When you have the format that you have an extra innings and I know that that doesn’t carry over to October, and I’m glad for that, because I’m not a big fan of the I know you you despise the runner on second in extra innings, however, getting sleepy quarter to 10. But however, yeah. However, what is so critical what skill set is so critical to have when the opposition starts with a man on second base before striking I am, yeah, strike people out. And this is a bullpen that doesn’t have enough of that they have some guys who can strike people out. But you need when you you look around at the best bullpens in baseball. And yeah, they might have a closer that’s a big name guy that people know about. And he’s made it to all star teams and all that. But you have two or three other guys that are averaging well over a strikeout per inning. Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of you look strikeout per inning. Yeah, that’s kind of Josh Hader, your only guy you don’t have much, right. Yeah. So and again, it’s not that the Orioles don’t have any of that you go and look, they actually have some relievers that have some decent strikeout numbers. But I mean, I just It’s funny, I’ve made this comment to you. I’ve, I have a text thread with some of my buddies from high school who have talked about the last couple years that they’ve gotten back into baseball, many of them who hadn’t watched baseball in years. And I said to them, I’m like, Man, if only this Orioles club had the 2014 Orioles bullpen, with Britton and Andrew Miller and Brad Brock and Darren O’Day. And I mean, that was really close to lockdown. It wasn’t as locked down as what Kansas City had at that point in time,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:09

but to speak of it in a way that it’s the best bullpen in the history of the organization. And you might not be wrong about that if you go back to Eddie watt more ever, but certainly Sammy, Sammy Stewart and Tippi Martinez and Don Stan house did not hold. No offense to those guys. I watched it all the group you just mentioned when I think of all those guys, I think I put him in get me go day out of the bullpen right now take my chances that he’ll he’ll get me through it. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, when you think of them, in retrospect, you think good thoughts, or not? So good thoughts? Yeah, I mean, like, so we can go through the names of all of the club. But that group, every name you gave me is, we all have good memories of good things happening in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth inning, except for Kansas City, but they were not involved in that at that point. The Kansas City guys were better, quite frankly, which is how they lost your point. And you don’t want that to happen again. And

Luke Jones  14:04

yeah. And I mean, it’s it but it illustrates what I’ve been saying you need multiple guys. It’s not just Craig Kimbrel in the same way that it wasn’t just Felix Batista. I mean, Nestor, we were talking about it at the trade deadline last year, and I get it, they got Fuji and, you know, it didn’t work out. Right. And that, and that happens. I’m not picking on Mike Elias, you know, to a, to a extreme

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:26

degree that he was brought in to strike people out to your point.

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Luke Jones  14:31

And at times he did and then other times, he couldn’t throw any strikes. And again, I mean, some of that, look, you’re not you’re not gonna bat 1000 We talked about this all the time at the Ravens as successful as the Ravens have been that not every trade works. Not Not every draft pick works. Not every free agent signings going to be a great value signing. So some of that’s going to happen, but we talked about it eight weeks before, if seven weeks before Felix Batista even got hurt, you know, and what I guess it was about a month, you know, after the trade deadline when he finally I blew out his elbow. But we talked about it at that point in time where it can’t just be Batista every single night. It can’t just be Cano and Batista every single night. And in fairness, Danny coulomb has stepped up and Danny coulomb has pitched well this year for the most part. You know, it’s not as though the cupboard is completely bare. But in terms of locked down eighth the ninth inning guys, yeah, not guys that are seventh inning and occasionally eighth. But guys that you feel on any given night, can pitch the eighth or the ninth because you know that whether it’s Craig Kimbrel, at 36 years old, or whether it’s Felix Batista and his prime, they can’t pitch every single night Batista came as close as it gets. And again, maybe that contributed to his elbow, maybe not guys break, you know, elbows break. I mean, it’s just reality in 2024. But you need more. And I think when you’re seeing what’s happening with Craig Kimbrel here and how the Orioles are going to try to navigate this. I saw more than a few people you may have even mentioned it. The Balto met as potholed the parking lot, you know, as far as him mysteriously landing on the DL years ago. I mean, I don’t know if it needs to be something like that. I don’t know if it needs to be that you back off on him entirely. And he and he takes the Mike Bauman route for you know, for lack of a better role for the time being where it’s just you pitch them in as low leverages as it gets. But it’s Wednesday was, I admittedly had been more on the dismissive side of Kimbrel being this big picture problem. I was trying to view it through the lens of okay, so little overworked, everyone goes through a tough week or two, you know, even the best closers are gonna have, they’re gonna blow some saves. But for him to come out Wednesday night, after getting a few days off, and still look like that where, you know, he should have been completely fresh. That’s where I looked at that and said, Okay, does Mike Elias need not seeing the move needs to happen tomorrow, or this weekend, I still think you want to be measured. You don’t want to make a panic acquisition where you give up too much for a guy that, frankly, isn’t much better than what you have, you know, you already

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:10

needed help to begin with, you know, if you consider him to be hurt, or injured or back of the ballpark price point you’ve known all along, like, but that’s but that’s where I’m looking. Right. But that’s where i Whenever he’s been measuring, it’s been available out there. The talks, probably, you check back in and say, Is this guy available with teams that are fading already? Right. Yeah. And

Luke Jones  17:32

but that’s the problem. Right. And we talked about this last couple of years, when you have an extra wildcard spot, fewer teams are fading. So I do think this, the urgency needs to be heightened a little bit here. And that’s, you know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:44

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that Captain winds are giving guys away, let’s call them well, we’ll

Luke Jones  17:48

see. But I do. I had been coming from this, you know, coming at this with the idea that, you know, yeah, by the trade deadline, if you can do it a little bit before then. Great. Now, I’m starting to wonder if you need to have that kind of a piece acquired by No, no, early June, you know, they’re still winning games, right? I mean, they’re in first place, they still have the best record in the AFL, although the Yankees keep winning. So there’s certainly the preventative medicine. And that’s the thing, right? You don’t want this to be, you know, you don’t want to be in a position where you’re blowing games left and right. And suddenly, you’re, you know, you have a three week period where you go 500, when you could have been, you know, your 12 and 12. And it should have been, I don’t know, 15 and nine, right? I mean, you don’t want to be in that position, because that can matter. I mean, 234 games, I mean, that can be everything that can be the difference between the division and one of the top two seats and a wildcard. I mean, it’s not much so again. No, you’re not releasing him. No, you’re not getting rid of him know that. Yeah. I mean, that would be that would be unwise this early. But you certainly are backing off. You’re certainly in a position now where I think you have to approach it the way the Orioles did the week of the Yankee series and the way they did last September, I think for right now. It’s all hands on deck. And you have you do this by committee. And yes, Brandon heights gotta manage workload, like you can’t have canole going out there, four out of five games on the regular anything like that, but you’ve got to look at it through the lens of okay, if you’re facing a team that that tends to have pockets of left handers in their lineup that might be a Danny cool all night or that might be a CNL Perez night where they might be the ninth inning or they’re gonna be pitching the eighth inning, you know, if it’s the heart of the lineup, and it’s more lefties so, so you kind of have to I think you’re gonna have to approach it that way. And look, some analytics types will tell you that’s the way you should be doing it anyway. Unless you have, you know, and they would even say even if you ever locked down closer, you shouldn’t just relegate that guy to the ninth inning. No questions asked because sometimes the game might be one in the eighth inning of the heart of the orders coming up in a one run game. him. So I think that’s just where they are right now. And I’m not saying that’s ideal. I’m not saying I’m comfortable with that. But at the same time, you can only make the trades that are presented to you, you can only make the deals that are presented to you. And if we know anything about Mike Elias, to this point, he’s not going to panic, you know, he’s going to be methodical about how he does this. And probably to a fault, you know, even going back to last year with not doing more to fortify the bullpen, even before Batista got hurt. So it’s a concern. I’d be, I’d be disingenuous if I sat here continuing to be dismissive about the Craig Kimbrel struggles because like I said, this wasn’t the the back end of a back to back, you know, back to back nights where he pitched and was good the first night like he wasn’t Cincinnati, for example, was Good Friday night, no problem struck out the side, even. But then Saturday night came and you saw how it looked. So now this just to be three, four nights later, and it looked the same way where he should have been fresh, not overworked, anything like that. That’s where I look at this and say, Okay, how do you proceed? You’re not going to bury him. And you’re not going to disrespect a veteran. And, look, he was really good the first three and a half weeks of the season. So he showed them that it’s still there to some degree in some shape or form unless he is injured. So how do you back off while getting him right? You know, the answer isn’t completely just throw them in the back of the bullpen and he never pitches unless it’s nine to one. I’m not sure that’s going to fix them either. But you’ve got to find a sweet spot here between trying to get him right trying to get him straightened out. But also Paramount is got to win games and you’ve got to protect leads in the ninth inning and Craig Kimbrel is just not doing that for the Orioles right now. Luke Johnson

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:49

can be found at Baltimore, Luke anywhere the internet travels the Instagrams the LinkedIn is the Twitter’s the Facebook’s the X is the threads, all those places, we’re going to be fadeless on Friday, giveaway Pac Man scratch offs from the Maryland lottery. I have them right here. Cherries, $5 winners, $10 winners. I’m waiting for my first 50 I had a 20 a couple of weeks ago. So I like when 50s and hundreds happen out on the watch. That’s when it’s good. Or even better yet CMD lottery if that happens, that means you gotta go see John Martin, and take the big spin. They have the new cash pop game this week do. I had to learn the rules on that when you can listen to that piece out in our audience, vaulted Baltimore positive. Arizona coming in this weekend. Toronto comes in middle next week, Seattle, and this is a real homestand whether it’s going to change during all of this. And this homestand is something we haven’t had Bradish in the rotation means back in rotation Bradish won a couple the other night and certainly they should have won the ballgame, flat out nine innings before it all kind of fell apart. The sweep things interesting. We haven’t talked about that at all. So I’ll throw that out on your plate as well. more relevant than the John Harbaugh unbeaten streak in the preseason, but still sort of weird and rutschman things weird. And the weird thing is, it really happened swept so it was just you know, so like, I don’t know that there really is a street there. But all that being said, homestand Here we go. It’s Whack a Mole. We’re set. We just done 20 minutes on the relief pitching and oh my god, the closure there in first place, not second place. And then we’re gonna make trades and all that. But the starting pitching better, better, better, and that makes the bullpen better, better better to some degree.

Luke Jones  23:28

It does. I mean, it makes it easier to navigate. Right? I mean, and this goes for whether you have a great bullpen or whether you have bullpen questions. I mean, I thought Kyle Bradish I came away from Wednesday’s outing really encouraged early on fastball command was about all he had right i mean the secondary stuff he couldn’t command at first couple winnings are starting to wonder okay, is he even gonna get through five let’s say is it gonna get through for the way it’s looking? But he settled in and I mean strikes out the side is last inning look, you know, that started to command his other stuff. Lots of swing and miss velocity held held Well again, I think he touched 98 at one point not that not that that’s the end all be all but I mean, you know, typically if you’re asking if someone’s healthy, I mean the velocities one of the first things that you’re kind of looking at so so far so good again, you knock on wood and you hope that he’s feeling good the day after start two days after a start all that but I thought he finished that start in really impressive fashion. So the strange thing is I’m not the one to talk to you about that because honestly, I kind of low that people are giving continuing to give it as much oxygen as they are because they got swept last October. Look. I don’t say this to be Debbie Downer. There is so much about this ballclub to love Craig Kimbrel aside right now, but so much to love to be excited about to be impressed with the runs they score fact that they’re the best team in the American League. Go down the list. They got swept Last October and I just to continue to make this and look I get it regular season to continue to make this a big thing and I’m not saying you but the broadcast swept the only time it mattered, right? And I Nestor, you can go back to my 12 Orioles thoughts following the sweep in Arlington that following morning, I flat out rode, this was going to happen and it was going to be annoying to me. I mean, it’s I don’t want to you know, I’m not going to let it ruin my morning but it irritates me because they got swept last October. I get it. It’s a regular season streak historically spear

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Nestor J. Aparicio  25:36

Jones and you don’t deserve a press pass. And I deserve your press pass for saying that. And I’ll tell them Mr. Rubenstein on you.

Luke Jones  25:43

But that aside, that old man yells at Cloud rant aside homestand Arizona coming in. I mean, the Diamondbacks are playing better of late but overall I have not looked like the defending national champs and let’s face it, they did not have a very good record. Last year. We talked about the Cinderella nature of their run last October. So in my shot so forgettable, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:06

almost forgot about it, to be honest. Right? You don’t think of them you think of the Dodgers and you look up and there’s some 500 You’re thinking, Oh, this guy stink? We should get two out of three this weekend. Well,

Luke Jones  26:16

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you know, I they’re still talented. And to their credit, they had a I liked their offseason, you know, they made some moves where you say, hey, they’re trying to strike while the iron is hot. Makes sense. But, you know, they they’ve won a couple here of late, but, you know, under 500. So you mentioned Blue Jays after them. Toronto, I mean,

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:36

I forgot everything that happened after we got off the plane from Arlington, October,

Luke Jones  26:40

yet, right. It was the It was either that or people just didn’t want to watch because it was too painful at that point. But I’ll try

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:46

to remember it between now and we get together fade these on Friday, but I probably won’t. Yeah,

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Luke Jones  26:50

but you know, Toronto to follow. I mean, the Blue Jays. I mean, I think I said this before the season. I mean, I thought the Orioles clearly had the most young talent in the division and deserved the proper do that, frankly, a lot of people weren’t giving them I was just hyping up the Yankees as much as they could. But you know, Toronto, for all the talent. And remember Toronto was the team that in the division that was perceived to be? They were kind of the Orioles two or three years ago, right? Where you looked at all their young players on the roster. And it’s just, you know, you look at the rotation, you look at the position talent, and you just say, why aren’t they better? And

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:31

the thing is, they’re Canada’s team. And this is something like I want to take you up to Canada and get your passport stamped and hang out with Geddy Lee and drink good beer with hosers and do all that stuff. But I like the Blue Jays brand in that and like, they’re really the Yankees of Canada in that way for baseball. And they they’re, they’re owned by this giant conglomerate that they could spend money and they could have offseason splashes and it’s a sexy place to go and sign. I don’t know about the money or how it translates to Canadian money. But when I go there, I’m on the cheap in Canada, so it’s nice. I’m sure you get tax the hell out of it. But you have an agent to figure all that out. I’ve never heard anybody say they don’t want to go play in Toronto. I was in Toronto in December, doing the Geddy Lee my effing life book thing at Massey Hall, and Massey halls like this famous place for rushed in all the world’s a stage and it’s this place I’d always wanted to go. It’s a little theater, beautiful little theater, but it’s almost like a New York little Broadway theater but not a lot of space. And a balcony that hangs over and that was the night that the show Hey Otani rumors of him coming to join the Blue Jays. So I was in Toronto when a cold wet Christmas Toronto night amongst all of these people and you know, get he’s a baseball head right now it was brought up during the conference like blue J fever and the place erupted at the thought that Otani could. I mean, that’s how seriously they’re considered to be serious is that they were in I mean, God bless Rubenstein. He’s gonna have his hands full sun and our own guys. But if you’re talking about sine and Ohtani, you’re talking about offseasons. You’re talking about additions. I thought once they had the Encarnacion era, and that era five, six years ago, when Donaldson and all like, I thought they would be a powerhouse. I really did, I thought and you and I talked about this a lot. I thought there’ll be more like the Dodgers, they’ll just spend a lot of money because they have the attention of the country all summer long in a way that if you’ve ever spent any time in Canada, and it’s a hockey country, it really is but baseball gets real oxygen there for the Blue Jays, I just thought they would be a terror in the division. And if I was meeting with Mr. Angelo’s or anyone serious, I’d say look out for the Blue Jays to be the next Red Sox over the next 15 years. They’re going to spend $300 million a year they’re going to be the ones that sign rutschman They’re going to be the ones that Gunnar Henderson will be a Blue Jays because they have the kind of dough to do that. And I always thought they’d be a problem. Much more simply Tampa, which is never going to be that right. The Yankees and the Red Sox and the Red Sox have fallen the money just all of it. When I have Boston people on they told me the Red Sox are number four. A lot of mornings in Boston behind the Bruins, the Celtics and the Patriots. Right. And Tom Brady’s rose to be number one, obviously, especially this week. But no jokes about Mr. Kraft please. I would just say the Blue Jays are the sleeping giant to me. Of if I’m giving Mr. Rubinstein advice, I’d say they’re the ones that could spend money like drunken sailors and would be in on players. I just I’m blown away that they’re not better than that. In that way, you know that they’re that they’re not every year a problem for us in the division?

Luke Jones  30:48

Well, in part, but part of the problem has been their young players that you know, like Vlad Guerrero Jr, who a few years ago, you thought it was gonna be the best players in baseball. And he’s been kind of I don’t know if middling is the right word, but underwhelming compared to where he was a couple years ago. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:05

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if any of our guys if that’s what cows are turns out to be, or what any of these guys if they all turn out to be Matt Wieters. No offense to Matt Wieters who was fine. But if they all wind up being Matt Wieters or Nick Mark cake is all the dark group.

Luke Jones  31:19

I mean, gunners already better than already better than me

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:24

five years from now. Sure, sure. It’s gonna be the question, right? Because that is the promise. We’re building all of our hopes and dreams on this in the same way the Mets built it on isringhausen Pulsipher. And, you know, I mean, it never happened here. Division last year, but keep back to your point. They got swept and back to my point the Blue Jays are coming in and the Orioles are still the better team. Every night. Next week.

Luke Jones  31:45

A lot. Yeah, a lot. I mean, the blue, the Blue Jays, you mentioned Otani. That was kind of the problem. Their problem was they put all their eggs in the Otani basket, they didn’t land him and then you look at the rest of their offseason. It’s like what did you do? What did you do to make your team better so and young guys that they’ve been counting on guys that they thought were going to be core members of their team? It hasn’t worked out? I mean, it’s not, not that there’s no redeeming quality about them. But they enter Thursday, three games under 500 A minus 44. Run differential, it’s, it hasn’t been good, you know, even their pitching, which you kind of thought you looked at their rotation you say, Oh, they should have a good rotation but it’s been lacking you know, they they’re pitching in general General has been lacking. So

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Nestor J. Aparicio  32:26

did you ever watch Dave steep pitch? Did you ever have the honor of watch I mean, baseballs and, and making a move or no.

Luke Jones  32:35

I mean, I’m well aware of him. He was filthy, the little before my time in terms of really, really remembering that I mean, you know, but my earliest recollections, I can’t

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:44

wait to put you in a car and Buffalo and get you some proper hotcakes take you across the Peace Bridge up to Toronto and take you out there to exhibition stadium where there’s now soccer stadium, by the way, and, and breathe in the air of the lake.

Luke Jones  33:00

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Yeah, my earliest record, like my first baseball season that I can genuinely say that I really, really remember. I mean, I have flashbulb memories and little bits and pieces before that. But 90 ones about, you know, when I, my age seven season, as a baseball fan, is really the first one that I really remember following on a day to day, week to week basis. I mean, great, a great year, right?

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:25

To take you to the Henderson Brewing Company. And in the Toronto suburbs, it gets you a proper rush golden ale in Toronto. But in the meantime, we got homestand. Right. And we have like, you and I’ve been at this 15 years, like, every morning, we have to like get up and talk about the Orioles now. And it’s like important and they play extra inning games and closers matter and decisions to the manager matter and lineups matter and who’s up and down matters. This is fun. It you know, it’s like putting together the 25th anniversary the documentary like it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun if the Orioles weren’t relevant again, because I sort of forgot how much fun this can be. Baseball is good right now this and this homestand is going to be good. And we’re we’re in the pie. And I would say this the best news is the starting pitching for me we focused on the bad news, the club and the owners gonna squirt people and like all that and I’m still not gonna have a press credential. But I would say this starting pitching. Like we questioned that for a couple of weeks and it was Rocky, certainly from the minute Bradish was infirmed Are we are we feeling better about that part of it?

Luke Jones  34:34

Absolutely. Absolutely. And Grayson Rodriguez threw up a mound on Wednesday and sounds like he through all of his pitches. Sounds like he’s feeling good. So even he could be back in the not too distant future. I mean, you

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:45

guys had seven innings of shutout ball in a bullpen? Yeah.

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Luke Jones  34:49

I mean, it would

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:52

improve the bullpen. There you go. I mean, I’ll say this Suarez.

Luke Jones  34:57

I look I know it didn’t look great. for him on Wednesday night, and again, he was thrown into that position because your 35 year old closer, who is what fourth or fifth or whatever he is on the all time saves list at this point couldn’t get the job done. I still have some hope for Suarez. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m sitting here saying he’s gonna be there closer. Let’s be very clear about that. But I see an arm that I think can be molded and can grow into a guy that might be able to give you some meaningful innings in the eighth inning. embattlement innings to your point, but a better Yeah, I mean, you know, we’ve seen Baumann for a couple years now and we’ve talked about him a lot. Look, you talk to me at this time last year, I was really hopeful that Mike Baumann was going to grow into a role of not closer, but we had a baker role

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:44

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to I mean, there you know, there have been several.

Luke Jones  35:46

And look, I mean, you have you’re gonna have some of that. I mean, Jake, look at Jacob Webb, he’s on another roll. When they acquired him from the angels last August he was really good for his first month or so with the Orioles. I mean, he wasn’t right, like in that way so so but you’re gonna have that you have the ebbs and flows of a closer it’s it’s like the stock market, you have a stock that you ride, it’s the hot hand, you make a little bit of money, and then you spell right. I mean, that’s, you know, I sound like somebody who doesn’t know anything about this. You sound

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:17

like a general manager, the NFL running backs. Yeah, exactly. You sound like a nightmare.

Luke Jones  36:24

But we talked about this, it’s a long season, you’ve got to get contributions from guys that you’re not expecting, guys, that might be awesome for a month or two. And then they’re not so good. And then they’re either on or a triple A or they’re pitching the eighth inning. And suddenly they’re pitching the fifth inning when it’s seven to one on occasions where the game gets away from you. So you know what, we’ll have to see how this plays out. I mean, the bullpens a concern. I mean, I don’t know how it can’t be. But that said, they’re a team that continues to play near 667 Ball they’ve kind of been hovering around, they’re winning two thirds, two thirds of their games. I mean, that’s what they’ve been doing, you know, for the course of this season. And they were really close to that pace last year, too. So yeah, they’ve got to figure out the pen. I do think Mike Elias is gonna have to make a move sooner than the trade deadline. And when I say a move, I mean a meaningful move, not another, another team’s Jacob Webb, where you hope Oh, well, yeah, we’ll see. You know, you can do some of that too. Let’s be clear. But I think with with where Kimbrough is right now, I’m not saying that they can’t salvage this that he can’t get himself back on track, but it is feeling more and more like you might need to be really taken a long look at making a move sooner than later to really try to fortify the back end of that pen because as much as you can know, for the most part, it’s been good. Coulomb, Webb, maybe Suarez CNL Perez has been good since coming back from the Il. You don’t want to overwork any of those guys. So you need to you need to bring in another arm that you would say I feel comfortable throwing that guy out there in a one run game in the eighth or the ninth inning on a given night. Yep. Is that guy is that move out there to be made today? Maybe not. But I don’t think it can wait to the trade deadline. Let’s put it that way.

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:12

Help is on the way we we got baseball on the way there home next 10 days. We’re gonna be fade these this Friday. Next Friday. Pac Man scratch offs to give away courtesy of our friends at the Maryland lottery Big thanks to our friends at Liberty pure solutions. I got my cold roofing mug back at it even happened during my cold roofing segment this week with Bill calls. We had that great conversations with Wendy Bronfman from curio wellness came on. We talked about a whole bunch of stuff I’m going to see hard and cheap trick next week. So we got rock’n’roll on the agenda. We have the Preakness poster on Monday downtown. I’ll be participating in that. And the Affer mentioned National Kidney Foundation event as well. faithless has a grand opening this week. We’re going to be there on Friday from two of the five this week. And next week. I got some cool guest this weekend for Mother’s Day fell it owns a restaurant called medium rare that I’ve been wanting to talk about. And he does some great stuff in the community. He has a really interesting DNA Mother’s Day story he’s going to share with us and that’s going to be at fade these on Friday. Big thanks to Liberty pure solutions, as well as Jiffy Lube multi care for sending us out on the road. We’re doing good stuff. If you have not seen the 25th anniversary documentary, no one listens. everyone hears please go watch you laugh. You’ll cry, you’ll smile. You’ll probably send me an email. I am Nestor. He is Luke we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore. Positive

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