We don't get to play the Orioles next year. The announcement came so late that our "rival" is still Toronto. It's really too bad. I was talking to a bartender at the Wharf Rat near Camden Yards, and he was practically salivating at the prospect of the Senators coming to town. He recognized my Nats hat, too. That guy rocked. I want us all to keep in mind that most Orioles fans are not like the guys insulting Washingtonians on message boards.
Thom "Tom" Loverro had a column in the Times yesterday about all the great former Expos. Well, they're not all great. I don't see what all the fuss is about Orlando Cabrera. He's a nice defensive shortstop with no bat and back problems. Sure Boston loves him, but let's not forget that his attitude wasn't so great until he got traded to a winner. Besides, the Expos already have a slick-fielding, sick-hitting SS who's five years younger and millions of dollars cheaper. From John Sickels on ESPN:
Maicer Izturis is a 24-year-old Venezuelan, originally in the Cleveland Indians farm system. He came to Montreal in a little-noticed spring trade, but he emerged with an excellent season at Triple-A Edmonton. In 99 games for the Trappers, he hit .338 with a .428 OBP and a .423 SLG. Now, this is the Pacific Coast League, so you have to account for statistical inflation due to thin air and hitter's parks. Izturis didn't show a lot of pop in his bat, hitting 19 doubles, two homers, and three triples for the Trappers. But he showed good contact hitting ability and some very good plate discipline, drawing 57 walks while fanning only 30 times in 376 at-bats. Scouts have always loved his glove; he has excellent range, a decent arm, soft hands, and quick infield reactions. If he can add some offense to his glove skills, you'd have a very fine player.He struggled in the majors this year, but he sounds like a nice fit for a non-contending team building for the future. If he develops, great. If not, it's not like we blew a bunch of money on him.
Go watch the playoffs.