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<< Back to main

The 2011 Baltimore Orioles "Apple" Lineup!

Posted 9/30/2011 11:35am by Ben Wenk.

Three Springs Fruit FarmGo O's!For we Orioles fans, game number 162 of a long 162 game season usually provides little more than a merciful end to another painful, disappointing campaign in the otherwise hollowed history of our once-proud favorite baseball franchise.  And while I'd considered for several weeks not reprising last year's Orioles Apple Lineup given the contrast in the promise this squad provided in the spring compared to the crushing disappointment 2011 proved to be, I've thought better of it.  After watching them completely change the fortunes of the 2011 playoff race (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, RED SOX!!!) in the American League in dramatic fashion, I've decided to go ahead with it, even if I'm only going to highlight the few players worthy of commendation for their efforts.  It's still early in the apple season, afterall, and while this makes it hard to do an apple lineup for a team loaded with worthy stars such as the Phillies, having so few apples with which to draw comparisons is a bit of a blessing in the case of my much-maligned Orioles.  So here we go!  Keep the faith Orioles fans!  Afterall, only the Cubs can have a bad century, our time will come!

 

 

  • 'Honeycrisp' Apples - JJ Hardy, SS - I know Adam Jones won Most Valuable Oriole and I'm well aware that Weiters was our All Star representative.  However, over the course of a long season, Hardy was our best player all the way around.  Some could say it was his early season injury (along with Roberts) that led to that May swoon from which the O's never recovered.  One of only three Oriole shortstops to hit 30 HR, I'm glad the O's have Hardy locked down for three more years.  Honeycrisp will be around for another 100 years, but who's counting?
  • Three Springs "Must Eat" Apple Cider - Buck Showalter, Manager - Buck is generally a little more tart than sweet.  Maybe that's why I like him so much.  I like my cider as I like my big league managers... no, that sounds like a lousy joke.  Buck will be actively fermenting over what went wrong for the long offseason.
  • 'Jonagold' - Mark Reynolds, 3B/1B - For the record, I'm going 1B with Reynolds, not 3B - too many errors.  But aside from that, yes I'll hear your strikeouts argument, but his 37 HR is the most since Miguel Tejada.  Additionally, he led the team with 86 RBIs.  While he didn't offer much in the way of batting average or defense, he was more than adequate (in some cases better) in all other metrics as was Honeycrisp.  He can't offer everything the Honeycrisp can, but he's right there in terms of producing a quality fruit.
  • 'Gala'Apples - Adam Jones, CF - Adam Jones should win another Gold Glove this year.  I think his defense in CF was better than the year he did win the award.  And aside from his road splits, you couldn't have asked for much better a year out of Jones.  He's still learning and he's likely to progress more next season, but in a team full of rotten apples, he was a consistent, go-to big league caliber ballplayer.  Gala, too, are dependable when choosing a sweet treat for the lunchbox!
  • 'Fuji'Apples - Matt Wieters, C - After this season, I can say I'd proudly wear a "Matt Wieters took batting practice this afternoon.  There were no survivors" t-shirt.  He should be a fixture behind the plate in Baltimore for a long time to come.  He improved every part of his game from an up and down rookie campaign and emerged as a bit of a leader as well.  In terms of our best apples, there's only room at the top for four - Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonagold, and Fuji are our best ones.  I could think of no better player to round out the top four.  If you only had to pick four apples to eat the rest of your life, I'm bettin' Fuji would be on there!
  • 'Macintosh' Apples - Jim Johnson, RP - I don't think I approve with the notion of making a starter out of Johnson, no matter how desperate we are for a good one.  I prefer to think "hey, we've got one pitcher in the whole organization who fills a role and does it almost flawlessly and with great consistency".  In other words, in a pitching staff full of rotten apples (expect me to regurgitate that analogy several times), don't fix the only thing not broken.  JJ goes out there and makes the mit pop, throws strikes, and puts the pressure on the opposition.  Macintosh don't hold their pressure as well, but you get the "pop" sensation when you bite into one.
  • 'Jonathan' Apples - Zach Britton, SP - Hard to believe I fit a third pitcher on here, but
    away we go.  If you were to throw out Zach Britton's three worst starts (which were particularly bad), you'd think he was one of the better young pitchers in the league.  Well, it's my opinion he still might be.  He had a rough patch in the middle there but he started well, he ended well, and he led the team with 11 wins when the dust settled.  He's got a bright future.  If Jonathan sized more, they'd still be available at supermarkets, but it's just a eyeblink from national recognition.  That's why your secret admiration of Jonathan is safe with me.  Haven't tried one yet?  They're the most underrated apple we grow.
  • 'Gold Delicious'Apples- Robert Andino, IF - I can barely believe I just typed that.  I'm really going with Robert Andino for the much-respected "underrated Golden Delicious" spot.  I thought he was too good for AAA ball and never good enough to be an everyday player.  I thought he had a bad attitude and would never improve his game.  He proved me wrong.  Reminds me of the market customer who heard some goofball farmer who kept assuring him or her that Golds aren't mushy, that they're really a terrific apple... gosh, what a coincidence!  Also, who had Robert Andino at 139 games played?  I would have thought 50 was a huge number.
  • 'Grimes Golden'Apples - - Jeremy Guthrie, SP - This one is tough for me.  Jeremy Guthrie deserves better.  The O's aren't getting better anytime soon and Jeremy pitched
    well enough to win close to 18 games for a good team.  Instead, he lost 18 games for the Orioles because they don't play well behind him.  It pains me to say it, but we need to trade Guthrie and free him from the prison known as my Baltimore Orioles.  Similarly, we'll have no more Grimes Golden after this week's markets.
  • 'Smokehouse'Apples - - Chris Davis, 1B - Ok, so he still looks better in batting practice
    and in AAA than he does on the field but I have to put him in here based on potential alone.  When he gets a hold of one, he smokes it (see what I did there?).  This was a great pickup at the trade deadline without even talking Tommy Hunter and I'm anxious for what Chris Davis could do in a full season at the major league level.  I'm also excited to harvest the Smokehouse each year, since each year I turn a few new customers on to this little known, heirloom tart-flavored apple!
  • 'Red Delicious' Apples - Vladimir Guerrero, OF - It was great to see a Hall of Famer like
    Guerrero in an O's uniform.  What wasn't so great is that it was 2011 not, say, 2004 when we offered him the moon, the stars, and his very own life size Bromo Seltzer tower to haul back to the Dominican Republic only to see him sign with Anaheim.  Similarly, Red Delicious look good in still life photography.
  • 'Yellow Barlett' Pears - Pedro Strop, RP and Tommy Hunter, SP - I can't figure out which
    one I liked better in his brief time here.  Both were acquired from Texas in separate trades and did very respectable jobs in the bullpen and rotation respectively.  If you acquire a Bartlett from our stand this week, you'll be the recipient of a more than respectable amount of flavor.  Available in bulk online.
  • 'Bosc' Pears- Nick Markakis, RF - Had a forgettable first half but ended up with a respectable season.  Many had suspected Nick was playing hurt through long stretches of 2011 and Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that suspicion in his post game address after the thrilling victory over Boston Wednesday night.  It's a testimony to his grit and toughness.  Bosc aren't too tough to eat.  Truthfully, I find it a very easy thing to do.  I ate one today - easiest thing I accomplished by a landslide.  They do, however, have a little gritty texture.

 

see also, the 2010 Baltimore Orioles Apple Lineup

 

 

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