Sorry for the lack of posts for the last two days, but I went to catch a mixed martial arts event on Saturday, and honestly just took a day off as well.
Well, there's some sad news concerning a former Oriole pitcher. Hurler Jason Johnson -- who pitched for Baltimore 1999-2003 -- has been diagnosed with cancer of the retina. He's been signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees, and has had a luckluster career as a pitcher; however, one has to feel for him, but it sounds like he'll be fine.
Here's how he found his diagnosis.
From the New York Post: "I went to the eye doctor to get a new pair of contacts and they found it,'' said Johnson, who is in camp on a minor league deal. "They sent me to the Wills Eye Institute in Philly. It's supposed to be the best in the world. Only 2,000 people a year get it. They put a radiation plaque on my eye for four days. They told me it has a 98 percent success rate. I can't pitch outside for two weeks. I can see but not real well.''
Let's hope he gets better and resumes his career, much more a healthy & happy life.
The Orioles finally get to play real baseball, as they face off against the New York Mets in their first exhibition game on Wednesday (ok, maybe not the "first one" -- some of the guys will be featured in a game against Italy on Tuesday). It looks like Brad Hennessey will be the starting pitcher for the game according to MASN's Roch Kubatko, and it will be aired on MASN as well as on the radio via 105.7. I'll be peeking off and on to see the action that day, and I'm also looking forward to seeing Matt Wieters -- hopefully he'll catch -- as well as a little of Rich Hill, Felix Pie and perhaps some of the youngsters like Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergensen, or David Hernandez.
Here's a little what to expect this week from the Orioles.com Spencer Fordin:
The Orioles have shared their pitching rotation for the first few days of spring, providing a glimpse into their plans for the first few games. Baltimore will have several top-flight prospects lined up to pitch against Team Italy on Tuesday, an exhibition game before the Spring Training slate begins. Brian Matusz will start that game, and the Orioles will also allow Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman to show their wares against the Italian national team.
Right-hander Brad Hennessey will start the true Spring opener against the Mets on Wednesday, and the Orioles will also throw Chris Waters, David Pauley, Brian Bass and Jim Miller in that game. Hennessey, Pauley and Waters are battling for a rotation spot.
The starter for Thursday's game against the Marlins is as yet uncertain, but Baltimore will throw Danys Baez, Matt Albers, Chris Ray and Bob McCrory in that game. Things get more exciting on Friday, when Koji Uehara will make his stateside debut against the Marlins.
The other bit of news from this weekend involves players and their investments, and it's not good. The Stanford Financial Group -- which may players have their funds in (Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Pelrey and a few others) -- has ensnared a few Orioles that include Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta. Sadly, their money is frozen by federal regulators as part of a Securities and Commision investigation of tycoon Robert A. Stanford that did business with Scott Boras' corporation and his clients. I'm sure the players will get their money situation worked out; however, it shows everyone that when it comes down it, you have to know who to trust and no matter what -- investments always carry a certain amount of risk even if you do what you're supposed to do as a consumer.
Finally, I'm so savoring the win by Maryland over North Carolina. It's amazing that they won considering they trailed by 16 at one point, and they were taking on a Carolina team filled with All-American and studs (something Maryland doesn't really have). Considering all the strife with the school's athletic department and coach Gary Williams, the victory was amzing within itself.
Bring on Duke.