Orioles trade Valencia to Royals for Lough

200px-Danny_Valencia_on_May_20,_2013The Baltimore Orioles have traded designated hitter Danny Valencia to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder David Lough.  Valencia hit .304 for the Orioles last season and was up and down between the Orioles farm system.

Valencia had power and hit for average for the Orioles but he never played in the field which is something that the Orioles did not like.  Lough is a good fielder and played all three outfield positions for the Royals last season.  Remember the Royals have a huge ballpark and Lough was able to cover a lot of ground.
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Brian Roberts signing with Yankees stinging Orioles fans

224px-Brian_RobertsBrian Roberts has signed with the New York Yankees for a one-year deal for$2 million with incentives.  Roberts has been a Baltimore Orioles since he was drafted in 1999.  Roberts made his major league debut for the Orioles in 2001 and has been a fan favorite.  People on social media have been extremely saddened from Roberts signing with the Yankees.

Roberts is a two-time All Star and was the Orioles face of the franchise during its darkest times.  The second baseman always played hard and was always involved with the community.

In recent years, Roberts has been hurt and has not played over 100 games since 2009.  Some of his injuries were his own fault as he gave himself a concussion by hitting himself in the head with a baseball bat.  Still the Orioles stood by him as he tried to recover and some thought he should just retire.

Still Roberts was the one of the highest players on the Orioles making about $10 million each year and hardly played.  In 2012 he only played 17 games for the Orioles and only hit .182 when he did play.  Collecting the same salary.
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Ravens report card versus the Lions: The Defense and Special Teams

88px-Jimmy_smith_2011_stadium_practiceI know Wednesday is late for a report card but the Ravens played Monday Night and I did not want to post both of them in one day.  If you missed the report card on the offense go here.  Some fun trivia a defensive lineman, linebacker and a defensive back had an interception in this game.
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Orioles agree to terms with Grant Balfour

392px-MG_0054_Grant_BalfourThe Baltimore Orioles have made their biggest splash in free agency so far by agreeing to terms with Grant Balfour according to Roch Kubatko.  The deal is for two years and around $14 million dollars.  Balfour is a 35-year-old closer who had 38 saves last season and a 2.59 era.

Balfour will replace Jim Johnson as the Orioles closer but I think Tommy Hunter will also get a good amount of save opportunities.  Balfour has been a good pitcher his entire career with a 3.27 career era and has become a closer the past two seasons.
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Ravens place Furstenburg on injured reserve sign Overbay to practice squad

400px-Matt_Furstenburg_Ravens_Stadium_Practice_2013Late in the NFL season this may seem like a minor move and it is but the Baltimore Ravens have placed practice squad tight end  on injured reserve. Furstenburg went to Maryland and played extremely well in the preseason and fans wanted him on the active roster.
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Ravens report card versus the Lions: The offense

97px-Joe_Flacco_(cropped)The Baltimore Ravens beat the Detroit Lions 18 to 16 in a game in which the Ravens needed to stay in the playoff picture.  Now the Ravens control their own destiny.  The Ravens did not score a touchdown but did move the ball well in a hostile environment and against a really good defense.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco is one tough guy, even after having his knee hit he was able to complete big throws when he Ravens needed him to.  Flacco completed 20 out of 38 of his passes for 222 yards.  Flacco also ran for 13 yards and did not turn the ball over.  Grade B+

Running backs:  Ray Rice is slowly improving health wise and it is showing on the field.  Rice averaged 4.7 yards per carry, it would have been nice to see him have more than one reception.  Bernard Pierce had 21 yards rushing on seven carries.  Grade B
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