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Daniel Moroz: Longball at center of Hardy's renaissance

J.J. Hardy is having a very good offensive season. He is, in fact, having the best offensive season of his career. And that's coming entirely from one factor. Not more walks (he's doing worse than his career numbers) or fewer strike-outs (he's doing worse than his career numbers) or more hits when he puts the ball into play (he's doing worse than his career numbers).

Lauren Tilley: And the Orioles' closer in 2012 should be ...

OK, before I tell you who I think the closer should be for next season, let me just preface it with a few things. Before you scream so much that spit and food crumbs end up splattered all over your computer screen, before you send me hate comments and before you send bombs to my family through your computer screen (I'm sure that piece of

Monday Memory: Of flooded dugouts and faux fishing holes

This weekend's brush with Hurricane Irene got me thinking about some of the waterlogged nights I've spend at Camden Yards and Memorial Stadium over the years. Rain and games don't really mix - even in football, where hearty, big guys boast about playing through just about everything weather-wise. They certainly did at the soggiest sporting event I ever attended, a Canadian Football League game on

Matthew Taylor: Crafty lefty could also whiff opposing hitters

David Price established a Tampa Bay franchise record on Sunday with 14 strikeouts in seven innings of work at Toronto. Price set the mark in his fourth big league season and exceeded by two his previous career high of 12 strikeouts. By his fourth season, former Orioles lefty Mike Flanagan had established what would be his own career-high strikeout total by having twice fanned 13

The patch O's will wear to remember Flanagan

Courtesy of a tweet from O's lefty Zach Britton (@zbritton), here's the patch that the Orioles will wear on their right jersey sleeves for the remainder of the season in memory of Mike Flanagan, the former pitcher, coach, club executive and MASN broadcaster who died Wednesday.

"O's Xtra" remembers Flanagan, MASN to rebroadcast final Memorial Stadium game

The images of Mike Flanagan during his long Orioles career come rushing back in a slideshow format of memories: the mane of hair tucked under the cartoon bird cap, the lefty staring out through eye slits at an opposing batter, World Series in 1979 and 1983, tenures as a coach and teacher, standing at a podium or prowling the back fields at Fort Lauderdale Stadium

Daniel Moroz: Simon making strides as an effective rotation option

When word went out during spring training before the 2009 season that Alfredo Simon was getting a look as an Orioles rotation option, I didn't know who he was and didn't have the highest hopes for the team if a pitcher with a career 5.10 ERA at Triple-A was going to be starting games. Seven earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched later, Simon was

Lauren Tilley: Zach Britton's wild ride

Zach Britton has had a tumultuous rookie year with the Orioles. He expected to begin this season in the minors until an unfortunate injury to Brian Matusz caused Britton to make his debut at the major league level a night later. In that debut, he went six innings of three-hit, one-run ball against the Rays to allow the O's to sweep Tampa Bay in the

Weekend tormentor on Halos has a strong Orioles connection

To answer one of the extra credit-seeking students at School of Roch, Angels outfielder - and weekend Orioles tormentor - Peter Bourjos does, indeed, have a Baltimore connection. Bourjos is the son of Orioles scout Chris Bourjos, who is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. The elder Bourjos is a former major leaguer, having had a cup of coffee with the San Francisco Giants in 1980. Chris

Matthew Taylor: Once intertwined O's careers take divergent paths

Brian Roberts and Jerry Hairston Jr. were once part of the same sentence in Baltimore, two much-talked-about second basemen living less than a mile apart during the offseason and competing for the same roster spot when it came time to play ball. They were the Pepsi Challenge of Orioles baseball - Roberts or Hairston? You decide. Considering the similarities between the players, a fan's choice

James Baker: The ultimate back-alley dice game

Otherwise known as the Major League Baseball draft. The Orioles just completed what many are calling a very successful draft. It seems to me that the draft has only been getting serious mainstream attention over the last three, maybe four years, I don't remember the draft being televised or dissected as much when I was younger. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing

Heath Bintliff: Orioles not cleaning up

Everywhere I turn, it seems the Orioles are setting some new standard for futility. Today, it is on the offensive side and a spot in the order that a couple of offseason signings were supposed to upgrade: cleanup hitter. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero was signed because he was a proven cleanup hitter, a run producer with a long track record. Guerrero, along with first baseman

Daniel Moroz: Predicting Adam Jones' development as a hitter

As a younger player, one of the biggest knocks on Adam Jones was his poor plate discipline. Jones chased a lot of pitches out of the strike zone, which led to a bunch of strikeouts and not many walks. Working on that looked like one of the keys for Jones to get his production more in line with what his tools suggested he could accomplish.

Lauren Tilley: Pitching rotation in organized shambles

Sunday's ugly 8-5 win against the Tigers got me thinking about the pitching rotation for the rest of the season and even next season. Jo-Jo Reyes, who the O's oddly scooped up off waivers not too long ago, registered his first win as an Oriole with his six-inning, four-hit, one-run (off a solo shot) outing. When the Orioles first acquired Reyes, running through my mind

Monday Memory: 1981 exhibition game between Orioles, Triple-A Red Wings

The dog days of August are upon us, and Orioles players scour the schedule for their precious off-days. Recharge the batteries, rest and relax - that's the mantra whenever a blank square appears on the schedule during the course of a 162-game season. Not so long ago, however, not all off-days were off-days. Once a season, the O's used one of those coveted days when

Matthew Taylor: The people behind the stories bring fun to the game

The Orioles are 382-544 since I started Roar from 34 in 2006, which begs the question of what reward there is in blogging about a losing team. I'm my own boss, and I work from home, but I don't get paid and the hours stink. In truth, my reasons for researching and writing about the Orioles for nearly six years are many and varied. I

Brian's Bash canceled

Some disappointing news to report, fans. Brian's Bash, the annual fundraiser hosted by Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, has been canceled. According to a release issued a few minutes ago, the event has been canceled due to Roberts' injuries. Known as a staple each season, Brian's Bash is a yearly fundraiser benefiting the University of Maryland Children's Hospital and hosted by Roberts. The sixth annual

James Baker: Losing got ya down?

I know that is true for me, so today I offer a soothing balm to remedy the sting of another loss. Lets all take a break from the gloom and doom, hop in the TARDIS and travel back to this day in that wild and wonderful year 1997. Good morning everyone on the information super highway! I fired up my brand new 300mHz Pentium II

Heath Bintliff: Losing is Birdland

The Orioles are all but assured of a losing record for the 14th straight season. But it's even worse than that. The Orioles are likely not to reach the 70 win plateau for the fifth straight season. That's really bad and it's pretty hard to do. How hard? Here is the short list of teams who have won less than 70 games for five or

Daniel Moroz: O's need to keep working on growing the arms

It seems fair to say that things have not worked out as well as many hoped on the pitching side for the Orioles this year. The plan was supposed to be to "grow the arms", but that hasn't exactly paid dividends yet. In fact, it hasn't really done so at all in quite a long time. The best pitcher the O's have developed since 1991

Lauren Tilley: Time to blame Buck

I remember hearing the news last season that the Orioles had signed Buck Showalter as the new manager and I, along with everyone else, got really excited. After reading up on his history as a manager, winning American League Manager of the Year twice, and for being known for turning struggling teams into playoff contenders, I thought, 'Wow, this could really be the final piece

Matthew Taylor: Trying to keep things in perspective

Keep things in perspective. It's a motto that works for sports and for life. Some of us need to be reminded about perspective more often than others. Given my favorite team's misfortunes, I may as well have those words marked on every page of my Orioles desk calendar. Rather than focus on the day-to-day frustrations of the Birds' 14th consecutive losing season, I'm attempting to

Heath Bintliff: These Orioles could be record-setters

With the 2011 season all but lost, I typically turn my attention to individual stats to see if there could be any interesting milestones reached before the end of the year. I don't see a lot of those, to be honest with you. Nick Markakis' next home run will be the 100th of his career and he is two runs short of scoring 500 career

Daniel Moroz: Projecting what Hunter, Davis will contribute

As most of you know, the Orioles traded Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers before the trade deadline for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis. Rather than discuss the trade per se, I thought I'd walk through what we might expect from the new Birds for the rest of this season. To do so we want to look at the players' numbers, while giving more weight

Lauren Tilley: Realigning the O's lineup

We all know the drill for every game: J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, and then some form of Derrek Lee (now Chris Davis), Mark Reynolds, Matt Wieters, Felix Pie/Nolan Reimold/Luke Scott (when healthy), and Robert Andino/Blake Davis. The top four of the Orioles lineup have been the same all season since Brian Roberts has been out while the bottom half has been

Monday Memory: When the Orioles ruled the hardwood

If you're a basketball fan, you're probably a little bummed as summer stretches toward fall. Unless there's some serious concessions, some legitimate efforts at mediating a messy labor dispute, NBA players will continue to be locked out and the 2011-12 season remains in jeopardy. Having just dealt with this situation in the NFL, we know how frustrating and maddening it can be to see a

Matthew Taylor: Rout by Yankees brings back unpleasant memories

I'm sure I wasn't the only Orioles fan with the Birds' 30-3 loss to Texas on my mind when the Yankees scored a dozen first-inning runs Saturday night. I was fairly certain New York wouldn't stay on pace for 108 runs, but 30 runs certainly seemed in the realm of possibility. Thankfully, the Yankees fell far short of the Rangers' record-breaking effort in 2007. Saturday's

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