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Orioles make Markakis decision official

The Orioles sent out a release tonight confirming that they declined their portion of the mutual option on right fielder Nick Markakis’ contract. The club will pay a $2 million buyout rather than the $17.5 million option. The Orioles now have 32 players on their 40-man roster. They still haven’t confirmed that they’re also declining the $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley’s contract. Markakis,

Orioles claim McCoy off waivers

The Orioles claimed left-handed reliever Patrick McCoy off waivers from the Tigers earlier today. McCoy, 26, appeared in 14 games with the Tigers as a rookie this season and allowed six runs and 21 hits in 14 innings for a 3.86 ERA. He walked 13 batters and struck out 11. His walk-to-strikeout ratio was much better in the minors, where he went 1-0 with a

Candy, bad pizza and more baseball for breakfast

If you’re wondering how you’ll recognize me tonight on Halloween, I’ll be dressed again as a guy sitting on his front steps handing out candy. The cigar and cocktail are only props. I’m not big on sweets, but it’s a photo finish between Almond Joy and Snickers for my favorite candy bar. I also can be enticed by peanut M&Ms if the mood strikes me.

Orioles pick up options on Chen and O’Day (updated)

The Orioles didn’t pull any surprises today while determining which options would be picked up for the 2015 season. The club will exercise the $4.75 million option on left-hander Wei-Yin Chen’s contract and the $4.25 million option on reliever Darren O’Day’s contract. It declined the $17.5 million option on right fielder Nick Markakis and the $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley, making both players

Seven Orioles included on list of current free agents

Free agency officially began this morning with 121 players becoming eligible to hit the market. They may negotiate with other teams beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 4. This is only a partial list. Another 32 players may be eligible for free agency pending the option provisions in their contracts. For example, the Royals aren’t expected to pick up the $12.5 million option on Billy

Time to stock the shelves in the free agent market

The World Series has finally come to an end, with Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner flushing the Royals in Game 7 while carrying an entire team on his back. Don’t try it at home. My rooting interest was having seven close games with lots of late-inning drama. Most of them were blowouts, but not last night’s finale. A World Series Game 7 has got to be

Orioles outright Meek

The Orioles cleared another spot on their 40-man roster this afternoon by outrighting reliever Evan Meek to Triple-A Norfolk. Meek, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles in February following a tryout at Camden Yards during FanFest, cleared waivers before coming off the roster. He can refuse the assignment and become a free agent. Meek, 31, went 0-4 with a 5.79 ERA in

Will Young be too restless to remain with Orioles?

If the Orioles want to hold onto pending free agent Delmon Young, they need to hope that another team doesn’t promise him regular playing time. Or they could try to find it for him. Either way, Young isn’t looking for another part-time role where his greatest contribution comes off the bench. He’s not interested in repeating as one of baseball’s better bargains. “I’m sure Delmon

Taking a look at three possible reunions

While the Orioles continue negotiations to sign right fielder Nick Markakis to an extension and discuss which arbitration-eligible players may be non-tendered at the deadline, they also must figure out whether to bring back three former players who gladly would take part in a reunion. Outfielder Nolan Reimold already elected free agency earlier this month after appearing in seven games with the Diamondbacks, his third

Two Orioles prospects named to AFL showcase game

Right-hander Parker Bridwell and catcher Michael Ohlman have been chosen to the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game, to be played Nov. 1 in Scottsdale. Bridwell and Ohlman will play for the West Division team. Triple-A Norfolk’s Mike Griffin will be the club’s co-pitching coach. The game will air on MLB Network at 8:08 p.m. Eastern time. The Orioles must decide whether to protect Bridwell,

This and that

The Giants had must-win games in the World Series the past two nights, and they won. Going back to Kansas City doesn’t seem quite as daunting when you’re up 3-2. And imagine if they could squeeze another start out of Madison Bumgarner. I’d find a way. Bumgarner is an absolute stud, one who’s truly worthy of the “Big Game” moniker. He certainly was worth the

Showalter: “I don’t want anybody to be satisfied”

If you’re still hurting over the Orioles being swept by the Royals in the American League Championship Series, manager Buck Showalter feels your pain. It’s fine to appreciate what the Orioles accomplished in 2014 - the American League East title, the sweep in the Division Series - but the bar finally has been raised in Baltimore. “I don’t want anybody to be satisfied,” Showalter said

Orioles working on their 40-man moves

The Orioles began the process of clearing room on their 40-man roster yesterday by outrighting pitcher Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk. Johnson will become a free agent after the World Series and must decide whether to sign a minor league deal or change organizations. Don’t jump to the conclusion that the Orioles are about to make a bold move to fill the spot. This is

Steve Johnson on being outrighted: “Obviously, it’s a business move”

Steve Johnson said he’s going to speak with his agent and weigh his options before deciding whether to re-sign with the Orioles, who outrighted him today to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared waivers. Johnson can refuse the assignment because he’s been outrighted previously, but it’s a moot point. He’s eligible for free agency after the World Series due to his service time. “Either way, it

Steve Johnson outrighted to Norfolk (updated)

The Orioles have outrighted pitcher Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk, removing him from the 40-man roster. Johnson, 26, was 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 17 starts between Norfolk (13 starts), short-season Single-A Aberdeen (three) and the Gulf Coast Orioles (one). He went on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder and underwent surgery on Sept. 24 to shave down a bone spur

Does Schoop stay on second base?

I was going to start this entry by giving my Gold Glove predictions, but I honestly have no idea whether the Orioles will take home any hardware. I’m constantly surprised by the results. Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain wasn’t nominated and I’m pretty sure he catches every ball hit in every ballpark. Maybe he’s being punished for moving to right. It’s a tribute to his

Three Orioles named Gold Glove finalists (updated)

Shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder Adam Jones and right fielder Nick Markakis have been nominated for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. The winners will be announced on Nov. 4 on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m. The ceremonies will be held on Nov. 7 in New York. The Orioles had six nominees last year, but they have to settle for half that total in 2014. The

Stinson signs with Pirates

Former Orioles reliever Josh Stinson has signed a minor league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training. Stinson became a minor league free agent earlier this month after going 5-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 22 games (13 starts) at Triple-A Norfolk. Stinson made the Orioles’ opening day roster after allowing two unearned runs and striking out 13 in nine exhibition

Showalter on Duquette hiring: “The timing was right with everybody”

The Orioles aren’t feeling the love from opposing managers and executives in the American League. Buck Showalter finished second in Manager of the Year voting in the Sporting News and none of the Orioles were chosen as All-Stars. Don’t shoot the messenger. The Sporting News staff isn’t doing the voting, just tabulating the results and passing them along. Besides, the Orioles honestly don’t care about

Angelos: “It’s been a long time coming and thankfully I believe it’s here”

Now that the Orioles have strung together three consecutive winning seasons and won their first division title in 17 years, they’re determined to bring the city it’s first championship since 1983. Owner Peter Angelos likes the direction that the club is headed and believes that it can reach its goal. The Orioles signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year extension during the playoffs and seem

Orioles excluded from Sporting News All-Star team

The Orioles aren’t playing in the World Series and they still haven’t received a Sporting News postseason award. Tough week. Baseball executives excluded the Orioles while choosing the American League All-Star team, which was announced this morning. Shortstop J.J. Hardy, outfielder Adam Jones and designated hitter Nelson Cruz received votes. Cruz batted .271/333/.525 with 32 doubles and 108 RBIs and he led the majors with

World Series thoughts and the next award

At what point is James Shields required to hand over his nickname of “Big Game?” At what point will sportswriters refer to it only in jest? Shields was charged with five runs in three-plus innings last night in Game 1 of the World Series, leaving his career postseason ERA at 5.74 in 10 starts. “Big Game” may work if he’s hunting in Africa. Otherwise ...

Showalter runner-up for Sporting News award

Orioles manager Buck Showalter finished second in voting for the Sporting News American League Manager of the Year award. The Angels’ Mike Scioscia received six votes to edge out Showalter, who was runner-up with five. The Mariners’ Lloyd McClendon placed third with three votes. The Nationals’ Matt Williams was named National League Manager of the Year after receiving four votes. The Cardinals’ Mike Matheny received

Notes on Cruz, Roberts, Davis and more

I’ve decided to begin the morning by addressing one rumor and squelching speculation about a former Oriole. I received a tweet about a Facebook status - yeah, so far it’s rock solid - claiming that Nelson Cruz was buying a television in Baltimore for his mother because he received a new contract from the Orioles. Stop laughing. I have no idea whether Cruz purchased a

Will Showalter be award winner?

The Sporting News will announce its American League and National League Managers of the Year on Tuesday. It could be the first honor for Buck Showalter in 2014. And probably not the last. Showalter is the favorite to be named AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Keep in mind that ballots were submitted before the playoffs. Showalter isn’t losing

Finding a place for Pearce

Steve Pearce’s list of transactions on Baseball-Reference.com includes the following oddity at the bottom: April 27, 2014: Released by the Baltimore Orioles. April 29, 2014: Signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles. Two days of free agency and he’s back with the same team. It turned out to be one of the most important moves made by the Orioles this season. They never

Orioles still conducting business as World Series approaches

Most teams lay low during the World Series. They’re not really supposed to make news and distract from the big event. I’m not sure that there’s an actual law against it. I don’t believe that executive vice president Dan Duquette would be led out in handcuffs. Duquette and manager Buck Showalter already met since the Game 4 loss in Kansas City and will huddle again

Leftovers for breakfast

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was succinct yesterday when asked about pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. “The only thing, his walk total was up this year,” Duquette said, “so obviously we’d like to see him throw a few more strikes.” Or a lot more, since his 77 walks ranked second in the American League behind C.J. Wilson’s 85. Wilson threw 175 2/3 innings. Jimenez threw 125

Duquette on playoff loss, roster decisions and more

Dan Duquette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations, delivered a message to fans this afternoon while standing in front of the home dugout at Camden Yards. The gates were closed, but he wanted them to hear it. “I think what I want our fans to know is that we took a big step forward this year,” he said. “We won the division. We

Showalter: “This is a real overwhelmingly sad time of the year for me”

The Twins haven’t contacted Orioles bench coach John Russell about interviewing for their managerial position, which was vacated with the firing of Ron Gardenhire. However, they’re expected to reach out to him. “If they don’t call,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, “then they must have some really good candidates.” It’s believed that the job belongs to Hall of Famer Paul Molitor if he wants it.

A few afternoon notes from Camden Yards

I’ve got plenty of quotes to pass along later from today’s interviews with Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette at Camden Yards, where workers are removing the red, white and blue bunting from the fences. There’s nothing newsy. Duquette didn’t map out his plans for the offseason. Left-hander T.J. McFarland was the only player in the clubhouse while the media hung

Decisions looming on key contributors

The Orioles are opening their clubhouse to the media today at 12:30 p.m. A few players may wander inside to pack up their belongings before flying home. Most of them probably took care of it last night or made arrangements to have a clubhouse attendant ship boxes to them. Manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette will conduct interviews in the dugout. Showalter

Answering a popular question about Chris Davis

What was he thinking? That’s not the question. Sorry. Some fans were wondering if Chris Davis could play in exhibition games next spring while still serving his suspension. I checked with a team official who reminded me that left-hander Troy Patton pitched last spring before serving his 25-game suspension. It totally slipped my mind. I’m going to blame fatigue. Davis has one game left on

The first day of the offseason

KANSAS CITY - This should be my last dateline for a while. Maybe until the Winter Meetings in San Diego. But there’s plenty of time for me to whine and complain about that putrid assignment. I’m still plotting ways to avoid it despite the wonderful location. Faking my own death never works. The folks at MASN and MASNsports.com are too wise. So who are you

Showalter: “If you care like our people care, it hurts”

KANSAS CITY - It’s never easy to say goodbye. To teammates, coaches and especially a season. Players hugged each other in the Orioles clubhouse following a 2-1 loss in Game 4 that completed the Royals’ sweep of the American League Championship Series. Pitching coach Dave Wallace made sure to approach everyone on his staff, shaking hands and embracing guys who needed it. Executive vice president

Orioles swept in ALCS

KANSAS CITY - The clock kept ticking, except innings passed instead of minutes. The Orioles were down by a run in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. The Royals’ dominate late-inning relief cast a larger shadow than the one that crept across the infield. The Orioles had to take the lead or risk being swept. They knew it. Everyone in the ballpark knew

Orioles fall behind in first inning (O’s trail 2-1, Gonzalez done)

KANSAS CITY - The Orioles are 0-for-12 in the first inning in the American League Championship Series. So much for jumping on the opposing pitcher early. The Royals had much greater success today in Game 4, scoring twice off Miguel Gonzalez to take a 2-0 lead. They made two nice defensive plays in the top half of the inning and leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar reached

Showalter on Guthrie T-shirt and Dyson comments

KANSAS CITY - Orioles manager Buck Showalter couldn’t believe that Jeremy Guthrie’s T-shirt and Jarrod Dyson’s latest jabs at his club were going to be the major topics of conversation before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. May as well have a little fun with it. In case you’ve been under a rock, Guthrie wore a T-shirt last night that read “These O’s

Orioles lineup vs. Royals in Game 4 (Guthrie update)

KANSAS CITY - Delmon Young is getting his second postseason start today for the Orioles as they attempt to avoid a sweep in the American League Championship Series. Young is serving as the designated hitter against Royals Game 4 starter Jason Vargas. He also started Game 3 of the Division Series against the Tigers. Nelson Cruz moves to left field. Ryan Flaherty remains the third

Royals lineup vs. Orioles in Game 4

KANSAS CITY - The Orioles trail a playoff series 3-0 for the first time in club history. A win today extends the American League Championship Series to a fifth game. A loss sends them home. The Orioles’ three hits last night were their fewest in a playoff game since they also collected three in Game 3 of the 1996 ALCS. They’ve been two-hit on three

One more loss and the Orioles are done in 2014

KANSAS CITY - The Orioles win this afternoon or they go home. They must hold a lead going into the later innings of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. They can’t let the Royals trot out Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland while they play from behind. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s got to happen. They must jump left-hander

Pearce: “One loss left, so we’ve got to find some way to get it done”

KANSAS CITY - So it’s come to this: The Orioles will attempt to become only the second team to rebound from a 3-0 deficit in games to win the League Championship Series. Tall order? It’s nosebleed territory. The Orioles have lost three games by a combined five runs, including tonight’s 2-1 setback to the Royals before 40,183 at Kauffman Stadium. They pitched well enough to

Orioles take first lead of ALCS (O’s lose 2-1, trail 3-0 in series)

KANSAS CITY - There are a few specks of orange at Kauffman Stadium tonight for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. A quiet “O” rang out during the anthem. Orioles fans are far outnumbered in the sea of royal blue. A buoy in the ocean. The atmosphere is completely different than what we encountered at Comerica Park for the Division Series. Guess it

Showalter meets with the media

KANSAS CITY - As Orioles manager Buck Showalter joked with reporters again today before heading to the field for batting practice, it was impossible to tell whether his team was up or down two games in the American League Championship Series. After a Kansas City sports radio personality introduced himself for a second time - it’s not necessary to do it once, let alone twice

Notes on Gonzalez, Cruz and Joseph

KANSAS CITY - Miguel Gonzalez will start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series unless he’s needed in relief tonight. Gonzalez hasn’t started since Sept. 28 in Toronto in the final regular season game. The layoff, however, isn’t the reason for his assignment on Wednesday. “That whole thing about time off, this time of the year... In fact, Gonzo has handled it pretty well

Orioles and Royals lineups for Game 3 (Gonzalez and Vargas in Game 4)

KANSAS CITY - Nick Hundley is behind the plate for the Orioles tonight in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Everything else is predictable, including Alejandro De Aza starting in left field and batting second with Ryan Flaherty starting at third base. The Royals aren’t going to tweak a lineup that’s produced two wins in the ALCS. Mike Moustakas continues to bat ninth

Anderson reminds Orioles to keep their perspective going into Game 3

KANSAS CITY - The sun is shining today and there isn’t a hint of rain in the forecast. Game 3 of the American League Championship Series will be played without interruption. Just don’t mind the wind. I went to bed in Missouri and woke up in Kansas. I’m talking heavy, blustery winds. The kind that violently shake flag poles, as I’ve witnessed, and turn every

Leftovers for breakfast

KANSAS CITY - It wasn’t long ago that Orioles manager Buck Showalter fielded questions about his club growing stale after clinching its division so quickly, about how it could lose its edge and bring no momentum into the playoffs. Move ahead to yesterday, when Showalter was asked whether the Orioles might benefit from the rain that washed away Game 3 of the American League Championship

Duquette: “I’m sure they’ll be ready to play ball when we can play ball”

KANSAS CITY - Should the American League Championship Series go the full seven games, the Orioles will need a fifth starter unless they use someone on short rest. Rookie Kevin Gausman could end up on the mound for Game 7. It would depend on whether manager Buck Showalter inserted him earlier in the series. Lots of moving parts. We know that Wei-Yin Chen is starting

Who follows Chen to the mound in ALCS?

KANSAS CITY - It’s raining harder at Kauffman Stadium than a few hours ago. Major League Baseball made the right decision to postpone Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Wei-Yin Chen remains the Game 3 starter on Tuesday night. He didn’t commit to a Game 4 starter, saying Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman are options. Gonzalez hasn’t

Game 3 of ALCS postponed

KANSAS CITY - Game 3 of the American League Championship Series has been postponed due to rain and rescheduled for 8:07 p.m. on Tuesday. Game 4 has been moved to 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday, with Game 5 (if needed) at 4:07 p.m. on Thursday. No workout day on Thursday at Camden Yards. The Royals currently hold a 2-0 lead in games. Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen

Still raining, Chen vs. Royals, Walling retiring

KANSAS CITY - You want a weather update? It’s still raining in Kansas City. Kaufmann Stadium is a wading pool. The forecast still calls for a 100 percent chance of rain through the night. I can’t imagine Game 3 of the American League Championship Series being played tonight, but stranger things have happened. I’m compiling my list. The decision rests with Major League Baseball, not

The rain and controlling Royals’ attitude and running game

KANSAS CITY - It will be a huge surprise if Game 3 of the American League Championship Series is played tonight. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the forecast doesn’t bring a whole lot of encouragement. We’ve been warned that the chance of rain ranges from 90 to 100 percent. The Orioles are attaching spikes to their galoshes. During yesterday’s workout, Jonathan Schoop practiced

Hearing from Chen, Showalter, Gonzalez and Hundley during today’s workout

KANSAS CITY - Wei-Yin Chen’s postseason career with the Orioles has been a mixed bag. One earned run allowed in 6 1/3 innings in an American League Division Series start against the Yankees in 2012. Five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in an ALDS start against the Tigers in 2014. He’s got to be good on Monday. The Orioles are depending heavily on him

Hundley: “There’s no panic in here”

KANSAS CITY - The Orioles don’t give the appearance of a team that’s uptight or in panic mode after losing the first two games of the American League Championship Series. Manager Buck Showalter talked college football, specifically Mississippi State being ranked No. 1, and tossed in a few quips to entertain and amuse the media. Players sat in front of televisions in the visiting clubhouse

What’s gone wrong in the ALCS?

In a victorious clubhouse yesterday at Camden Yards, Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson was asked whether he expected to return to Baltimore for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. “No sir, I don’t,” he said. “And I don’t think they think that, either.” Shots fired. Dyson has every reason to be overflowing with confidence and bravado as his team heads home with a 2-0

Jones and Showalter talk about being down 0-2 in ALCS

The roster has been a challenge for the Orioles this season with key players lost to injuries and a suspension. The schedule has been a challenge with a multitude of starting times and some brutal travel. Being down two games to none in the American League Championship Series and heading to Kansas City? Just another challenge for the Orioles. Adversity takes on many appearances. “It’s

Another short start for Orioles (O’s lose 6-4, down 2-0 in ALCS)

The Orioles can’t rely this much on their bullpen, no matter how good it is in 2014. Bud Norris lasted only 4 1/3 innings today in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series - the same total that Chris Tillman produced in Game 1. Tillman was spared a loss after the Orioles rallied from a 5-1 deficit. Norris left with the Orioles trailing 4-3

Orioles down early, Jones talks about postseason struggles (O’s down 4-3)

Orioles Hall of Famer Scott McGregor threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. McGregor was on the mound for the final out of the 1983 World Series. Bud Norris is standing on it today, and he’s fallen behind 2-0 after one inning. The Royals strung together three straight hits with one out. Nori Aoki punched a single

Jones on O’s mindset: “Seems like a normal day at the office to us”

The Royals will start former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie in Game 3 on Monday at Kauffman Stadium. Jason Vargas is expected to start Game 4 the following night. Guthrie is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in four career starts against the Orioles. The Royals didn’t steal a base last night after leading the majors in that category with 153 during the regular season and swiping 12

Chen slated for Game 3, Royals lineup

Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez are in the bullpen today and will start the next two nights if not needed in relief. Chen would start Game 3 on Monday at Kauffman Stadium and Gonzalez would start Game 4 on Tuesday. Manager Buck Showalter chose Bud Norris over Chen this afternoon at Camden Yards. “I like Chen a little more in their ballpark and Bud’s got

Orioles’ Game 2 lineup

The Orioles haven’t lost consecutive games at home since June 28-29. They went 31-10 in their final 41 regular season home games and are now 2-1 in Baltimore this postseason. They need to keep that streak alive today or they’re going to fall behind two games to none in the American League Championship Series, which moves to Kansas City on Monday. The Royals won 8-6

Hunter provides reminder that “it’s the best of seven, so it’s not too bad”

Tommy Hunter warmed up in the third inning last night and pitched in the fifth. Not the usual routine for the Orioles reliever, who tends to make later entrances. Welcome to October baseball. Routines go out the window. Hunter replaced starter Chris Tillman with one out in the fifth, the first time he pitched in that inning since September 2012. Billy Butler lifted a sacrifice

Showalter on Game 2 starter and more

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed tonight that Bud Norris will start Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday at Camden Yards. Showalter chose Norris over left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. He actually made the decision before an 8-6, 10-inning loss to the Royals in Game 1. Chen is expected to start Game 3, followed by Miguel Gonzalez in Game 4, but everything is subject

Game tied and rain continues to fall (O’s lose 8-6 in 10 innings)

The rain has picked up in intensity tonight at Camden Yards. So has the scoring. The Orioles battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie Game 1 of the American League Championship Series 5-5 as we head to the top of the seventh inning. The Royals are known for their bullpen and defense, but they were let down. Rookie Brandon Finnegan, the 17th overall pick

ALCS Game 1 update, quotes from Pearce and Cruz (O’s down 5-4)

The ballpark is as loud as expected tonight for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Manager Buck Showalter always draws the loudest and most prolonged ovation. The place also erupted for J.J. Hardy, who signed his three-year, $40 million extension yesterday. Players not on the ALCS roster - Matt Wieters, Steve Clevenger, Quintin Berry and Ryan Webb - were introduced before the game.

More quotes before Game 1 of the ALCS

The tarp is off the field. Lines are being drawn in chalk. Infield dirt is being raked. It appears that Game 1 of the American League Championship Series will start on time. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked earlier today whether he’d rather play three hours in a light rain or five days in a row. “Yes,” he replied. A classic response from Showalter. Just

Matusz on his inclusion on the ALCS roster

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz said he learned of his inclusion on the American League Championship Series roster following yesterday’s workout at Camden Yards. He never took it for granted. Matusz was left off the Division Series roster because the Orioles didn’t need more than two left-handed relievers against the Tigers. He didn’t know whether he’d make the ALCS cut until notified by manager Buck Showalter.

Norris or Chen will start Game 2 of ALCS

Orioles manager Buck Showalter sounded confident that Game 1 of the American League Championship Series would be played tonight. He’s not anticipating a postponement or suspension. “The weather report looked pretty good,” Showalter said. “That was encouraging.” The game would be resumed on Saturday if interrupted tonight. Showalter is deciding between Bud Norris and Wei-Yin Chen as his Game 2 starter. He basically knows which

Orioles lineup for Game 1 of ALCS

The Orioles are going with the same lineup they fielded behind Chris Tillman in Game 1 of the American League Division Series as they open the AL Championship Series tonight against the Royals. Nick Hundley is again catching Tillman and the Orioles are fielding their best defensive lineup with Alejandro De Aza in left and Steve Pearce at first. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF

Royals lineup vs. Orioles in Game 1 of ALCS

The tarp is back on the field at Camden Yards this afternoon. It’s been removed twice since I arrived here two hours ago. No word from Major League Baseball on the status of Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. And no lineup from the Orioles. The Royals just tweeted their lineup. For the Royals Alcides Escobar SS Nori Aoki RF Lorenzo Cain CF

Matusz added to ALCS roster (with K.C. roster)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter made a small adjustment to his roster for the American League Championship Series. Showalter is keeping 11 pitchers. The only change is the addition of left-hander Brian Matusz and the removal of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. Left-hander T.J. McFarland has been excluded again, with Showalter choosing to add only one southpaw to his bullpen. The position players remain the same. Jimmy Paredes

Waiting on ALCS roster, more from Britton, Ripken, Anderson and Bordick

The Orioles are encouraging fans to continue wearing orange to tonight’s Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It’s not a blackout Friday at Camden Yards. Maybe you can bring a black umbrella to go with your orange jersey. Cover all the bases, as well as yourself. The umpires for the ALCS are crew chief Joe West, Brian Gorman, Marvin Hudson, Dan Iassogna, Ron

More notes and quotes from today’s workout at Camden Yards

There are a lot of leftovers from today’s interviews with current and former players at Camden Yards. Anyone object to leftovers for dinner? The Royals lead the majors in stolen bases, and their ability to be disruptive on the basepaths has become a popular storyline leading into Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The Orioles must find a way to control their running

Hardy: “It comes down to winning and I think we’ve got a good thing here”

The timing of today’s announcement that the Orioles signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year extension, a day before Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, could best be described as a curiosity among reporters. It made perfect sense to manager Buck Showalter, who sat with Hardy and executive vice president Dan Duquette during today’s press conference at Camden Yards. “Is there ever a

Orioles make Hardy signing official

The Orioles just confirmed that they’ve signed shortstop J.J. Hardy to a three-year contract extension with an option for 2018. Hardy, executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter will meet with reporters at 6:30 p.m. As I wrote earlier, the deal is worth $40 million and includes a vesting option for 2018 based on at-bats. Also, $6.5 million is deferred. Hardy, 32, joined

Showalter confirms Game 1 starter, Davis not on ALCS roster

Orioles manager Buck Showalter revealed the first piece of his rotation for the American League Championship Series, naming Chris Tillman the starter for Game 1 at Camden Yards. Showalter said he’s going to inform the other starters before leaving the ballpark this evening. He just needs to announce what order Bud Norris, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez will work in the series. The other starters

Hardy on extension talks, Joseph on injury rumor

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy smiled today as a herd of reporters and cameramen rushed to his table at the far end of the row during player availability for the media on the club level at Camden Yards. Hardy warned that his contract extension isn’t “official” and he can’t comment on it, but he understood why the questions needed to be asked before the Orioles took

Orioles reach agreement with Hardy on extension (updated with terms)

Today’s workout at Camden Yards will include an announcement that the Orioles have reached agreement with shortstop J.J. Hardy on a contract extension, according to an industry source. Hardy, 32, was a pending free agent. Expected negotiations weren’t held during spring training and the sides agreed to hold off discussions during the regular season. Hardy’s extension covers the next three seasons. FOX Sports is reporting

One more workout before Game 1 of the ALCS

It’s getting more serious. The Orioles and Royals will work out today at Camden Yards, with the intensity ramped up prior to Friday night’s opener of the American League Championship Series. The Orioles take the field at 5 p.m., 30 minutes after manager Buck Showalter meets with reporters and other media types. Brady Anderson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Mike Bordick will be made available for

ALCS start times announced

Major League Baseball has announced the rest of the starting times for the American League Championship Series. Grab a pencil and a sheet of paper. You already know that Game 1 of the ALCS between the Orioles and Royals is Friday at 8:07 p.m. at Camden Yards, followed by Game 2 on Saturday at 4:07 p.m. We won’t factor in the rainy forecast. Let’s wait

Update on Britton’s baby boy

I have a lot of fans asking whether Zach Britton’s baby was born earlier this week and if everyone is doing well. I bring you good news. Zander Lee Britton entered this world late last night in Burbank, Calif. Courtney Britton and her son are in good health. No word on whether Zander throws left-hander or how much sink he gets on his fastball. Too

Looking at how some Orioles match up against Royals

The Orioles are having another workout at Camden Yards today that’s closed to the public. Reporters will be allowed inside on Thursday. Wanna have some fun? Ask a bartender to put the National League Division Series game on one of the televisions. Then watch him or her react as though you wanted a kidney. It’s on FOX Sports 1, which was my 13th guess. Right

Can Cruz be as good against K.C.? (with notes)

Now that Nelson Cruz is done hammering Tigers pitching in the 2014 playoffs, he can take aim at the Royals, who don’t have three former Cy Young Award winners. It didn’t seem to matter in the American League Division Series, when the Royals posted a 1.74 ERA while sweeping the Angels. Cruz has hit eight of his 16 career postseason home runs against the Tigers.

A few thoughts on ALCS rotation and roster

The Orioles are working out today at Camden Yards. The session is closed to the public. The media qualifies as public, so we won’t be there. I’ve been asked about the rotation and 25-man roster for the American League Championship Series. Did we learn nothing from the Division Series? Manager Buck Showalter isn’t going to show his hand this early. Chris Tillman seems a lock

Times announced for ALCS, Britton leaves team for birth of son

Major League Baseball has announced the starting times for the first two games of the American League Championship Series at Camden Yards, and the Orioles will be subjected to another day game. Not that the earlier hours were an issue in the Division Series. Game 1 between the Orioles and Royals is scheduled for Friday at 8:07 p.m. Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday at

Stinson elects free agency

Right-hander Josh Stinson, who broke camp with the Orioles as a long reliever, has chosen to become a minor league free agent. Stinson’s name appears on a list of 43 players provided by Baseball America. Stinson allowed nine runs and 16 hits in 13 innings over eight appearances for a 6.23 ERA. He walked six and struck out six. Stinson went 5-5 with a 5.48

Leftovers for breakfast (O’s to arrive at Camden Yards at 3:30 p.m.)

DETROIT - May as well sip mimosas this morning with the leftovers. There’s plenty of champagne left. In case you missed my update late last night, the Orioles have home-field advantage through the rest of the postseason after the Royals swept the Angels in the American League Division Series. Orioles and Royals in the Championship Series. How many experts picked that one? Game 1 of

Showalter on first ALCS: “It’s not going to drive my life” (O’s-K.C. in ALCS)

DETROIT - As Orioles manager Buck Showalter sat down in the interview room following today’s 2-1 victory over the Tigers, a reporter offered congratulations on his first series win. “Really?” Showalter replied in mock surprise. “I got one in Albany.” He got a much bigger one in Detroit. The Orioles swept the Tigers in the American League Division Series, enabling Showalter to reach his first

Comments from Britton, Markakis, Norris, Hardy, Jones and Pearce

DETROIT - The Orioles did the obligatory champagne and beer celebration today after completing their sweep of the Tigers in the American League Division Series with a 2-1 victory at Comerica Park. However, it was muted compared to the craziness at Camden Yards after they clinched the division. Players hustled into the food room to fill their plates and watch the Royals and Angels in

Cruz homer gives Orioles lead (Orioles sweep Tigers, headed to ALCS)

DETROIT - Nelson Cruz broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning today with a two-run homer off Tigers left-hander David Price. The Orioles lead 2-0 in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Cruz continues his assault on postseason pitching. Cruz has 16 career playoff home runs, tied with Carlos Beltran for ninth on the all-time list. He just passed

Getting ready to start Game 3 (still scoreless)

DETROIT - Plenty of empty seats at Comerica Park as we prepare for the first pitch in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Fans must be heading over here from Ford Field after the Lions game. Tickets were still available this morning. There were lines at the ticket window. Fans were given white towels to wave, which is a dubious choice of color,

Showalter on left field decision and Russell

DETROIT - The Orioles are taking batting practice this afternoon while the Lions play the Bills across the street. Manager Buck Showalter decided to start Delmon Young in left field and use Nelson Cruz as the designated hitter. His primary reason involves not wanting to lose Cruz’s bat while making a late defensive substitution. “Delmon has played left field as well as anybody,” Showalter said.

Russell expected to interview for Twins job

DETROIT - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he expects the Twins to interview bench coach John Russell for their vacant managerial position. The Twins fired Ron Gardenhire last week, the first manager they’ve dismissed since Ray Miller in 1986. Russell has a close relationship with general manager Terry Ryan and will be brought in for an interview after the playoffs. As I wrote last week,

Orioles lineup vs. Tigers in Game 3

DETROIT - Steve Pearce is batting second today for the Orioles and Delmon Young is playing left field in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Nick Hundley is behind the plate and Ryan Flaherty remains at third base. The Orioles are seeking their first playoff sweep since the 1971 American League Championship Series against the Athletics, which used to consist of five games.

Tigers lineup vs. Orioles in Game 3

DETROIT - Rajai Davis is out of the Tigers lineup today for Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Comerica Park. Davis was included on the ALDS roster despite a groin injury that has limited his innings on the field. Don Kelly is playing center field today while Davis sits on the bench. For the Tigers Ian Kinsler 2B Torii Hunter RF Miguel

Notes on Young and Schoop before Game 3 of ALDS

DETROIT - The weather this morning seems better suited for November baseball. The Orioles should be able to chill the champagne and beer without ice. They’re one win away from advancing to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1997. The elements and early start times don’t faze them. It’s business as usual for a team that won 96 games during the

Jones: “We tee high and let it fly”

DETROIT - No matter where a series shifts in the playoffs, the Orioles are going to remain the same. They will continue to be aggressive at the plate, regardless of the situation. And they make no apologies for it. “You just let it go, man,” said center fielder Adam Jones before heading outside to take his swings in batting practice. “You’ve seen us all year.

Notes on the Game 3 lineup, defense at third base, Davis and more

DETROIT - Now that we know the Orioles’ starter for Game 3 of the American League Division Series, we can start playing around with the lineup that will face Tigers left-hander David Price. It appears that Ryan Flaherty will make another start at third base despite the presence of a southpaw on the mound. Manager Buck Showalter trusts Flaherty’s defense. Also, left-handers are batting .258

Norris: “There’s nothing holding me back”

DETROIT - Bud Norris was told yesterday on the flight to Detroit that he would start Game 3 of the American League Division Series. “Going into the postseason, we knew that anything was possible, and Buck (Showalter) said for all of us to be ready,” Norris said. “He said he wanted to move things around and said, ‘You got the ball in Game 3.’ And

Showalter on decision to start Norris in Game 3

DETROIT - The Orioles are taking batting practice this afternoon at Comerica Park while also braving the cold. Temperatures have dipped into the 40s and players are wearing hooded sweatshirts. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is sporting the Orioles wool cap that was given to fans at a recent game. We learned today that Bud Norris will start Game 3 on Sunday afternoon. Manager Buck

Norris to start Game 3 (plus ALCS ticket info)

DETROIT - Right-hander Bud Norris is now listed as the Orioles’ starter for Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Sunday at Comerica Park. Manager Buck Showalter indicated yesterday that Miguel Gonzalez would start the contest while Norris would be in the bullpen and was likely to start Game 4 on Monday, if needed. Gonalez said he was told Friday that he would

Orioles only team able to spell relief in ALDS

If I’m Tigers bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer, I’m pretending that the phone is on vibrate and I never heard it ring. Manager Brad Ausmus may not buy that excuse, but what does Billmeyer have to lose? The Tigers have lost the first two games of the American League Division Series because their relievers can’t hold a lead or keep a game close. The Orioles have

Rest of ALDS times announced, Guilmet traded

If the Orioles can’t close out the American League Division Series on Sunday, you’ll need to know the starting times for Game 4 and a possible Game 5. Game 4 on Monday at Comerica Park will begin at 12:07 p.m. unless the Royals sweep the Angels in the other Division Series. If that happens, the Orioles and Tigers will start up at 1:37 p.m. Either

Showalter, Hardy and Gausman talk about 7-6 win in Game 2

Fans kept chanting “We Won’t Stop” today as the Orioles rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead. They didn’t stop until the final out. The Orioles may not stop until late October. Delmon Young’s pinch-hit, bases-loaded double in the eighth gave the Orioles a 7-6 victory over the Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Division Series before 48,058

Markakis hits first postseason home run (O’s win 7-6)

This playoff thing really agrees with Nick Markakis. Markakis homered with two outs in the bottom of the third to score Jonathan Schoop and give the Orioles a 2-0 lead in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. It’s the first postseason home run of Markakis’ career, and his third hit and second RBI in less than 24 hours. Justin Verlander shook off catcher

Markakis on early game, first playoff experience and Orioles fans

The Orioles may not have the most speed in the majors, but they’re used to fast turnarounds. They’re back at Camden Yards this morning for a 12:07 p.m. start in Game 2 of the Division Series. Sleeping fast, as manager Buck Showalter advises, may have included a few players spending the night here. Showalter’s been known through the years to crash in his office -

Gonzalez will start Game 3, Joseph catching today

Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to start Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Sunday in Detroit. Gonzalez won’t be in the bullpen today unless there’s an emergency. Bud Norris is available in relief today and is expected to start Game 4 if necessary. As for today’s lineup, the only change is Caleb Joseph behind the plate. For the Orioles Nick Markakis RF Alejandro

Third base not an issue for Orioles in Game 1

After committing seven errors at third base in their final 10 games of the regular season, the Orioles were flawless in the field yesterday in the opener of the American League Division Series. Try to figure out baseball. I dare you. Ryan Flaherty didn’t burn his fingers on the hot corner. He made every play, including a clean grab of Torii Hunter’s bouncer with the

Hearing from Showalter and Cruz following 12-3 win in Game 1

If anyone forgot that the Orioles were supposed to hold the advantage over the Tigers in bullpens and defense in the American League Division Series, tonight provided a sharp reminder. Sharp enough to carve out a 1-0 series lead. The Orioles scored eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, their largest total of the season, and took advantage of a huge error by

Tillman makes it through the fifth with lead (O’s win 12-3)

We have a Kate Upton sighting at Camden Yards. I keep telling her not to bother me at work, but she won’t listen. The struggle is real. Chris Tillman has made it through five innings tonight with his pitch count at 105. He retired 11 in a row following the back-to-back home runs by Victor and J.D. Martinez in the second inning before Andrew Romine

Cruz with another home run tale against Tigers (O’s lead 3-2)

The Orioles got sentimental today before Game 1 of the American League Division Series, arranging for injured third baseman Manny Machado to throw the ceremonial first pitch to injured catcher Matt Wieters. Soon after, Nelson Cruz got serious and put a hurting on the Tigers. Cruz hit a two-run homer on the first pitch thrown to him by Max Scherzer to give the Orioles a

Jimenez on being in bullpen for ALDS and Chen on making Game 2 start

The Orioles have finished batting practice and the Tigers are taking their turn in the cage. Ubaldo Jimenez stopped to sign a few autographs before ducking inside the clubhouse. A brutal season has taken a turn upward for him, capped by his inclusion on the Division Series roster. “I was wondering because I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “I finished strong,

Chen named Game 2 starter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed today that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Friday afternoon in Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Camden Yards. Chen has allowed six earned runs in 11 innings over two career starts against the Tigers. Left-handers Brian Matusz and T.J. McFarland, omitted from the Division Series roster, will be introduced tonight and sit in the bullpen. They will

Orioles lineup for Game 1 of ALDS (plus Tigers lineup)

The Orioles have posted their lineup for Game 1 of the American League Division Series, and it has Ryan Flaherty at third base tonight with Jimmy Paredes and Kelly Johnson coming off the bench. Flaherty played third more than any other position this year, appearing there in 43 of his 102 games. As expected, Nick Hundley is catching Chris Tillman. The two have formed a

Looking at the Orioles’ omissions on ALDS roster

With Kevin Gausman and Ubaldo Jimenez placed in the Orioles bullpen in the American League Division Series, a couple of relievers had to be removed in order to create space on an 11-man pitching staff. Brian Matusz and T.J. McFarland were the logical choices based on the Tigers’ roster, which includes only three left-handed hitters. But Matusz has been with the club all season and

Jimenez included on ALDS roster

The Orioles will carry 11 pitchers in the American League Division Series that begins later today at Camden Yards, and left-handed relievers Brian Matusz and T.J. McFarland aren’t included. Ubaldo Jimenez has made the final cut and apparently will work out of the bullpen. Anyone surprised by these developments? I wrote this morning that manager Buck Showalter was likely to reduce the number of left-handers

Waiting on the Division Series roster to be revealed

Orioles manager Buck Showalter must turn in his roster for the American League Division Series by 10 a.m. today. It’s pretty much set in his mind, along with a rotation that he’s already passed along to Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. He’s just in no rush to share it with reporters. Showalter wants to make certain that he’s not forced into any late changes. Everyone made

Orioles get early slot for Game 2

The starting times have been determined for the first three games of the American League Division Series between the Orioles and Tigers. First pitch for Game 2 on Friday at Camden Yards is set for 12:07 p.m. following the Giants’ victory tonight over the Pirates in the National League wild card game. It would have started three hours later if Pittsburgh had been victorious. Game

Showalter, Tillman and Jones talk before today’s workout

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Game 1 starting pitcher Chris Tillman were brought into the interview area - it’s not actually a room - before today’s workout at Camden Yards. The clubhouse opened to the media for an hour, but it will be closed prior to the Division Series games, per Major League Baseball rules. Here’s a portion of the transcripts from today’s interviews, starting

Showalter debating 10 or 11 pitchers, Gausman to ‘pen, Machado with team

The Orioles are working out at Camden Yards this afternoon before opening the Division Series on Thursday against the Tigers. Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson spoke to the team before they headed out to the field. Manager Buck Showalter was late to his media session, but as he said, “I couldn’t shorten Brooks up.” “I didn’t want to miss that,” Showalter added. “That’s pretty good

How Orioles hitters match up against Tigers rotation

Did you wake up this morning nursing a Ned Yost hangover and appreciating Buck Showalter just a little bit more than usual? One of the biggest challenges for any manager is handling a bullpen. I’ve seen it done poorly and I’ve seen Showalter practically master the art. The Royals have a great ‘pen and they advanced to the Division Series, but they must be doing

Duquette: “I like our chances with this ballclub”

We’re down to the final workout before Game 1 of the Division Series. One more day and Camden Yards comes alive again - dressed in orange, volume cranked to the maximum. The 5:37 p.m. starting time may not suit everyone, but why complain when the alternative is spending the postseason on your couch? As Orioles manager Buck Showalter says, you show up when they tell

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