Three Orioles - and maybe a fourth - will be heading to the All-Star game. Adam Jones, Jim Johnson and Matt Wieters have made the American League squad and Jason Hammel will be in the Final Vote, with one player selected from a group of five.
The Orioles have not sent more than one player since Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Melvin Mora and B.J Ryan went in 2005.
Here are what the four players said about playing in the game:
Jones talked about Johnson making it and the Orioles having several players on the squad.
“He’s deserving” Jones said. “He’s shut down the ninth for us. You have to win to get more than one player. It’s an accomplishment for our team. A tremendous accomplishment. The guys do know the importance of the game. The American League wants to win.
“Four is a large number. You see Boston, New York, Anaheim with four. But the men that are sitting on this stage are four deserving men. We’ve put in the work. We have a lot more to go and it’s going to be an exciting second half. But we have others that are deserving. If I could, I’d take our whole bullpen. It’s a team effort, all 25 and the coaches,” Jones said.
Wieters talked about the O’s getting at least three players on the AL team.
“Last year it was great to go to the All-Star game, but I saw other teams with three, four, five guys there,” Wieters said. “This makes it more fun. You get to share it with the teammates that you battle with through the whole year.
“I feel very blessed (to go two straight years). Didn’t know whether I’d make the trip this year, but glad to get to experience it again. You don’t sleep much when you are out there, but that’s a good thing because there is so much to experience.”
Johnson is tied for the AL lead with 23 saves and Wieters said he was very deserving to make the game for the first time.
“You can look at any closers in the game right now and I’ll put Jim’s first half up against anybody,” he said.
Johnson said it shows that the Orioles are a team on the rise in that they got multiple players on the AL squad.
“It shows the direction that the ballclub has been going. We have a core group of guys and obviously to share something special with your teammates is a lot of fun,” Wieters said.
“It’s one the more special things that has happened so far in my career. But it’s not the end-all, be-all. But it’s a good steppingstone, put it that way.”
Hammel joined his teammates for today’s press conference to talk about their making the team. He still is hopeful that he’ll join them in Kansas City July 10.
“It’s a tremendous honor just to be in the Final Vote. I couldn’t have done this without Matty, Jim closing games and Jonsey running down balls in the outfield. Everone on this team has done something to help each of us get up here. It’s a nice personal accomplishment but you still need the team to get to this point,” he said.