O’s game blog: Mancini on new outfield and the O’s Hall of Famers

Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini will play alongside a new center fielder and right fielder tonight. With Cedric Mullins’ call-up today, he will start in center field as Adam Jones moves to right.

Mancini, who played his first Orioles game on Sept. 20, 2016, said he expects Mullins to bring confidence into his first big league game, and that that is something very important for any player in his first game at this level.

“You have to have that (confident) mentality from the second you get here. You can’t have any doubts when you come here. You are here for a reason. You have to believe you belong, and everyone can struggle with that at times. Trust your ability and know you belong here.”

Mancini praised Jones for his support of Mullins and his move to right field.

“To move over for a kid coming up, I think maybe he sees himself coming up back in the day and he wants to give Cedric the same treatment that he got. It is refreshing to see. Hard for me to say I’ve been more honored to play with anyone than Adam,” Mancini said.

The Hall of Famers speak: The Orioles Hall of Fame inductees for 2018, Brian Roberts and Fred Manfra, will be honored in a pregame ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m., prior to game two of tomorrow’s doubleheader against Boston. Orioles Hall of Famers in attendance will include Brady Anderson, Richie Bancells, Mike Bordick, Al Bumbry, Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, Julie Wagner, Chris Hoiles and Boog Powell, as well as National Baseball Hall of Famers and Orioles special advisors Brooks Robinson and Eddie Murray.

Brian-Roberts_Home-Batting-Sidebar.gifRoberts was an Oriole from 2001 through 2013 and a two-time All-Star. He still does some work from the club and lives in Sarasota, Fla., near the club’s spring training site. He also has worked on radio broadcasts this year.

Today Roberts talked about what the O’s Hall of Famer honor means to him.

“To think of the journey from (being drafted in) 1999 until now, it went by really fast and is surreal when you look back on it all,” Roberts said. “Just feel truly blessed to have been here as long as I had the opportunity to be here. Have the opportunity to play on so many teams and play with great guys and great teammates. And be impacted by so many people in this community as well.

“It is surreal. You don’t set out with that sort of goal. Honestly, you set out with the goal of ‘How do I stay here tomorrow? How do I do that?’ first and foremost. Then as you get more established, your goals and things you are looking at do change. Then it becomes, ‘How do I help this team accomplish what we want to accomplish?’ I didn’t do that necessarily to the full extent. When I hear my name in that capacity you think about all of those who have come before you, as well and the names beside you. That kind of blows your mind.”

Manfra is the kid from East Baltimore who made good. He called Orioles games on the radio from 1993 through early June of last year. Now he is retired and living in the Tampa, Fla. area. His first broadcast partner was Jon Miller but he also worked some with Hall of Famer Chuck Thompson in those early days, and later with Jim Hunter ane Joe Angel. He shared the booth with Angel starting in 2002.

Today Manfra remembers that first phone call that made him an Oriole.

“When I first got word about the opportunity to broadcast Orioles baseball, (then team president) Larry Lucchino called my home in New Jersey, and this voice on the phone said, ‘Remember, Fred, you can come home.’ I said, ‘Who in the world is this?’ He said it was ‘Larry Lucchino and we want you to be the Orioles announcer.’ That is how things started with the Orioles, and here we are today.”

Does Manfra miss calling the Orioles games?

“Certain aspects, and certain ones I don’t. I don’t miss the travel or the 4:30-in-the-morning arrivals. As we get older it becomes more difficult to do that. I enjoy being in Florida with our grandkids. They are 10 doors away and we are with them four or five times a week. We put up some swings in the backyard. The kids can come over, we can spoil them and send them back to the parents,” he said.

Remember, if you are coming to the game tomorrow night, to arrive early for the latest O’s Hall of Fame ceremony.

About tonight: The Boston Red Sox (81-35) have the best record in the majors and the Orioles (35-80) have the worst. They meet tonight at Oriole Park to start a four-game, three-day series that includes Saturday’s day-night doubleheader.

The Red Sox have 81 wins through 116 games for the first time ever. They are chasing the club record of 105 wins set in 1912. They need to go 25-21 or better to do it. Boston is 10-2 againtst the Orioles this year and 13-2 in the last 15 games between the teams.

Right-hander Dylan Bundy (7-10, 4.38 ERA) gets the start for the Orioles. He’s allowed four earned runs in 13 innings his past two starts. In three 2018 starts against Boston, he is 0-2 with a 2.29 ERA.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.38 ERA) will make his third start for Boston. The Red Sox traded for him and sent pitcher Jalen Beeks to Tampa Bay on July 25. In two starts for his new team, Eovaldi is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.00. He has thrown 15 scoreless on seven hits versus Minnesota and the Yankees. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts.

Finally, here is what Jones tweeted earlier today -

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