Conway on how Rom "didn't skip a beat" in 2021

Conway on how Rom "didn't skip a beat" in 2021
The anticipation surrounding the major league debuts by top Orioles pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall in 2022 is thicker than wet concrete. The foundation of the rebuild. MLBPipeline.com ranks Rodriguez as the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball and eighth overall. Hall is 72nd overall. Drew Rom isn't in the top 100. He's 25th among Orioles prospects, the seventh pitcher listed and the fourth left-hander after Hall, Kevin Smith and Zac Lowther. Pitchers who didn't match...
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Orioles make sure their system stays in sync

Orioles make sure their system stays in sync
The talent that pumps through the pipeline in the Orioles system, with renewed force over the last few years, is accompanied now by an even flow that's moving managers and coaches. The club hasn't announced its minor league staffs, but Single-A Aberdeen manager Kyle Moore is going to Double-A Bowie, while Buck Britton replaces Gary Kendall at Triple-A Norfolk. IronBirds pitching coach Josh Conway has been bumped up to the Baysox as the replacement for Justin Ramsey, who joins the Tides. The...
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A bunch of business remains for Orioles brass

A bunch of business remains for Orioles brass
Unless the Orioles conducted minor league business in secrecy and the transactions didn't hit the wire, there hasn't been a move made since the Dec. 16 announcements on catcher Anthony Bemboom and pitcher Matt Vogel. The Vogel deal was confirmed earlier that week and the club later shared the news. Bemboom will try to win a job in spring training, perhaps starting if Adley Rutschman remains in Triple-A. Vogel hasn't pitched for an affiliated team since 2017 and hasn't moved past high...
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Sifting through more spring training storylines

Sifting through more spring training storylines
Mother Nature handled most of the snow that buried my driveway and car last Monday and again Friday morning. Wait for the temperatures to move above freezing and do some light sweeping later in the day. A veteran move. Also, a pandemic move with little reason for me to be driving. The lockout could impact the report dates for spring training, where the biggest weather menaces are those torrential downpours that last about 15 minutes and threaten morning workouts. They also make for a sloppy...
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Because You Asked - A New Legacy

Because You Asked - A New Legacy
A week has passed since I stuck my head inside my mailbag. And I've been told many times to get my head out of my mailbag. Or something similar. You ask, I answer, you ask again and I'm either accommodating or a jerk. It's fun for the whole family. Your questions and my responses are unedited. We run with scissors here. We pet stray dogs. We go to 24-hour diners and order fish at 2 a.m. We live on the edge. Also, my mailbag takes the last chocolate chip cookie on the tray and leaves your...
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Bickering over latest Hall of Fame ballot

Bickering over latest Hall of Fame ballot
The Baseball Writers' Association of America will announce the results of the Hall of Fame voting on Jan. 25. A recent update from Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs), Twitter's king of Cooperstown calculators, had David Ortiz (83.2 percent), Barry Bonds (80.4) and Roger Clemens (79) above the 75 percent threshold for induction. No ballot is perfect. The inclusion of "cheaters" sickens fans or validates their beliefs. The media tries to figure out where lines should be drawn. Sadly, they're more...
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The more you know about Orioles hitters

The more you know about Orioles hitters
The proverb that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" states that even a tiny amount of it might fool people into believing they're an expert on a particular subject, which can lead to mistakes. So true. But we still won't let that deter us this morning. The more you know about Orioles hitters in 2021 ... * Third baseman Kelvin Gutiérrez's five outs above average led Orioles infielders and ranked second on the team behind Cedric Mullins (11). Gutiérrez registered a .327 on-base...
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The more you know about Orioles pitchers

The more you know about Orioles pitchers
The proverb that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" warns that even a small amount of it might lure people into believing they're an expert on a particular subject, which can lead to mistakes. So true. But we won't let that deter us this morning. The more you know about Orioles pitchers in 2021: * All nine of Keegan Akin's appearances at home came against a different opponent - the Yankees, Rays, Indians, Astros, White Sox, Tigers, Braves, Angels and Blue Jays. I mean, what are the...
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Raising the bar on resolutions

Raising the bar on resolutions
Some new year's resolutions are made to be taken more seriously than others. Stop using your treadmill to dry laundry. Stop using vodka to hydrate in warm weather. Stop using Zoom calls as an excuse to skip showers. None of these can be spun as asking too much. Here are a few goals for 2022 that may be harder to execute: Get John Means to the plate A new collective bargaining agreement could bring a universal designated hitter to the sport, but Means needs a bat in his hands. Let the ace...
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A new year's resolution idea for the Orioles

A new year's resolution idea for the Orioles
The first week of a new year hasn't brought us closer to a new collective bargaining agreement. At least from what's known in front of the scenes. The view is more obstructed behind them. National media would be all over renewed talks and any progress made, and it's been very quiet on Twitter beyond hilarious videos of Betty White and the touching tributes to a comedy legend. Man, 2021 showed no mercy, and 2022 started with the passing of former NFL running back and head coach Dan Reeves,...
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Debating dates of Orioles debuts in 2022

Debating dates of Orioles debuts in 2022
Based on draft status, expectations and various prospect lists, Orioles fans are likely to get most excited about the anticipated 2022 debuts of catcher Adley Rutschman and pitchers Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall. MLBPipeline.com, Baseball America, Prospects 1500 and I'm assuming everyone else with a list ranks them in that order as the top three prospects in the system. Rutschman is going to arrive in Baltimore first. Rodriguez and Hall haven't pitched above Double-A, but are primed to join...
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Because You Asked - No Way Home

Because You Asked - No Way Home
One day into a new year and I already failed at my first resolution to work the player to be named later from the Chad Bradford trade into every single conversation. No one said it would be easy. Clearing out my mailbag is a simpler task with more frequent readings. I needed another hobby during the lockout. Questions and answers are edited for ... nothing. Though I worry a little about the brevity police kicking down my door. Also, my mailbag sneaks into your house and shoves your Christmas...
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And still a few more highlights from 2021

And still a few more highlights from 2021
While wondering if the ball dropping on New Year's Eve impacts a team's dWAR ... Does a high-profile, highly paid player missing an entire season due to injury, surgery and an August retirement qualify as a memorable moment in 2021? Chris Davis belongs on the list, wherever he's slotted. Davis made an impact without dressing for a single game in the regular season, quitting with one year remaining on his franchise-record $161 million contract. Two at-bats in the Orioles' first spring...
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A few more highlights from 2021

A few more highlights from 2021
Baseball's lockout is fogging up the future. However, it can't blur the past. What's done is done. A new collective bargaining agreement won't adjust the Orioles' 2021 loss total or remove the gains made by their prospects. It can't tarnish the memories. Yesterday, we talked about Trey Mancini's comeback and Cedric Mullins' historic 30/30 season. Probably the top two moments of the season. Unless you think the following belong closer to the top: John Means' no-hitter It began to feel...
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A few highlights from 2021

A few highlights from 2021
What made the Orioles' 2021 season memorable, whether good or grating? And how would you rank these moments? Hold that thought. I'm tossing out two today that might be the highest for most fans. Others will follow later. Trey Mancini's comeback I won't speak for everyone, but how could Mancini rate anywhere except first? I've witnessed a lot of special moments while working the Orioles beat, including Eric Davis' return from colon cancer in June 1997. How the diagnosis explained the...
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A couple of leftovers for breakfast

A couple of leftovers for breakfast
The eventual promotion of Adley Rutschman to the major league roster, whenever it happens, comes with the expectation that the Orioles will have a veteran mentor ready as his backup. But the club already seems equipped to tutor him. The staff isn't running short on former catchers. Manager Brandon Hyde caught 69 games in the minors and 13 with the independent Chico Heat. Major league field coordinator and catching instructor Tim Cossins caught 217 games in the minors and two with the...
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Another sampling of spring storylines

Another sampling of spring storylines
The Orioles haven't made any announcements during the holiday break. Nothing about minor league deals or staff hires. Not a creature is stirring, not even a rumor to douse. The ice pellets in yesterday's wintry mix had me yearning for the Florida sunshine that illuminates spring training workouts and afternoon exhibition games. Warms the heart - and areas where you should apply sunscreen. I've already written about eight camp storylines that should keep me busy, whether or not I'm able to...
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Rewinding an Orioles roster review

Rewinding an Orioles roster review
Among the inconveniences of baseball's lockout is the delay in attacking roster deficiencies with major league free agent signings. Get ready for the frenzy of activity after a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, with teams racing through the green light at speeds that could leave many competitors in the dust. The Orioles tossed a starting pitcher and second baseman in their cart before the market closed. Jordan Lyles isn't listed on the 40-man roster, which holds at 38, because...
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Taking a quizzical look at Orioles

Taking a quizzical look at Orioles
Making it through Christmas yesterday during a cream cheese shortage goes down as another victory and proves again that nothing can stop me from living my best life. I also can't be deterred from assigning a quiz on a Sunday morning. You can treat it like the socks and underwear that someone gift-wrapped and left under the tree. Or the one chocolate candy in the sampler box that is filled with jelly. If you choose to take the quiz - and you can't spit it out - this would be a good time to get...
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A son's conversation to keep close on Christmas

A son's conversation to keep close on Christmas
I wake up to my third Christmas morning without my father, who fought esophageal cancer until he decided, on his own terms, that he was done. The entire family gathered in Ocean Pines to be with him in late December 2018, the only time we've done that. He didn't say much as we exchanged gifts. He just sat in his recliner, watching our faces, taking it all in. We knew why. Three weeks later, he was gone. We still talk, and sometimes the exchanges feel like they're coming from one of my...
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