O's early season homers show on-field talent and dugout creativity

Manager Brandon Hyde called them “SeaWorld” acts this week. The Orioles have a few different ways to celebrate producing solid offense in their dugout, and fans at Oriole Park, throughout Birdland and now even around baseball are starting to see this is a team with a strong collective personality.

And they are doing just what their manager wants.

They are celebrating player and team success while bonding as a group. A couple of players I talked to this week say that not only are the various celebrations fun for the team, but might they lead to more wins too.

They are showing their talents when they hit the homers or other extra-base hits, and different ways to celebrate after a key hit. They are showing that they are a young, creative and maybe a little brash at times group that has a strong personality and is not afraid to show it off.

“Just shows how creative our pitching staff can be. They’ve come up with some creative celebrations this year,” outfielder Austin Hays said.

Hays feels Hyde’s openness and willingness to let his players show their personalities had its origins before he joined the Orioles.

“I think he got to experience a team with that type of personality when he was in Chicago and just see how when guys bond in the clubhouse that, for most teams, it tends to show out on the field with wins," Hays said. "Think he is a big believer in that. Last year our team grew a lot with our personality. Just having fun in the clubhouse and that started to show out on the field."

Added Ryan Mountcastle: “Anytime you can do any celebration, it’s sort of the new thing now. Guys love it and we’re just trying to have fun and keep it loose in the dugout. That is one of the easier ways to do it. Yes, we are grown men but kind of kids still, too.

“It’s fun and keeps it loose. Sometimes the games can get stressful and that can help us to relax.”

And the Orioles are just being who they are as a group.

“Be us. We’re a young team and we want to have fun,” Mountcastle said.

Hays said the celebrations are bringing an already close-knit team even closer together.

“I think it does (do that),” he said. “You are all celebrating together when something good happens. It’s a long season and there will be difficult days with tough stretches. So, celebrating when a teammate does well is good for everybody.”

Hays also realizes not all fans everywhere are embracing these celebrations.

“At the end of the day, we are all doing this together for ourselves and the clubhouse. Just to create a fun culture to be involved with," he said. "If it’s fun and we are enjoying doing it as a team in our dugout as a team, I don’t see anything wrong with the celebrations. I don’t see it in a negative light.”

Mountcastle said the feedback he's heard about the homer hose and other O's celebrations including their sprinkler act has been mostly positive.

“I’m not on social media very much, but from what I’ve heard it’s pretty positive feedback. People are starting to watch us a bit more, and that makes it exciting,” he said.

And their manager thinks it’s fantastic.

“I absolutlely love the fact we have personality," Hyde said. "I want our guys to be loose and have fun. All those things, the home run chain we had last year, the SeaWorld acts we have going on now, they are player-generated, and for me that’s awesome. It shows you how awesome their personality is.”

The O's didn't hit any homers and so couldn't break out the hose during last night's 8-4 loss to Oakland. They are now 6-6 for the year and 1-3 when they don't homer. The homestand, on which the O's are 3-3, ends this afternoon with the fourth game of the Oakland series.

On the farm: Right-hander Chris Vallimont allowed just one run over four innings and Lewin Díaz hit a two-run homer, but Triple-A Norfolk lost 8-6 at Nashville. The Tides are now 7-3.

Double-A Bowie got a two-run double from John Rhodes in the second inning and made it stand up, in a 2-1 win over Akron. Righty Chayce McDermott threw five scoreless innings for the Baysox (3-2) and has now thrown nine scoreless with 12 strikeouts on the year.

High-A Aberdeen lost 12-5 at Hudson Valley. Dylan Beavers hit a solo homer, the first of his career, as the IronBirds fall to 2-3.

Jackson Holliday had a two-run double and two-run triple as Single-A Delmarva beat Kannapolis 12-2. The Shorebirds are 4-1. Through five games, Holliday is batting .400, going 8-for-20 with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. 

The Orioles' combined minor league records have Baltimore with the fourth-best win percentage right now among all 30 Major League Baseball organizations.

.682 - Seattle (15-7)
.680 - Minnesota (17-8)
.667 - Chicago Cubs (16-8)
.640 - Orioles (16-9)

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