Random take Tuesday

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He didn’t get anything going against the Orioles in a three-game series near the end of the year, but Aaron Judge has hammered Baltimore pitching so much over the years that if he leaves the Yankees, no one in Birdland will shed a tear.

Elation might be the prevailing emotion.

Before Birdland gets too excited about that prospect, for one, Judge might not leave. For two, the Nationals won the World Series the year after Bryce Harper left via free agency. The Astros, who once had George Springer, Carlos Correa and Gerrit Cole on their team, are in another World Series without that trio.

It’s still a team game. Stars are important, but good teams can win even as great players move on.

But seeing Judge, a free agent, sign with a National League team, would be welcoming news in Birdland. In the next-to-last series of the 2022 regular season, with Judge trying to hit his 62nd homer to set an AL record, the Orioles pitched Judge tough, and he went 1-for-7 with five walks and six strikeouts in the series. Amid much whining from New York fans and media that they dared to not throw him a meatball.

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On González's latest effort and Romero's impressive return

On González's latest effort and Romero's impressive return
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Gio González hasn't faced a whole lot of adversity this spring, given how dominant he's been each time he's taken the mound. So when the left-hander found himself in a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first this afternoon, he actually viewed it as a good opportunity to remind himself how to pitch his way out of a tight spot. González managed to do just that, getting a popup and then a ground ball to third to escape that tenuous first inning unscathed and make...
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Baker, Maddux speak to USA coaching staff (Nats lose 9-3)

Baker, Maddux speak to USA coaching staff (Nats lose 9-3)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Yankees 9, Nationals 3 Recap: The largest crowd of the spring to date (7,675, a sellout) saw some early offensive fireworks from both teams. The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the second off Vance Worley, taking advantage of two walks and then RBI hits by Rob Refsnyder, Ronald Torreyes and Brett Gardner. Worley rebounded from that and was able to go 3 1/3 innings on 61 pitches in his first start of the spring. The Nationals scored three runs in the bottom of...
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Some Tillman talk and a WBC update

Some Tillman talk and a WBC update
Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman got a cortisone injection yesterday for his shoulder discomfort. While cautious optimism seems to be the current mood about Tillman, with any pitching injury, we don't know until we know. That sounds like a wiseguy response, but even if Tillman can return to pitch in April and looks good, we won't know if he can stay healthy and pitch well all year. We just won't know until we do. On the positive front, the Orioles say no surgery is contemplated right now...
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Pérez, Solano return to Nats after high drama in WBC

Pérez, Solano return to Nats after high drama in WBC
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Oliver Pérez and Jhonatan Solano would rather not have been in the clubhouse at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches yesterday morning, rejoining the Nationals teammates they said goodbye to 10 days earlier en route to the World Baseball Classic. And each player nearly had reason not to return to West Palm Beach just yet, each having seen his home country's team come within a whisker of advancing past the first round of the international tournament over the weekend. For...
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Ripken on picking the WBC and Aberdeen Steamed Crabs

Ripken on picking the WBC and Aberdeen Steamed Crabs
SARASOTA, Fla. - Players who declined to participate in the World Baseball Classic usually cited a reluctance to leave camp, especially the ones coming off injury or battling to head north with the team. Cal Ripken Jr. knew his spot was secure, and though he was a creature of habit and more detail-oriented than anyone - he wore a watch on the field while taking ground balls - he would have jumped at the chance to break from his routine and join Team USA. "I would have been interested in doing...
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Roark stays with USA; Zimmerman snaps skid (Nats lose 8-2)

Roark stays with USA; Zimmerman snaps skid (Nats lose 8-2)
NATIONALS QUICK WRAP Score: Astros 8, Nationals 2 Recap: A.J. Cole was roughed up by the Houston lineup, allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings. Cole allowed a pair of homers (to Brian McCann and Jon Kemmer) and also walked in a run while throwing 73 total pitches. ... The Nationals scored two runs in the top of the second thanks to Ryan Zimmerman's infield single, Michael A. Taylor's triple to right-center and Stephen Drew's RBI single to left. Need to know:...
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Bleier turns down WBC, Davis scratched from lineup

Bleier turns down WBC, Davis scratched from lineup
SARASOTA, Fla. - Left-hander Richard Bleier went with his head instead of his heart. Bleier would have been honored to pitch again for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, as he did in the qualifying round in 2013, and he had a chance this week to fly out to Japan for the second round after being placed in the designated pitcher pool. Waiting, not wading. Bleier stood at his locker this morning, further proof that he declined the invitation. "I just decided that I wasn't going to go...
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Adam Jones with walk-off hit; showdown with DR is tonight

Adam Jones with walk-off hit; showdown with DR is tonight
Well, perhaps that win for Team USA last night gained the World Baseball Classic more fans in this country. If it didn't, tonight's heavyweight bout between the United States and the Dominican Republic figures to do that. The Orioles sure factored significantly in the United States' 3-2 victory in 10 innings over Colombia. O's right-hander Mychal Givens allowed both runs that Colombia scored and Adam Jones drove in two for the USA, including the walk-off winner in the last of the...
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Will this be the year for Team USA?

Will this be the year for Team USA?
The World Baseball Classic has proven to be a force and very popular around the world, creating interest and great television ratings in many countries. But for the event to gain more interest here, Team USA probably needs to win this event - or least get deep into the competition. As Team USA - with two Orioles on the roster - begins Pool C play tonight against Colombia, we can note that the Americans have been rather mediocre in previous editions of the WBC. Japan has been to the semifinals...
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Machado arrives today as a visitor

Machado arrives today as a visitor
SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado saw three pitches from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman today in the first inning, grounding out to third baseman Ryan Flaherty and heading back to the visiting dugout. His Orioles teammates made sure he could hear them as he passed. Gausman threw nine pitches, five for strikes, while inducing ground balls to first and third and a chopper to the mound. José Reyes, Machado and Robinson Canó didn't provide much resistance. Machado doesn't know whether he's...
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Peña not sure where Machado will play after today

Peña not sure where Machado will play after today
SARASOTA, Fla. - Manny Machado walked onto the Ed Smith Stadium field this morning in his Dominican Republic uniform, performed a series of stretching exercises, played catch with José Bautista - hey, Jonathan Schoop isn't here - embraced his father and stepped into the batting cage. Sort of business as usual except for the jersey and cap and his teammates. Machado is back at third base after playing shortstop for the Orioles in seven exhibition games. No word on where he'll start...
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Roark, Murphy ready for intensity of World Baseball Classic

Roark, Murphy ready for intensity of World Baseball Classic
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - There is no way to adequately prepare in only two spring training starts for pitching in a high-level international competition at the end of the week. Tanner Roark knows this. He also knows he has done everything he can so far this spring to prepare himself as best he can for his next assignment: the powerhouse Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. "I feel like I'm well prepared," the Nationals right-hander said. "Body feels good, arm feels good, mind...
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Showalter, Machado and Castillo on WBC and 3-2 win

Showalter, Machado and Castillo on WBC and 3-2 win
SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles scored twice in the seventh inning today to take the lead, with Paul Janish lifting a sacrifice fly and Logan Schafer lining into a fielder's choice that plated the go-ahead run, and the bullpen shut out the Phillies down the stretch in a 3-2 win at Ed Smith Stadium. Darren O'Day and Donnie Hart each retired the side in order in their respective innings, and Parker Bridwell stranded a runner in the ninth after a two-out walk to record his first save. Mike Wright...
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Starting lineups: Nats vs. Twins in West Palm Beach

Starting lineups: Nats vs. Twins in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Today marks the last time we'll see Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy and four others in Nationals uniforms for a little while. Later this afternoon, the Nats' six representatives in the World Baseball Classic are set to leave camp and join their home countries to play in the international tournament. (Along with Team USA's Roark and Murphy, Rafael Martín and Oliver Pérez will pitch for Mexico, Jhonatan Solano will catch for Colombia and Enny Romero will pitch for the...
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More WBC talk and Statcast technology continues to grow

More WBC talk and Statcast technology continues to grow
The World Baseball Classic begins Monday. And while there have been rumors this could be the last WBC, that seems unlikely. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he is committed to the event for future competitions. While the WBC seems to have strong interest around the world, it's been lacking in the United States. One reason is that Team USA has not fared well in this event. In three WBCs, Team USA is 10-10, has made the semifinals once and has never played for the championship. A better showing...
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Schoop on WBC, Peña on return, Johnson on being an Oriole

Schoop on WBC, Peña on return, Johnson on being an Oriole
SARASOTA, Fla. - Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop reported to camp this morning, the biggest names among position players to enter the facility during the media's hour-long clubhouse access. Schoop will leave camp on Feb. 28 to join Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. "The thing I'm concerned with is going to Korea. It's far to go over there. I think I'm going to go anyways to help my country a little bit," Schoop said. "To be honest, it was 50/50. It was far to...
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Orioles sign Chris Johnson

Orioles sign Chris Johnson
SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles made another move to improve their infield depth, signing Chris Johnson to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. The announcement came this morning. Johnson, 32, is the son of Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson. The Tides infield is taking shape with Johnson likely to start at third base, Robert Andino at shortstop and Johnny Giavotella at second base. David Washington could play first base if Trey Mancini breaks camp with the Orioles. Johnson...
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Machado on playing shortstop in the WBC and more

Machado on playing shortstop in the WBC and more
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado said last night that he expects to slide over to shortstop for the World Baseball Classic. One look at the Dominican Republic's roster and it's easy to understand why. Adrian Beltre figures to handle the hot corner. Other infielders include Machado, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes. Which player would you put at shortstop? Seems like a no-brainer to me. "I kind of let them know that, hey, whatever it is, wherever you want me to play," Machado...
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Jones, Machado, Schoop, Castillo and Givens confirmed for WBC

Jones, Machado, Schoop, Castillo and Givens confirmed for WBC
The Orioles are losing five players in spring training to the World Baseball Classic, including new catcher Welington Castillo, who will need a crash course in getting acclimated to the pitching staff in camp. Center fielder Adam Jones and reliever Mychal Givens will play for Team USA, Castillo and third baseman Manny Machado will play for the Dominican Republic and second baseman Jonathan Schoop will play for the Netherlands. The rosters were unveiled tonight on MLB Network. Machado was born...
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