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Long before Ripken, Hansen broke the mold for big league shortstops

There were a multitude of notable achievements in Ron Hansen’s career - a Rookie of the Year Award, two All-Star nods,15 seasons in the majors, the rarest of rare defensive feats - but perhaps his biggest accomplishment was proving that shortstops didn’t have to be small or wiry guys who could only flash the leather. Think Cal Ripken Jr. redefined the position? Think again. A

Daniel Moroz: Would free agent frenzy help O’s to compete in 2012?

With a guaranteed September record of at least .500 (they’re 14-12 going into today’s game, despite being outscored by 13 runs in the month), the Orioles have managed to avoid losing 100 games. That that almost counts as a victory says a lot about how the 2011 season has gone for the Birds. Sure there have been some bright spot - J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters,

Lauren Tilley: Taking a look ahead

With the season winding down and the last game of the regular season (and the Orioles’ season) tomorrow night, it’s time to start analyzing and getting excited for next year. Although the Orioles only improved by a few games this year, we’ve seen some great potential out of young guys and we’ve learned a few not-so-great things about other guys. In my last guest blog

Tune into MASNsports.com this afternoon for video chat with Guthrie, Jones

What would you ask Jeremy Guthrie or Adam Jones if you had a chance to shoot the breeze with them? Maybe you want to know why Guthrie is so ga-ga over Justin Bieber. Or how Jones manages to blow a bubble as he slams into the outfield wall while making a catch. Perhaps you’re interested in the pitcher’s take on the O’s offense or the

MASN’s Social Media Weekend was embraced by O’s fans

You posted, you tweeted, you texted. You came, you saw, you won. And while we may not have known exactly what to expect from MASNports.com’s first Social Media Weekend, Orioles fans let us know that they appreciated our efforts to reward them for their loyalty as much as we appreciate them. Social Media Weekend, held Sept. 16-18 during a weekend series at Camden Yards against

Matthew Taylor: Recalling Steve Stone’s curve and 25-win season in 1980

With their 6-5 victory in Detroit on Saturday, the Orioles denied Justin Verlander the opportunity to become baseball’s first 25-game winner since Bob Welch went 27-6 for Oakland in 1990. Thanks to Bill Pemstein, I spent time this season reading about the Orioles’ only 25-game winner, Steve Stone. Pemstein, a former Orioles employee turned Midwest sportswriter, chronicles Stone’s magical 1980 season in his self-published effort,

James Baker: Playing the spoiler

Ross Perot, Teddy Roosevelt, Ralph Nader - all spoilers. Now the Orioles have the opportunity to ruin another team’s hard-fought season and crush the spirits of one of their hated rivals. I have stated in private company that I like this prospect. I have been known to say, “The tears of Red Sox fans sustain me” Or something along the same lines. I have been

Heath Bintliff: Smoke, mirrors and a late-season surge

After being completely inept for most of the season, the Orioles entered September hit with injuries and facing some of the toughest competition of the season. The team was fielding a Triple-A lineup on most nights and the losing looked to get out of hand. That may not have been a bad thing. Instead, the Orioles have taken their spoiler role seriously and gone 10-10

Daniel Moroz: Matusz’s nosedive has been historically horrible

To say that Brian Matusz has had a rough season is probably an understatement. The injury to start the year; the June return and subsequent shellacking, resulting in a trip down to the minors; the August call-up and subsequent shellacking. It was all capped off by his recent starts in New York and Boston (wasn’t there a way to work Matusz in so that he

Lauren Tilley: The O’s woes

The Orioles have been playing like a playoff team lately, winning back-to-back series for the first time since May 21-26, which included taking two of three from Washington and sweeping Kansas City in a three-game set. Not only is that a major feat in itself for this team, but these consecutive series wins came against two teams vying for a postseason berth: the Tampa Bay

Matthew Taylor: Revisiting O’s distribution of power

Orioles fans anticipated a power surge in the lineup in 2011. The offseason acquisitions of Vladimir Guerrero, Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds gave the Birds three players who had hit 30 or more home runs a combined 14 times. Here’s how things have played out this season with 11 games still remaining. Reynolds became the Orioles’ first 30-home run hitter since Aubrey Huff stroked 32

Monday Memory: Batting Stance Guy’s take on past, present O’s

If you’re not familiar with Gar Ryness by name, you’re probably at least familiar with his work. The YouTube sensation, better know as Batting Stance Guy, has created a niche with his spot-on mimicry of the batting stances of major leaguers past and present. Go ahead and admit it - you wished you’d have thought of it first, especially since you probably did the same

Social Media Weekend gives fans a chance to win big from Sept. 16-18 at Camden Yards

It’s been a big year as far as social media is concerned at MASNsports.com. We’ve kept you informed via our new mobile alert text-messaging system, interacted with you over Twitter and engaged in discussions on Facebook. Along the way, we’ve used these burgeoning technologies to allow you to meet your favorite Orioles players, and to win memorabilia and unique fan experiences in special contests. This

O’s to thank fans during final homestand of 2011, Sept. 26-28 vs. Red Sox

No one says “Thank you” to fans like the Orioles, and the club has an array of activities planned for the annual Fan Appreciaton Celebratation on the final homestand of the season, Sept. 26-28 against the Boston Red Sox. By liking the Orioles on Facebook or entering the Fan Appreciation Celebration Sweepstakes, fans can win a variety of prizes, including a trip for two to

James Baker: Wieters on the perpetual cusp

Is there a more aggravating player than Matt Wieters on the Orioles right now? He is so good, and it appears that he is on the verge of breaking his season, and career, open at any second, but he never seems to take that final step. As of this morning Wieters’ slash-line looks like this: .262 /.323 /.449 /.772 That .772 OPS is good enough

Heath Bintliff: Lose, baby, lose

With the recently concluded series with Tampa Bay and seven games with the Boston Red Sox over a two-week span in such close proximity to one another, it has led some Oriole fans to root against their own team. For some reason, the O’s laying down for the Rays and playing tough against the Red Sox is the desired outcome, hopefully allowing the Tampa Bay

Daniel Moroz: Johnson’s new role can’t save O’s from ill-advised signing of Gregg

Jim Johnson now has as many saves in the last week as Kevin Gregg has since the beginning of August. That gives me a great excuse to bring out two of my favorite hobby horses: Despite what many people say (including some allusions by the Orioles themselves), Johnson is perfectly capable of being the team’s closer, and signing Gregg was not a good move. Johnson

Oriole Advocates to hold annual Cardboard to Leather collection at Saturday’s game

Root around in your closet, poke down to the bottom of the equipment bag, check out the trunk of your family car. Think of anywhere where you might have some wayward baseball equipment - bats, balls, gloves, uniforms, etc - because some kid far away might be able to use the gear that you no longer need. Saturday marks the annual Cardboard to Leather collection

Lauren Tilley: Rooting against the O’s?

This is a very rare and difficult blog for me to write. I had a discussion with some friends today asking what in the world I should write about. I’ve discussed the endless pitching problems in many articles, as well as my problems with the management and entire front office, coaching, and training staff. What’s next to complain about? As James Baker discussed in his

Shake off the winter chill at Orioles Dream Week 2012

When Camden Yards opened in 1992, the new ballpark launched a new era of Orioles baseball. Fans came in droves - the season attendance of 3,567,819 made tickets a tough get - and a blue-collar lineup under the direction of manager Johnny Oates managed to post 89 victories. There were two Ripkens in the infield, observers wondered whether Sam Horn could hit the warehouse on

Flanagan to be remembered in New Hampshire hometown

Fans, friends and family members in Mike Flanagan’s hometown of Manchester, N.H., have planned two events this weekend to celebrate the life of the former Orioles pitcher, coach, executive and broadcaster, who died Aug. 24 at 59. A tribute to Flanagan’s life will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 at Manchester Memorial High School, where Flanagan excelled in basketball and baseball for the Crusaders. The following

Ex-Oriole Jesse Jefferson dead at 62

Former Orioles pitcher Jesse Jefferson has died of prostate cancer. He was 62, and lived in his hometown of Midlothian, Va. The O’s made Jefferson a fourth-round pick in the 1968 amateur draft and the right-hander reached the majors in 1973. He spend three of his nine big league seasons in Baltimore, going 7-7 with a 4.13 ERA in 42 games, 17 as a starter.

James Baker: As fall slowly starts to arrive ...

As the rain continues to fall here in Charm City, it is hard to believe that the season is coming to an end. Some would say a merciful one. With the Ravens about to kick off the NFL season against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers, the Orioles are about to be, once again, relegated to second-team status here in our fair community. And they deserve to

Heath Bintliff: Should the O’s have traded Jeremy Guthrie?

As the Orioles move forward into 2012, one thing they definitely need to take a hard look at is shedding veteran players and getting younger, yet again. After all, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and even Matt Wieters are veteran players at this point, and with J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds under contract, the team could use some young talent. And one way to get some

O’s aid Hurricane Irene recovery efforts

The Orioles are teaming with the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake & Potomac Blood Services Region on a series of blood drives this week to help build the supplies in local blood banks that were diminished by Hurricane Irene. To reward those willing to part with the gift of life, all donors will receive a complimentary ticket to the Orioles’ game against the New York

Daniel Moroz: Lumber numbers of struggling O’s hurlers are surprisingly impressive

The Orioles have had a tough season in many respects. Many, many respects. But there is one area in which they’ve been not only the best team in baseball, but the best team in baseball by far. It’s their pitchers - when they’re hitters. The best-hitting pitching staff in the National League belongs to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have a collective .190/.230/.257 line. That’s obviously

Coaching, scouting keep Sir Calvin busy in retirement

It doesn’t seem like Calvin Maduro has been retired only five years. The way the former Orioles right-hander has been keeping busy, he’s hardly had time to reflect on the fact that he hasn’t thrown a pitch in anger since 2006, when he went 1-5 and worked mostly in relief for the O’s Double-A affiliate in Bowie. “That sounded old,” Maduro chuckled when asked if

Lauren Tilley: Brian Matusz is no longer Brian Matusz

For those of you who know how yesterday’s game went, it was an offensive shootout that unfortunately ended badly for the Orioles (yet again). It all started with Brian Matusz who lasted only 1 1/3 innings or, to put it better, four outs. In that short outing, he gave up five hits, five earned runs and two walks. So far this season, he is 1-7

Matthew Taylor: Some historical perspective on triple-digit losses

The Orioles are in the home stretch of their 14th consecutive losing season. That’s a lot of bad baseball. However, one thing the Birds have never done during that run is lose 100 games. In fact, the O’s have lost 100 games in a season only twice since the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore, going 54-100 in 1954 and 54-107 in 1988. Here are

Tonight’s Orioles-Rays game will be joined in progress on MASN2/MASN2 HD

While MASN prides itself on giving its loyal viewers the most comprehensive Orioles coverage possible, even our network is subject to Major League Baseball’s rules governing game broadcasts. That’s why the beginning of tonight’s Orioles-Rays game from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., can’t be shown. MLB rules reserve the period between 4-7 p.m. on Saturdays for the national broadcast on FOX. The Rays have

James Baker: Where do we go from here?

Does anyone really have an answer to that question? Everyone has a theory, but can anyone really say that any one of them will make the Orioles a competitive team in 2012? Yu Darvish is the latest Japanese superstar rumored to be on his way to America. The half-Iranian, half-Japanese Darvish will likely command a ridiculous posting fee to even begin negotiations. I don’t see

Heath Bintliff: Future of Orioles rotation murkier than ever

With the arrival of “The Calvary,” there was to be an influx of young arms in the Orioles rotation and it was thought that some would seize starting jobs and not let them go. I thought that the starting rotation for the 2012 Orioles would be in much sharper focus by the end of this season. I was wrong. Due to injuries, general ineffectiveness and

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