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Valentine’s days in Baltimore are cherished memories for ex-Oriole

As “Oops” moments go, the one committed by Fred Valentine in his rookie season with the Orioles in 1959 was a whopper. But the affable 77-year-old now laughs off his error of aggression as a youthful indiscretion. “Paul Richards was the manager when they brought me up in ‘59,” Valentine said. “Gus Triandos was catching, and they put me in the lineup, hitting behind Triandos.

Anthony Amobi: For O’s, a rough patch or time to panic?

Last night, the Orioles got swept by the Toronto Blue Jays in their three-game series up north in Canada and lost their fifth straight game. We all know that the Birds have had quite an remarkable run during the first two months of the season. To say that they have surprised everyone - fans, the local and national media alike - is an understatement. However,

Neal Shaffer: Do think twice, it’s still all right

At the moment, all is not well in Birdland. Four straight losses, seven losses in 10, three straight dropped series. Starting pitching - the bedrock of early success - suddenly seems quite vulnerable. The great unmeasurable of clutch performance feels measurable in the wrong way. And yet, all is good. I promise it is. Cast your memory to the preseason and recall that most analysts

Heath Bintliff: Brian Roberts is still missed

This post was inspired by Neal Shaffer’s guest blog from last Wednesday entitled, “Tell the truth: Do you want Brian Roberts back?” I thought about responding to his post in the comments, but had so many opinions on the subject, it seemed like it needed its own post. First, let’s discuss Brian Roberts. Earlier this season, I wrote a post arguing that Roberts was the

Matthew Taylor: In 1960, winning record was a welcome turn for O’s. Baltimore

Most Orioles fans can name the last time that the team had a winning season: 1997. Fewer can name the first time that the team had a winning season: 1960. Baseball came to Baltimore in 1954; it wasn’t until six years later that winning baseball arrived in town. While the 1957 Orioles finished an even 76-76, the Birds totaled more wins, 89, than losses, 65

For Oriole Advocates, Challenger Baseball is a rewarding endeavor

The 16 teams that gathered on baseball diamonds in Thurmont, Md., last weekend for a baseball jamboree didn’t focus on wins and losses, batting averages and ERAs. They were more attuned to the game’s basic tenets - hitting a pitched ball, fielding and throwing, running the bases. When a physical or developmental disability makes it more difficult to play the game you love, you tend

Anthony Amobi: On Roberts and his attempt to return to O’s

As we all know, veteran Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts returned to competitive baseball last night as he played three innings for the Double-A Bowie Baysox last night. Roberts is playing for the Baysox as part of a rehabilitation assignment. He’s missed much of the past two seasons dealing with post-concussion syndrome issues and other injuries. His Wednesday night was pretty mundane, as he walked

Neal Shaffer: Tell the truth: Do you want Brian Roberts back?

Brian Roberts is a great Oriole. This much is beyond dispute. Great on the field, obviously, but as importantly, he’s been a great presence on the team. Excepting the one obvious blemish on his record (and we don’t need to go deep into that, right?) he’s basically been a model player. Good in the community, by all accounts good in the clubhouse and seemingly just

Heath Bintliff: MacPhail’s trades shaped this winner

The Orioles are winning and new executive vice president Dan Duquette and his team are getting their fair share of credit for restoring some hope to a moribund franchise. They surely deserve it, as they were directly responsible for bringing starting pitchers Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen to Baltimore, as well as relievers Matt Lindstrom and Luis Ayala, who have helped to anchor a rejuvenated

Olivia Witherite: The not-so-hot corner

With great wins and exciting baseball, it may seem easy for many to focus on the positives. However, the other day I received a tweet that asked what was going wrong with the Orioles’ defense. The Battle of the Beltways behind them, the Orioles have emerged from the weekend tied with the Dodgers for the most wins in baseball. The Birds also lead the majors

Matthew Taylor: There’s something in the air on Eutaw Street

Of course you know that the Orioles are playing well above average so far during the 2012 season. But did you notice that it’s been an above-average season for Eutaw Street home runs, as well? Batters have hit an average of three Eutaw Street home runs per season since Camden Yards opened in 1992; four such homers have already been hit this year. Eric Thames

Anthony Amobi: O’s are winning, but where are the fans?

The Orioles are fast approaching the quarter-pole of the 2012 season, and I’m sure many fans are asking themselves these questions: Are the Orioles for real? Can they keep this up? Or are they pulling the wool over our eyes, and will the team that we’ve seen for the last 14 years make an appearance? Right now, I’d say they are for real. I am

Neal Shaffer: The top six players who define the losing era

Last week we took a look at the top five players of the losing era. Meaning exactly what it says - the five best. It was a fun list to make, but the more illuminating exercise (and possibly more depressing) is to think about the top five players who define the losing era. By which I mean, if you had to sum up years of

Heath Bintliff: A series of fortunate events

Back during the early days of Dempsey’s Army, I used to write a preseason series of posts with the loose theme, “How the Orioles Can Win the East.” In that series, I would lay out five things that would have to go right for Baltimore and, conversely, five things that would have to go wrong for each of our division rivals. The series was half

Flashback: Trumpet-tooting fans, Camden Yards mojitos and a body-slamming umpire

Did you know there were different species of orioles? We all know that there’s a Baltimore Oriole - of the winged and baseball-playing varieties. There are also Puerto Rican, Hispaniolan and Bahama birds. And, believe it or not, a Cuban Oriole. They all used to be lumped into the same species, until elevated into individual statuses in 2010. The Cuban Oriole is endemic to the

Olivia Witherite: Stats define rise, but guarantee little

It’s mid-May, and the Orioles are 22-13 and have a 12-6 record against the American League East. What a beautiful sentence. As a pessimist, the part of the sentence that pops out immediately to me is “mid-May.” I will never be the first to say that Team X is “for real” or that Team Y has a great shot for a pennant this season until

Matthew Taylor: Examining a homer-happy week at Camden Yards

What a week for home runs in Baltimore. Josh Hamilton became only the 16th player to hit four home runs in a game Tuesday. Two days later, the Orioles established an American League record by homering in the team’s first three at-bats of a doubleheader against the Rangers. Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis did the early yard work for the Birds. Overall, the

Reliever Hall was a constant of early O’s World Series squads

Think about the core group of players that helped the Orioles to four World Series between 1966-71, and you’ll likely focus on the powerful bats and slick fielders that made the offense/defense combination of winning baseball in Baltimore - names like Andy Etchebarren, Boog Powell, Davey Johnson, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Paul Blair. However, there were Orioles pitchers who appeared in the 1966, 1969,

Anthony Amobi: Are we seeing the real Nick Markakis?

As we are seven weeks into the 2012 season, the Orioles are flying high with a 19-11 record, and are a half-game out of first in the American League East. Baltimore’s fast start has given players like Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Chris Davis some national attention. However, one name that I don’t see mentioned a lot happens to be right-fielder Nick Markakis. It’s almost

O’s unveil Birdland Passport Program

If you’re one of those fans who enjoys seeing the Orioles of the future as much as you do heading to Camden Yards for the O’s of the present, you’ll be interested in the new Birdland Passport Program. The program, unveiled today, rewards fans who visit Camden Yards and the O’s minor league affiliates - Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie, Single-A Frederick, Single-A Delmarva and short-season

Neal Shaffer: The top five players of the losing era

If there’s one thing the Internet loves, it’s a list. So, what the hell, I’m game. I got to thinking, after the recent unveiling of the Frank Robinson statue at Camden Yards, about great Orioles of the past and how cool it is to be able to look back on their legacies and claim them for our city. That, naturally enough, led to thinking about

Heath Bintliff: For Mark Reynolds, it could be worse

A week ago, before the awakening of his bat this weekend in Boston, I was despairing about Mark Reynolds, his lack of hitting and his woeful glove. I wondered how bad he really was and hypothesized that he must be the worst player in baseball based on his simultaneous poor performances in the field and at the plate. I went to Fangraphs.com and sorted all

Kestler chosen as O’s Honorary Bat Girl

Sunday will be a big day for Tammy Kestler, a mother of three from Glen Burnie. And not just because it’s Mother’s Day. The Orioles, Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure have announced Kestler as the O’s winner of the Honorary Bat Girl contest, a campaign to recognize incredible MLB fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their

Matthew Taylor: A closer look at some historical tidbits

I love the historical tidbits that regularly work their way into baseball game stories. Two such tidbits came out of the Orioles’ series win this week against the Yankees in the Bronx, and both had to do with strong pitching performances. First, on Wednesday, Jake Arrieta became the most recent Orioles pitcher to toss eight or more shutout innings against the Yankees since September 2004,

Dempsey’s Brewpub and Restaurant now open on non-game days

If you live or work near Camden Yards, you now have a new dining option for days when the Orioles aren’t playing at home. Beginning today, Dempsey’s Brewpub and Restaurant is now open for both lunch and dinner. You can eat, drink and be merry on the first floor of the B&O Warehouse beginning at 11 a.m. Slide into Dempsey’s - the namesake of former

Anthony Amobi: It’s been a fun - and surprising - run so far for O’s

Well, for fans of the Orioles, the calendar has flipped from April to May and it has been a surprising season so far. As of this morning, the Orioles are flying high with a 16-9 record, and sit one game behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings. There are some very compelling and unexpected storylines in the game today, and

Brooks Robinson sculpture unveiling, promotional giveaway postponed until Sept. 29

If you were planning to attend the scheduled May 12 unveiling of the Brooks Robinson sculpture as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series at Camden Yards, you’re going to have to rework your calendar. Because of health issues, Robinson will not be able to participate in the originally scheduled May 12 event. To allow him to participate in the festivities, the Orioles are moving

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