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Matthew Taylor: O’s single-season homer list undergoes modern renovations

Cal Ripken Jr. stepped to the plate in the sixth inning on Sept. 29, 1991, and stroked his second home run of the game against the Detroit Tigers. It would be his 34th and final homer of the season. Ripken, Baltimore’s career home run leader, tied Boog Powell for seventh on the O’s single-season home run list with that effort; both players now rank 17th.

Opposite dugout: Astros look to stay one of majors’ hottest teams with Birds in town

Manager: Bo Porter, second year Record: 22-32 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF George Springer (.269/.361/.510, 9 HR, 27 RBIs); 2B Jose Altuve (.317/.361/.430, 20 XBH, 17 RBIs, 17 SB); LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.55 ERA, 0.98 WHIP); RHP Scott Feldman (3-2, 3.02 ERA) Season series vs. O’s: 1-2, 12 runs scored, 11 runs allowed Pitching probables May 29: Brad Peacock vs. Ubaldo

Zach Wilt: Building on the core with Samardzija is the right move

For years, I wanted to see the Orioles stockpile their farm system and build a winner through their homegrown talent. I understood that they would never outbid the teams in major media markets for big-name free agents and truthfully, there was something more satisfying about the thought of beating those teams with guys that have come through the system. In 2012, the O’s snapped their

Daniel Clark: Time to make most of offensive resurgence

After an inconsistent start to the season, the Orioles offense really started to step it up a notch over the past 10 days and their American League rivals have been forced to take notice. In their past nine games, dating to May 18, the Orioles produced 137 base runners (101 hits, 30 walks, six hit batsmen) which resulted in 55 runs being scored. This was

Jon Shepherd: An adequate catcher is hard to find

A week ago, it was announced that Matt Wieters had received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to help his recovery for his strained right elbow. Without knowing anything about his particular case, as well as reminding you that he has not yet been scheduled for surgery, I suspected that the team would soon be welcoming another catcher because PRPs tend to be a Hail Mary

Andrew Stetka: Viewing Markakis’ place in O’s history

One of the big questions the Orioles will have this offseason is what to do with right fielder Nick Markakis. As many are aware, the 30-year-old has a mutual option in his contract which expires at year’s end. The six-year deal worth more than $66 million was signed before the 2009 season when Andy MacPhail was the team’s president of baseball operations. The team can

Opposite dugout: Balanced Brewers take on Orioles for first time in six seasons

Manager: Ron Roenicke, fourth year Record: 30-21 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: CF Carlos Gomez (.320/.389/.586, 10 HR, 14 doubles, 26 RBIs); RF Ryan Braun (.308/.343/.554, 7 HR, 20 RBIs); C Jonathan Lucroy (.331/.400/.491, 23 XBH, 21 RBIs); RHP Kyle Lohse (6-1, 2.67 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2013): Did not play Pitching probables May 26: Kyle Lohse vs. Chris Tillman,

Matthew Taylor: 1950s bonus baby Nelson never hit it big

He was buried in his Orioles jersey and his obituary read, “He especially loved having a beer or two while watching baseball on TV.” Robert “Tex” Nelson is a guy who’s worth getting to know more about. I first learned about Nelson, who played for the Orioles from 1955 through 1957, thanks to my wife. She sent me a profile of former O’s public relations

Zach Wilt: Slow start? What slow start?

Through his first 30 games of the season, Chris Davis had hit just three home runs. After hitting a major league-leading 53 home runs in 2013, Davis was on pace to hit less than half of that total this season. Steve Pearce was matching Davis’s power production in half the amount of games played, while Matt Wieters had two more homers in four less games.

Opposite dugout: Indians look to stay hot in Baltimore after big sweep of Tigers

Manager: Terry Francona, second year Record: 22-25 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall (.367/.436/.510, 12 XBH, 6 RBIs); LF Michael Brantley (.302/.370/.523, 9 HR, 36 RBIs, 6 SBs); RF Daniel Murphy (.294/.360/.483, 5 HR, 30 RBIs); RHP Corey Kluber (4-3, 3.43 ERA, 74 K) Season series vs. O’s (2013): 4-3, 27 runs scored, 32 runs allowed Pitching probables May 22: TBD

Daniel Clark: Taking stock of a division leader, inconsistencies and all

More than a quarter of the 2014 season has now passed and the Orioles are sitting on top of the American League East with a record of 23-20. Despite holding the divisional lead, there has at times been an overwhelming sense of frustration among Orioles fans as in between the moments of brilliance, there have also been periods of lackluster performances. It’s been these periods

MASN’s first Social Media Weekend of ‘14 starts Friday

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, O’s fans! MASN is hosting its first Social Media Weekend of the 2014 baseball season at Camden Yards on May 23-25. All weekend long, we’ll be on-site, celebrating our social media followers and rewarding those fans for their loyalty. Hopefully, you’re one of them! We’ll kick things off with Adam Jones on Friday afternoon for his second

Jon Shepherd: The value of a Buck

Last Saturday, Buck Showalter left the Orioles to see his daughter graduate from law school. While Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy was hammered in the sports world for missing games for the birth of his daughter, there has been little negative about Showalter taking time off for arguably a lesser family affair. One reason may be that after the reaction Murphy received, members of the

Opposite dugout: Pirates beginning to emerge from early-season funk

Manager: Clint Hurdle, fourth year Record: 18-25 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: CF Andrew McCutchen (.301/.425/.468, 16 XBH, 19 RBIs); 2B Neil Walker (.259/.339/.458, 9 HR, 25 RBIs); LHP Francisco Liriano (0-3, 4.25 ERA, 49 K); LHP Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 6.84 ERA) Season series vs. O’s: 0-2, 6 runs scored, 11 runs against Pitching probables May 20: Francisco Liriano vs. Miguel Gonzalez, 7

Andrew Stetka: Checking in on some former Orioles

We have reached that point in the season where you can start to analyze statistics and make an evaluation of how a player’s year is going. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some former Orioles who have moved on. Let’s start with fan favorite Mark Reynolds, who is taking his hacks with the Milwaukee Brewers in a platoon at first

Matthew Taylor: For Horn, plenty of memories in Kansas City

The Orioles are in Kansas City, and while there are plenty of current storylines to consider, I can’t help but think of Sam Horn. It happens to me whenever the O’s play at Kaufman Stadium. Horn is one of my favorite former Orioles, and he simply had a way of producing against the Royals. Horn’s O’s debut came at Kansas City on April 9, 1990.

Opposite dugout: Royals’ arms present O’s with another mound of challenges

Manager: Ned Yost, fifth year Record: 20-19 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: C Salvador Perez (.275/.333/.449, 4 HR, 12 RBIs); 1B Eric Hosmer (.304/.343/.418, 15 doubles, 18 RBIs); RHP Yordano Ventura (2-2, 2.34 ERA, 1.11 WHIP); RHP James Shields (5-3, 2.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 2-1, 16 runs scored, 6 runs allowed Pitching probables May 15: Yordano Ventura vs. Wei-Yin

Zach Wilt: Examining Orioles’ closer options

“The difference between Tommy (Hunter) and Jimmy (Johnson) is that Jimmy had a track record,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the media after Hunter blew his third save of the season on Tuesday against the Tigers. “Tommy does, too, with certain other things, so there’s some unknown about where this will go with Tommy.” A season ago, Johnson blew nine saves as the Orioles closer.

Daniel Clark: Hungry for postseason, Markakis is a picture of consistency

Of all the Orioles hungry for success, none may be more driven to see Baltimore return to the playoffs and perform well on the big stage than Nick Markakis, a nine-year veteran of the club who has never played in a postseason game. As most Orioles fans are aware, it was a cruel twist of fate that struck Markakis down just a few weeks prior

Jon Shepherd: Say goodbye to Matt Wieters’ ash

Before an arm injury put him on the 15-day disabled list and placed his entire season in doubt, Matt Wieters was terrorizing American League pitchers in April. His slash line of .338/.370/.554 had made some wonder if he has finally figured things out and become the offensive wunderkind so many in Baltimore had originally thought he would be. You may have noticed that Wieters was

Andrew Stetka: Will the O’s be able to weather Wieters’ absense?

The Orioles have been able to stay afloat through the first six weeks of the season, leading the American League East to this point despite not having a fully healthy lineup. Sunday marked the first time all year that Buck Showalter was able to pencil Manny Machado and Chris Davis into the same lineup. Sunday also marked the beginning of what could be the biggest

Opposite dugout: Tigers to throw plenty of hitting and pitching at Birds in Baltimore

Manager: Brad Ausmus, first year Record: 21-12 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Miguel Cabrera (.291/.333/.485, 5 HR, 29 RBIs); DH Victor Martinez (.325/.377/.577, 8 HR, 22 RBIs); RHP Justin Verlander (4-2, 2.67 ERA, 43 K); LHP Drew Smyly (2-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 2-1, 18 runs scored, 13 runs allowed Pitching probables May 12: Rick Porcello vs. Bud

Matthew Taylor: An historical comparison to the start of Hunter’s closer tenure

Getting a knot in your stomach while watching your team’s closer, like tying your shoes, quickly becomes second nature. Orioles closer Tommy Hunter has had my insides tangled from day one of the 2014 season. This week’s series with the Rays was particularly challenging. In two innings pitched, Hunter faced 12 batters and allowed four hits, two walks and one run. He left the bases

Opposite dugout: Feldman faces former team as Astros come to Baltimore

Manager: Bo Porter, second year Record: 11-24 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: SS Jonathan Villar (.240/.301/.490, 5 HR, 13 RBIs, 8 SB); 2B Jose Altuve (.271/.323/.375, 12 XBH, 12 RBIs, 11 SB); RHP Scott Feldman (2-1, 1.69 ERA, .176 BAA); RHP Collin McHugh (2-1, 2.79 ERA, 0.88 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 2-4, 30 runs scored, 24 runs allowed Pitching probables May 9:

Zach Wilt: Do the Orioles rely too heavily on the longball?

The Orioles can thank the longball for Wednesday night’s win in St. Petersburg, Fla. All four runs were scored via the home run. Adam Jones hit a pair of solo shots and Jonathan Schoop delivered the two-run go-ahead blast in the top of the seventh that secured the O’s victory. Wednesday was Baltimore’s third game with three or more home runs (April 8 versus the

Daniel Clark: A closer look at the Orioles bullpen

It could be the toughness of the American League East, or it could just be the curse of the Orioles’ starting pitcher. However, whatever the reason, as has been the case over the last few seasons, the Orioles have relied heavily on their bullpen arms during the first five weeks of the 2014 season. Through 30 games, Orioles starters have pitched a combined total of

Jon Shepherd: What to make of the Morales chatter

Last week, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Orioles and free agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales remained in negotiations. Those ongoing talks allegedly had agreed on the framework of a one-year deal, but differed greatly on the price. In response to that report, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said on SiriusXM Radio that the report is overblown. He further clarified noting

Opposite dugout: Rays’ bats helping to compensate for pitching injuries

Manager: Joe Maddon, ninth year Record: 15-17 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Evan Longoria (.276/.333/.409, 3 HR, 17 RBIs); CF Desmond Jennings (.294/.386/.505, 4 HR, 9 doubles, 6 SB, 10 RBIs); LHP David Price (3-2, 4.44 ERA, 55 K); LHP Cesar Ramos (1-1, 2.91 ERA) Season series vs. O’s: 0-2, 1 run scored, 10 runs allowed Pitching probables May 6: Chris Archer

Andrew Stetka: A look at the muddy AL East

The American League East has long been looked at as one of the best divisions in baseball, and with good reason. Since 1992, the division has produced 13 AL champions and nine World Series titles. Unfortunately for Baltimore baseball fans, the Orioles are the only one of the five current members of the division who haven’t participated in the Fall Classic in that timespan. While

Opposite dugout: High-scoring Twins hope to get well on mound

Manager: Ron Gardenhire, 13th year Record: 12-14 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: DH Josmil Pinto (.219/.370/.438, 5 HR, 10 RBIs); 3B Trevor Plouffe (.277/.383/.436, 13 XBH, 19 RBIs); RF Chris Colabello (.290/.343/.470, 12 XBH, 27 RBI); RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 6.67 ERA) Season series vs. O’s (2013): 3-3, 29 runs scored, 37 runs allowed Pitching probables May 2: Ricky Nolasco vs. Ubaldo Jimenez,

Matthew Taylor: My memorable turn as a minor league mascot

What’s it like to be a baseball mascot? Biographile provided a peek into the unseen world of the men behind the mascots on Thursday in its interview with AJ Mass, a former Mr. Met and author of “Yes, It’s Hot In Here; Adventures in the Weird, Wooly World of Sports Mascots.” The end result is what the article’s author, Patrick Sauer, terms “Nine Mascot Life

Zach Wilt: Breaking down the Orioles’ schedule in May

Talk about April showers. The Orioles will kick off May with a doubleheader against the Pirates beginning at 4:05 p.m. after their Tuesday and Wednesday matchups were postponed. We haven’t seen the O’s play since Sunday, April 27. I’m almost beginning to forget what this team looks like. And oh yeah, Manny Machado makes his long-awaited 2014 debut this afternoon/evening in Charm City. As we

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