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All-Star voting: Adam Jones within reach of final outfield spot

Adam Jones is close. He’s real close. With three days left in online All-Star voting, Jones is one of three players vying for the final American League outfield starting spot on July 15. The Orioles outfielder trails the A’s Yoenis Cespedes (1,941,553 votes) and the Blue Jays’ Melky Cabrera (1,929,506), but currently sits in fifth with 1,853,268 votes. Jones has continued to produce in June,

Shedding some daylight on “Moonlight” Graham’s Baltimore connections

Yesterday marked the anniversary of Archibald “Moonlight” Graham’s one-game major league career. Back in 1905, he played a half-inning in the outfield for the New York Giants, faded into the obscurity of pre-Internet agate and didn’t reappear to a wide audience again until 1989, when “Field of Dreams” introduced him as a baseball-playing spectre who helped save Ray Kinsella’s daughter from choking on a hot

Andrew Stetka: Cruz’s Home Run Derby decision not a bad thing

It looks more and more like Nelson Cruz won’t be taking part in this year’s Home Run Derby at Target Field. Despite an invite from American League team captain Jose Bautista, Cruz said he’d rather not risk taking part in the event and having it alter his swing going into the second half of the season. Despite being tied for the major league lead of

Opposite dugout: Struggling Rangers send Darvish to hill in series vs. O’s

Manager: Ron Washington, eighth year Record: 37-44 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: 3B Adrian Beltre (.332/.376/.508, 18 doubles, 9 HR, 42 RBIs); RF Alex Rios (.304/.336/.438, 27 XBH, 34 RBIs, 13 SB); RHP Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42 ERA, 1.18 WHIP); RHP Nick Tepesch (3-3, 3.65 ERA) Season series vs. O’s: 1-2, 16 runs scored, 20 runs allowed Pitching probables June 30: Joe Saunders

Opposite dugout: Rays’ bats show improvement as team emerges from rough patch

Manager: Joe Maddon, ninth year Record: 32-48 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Evan Longoria (.264/.330/.405, 10 HR, 37 RBIs); 1B James Loney (.289/.344/.381, 21 XBH, 38 RBIs); RF Kevin Kiermaier (.300/.354/.567, 8 doubles, 4 HR, 9 RBIs); RHP Alex Cobb (2-6, 4.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 1-7, 18 runs scored, 35 runs allowed Pitching probables June 27 (Game 1):

Zach Wilt: Digging inside Chris Davis’ numbers

Chris Davis was the hero on Monday night after crushing a three-run walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox. The moment was so great that Davis decided to rejoin Twitter the next morning. Talk about a win-win for Orioles fans. Prior to that longball, however, Davis had been scuffling at the plate. Coming into that game, he had hit just .130 over his previous

Win a trip to watch the Orioles take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field

Baseball fans, don’t forget to look for the Orioles scratch-off from the Maryland Lottery. Sure, there’s a chance to win cash instantly and a top prize of $60,000. But you could also win a whole lot more! For instance, how would you like to watch the O’s take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field? The Lottery is giving away four trips to see the O’s

Daniel Clark: Managing the workload of a heavily relied-upon bullpen

The long major league season is nearing its halfway point and the Orioles have yet again been heavily reliant upon the bullpen. Since the return to winning ways in 2012, the bullpen has been impressive despite being over-worked - in particular in 2012. The 545 1/3 innings pitched by relievers in 2012 were fourth-highest in the majors, while the 514 innings pitched in 2013 were

Jonathan Shepherd: Solving the problem that is Manny Machado

Some say Manny Machado is in the midst of a slump. That he missed spring training, came into the season cold and proceeded to be off his mark. Before last night’s came, that slump has been going on for 199 plate appearances this season with a slash line of .224/.274/.322. If you prefer using a more holistic metric that takes run expectancy for each of

Opposite dugout: Struggling White Sox remain formidable foe with Abreu, Sale

Manager: Robin Ventura, third year Record: 35-41 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: 1B Jose Abreu (.270/.320/.598, 21 HR, 57 RBIs); 3B Conor Gillaspie (.338/.383/.446, 19 XBH, 26 RBIs); LHP Chris Sale (6-1, 2.20 ERA, 0.75 WHIP); LHP Jose Quintana (3-7, 3.87 ERA, 75 K) Season series vs. O’s (2013): 3-4, 18 runs scored, 21 runs allowed Pitching probables June 23: Chris Sale vs.

Andrew Stetka: Pearce providing pop for O’s

The Orioles are finding some of their best offensive production from the unlikeliest of places through the first three months of the season. Steve Pearce has given the Birds a surprising boost and is forcing Buck Showalter to pencil his name into the lineup more often lately. It’s a bit funny to look at the 31-year-old’s career numbers and realize that some of the game’s

All-Star voting: Jones a long shot for starting lineup

Two Orioles players have consistently led at their respective positions in the 2014 All-Star voting. As for the rest, well, they are running out of time. With less than two weeks remaining in online All-Star voting, Nelson Cruz is still leading at designated hitter, and Matt Wieters stands atop the leaderboard among American League catchers. Cruz is tied for first in the majors with 23

Matthew Taylor: Reunited, and it feels so good

I reunited with two longtime friends last weekend. We grew up in Baltimore and share a common love for the Orioles. Life has taken us in different directions, but baseball brings us back together. Our summertime reunions have occurred in ballparks across the country. We had one in Cooperstown when Cal Ripken Jr. entered the Hall of Fame. This year, with one of my friends

Opposite dugout: Tanaka, Yankees welcome Birds to New York with first place within reach

Manager: Joe Girardi, seventh year Record: 38-33 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Mark Teixeira (.250/.367/.460, 11 HR, 33 RBIs); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.279/.346/.396, 21 XBH, 31 RBIs, 20 SB); C Brian McCann (.223/.288/.367, 8 HR, 33 RBIs); RHP Masahiro Tanaka (11-1, 1.99 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 1-2, 13 runs scored, 21 runs allowed Pitching probables June 20: Hiroki Kuroda

Zach Wilt: Zach Britton is following the Jim Johnson blueprint in the ninth

Zach Britton entered Wednesday’s game in the ninth inning, attempting to hold a 2-0 lead over the Rays and secure a series win for Orioles. Tampa Bay’s 3-4-5 hitters (Evan Longoria, James Loney and Ben Zobrist) were due up. It’s never easy in the American League East, even against the lowly Rays. In the blink of an eye, Joe Angel had pronounced that the

Daniel Clark: Reassessing the O’s active roster

Worn fingernails, mood swings and high blood pressure - Welcome to the life of an Orioles fan. A frustrating season has continued to fray the nerves of us fans this past week or so, after our team failed to take advantage of eight consecutive quality starts by winning just four games. Those that follow me on Twitter (@DC_TBLDaily) will know I speak my mind and

Little movement for Orioles in All-Star voting

It was more of the same for the Orioles in the most recent All-Star balloting figures. Despite hitting .264/.339/.340 in June, Nelson Cruz is still the leader at designated hitter, following a May where he had a batting average of .339 with 13 home runs and 27 RBIs. Matt Wieters is also still the leader among American League catchers with 1,488,884 votes. However, the O’s

Jon Shepherd: Looking back on this year’s draft

When the Orioles chose to sign what Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz, two free-agent stragglers with free-agent compensation attached to them, it was a blessing and a curse for the amateur scouts in the organization. Bad news first - the curse was the continual loss of top selections in the draft. Add in the loss of a competitive pick, which the team dealt in the

Andrew Stetka: O’s indecision with rotation is a good thing

Depth at any position in any sport is always crucial, but it seems starting pitching in baseball always provides one of the toughest tests for a team in this department. It’s clear that having a top-notch pitcher always gives an organization a chance to win every fifth day, but one injury (or sore elbow leading to Tommy John surgery, it seems this season), can derail

Opposite dugout: Health issues, offensive ineffectiveness lead Rays to worst record in baseball

Manager: Joe Maddon, ninth year Record: 27-43 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 3B Evan Longoria (.265/.331/.397, 8 HR, 32 RBIs); OF Kevin Kiermaier (.333/.391/.651, 12 XBH, 4 RBIs); LHP Erik Bedard (3-4, 3.83 ERA); RHP Alex Cobb (2-4, 3.99 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 0-5, 8 runs scored, 22 runs allowed Pitching probables June 16: Jake Odorizzi vs. Wei-Yin Chen, 7

If you’ve got the tarp and downpour, we’ve got the ex-O’s catcher ...

It’s pouring right now at Camden Yards. No, pouring may be too tame a word. The rain is coming down so hard that I can barely see the tour group stuck in the visitors dugout from my fifth-floor Warehouse window. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see the tarp on the field in the middle of a rainstorm and not think of ex-Orioles

Matthew Taylor: How much defense makes up for a lack of offense?

Would I appreciate Mark Belanger today? That’s the question that’s been on my mind lately as I watch Jonathan Schoop try to find his way a the plate, Manny Machado struggle to return to the preternatural form he displayed on offense last season or Ryan Flaherty serve as a jack-of-all-trades on defense while mastering none on offense. How much defense makes up for lousy offense?

Zach Wilt: Best season of Nick Markakis’ career?

I can’t get enough of the season that Nick Markakis is putting together in 2014. Atop the Orioles lineup, he’s turned into one of baseball’s most consistent leadoff hitters. Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox, Markakis had hit .318 in 145 games as the O’s leadoff hitter and was batting .410 in the first inning this season. But you already know how dominant

Orioles fans can win trip to World Series, cash prizes and more from the Maryland Lottery

The Maryland Lottery has released its first-ever Baltimore Orioles branded scratch-off, with 15 chances on each ticket to win cash prizes! There are more than $11.5 million in total cash prizes, and you have chances to grab the top prize of $60,000. However, the opportunities to win don’t end there. The Maryland Lottery is also giving baseball fans chances to snag some of the best

Opposite dugout: Blue Jays look to pad AL East lead in Baltimore

Manager: John Gibbons, second year Record: 39-28 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF Jose Bautista (.311/.434/.548, 15 HR, 45 RBIs); 1B Edwin Encarnacion (.261/.350/.582, 20 HR, 16 doubles, 53 RBIs); LHP Mark Buehrle (10-2, 2.04 ERA, 1.21 WHIP); RHP Drew Hutchison (4-4, 3.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 3-3, 35 runs scored, 29 runs allowed Pitching probables June 12: Mark Buehrle

Daniel Clark: O’s rotation set for change

As the Orioles continue to experience troubles on the mound, a series of injuries last week to both Johan Santana, who was nearing a comeback, and Miguel Gonzalez has thrown up a number of possibilities with the starting rotation going forward. Having been inconsistent all season, the planned addition of Santana was hoped to add an element of consistency and reliability to a shaky group

Jon Shepherd: When stats fail

One of the early thoughts that emerged through the primordial sabermetric movement was that the previous year’s numbers racked up at Triple-A was as meaningful as those earned at the major league level when trying to determine what would happen in the upcoming season. That matured into more refined ways to project performance, such as Clay Davenport’s Minor League Translations. That approach looks at park

Opposite dugout: Red Sox struggling to find form entering AL East matchup with O’s

Manager: John Farrell, second year Record: 28-34 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.259/.363/.491, 14 HR, 38 RBIs); SS Xander Bogaerts (.293/.384/.444, 23 XBH, 17 RBIs); RHP Jake Peavy (1-3, 4.72 ERA, 1.45 WHIP); RHP Rubby De La Rosa (1-1, 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 4-3, 31 runs scored, 29 runs allowed Pitching probables June 9: Jake Peavy

Andrew Stetka: Machado’s reputation on the line after rough weekend

It seems the so-called unwritten rules of baseball have been tested throughout this season. We’ve seen brawls between the Pirates and Brewers, Red Sox and Rays. and a few different incidents now involving the Orioles - most notably when Bud Norris threw inside on Boston’s David Ross. The latest stems from Manny Machado’s actions on Friday night, which boiled over into yesterday and led to

Machado, Jones, Markakis make progress in All-Star voting

The Orioles are moving on up. Well, some of them. In the most recent All-Star balloting figures, designated hitter Nelson Cruz (1,404,275 votes) and catcher Matt Wieters (1,235,369) still lead at their respective positions, but a couple of Orioles are moving up the board. After being fourth American League third baseman in the previously released results, Manny Machado has now moved up to third with

Matthew Taylor: Orioles baseball is a family tradition

My son hears J.J. Hardy’s name on the Orioles broadcast and he starts a chant: “J.J. Hardy ... clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.” He hears the familiar bugle music that long ago signaled the cavalry and he yells “Charge.” He visits my office and immediately wants to see the “baseball men,” meaning a Brian Matusz bobblehead and an Orioles garden gnome (It was a gift, OK? No

Opposite dugout: AL-leading A’s bring ace pitching staff, productive lineup to Baltimore

Manager: Bob Melvin, fourth year Record: 37-24 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Brandon Moss (.284/.372/.589, 15 HR, 49 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.280/.369/.542, 16 HR, 49 RBIs); RHP Sonny Gray (6-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP); LHP Scott Kazmir (6-2, 2.40 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2013): 2-5, 26 runs scored, 48 runs allowed Pitching probables June 6: Tommy Milone vs.

Zach Wilt: Markakis has taken nicely to leadoff role

How about that? The Orioles have won four straight, and have scored 27 runs and racked up 50 hits over that streak. As I type this post, MLB.com’s headline says the Orioles continued their “upswing in Texas” with their 6-5 victory on Wednesday. Upswing, huh? The O’s are definitely trending in the right direction and appear to be gaining a bit of momentum. Tonight, they

Daniel Clark: Where would O’s be without Cruz?

As the Orioles continue their inconsistent season, which between short-term winning and losing streaks has left them with a fragile record of 29-27, their most valuable player through 56 games continues to shine. Nelson Cruz was a late signing for the O’s, having only inked a deal in the last week of February. At the time, the one-year deal worth a reported $8 million was

Jon Shepherd: Nick Markakis is everything

Over the first third of this season, there has been considerable discussion about how well Nick Markakis has performed. Depending on your perspective, he has been doing poorly, has been a breath of fresh air or something in between. Amazingly, all of those stances are somewhat equal in being accurate. Markakis has been doing poorly, he has been excelling and he has been merely adequate.

Opposite dugout: Rangers, O’s set for series of reunions in Texas

Manager: Ron Washington, eighth year Record: 29-28 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: LF Shin-Soo Choo (.289/.414/.456, 6 HR, 18 RBIs); RF Alex Rios (.320/.352/.473, 22 XBH, 29 RBIs, 11 SB); 3B Adrian Beltre (.291/.354/.442, 5 HR, 20 RBIs); RHP Nick Martinez (1-1, 2.75 ERA) Season series vs. O’s (2013): 2-5, 25 runs scored, 32 runs allowed Pitching probables June 3: Joe Saunders vs.

All-Star voting: Cruz overtakes Ortiz, Wieters still leads at catcher

Nelson Cruz already tops the major leagues in home runs and RBIs. Now he leads in another category. Cruz, who has hit 20 homers and collected 52 RBIs this year, is now the American League leader among designated hitters in the most recent All-Star Game balloting results. Cruz jumped ahead of Boston’s David Ortiz in the latest figures after setting an Orioles record for the

Andrew Stetka: O’s window doesn’t have to close

There’s been much made of a so-called window the Orioles are playing with over the next two seasons. Many believe the club’s best chance to compete is when Chris Davis and Matt Wieters are under contract. Additions like Nelson Cruz for this season enhance that thought, and having a lack of superior competition in the American League East makes eyes widen even larger. The problem

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