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Matt Kremnitzer: Can the Orioles rotation hold up?

The offseason addition of Ubaldo Jimenez was supposed to bolster a decent group of Orioles starting pitchers that included Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez (along with Kevin Gausman waiting in the wings). Instead, Jimenez was terrible and was eventually demoted to the bullpen, Gausman joined the rotation full-time and every non-Jimenez starter finished the season with an ERA of 3.65 or

Andrew Stetka: Preparing for the postseason

It’s obvious that Buck Showalter has done an admirable job in leading the Orioles since 2010 when he took over for Juan Samuel and Dave Trembely before him. Showalter has led the Birds to two postseason berths now and the team heads into this year’s playoffs as a division champion for the first time since 1997. There’s one thing that could tell you just how

Orioles set to host nearly 1,400 at-risk children for first two games of ALDS

With postseason baseball on the horizon, diehard Orioles fans are gearing up to watch the Birds host the first two games of the American League Division Series. Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be flooded with orange and black, and among the many fans will be nearly 1,400 at-risk children watching the games from Sections 96 and 98! The Orioles are inviting the children to

Matthew Taylor: Postseason moments aren’t always savored

When you think of great postseason moments, which ones come to mind? Chances are there are a fair number of home runs in the mix. Carlton Fisk. Kirk Gibson. Kirby Puckett. Joe Carter. David Freese. Playoff home runs are tailor-made for highlight reels. They tell quick, dramatic stories that often come to define a game and even a series. As the Orioles approach the 2014

Opposite dugout: High-scoring Blue Jays look to keep O’s from AL’s best record

Manager: John Gibbons, second year Record: 81-78 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: RF Jose Bautista (.290/.409/.534, 27 doubles, 35 HR, 103 RBIs, 101 R); 1B Edwin Encarnacion (.269/.357/.555, 27 doubles, 34 HR, 98 RBIs); RHP R.A. Dickey (14-12, 3.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP); LHP J.A. Happ (10-11, 4.27 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 6-10, 62 runs scored, 69 runs allowed Pitching probables

Musicians Margaret Valentine and Eric Hutchinson celebrate Orioles with exciting New York City performance

Listen to songs like “Catfish” by Bob Dylan or the “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers and one thing is obvious: Baseball and music are better together. While in different fields, baseball players are often compared to musicians and called “rock stars.” Although they have completely different jobs, both know how to thrill a crowd, unite a city and get people cheering. Oh yeah, and they

Zach Wilt: Comparing Nelson Cruz to Frank Robinson

Nelson Cruz’s career year couldn’t have come at a better time. The Orioles slugger will likely finish the season with the Major League lead in home runs, assuming Jose Abreu doesn’t go on an absolute tear. He currently sits at 40 homers, seven more than his previous career-high in 2009 and his 108 RBIs are also more than he’s ever driven in, he finished with

Daniel Clark: Selecting the 25 to continue the journey

As the 2014 regular season nears its completion, the focus for the Orioles now shifts to the playoffs and with that, decisions need to be made on what the American League Division Series roster will look like. Despite the injuries and suspensions sustained throughout the season, the Orioles have managed to find adequate replacements throughout the journey, helping to ensure the winning ways have been

Jon Shepherd: Voices in the stands

In 2007, I was where you are. I voraciously read about the Orioles and participated on message boards. My thoughts and discussions about baseball were largely limited to reacting to written pieces or the dizzying pace at the old Baltimore Sun Orioles forum. Perhaps different from you, I was becoming more and more a message board hero armed with a set of sabermetric concepts, but

Hungry puppy almost makes a meal out of O’s playoff tickets

Like many Orioles fans, Karl Breslaw had today’s date circled on his calendar. He was awaiting the delivery of his postseason tickets, coveted ducats that would allow him to view his beloved Birds in the American League Division Series, maybe the American League Championship Series and, hopefully, their first World Series since 1983. There’s only one problem: Breslaw briefly ignored the sound of the package

Andrew Stetka: Sizing up the O’s potential playoff foes

In just over a week, the Orioles will dive into the postseason for the second time in three years. In 2012 there was a happy-to-be-here mindset, maybe not with the team, but definitely with the fan base. Things are different this time. There is an expectation. There won’t be a one-game wild card playoff for the O’s. They are guaranteed a five-game series in the

Opposite dugout: Yankees desperate for wins as Jeter plays final series in New York

Manager: Joe Girardi, seventh year Record: 80-75 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: SS Derek Jeter (.255/.303/.311, 22 extra-base hits, 43 RBIs); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.271/.328/.419, 27 doubles, 16 HR, 70 RBIs, 39 SB); RHP Michael Pineda (3-5, 2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP); RHP Brandon McCarthy (7-4, 2.54 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 4-11, 37 runs scored, 72 runs allowed Pitching probables Sept.

Opposite dugout: Struggling Red Sox meet O’s for last time this season

Manager: John Farrell, second year Record: 66-87 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.261/.355/.504, 27 doubles, 32 HR, 99 RBIs); LF Yoenis Cespedes (.257/.300/.451, 35 doubles, 21 HR, 95 RBIs, 84 R); RHP Rubby De La Rosa (5-7, 4.31 ERA, 1.47 WHIP); RHP Joe Kelly (4-4, 4.28 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 6-10, 52 runs scored, 73 runs allowed

Matthew Taylor: Seeing players as human beings

The appeal of sports is built on emotion, and the past week has delivered plenty of it for Orioles fans. The highs and the lows have served to humanize the players for whom we cheer and have reminded me of how limited my perspective on them actually is. If there’s a common thread for me between the elation provided by the O’s clinching their first

Looking back at the O’s celebration Tuesday

The Orioles had a celebration for the books Tuesday. By taking down the Blue Jays in front of a roaring crowd of 35,257 fans, the O’s clinched the American League East for the first time since 1997. The party began in the first inning on Steve Pearce’s huge three-run homer, and then there was no turning back. Tommy Hunter got Ryan Goins to ground

O’s music video pledge: “We Won’t Stop”

Ever since its debut on the Diamond Vision scoreboard at Camden Yards on Friday, we’ve gotten a lot of requests for the “We Won’t Stop” music video, the Orioles’ thank you to their faithful fans that also serves as the team’s anthem heading into the postseason. You’ve asked repeatedly for it. On Twitter. In the comments sections of our blogs. During our Facebook chats. During

Zach Wilt: Enjoying the DMV baseball renaissance

I’ve spent most of the last 24 hours wondering if Tuesday night actually happened and have been quietly humming “We Won’t Stop” to myself over and over. It’s a catchy tune. After watching highlights on MLB.com and listening to the interviews here on MASNsports.com, I can confirm that it really wasn’t a dream, Baltimore. The Orioles are American League East champions. Yes, that crazy night

Daniel Clark: AL East champion Orioles overcome doubters and adversity

The Orioles are the 2014 American League East champions - it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? As I sit here writing - some 10,201 miles away from the wild scenes of celebration last night at Camden Yards - I can’t help but think how appropriate the following quote is with respect to the Orioles’ 2014 season, a season that has seen the

Jon Shepherd: Responsibly addressing baseball’s drug problem

Last week, an emotionally charged issue came back full-speed as the Orioles were calmly tying up the American League East. Chris Davis was suspended for 25 games for using an amphetamine without a doctor’s note. The amphetamine in question, Adderall, is a fairly common one used to treat individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A little over 10 percent of major league players use the

Andrew Stetka: Orioles on the verge of something magic

As long as you haven’t been living under a rock over the past week or so, you’d know that it was a pretty awful week in sports. Stories of off-the-field issues and injuries polluted the news landscape and made us all feel pretty down. Most of this horrible news was confined to the NFL, but some leaked its way into baseball, including Marlins star Giancarlo

Opposite dugout: Blue Jays look to stay alive in AL East race

Manager: John Gibbons, second year Record: 77-71 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF Jose Bautista (.285/.399/.523, 26 doubles, 32 HR, 97 RBIs, 88 R); 1B Edwin Encarnacion (.262/.351/.555, 25 doubles, 32 HR, 85 RBIs); RHP Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP); RHP Drew Hutchison (10-11, 4.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 6-7, 57 runs scored, 50 runs allowed Pitching probables

Opposite dugout: Yankees have eyes on wild card as Jeter plays last series at Camden Yards

Manager: Joe Girardi, seventh year Record: 75-69 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: LF Brett Gardner (.269/.342/.442, 22 doubles, 8 triples, 16 HR, 56 RBIs, 81 R, 19 SB); CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.278/.338/.429, 26 doubles, 15 HR, 67 RBIs, 38 SB); RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-4, 2.79 ERA, 1.18 WHIP); RHP Shane Greene (4-3, 3.57 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 3-8, 31 runs

Matthew Taylor: Showalter has changed his own script in Baltimore

The Orioles haven’t been doing much according to script since Buck Showalter arrived in town. Now, amid the euphoria of three consecutive winning seasons and what’s turning into a runaway division title, the team’s first since 1997, it’s worth noting that Showalter himself is off script. He was supposed to have worn out his welcome by now; instead, his team is having its best year

Horse named after Markakis triumphs at Laurel Park

We all know Nick Markakis has some kind of glove. What about yesterday’s diving grab at Fenway Park that kept Wei-Yin Chen’s perfect game intact, or the game-saving grab at the wall at U.S. Cellular Field last month? Yep, Markakis can flash the leather. But Markakis also has some pretty impressive closing speed. What’s that? You say Markakis has only stolen four bases this season,

Zach Wilt: Dominance of Red Sox erases memories of flops in Fenway

I don’t have the greatest of memories, but I vividly remember exactly what I did on June 30, 2009. It was another difficult season for my beloved Orioles, who were already seven games under .500 and losing 9-1 to the Boston Red Sox when a rain delay paused the game in the top of the fifth inning. My girlfriend, now wife, convinced me to stop

Daniel Clark: Untimely errors may cost Orioles AL’s top seed

Holding onto a 10-game division lead with a postseason berth looking more likely each day, the focus for many Orioles fans is now shifting toward whether or not their team can claim the American League’s No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs. Currently, the Angels hold possession of this, four games ahead of the 85-59 Orioles. While there are many variables within each game that

Jon Shepherd: Does Chris Tillman qualify as an ace?

Should we now be referring to Chris Tillman as an ace? Well, it depends on what you mean. In the past, I have found that the most contentious part of the discussion is trying to define what it means to be an ace. Some like to think an ace is the best pitcher on a team, but that definition has some trouble. For example, think

Opposite dugout: Overhauled Red Sox playing better ball with skid behind them

Manager: John Farrell, second year Record: 63-80 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: DH David Ortiz (.263/.359/.515, 25 doubles, 32 HR, 98 RBIs); LF Yoenis Cespedes (.263/.303/.464, 34 doubles, 21 HR, 94 RBIs, 82 R); CF Mookie Betts (.287/.354/.470, 33 G, 7 doubles, 4 HR, 11 RBIs, 20 R, 5 SB); RHP Joe Kelly (3-3, 4.13 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 6-7,

Andrew Stetka: Will homers help O’s sink or swim?

We’ve all heard the saying “chicks dig the longball,” and if that’s the case, the Orioles must have a ton of female fans. Frankly, I think guys dig the longball just as much. It’s exciting, and we men enjoy excitement, too. The Orioles have finished in baseball’s top five in home runs every year since 2011. They led MLB last season with 212 bombs and

Matthew Taylor: Savoring the main course, and maybe O’s just desserts

What is the proper recompense that Orioles fans deserve for enduring 14 consecutive seasons of losing baseball? The honest answer is nothing. If you’re a longtime sports fan, you know the hard truth is that the game doesn’t owe us as fans anything. The joys are few, the frustrations many. Nevertheless, I cling to my sometimes naive belief that loyalty will be rewarded in time.

Opposite dugout: Rays’ struggling bats wasting plenty of good pitching

Manager: Joe Maddon, ninth year Record: 67-74 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: 3B Evan Longoria (.255/.325/.397, 22 doubles, 18 HR, 81 RBIs); 2B Ben Zobrist (.273/.357/.404, 31 doubles, 9 HR, 44 RBIs, 74 R); RHP Alex Cobb (9-7, 2.98 ERA, 1.17 WHIP); LHP Drew Smyly (9-10, 3.31 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s: 5-11, 51 runs scored, 71 runs allowed Pitching probables

Zach Wilt: Happily eating crow on preseason prediction about Schoop

Every once in a while, I make awesomely accurate predictions. Back in June, I boldly (and annoyingly) proclaimed to everyone I know that “Guardians of the Galaxy” would be the best movie of the summer. It’s grossed nearly $300 million at the box office, partially due to the fact that I’ve seen it three times and would gladly go again if I could just convince

Daniel Clark: As magic number shrinks, confidence grows

As each week passes by, I can’t help but feel increasingly excited and more confident about what awaits this magical Orioles team. As is so often the case when your team has held a division lead for a significant period of time, the pessimist inside can’t help but worry that they could slip up down the stretch and allow the unthinkable to occur. At the

#IChallengeAJ: Take on Jones in burger-building Fan Challenge, presented by CareFirst (updated)

If you follow Orioles center fielder Adam Jones on Twitter or watch his postgame interviews, you’ve probably seen or heard his famous “Stay Hungry” slogan. While known for his stellar play on the field, when you hear “Adam Jones,” you also think of his love of food. He even created his own signature burger, the @SimplyAJ10 at The Abbey Burger Bistro in Baltimore. Check

Jon Shepherd: It will take history for the O’s to lose the AL East

When it comes to data scientists trying to mainstream the thoughts they have, there can be some misunderstandings. A major topic is how exactly to treat uncertainty or a relatively minimal probability. Three years ago, the Boston Red Sox led a journey starting on Sept. 3 when they reached a 99.6 percent chance of making the playoffs when Carl Crawford mashed a home run and

Opposite dugout: Reds in process of halting second-half spiral as they arrive in Baltimore

Manager: Bryan Price, first year Record: 66-71 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: C Devin Mesoraco (.280/.361/.531, 21 doubles, 20 HR, 65 RBIs); 3B Todd Frazier (.278/.340/.456, 20 doubles, 23 HR, 70 RBIs, 73 R, 19 SB); RHP Mat Latos (5-3, 3.15 ERA, 1.08 WHIP); RHP Mike Leake (10-11, 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2013): Did not play Pitching probables Sept.

Andrew Stetka: Appreciating what we’re seeing with the Orioles

We’ve finally reached that point in the season. It’s the first day of September and there’s only four more weeks of regular season baseball left. It’s been a long road to get to this point and the finish line is in sight. Baseball players, managers and coaches all view the season as a marathon. The fans hanging on to every pitch during the season mostly

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