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Zach Wilt: Outside gates, hearty fans locked out but not down

You’ll never hear a louder bat crack or be able to listen in as Adam Jones calls off Alejandro De Aza on a fly ball hit to left-center field like you were able to on Wednesday afternoon outside Camden Yards. The Orioles’ matchup against the White Sox - which took 2 hours, 3 minutes - was one for the record books featuring a crowd of

Sights and sounds from empty Camden Yards

On Wednesday afternoon, the Orioles made history by playing a ballgame closed to the public. The decision was made in response to the Baltimore riots. The show must go on. The Birds beat the White Sox 8-2 in front of an empty stadium. It’s the first time there have been zero fans in attendance for a Major League Baseball game. Check out all behind-the-scenes looks

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Let’s hit the books with one of this country’s most influential writers on matters of race relations in the United States - James Baldwin. “If Beale Street Could Talk” was written in 1974, but it could have been written today, and we would recognize the story as one of current events. A young black man is wrongly charged with rape and the story of his

Domenic Vadala: Orioles in position to help Baltimore heal

Let me preface this by saying that in no way am I comparing what’s happened in Baltimore the past few days to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, or any other situation. I’m just not qualified to say which situation is worse or anything along those lines. What I can say is that both were community issues at their grass roots. In the wake of

Matt Kremnitzer: Some valid concerns about Orioles pitching

Some things are more important than baseball. Actually, lots of things are more important than baseball. But baseball is what we’re here to discuss, though it’s worth noting the O’s situation at home this week is up in the air. So while hoping for the best in Baltimore, let’s get to it. At 9-10, the Orioles are treading water in a division full of teams

Opposite dugout: Free-spending White Sox dodge rotation issues with appeals

Manager: Robin Ventura (4th season) Record: 8-9 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Jose Abreu (.313/.370/.642 with 5 HR, 14 RBIs, DH Adam LaRoche (.210, 3HR, 9 RBIs), LHP Chris Sale (2-0, 2.37 ERA, 16 Ks), LHP Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 3.33 ERA, 17 Ks), RHP David Robertson (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (1-5 in 2014) Pitching probables:

Andrew Stetka: After tumultuous weekend, a sense of civic pride for hometown

It was a weird weekend in Baltimore. The Orioles lost the first of a crucial three-game series with the Red Sox before bouncing back to win the next two and take the series. It all came amid a cloud of turmoil surrounding the city. We talk baseball here, but it’s important to recognize when bigger things are going on and impacting others. I was fortunate

Opposite dugout: Red Sox tied for division lead, but offense and pitching not in sync

Manager: John Farrell (4th season) Record: 9-7 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Dustin Pedrioa (.254/.324/.492 with 4 HR, 9 RBIs), LF Hanley Ramirez (.263/.326/.528 with 5 HR, 12 RBIs), SS Xander Bogaerts (.302 with 8 RBIs), RHP Justin Masterson (2-0, 5.74 ERA), RHP Koji Uehara (1-0, 2 saves, 0.00 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: 2-2 Pitching probables: April 24: RHP Rick Porcello

Matthew Taylor: Revisiting a date ripe with significance

Thursday night’s Orioles game, a 7-6 loss to Toronto that extended the team’s losing streak to four games, isn’t much worth remembering. April 23 didn’t turn out so well for the O’s in 2015, so let’s look back to a more memorable game that fell on the same date. Today’s guest post revisits the Orioles’ 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on April 23, 1969.

Zach Wilt: Still early in the marathon that is 162 games

The Orioles have dropped three straight and fallen below .500 at 7-8 after Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss in Toronto. They’re 1-3 against the Blue Jays this season and 2-4 on their current road trip with Chris Tillman going tonight in the finale. The Birds have been outscored 24-9 during their current three-game skid and have committed eight errors over their last five contests. O’s starters

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Return of George Washington”

There is a time in U.S. history that we generally take for granted, if we think of it at all. This nation defines its early history through the Revolutionary War and the goings on in Philadelphia in 1776. Despite that history, the United States almost wasn’t. In 1787, when the constitutional convention met, the very idea of united states was in issue. Rather than rework

Domenic Vadala: Ol’ blue needs more common sense, better grasp of unwritten rules

We all saw what occurred with Ubaldo Jimenez on Friday night in Boston. I’ll be very honest - my initial thought was that I didn’t recall the last time (if ever) I had seen a pitcher thrown out of a game totally cold. No warning, no history of trouble, nothing. When the reports of the hard slide at second base started circulating, my personal opinion

Opposite dugout: Inconsistent offense, iffy pitching drop Blue Jays below .500

Manager: John Gibbons, third year Record: 6-7 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Devon Travis (.356/.408/.644, 4 doubles, 3 HR, 12 RBIs, 9 R); 3B Josh Donaldson (.314/.368/.549, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 10 R); LHP Mark Buehrle (2-0, 3.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP); RHP Roberto Osuna (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.750 WHIP, 8 IP) Season series vs. O’s: 2-1, 23 runs scored, 19

Matt Kremnitzer: Britton working toward dominance

In his first full year exclusively as a reliever in 2014, Zach Britton provided the Orioles with nearly everything they could have asked for. After Tommy Hunter flamed out as the team’s closer (and was placed on the disabled list in late May), Britton seized control of the closer’s role and never looked back. He posted a 1.65 ERA (and 3.13 FIP) in 76 1/3

Andrew Stetka: Sink or swim for Kevin Gausman

There were a ton of very important storylines entering the season for the Orioles, and two weeks in, not a whole lot has been solved or changed. The biggest one in my mind was the rotation, but it has quite a few tentacles to it. The first is how the overall performance of the unit will compare to last year, which I think many can

Opposite dugout: Red Sox look to stay hot at plate, get rotation on track with O’s in town

Manager: John Farrell, third year Record: 6-3 Last 10 games: 6-3 Who to watch: LF Hanley Ramirez (.278/.341/.611, 4 HR, 9 RBIs); 2B Dustin Pedroia (.300/.383/.575, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 6 RBIs); RHP Joe Kelly (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.429 WHIP); RHP Rick Porcello (1-1, 3.86 ERA, 0.929 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2014): 8-11, 62 runs scored, 85 runs allowed Pitching probablesApril 17: RHP Joe

Matthew Taylor: On 40th birthday, a surprise return to innocence

I celebrated my birthday in the Frank Robinson Suite at Camden Yards last weekend. It was an atypical setting for my family - you usually need binoculars to locate us in the upper reaches of the stadium - but this was a milestone occasion. I’m not afraid to tell you that I turned 40 this month. In baseball terms, I’d be in the twilight of

Zach Wilt: Free swinging serves Jones well in sizzling homestand

When I sat on my couch last Wednesday to write my first piece of the season for MASNsports.com, Adam Jones had just one hit in his first 11 at-bats of the season. He was slashing a cool .091/.167/.182. So I instead focused my attention on Alejandro De Aza and the top of the order. In baseball, a lot can change in a week. The Orioles

Casey Cares Foundation teaming up with OriolesREACH for sixth annual Casey Cares 5K

Lace up your running shoes, don’t forget to stretch and get ready to help a great cause on Saturday, Aug. 1. For the sixth straight year, the Casey Cares 5K, sponsored by MASN and CBS Radio, will take place at Camden Yards in partnership with OriolesREACH. Although the event is still a few months away, registration is already open. Proceeds of the event benefit the

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die”

Quite simply, “100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” is a must-read for Orioles fans and for those who just love good baseball stories. This is part of a series of books on sports teams by writers from various major league cities. Connolly, the national baseball writer and Orioles reporter for The Baltimore Sun, seeks to recap the history of the

Domenic Vadala: What’s more important, spending or spending wisely?

We can’t lend too much analysis to the first week-plus of games in the major leagues, given the fact that it’s the first week. The fact that the 2014 Orioles started 1-4 should remind us of that. Furthermore, keep in mind that the 2014 O’s hovered around a few games of .500 for the first two months or so of last season. And we all

Matt Kremnitzer: Should fans be concerned about the Webb trade?

Last week, the Orioles were finally able to deal Ryan Webb, shipping him to the Dodgers along with catcher Brian Ward and the team’s competitive balance draft pick (No. 74 overall) in exchange for right-handed reliever Ben Rowen and catcher Chris O’Brien. The Dodgers agreed to pick up the tab on the rest of Webb’s $2.75 million contract, and then yesterday, they released him. The

Opposite dugout: Yankees hope rotation can catch up to solid bats, bullpen

Manager: Joe Girardi, eighth year Record: 2-4 Last 10 games: 2-4 Who to watch: DH Alex Rodriguez (.300/.417/.550, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBIs); 1B Mark Teixeira (.222/.375/.611, 2 HR, 3 RBIs); RHP Michael Pineda (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.167 WHIP); LHP CC Sabathia (0-1, 6.35 ERA, 1.412 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2014): 6-13, 57 runs scored, 91 runs allowed Pitching probables April 13: RHP

Andrew Stetka: Reflecting on Ubaldo Jimenez’s strong start

The strongest start of the first five games of the season by an Orioles starter was turned in by the most unlikely of sources. Ubaldo Jimenez tossed an absolute gem of a game on Saturday night in a 7-1 win over the Blue Jays. He gave the Orioles everything they wanted. It’s exactly the kind of performance they expected when they signed him to a

Opposite dugout: Blue Jays bring mix of potent bats, solid pitching to first meeting with O’s

Manager: John Gibbons, third year Record: 2-1 Last 10 games: 2-1 Who to watch: DH Edwin Encarnacion (.417/.417/.917, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 R); 3B Josh Donaldson (.182/.250/.182, 0 HR, 0 RBIs); LHP Mark Buehrle (13-10, 3.39 ERA, 1.356 WHIP in 2014); RHP Drew Hutchison (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.833 WHIP in 2014) Season series vs. O’s (2014): 8-11, 70 runs scored, 74 runs allowed Pitching

Matthew Taylor: The Blue Jays weren’t always a familiar opponent in Baltimore

The Orioles welcome a familiar opponent to Camden Yards for opening day. This will be the first of 19 games the O’s play against the division-rival Toronto Blue Jays, who are looking to break the longest playoff drought in the majors at 21 seasons. Whether it’s the Dan Duquette saga from this past offseason, the “Cito Sucks” memories from the 1993 All-Star Game in Baltimore,

Zach Wilt: Early returns on De Aza as leadoff hitter are promising

The 1972 Dolphins can breathe easy. The Orioles aren’t going 162-0. A 161-1 record still is a possibility, however. In case you are curious, that would be a .994 winning percentage. After three games, the O’s are on pace to finish 108-54 and, as you’d expect, that would win the American League East. Travis Snider is on pace for 216 hits, while Steve Pearce will

Although Birds fly north, club maintains year-round presence in Sarasota

The regular season has begun, meaning the Orioles have made their way out of their spring home in sunny Sarasota. While the players are leaving Florida, the club will continue to have a very strong presence at Ed Smith Stadium, the spring home of the Orioles, and beyond the gates. The O’s impact began in the seats. Many fans were able to escape the

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Bank Shot”

In case this is the first time you’ve found our blog, welcome! Once a week, we take a look at a book that is a favorite of mine that helps eat up all that baseball travel time. The Enoch Pratt Free Library lends us a hand with recommendations from their staff, we note others sites that offer suggestions and, thanks to you, we have recommendations

Domenic Vadala: Fondly recalling my earliest baseball memories

Greetings, O’s fans, and welcome back to another season of Orioles baseball! On behalf Birds Watcher, I’d like to thank you, the readers, as well as the powers that be at MASNsports.com, for having me back as a guest blogger this year. Baseball is unlike any other sport in that opening day is a massive celebration, and that party welcoming the sport back to the

MLB encouraging fans to showcase must-see moments with THIS campaign

Orioles fans will never forget THIS moment of the American League Division Series: In Game 2, pinch-hitter Delmon Young strolled to the plate in front of a national stage. The bases were loaded with one out in the eighth inning, and the O’s trailed the Tigers 6-4. Then, on the first pitch he saw, Young smacked a three-run, go-ahead double to give the O’s a

Matt Kremnitzer: On Orioles roster, expect the unexpected

You already know the Orioles will need help from familiar names like Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis after Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis departed via free agency. National writers and reporters repeated that line of thinking often during the preseason, and it isn’t wrong. But things rarely go as expected, and the Orioles are likely going to need more than that over the

Opposite dugout: New era begins for dinged-up Rays against O’s

Manager: Kevin Cash, first year 2014 record: 77-85 Who to watch (2014 stats): 3B Evan Longoria (.253/.320/.404, 22 HR, 91 RBIs); 1B James Loney (.290/.336/.380, 36 XBH, 69 RBIs); OF Kevin Kiermaier (.263/.315/.450, 10 HR, 35 RBIs); RHP Chris Archer (10-9, 3.33 ERA, 1.279 WHIP) Season series vs. O’s (2014): 7-12, 62 runs scored, 80 runs allowed Pitching probables April 6: RHP Chris Archer vs.

Andrew Stetka: Defending the AL East crown

“It’s opening day!” and “Play ball!” are some of the most beautiful words in sports, especially for baseball fans. The day is finally upon us. All 30 teams, including the Orioles, have the hope of a new season where anything can happen. For the O’s, this comes with something they haven’t experienced since the Clinton presidency - trying to repeat as division champions. If you

O’s St. Patrick’s Day cap auction raises lots of green for Sarasota’s Selby Gardens

Remember those special caps the Orioles wore for their St. Patrick’s Day exhibition game against the Twins? Turns out the wearing ‘o the lids raised a lot of green for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. The specially designed caps donned by O’s coaches and players were auctioned off, raising more than $7,900 for Selby Gardens as part of “Go Green Day” presented by

Throwback Thursday: Claiming the first division title since 1997

In four days, the Orioles will be defending their division title. Before they take the field, we’re throwin’ it back to the moment they clinched their first American League East championship in 17 years. Relive the madness from the Clinchmas celebration in the video below.

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Kid”

There will be books written about baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams for as long as the printing presses roll. Williams provided a lot of material in a life filled with his baseball superstar status, turbulent private life, running quarrels with the Boston baseball press and cryogenic ending. In “The Kid,” Ben Bradlee Jr. left none of that life untouched in this can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page read. Check

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