Entries Listing

Remembering Eric Davis’ comeback from colon cancer

Trey Mancini is finding strength during his health crisis from family, friends and teammates who keep offering their love and support. Who have been propping him up without violating orders for social distancing. His girlfriend, Sara, held his hand as the doctor in Baltimore passed along the diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer. “Squeezing it, actually,” he wrote in The Players’ Tribune. Inspiration also comes

Mancini: “I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be back playing baseball”

The symptoms and signs began as a curiosity and evolved into concern. Trey Mancini would become fatigued while performing drills in spring training, having to push himself through them. He tried to dismiss it as a product of growing older. He braced for news that he was experiencing something far less serious than colon cancer - a diagnosis that rocked the entire Orioles organization and

Remembering the no-fans game five years later

The Orioles enter another day with no baseball on the agenda. No clue if or when there’s going to be a second spring training and season with an assortment of changes applied to it. Five years ago today, they played a game with no fans at Camden Yards. An oddity that was disturbing on another level. There were a couple of humorous moments, which we

Mancini writes about undergoing chemotherapy

If the 2020 baseball season unfolds later this summer, Trey Mancini doesn’t expect to be part of it. Making his first comments beyond a tweet since his surgery on March 12 to remove a malignant tumor from his colon, Mancini confirmed that he’s been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since April 13 that will last for six months. “If baseball returns in 2020, it will probably be

Taking the latest Orioles quiz during the shutdown

If you sense that I’m giving you a quizzical look this morning, well, scroll down for verification. Or maybe the headline gave it away. This is the latest coronavirus edition. We could use the distraction and a few smiles. Extra credit awarded for expanding on “none of the above” by making a prediction. The season is going to start: A. In June B. In July

Recalling where Orioles played one year ago and bullpen woes

At the risk of rubbing salt into an open wound caused by the sports shutdown, the Orioles are supposed to be playing the Royals tonight to begin a four-game series at Camden Yards. I would have spent the following weekend in Chicago for the three-game set against the White Sox, as the season rolled merrily along. A year ago today, the Orioles were in the

LeBlanc on life at home without baseball

Wade LeBlanc expected to be pitching for a new team this season rather than becoming a stay-at-home dad. He was waiting to be placed on the 40-man roster, bypassing the opt-out date last month in his contract. But he retains status as an invitee to spring training despite the camp’s closure and a sports shutdown with no known date to reopen. I’ve found it interesting

More myths, misconceptions about some Orioles players

Another weekend is passing without sports, unless we’re counting the NFL draft. I’m on the clock again, challenging myself to come up a few more Orioles who were misunderstood or unfairly labeled. Who didn’t completely earn their reputations. For example: * Albert Belle wasn’t always a menace to the media and actually was a popular teammate. Let’s start with the second part. I’m not saying

LeBlanc: “I just want to play ball”

A world that no longer simulates normalcy during the coronavirus pandemic keeps tossing pitcher Wade LeBlanc in directions he couldn’t imagine. From a professional standpoint, he settled for a minor league deal with the Orioles on Feb. 3 after the Mariners declined his $5 million option. He made $2.5 million in 2019 and is supposed to earn $800,000 this summer if he’s on the club.

Myths, misconceptions about some former Orioles players

As various cable networks keep reheating old broadcasts to satisfy the need for sports, I’m certain that the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will skip the night of Aug. 14, 1997. Unless fans want to wait through a 2 hour, 25 minute delay while sitting at home. For a game that wasn’t played. Then again, it could be part of a tribute package for Cal Ripken Jr.

Trade deadline status and other lingering questions

If questions about the 2020 baseball season could be used as currency, I’d be able to afford all the toilet paper in the land. I’d also make donations to the Maryland Food Bank and assorted charities, but there would be lots and lots of toilet paper. I’m wondering exactly how a late start is going to impact the trade deadline. Does it still exist? Does

A few Orioles questions that can’t be answered

If the baseball season begins in its altered state, and in whichever states are deemed acceptable for hosting teams, we’re still going to be left wondering what would have happened under the usual circumstances. It’s impossible to simulate normal with spring training shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic and months lost past the anticipated opening day. For example, no matter how

Three more Orioles enter the closer conversation

In yesterday’s article that mentioned some of the top Orioles closers since the franchise’s move from St. Louis, I omitted a guy who saved 24 games in 1978 and 21 more in 1979 while making his only All-Star team. He also made Earl Weaver smoke as if the future Hall of Fame manager was electing a pope. Don Stanhouse registered a 2.89 ERA in ‘78,

Closing in on Orioles bullpen bests and blunders

With so much uncertainty engulfing the 2020 season and the world-wide impact of the coronavirus pandemic reducing the importance of playing baseball to microscopic proportions, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde isn’t whittling away the hours at home wondering about his closer situation. Mychal Givens counts as the incumbent, though he worked the seventh or eighth innings in his last five appearances. Hunter Harvey seems to be

The last K.C. trip, Roenicke’s roll, Mathews’ quote

The work put toward booking travel and hotels for the 2020 baseball season slipped into reverse. The coronavirus pandemic kept the media at home. I would have taken a train to New York for the four-game series earlier this month. I’m supposed to be in Kansas City this weekend for my first visit since the 2014 American League Championship Series. I’m not a huge barbeque

Memories of Mike Mussina as MASN airs more Orioles moments

The classic coverage yesterday on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network included Game 1 of the 1997 American League Division Series between the Orioles and Mariners. A wire-to-wire team staying on its roll, and in unfriendly territory. Delmon Young’s three-run double in the 2014 Division Series created the loudest moment at Camden Yards, but the ‘97 playoff game at the Kingdome, with 59,579 fans cranking up the

Memories of Melvin Mora as MASN airs more Orioles moments

The sports shutdown is depriving us of live broadcasts - arm wrestling, for instance, is impossible at a six-foot distance - and networks are digging into their vaults for classic games to feed starving fans. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network keeps airing Orioles wins from as far back as the 1970 World Series. You can count on an exciting finish rather than heartache. Nerves won’t be

Another series for Orioles that wasn’t played

The Orioles would have been finishing a two-game series against the Cubs tonight at Camden Yards if not for the pandemic and slamming of brakes on the baseball season. A screeching halt before it actually got started. Manager Brandon Hyde would have been able to reminisce about his years in the Cubs organization and visit with friends. No social distancing to keep them apart. The

Elias on importance of draft preparation while unsure of length

The Orioles are stuck in a sports holding pattern during the coronavirus pandemic, unable to play games but staying busy on other fronts. Only the rosters are frozen. Not the members of the organization. Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias pointed out in yesterday’s Zoom video conference with local media that the Orioles are prepping for the First-Year Player Draft while unsure of the total

Elias on Mancini, draft preparations and more

Mike Elias is preparing as if the 2020 season will begin at some point over the summer. He’s preparing as if the First-Year Player Draft will last 40 rounds. He’s proceeding as if baseball life will get back to normal while fully aware that it might stay on hold. There might not be a season. The draft might consist of only five rounds. The club’s

Sports memories and many meals made by a loving mother

I returned home from spring training 10 days early because of the coronavirus pandemic. I haven’t seen my daughter or been able to hug her since I left for Sarasota, with news that I’m going to be a grandfather. And I haven’t seen my mother and can’t celebrate her 80th birthday today beyond another phone call and promises that we’ll be together again. I’ve written

This, that and the other

Part of my spring training routine that disappeared after March 11 was receiving and passing along the list of Orioles extras brought over from the minor league complex. Some high draft picks and some minor league free agents. Pitcher Isaac Mattson fell into a different category. The Orioles didn’t draft or sign him. They acquired him from the Angels as part of the four-pitcher package

Memorabilia and memorable moments

The absence of games during the sports shutdown has made it necessary for me to tap into my many years on the Orioles beat and my memories as a kid rooting for the team to keep the blog humming. There are only so many roster decisions and stalled competitions to dissect. Only so much speculation about the 2020 season to rekindle and douse. Let’s find

Some unforgettable moments covering the Orioles in New York

A regular season allowed to play out as intended would have brought the Orioles back home tonight after a four-game series in the Bronx. Gary Sánchez probably would have hit five or six home runs. And Gleyber Torres would have said, “Hold my protein shake.” The Orioles were supposed to host the Pirates in a three-game weekend series and we could have rehashed the 1971

Because You Asked - The Island of Lost Dreams

I’m wearing rubber gloves today while sorting through my mailbag. All of my clothes are made out of Glad trash bags. Safety first. Don’t use the scented brand. They’ll give you a headache. I’d keep a six-foot distance from the mail, but my vision is pretty bad. Also, my arms wouldn’t reach it. You know what’s also a reach? Trying to convince anyone that there’s

Leftovers from Ripken Q&A

The Orioles intend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game. Their promotional schedule includes the distribution of bobbleheads on Sept. 6, and other plans to honor him were under discussion prior to the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The schedule was released in early February. So much has changed. ESPN aired 2,131 last night and Ripken watched it

Ripken on Twitter, Strike Out Hunger campaign and more

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. has been intrigued with the idea of opening a Twitter account. He just needed a reason to do it beyond the interaction with fans, something he did tirelessly in person during a 21-year major league career. Most notably in 1995 as he closed in on Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played. Ripken found his excuse and, as

Remembering Orioles who started strong and didn’t sustain

My mind keeps spinning back to past Orioles teams that I’ve covered as an adult or watched as a kid. Anything to limit my screen time during this shutdown. Let me pose a question this morning while we resist the urge to panic shop. (Don’t be that person. You don’t need 12 dozen eggs and all the toilet paper and liquid hand soap.) Which homegrown

Armstrong’s strong spring and a deeper dive into Orioles bullpen

The magic of video is enabling the Orioles to stay connected while spread all over the country. I’ve heard that reliever Shawn Armstrong was able to share a bullpen session with one of his teammates that included a fastball clocked at 97 mph. Armstrong’s fastball averaged 93.9 mph last season, per BrooksBaseball.net. There is no data available on his home workouts. An expansion of rosters

Baseball’s shutdown impacting minor league preparation

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic in professional baseball reaches down to the minor league level. To players with salary concerns and the managers and coaches who are trying to develop them and prepare for an abbreviated season. Triple-A Norfolk’s Gary Kendall is back home in the Salisbury area, doing yardwork and engaging in video conference calls to collect and share information that no longer

Can Phillips avoid the injured list?

The medical update from Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and a brief interview with the injured reliever at his spring training locker made for an easy jump to a roster conclusion. It felt like more of a hop. Evan Phillips wasn’t able to pitch because of a sore elbow and headed to Los Angeles for a second opinion. A month or more could pass before he’d

Orioles finding ways to cope and assist during pandemic

The Orioles aren’t able to start their season due to the coronavirus and they have no idea whether it’s going to unfold. In the meantime, players are working to stay in shape, just in case, and finding ways to assist people in need and to ease the strain on their lives. First baseman Chris Davis and his wife, Jill, donated breakfast to the staff at

Phillips keeping his spring roommates and new routine

Baseball players are creatures of habit, a trait that seems to be part of their DNA. Or maybe it develops over time, creating a chicken or the egg parallel. What comes first? No matter the order, being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic has brought a major disruption in their routines - though also kept in its proper perspective given the loss of lives

More questions coming while baseball remains on hold

I haven’t seen a ground ball hit in three weeks, but I’ve been fielding a bunch of questions from home. When will the season start? Will there actually be a season? How many games will be played? Are you still wearing that same T-shirt? (Sorry, that last one is from my fiancée.) There are legitimate curiosities and concerns about the impact of a prolonged interruption.

« March 2020 | Main Index | Archives | May 2020 »