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Should the Orioles have interest in Dan Haren? (plus Zach Clark quotes)

There have been no reports linking the Orioles to Angels pitcher Dan Haren, but there have been plenty of reports indicating the Angels are actively trying to trade Haren this week. The Angels must decide by midnight Eastern time Friday whether to pick up his $15.5 million option for next season or deal him before that. The acquiring team would have to take on that

Pitching and defense can take you a long way

Pitching and defense. Two Orioles staples from way back. They both improved in the second half of the season and they helped each other get better. At the end of the 2012 season, the Orioles were one of the best defensive teams in baseball and from where they had come from, that was a huge improvement. The Orioles were the only team in baseball to

Could the Orioles make a big splash in free agency?

This caught me a bit by surprise. While the Baltimore media generally has been reporting that the Orioles are not likely to make a big dollar free agent signing this winter, ESPN’s Buster Olney feels they may do just that and said he is not alone in that opinion. The article cannot be linked as it is part of ESPN.com’s premium content, but Olney cites

A look at a stat where O’s minor league hitters made big improvement in 2012

There can be a variety of ways to try and measure the impact that a minor league coach or instructor has in his job. Do individual players get better on his watch? Do some of those players make the major leagues and help the big club? But there can be no doubt that Orioles minor league batters made a huge gain in one key statistical

Will Rick Peterson and the Orioles be one and done?

The improvement of the Orioles pitching staff this year was impressive. The season-ending team ERA of 3.90 was sixth-best in the league, one year after the Orioles were 14th and last in that stat in 2011. The Orioles’ team ERA of 3.73 after the All-Star break would have ranked third in the league if they had maintained that number all year. Two men named Rick

Will the Orioles be a one-hit wonder?

Now that the Orioles ended their 14-season losing streak by not only having a winning season but by returning to the playoffs, can they do it again? Were the 2012 Orioles a one-hit wonder? There seem to be times in sports where a losing team turns into a winner but can’t sustain it because it doesn’t have the hunger and intensity it did the first

Bob Costas should take this job

I think they may be partly serious and partly kidding, but the Inland Empire 66ers of the Single-A California League say they have offered their job as play-by-play broadcaster to Bob Costas. In a recent interview with sports columnist Joe Posnanski, Costas said that he still had a dream of calling an entire season of minor league baseball. According to Posnanski, “(Costas) has often talked

Two surgeries and one setback later, Dan Klein continues work to return to the mound

To say the least, it has been a difficult and challenging last 14 months for 24-year-old Orioles pitching prospect Dan Klein. Drafted in round three out of UCLA in 2010, he put up very impressive stats pitching for Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie in the 2011 season and seemed to be on a fast track to Baltimore. But since that August, he has had two

Did his late-season struggles sour fans on Pedro Strop?

One of the most surprising performances of the Orioles’ postseason run may have come in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. Needing a win to force a Game 5 with the Yankees, the Orioles got it, and their victory in 13 innings included two shutout innings from reliever Pedro Strop. Many fans had to be nervous when Strop took the mound in the

Dan Duquette: With year one in the books, what will the future hold?

The press conference to introduce Dan Duquette as the Orioles’ new executive vice president was held last Nov. 8. As the one-year anniversary of that date approaches, Duquette likely has much more support among O’s fans now than he had then. There were some reasons to be skeptical last November, chief among them his time away from the game at the highest level. Others felt

Monday morning musings

Here are some thoughts to get this Monday morning started. Feel free to leave your own comments on one or all three of the topics. Is now the time to sign Matt Wieters to a long-term deal?: I don’t think it is. Matt Wieters ended the 2012 season with 3.129 years of service time and can’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season.

What was your favorite memory of the 2012 season?

Does it feel to you like the Orioles haven’t played in a month? Yet it was only a week ago last night that the Orioles were playing Game 5 against the Yankees. Since the 2012 season is still so fresh in our minds, I’ll pose a question today that is an obvious one to ask. As Buck Showalter would say, I’ll be Captain Obvious here.

Will Rick Peterson return to the Orioles in 2013?

After a successful first season as the Orioles director of pitching development, will there be a second for Rick Peterson? After spending just about every season since 1998 as a major league pitching coach for the Oakland A’s, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers, Peterson was in a different role this season after being hired in January by the Orioles. It sure seemed like his

The great transformation: the Orioles’ starting rotation

No doubt a real key to the Orioles playing excellent baseball after the All-Star break and particularly down the stretch was the very solid starting pitching we saw, pitching that got better deeper into the season. The Orioles’ starting pitchers posted an ERA of 4.42 for the entire season to rank ninth in the American League. But that works out to an ERA of 4.77

A look at the leadoff position in Orioles’ batting order

In case you don’t remember, the Orioles used eight players to bat in the leadoff spot this year. They had varying degrees of success in the role and Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth were the only two players to start more than 20 games in that spot in the order. A lot of you would probably get this question wrong. Among players with more than

It’s time for MLB umpires to get more calls right, even if they need help

You may have heard the joke going around baseball. Now that some postseason calls have gone against the Yankees, Major League Baseball will finally get around to expanding its replay system. Some joked it could be changed before the end of the current American League Championship Series. Can’t have the Bronx Bombers getting hosed. After Sunday night’s game, umpire Jeff Nelson admitted he incorrectly called

Some stats that will be hard to duplicate for the 2013 Birds (updated)

Get ready for this because it is surely coming. A theme for columns and stories about the 2013 Orioles is going to be how they can’t possibly duplicate the 2012 squad in wins in close games. So how will the 2013 Birds overcome that? The Orioles went 29-9 in one-run games in the regular season. Their .763 win percentage is the highest in major league

What will left field look like for the 2013 Orioles?

Nolan Reimold began the 2012 season as the Orioles’ left fielder and had a big month of April. Nate McLouth ended the 2012 season as the Orioles’ left fielder and had a big month of September - and then went 7-for-22 in the American League Division Series. He had five RBIs in six postseason games. Reimold seemed to carry the Orioles at times early in

Saying goodbye to the 2012 season

In the end, even very late in a series where the Orioles hit so little, they still had a chance. In that eighth inning, with the season hanging in the balance and the outlook not looking so good, they were still just one hit away. So close. Still, losing yesterday - even to the Yankees - beats what the past 14 Octobers felt like. The

The 2012 season ends as Orioles come up short in Game 5

A special season, one that featured a 24-win improvement and a move from worst to almost first along with a return to the playoffs, came to an end tonight in New York. CC Sabathia pitched a complete-game, four-hitter with nine strikeouts as the Yankees beat the Orioles 3-1 in the decisive fifth game of the American League Division Series. This season of Orioles Magic is

Game 5 live blog: One game to decide who goes to the ALCS

Tonight’s live blog: Welcome to the final live blog of this series. Yes, it’s Game 5 and the winner will go to the American League Championship Series. The Orioles have been there nine times, but not since 1997. As always, check back here throughout the game for the latest news, notes and reader comments. Keep them coming all game long. It’s Hammel against CC: Jason

A look at run differentials and pitching stats in this series

Wouldn’t it be fitting that during a season where the Orioles were scrutinized (some would say overly so) for their run differential, that they win this series with fewer runs scored than the Yankees. That is quite possible as the series score right now is New York 13, Baltimore 9. Yes, the O’s are in the negative again. Ask them if they care. Here is

Super pitching and even temperament carry Orioles to within a game of ALCS

It has been interesting to see the national media somewhat surprised at how low-key the Orioles are. They are getting a lot of questions about being subdued as a team and not getting too high or too low. They simply have been that way all year. If fans could have joined Baltimore reporters in that clubhouse after games at times this year, you truly wouldn’t

Orioles go 13 innings to beat Yankees, force a Game 5

Needing a win to keep their season going and a run to end several games of offensive frustration, the Orioles got both tonight. J.J. Hardy’s RBI double in the top of the 13th inning lifted the Orioles to a 2-1 win over the Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. The series is now tied 2-2 and the teams play the decisive

Game 4 live blog: Will pitching continue to dominate in series?

Tonight’s live blog: We’re under way as we close in on the first pitch of Game 4. Check in here often when you can and please leave a comment and/or question. I’ll add some content throughout the night and respond to your questions. Where’s the offense?: It seems there is a school of thought going around that one, or more likely, both teams may break

Joe Saunders gets the call for the Orioles in a must-win situation

It was an interesting decision that Buck Showalter made to start Joe Saunders over Chris Tillman tonight in Game 4 at New York. I will guess that the combination of Saunders pitching so well down the stretch, his strong outing on Friday at Texas and the Yankees’ performance this year vs. left-handed pitching all factored into the decision. Tillman, you have to figure, will be

Can the Orioles bounce back one more time and save their season?

For the second time in seven days, the Orioles will play a postseason game where their season will end with a loss. They won the first time Friday in Texas and must win tonight in Game 4 of the best-of-five American League Division Series. The team has been resilient and showed an amazing ability to bounce back all year and tonight is likely the toughest

Ibanez homers in the ninth and 12th to stun the O’s in Game 3

That was a stunning, stunning loss for the Orioles. Miguel Gonzalez pitched his heart out. Two rookies homered. They were two outs away from a win and they lost 3-2 in 12 innings as the Yankees take a 2-1 lead in the American League Division Series. The Yankees pinch-hit Raul Ibanez for Alex Rodriguez, a $29 million dollar player this year, and Ibanez homered in

Game 3 live blog: Will the O’s offense catch up to its playoff pitching?

Tonight’s live blog: The Yankees host the Orioles tonight in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. This blog will be here throughout the game and I’ll be looking for reader questions and comments. What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? What is the key for an O’s win? Will the offense break out?: The Orioles’ offense may not be scoring a lot of

Orioles have proven to be more that just Buck and luck

Here is a random Orioles thought as we get closer to the start of Game 3 of the American League Division Series. It seems we are reading some stories that portray the Orioles as a group of overachievers led by a brilliant manager. I get the part about Buck Showalter. He is a brilliant manager, setting a great tone for the team and whole organization

A look at the Orioles’ winning ways this year at Yankee Stadium

Do the Orioles have the Yankees right where they want them as this series now heads to New York? After all, the Orioles won all three series there this year, going 6-3 at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first time since 1976 that the Orioles won all three series at that ballpark. The Orioles’ six wins there is their most since they won eight in 1976.

Yankees made unscheduled stop in Aberdeen on their way back to New York (updated with game times)

Aberdeen’s own Cal Ripken Jr. was not there to greet them, but the New York Yankees made an unscheduled stop in Ripken’s hometown on their way north early this morning as they were leaving Baltimore after Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on a conference call with reporters to take questions about the ALDS, explained what happened after last

O’Day now seems to pitch every day for the Orioles

How good has Darren O’Day been for the Orioles this year? Throw out just about any superlative you want, and it likely fits. O’Day continues to be outstanding in the postseason. He has pitched in all three games against Texas and New York with a combined 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. He came into the Texas

Comments from McLouth, O’Day, Davis, Jones and more after the O’s Game 2 win

Here is a sampling of some comments tonight from a victorious Orioles clubhouse after the 3-2 win evened the American League Division Series at 1-1. Darren O’Day said he was confident in Jim Johnson: “I could tell last night he was going to be fine. A lot of guys would be feeling sorry for themselves. But I was in the training room after the game,

From goat to hero: Jim Johnson talks about his save against the Yankees

There was no doubt that if the Orioles took a one-run lead to the ninth tonight that Jim Johnson would get the ball. You knew Buck Showalter would call on him and Johnson certainly wanted it to be that way. He wanted to be back on the mound tonight. “I did. To come back from a bad outing, usually you want the ball right away,”

Chen earns win and Johnson the save as O’s top NY to even the ALDS

Facing an 0-2 deficit in the American League Division Series with a loss tonight, the Orioles recieved a gutty effort from Wei-Yin Chen and a save from Jim Johnson as they beat the Yankees 3-2 in front of 48,187 to even the ALDS at 1-1. Pitching a night after giving up five runs in the ninth in Game 1, Johnson got Derek Jeter to ground

Tonight’s live blog: O’s face old nemesis tonight

Tonight’s live blog: Time to get started with tonight’s live blog for Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Orioles and Yankees. The Birds need a win to even the series after losing 7-2 last night. I hope many readers will post many questions and comments in here tonight. Keep ‘em coming. Often. I mean it. Tonight the O’s face their old

Wieters says O’s came back today with not much of a memory of last night’s loss

Matt Wieters admitted today, he was not sure what he would see or feel when he walked into the Orioles clubhouse last night. How would the team react after such a difficult ninth inning? Was the clubhouse the same as it had been all year? “It actually was,” Wieters said at a press conference this afternoon at Camden Yards. “I haven’t experienced a playoff loss

Thome’s take

Jim Thome is the voice of experience in the Orioles clubhouse. When it comes to playoff games, that is certainly true. He has played in 67 in his career. The rest of the players in the O’s clubhouse had a total of 58 going into Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Thome was asked how crucial tonight’s game is as the Orioles try

The offense slows to a crawl

If you go back over the Orioles’ last five games, their offense has produced just 12 runs in that stretch. But is that because they are struggling at the plate now at such a critical time or just because they’ve faced some very good pitching? In those five games - starting with the Tampa Bay series - the Orioles are batting just .170 as a

Postgame comments from Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds and Jason Hammel

To no one’s surprise, the Orioles came to the defense of their closer tonight. They’ve seen Jim Johnson do too many special things for them this year to do anything else. He is one of the team leaders and they were standing behind him tonight after he gave up five runs in the ninth in Game 1 of the ALDS. “It’s not deflating,” catcher Matt

Jim Johnson talks about giving up five runs in the ninth

Jim Johnson said he made mistakes with his location tonight, costing him and the Orioles as the New York Yankees scored five in the ninth off the O’s closer to post a 7-2 win tonight in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. “I made a mistake, obviously to (Russell) Martin and a couple of other mistakes over the middle of the plate, and

Orioles give up five in the ninth as New York wins Game 1

Jim Johnson has been so great for the Orioles this year. He entered this game in the top of the ninth of a 2-2 tie tonight having allowed just one run over his last 26 innings and three homers all year and none since June 5. But Russell Martin homered to left on a 2-0 pitch leading off the ninth and the Yankees went on

Tonight’s live blog: Orioles and Yankees in Game 1

Tonight’s live blog: Our live blog for Game 1 of the American League Division Series is under way. Please check back here often tonight for updates, but I also hope to see a lot of comments from fans and readers. Post often your thoughts on this game and series. Ask any O’s questions you have. Start leaving comments right now if you have one. Some

Matt Wieters on playoff experience, facing the Yankees and Hammel’s return

A reporter pointed out to Matt Wieters that all the Orioles in the clubhouse now have playoff experience. It may just be one game for some of them, but that was a pretty big one and Wieters said the players’ effort against Texas could help them in the American League Division Series against the Yankees. “That one game was playoff experience like you get in

Wei-Yin Chen talks about his Game 2 start

It has been a pretty good first year for Wei-Yin Chen as an Oriole and the next step for him is starting Game 2 for the Orioles tomorrow night against the Yankees here at Camden Yards. “It’s been a great year to me and the Orioles,” Chen said today through his interpreter. “I’m so lucky to be here and I want to give everything to

Orioles players excited to bring playoff baseball back to Camden Yards

Several Orioles players and manager Buck Showalter said they hoped to bring a home playoff game to Camden Yards and tonight is the night. The Orioles host the Yankees in the first playoff game at Camden Yards since Oct. 15, 1997. “We feel like the fans came out to support us and it’s big to get two games at home and hopefully more. We know

O’s want to beat Sabathia, but not because he hit Nick Markakis

It seems some Orioles fans have not been able to forget what happened in the fifth inning at Camden Yards on the night of Sept. 8. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia hit Nick Markakis with a pitch on his left thumb. Markakis suffered a broken thumb and has been out of the lineup ever since. Tonight, when the Orioles face Sabathia again in Game 1 of

Brian Matusz calls strikeout of Hamilton biggest out of his career

Brian Matusz said he knows he could be a busy man over the next week or so. The Yankees have some big guns that bat from the left side, including Ichiro Suzuki, who has hit .394 over his last 16 games, and Robinson Cano, whose bat is absolutely sizzling right now. Cano has posted nine straight multi-hit games, going 24-for-39 for a .615 average with

Mark Reynolds: “I’ll be good to go”

Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds got hit on his left hand by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish in the second inning last night. Reynolds stayed in the game and said this afternoon that he fully expects to play tomorrow night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees. “Yeah, it’s a little sore but it’s fine. I’ll be good to go,” he

Joe Girardi sets his rotation for first four games and talks about the Orioles

During a press conference here at Camden Yards a few moments ago, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Andy Pettitte will start Game 2 for the Yankees followed by Hiroki Kuroda in Game 3 and Phil Hughes in Game 4. CC Sabathia will be on the mound for New York in the series opener tomorrow night. Here are some other comments from Girardi.

How will they go against Robbie Cano?

Here is a stat that may surprise some people: The Orioles lost just one series against the Yankees among the six they played this year. The Orioles got swept in the first series of the season at Camden Yards in April, losing two of those games in extra innings. They never lost another extra-inning game the rest of the year after those losses on April

A win that was 15 years in the making

A lasting image of the Orioles’ win last night: The look on Buck Showalter’s face as he watched his players celebrate on the field after the wild card win over Texas. That look should go under “proud” in the dictionary. The pride on Showalter’s face could have spoken for every O’s fan at that moment. It was a night and win 15 years in the

Joe Saunders and the bullpen pitch the Orioles to a wild card victory

The veteran pitcher, who in the minds of some, was a very controversial choice to pitch tonight, got the job done for the Orioles. Joe Saunders, ignoring his poor career stats vs. Texas, held the Rangers to just one run in a very gutty effort as the Orioles beat Texas 5-1 in the AL wild card game. With this win, in their first playoff game

Tonight’s live blog: Saunders vs. Darvish in wild card match-up

Tonight’s live blog: We’ll be keeping this blog going throughout tonight’s game and are looking for your input. Hope you post a lot of comments and/or questions here all night starting now. Let’s start with this question: How are your nerves holding up tonight, O’s fans? What are your feelings about tonight’s game and what do the Orioles need to do to win it? Again,

A closer look at tonight’s opponent with a Texas Rangers beat writer

Here is something to consider about tonight’s game. Some are wondering about the Orioles’ lack of playoff experience coupled with the fact that Texas has plenty of it. The Rangers are 18-15 in playoff games the last two seasons. But heading into October 2010, Texas was the only major league franchise to never have won a playoff series and it won the AL championship that

To win tonight, O’s will likely need ‘pen to be good again

If the Orioles can get past Texas tonight and into a five-game series, that might be where one of their strengths - their bullpen - can really help the team. This unit has been sensational this year and is a big reason the club is so outstanding in one-run and extra-inning games. In the playoffs, it often seems that teams with deep bullpens do well.

What’s up with the Rangers’ offense?

A day dawns that Orioles fans have waited 15 years for. Your Baltimore Orioles are back in the playoffs. As I’ve said a few times now, I am so happy for all O’s fans, but especially the very large number of you that stuck with the team through every loss, every negative article, every negative phone call on the talks shows and everything that was

Orioles vs. Rangers: A look at the match-up and the season series (MASN coverage note)

Don’t panic, O’s fans, but the Orioles’ stats against Texas are just not good this year. Keep in mind they got blown out a few times to skew those stats, but the facts are the Orioles went 2-5 against the Rangers this year and were outscored 56-24. The Rangers had games of 10, 12 and 14 runs in the season series. They took three of

Orioles fall in Tampa, now headed for wild card game at Texas on Friday

The Orioles needed a win tonight to gain a home playoff game in Friday’s wild card round of the postseason. But they didn’t get it, as Evan Longoria homered three times and Jeremy Hellickson was the third straight Rays starter to shut down the Orioles in Tampa’s 4-1 victory. With the loss, the Orioles now must play on the road Friday night at Texas in

So I’m sayin’ there’s a chance (updated)

So the Orioles need a Yankees loss tonight but yet New York will be facing Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is 1-6 with a 7.68 ERA. In four September starts, Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA and batting average against of .400. So I’m sayin’ there’s a chance. By the way, Boston is 1-11 in its last 12 games and was outscored 19-7 in Baltimore

Will O’s 2012 success have a chance to carry over?

Here’s a good question. Does the Orioles’ success this season mean they have put losing records in the future behind them for a while now? It seems there is a good chance that is true. I don’t see this season as a fluke. The Orioles now have good pitching depth, in the rotation and bullpen. No, they don’t have an ace like CC Sabathia or

O’s pitching getting the job done down the home stretch

Wow, how are you holding up Orioles fans? So much tension, drama and nervous times with both the Orioles and Yankees games decided by one run and going down to the last pitch last night. The Red Sox didn’t roll over, but they did blow the game, leading by two in the ninth and losing in the 12th to New York. It would be a

Great Gonzo: Gonzalez pitches O’s past Tampa Bay in 1-0 thriller (updated)

During a season in which he has come up with several big pitching performances for the Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez may have come up with his best tonight. Against a Tampa Bay team that scored seven runs off him in just 2 2/3 innings in his worst outing of the year on July 25, Gonzalez pitched scoreless ball over 6 1/3 innings tonight as the Orioles

Will eliminated Rays be easier for O’s to beat?

Now that the Tampa Bay Rays have been officially eliminated, will they be easier for the Orioles to beat? Don’t count on it, and I would imagine no one in the O’s clubhouse is, either. Just the fact the Rays are pitching James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson the next two nights makes them tough to beat. Don’t you think that it is somewhat ironic that

Big-spending Angels will be home while Orioles are in when playoffs start

I can remember back at the end of last year’s baseball Winter Meetings. The Los Angeles Angels were hailed as smart and aggressive, and given the mantel as 2012 American League favorites. They spent nearly $320 million on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. New general manager Jerry Dipoto and owner Arte Moreno really wanted to win. Their fans loved that duo. Why didn’t Dipoto come

Chris Davis now ranks eighth in the AL in at-bats per HR

Nothing is decided for the Orioles with two games to go. They fell back into second place last night, but they could still win the AL East outright over the next two days or tie the Yankees. They also could wind up the No. 5 seed in the AL and have to play a road wild card game. They are not as fortunate as Detroit.

O’s rally in ninth falls short as Rays win 5-3 in series opener

It was a stat that likely couldn’t hold up too much longer. But after the Orioles held Tampa Bay to two runs or less for seven straight games, going 6-1 in that stretch, tonight the Rays scored three runs in the last of the seventh to go on to a 5-3 win over the Orioles in Game 1 of a three-game series. Coupled with New

Can Chen get the win again for the Orioles?

There is no doubt that some Orioles fans may be a little nervous with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound tonight. The left-hander has been so good for most of this year for the O’s but has shown signs of wearing down in recent starts. Chen is winless at 0-3 over his last six starts. In five September starts, he is 0-3 with a 5.90 ERA.

Some clubhouse support for Adam Jones MVO award

For the Orioles, the 2012 season has represented such a team effort. So many players making so many key contributions. When it came time for reporters to vote for the Most Valuable Oriole Award, it was not easy to make the choice of that one player that deserved to be atop the ballot. In the end, Adam Jones was a repeat winner of the award.

So how does a playoff berth feel for long-suffering O’s fans?

Anyone that stuck with the Orioles for the last 14 years, and that is a long list of diehard and loyal fans I know, should take some time today to enjoy the fact that the Orioles are going back to the playoffs. It has truly been a season of Orioles Magic. The team got off to a fast start and stayed in the hunt the

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