Tagged: Adam Jones

Baltimore Orioles: What can be learned from Houston?

The Baltimore Orioles thought that they had something similar to what we see in Houston – back in 2011-2012. And they still might, incidentally. A crop of good young players who had come along through the farm system and through good deals, setting the table for the franchise to make a run for the future. This of course would have been the Adam Jones‘, Machado’s, Davis’, and Wieters’ of the world.

Again, we don’t know what the future holds. Everything could just click for this franchise, much like it did for Houston in 2017. Hope springs eternal, and no I don’t say that in a rhetorical manner. That really does ring true.

However Houston also did something that the Orioles have never truly been willing to do: a full rebuild. This is not to say that the Orioles haven’t tried to rebuild over the years, or that they haven’t considered it. They’ve just gone about it in a slighter manner than did a team like Houston.

Houston basically told their fans we’re going to stink for awhile. Maybe they didn’t put it in those words, but that’s the implication when you say you’re going to load up with young talent through the draft, trades, etc. You’re openly admitting to your fan base that the team isn’t going to be competitive in the near future.

Over the years the Orioles made a nip here and a tuck there to their roster, but the closest they came to totally retooling it was 2007-2009/10 or so when Andy MacPhail was the GM. However there wasn’t really a processes of telling the fans that the team would be non-competitive. They hadn’t been competitive prior to that, so nobody really knew the difference.

The Washington Nationals pulled a similar stunt in a sense when their goal was almost to be so bad that they were able to draft the likes of Strasburg and Harper. I suspect that the Orioles feel that they can’t afford to do that in the uber-competitive AL East. Would fans accept that type of declaration? Keep in mind that things operate a lot differently in Texas than they do on the east coast.

However, Houston’s management was honest about how they were going to build their franchise. And they encouraged their fans to invest in the young players they were acquiring. Sure enough, they did. And the rest is history.

Many feel that the Orioles would benefit from a full rebuild now. I disagree; I think that in the future that might be a possibility, however it’s not something that should be explored this off season. Too many big guns are still under contract.


Baltimore Orioles: Stay hungry my friends

Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles is hosting his fifth annual Purple Tailgate this year. Personally I think it’s an awesome event, and it brings together both of Baltimore’s professional sports franchises. The event will be held from 3:30 – 8 PM on Monday, November 27th, prior to the Baltimore Ravens taking on the Houston Texans.

You can see the list of vendors, entertainment, etc, as well as buy tickets by clicking here. Proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore. The event will be held at 152 W. Ostend St, Baltimore, MD. 21230.

One new twist for this season is that it’s taking place before a Monday night game at M & T Bank Stadium. In the past it’s always been before a Sunday afternoon game, however this year Jones decided to take his signature event to prime time. Ideally of course, the Ravens will rally a bit and still be in contention for something come Thanksgiving weekend.

If you decide to attend the event, I guarantee you that you’ll be well fed. Adam Jones is a well-known foodie, and the list of vendors supplying food is second to none. And at the end of the day, it’s Jones bringing Baltimore’s sports together for a good cause. And that in and of itself is worth supporting.

Baltimore Orioles: Sound of silence

At times in 2017, Adam Jones was one of the only players hitting and producing. Again, I said one one the only players. Trey Mancini and Jonathan Schoop obviously had great years. as well as a couple of others. However one of the hallmarks of this past season was that the offense hibernated all at once in various points of the season.

And that’s something on which we should spend some time this off season. Obviously the main problem was the pitching. But there were quite a few games that the pitching did in fact hold up their end of the bargain. And the bats let the Orioles down. It’s fine and dandy to pitch a quality start, but if your offense can’t help you out and you lose 3-0, it’s still a loss.

First off, every team is going to go through dead periods at the plate. The Los Angeles Dodgers had that happen in the beginning of September. It was kind of laughed off because they were light years ahead in their division and at no risk of missing the post season, but it still happened. So you can’t totally head off these types of problems in terms of having it not happen.

But it seemed to happen to the Orioles across several different periods of the season. May was a dead period, however the Orioles have had a couple of bad May’s at the plate over the past couple of years. And that almost attests for it happening. Perhaps guys are starting to settle into the grind of the season and so forth, realizing the long haul that it’s going to be.

The O’s also had a slew of injuries over the course of the entire summer. Davis, Hardy, Castillo, and Flaherty all found themselves on the DL (some more than others). That’s not an excuse, but a fact. And that was true throughout the entire year. Adam Jones missed in essence the entire last week of the season due to sore legs that had plagued him all year.

Instead, the Orioles’ competition seemed to get stronger and healthier. Boston and New York didn’t have to contend with those types of injuries. In general, I’m in favor of a veteran team like what the Orioles have. However if half your infield AND your depth (Flaherty) are hurt, you see the downside very quickly. And in fact, you look at the season that Trey Mancini had, and when you realize he was a rookie perhaps youth can sometimes make a difference.

Lackluster pitching will be the end story of this Orioles’ season. But the silent bats at times played just as big a role. Hopefully for the O’s a long winter’s rest will help them to spring anew come March.

Baltimore Orioles fall to Toronto

The Baltimore Orioles had their seven-game win streak snapped last night at the hands of their division rivals, Toronto. All good things must come to an end, folks. Jeremy Hellickson was battered around over the course of his start, but even the Orioles’ bullpen yielded four runs. Hellickson’s line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 2 K.

Adam Jones got things started in the first inning with a two-run homer. One inning later Tim Beckham‘s RBI-single gave the O’s a 3-0 lead. However Toronto wasn’t about to be outdone, as they have some power as well. They got a two-run homer by Morales in the third, bringing them to within 3-2.

The Orioles were in fact able to extend their lead to 5-2 on a groundout and an RBI-single, but Toronto chipped away. Morales came up again in the fifth and smacked an RBI-single, which was followed by Montero’s two-RBI double. Suddenly before you knew it the game was knotted at five.

Montero came home on Pillar’s two-RBI double, and before you knew it Toronto had the lead. Chris Davis would add a solo homer in the last of the fifth, however Toronto wasn’t through yet. Another at-bat by Morales, and another homer – again of the two-run variety. And would you believe that he also hit one in the eighth?! While that one was a solo shot, it was also the backbreaker for the Birds.

The O’s however did attempt to come back, as Beckham added an RBI-single in the eighth. He took second base on a fielding error, and was plated by Schoop’s RBI-single. It begins and ends with starting pitching however, and the O’s couldn’t get the job done last night. Usually when you score eight runs you win. However it’s also true that usually when you surrender 11 you lose.

Timm Beckham is certainly sad to see the calendar turn to September, as he finished August with 50 hits. He talked about that after the game (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Yeah, man, it’s wild, it’s wild. It’s a blessing. Everything that’s happened. I thank God above for that. We need to keep it going and get this team to the playoffs.

Needless to say, Beckham’s provided this Orioles team with a shot in the arm since arriving at the trade deadline. As much as Dan Duquette’s moves are criticized, this was a good one.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Joe Biagini. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Big wheels keep on turning

The Baltimore Orioles continued their hot ways of late, returning home last night and besting Seattle in game one of three. As I said yesterday, this might well be the most important series of the season given the wild card standings. The O’s now stand 1.5 games out of the final wild card spot, and only a half game back of Anaheim at that.

Chris Tillman got the start, and with mixed results at that. His final stat line wasn’t much to write home about, however he battled – as did the entire Orioles team. Tillman’s line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 1 K. Seattle didn’t want to go away – and the fact is that they knew the stakes also.

And Seattle actually had the lead early in this game, as Valencia smacked a soo homer in the second inning. However that didn’t last long. Welington Castillo‘s two-RBI single in the last of the second gave the O’s the lead at 2-1. Jonathan Schoop added an RBI-single of his own, putting the O’s ahead 3-1.

However as I said when the Orioles were on the west coast, many of these western teams don’t buy much into the concept of a coup de grace. In an AL East game the Birds would have taken that 3-1 lead, maybe added a couple more, and perhaps the opponent would have added a run or two. These western teams are scrappy and they don’t take no for an answer. Gamel smacked a three-run homer in the fourth, putting the Orioles behind suddenly, 4-3.

However in the bottom frame of that fourth inning the Birds took control back. Gentry lined an RBI-single which tied the game and loaded the bases. Beckham was then hit by a pitch, and the Birds had the lead again, 5-4. As I’ve said many times, funny things can happen when guys get on base. One inning later Adam Jones gave the O’s what we thought was some padding in their lead with a solo homer.

But again, Seattle didn’t go away. And again it was Gamel. His two-RBI single tied the game at six in the sixth inning. However it was Chris Davis who ultimately gave the O’s the coup de grace for which they had been looking against Seattle. His RBI-double in the seventh put them ahead 7-6, which was the final.

While this game was a win, Seattle put the Orioles on notice that they’re going to be in a dog fight every game along the way this week. And that’s what a pennant race (or wild card race) is all about. Needless to say, the O’s got off to a good start last night leapfrogging Seattle in the standings.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Erasmo Ramirez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles lifted by Adam Jones’ two homers

The Baltimore Orioles are tough to beat when their offense is firing on all cylinders. Especially when you’re a team like Oakland who just doesn’t have the horses right now. And when Adam Jones, the de facto team captain, smacks two homers in the game, you know that it’s going to be a long day.

Wade Miley turned in a solid outing that was good enough to qualify both for a quality start and a win. Miley’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K. Oakland actually held a bried lead in this game after Chapman’s RBI-double in the second inning. However that also shows you how an inning can snowball in a sense. It got started innocently enough, with an infield hit. In theory not a big deal; but a walk and another base hit later, the Orioles trailed 1-0.

However they responded in the last of the second on Trumbo’s sac fly-RBI. Two innings later, Jones gave the Birds the lead for good with a solo homer. However Oakland managed to load the bases in the fifth which challenged the Orioles lead with one down. But Miley induced an inning-ending double-play, and the Orioles held onto the lead.

And just for good measure, Jonathan Schoop busted the game wide open in the botto of that fifth inning. His three-run homer gave the Birds a 5-1 lead. Jones would hit his second solo homer of the game later in the inning, and the Birds led 6-1. Oakland would get two runs back on Lowrie’s solo homer in the sixth and Powell’s in the eighth, but that made little difference.

Oh and if you were waiting for a coup de grace in this game, Welington Castillo smacked a solo shot of his own in the last of the eigth to round out the scoring. At the end of the day, the O’s crusied to a 7-3 victory in game one of this series. As has been the case for much of the season, so goes Oriole bats, so go the Orioles.

After the O’s dropped two-of-three to Anaheim, this is a very important series. They’re almost in a position where anything less than sweeping Oakland is to their detriment. So this game was a good start towards that goal. And needless to say, the goal is always to win…everyday.

The series continues this evening at Camden Yards. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Paul Blackburn. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones captains a power surge

Adam Jones was only the first member of the Baltimore Orioles to go yard last night in Oakland. It turned out there were others. In fact, it turned out that the Birds smacked two sets of back-to-back homers in one of the most cavernous ballparks in the league. And that was the key to winning last night’s series opener in Oakland.

The Orioles also get an effort above-and-beyond what Wade Miley is normally capable of turning in. Miley’s line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 earned), 3 BB, 7 K. Miley recorded outs, and stayed out of full and deeper counts. Normally he gets a boatload of those and turns in five innings – win or lose. Last night he obviously was able to go deeper.

The O’s took an early lead in the first inning on a Machado RBI-groundout, however Lowrie’s sac fly-RBI in the last of the first tied the game at one. But that’s as close as Oakland would ever be. In the fourth Jones smacked a solo homer, and suddenly the O’s led once again.

But the Orioles weren’t done there. Trey Mancini came up to bat behind Jones, and promptly smacked a second homer – in back-to-back fashion. Suddenly the O’s had a two-run lead in Oakland, which again is one of the biggest ballparks in baseball.

And the Orioles decided to pull the back-to-back homers deal once again in the sixth inning. Mancini was involved in it once again, however this time he started it. Immediately following Mancini’s second solo homer of the game, Mark Trumbo hit one of his own. And the O’s led, 5-1.

But while the homer parade was over at that point, Jones himself wasn’t quite done. He would add an RBI-double in the seventh to run the score to 6-1. Lowrie’s RBI-double one inning later would bring Oakland to within 6-2, however they weren’t getting any closer than that.

The Orioles felt like they let an opportunity go by the wayside to win a series in Anaheim, so this was a good way to get that taste out of their mouths. It also successfully opened a series in a ballpark that hasn’t always been kind to the O’s. Yet they not only managed to win, but they did it playing their power game.

The series continues this evening at the Oakland Coliseum. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Paul Blackburn. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.