But no Orioles player may be more interested than 22-year-old second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of when Schoop’s Pabao Little League club from his native Curacao beat Thousand Oaks, Calif., 5-2, to become the first Caribbean team to win the Little League World Series.
Schoop picked up the save in that title game. He also played in South Williamsport, Pa., in 2003, but his team lost to Japan in the semifinals.
“I watch it, because I was there twice. And I know how special it is for the kids,” Schoop said. “I was there twice, and it is exciting. It is very fun to watch, too.”
Schoop’s 2004 teammates will be recognized at Howard J. Lamade Stadium during this year’s tournament, but Schoop will not be there because he is trying to get to another type of World Series — one with the Orioles. He said he still keeps in touch with several teammates from that Little League team, which also included Texas Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar.
“Maybe half of the team I still talk with, either on the phone or when I see them, we talk,” Schoop said. “I’m pretty close with four of them, with Profar.”
Schoop has taken some friendly needling from his Orioles teammates over his Little League days. One of the best lines came from first base coach Wayne Kirby, who joked that Schoop was “the reason they need to check birth certificates.”
“No, no,” laughed Schoop, as center fielder Adam Jones jumped in, teasing Schoop that he and older brother, Sharlon, a 27-year-old Orioles minor leaguer, shared a birth certificate.
“You were at least 15 when you played for them,” Jones joked. “You and Sharlon played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ for who gets to be the younger person.”
Around the horn
With two home runs Sunday, the Orioles lead the major leagues in multihomer games with 46. … The Orioles are 8-1 following games in which they have been shut out. … The Orioles are 10-16 against the American League Central and 60-36 versus everyone else. … The Indians have been held to two hits or fewer three times this season, but Sunday was the first time it happened at Progressive Field. The last time the Indians had two or fewer hits at home was May 31, 2013 against Tampa Bay.