A collection of what other media outlets are saying about the Orioles.
* ESPN's Richard Durrett reflected on Nelson Cruz's return to Texas, the team for which he played for eight years. The designated hitter-outfielder hit his major league-leading 21st home run on Tuesday night, and Durrett wrote that Cruz hasn’t lost his flair for the spectacular.
It seems that everything with Cruz is big. Big swings. Big misses. Big streaks. Big home runs in big moments.
The home run, not to mention Cruz's presence in an orange and black uniform, had some Rangers fans thinking it had been a big mistake not to re-sign him. But Cruz doesn't think about the "what if" or live in that past.
* Baseball fans aren’t wrong to vote Cruz into the All-Star Game despite his previous link to performance-enhancing drugs, writes Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports. He asserts that the Midsummer Classic is a popularity contest and that it’s OK to want the best players there, even if they have cheated before.
They also want to see fellow Biogenesis cheat Nelson Cruz, whose power numbers have surged at age 33, in the year after he was sat down for being linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
How does a guy who hit .272 and slugged .511 with an .842 OPS from 2009-13 become this .314 hitter, slugging .672 with an OPS of 1.055 in 2014? How does a guy who averaged 27 home runs and 81 RBI from ages 28-32 become a guy at 33 who is on pace to hit 60 home runs and drive in 156 runs?
Baseball fans aren't asking those questions. They're asking: How can I get Nelson Cruz into the American League's starting lineup July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis? And they know the answer: By voting for him.
* John A. Torres of Florida Today blasted Orioles right-hander Bud Norris for criticizing Jon Singleton’s extension with the Houston Astros. Norris tweeted that the team-friendly deal was “terrible” for the young slugger.
The problem? Norris feels Singleton has shortchanged himself by signing such a team-friendly deal and by doing so hurts the earning power of other major leaguers. Is Norris really concerned about Singleton and future players, or is he just worried that teams will stop overpaying for mediocre talent like him?
Is he worried that his three wins and plus-4 ERA are not worth the $5.3 million the Orioles are paying this season?
MLB power rankings
* Mike Axisa of CBS Sports has the Orioles 13th, down a spot from last week.
Remember when no team wanted to sign Nelson Cruz because they didn't want to give up a little ol' draft pick?
* Sports Illustrated moved the Orioles up two spots to 12th and bashed the Kansas City Royals in the process.
The Royals' 24 homers as a team are the worst in the majors and just four more than the Orioles' Nelson Cruz has by himself [through Sunday’s games].
* Fox Sports placed the Orioles at 13th, citing the offseason acquisition of Cruz as a major component to their success.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun