Baltimore Sports Blitz
Peter Schmuck's Orioles observation deck for April 17

Peter Schmuck's Orioles observation deck for April 17

Each week of the 2014 baseball season, Peter Schmuck gives his take on four subjects involving the Orioles, then clears the bases with a final thought.

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Peter Schmuck's Orioles grades for Week 2 of the 2014 season

Peter Schmuck's Orioles grades for Week 2 of the 2014 season

Every Monday during the regular season, Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck grades the cumulative performance of the Orioles in six major areas during the previous week.

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Orioles in March and April 2014 [Pictures]

Orioles in April

2014 local men's college lacrosse [Pictures]

Men's lacrosse

Former Orioles closer Jim Johnson now ex-Athletics closer, too

Former Orioles closer Jim Johnson now ex-Athletics closer, too

In what has to be one of the most stunning career reversals in recent baseball history, former Orioles closer Jim Johnson -- who saved at least 50 games in each of the past two seasons -- has been removed from that role after barely two weeks in Oakland.

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Peter Schmuck's Orioles observation deck from the start of the 2014 season

Peter Schmuck's Orioles observation deck from the start of the 2014 season

Each week of the 2014 baseball season, Peter Schmuck gives his take on four subjects involving the Orioles, then clears the bases with a final thought.

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Peter Schmuck's Orioles grades for Week 1 of the 2014 season

Peter Schmuck's Orioles grades for Week 1 of the 2014 season

Every Monday during the regular season, Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck grades the cumulative performance of the Orioles in six major areas during the previous week.

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Not surprisingly, Red Sox squeeze Orioles rotation

Not surprisingly, Red Sox squeeze Orioles rotation

This should come as no surprise, but the Red Sox managed to wear down all three Orioles starting pitchers that faced them during the season-opening series at Oriole Park.

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Jonathan Schoop is not here by default

Jonathan Schoop is not here by default

Glad to say that the Orioles proved me wrong when they decided to keep rookie second baseman Jonathan Schoop on the 25-man roster and start him at second base in the season opener against the Boston Red Sox.

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End of Ervin Santana saga should be beginning for the Orioles

End of Ervin Santana saga should be beginning for the Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Now that the Ervin Santana derby is over and the Orioles still have the money they reportedly offered him, it's fair to point out that $13 million would probably knock out the first year of a contract extension for Silver Slugger shortstop J.J. Hardy.

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Peter Schmuck on the Orioles' free-agent additions and expectations

Peter Schmuck on the Orioles' free-agent additions and expectations

With the Orioles adding free agents during spring training, The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck joins CineSport's Noah Coslov talk about the impact the moves are having on the players.

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Ten reasons we hate the Yankees

Ten reasons we hate the Yankees

The Orioles travel to Tampa on Tuesday evening to pay the New York Yankees a visit for the first time this spring. It comes just days after club officials got a little huffy about a comment by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman that the Orioles' 2012 season was an "anomaly." So, what better time to take a look at the 10 reasons Orioles fans hate the Yankees. -- Peter Schmuck

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Peter Schmuck's top 5 offenses in the American League

Peter Schmuck's top 5 offenses in the American League

We're still about a month away from the opening of the 2014 season -- and a lot is going to shake out during the upcoming exhibition season -- but it's still fun to look ahead and try to predict who will have the most productive offensive attacks in American League. I'm guessing it will be a team near you, but there's plenty of room for a healthy debate over the relative merits of the league's top lineup. Here's my projected list of the AL's top offensive teams of 2014. Go to town.

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J.J. Hardy ponders contract, future at shortstop

J.J. Hardy ponders contract, future at shortstop

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Gold Glove and Silver Slugger shortstop J.J. Hardy has been very open about his desire to remain in Baltimore beyond the 2014 season, but he said Tuesday that he'd like his future at short to be spelled out during upcoming negotiations.

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Manny Machado enjoying his new place in the limelight

Manny Machado enjoying his new place in the limelight

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was still at the club's spring training complex well after his teammates had left late Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by marketing types and makeup people as he took part in a photo shoot for the New Era baseball cap company.

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After signing Ubaldo Jimenez, there's no reason for Dan Duquette and Orioles to stop now

After signing Ubaldo Jimenez, there's no reason for Dan Duquette and Orioles to stop now

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez's signing is official, and the introductory news conference is over, but that doesn't mean that the Orioles front office is done with this year's roster renovation.

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Ubaldo Jimenez raises the bar for Zach Britton

Ubaldo Jimenez raises the bar for Zach Britton

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Left-hander Zach Britton came into camp looking like the favorite to win the fifth starter role, but things changed dramatically when the Orioles agreed to terms on a four-year deal with veteran pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Signing Ubaldo Jimenez shows the Orioles are willing to make a move

Signing Ubaldo Jimenez shows the Orioles are willing to make a move

SARASOTA, Fla.¬† -- Let’s not get too carried away. Free agent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is not going to be mistaken for Clayton Kershaw any time soon, but the 30-year-old right-hander who agreed to a four-year deal with the Orioles on Monday is the significant pitching acquisition that Dan Duquette has been trying to pull off for the last four months.

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Handicapping the Orioles' fifth starter competition

Handicapping the Orioles' fifth starter competition

The Orioles have a long list of candidates for the final spot in the starting rotation. Manager Buck Showalter would probably tell you that there is competition for all five spots, but that's what he has to say at the beginning of spring training. The rest of us are under no such obligation, so we'll go on the assumption that the first four slots are filled by Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Bud Norris. Now, here's my tip sheet on the remaining pitchers with a chance to fill that final slot. -- Peter Schmuck

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Clearly, Manny Machado gets it

Clearly, Manny Machado gets it

It would be quite normal for a young player like Manny Machado to want to push his rehab program too hard to get back in the Orioles lineup in time for Opening Day. It would also be foolish and it's obvious that both he and the team knows that.

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Jim Fregosi was one tough hombre

Jim Fregosi was one tough hombre

The sad news that former major league shortstop and manager Jim Fregosi passed away Friday morning after suffering multiple strokes during a baseball alumni cruise really hit home for this Southern California kid who grew up an Angels fan and would have the privilege of covering his hometown team as a very young beat writer in the early 1980s.

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Orioles' increased international emphasis continues to pay off

Orioles' increased international emphasis continues to pay off

While there have been some international hiccups during executive vice president Dan Duquette's time in Baltimore, there's no question that the overall impact of the Orioles' recent effort to expand their global reach has been positive.

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ABOUT THE BLOGGER


Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for decades. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer.

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