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What they're saying about the Orioles: June 16

Here's a look at what other media outlets have said about the Orioles in the past week:

• SB Nation's Rob Neyer says that losing record aside, the Orioles are enjoying a fine season.

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If there's one thing we might have learned, though last night's games, it's that Buck Showalter might not actually be a Miracle Worker. Then again, it's probably not his fault that Lee and Guerrero are regularly wasting dollars and plate appearances. What we might also have learned is that Buck Showalter is, at the very least, a pretty good manager.

Last year, the Orioles were 32-73 when Showalter took over as manager. Afterward, they went 34-23. Those numbers are a testament to relative managerial talents, for sure. But there's never been a manager born that was the difference, all by his lonesome, between 32-73 and 34-23. It simply wasn't realistic to think the Orioles would continue to play .600 baseball simply because of Uncle Buck Showalter. Nor was there much reason to think that [Vladimir] Guerrero and [Derrek] Lee would make a big dent in the standings.

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Here's the thing, though: Before Showalter arrived, the Orioles were 32-73. Since his hiring, the Orioles have gone 64-56 ... which is still really impressive and does probably say something about Showalter's talents. And suggests that once the organization is free of overpaid veterans like Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero and comes up with some good young homegrown hitters, the 25-man roster will be in excellent hands.

• Peter Gammons, writing for MLB.com, said the MLB draft is like free agency for small-market teams.

It was vital to the Orioles, who know they can't outbid the Yankees or Red Sox for free-agent pitchers and have to win the American League with a power rotation built around Jake Arrieta, Zach Britton, Dylan Bundy, Robert Bundy and Brian Matusz. And by the way, former O's executive and current MASN broadcaster Mike Flanagan took some heat for going over slot to sign Arrieta, who they now believe is their legit No. 1 starter for the next few years.

"This is the way we have to compete," manager Buck Showalter said.

Think about it: $7 or 8 million for Starling until he's at least 26 or $30 million for Swisher at ages 31-33? Dylan Bundy for $5 million and six to eight years of control or five years and $75 million of C.J. Wilson at ages 32-36?

• AP's David Ginsburg writes that Adam Jones is graceful on the diamond and complex off it.

Jones makes playing baseball look easy. He patrols the outfield with flair and grace. More often than not will blow a big pink bubble while chasing down a liner in the gap.

He's pretty good with a bat, too. Jones leads the Orioles with a .301 batting average, is tied for the team lead with 35 RBIs and ranks second with nine home runs.

"He's a great player. He can do everything," New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "Adam can hit, and hit for power. He can obviously play great in the field and he has a strong arm. He's got speed, he can steal bases."

Off the field, Jones is much harder to analyze. He can ride a unicycle, enjoys watching hockey, loves crosswords and word search games and ignores ESPN in favor of the Food Network or National Geographic Channel. He has the body of an athlete and the appetite of a couch potato.

• MLB.com's Avi Zaleon writes that the Orioles players are tweeting their way closer to fans.

Because the Orioles are in a smaller market than some of their American League East rivals, the O's players have become more accessible through the social media site.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Alex Rodriguez do not have verified personal Twitter accounts for fans to interact with. Though not endorsed by either athlete or their organization, respective Twitter accounts updating fans on the daily performance of Jeter and Rodriguez have been created and are followed by up to 8,000 people. There is even an account to keep track of Jeter's hits each day as he approaches 3,000 -- it has over 1,500 followers

But to Orioles starter Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34), the popular messaging service is about adding a human element to baseball players who would otherwise be a statistic in a box score.

"There's a lot more that goes into us as athletes -- we're people as well," Arrieta said. "We've got our personal lives that take place off the field. They [the fans] really like to be a part of what we're doing not only on the field, but off the field. And it sort of helps build a connection between the two with Twitter."

The Orioles are the best fit for Prince Fielder. Peter Angelos, the Orioles' owner, has not spent the money on a big time free agent since hiring team president Andy MacPhail. He's allowed MacPhail to build the team the right way, which takes time, patience, understanding and, most importantly, vision. They are getting there in a hurry. With the recent draft of Dylan Bundy, the Orioles now have a future top of the rotation of Zach Britton, Bundy and Brian Matusz. The Orioles drafted shortstop Manny Machado last year with the second overall pick in the draft. He is a future two-way star, and with catcher Matt Wieters and center fielder Adam Jones, they will give the O's a strong up-the-middle team.

If the Orioles can now sign a young, impact middle-of-the-order bat such as Fielder, they will be well on their way to becoming legitimate contenders. Fielder's daily positive energy and 40-50 home runs will be a difference-maker for the Orioles' offense.

[Compiled by Matt Vensel. If you enjoy reading these posts about the Orioles, Ravens and other Baltimore sports, check out Vensel's Coffee Companion posts every morning, Monday-Friday.]

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