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What they're saying about the Orioles: Sept. 15

Here's a look at what other media outlets have been saying about the Orioles during the past week:

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Baseball insiders are all but certain that well-respected executive Andy MacPhail will leave his post as president and general manager of the Orioles. MacPhail's expected departure is the latest in a string of blows covering more than a decade for the storied franchise gone south. But the real question now is the interesting one: Will anyone of stature take such a job?

"Who'd want it?'' wonders one high-ranking baseball person.

No one since Hall of Famer Pat Gillick quit in 1998 has been able to get the Orioles to the playoffs, and lately no one has even gotten them close to .500. MacPhail, a true pro, is a loss. But he really never had a chance from the start.

Assuming that the Orioles do not go out and get a closer this offseason, it appears that Jim Johnson is the heir apparent to the atrocious reign of Kevin Gregg. 

Can Johnson give Orioles fans the hope and change they want? He has garnered saves in his last four outings, so clearly there is at least hope. But what about change? 

There are two things that a closer needs to do to keep the job, get strikeouts and throw ground balls.

Cuellar only had an eight-year run in Baltimore, and arrived well after he'd turned 30, but the O's saw a workhorse, and innings and wins are what they got. Cuellar became the first Latin pitcher to win the Cy Young Award when he split it with Denny McClain in 1969 -- his first year as an Oriole. He went on to notch 143 wins during his time in Baltimore, and also delivered WAR seasons worth 2.5 wins or more in five of his first six seasons.

• Heath Bintliff of Dempsey's Army is rooting for the Orioles to lose down the stretch. But why?

With the recently concluded series with Tampa Bay and seven games with the Boston Red Sox over a two-week span in such close proximity to one another, it has led some Oriole fans to root against their own team. For some reason, the O's laying down for the Rays and playing tough against the Red Sox is the desired outcome, hopefully allowing the Tampa Bay to catch Boston and claim the American League wild card lead.

Why would I ever root against the Orioles? So that one division rival can oust another? Why should I care which of those teams makes the playoffs? Hell, if I had to pick, I'll take the Red Sox for the playoffs. If the Rays start making the playoffs on a regular basis, they may start to develop a fanbase, something that is non-existent for them now. If that started happening, their revenues would increase and they might really prove to be a more formidable organization than they are already. Boston will continue to be an AL East powerhouse whether they make the playoffs this year or not.

So to root against the Orioles for such petty reasons seems silly to me.

But I will root for them to lose for another reason: the draft.

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Lifelong Orioles fan Tim Anderson, who made national and local headlines when he caught home runs in three consecutive contests at Camden Yards earlier this season, was at it again Wednesday night. A Calvert Hall senior, Anderson snagged home run balls by Chris Davis and Matt Wieters in Baltimore's 6-2 win over Tampa Bay.

With the Orioles down by one in the fourth inning, Davis sent Rays starter Wade Davis' 0-2 offering over the left-center-field fence for a pivotal three-run homer. Meanwhile, Wieters set a new career high by going deep for the third consecutive game when he connected on Tampa Bay rookie Matt Moore's first pitch in the eighth. Wieters' ball sailed an estimated 382 feet and landed close enough to Davis' blast for Anderson to come away with another multi-catch night.

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

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