Long before Cedric Mullins became the Orioles' center fielder of the future — let alone the first in what they hope is a wave of blossoming young talent to join a team that desperately needs it — there was an exchange that stuck with the dynamic, then-junior college outfielder.
Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina saw his vote total climb again in the balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but missed out on induction, while Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Trevor Hoffman earned induction as the class of 2018.
In one sense, it was a fleeting snapshot in a forgettable Grapefruit League game. But there also was some significance to it: Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Schoop are countrymen from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, which has become a professional baseball hotbed.
Now, the burning question is: How does Manny Machado compare with the sport's elite young players — specifically, the reigning rookies of the year Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper?
Buck Showalter sat in the visiting team manager¿s office of Yankee Stadium before Wednesday¿s series finale and waxed about how quickly momentum can change for a team during the haul of a 162-game season.