cy young award
It was a year for brilliant individual performances from
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NATIONAL HARBOR — The
Orioles' 2017 expectations took another big hit Tuesday, when theThe Orioles held preliminary talks with right-hander Chris Tillman’s representatives regarding a possible extension.Under Armour announced a 10-year deal Monday to outfit all Major League Baseball players starting in 2020 – marking the brand's first uniform agreement with an American professional league.Winter Meetings: As teams begin to empty pockets on relievers, Duquette determined to keep Orioles bullpen intactWill the game remember Zach Britton for the 47 saves in 47 chances, the 0.54 ERA in 67 innings over 69 games, or his exclusion from the top three vote-getters for the American League Cy Young Award and the immediate — maybe long-term — shift in relief pitching philosophy that was the defining storyline of the playoffs after Showalter didn't use him?Orioles closer Zach Britton not finalist for AL Cy Young award, Showalter among final three for AL manager of the yearOrioles closer Zach Britton received his first postseason honor Wednesday when he was named to the Sporting News American League All-Star team.I wonder how many sports fans are tired of hearing about all the great moves Orioles general manager Dan Duquette has made during his time with the Orioles? Are you as tied as I am seeing one of the worst starting staffs in all of baseball?We watch baseball for the same reason we go to the movies — to see ourselves reflected. The boys of summer get up every morning and go to the ballpark every day. Every at bat is a challenge, every field position a choice. Like us, sometimes they choose well and turn the perfect double play. Other times, they choose poorly and go down without swinging the bat. We have to believe in them, the way we believe in ourselves. We have to believe that in the aggregate, we choose correctly.The national narrative that developed after the Orioles' dramatic loss in Tuesday night's wild-card game was what the late, great broadcaster Howard Cosell liked to call "a piercing look into the obvious." Orioles manager Buck Showalter lost his magic touch at just the wrong moment — when God and a national television audience was watching.Zach Britton said the outing he was most proud of this season was a two-inning, non-save situation in a tie game on the road in Toronto.Josh Land, Orioles editor: A brutal end to the Orioles season. Not using Zach Britton is a mystery, but the imperfect Orioles see their postseason run endAfter four deflating games against the Boston Red Sox this week at Camden Yards, it’s obvious that the Orioles and the AL East leaders are on different fields.The Orioles spent liberally in the offseason and have exceeded expectations on the field. But as they drive for a third playoff berth in five seasons, fans are not filling Camden Yards.It took until mid-September for the Orioles to post three series wins on the same road trip, but that’s what they did over the past nine games with their 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.Orioles righty Kevin Gausman spent the first half of this season answering queries about receiving poor run support and his inexplicable road losing streak.Ubaldo Jimenez seems to have found his step now, emerging from a stint buried in the back of the Orioles bullpen to put together his best stretch of this roller-coaster season. His resurgence is occurring at the right time.If they make a movie about the Orioles' just-completed four-game series against the Mariners, it would have to be called "Clueless in Seattle."It certainly is no secret in Baltimore and beyond that the Orioles starting rotation is in crisis, which just makes it that much more frustrating for fans to watch from afar as 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta continues along his merry way.Every scouting director in the majors tabbed players on Thursday, the first day of the MLB draft, who they believe will before long be wearing his team's colorsThe Orioles' series opener against the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards on Friday was postponed by rain and will be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader on Saturday.The reality for Yovani Gallardo is that he has changed over the course of his career. And if the drop in velocity and arm strength he has shown through his first two starts are permanent, Gallardo and the Orioles will rely on an approach that has developed over the years to accommodate that.The Orioles' hot start shouldn't keep fans from licking their lips at the prospect of making all those so-called experts eat their words if the club turns out to be way better than any of them predicted.The Orioles struck out 15 times in Monday's victory over the Boston Red Sox, but there are good reasons for that and no reason to be alarmed.The Orioles batting order was built to be in attack mode, designed to send balls over the fence at Camden Yards in a flurry. And in Friday night's series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, that blueprint was on full display against one of the best pitchers in the American League.