As baseball embraces the numbers behind the game, 2016 appears to be another year in which the Orioles try to find success in the face of data that says it won't come. The start of spring training is often accompanied by the winds of denial, with players and fans alike rejecting projection systems and forecasts that don't match their own assessments.
A pair of former major leaguers the Orioles took a look at on minor league deals this spring training -- outfielder Mike Carp and infielder Alex Liddi -- were among five players released from minor league camp this week, according to an industry source.
Thursday's mid-Atlantic Midwest NCAA matchup between Maryland and Kansas is a geographic repeat of the 2014 baseball playoff between the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. On such occasions I make food-based bets with my Kansas brother. That one cost me a shipment of Faidley's crab cakes when the Royals swept the O's.
One of the perceptions about last year¿s Orioles team is that it was lacking in clutch hitting, even though the Orioles scored eight more runs than their 2014 American League East division-title season and batted .276 with runners in scoring position, the sixth-best mark in those situations in baseball and fourth-best in the AL.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who agreed to terms on a restructured two-year deal guaranteeing him $22 million, is expected to be at the Ed Smith Stadium complex Thursday and could participate in his first workout as an Oriole the same day. And outfielder Dexter Fowler, whose three-year, $33 million deal is pending a physical, could be just behind him.
Now that the Orioles have agreed to terms with right-hander Yovani Gallardo on a three-year, $35 million deal, giving them the established starting pitcher they needed this offseason, it's just a matter of a few details before we see Gallardo in orange and black.
Hijacked in years past by rehabbing major league stars, free-agent rumors and veterans on tryouts, this year's edition of the Orioles' January minicamp seems to be more focused on its core purpose: getting a look at the stock of young, up-and-coming arms in the organization.
This week 26 years ago, pitcher Mark Davis signed a then-record $3.25 per year contract with the Kansas City Royals; the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition reached the South Pole; singer Taylor Swift was born; "The War of the Roses" topped the box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
Tonight at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for the Orioles to set their 40-man roster ahead of next month¿s Rule 5 draft, and the club likely will protect a couple of additional minor leaguers since their roster is currently at 37.
With all due respect to Dan Duquette and his willingness to look for talent in every corner of the baseball universe, it's time to get real. The deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers from their original clubs arrived Friday and Orioles fans can only hope it removes the last obstacle standing in the way of the team embarking aggressively on its offseason rebuilding project.
As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, free agents could begin signing with clubs besides the ones they played for in 2015. That means the Orioles' six free agents — Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Davis, Gerardo Parra, Steve Pearce, Darren O'Day and Matt Wieters — can all begin testing their free-agent value elsewhere. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has said the club will have the resources to add players via free agency.
The Royals might give some teams cover for staying on budget, but the Orioles don't need to take a lesson from anybody about that. If they want to take something from the Royals, how about a few of their key players?
SportsOnEarth.com recently ranked the Top 10 starts by rookies in the October Classic ¿ using the Bill James-created metric ¿game score¿ as the determining factor ¿ and Boddicker¿s complete-game three-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies was chosen No. 1.
The World Series title for Turgeon's favorite Major League Baseball team came a few hours before his favorite college basketball team was picked third nationally in a preseason poll for the second time in less than a month.
The side-arming Darren O'Day had his most impressive campaign in what has been a splendid four years in Baltimore. But the Orioles have already shown, with Andrew Miller, they won't pay closer money for a reliever not slated to close games.
Tuesday's night's Game One was not a bad way to start the World Series, even if it did end on Wednesday morning. Here's what they're saying about the Kansas City Royals' 5-4, 14-inning win in a game that seemed to have a little bit of everything.
The Royals were coming off their first World Series appearance in decades and clearly were more focused on taking another step forward rather than just trying to get back to the playoffs with the same team.
If Wednesday¿s ALDS Game 5 outcomes were any indicator, this year¿s American League Championship Series should be an entertaining one, but watching the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays play for a ticket to the World Series has to make more Orioles fans gag.