New San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado arrived at Nationals Park on Friday and said he wasn't talking about Orioles fans when he made a negative comment about Baltimore in a Sports Illustrated interview this spring.
On Friday, the Orioles will open their longest road trip of the season thus far: a three-city, nine-game, 10-day trip that will take them to face the Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians, forcing them to play games in three different time zones.
A decade ago, it was nicknamed the "American League Beast," the biggest, baddest division in all of baseball. It featured the sport's two free-spending behemoths and three other talented but inferior teams that seemingly prayed for the gift of realignment to win a title. But the American League East has become — gasp — anyone's race each season, with four clubs winning the division title in the past five years. Only the Toronto Blue Jays haven't captured the crown recently.
There was a sense throughout the industry that the Orioles' decision to back away from closer Grant Balfour after his failed physical in December could adversely affect the club going forward. That reality apparently played a part in not landing veteran starter Bronson Arroyo.
When the Orioles sent outfielder-designated hitter Henry Urrutia back to Triple-A Norfolk after Friday night's loss to the Colorado Rockies, it ended the Cuban defector's first stint in major league baseball.
Orioles rookie Henry Urrutia hasn't started a game since Aug. 3, but he was still an important part of the club's eight-game interleague road trip through National League West parks in San Diego, San Francisco and Arizona, as he pinch hit in all but one game.
Despite Chris Davis' majors leading 43rd homer of the season and a gritty rally in the ninth, the Orioles dropped their series opener to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-6, with a walk-off loss in front of an announced 18,889 at Chase Field.
Adam Jones had played just three major league games in his hometown before Tuesday night's game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. But the Orioles center fielder definitely felt right at home.
Sunday's loss to the Seattle Mariners dropped the Orioles to 4-5 on a homestand that featured the division rival Boston Red Sox, the last-place Houston Astros and up-and-coming but below .500 Seattle team.
Keith Law, the lead baseball writer for Scouts Inc., has been critical of the Orioles' offseason moves, so I thought my readers might read to see what he had to say about the additions of Vladimir Guerrero and J.J. Hardy, the Matt Wieters debate and where the Orioles stand in the AL East.