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Eddie Murray-Misunderstood Orioles superstar

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Eddie Murray-Misunderstood Orioles superstar

It was just one of 504 home runs in Eddie Murrays career. He may not even remember it, but I do.It was June 4, 1984, at Memorial Stadium, and Cal Ripken had just hit a three-run home run in the second inning. Murray was up next.Pete Ladd, a relatively anonymous Milwaukee Brewer right-hander with enormous feet, decided Murray could be intimidated and he threw a knockdown pitch.Murray got up, glared at Ladd and sent the next pitch for a home run.Unforgettable.Murray had great success against Ladd. Four hits, two home runs in six-at bats.He had great success against a lot of pitchers.Next Saturday, Murray will become the fourth Oriole to have a statue dedicated in their honor. Just as deserving as Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver and Jim Palmer, but much more enigmatic.Beloved for both his on-field and off-field activities in Baltimore, Murray unlike Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken and Palmer didnt spend his entire career with the Orioles.In fact, he demanded a trade away from Baltimore. In 1986, Edward Bennett Williams, the teams owner, said that Murray needed to stay in better shape. Murray seethed about those remarks, and asked to be traded.After the 1988 season, the Orioles traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three marginal players.Murray came back late in the 1996 seasons and ended up playing 13 of his 21 seasons with the Orioles.He, like Palmer, Ripken and Brooks Robinson, should have been a lifetime Oriole.He was probably the biggest hitter we had. He was, not only a great hitter, but a clutch hitter. Eddie could do anything Eddie wanted to do, former teammate and current broadcaster Rick Dempsey said.Murray had 100 or more RBIs in six seasons, five of them with the Orioles. He also had five seasons with 30 or more home runs, all with Baltimore.He had more than 500 home runs and 3,255 hits, but never hit 35 homers or more than 184 hits in a season.Murray wasnt flashy. He was just consistent.He was the worst practice guy you ever want to see-especially hitting. When they said play ball, that guy was dead serious and getting the job done. He was there every day, Dempsey said.Cal was just breaking in in 83. Eddie was the guy that made it all happen.1983 was Murrays year. He had 33 homers, 111 RBIs and a .311 average. It was the Orioles world championship winning year, but Ripken was the regular season MVP and Dempsey the World Series MVP.In the winter, Ripken and Dempsey got most of the attention. Murray got the admiration.He was a great teammate. He was a guy that kept everybody loose. You just dont know that about him. He was not good with outside people or the media. It put too much focus on him. He did not like that, Dempsey said.
Dempsey said that Murray was over misinterpreted as rude. He was intense.He stayed within himself, and thats what made him good because he needed to go through this routine every day where nobody was asking him questions about how many home runs hed hit, how good he was. He didnt want that, Dempsey said.He didnt want any attention at all because every day he went through the same routine, take his ground balls and go around and flip the balls around in batting practice.For years, Murray avoided interviews, shunning the media. When he returned to the Orioles in 1996, he spoke more frequently, but was still reticent, and in his time as a coach, he was still media-shy.Hes very good with the media now, very good with talking with people now. Thats what he needed to do to get the job done, Dempsey said.I didnt care. I know that he offended people, autograph seekers. He had just one job to do, being the cleanup hitter for the Orioles, and he did it as good as anybody that ever played the game.

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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USA Today Sports Images

Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm