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The 'Pride of Pigtown' says goodbye to the Orioles


The 'Pride of Pigtown' says goodbye to the Orioles

Steve Clevenger fit with the Orioles. As a child, he lived in the section of Baltimore called “Pigtown,” named for all the slaughterhouses that were once there.

Clevenger could walk to the ballpark, and did. Later on, his family moved out of the West Baltimore neighborhood. Clevenger went to Mount St. Joseph’s high in Southwest Baltimore and played in what was then the “Crown All-Star Game” at Oriole Park.

He was drafted by the Cubs, and then sent home along with Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Please don’t hold that against him.

Clevenger is a fun guy to be around, disarmingly honest. He freely admitted he didn’t know that the grand slam he hit on Sept. 11 against the Kansas City Royals was the Orioles’ second of the inning, tying a record.

RELATED: A dizzying day ends with three new Orioles

In parts of three seasons with the Orioles, Clevenger got to play in only 69 games. He thought that in 2014, he would get his chance, and he did.

Clevenger made the Opening Day roster, but after Matt Wieters was hurt and Nick Hundley acquired, the Orioles sent him down and kept Caleb Joseph, a decision he seethed about.

But, he worked hard on his defense, and it improved, especially in 2015, and hit .287 in 30 games.

When the Orioles made a qualifying offer to Wieters last month, and he surprisingly accepted, it was clear that Clevenger wouldn’t get many opportunities to catch, and on Wednesday was sent to Seattle for Mark Trumbo and C.J. Riefenhauser.

“No, I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. I had a feeling with Matt signing back, the Orioles, to me, weren’t interested in carrying three catchers, and I kind of figured they’d probably shop me around a little bit and try and get something they could use for the team this year,” Clevenger said on Wednesday night.

“I’m very disappointed I didn’t get to play, but I’m always going to look at my time in Baltimore as a highlight. Getting a chance to play for your hometown team is a dream come true. All my moments here, I’ll always cherish. There’s no bad feelings towards the Orioles. It’s good for me and my family. I get to go to Seattle and hopefully establish myself as a big league player.”

Clevenger played with Nelson Cruz last year, so he won’t be alone with the Mariners. He knows Kyle Seager from playing against him in the minor leagues, and Seattle has a reliever, Tony Zych, he knows from the Cubs organization.

In August, Clevenger became the first player born in Baltimore to homer at Oriole Park, and he has another big day he remembers.
On May 10, 2014, Clevenger had three hits, including the game-winner in a 10th inning win over Houston.

“I always think about the walkoff hit I had in 2014 against Houston, getting pied by Adam [Jones]. It was a fun day, running down the orange carpet on Opening Day. I would say they were my two best memories,” Clevenger said.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles settle with Reimold, offer eight contracts

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

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."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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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