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Cubs' win means Orioles move up on World Series drought list

Cubs' win means Orioles move up on World Series drought list

The end of the 71-year Cubs World Series drought certainly qualifies as big news. It was fun to watch the fans at Wrigley Field and the Cubs bask in their triumph and sets up a World Series between two teams that have won a Series in a combined 174 years. 

Just a few months ago, the Cleveland Indians might have been vying for the sentimental underdog role, but the Cavaliers’ winning of the NBA championship last June has made the Cubs a clear favorite in the eyes of the U.S.

The Cubs’ win now moves the Washington Nationals, who started life as the Montreal Expos, to the top of the no World Series list. The Expos, an expansion franchise in 1969, never reached the Series, and the Nationals, despite excellent teams of late, haven’t either. 

In second place is the Seattle Mariners, who began life in 1977. They won 116 games in 2001, lost in the American League Championship Series, and haven’t been to the postseason since. 

The Mariners have played in three ALCS’ while the Expos/Nationals franchise has played in only one NLCS, in 1981.

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Of the teams that have played in World Series, the original franchise that has gone the longest without getting back is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who beat the Orioles in a stinging 1979 World Series. 

Many Orioles fans still cringe at listening to “We are Family” by Sister Sledge. 

The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Orioles in a taut American League East race in 1982. 

Who can ever forget the farewell to Earl Weaver after the final game at Memorial Stadium that season? 

Milwaukee went to the World Series that season, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. 

The Brewers, who switched leagues in 1998, lost in the NLCS to the Cardinals in 2011, but haven’t played in the Series as a National League team.

And believe it or not, the Orioles now have the fifth longest World Series drought. 

Next season marks 34 years since a World Series was played in Baltimore. 

Since then, the Orioles moved from Memorial Stadium to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and have played in three American League Championship Series. 

In the time since the Orioles won the World Series, 25 other teams have made it there including four teams—Arizona, Colorado, Miami and Tampa Bay—that didn’t even exist then. 

It’s a great argument for parity. 

The Cubs are the team with the best record in baseball, and the Indians, came within one win of equaling Texas for the best record in the American League. (Cleveland had a game rained out in Detroit in the last week of the season that wasn’t made up.) 

In recent years, the Red Sox and White Sox have broken long dry spells, and this year someone else’s goes away while another stays on. 

A World Series in Baltimore would be fun, and while fans may be frustrated that the three postseason appearances in the last five years haven’t gotten the Orioles to the holy grail, the franchise is in good hands, and should be a contender again in 2017.

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

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Closer Zach Britton tears Achilles tendon in offseason training

BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Zach Britton ruptured his right Achilles tendon in offseason training, a significant injury that could cause him to miss part of the 2018 season.

Baltimore executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday confirmed the torn Achilles tendon. It was not immediately clear how long Britton would be out.

In a tweet announcing the injury, the team said Britton was injured Tuesday while training in California and wished him a speedy recovery.

Britton had 15 saves and a 2.89 ERA with the Orioles this past season. In 2016, had a 0.54 ERA and was perfect in save opportunities with a major league-leading 47.

The left-hander, who turns 30 on Friday, is arbitration eligible after making $11.4 million last season. Britton can become a free agent after next season, which made him a strong trade candidate before the injury.

Britton has converted 135 of 145 save opportunities since becoming the Orioles' closer in 2014.


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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

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Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.