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Award season underway for Orioles' three Gold Glove winners


Award season underway for Orioles' three Gold Glove winners

All season long, Orioles manager Buck Showalter would talk about J.J. Hardy’s defense.

“He’s better than I thought,” Showalter invariably said. Then, he’d go on to describe a nuance of Hardy’s play.

Showalter was delighted when Hardy won his first Gold Glove Award at shortstop on Tuesday night. His happiness was tripled when Matt Wieters won his second Gold Glove at catcher and Adam Jones his second. The Orioles were the only team in the majors to win three Gold Gloves.

“We turned into a good defensive team,” Showalter said in a conference call with the three winners after the awards were announced.

“They made their teammates better.”

Hardy expressed some surprise, saying that he’d come to expect the award to go to a shortstop who was “flashy.”

“I never felt that people noticed until Buck pointed it out,” Hardy said. “It surprises me. It’s an award I always hoped to get.”

Showalter disagreed with Hardy.

“I consider all these guys flashy. Their style is their substance,” he said. “It’s an honor to watch them.”

The manager, who’s still recuperating from partial knee replacement surgery, said he was forced to talk about Hardy.

“I had no choice. He was making three [outstanding] plays every night.”

Jones won his first award in 2009 when outfielders were grouped together.

“It was always two center fielders and Ichiro [Suzuki],” Jones said

Last year, the awards were given by position for the first time and now Jones won one in center field.

“It’s not just me out there making diving catches,” Jones said. “It’s making all the routine plays.”

The three winners know how important the awards were because the team won.

“This one is earned because the team won,” Jones said. “These guys made me better. We all made each other better.”

The awards are voted on by managers and coaches.

“I think it’s something you can take pride in,” Wieters said. “That’s what you’re going to have on winning teams, guys feeding off each other.”

Showalter said the awards will help change the impression of the Orioles.

“We turned into a good defensive team,” Showalter said. He pointed out that the reason the Orioles called up Manny Machado in August was because of his defense. Showalter said that Mark Reynolds’ first base play was laudable, too.

“If Nicky [Markakis] could have stayed healthy, we could have had four,” Showalter said.

Markakis won the award last year in right field.

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 


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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense


David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."