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Davis really wanted to stay with Orioles

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Davis really wanted to stay with Orioles

Chris Davis knew he was returning to the Orioles. He’d quietly begun working out a few times a week with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. Davis wouldn’t do that if he was signing elsewhere.

Davis let his agent, Scott Boras, do his talking, and on Thursday night, the first time we’ve heard from the slugger since Oct. 4, he said he didn’t ever want to leave.

“We knew that we have really enjoyed being in Baltimore. For the last four years, that’s really all I had known and we’ve had a lot of success here, and it was just a comfortable place to be. My family enjoys it here. I think the fact that we knew they were interested obviously made it a little bit easier,” Davis said.

Of course, the Orioles were interested.

If ever a team listened to its fans, the Orioles did. While there are many decrying the deal, saying the Orioles paid too much for Davis, there are many, many more who would have been pained had he left.

Never had there been so much angst over a free agent. And, in the end the Orioles came through.

The skeptics said the Orioles were bidding against themselves. Boras didn’t discourage that talk.

“You know, when you go to a wedding, you never talk about your girlfriends,” Boras joked.

There was speculation that Detroit would make a last-minute push, but owner Mike Ilitch, who is never afraid to spend was talked out of the pursuit by General Manager Al Avila. The Tigers ended up with Justin Upton instead.

Boras’ tactic has been to deal directly with ownership, and he spoke to Peter Angelos, who in a phone call, told Davis, how much he wanted him back.

"Each negotiation has its own agenda and spirit, but the one thing that I did in this negotiation is I flew out here and met with Peter and Dan [Duquette] and let them know that Chris and I had talked, and this ballpark and this community, I wanted him to know. I said, 'I don't do this very often. It's not exactly a great free agent tactic to fly here and meet with an owner and let him know that we're very interested in re-signing here.' We did at the forefront of free agency. Sometimes it's good for a lawyer to know from another lawyer, what the real intent of free agency is. Being able to have that meeting, I think, set in motion the clear intentions of Peter and Dan. I was able to communicate that to Chris,” Boras said.

Boras knew that a solid offer in December probably wasn’t going away, and that as his client got antsy for the process to end, the team would be getting nervous, too. When word got out, that the Orioles were serious about moving on, and that Yoenis Cespedes might get many of those Davis dollars, the end game was at hand.

It helped that the players Davis knew the best were coming back, too. Matt Wieters accepted a $15.8 qualifying offer, and Darren O’Day signed a four-year, $31 million extension.

At O’Day’s press conference, the reliever, who was wearing a mustache, publicly campaigned for Davis’ return, and that didn’t hurt.

“Number 19, he’s actually a mustache enthusiast so I’m hoping that maybe he’ll see a picture of this and think that he couldn’t stand not seeing it for a while. So maybe he sees it and thinks that’s where I want to play,” O’Day said last month.

The mustache enthusiast was wearing a neatly trimmed full beard, one that will have to disappear a month from now when he reports to Sarasota for spring training. He’ll be looking forward to seeing O’Day.

““He pretty much says what everybody's thinking but doesn't want to say, and then he shows up at a press conference with a Wyatt Earp mustache and he doesn't ever pull any punches. The biggest recruitment tool is like I talk about, the clubhouse atmosphere. When you do what we do, day in and day out for as long as we do it, there are going to be go days, there are going to be bad days, but really having that atmosphere where you feel like you can come in and relax and be yourself. I think that to me is the biggest recruiting tool that anyone of us can have because you want to be comfortable in a place where you work and place where you spend so much time,” Davis said.

Say what you will about the money, but the players do enjoy spending time around each other. Now, the trick will be to find a few more that can fit in and can help the team win.

RELATED: It's a big deal! Davis returning to Orioles

 

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Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

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USA TODAY Sports

Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

MORE ALL-STAR NEWS: