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Five good reasons why Davis could return to the Orioles


Five good reasons why Davis could return to the Orioles

For eleven weeks, ever since the Orioles season ended, Baltimore has obsessed over Chris Davis. As soon as the Orioles season ended, fans grew overly emotional when it came to Davis.

If the Orioles didn’t re-sign him, they’d never go to another Orioles game again.

With the Orioles’ offseason more than half over, and just over eight weeks before spring training begins, Davis is still unsigned, and there’s now a divide.

Many fans still want the Orioles to re-sign him, but others think the reported seven-year, $150 million offer is plenty good enough, and he should have snapped it up.

There are some very good reasons to think that Davis will accept an offer very similar to the one that supposedly is no longer sitting there for him.


1) The Orioles have made a historically good offer

Never have the Orioles signed a player to a nine-figure contract. Never have they signed a player for more than six years, but managing partner Peter Angelos, like many of his customers, is a Davis fan, and was determined to make a competitive offer to keep the slugger.

The Orioles have been criticized in the past for ignoring baseball’s new big money age. In Feb. 2014, they signed a free agent pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, for four years, the first time they’d ever done that.
And, it’s a deal that in retrospect doesn’t look as bad as some thought.

The Orioles knew they’d have to recognize the financial realities of this age. Superstars cost megamoney, and the Orioles now act on it.

2) There won’t be a better offer for Davis

Davis’ very skilled agent, Scott Boras, has been trying to find a better offer, or offers, so he can get a sense of the market, but it’s seemed for a while that the Orioles don’t have any competition for him.

Should a star injure himself over the holidays as Detroit’s Victor Martinez did in 2012 that could present an opportunity for a competitor to bid against the Orioles.

After Martinez’s injury, suddenly Prince Fielder became a Tiger, and maybe that happens again.

But for now, the big money teams: Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Angels and Nationals, don’t seem eager to spend more money on a first baseman.

3) Davis really does like it in Baltimore

When Davis slumped badly in 2014 and his average sunk under .200, fans didn’t boo him. When he was suspended at the end of that season for using Adderall without a prescription, they ignored it.

In many of those big money ballparks, Davis would have been pilloried. There’s something charming about a fan base that’s not all that critical and forgiving, and Davis seems to realize that.

While his teammates were angry with him for the suspension, they greeted him with warm hugs upon his arrival in the clubhouse last February in Sarasota.

The biggest names on the team, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters all like him, and have publicly called for the Orioles to bring him back.

That might not happen in Boston.

4) The Orioles really need him

Perhaps the Orioles’ offer to Davis may not be the final one, but it not only recognizes baseball’s new age, it shows they need a powerful left-handed bat.
Pedro Alvarez may hit lots of home runs, and his left-handed bat would be a nice contrast, but he’d be the designated hitter.

Davis has turned himself into a good first baseman, and he’s not a bad outfielder. Boras has tried to sell him as not only the best first basemen in the free agent class, but the best hitting outfielder, too.

That may be a stretch, but Davis can fill in at third base, too.

5) Davis would be an important figure in Orioles history

Over the last four years, Davis has averaged 40 home runs a year. If he somehow manages to do that over the next seven years, he’ll have just under 500 home runs, and will make himself into a Hall of Fame candidate.

While Davis continues to strike out far too often, he’s become a better batter. His strikeouts are high, but his walks have increased, too. Last year he walked 84 times and had a .361 on-base percentage.

In 2013 when he hit 53 home runs, he had a .370 OBP.

Sluggers sometimes don’t age well, but Davis does work out hard, and a new contract wouldn’t change that.

A seven-year deal would take Davis through the 2022 season when he’ll be 36.

The guess here is that the Davis drama extends through the holidays and into January, but in the end No. 19 returns to Baltimore, and Oriole fans—as well as Davis—live happily ever after.

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

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Showalter fired as Orioles manager after 115-loss season

Buck Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, who made three playoff appearances under his guidance but this year staggered through the worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954.

Showalter confirmed the dismissal Wednesday in a text message to The Associated Press.

A three-time AL Manager of the Year, Showalter ranks second on the Orioles' career list with 669 victories, trailing Earl Weaver. He took over in August 2010 and orchestrated the resurgence of a team that suffered through 14 straight losing seasons.

Once hailed for making baseball in Baltimore relevant again, the 62-year-old Showalter is out of a job after a season in which the Orioles finished 47-115, 61 games behind Boston in the AL East. His contract expired at the end of October, and the Orioles opted against a renewal as they continue a major rebuild that began in late July, when they traded stars Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman for minor league prospects.

Those deals were made by Dan Duquette, the executive vice president of baseball operations, whose future with the organization is up in the air.

Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors in 2014 after taking the Orioles to the AL East title and a berth in the Championship Series. He was also named Manager of Year with the Yankees in 1994 and Texas in 2004. His career record is 1,551-1,517, including 669-684 with Baltimore.

"I just think ever since he came here, the franchise just gained a little more accountability, gained an edge for some time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said before the final game of the season. "It's the end of an era. A great manager, a great tenure. I don't know if he's going to coach or manage again, but he's got grandchildren. Go golf. Relax and go sit on the golf course."

With his future in doubt, Showalter appeared undaunted during the final series of the regular season.

"You know how good they've been to me? I'm not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens," he said.

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin was asked before his team's playoff game against the Yankees on Wednesday night whether Showalter was victimized by the trend toward analytics.

"I don't think Buck was a guy that ignored analytics," Melvin said. "I think it was probably a combination of how they did this year and maybe some relationships."

After the Orioles brought Showalter out of retirement, he offered renewed hope by fashioning a 34-23 finish in 2010 for a team that was 32-73 upon his arrival.

Baltimore ended a 14-year playoff drought in 2012, advancing to the AL Division Series following a victory over Texas in the wild-card game. Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016 followed.

Last year, however, the Orioles fell to 75-87 after losing 19 of their final 23 games. Baltimore hoped the addition of starters Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner would enable the team to be a contender this year, but a horrid start quickly dispelled that notion.

The Orioles' deficit in the AL East reached double digits by April 18 and they were 8-27 on May 8. By the end of July, Baltimore fully entered rebuilding mode, leaving Showalter with the dubious distinction of overseeing a team that finished with the poorest record in the majors and one that surpassed the 1939 St. Louis Browns for most losses in franchise history.

Showalter never offered an excuse. He just grinded forward, working to prepare the team for 2019 even though he knew he might not be around to follow through.

At the outset of a season-ending series against Houston, Showalter was asked if he was thinking these might be his final days in the Baltimore dugout.

"We all have some private thoughts and emotions about that, but I don't think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now," he said. "We've got some things to do these last four games that need to get done."

Showalter has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager, but his players appreciated his baseball knowledge and skill at handling a team. He made a point of talking to each of them on a regular basis, almost always offering encouragement.

"He gave me a chance," said catcher Caleb Joseph, who played six-plus years in the minors before arriving in Baltimore. "He believed in me in 2014, ran me out there and gave me a chance to be part of a championship team. He's really vouched for me ever since. I owe a lot to Buck and his loyalty. He's been a main figure here for a long time."

Sensing the end was near for the only big league manager he had ever played for, first baseman Trey Mancini said: "It's been an absolute honor to play for Buck. He's been incredible."

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

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Red Sox beat Orioles 6-2 to clinch home field through Series

The Boston Red Sox broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory on Monday night, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason by beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.

Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Orioles batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and mostly likely Oakland.

The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.

The Orioles (45-111) became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60 games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It's the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.

Boston scored four in the second inning, getting back-to-back doubles from Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, an RBI single from Christian Vazquez and Betts' two-run homer over the Green Monster. It was the 32nd homer of the season for Betts, a new career high.

Betts also singled and scored in Boston's two-run fourth, moving him into the major-league lead with 125 runs scored. In his last three games, he is 10 for 16 with three homers and four doubles, and he leads teammate J.D. Martinez (.328) in the AL batting race.

Renato Nunez had three hits for the Orioles, who fell to 2-15 against Boston and 18-61 on the road this season.


Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.

Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.


Orioles: RHP Yefrey Ramirez is scheduled to start on Wednesday, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to give him an extra day or two. "I think Yefrey will pitch again, I just don't know when," Showalter said.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts was back in the lineup after feeling soreness in his left shoulder during a swing and leaving Sunday night's game. ... INF Eduardo Nunez ran on Sunday to test his hamstring and was scheduled to run again on Monday with the goal of having him back in the lineup by Wednesday or Friday.


LHP David Price (15-7) tries to bounce back from a rough start in Yankee Stadium in the second game of the series in what could be his last start of the regular season.