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MacPhail would be solid choice for Phillies

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MacPhail would be solid choice for Phillies

BALTIMORE --- Eight years ago this week, the Orioles made one of the best moves in franchise history. They named Andy MacPhail as their president of baseball operations.

As my friend and colleague Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, reported on Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies may soon do the same.

MacPhail, who has been out of baseball since Oct. 2011, wouldn’t be in the same position as he was in Baltimore, but he would have many of the same problems.

When MacPhail took over, the Orioles had a few pieces. Nick Markakis was in his second season, Zach Britton and Jim Johnson were in the minor leagues, but little else was there.

Matt Wieters had just been drafted, but with Scott Boras as his agent and a much more draftee-friendly system in place, it was no certainty that he would sign with the Orioles.

MacPhail successfully negotiated with Boras, who had a tenuous relationship with the team, and gave Wieters a huge contract. The Orioles had arguably the best catcher in their history. Two years later, MacPhail would wisely delay Wieters promotion until late May, giving him, one more season, which turned out to be this one, with the Orioles.

He traded for Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, drafted Manny Machado and picked Buck Showalter to manage the team.

[RELATED Orioles will activate Parmelee on Tuesday

MacPhail also traded Miguel Tejada, whose contract, then the largest in team history, was considered unmovable. He got some useful players in return, too.

Perhaps most important, MacPhail extracted the Orioles from the worst spring training facility in baseball, Fort Lauderdale, and negotiated the move to Sarasota. He also markedly improved the facility and vastly upgraded the team’s minor league facility.

MacPhail left the Orioles in good hands with Showalter and his successor Dan Duquette, but his father was in ill health and wanted to spend time with him.

He also tired of the day-to-day grind of being a general manager, and with the Phillies, MacPhail would have more of the role he had with the Chicago Cubs.

MacPhail still lives in the Baltimore area, and he could attack the Phillies problems patiently, though their fans might demand more immediate action.

The Phils have lots of bloated contracts (Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon and Chase Utley), and MacPhail would work diligently, though not hurriedly to rid the team of them.

With their record, they could well have the top draft pick next year, and he’ll have to start restocking the farm system.

He has some front office personnel he’s familiar with. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock and director of player development Joe Jordan both worked for him with the Orioles. So did special assignment scout Dave Hollins.

And, if he wants to make a managerial change, he has Juan Samuel, who was the Orioles’ interim manager before Showalter arrived.

MacPhail is content to let others take the credit for successes, and with his record of accomplishment with the Twins, Cubs and Orioles, his resume is an impressive one.

The Phillies would be lucky to have him.

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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

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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."

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