SARASOTA, Fla. – When Darren O’Day re-signed with the Orioles last December, he campaigned for Chris Davis’ return. O’Day hoped that his new luxuriant mustache would help lure his longtime teammate back to the Orioles.
It didn’t hurt.
“Ultimately, I don’t think it was the mustache. There are a lot of good reasons to come back here. You’ll have to ask Chris what his ultimate decider was,” O’Day said.
“With Chris, he already knew what was here, the guys here, the group, the environment we come to work in every day, so it wasn’t so much telling him what that would be like. It was more so just reminding him of the stuff he had done here. It was more so talking to a friend—and growing a mustache.”
O’Day, who has since shaved off the gaudy facial hair, signed a four-year, $31 million contract to return to the Orioles, and it was the second of three big moves the Orioles made. Not only did O’Day and Davis come back, but Matt Wieters did, too—at least for one year.
When the season ended last October, it didn’t look likely that those three would return, and O’Day admitted so.
“Frankly, no. I’d be surprised. There’s quality players and quality men. There’s a lot to like about this team and the players they’ve assembled, so it is surprising a little bit, but obviously it’s a really nice pleasant surprise. Personally, I couldn’t be happier to be back, and I hope I speak for the other guys,” O’Day said.
It wasn’t just emotions that convinced Davis to return.
“We’re an overly right-handed lineup, so we needed a big left-handed power hitter, obviously. We already had a guy that we know what he’s capable of in the field. He plays all over the place, he hits and he’s a good teammate, and obviously he’s a good friend, so it’s just a great fit. He’s a great player, so we’re glad to have him back,” O’Day said.