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O'Day says coming back to Orioles was easy choice


O'Day says coming back to Orioles was easy choice

BALTIMORE—Darren O’Day says that it wasn’t a hard decision to return to the Orioles. On Monday, O’Day’s, four-year, $31 million contract became official.

He thought about signing with the Nationals, and with some other teams, but once the Orioles guaranteed the fourth year, that helped him make the decision.

“It was an easy choice to come back with how this team presented itself,” O’Day said on Tuesday at a news conference to discuss his return.

“I think in my heart of hearts I hoped it would come true. I had such a wonderful four years here, the work we’ve done over the past four years, bringing this proud franchise back to where it should be with a lot of wins, really means a lot to me. To be able to continue that for four more years means a lot to me. I always hoped it would be a possibility. There was a time there we talked right at the beginning of the offseason, didn’t talk much for a while, and then at the end, they made it obvious they wanted me back, and I wanted to come back.”

O’Day has gone 23-8 with a 1.92 ERA in his four seasons with the Orioles. When the season ended on Oct. 4, he wasn’t sure he’d be back.

“There’s always a chance of that,” O’Day said.

RELATED: Source: South Korean OF Kim likely to remain there

O’Day remembered that during the time just before Dan Duquette took over as executive vice president of baseball operations in Nov. 2011, Buck Showalter saw his name on the waiver wire.

“Four years ago, in Buck’s only move as a GM, he claimed me for free. That price escalated pretty quickly in four years,” O’Day said.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be back and happy to be back, especially to rejoin my teammates. That would probably be one thing I would miss the most, is playing with those guys every day. I enjoy coming to work. Living on top of each other for six months, eight months a year with these guys. That would be hard to leave.”

O’Day has been a setup man during his time with the Orioles. Other teams wanted him as a closer. At 33, he doesn’t have the ego to demand the closing role, and he pointed at Showalter as a main reason for returning.

“This guy [Showalter] knows a little something about baseball, especially managing a bullpen, managing everybody on the team really. If you’re referring to the opportunity to close games, I don’t need that to feel validated. I think sometimes the situations I get put into, the eighth inning, the seventh inning, can determine a game more so than the ninth inning with empty bases,” O’Day said.

“I take a lot of pride in doing what I do, and pitching in those big situations, and I know Buck is going to take care of me physically, and I know our medical staff here is top-notch. I hope that I can continue to keep playing after this contract, and that certainly was a big factor.”

In March 2012, O’Day was not guaranteed to make the team. It came down to him and a young pitcher, Zach Phillips. Now, it’s hard to imagine O’Day elsewhere.

“It’s been an interesting path from a guy that was lightly recruited out of high school, tried to walk on to a college team, throwing overhand and got cut. Walked on as an extra, throwing sidearm, and I made it. Didn’t think I would get a chance to play professionally. Been designated, changed teams four times without being traded. It’s been an interesting ride, it really has,” O’Day said.

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles make O'Day's four-year contract official

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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."