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Reynolds publicly criticizes umpires


Reynolds publicly criticizes umpires

This week has been all about Mark Reynolds. Finally getting out of his season-long slump, making some sparkling plays at first base, and on Friday night, throwing his glove, getting ejected from the game and publicly criticizing the umpires.Most players and managers limit their public criticism of umpires, fearing fines and retribution.Reynolds wasnt afraid.After Friday nights game, Reynolds took aim at the umpiring crew. In the fifth inning, he was ejected for complaining about an overturned call at first base.Originally, Detroits Jhonny Peralta was called out at first base by Jeff Kellogg. After Tigers manager Jim Leyland complained, home plate umpire Tim Timmons overturned the call and said Peralta was safe. The Orioles, already steamed because they felt Timmons blew a call on Nick Markakis at home plate in the first were incensed.

Reynolds was ejected by second base umpire Vic Carapazza for throwing his first basemans mitt and manager Buck Showalter followed him.Interestingly, Leyland, perhaps baseballs most aggressive umpire baiter was able to make a convincing case, and Showalter, who gets ejected much more rarely, couldnt.Showalter kept his postgame comments on the umpiring relatively terse, as he usually does. He said he was shocked at the overturned call and that Markakis was blatantly safe.Reynolds didnt feel constrained.Its a shame they dont have accountability, Reynolds told reporters in Detroit.They dont have any. If they make a bad call, its like: Ho-hum, next day is coming. If we have a bad couple of games we get benched or we get sent down. They have nobody breathing down their throats.He wasnt finished.They have nobody. They are just secure in their jobs. And they are probably over there laughing about it because they dont worry about it.Reynolds summed it up: Its almost like Screw the Orioles by the umpires, he concluded.Theres got to be some kind of replay for this. Its to the point where all these calls that get missed, cost people runs, cost people outsI cant say how I really feel, but its pretty obvious.Reynolds sometimes seems as if hes a laid back Westerner. Hes actually from Virginia Beach, and as evidenced Friday night, very honest. Last September when the Angels Ervin Santana hit him in the head with a pitch, Reynolds accused him of headhunting. On Thursday when Adam Jones was hit by Clay Buchholz, Jones wouldnt comment on the pitchs purpose.Reynolds also accused the umpires of blatantly blowing a call on Jones on Wednesday night in a game the Orioles won.Major League Baseball has been extraordinarily slow to adopt replay. For several seasons, theyve had replay on home run calls. Despite protestations from purists, the home run replay system works efficiently.Commissioner Bud Selig said at the All-Star Game he hears few calls for expanded replay, but MLB is reportedly plan to test replay systems for fairfoul calls and perhaps catchtrap plays. Replay for safeout plays is probably several years away.Baseball has been the most conservative sport at adopting replay. Some, like Selig, say they like the human factor.There shouldnt be a human factor. Its known that different umpires have varying strike zones, and thats something that baseball has tried to address. Games shouldnt be decided on questionable umpires calls.The umpires arent out to get the Orioles-or any other team. In the same game that Jones was called out at first, costing the Orioles a run, Bostons Adrian Gonzalez and manager Bobby Valentine were ejected for insisting that Pedro Strop quickpitched.

Umpiring is probably no worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Technology is so much better today that bad calls arent unnoticed.Last year, during a visit from an umpiring supervisor at spring training, former Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie asked when was the last time an umpire was fired.The answer didnt satisfy Guthrie. Its been many years since an umpire has been fired for incompetence, and even though umpires are fined and sometimes suspended for incorrect calls, that discipline isnt made public. Reynolds will be fined for equipment abuse and for his ejection. It will be interesting to see if he will be disciplined for public criticism of the umpires. In the NFL or NBA, hefty fines would accompany remarks like Reynolds.Umpires endure a difficult road in getting to the major leagues, but once there, they seem entrenched. In order to improve umpiring quality, one manager has suggested teams pool funds and send a veteran player at the end of his career for umpire training. It wouldnt take long for them to catch on, its suggested. That would improve the quality of umpiring.It wont make Mark Reynolds feel any better.

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Adley Rutschman finally signed his contract with the Orioles and it could be a record-setter

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Adley Rutschman finally signed his contract with the Orioles and it could be a record-setter

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles have signed the top overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, catcher Adley Rutschman of Oregon State.

The 21-year-old Rutschman, a switch-hitter, batted .411 with 17 home runs as a junior for the Beavers this year. He won the Golden Spikes Award, which recognizes the top amateur baseball player in the United States.

His reported record-breaking $8.1 million signing bonus would top a previous high set by Gerrit Cole ($8 million) when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him No. 1 in 2011. 

Baltimore had not had the first draft pick since 1989, when it selected pitcher Ben McDonald out of LSU.

The Orioles announced the signing on Monday. The deadline to sign draft picks is July 12.

The team plans to introduce him to the crowd at Camden Yards on Tuesday during a game against the San Diego Padres.


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What could the Orioles have done differently with Manny Machado?

What could the Orioles have done differently with Manny Machado?

Brooks. Cal. Eddie. Frank. Earl.

For most Orioles icons, last names aren’t necessary. That will never be the case for Manny Machado.

In failing to extend the most purely talented player in franchise history, the Orioles cost themselves not just another one-namer for Legends Park, but also a chance to stay competitive and reload, rather than be forced into a rebuild.

With the benefit of hindsight, every organization in baseball would love to make certain moves differently. Machado should have either been an Oriole for life or the centerpiece to a franchise-altering trade.

Instead, the front office held on too long, removing the most valuable asset teams covet: years of control. As a result, the O’s found themselves with a star they couldn’t afford and a league unwilling to pay them top dollar for a rental. Halfway through a lost season, in which the team was out of playoff contention by June, the Orioles had no good options.

So, what could they have done differently? The most obvious answer is to avoid the situation entirely.

It’s no surprise to hear the front office bungled negotiations with Machado throughout his time in Baltimore. Reports suggest they were interested in an extension but scared off after multiple knee surgeries (both of which came on fluky injuries). Other reporting claims the sides came close to an extension, but Peter Angelos balked at a difference of $10 million.

Chump change for a man like Angelos, and it may have been all that kept Machado from sticking around.

Make no mistake, the Orioles, who once went more than *1,000 days* without reaching out to their best player to discuss an extension, put themselves in this unenviable position. What could they have done differently? Just about everything, especially in the years leading into 2018.

2012 and 2014 provided incredibly memorable postseason runs that Baltimore fans will never forget. They were fun, exciting and worthy of the resources put into those teams.

But 2014 was four years before the end of Machado’s contract, and the team was never close to contention again. Instead of recognizing when it was time to start over, GM Dan Duquette decided to make trades for other team’s rentals, giving up talented players for veterans who never moved the needle. He decided (or was forced by ownership) to pay an exorbitant amount to Chris Davis, the archetype of a slugging first baseman who in the course of baseball history has never aged well.

The lack of self-evaluation cost them value in the short term and wins in the long term, and it added up to completely take them out of the running to keep Machado.

Which brings us to the trade itself.

The Orioles received OF Yusniel Diaz, SP Dean Kremer, INF Rylan Bannon, RP Zach Pop and INF Breyvic Valera from Los Angeles last July in exchange for Machado.
Five guys is a lot to get back for one, but the truth is, the haul looks underwhelming. Diaz is the only player to appear on any top 100 prospect lists, and even he brings split opinions among evaluators. It doesn’t help that he’s struggled mightily since joining the organization. Kremer is the only other one who looks like a future contributor.

In an era of baseball in which star power is more important than ever, the Orioles settled for a top 100 prospect defined by his floor rather than his ceiling, with no more than depth pieces behind him. Sure, there’s value in depth, especially considering the state of the team’s farm system. But no player the O’s got back will ever come close to the success Machado found in Baltimore, and that’s disappointing.

It’s even harder to swallow when comparing to other recent deals. Just two years earlier, the Yankees brought back Gleyber Torres for three months of Aroldis Chapman. Manny Machado, an infinitely more valuable player than Chapman, topped out with Diaz.

It’s hard to say what they should have done differently without knowing the offers on the table, but it’s clear the O’s weren’t willing to pay part of Machado’s salary or take back any bad contracts, moves that would have brought additional prospects. For a team with no designs on competing anytime soon, and therefore no reason to invest big money in the big league club, that’s another disappointment.

The Machado trade was the most important move in recent memory for the franchise, and they let a lame duck GM coordinate it. When asking what could have been done differently, this is hard to ignore.

It rarely works out to have someone make major decisions for which he or she will not be around to suffer the consequences. Duquette wasn’t trying to sabotage the franchise with this move, but his vision probably doesn’t coincide with Mike Elias’. If ownership knew they weren’t retaining Duquette’s service after the season, which seems like a safe bet, why let him orchestrate such a critical trade deadline?

It all comes back to a disturbing lack of foresight with decision-makers in the organization. Hindsight may be 20/20, but foresight shouldn’t require a microscope. It was obvious to all who followed the team where this was headed, yet the Orioles continued to dig themselves into a hole, and no one came to bail them out.

Considering the situation they were in, the trade doesn’t look like an abject disaster. It certainly could have been worse. But it would have been nice to see the team go after some players with higher upside.

Nicer still would have been avoiding the situation altogether.