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Ripken's streak is greater than ever


Ripken's streak is greater than ever

When the Orioles decided to honor their greats with statues, it was natural for Cal Ripkens to be unveiled on Sept. 6.Its hard to believe that its been 17 years since Ripken broke Lou Gehrigs seemingly unbreakable record of consecutive games.Ripkens streak went on for three more years, 501 additional games before he voluntarily ended it on Sept. 20, 1998.How unbreakable is Ripkens record? Detroits Prince Fielder has the longest current consecutive game streak at 316. In order for Fielder to break Ripkens record, hed have to play 2,317 straight gameslonger than the mark Ripken broke.Fielder would have to play every game for more than 14 seasons, until 2027 when hed be 43.Its not going to happen.Ripkens record is guaranteed to stand for at least 32 years, and undoubtedly many more. Not only has Ripkens record already withstood the test of time, so has he. Its hard to picture a superstar in sports who has had made the transition from playing to business as easily.Or is it like everything else Cal did? He just made it look easy.Ripken is 52 now, and hes had a rich and full life. His father sadly died of cancer in 1999 at the much-too young age of 64, and his family had to live through the bizarre and unsolved kidnapping of his mother in July.When it was time for the family to speak, it was a different Cal who handled the awful situation with grace.Ripken has so many things hes involved with these days. He has his minor league teams, the Cal Ripken baseball league, the complex in Aberdeen, Md. that houses the IronBirds and his own World Series for young players. There are the corporate speeches and the appearances on TBS.Hes recently taken his son, Ryan to start South Carolina. Ryan, a promising left-handed hitting first baseman, was a fine student at Baltimores Gilman School and a 20th round draft pick by the Orioles.
The family never seriously considered pro ball for Ryan. School is the priority now.Ripken would love to own a team or part of one with a major say in running it. Nolan Ryan is someone Ripken could pattern himself after.First, theres the statue. With all the accolades, all the admiration, Ripken doesnt crave any more of them. How sweet for him that his beloved Orioles, a team that he no longer has any official attachment to, are shockingly in the postseason picture.Of all Ripkens accomplishments, hes said he was disappointed that he got to play in only one World Series, in his second full year, 1983.As a young Orioles fan, Ripken grew up with his fathers team nearly always in the postseason conversation.A year after he signed, the Orioles played the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series. Still nearly two years away from the big leagues, Cal was easily able to blend into the Memorial Stadium crowd and root for some of his future teammates.As a second-round draft choice in 1978, Ripken was selected behind someone named Robert Boyce. Ripken, not Boyce made the major leagues at 20, barely three years after he was drafted. Boyces career ended in Class A ball, around the time Ripkens streak started in 1982.The Orioles would have drawn a large crowd on Thursday for Ripkens statue unveiling. The added bonus is that its the start of a highly anticipated series. The Orioles, Yankees, Ripken and a sellout crowd. It sounds like a wonderful night.

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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."