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Ripken's streak is greater than ever

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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 Roundup: Orioles allow 13 unanswered runs in loss to Red Sox

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Orioles Roundup: Orioles allow 13 unanswered runs in loss to Red Sox

The O's continue to struggle against their AL East foes, including the Red Sox. The bats stayed hot, but the arms were unable to slow down the Boston lineup in Fenway. Here are the news and notes surrounding the team.

PLAYER UPDATES:

SP Ty Blach allowed five runs on five hits in 5.1 innings, walking three and striking out six. The Orioles' hot start is the only thing that saved him from being saddled with the loss.

OF Trey Mancini continued to torture the Red Sox, knocking in two runs with an early single to extend the Baltimore lead to 5-0. Mancini remains one home run shy of his first 30-homer season.

3B Renato Nunez crushed a three-run bomb in the first inning to start the scoring in Sunday's game, though it wound up his only hit of the afternoon.

C Chance Sisco has his afternoon end early after being hit in the groin by a foul tip. Team doctors are still evaluating the injury, and they hope to have more information by Monday. Manager Brandon Hyde is optimistic Sisco will avoid an Injured List stint.

INJURIES: 

C Chance Sisco: Groin, Day-to-Day

OF Dwight Smith Jr.:  Calf, expected to return in late August 

RP Josh Rogers: Elbow, out indefinitely

SP Alex Cobb: Back, out until 2020

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, expected to return in September 

COMING UP:

Monday, 8/19: Royals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Tuesday, 8/20: Royals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Wednesday, 8/21: Royals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Source Credit: Rotoworld 

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Hunter Harvey’s Major League debut a bright spot in long Orioles season

Hunter Harvey’s Major League debut a bright spot in long Orioles season

For some first-round draft picks, the Major Leagues are merely a season or two away. Other top prospects take longer, sometimes three or four seasons. Hunter Harvey’s path was a bit more complicated than that.

It was more than six years ago that Harvey was selected by the Orioles in the 2013 MLB Draft. Early in his professional career, he looked like a potential steal as the 22nd pick in that year’s class. He dominated hitters at the lower levels of the minor leagues, and looked like a future staple atop the Orioles rotation.

Of course, there’s a reason the old adage “there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect” exists.

Harvey missed the entire 2015 season with elbow tightness, then pitched just 12.2 innings in 2016 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He threw only 18.2 innings in 2017 after his recovery, so he entered the 2018 season having tossed just 144.1 innings in five years since being drafted.

Harvey was still used as a starter in 2018 across 32.1 mostly unspectacular innings, but this season, the front office decided to try him out as a reliever.

Early on, it’s been a terrific transition for Harvey, whose natural arm talent plays up even more in shorter stints. And it was out of the bullpen that Harvey finally, after all these years, made his big league debut Saturday.

And what a debut it was.

Working around a walk, Harvey tossed a hitless, scoreless inning against the heart of the vaunted Red Sox lineup. He averaged over 98 mph on his fastball, while flashing potential plus offspeed pitches. 

Harvey ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, a stretch that included nine consecutive strikes.

The Orioles haven’t had many positive moments to point to in 2019, but this definitely qualifies as one. If he can harness his incredible stuff and -- here’s the key -- stay healthy, Harvey could be a dominant late-inning reliever, or potentially even a mid-rotation starter.

Of all the players to wear the orange and black in Baltimore this season, Harvey is one of the few who can stick around long enough to contribute to the next great Orioles team.

More than any excitement surrounding his future, it’s just cool to see somebody overcome countless obstacles to realize their dreams.

That experience wasn’t lost on Harvey himself.

From his incredible mullet, to his long and winding road to the Majors, there’s a lot to cheer for with Harvey. If he can replicate his debut inning a few more times this season, then fans in Baltimore will have to admit he was worth the wait.

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