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Thome will take time to consider future


Thome will take time to consider future

The Orioles’ future Hall of Famer isn’t sure he wants to play again.

Jim Thome had a quiet Division Series, getting just one hit in 12 at-bats.

Thome was fun to have around, except he wasn’t around all that much. After he was acquired on June 30, Thome played in just 28 games, batting .257 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.

He missed seven weeks with a herniated disc in his neck, worked feverishly to come back and was a positive force in the clubhouse.

Thome, a noted workaholic, managed to beat manager Buck Showalter to the park on occasion, a great feat because Showalter usually arrives more than seven hours before game time.

At 42, there’s not likely to be much of a market for Thome. He can only be a designated hitter in the American League or a pinch-hitter in the National League.

Thome, who’s played in the major leagues since 1991, will contemplate his future.

“I'm gonna go home. I always talk about it, you know, I'm not worrying
about next year. This is a tough loss. This is a tough loss,” Thome said on Friday night at Yankee  Stadium.

“I've been able to do this a long time, and felt very blessed to do it for a long time, so you know, I've always said, you've got to have teams
call. You've got to have teams that want you. Right now, you know, this is a little tough because you wanted to keep going, you really did. You wanted to keep going."

Thome enjoyed his stint with the Orioles and had a terrific relationship with Showalter, often inviting himself into the manager’s office to talk about baseball. Showalter once sent him on a scouting trip to Bowie to watch 19-year-old Dylan Bundy pitch.
Thome has 612 home runs, but was only able to play 58 games with the Phillies and Orioles this season.

After years with the Indians, White Sox, Twins, Dodgers and Phillies, he had a blast with Baltimore, spraying his younger teammates with Champagne after they clinched the Wild Card game in Texas. He also knew enough to don goggles during the wild celebration.

“What was cool from my point of view was coming to Baltimore at mid-season and watching the way the city kind of revived itself. I think the young players here really uplifted everything. There's a lot to be proud of. It's going to be an exciting time for years to come, coming to Baltimore," Thome said.

On Saturday, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was asked about Thome.
"I didn't have a chance to talk to Jim Thome, but he did a nice job for us and I really appreciate him working hard to come back and contribute to the team as a role model, a patient hitter, as a professional player. I thought he added a real veteran presence to our clubhouse and to our lineup," Duquette said.

Showalter doesn’t like having a full time DH, and if Mark Reynolds returns and Chris Davis is around, there really might not be room for Thome.

For weeks, Thome dodged retirement questions. He wouldn’t budge even when the question of the Orioles was raised.
"We'll get into that if that happens. We'll get into that," Thome said.





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Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7


Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.