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Urrutia proud of how well he has mastered English

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Urrutia proud of how well he has mastered English

BALTIMORE –- After Henry Urrutia’s game-winning home run on Wednesday night, Urrutia said he got lots of calls.

There were calls to congratulate him for hitting the home run and for his postgame interview.

Urrutia, a Cuban defector who came to the United States less than 2 ½ years ago, has mastered English, and is comfortable in speaking it.

“The people who know are very surprised because two years ago, I don’t [speak] any English. I am very proud of myself. You have to learn if you want to live in this country. If you want to talk to your teammates, your coaches, your manager, with you guys. It’s very important to speak English,” Urrutia said.

Urrutia credits his wife, Suse and his stepson, who are both fluent in English. He lives in Sarasota, Fla., he points out, not Miami, where many Cubans live. In Miami, it’s easy to get around knowing only Spanish.

Two years ago, Urrutia used translators. Now his English is so good he’ll be able to translate for other players who need the help.

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“I don’t want another person here behind me supporting me. I feel comfortable when I can talk to you and you can talk to me. I feel more real, the conversation,” Urrutia said.

Manager Buck Showalter was keen on the player he sometimes jokingly refers to as “Hank” from the start. He’s been thrilled with his adaptability.

“When it’s all said and done in the whole scheme of life, it’s about the human being. He’s bettered his life and his family’s life and the people he left behind,” Showalter said.

“We do classes. We do everything…But you have to speak it. You have to be around it, and you have to apply it. You have to make yourself do it, and Henry did it. I’m shocked at how quickly he picked it up coming from Cuba…He started picking up baseball terminology and then he went into the language.”

In Feb. 2013, Urrutia and Orioles Dominican Academy director Felipe Alou, Jr. walked into a conference room to introduce the newest Oriole to the press.

“The first time in this country when I saw you guys in front of me, everybody was looking at me in that moment. I never see this moment. I was totally nervous,” Urrutia said.

Alou translated for Urrutia. It’s no longer necessary.

“It was really difficult for me. When I remember that, now I am speaking like this. I am very proud,” Urrutia said.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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USA Today Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.