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Valentine, Sox coaches: a failure to communicate

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Valentine, Sox coaches: a failure to communicate

While things are quiet with the Orioles, it’s not so elsewhere in the American League East. In Boston, the Red Sox have a new manager, but the post mortems on the fired manager aren’t over.

In his exit interview with Bob Costas on NBC Sports Network, Bobby Valentine reiterated his complaint that his coaching staff not only didn’t have his back, but that the coaches were also undermining him. Not surprisingly, one of the coaches has shot back.

Tim Bogar, Valentine’s bench coach, doesn’t agree with Valentine’s version of events.

"I'm not upset about him or anything he says, but what bothers me is the perception of me and the other coaches is completely wrong," Bogar told ESPNBoston.com. "That bothers me because of what the coaches went through this year and what we dealt with. I did exactly what Ben [Cherington, Red Sox general manager] asked me to do. I'm not saying I did everything perfect, because I didn't and I know that."

Bogar said the coaches would have helped Valentine — if only he’d told them what he needed.

"The coaching staff was prepared to do everything that we were supposed to do to help Bobby succeed," Bogar said, "but not once did he portray what he wanted us to do to help him, and eventually he shut some of us out completely."

So what Bogar is saying is that Valentine wasn’t exactly the Great Communicator.

"The last couple of times I've read stuff about that there was no communication or the communication was bad,” Bogar said, “the only bad communication was between Bobby and everyone.”

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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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.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.