Quick Links

Will Orioles fans miss David Ortiz? No!


Will Orioles fans miss David Ortiz? No!

David Ortiz will retire after the 2016 season, and Orioles fans won’t be sorry.

Ortiz, Jose Bautista and Alex Rodriguez represent Orioles’ fans axis of evil, and that’s a good thing.

Villains are great for sports, and while many athletes preen and try to incite opposing fans, these three don’t have to try very hard at all.

Bautista presumably will play for a number of years. A-Rod has two more years on his contract while Ortiz, who turns 40 today, will end his career next season.

Orioles fans will remember him for brawling with Kevin Gregg at Fenway Park and smashing that dugout phone.

They should remember him as a fearsome opponent who has hit 47 home runs against the Orioles, 25 of them in Baltimore.

Orioles pitchers have actually contained them. He’s hit 39 homers at Toronto’s Rogers Centre and 33 in Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field.

It’s fun when Big Papi ambles up to the plate. His looming presence attracts attention and lots of boos, and that will be missed.

As Buck Showalter likes to say, wouldn’t it be boring if we were all the same?

Ortiz is hardly any players’ favorite opponent. Next September when he plays his final game at Oriole Park, there probably won’t be the touchy feely ceremony there was for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

I don’t think Big Papi will mind.

He first played in Baltimore on May 1, 1998 when he was with the Minnesota Twins. Playing first base, Ortiz was 1-for-3 in the Twins’ 6-3 loss. He had a sixth inning single off Doug Drabek.

Ortiz was ejected for disputing a strike call on July 27, 2013, then beat up the phone. He dialed up his performance the next day, going 4-for-4.

In the coming years, there will be plenty of debate about Ortiz. There are the allegations of steroid use, and the argument about his being a one-dimensional player. Both could keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Ortiz has hit 503 home runs, but in the last decade has played only 66 games in the field, and those were due to the Red Sox playing in National League parks where there was no DH.

Who can forget his 2013 World Series when he was 11-for-16 with eight walks?

He’s had nine seasons of 30 or more home runs and 100 or more RBIs and has a great on-base percentage. His lifetime average is .284 and his on-base percentage is a terrific .378.

So, boo Big Papi in his final games in Baltimore. Be thankful A-Rod and Joey Bats are still around, and maybe you can look for a new anti-hero for the coming years.

Bryce Harper, anyone?

Quick Links

Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

AP Images

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. 


Quick Links

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."