BALTIMORE – Did you know that the Orioles have the fewest stolen bases in baseball? Entering Friday night’s game, they have just 14, and the next closest team, St. Louis has 27.
The Orioles have been thrown out nine times in 23 attempts, and it’s not a stat that particularly worries manager Buck Showalter.
“I’m really not much into 50 percent. Giving away outs doesn’t work,” Showalter said.
“[Others say] ‘we’re getting thrown out because we’re being aggressive.’ No, you’re stupid. You’re giving away outs…They’re precious.”
Joey Rickard, who has been on the disabled list for nearly a month, leads the team with four stolen bases. If that number isn’t surpassed, Rickard will set a club record for the fewest stolen bases to lead the team.
In 1955, Chuck Diering and Dave Pope led the Orioles with five stolen bases. That year, the club stolen 34 bases and was thrown out 46 times.
A year ago, Manny Machado stole 20 bases to lead the club. He has none this year.
If the Orioles had players who Showalter felt could steal virtually at will, he would encourage them to steal. As it is, he says that players have the option to steal if they see an opening.
“We’ve attempted it. You just can’t force it. We will if the situation calls for it, and if we have that personnel. If it’s not there, it’s not there,” Showalter said.