Each Monday, in this spot, I’ll try to give you fan’s look at what transpired with our Birds the past week and what lies ahead for the club. My only promise is that the piece will be totally biased and from a real fan, so here it goes
1. No OFFENSE, but…
In an abbreviated week, with a scheduled day off on Monday and a rainout on Tuesday, the Birds concluded the week with that familiar “one” win against four losses. After scoring 17 runs last Sunday, the Birds seemed to put their bats away for the week scoring just a total of 13 runs for the week in the single game with the Phillies and a four game set with Boston. We all know that the magic number for wins, in terms of runs scored, in the American League is five. The Birds put five or more runs on the board just once this week and that equated to the team’s lone win for the week, a 7-4 victory on Friday night versus Drew Pomeranz and the Boston Red Sox. The other four games the Orioles scored one, two, three, and zero runs. You aren’t going to win many games in the American League with that kind of production.
2. Happy Birthday to Baltimore’s Best, Brooks Robinson
May 18th marked the 81st birthday of the legendary Brooks Robinson. Brooks represents all that was good with the Baltimore Orioles spanning a 23 year career from 1955-1977. During that time Brooks helped lead the team to two World Championships, amassed 16 straight Gold Gloves, 15 All Star appearances, and an American League MVP award in 1964 when he hit .317 with 28 home runs and 118 RBI. Having had the opportunity to spend an afternoon working with Brooks back in 1983 at a Crown Gasoline event, I can tell you first hand that Brooks is one of the kindest, most humble men you’ll ever meet. He treated this, then 17 year old kid, like a peer rather than someone assigned to keep his water cup full and his Sharpies, well, SHARP. He truly is “Mr. Oriole”.
3. Adam Jones – Real Estate Baron
Look folks, in another lost week, I’m looking for anything to distract from what is horrid season. So in combing the news wires this week, it was interesting to see that Adam Jones was the winning bidder for Cal’s little shack in Baltimore County. The quaint little six bedroom, 10 bath abode went to Jones via an absolute auction where Jones placed a reported winning bid of $2.5 million. Initially, I was excited about this news as I thought it was a sign that extension talks had occurred between Jones and the club and this showed a commitment on Jones’ part to remain in the Baltimore area for the long term. Then as reports continued to surface in which it was said that Jones has properties several cities and perhaps just saw this as a “bargain”, I was a disappointed. His production is not what it was in years past, but the guy was the cornerstone around which the Orioles resurgence was built. From all accounts, the guy is a class act, much like the aforementioned Brooks Robinson.
4. Speaking of Jones…
Not only was the guy buying palatial estates, but he’s also playing some decent ball. Over the last 14 games, Jones is hitting .351 with four multi-hit games. He’s also hit three home runs knocking in seven and has scored 11 runs and has raised his average to .267. I have a real soft spot for this guy, especially because of his community involvement. If the O’s are going through a partial tear down, there’s nothing wrong with having a veteran leader to show the way. And, again, Jones just bought that little place off of Dover Road…
5. Lucky 13
On Friday Night, the Orioles broke a 13-game road losing streak with a 7-4 win over the Red Sox. Another loss would have broken the franchise record for consecutive road losses set in 1988. It was also another Friday night win. The Orioles are 5-2 in their black uniforms on Friday night. Combine that with the 1-0 record and 17 runs they scored in the Mother’s Day pink uniforms, maybe the Orioles should use a combination of black and pink to break out of this funk.
The 11 day road trip continues this week with four games against the White Sox, followed by three in Tampa. Believe it or not, the White Sox have been even worse than the Orioles limping out to a 13-30 record (.302). Then it’s off to the Trop, where the Rays have gotten things together and are suddenly just one game below .500.