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October 9, 2010

Orioles' news and notes

The Orioles will have until three days after the World Series to decide whether or not to exercise a $1.2 million club option on the contract of veteran reliever Mark Hendrickson. They likely won’t make an announcement until then, but it’s a mere formality that they’ll decline the option and pay the $200,000 buyout. There is still a chance that Hendrickson returns and is given an opportunity to compete for a bullpen role, but it will be at a reduced price.

It was mostly overshadowed by the Orioles’ doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Oct.1 and the assurance that the club wouldn't lose 100 games, but Adam Jones’ failure to run out a groundball in the seventh inning of the nightcap certainly appeared to get manager Buck Showalter’s attention. To review: Jones came up with the bases loaded and one out in a 2-0 game. He hit a routine double-play ball right at Will Rhymes and then half-heartedly jogged to first base. It probably wouldn’t have been noticed as much had shortstop Ramon Santiago’s throw to first not been in the dirt and bounced out of the glove of first baseman Don Kelly. But with Jones not running hard, Kelly had time to pick up the ball and step on first for the inning-ending double play. Jones, who acknowledged his mistake, then was not in the lineup for Saturday’s game, though Showalter said that he was just giving him the night off after he played both games of the doubleheader. I respect how Showalter didn’t throw one of his players under the bus to the media, but I’m not buying it. And my suspicions were pretty much confirmed when I learned that Showalter had a closed door meeting with Jones for about 15 minutes that same day.

Not only is Showalter’s coaching staff awaiting word from the manager on whether they’ll return next year, the organization’s minor league managers and coaches are also on alert for the announcement as well. The makeup of the minor league coaching staffs, specifically the higher-level ones, are heavily dependent on what Showalter does at the Major League level. For example, if third base coach Gary Allenson doesn’t remain on the big league staff, he could return to Triple-A Norfolk as the Tides’ manager. That would inevitably cause more shuffling. Mike Bordick, Bobby Dickerson, Brian Graham and Mike Griffin are other Oriole minor league coaches who potentially could join Showalter’s staff, creating even more movement on the staffs of the affiliates.

In case you are wondering, former Oriole relievers Chris Ray and Danys Baez are not on the National League Divisional series rosters of their respective clubs. Ray went 3-0 with one save and a 4.13 ERA in 28 outings for the San Francisco Giants after he was acquired July 1 from the Texas Rangers for catcher Bengie Molina. Baez went 3-4 with a 5.48 ERA in 51 games this year for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 11:56 AM | | Comments (11)


I recall the Jones' play quite clearly; I remarked to my wife that the "Buckster" ought to get on Jones' case about it ; it's gratifying to hear that he did. One sometimes wonders what goes through the minds of some of these players; Jones has tremendous talent but he seems to be his own worst enemy with his occasional lack of hustle and the consistent "cool" (and exasperating) way he fields his position. Come on Adam, you're capable of so much more than that.

What is surprising to me about Jones not running that play out is that he was one of the ones who vocally jumped on Pie for doing the same thing just a week or so earlier.
Establishing that winning attitude on this team is going to take some time I guess.

What's up Jeff? You don't like Jones and just wanted to get something stirred up? This didn't just happen. Find something to really report.

Jeff Z's reply: Yeah Frank, you have me pegged. I hadn't done one of these news/notes columns in a while and it was one of the items that I had remembered to include. That Hendrickson item wasn't exactly timely or discovered yesterday either.

i am glad to read that jones was told about his lacadazical playing. buck ought to keep gary allenson as his 3rd base coach as well as keep terry crowley as hitting coach.

Who was the famous person who said something to the effect of: How hard is it for a player to give it their all to run to 1st base 4 times in a game? How many times have we been told as kids on a baseball team. Run it out, Run it out!

This is an example of Buck polishing one of his "nuggets"! He expects a lot out of Adam and wants him to be the great player he's capable of being; Jonesy appreciates being held to high standards, because he knows he still has a lot to learn and in the end will be a better player because he's teachable that way.

Jones has been handled with kid gloves by everybody before Buck and as a result he isn't playing up to anywhere near his abilities.

I hope Buck told him the next time he thinks about giving a half hearted effort that he also contemplates spending some time on the bench or in Norfolk looking for the other half of his missing effort.

Yeah, that mis-play by Adam was huge, I too remember it clearly. I think Adam will put it all together since Buck's around. It's good to hear about Buck dealing with it, and not outing Adam publicly... Class.

I remember Jim Palmer, during a broadcast, mention that Mark Hendrickson's off-season goal was a slider. Perfect, if he can get that to work for him I like his odds next season either competing or optioned.

Would like to respond to 'frank'.

Not sure if your sarcasm got lost in your typing, or if you really are just a....
but some of us O's fans want to hear when our new manager is holding people accountable.

It wasn't reported at the time, so I'm sure glad to hear it now since it was such a glaring mistake in a year full of lackadaisical play from AJ.

AJs play has bothered me all year, and this little note about Buck not accepting it like DT or Samuel did is great.

Thanks for the entry Jeff. Don't let the 'franks' stop you from writing things that interest the rest of us.

Im with PJ on this Jeff, don't let one of these flipfloppers affect u because they are just looking for an argument. I for one enjoy some Orioles stories throughout the offseason and hate when they start to dissaper (around November usually). Keep up the good work.

YES I remember the play, but I had no doubt BUCK said something to him whether reported or not. BUT these players are human regardless of what some people will point out they are paid.. I have seen almost every player jog down once in a great while over 550 AB.. NO it isn't right and really stands out when someone doesn't handle a major league routine play. Often the same can be pointed out when an outfielder drops a routine ball..

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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