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June 9, 2011

Orioles news, notes and opinions: Hardy, Reynolds, Bergesen, Bell or Snyder, Alan Dunn, etc. (UPDATE)

This might be a blatant overreaction based on a small sample size, but if I’m the Orioles, I’m putting in a call to shortstop J.J. Hardy’s agent and seeing if he has any interest in discussing a two-year contract extension. Hardy, 28, is a free agent after the season. His injury history has to be a concern and he’s already missed one month this season with the oblique issue. However, when he’s been in there, he’s been solid, both with the glove and the bat. The Orioles obviously don’t have anybody in their system that will be ready to start at that position next season, and steady two-way shortstops are hard to find. Why not see if Hardy has an interest in sticking around and bridging the gap to the Manny Machado era, which will probably start in 2013?

I feel like this is as good of a time as any to point out that much-maligned third baseman Mark Reynolds currently leads the Orioles in homers (10), extra-base hits (22), doubles (12) and walks (32, Luke Scott is next with 19). He is tied with Adam Jones for the team lead in RBIs (32), and second to Jones in runs scored (27). He is also third in steals (four). I’m not sure what my point is other than to point out as low as Reynolds’ average is, the Orioles have far bigger problems offensively right now than the guy playing third base.

That May 16th game at Boston sure took a toll on both the Orioles and Red Sox. Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts still hasn’t played since he started experiencing concussion-like symptoms after sliding headfirst into first base for an infield single to start the game. Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee strained an oblique in that game and missed nearly three weeks. Now comes word that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia hurt his right knee in a fall while fielding that Roberts’ ball, which deflected off Daisuke Matsuzaka's chest. Surgery is reportedly an option for Pedroia.

Somebody should make sure that the organization’s young pitchers watch video of Chris Jakubauskas’ five scoreless innings against Oakland on Tuesday. Look, Jakubauskas isn’t going to wow anybody with his stuff, and if he was facing the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees Tuesday, it probably would have been a different story. However, albeit against a bad offensive team, Jakubauskas threw strikes, especially with his fastball, moved the ball around and got ahead in counts. As many young Oriole starters have already found out, pitching in the majors isn’t easy. But you at least give yourself a chance by commanding your fastball and not consistently getting behind.

You know what would probably excite Oriole officials? Their affiliates going a full day without losing a prospect to an injury. Last night, Single-A Frederick lost outfielder Trent Mummey and first baseman Tyler Townsend, who has been of the system’s most productive hitters, to hamstring injuries. A night earlier, Steve Johnson, who has been very good lately for Double-A Bowie, was forced out of the game after he was hit by a comebacker. Top prospect Manny Machado, a shortstop for Single-A Delmarva, just returned this week after missing about a month with a dislocated kneecap. Top pitching prospect Dan Klein, who has been dominant at Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie, is still experiencing right shoulder soreness and will have an MRI Monday. Pitching prospects Ryan Berry, Matt Hobgood and Luis Lebron are still in throwing programs and rehabbing injuries, while Brandon Erbe recently had a setback in his quest to return from shoulder surgery. First baseman Joe Mahoney, the organization’s minor league player of the year last season, has played in just 10 games this season because of a variety of injuries. I’m sure I’m missing a couple of guys too, but the point is that it’s tough for your farm system to make any progress when its top players can’t get or stay on the field.

There was some good news for Triple-A Norfolk last night as Brad Bergesen, in his second start for the Tides, threw a complete-game shutout, limiting Pawtucket to four hits and one walk while striking out eight. He has allowed one earned run in 15 innings since his demotion, though he did walk six guys in his first start. Now, it’s Chris Tillman’s turn to start putting together some dominant starts.

We wrote this is in our notebook in today’s paper, but the Orioles will likely call up a utility infielder in time for Friday’s game with Lee going on the bereavement list. Norfolk first baseman Brandon Snyder makes the most sense, but I’m told Josh Bell is getting consideration as well. Luke Scott will probably play first base in two of the three games against Tampa Bay, but I doubt they run him out there on Saturday against lefty David Price.

Orioles minor league pitching coordinator Alan Dunn is in Baton Rouge today to interview for the pitching coach job at Louisiana State University. Dunn is expected to get and accept the job on Paul Mainieri’s staff, replacing Tigers pitching coach and recruiting coordinator David Grewe. Dunn, 49, has been in the Orioles organization since late in the 2007 season when then manager Dave Trembley hired him to be the team’s bullpen coach. Before that, Dunn spent 15 seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization. Mainieri has extensive ties with the Cubs organization, and that obviously helped Dunn’s cause. This is a great opportunity for Dunn, who is an Alabama native. He’s a class act and I wish him well.

I assume everybody is pretty sick of talking about the amateur draft. However, one more point I think needs to be made: Don’t expect the Orioles to sign as many of their draft picks as they did the past couple of years. Sure, Director of Amateur Scouting Joe Jordan will want to sign all of his early picks, but some of the later-round guys will probably be out of luck if they dream of starting their pro careers immediately. After getting rid of their team in Rookie League Bluefield and also dumping one of their Dominican Summer League teams, the Orioles simply don’t have places for all these guys to play unless they plan to release about 30 guys currently in the system. So I’m sure Jordan and his scouts will target the guys that they want to sign the most and plan accordingly.

Interesting note today courtesy of Elias: The Orioles' three-game sweep of Oakland - in which they won by scores of 4-2, 4-0 and 3-2 - marked the first time in nine years that the Orioles have won three consecutive games despite scoring four or fewer runs in each of them. The Orioles three starting pitchers the last time that happened in June 2002 were Travis Driskill, Jason Johnson and Sidney Ponson.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 2:44 AM | | Comments (36)


Bergy should never have been sent down to begin with. He got a late start out of spring training and i don't think he got back to back starts in the 5 man rotation,once. He needs regular work to find his groove.

Yeah it's mind boggling,the injuries on the O's better prospects but even worse is if they can't sign the better draftees who will wind up going to college.

Has there been any discussion about Britton's innings this year? He is at 82 already and we are just past the 1/3rd mark. He only threw 153 last year and supposedly no one wants more than a 25-30 inning jump for young pitchers. With a 4 man rotation all month I don't really see what they can do to protect him, maybe shut him down early if the team falls out?

Jeff Z's reply: Yes, Showalter has discussed this on a couple of occasions. They obviously aren't going to give out an exact inning maximum this early in the season to the media, but it is likely that he is shut down at some point before season's end. I also think if there are ways to give him an extra day between starts or maybe even skip him on occasion, the Orioles will do that.

Jeff--I'm with you 100%-- not only is Hardy a great 'effort' guy, real steady, very workmanlike, but he's productive. He is to me, Bordick-esque. Not just in approach and demeanor, but very similar throwing motion when he has to get rid of the ball quickly--check it out. This is a guy who's worked hard, earned his spot, knows it, and works hard to keep it. I hope he sticks around for awhile....

Jeff, great post as always. For those of us who don't live in the Baltimore area you do a great job of keeping us current. Thanks for your hard work.

Mummey was really putting it together and Townsend was having a great year so I am sure they are disappointed. The O's drafted what they needed - they have great depth at 1B and SS in the minors.

Jeff Z"s reply: Thanks Ray.

Britton said "I think moving to the other side of the mound helped me get a little bit better action the slider, which came up big."

Jeff, please explain why that makes such a difference to a pitch/pitcher. I can understand location but why movement? Thx

Jeff Z's reply: Not sure I know enough about pitching to give you an accurate answer to a good question. Britton said that he felt that his slider was lacking its usual life from the third-base side of the mound. I could speculate, but I don't want to come across as a know-it-all bozo to people who actually know something about pitching mechanics and stuff. I'll try and ask Britton or pitching coach Mark Connor for an explanation on that next time I see them.


It would be interesting to see how many other systems have this many injuries. At some point I feel like the brass would have to reevaluate how we are training these guys.

I mean, if you spend millions on a draft pick, he should probably have someone on his hip making sure he is stretched out properly 24-7. I had the same injury as Machado. Diagnosis? Over-developed quad. Basically, I worked out without knowing how. I'm hoping his was different.

I feel really good for Reynolds. He's a force down at the bottom of a lineup. And i would add, tho very average hands at third, he has a strong, accurate snap throw, especially to second base on double play balls.
Prediction time. If Markakis keeps his latest new stance - legs spread, left knee bent in a crouch, hands close to shoulder, he'll get untracked

I'm going to second someone else's comments and thank you again for all the hard work you do to keep everyone updated.

I agree 100% with you on Hardy. I think he's a great fit for the club, and just an all around solid player when healthy. Also, I'm glad to see Mark finally come around with the bat. We all knew he wasn't going to bat for average, so to see him getting the other things is positive. From interviews, you could tell he was really trying and just getting frustrated. I think he's relaxed more, and really wants to help this club.

Just ramblings, but I wish Markakis would come around offensively. He's probably the most disappointing player this year and the O's could use his extra base hits.

Jeff -
In terms of B-Rob, what is his current condition? Is he going to be out for a few months?

I really feel like this team would be a game or two above 500 if the starters had been healthy for a majority of games.

Jeff Z's reply: Nobody truly knows when you're dealing with concussions and Brian was adamant not to give a timetable for his return yesterday. I don't like to speculate on this stuff, but obviously with him still at least two weeks away from even starting baseball activities, and then you figure he'll need to do that for a while and play in rehab games, I think you're looking at another month or so.

Sometimes moving from one side of the rubber to the other is simply because the ball is not going where it's supposed to. For those who bowl, it's very similar to moving over a board or two just because of the way the ball is breaking on a particular night.

When he was on the third base side, against a lefty, his slider started out middle in, and finished outside or over the outer half. Same with his cutter and sinker. Against a RH hitter, he had to guard against his slider/sinker/cutter from breaking too much inside and couldn't throw it as with as much break as he might have wanted.

By moving to the 1B side, the slider starts right at a LH, freezing them momentarily, then breaks sharply down and away. Against a RH, the ball is breaking sharply down and in. It still starts outside, but moves quite a bit and even though the ball is coming toward a RH hitter, it is moving quite a distance and is very difficult to track all the way. Add in Britton's natural movement on his pitches, and the result is what you had last night.

By moving over, Britton gave himself a lot more of the plate to use, and he took advantage of it.

I see it all the time. When a pitcher is having trouble finding that corner, the coaches tell them to move over ever so slightly and throw the ball the same way. The ball has the same movement, but because the pitcher is in a different starting position, the ball goes where he wants.

Jeff, has there been any talk of bringing back the rookie league team? It seems to me that as the system gets more and more top prospects, they need room for them. Rookie ball is a good transistion from amateur ball to the pros, and frankly, I never understood why they got rid of that level in the first place.

Thanks again, Jeff, for all you do. I look forward to your updates everyday.

Jeff Z's reply: No talk that I'm aware of, Ken. They didn't get rid of it too long ago, and my sense is that nothing has changed.

I assume Buck plans to keep trotting Lee out to first since he is superior defensively to others but his strike outs are mounting and his offense is down there with Markakis. Would you consider him a trade candidate at deadline time and then let Snyder or another play first?

Jeff Z's reply: Yes, but he's going to have to start hitting to attract some interest in a trade. If that takes place, the O's could go in a lot of directions at first. Snyder certainly could be one of them. They could play Luke there and get longer looks at Pie/and or Reimold in left. Sooner or later, the O's are going to have to figure out if one of these guys is the answer in left field or they need to go out and get a regular left fielder. There is also the option of moving Josh Bell across the diamond.

Jeff, thanks for giving Reynolds a positive shout out. I've been defending him all season and I'm glad somebody with the Sun is pointing out to ignorant fans this isn't the 1950's and there are more important and telling stats to look at besides Batting Average.

-32nd in the league in ISO (2nd among 3rd baseman and only 1 point below Youkilis)
-10th in wOBA amongst 3B
-6th in SLG amongst 3B
- plus he's 2nd to LAST in BABIP, meaning his average, no matter how meaningless it may be in his case, and all his other numbers will improve because he's been unlucky!!!

How bout a piece on the unique statistical anomaly that is Mark Reynolds? I think fans would find it educational and interesting and you may turn some of the ridiculous angst towards him around. Plus, you wouldn't have to hear the constant ignorant remarks about his batting average since we all know it's the most overrated stat in sports!!

Jeff Z's reply: It's interesting, Pat. Buck was asked yesterday about how tough it is to evaluate Reynolds' statistics. He gave a pretty good answer that included the sense that Reynolds is giving the Orioles exactly what they expected out of him, possibly even more.

I'm very pleased you brought up Reynold's numbers. I actually spent a good part of my day yesterday avoiding work and looking at his projections for the season. People are so fixated on his batting average. I would much much much rather have what Reynolds is doing than a .300 hitter who only hits singles and rarely drives in runs. His OPS ranks above Guerrero, Markakis, Lee, Roberts, Andino, and way above the Orioles Insider Board beloved Felix Pie (when Orioles nation will finally give up on thinking this "spark plug" will make the team play well is beyond me. Other than the occasional well placed double, I haven't seen the team play all too differently when he's in the lineup. Fantastic fourth outfielder and a huge asset, but not the guy that's going to turn the offense around by any stretch of the imagination. And yes, I know he has a smaller sample size than Reynolds, but come on, the dream of Pie as the outfielder of the future needs to die. Personally I wanted them to keep Patterson and dump Pie, but what do I know.)

Also, 100% agree with you on JJ Hardy. I actually thought they should have negotiated an extension at the beginning of the season, where he may have come at a cheaper price.

Been saying that for a while in regards to Hardy, Jeff.

2 years, 15 million. Bartlett signed a 2/12 deal in the offseason with SD. Between Hardy's up and down performance and recent injury history, he shouldn't be in line for much more than the 2/12 Bartlett got.

And even if Hardy missed 40 games a year, since he is an above average SS, he will still probably be worth the 7.5million a season anyway.

Its a no brainer and its also something Orioles need to do soon. Hardy could be a valuable piece to deal in July. They need to approach him now about an extension and if he doesn't want to sign it, then you look to trade him. Right now, he is a type A prospect, so if you deal him, you need to get back the value of 2 high draft picks. If you can't get that, then you continue to work out an extension and if all else fails, you offer him arbitration in the offseason and he walks for the picks.

The Orioles need to be aggressive and proactive here...which of course means they will sit on their hands and wait for Hardy's people to come to them.

Jeff Z's reply: Very much agree. I was kind of on the side of letting him prove that he is beyond those persistent wrist problems that sapped him of his power last year, but I think he has done that. Homer numbers aside, he's hit a lot of balls with some authority. He also seemingly really likes it here and is a favorite among the teammates so I'd assume that he'd be open to an extension.A couple of years of security for a guy with an injury history probably goes a long way.

"The ball has the same movement, but because the pitcher is in a different starting position, the ball goes where he wants."

Ken, thanks for the explanation but that didn't answer my question. Your own text says that the movement is the same but better location. Britton said the movement was different on the pitch when he made the change, not just better location. What I was trying to figure out is why that changes the movement on the pitch when, as you said, it figures to have the identical movement from any spot on the mound. Hopefully, Jeff can get an answer to solve the "mystery".

Yeah, Reynold's OPS is 7th best among AL 3Bs. So not an All-Star, but not a problem.

Excellent post, as always.

Regarding the earlier commenter's question about Britton being shut down later this year- could this potentially help the Orioles get around the service time issue? Limiting young pitchers' innings is a legitimate and well-established baseball move, so if this coincided with keeping Britton off the active roster long enough to hold off on free agency, that could be great for Os fans. I imagine Zach wouldn't be too pleased about that, but to my mind that is a legitimate move so it isn't just a baseball decision. Everyone accepted the Os sending him down for a few weeks in April as a pure business move despite the fact that he was our best pitcher in spring training, so I can't imagine people would be able to complain about the Os taking him off the roster for a widely-accepted reason.

Regarding the comment about the Os having limited roster space in the farm system, given MacPhail's routine references to "inventory" and using excess inventory on the trade front, I wonder if he could package some players currently in the system as part of any mid-season trades- getting us higher value on the trade and opening up a spot for a draft pick to sign?

Jeff Z's reply: Britton would have to be in the minors for 20 days at any point. That would be an awful thing for Orioles to do to shut him down and then jettison him off the roster. I know business is business, but you pull a stunt like that, you can probably forget the guy ever wanting to sign an extension with you.

I was out of the country for a few years and when I returned and started watching baseball again, I saw all of these head first slides. Why. I thought! you don't get there faster and boy, are you volunerable to injury. I don't think bunting and sliding are being taught in the minors anymore. Eeveryone was excited about the catcher who recently got hurt. Word went out that catchers should not block the plate without the ball!! Well, I think the same message should go out about head first sliding.
Brian Roberts worries me, I saw the head first slide but did not see the head get hit, yet, he has concussion like symtoms? Football player have full concussions and are out a week or less. I don't think we are getting all of the facts. I wish Brian nothing but the best, yet, he has bad headaches and now this....UM, I wonder, if there is something more?

Glad to see Josh Bell in the discussion. To my thinking it makes total sense to move Vlad on 7/31, make Reynolds your FT DH and give Bell another shot at 3B. You get younger, cheaper and add more power in the process. Just my two cents.

Jeff, Thanks for the positive outlook on Reynolds. A few well timed HR's and doubles will go along way toward making up for a sub-200 avg. I'm an out-of-towner who really appreciates your insights and updates. Keep up the good work. Go O's


One idea is that by being on the opposite side of the mound, the perspective and throwing angle of the pitcher is completely different. Therefore the way they throw the ball to reach the target spot needs to slightly change, and maybe that has an effect on the movement of the ball.

Just a guess.


Concussions are not that simple. There are many degrees of damage. Sure, lots of players only miss a week or two, but many more are out for significant amounts of time.

Sidney Crosby on the Pittsburgh Penguins got a concussion some time at the beginning of this year, and didn't play for the rest of the season.

I agree with you and wish Brian the best, I hope he can come back and be a contributor soon.

"Bergy should never have been sent down to begin with. He got a late start out of spring training and i don't think he got back to back starts in the 5 man rotation,once. He needs regular work to find his groove."

Which is exactly the reason why he SHOULD have been sent down...

I agree with the sentiments about Hardy. If you can get him on a 2-year extension, by all means it needs to be done to bridge the gap to Machado...


Thanks again for another great post. To add to the Reynolds debate: Looking at his fielding, he has the most errors of any 3B in the majors so far with 11. Take that for what its worth. He might have more if DLee isn't playing gold glove caliber 1B this year. Thats a pace for 25+ errors this year - not good. And certainly not "above average" or an upgrade from Tejada like the O's tried to spin it.

I think for me what gets on my nerves most about Reynolds is the fact that the tv and radio announcers (who are paid by the Orioles) try so hard to spin his performance in a positive light. Whats funny about that is that it has nothing to do with Reynolds at all really.

I too am a big fan of Hardy. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for him to accept an extension. What about this possibility: Going after Jose Reyes in the offseason and moving Machado to third. We all see what happens to the offense when a true leadoff hitter is in the lineup. BRob might be at the end of his effectiveness in that role, even if he can find a way to stay on the field. Its early enough for Machado to make the move as he comes through the system. Thoughts?

Jeff Z's reply: I love Reyes as a player and I do think it's time that the Orioles invest in somebody that would be an adequate leadoff man if Brian Roberts is out, like he has been so often recently. However, I'm not sure I'd be prepared to spend what it takes to get Reyes, who has a history of injury problems. I'd rather see them put the money toward a middle of the order hitter. Don't get me wrong, Reyes would be a great addition. I just think weighing all the factors, their money could be spent more wisely.

Agree with everyone about JJH, Looks like a solid professional. Do you think he could move to 2B when Machado is ready, Seems like he would be a good mentor for him

Jeff Z's reply: Think that's possible. Brewers were very pleased with the mentoring job he did for Alcides Escobar.

Hey Jeff .. Disagree on your Reyes assessment. Unless Prince or Albert are coming here, the number 1 priority has to be 2B/leadoff going forward this offseason. This club really struggles without a solid leadoff guy. It seems painfully obvious to me.

Roberts' concussion symptoms may be the result of a crack-the-whip type of motion. Imagine when you fall backwards and your head is whipped, then contacts the ground. In head-first slide mode the same end impact is not there, but at some point your head is jerked to a stop. Head first slides and diving for balls whip your spine with the force stopping most times at your head. I played outfield for a long time and dove for many balls. I've had a fusion surgery on my back as a result of playing like that for a long time--as well as working in a very physical environment for 30+ years--but EVERY time I watch someone dive or slide head first, I cringe--and hear those 3 stooges-like crunching sound effects...spinal injuries affect the way you run swing, slide--everything. I don't know that we'll see the same guy---it's hard to change the style of play that made him the weapon that he is/was.

How much of the injury problems here fall on the shoulders of the strength and conditioning people. I realize of the injuries are more circumstantial than anything, but there has to be a point where this is evaluated at an organizational level. It seems like the organization has suffered more than the fair share of bumps and bruises.

Hey Jeff been away for a few days what about NICK.How can they keep running him out there everyday. It's very obvious he is completely lost right now.

josh - some of the muscle injuries (especially hamstring / calf strains) are worrying, but you could have the best medical staff in the world and they can't prevent the freak injuries like a dislocated kneecap, whiplash concussion, etc. also, the shoulder / arm injuries to players like Berry and Klein weren't unexpected - we were able to sign them in later rounds *because* we knew they were injury risks.

as for Reynolds, I agree with the other posters that his bat isn't a big problem. but his defense is, and the combination makes him a below average player at the moment. according to the advanced statistics (like UZR), Reynolds is on track for the worst defensive season of his career (and 2nd worst this season only to Edwin Encarnacion), which is saying something. think about it this way - offensively, he has a similar OPS to Brooks Robinson, but his defense is as bad as Robinson's was good (+/- 20 runs compared to league average). at the same time, I think Reynolds can turn it around. I mean the guy played shortstop in college, and in the past, his range has been fine. I think he was just going through some mental problems and seems to be back on track now.

if the orioles are smart whcih they are not, they shuld be talking with jj hardy now abut an extention.they need all the help they can get for offense as well as defense. with brian roberts having concussion issurs, it also might be a good idea to be looking for a full time replacemnet at second base. is it 2 or 3 years left on his present contract. i am thinking it might be just 2 years left.

Hardy is a guy to re-sign. Reynoldfs should stay . Roberts needs to be released if this year doesn't for the O's. And markakis is just having a BAD year. D.Lee good as a defensive man but I suppose Andy says goodbye. Vlad could stick around, he's a good influence in Bmore.

I know Reynolds has made a number of errors but he has also made some outstanding plays that would have been hits. He's also been on the front end of some double plays that many 3rd basemen do not make. Surely, those plays offset some of the errors. I'll take him on my team.

Anon, a good way to explain it is that Britton had more of the plate to use and therefore could put more on it. When he was on the 3rd base side, and pitched to a RH, he had to start the ball middle in but couldn't put real torque on the ball lest it go way inside or even behind the hitter.
When pitching against a LH, when on the 3rd base side, he had to get the ball middle in also, and the ball didn't have evn movement to get down and away.

By moving to the 1B side, he opened up the whole plate and it allowed him to put maximum torque on the ball. He could start the ball against a RH on the outside, and use the natural movement to get it where he wanted it. His ball was moving as much as a foot, and with it dipping and diving, it is very hard for a RH to follow the whole track. Against a LH, the ball starts right at him, which freezes him a little. If the batter is not able to recognize the pitch right away, which against Britton is very tough to do, he doesn't know if the pitch is a wayward fastball heading right at him, or that tail away breaking pitch.

A pitching coach I has years ago always had his guys start on the first base side, and then had them make adjustments as they learned to put more english on the ball. I was a straight over the top type, my idol was always Jim Palmer, he threw straight over the top. It didn't matter where Jim stood, he was a different pitcher than Britton. But the guys who had a lot of side to side movement always seemed to do better when pitching from the 1B side. Scott MacGregor was like that.

It doesn't work for every pitcher, of course, but you can have some good results with that start.

I know there is more to it, but I hope that gives a little idea of what's going on.

They should sign Hardy for at least 3 years. What more do you want in a shortstop? He can field and hit.

Anyone think he looks like actor Timothy Olyphant?io

They should sign Hardy for at least 3 years. What more do you want in a shortstop? He can field and hit.

Anyone think he looks like actor Timothy Olyphant?

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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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