What they're saying about the Orioles: June 30
Here's a look at recent media coverage of the Orioles:
• No Orioles made Joe Lemire's All-Star team, and the club checked in at No. 24 in the SI.com writer's weekly rankings.
The collective opponents of the Orioles have hit 93 home runs this year -- led by a five-homer bashing by the Reds on Saturday -- a number so high that if they were to organize themselves into a team, they'd rank third in the majors, behind only the Yankees and Rangers. While the Orioles (81 HRs, fifth in the AL) and especially shortstop J.J. Hardy (9 HRs in June) have shown some recent power, they are still at a deficit. The league average is to allow a homer in 2.4 percent of opponents' plate appearances, yet nine of the 12 Orioles to have thrown 25 or more innings this year have a rate higher than that.
• With a dearth of All-Star-caliber third basemen, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume states the case for Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy making the AL All-Star team at third.
That's why you could make an argument that Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy should start at third base for the American League. No, I'm not seriously suggesting this as a solution -- I'm merely taking an A.L. shortstop, one who we've been overlooking all season and pointing out that his offensive numbers could put him at the top of the third-base list.
• Orioles starter Zach Britton is ranked second on CBSSports.com writer Larry Dobrow's list of top rookie pitchers.
Whether due to injuries or to menacing deployment of a pickaxe, he forced his way onto the roster this spring, which speaks volumes about his good fortune or his psychosis. Either way, the Orioles are the better for it.
-- Chris Branch