At least Reynolds is having fun
This is how good Mark Reynolds is going at the plate now: the Orioles are talking about how different his bat sounds coming through the strike zone.
If you've ever come early enough to Camden Yards for batting practice, you know how different it sounds when certain Orioles sluggers are blasting balls into the stands.
Luke Scott's home run swings have always stood out -- the sound of bat pulverizing ball has an intensity and crispness distinct from his teammates. Now the Orioles are saying the same thing about Reynolds' clouts.
With seven homers and 12 RBI in his last eight games, the O's third baseman is in a wonderful groove and loving life right now.
He's got 20 homers and 49 RBI with six games left before the All-Star break. (And his batting average is even up to a sky-high -- for him -- .233.) Watch him at the plate now and the bat isn't just gliding through the strike zone, it's ripping through it with a ferocity we weren't seeing earlier in the year.
No wonder he wants to enter the All Star Game's home run derby -- the guy is so locked in with his timing and his stroke that it's scary, at least for opposing pitchers.
Too bad Reynolds isn't fielding his position nearly as well -- his 20 errors lead the major leagues. And too bad the Orioles are going so poorly now that Reynolds' slugging isn't receiving the attention it deserves.
But if you're an Orioles fan -- or a baseball fan in general -- he's been fun to watch.
I might have been the first Baltimore media person to interview Reynolds at last January's Fan Fest when he first came to the Orioles in the trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. And one of the first things he said was: "I'm here to hit to home runs and help the team. That's the main thing."
The Orioles will gladly take what he's given them in that department -- even with the 20 errors. And no one on the team -- not Adam Jones or J.J. Hardy or Nick Markakis or even All-Star Matt Wieters -- seems to be having more fun playing the game right now.