Tag Archive | "blue jays"

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Duquette story moving closer to its conclusion?

Posted on 24 January 2015 by Luke Jones

Opinions and reports vary on the future of Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, but this much has become abundantly clear about the story that’s now seven weeks old.

It needs to end.

There appears to be growing optimism about a deal being consummated with the Toronto Blue Jays that would allow Duquette to become their new president and chief executive officer. But we’ve heard this before and reports in recent days have painted different pictures of how imminent an agreement might be.

Of course, a deal won’t be official until we see Duquette formally introduced as the new boss in Toronto as compensation continues to be the biggest obstacle. According to ESPN, Toronto’s 2014 first-round pick and right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman has been discussed and would be a lucrative return in exchange for an executive compared to similar transactions completed in recent years.

But would one top prospect be enough for the Orioles and owner Peter Angelos? And are the Blue Jays willing to part with premium talent simply to hire a front office man, albeit a successful one?

There is some speculation that the Blue Jays could — and should — walk away from Duquette, but you wonder if that would be the best outcome for the Orioles at this point as the 56-year-old’s silence on the situation speaks volumes about his desire to go to Toronto. Trust will undoubtedly be a concern should Duquette remain with the Orioles.

Whatever the outcome, the Orioles would be wise to have a resolution in time for next Saturday’s FanFest in which Duquette has annually participated in fan forums. The saga has been disruptive for an organization trying to build on its 2014 American League East title this offseason, but it would be embarrassing for Duquette’s uncertain future to be out in the open for fans to see — and question.

It isn’t over until it’s over, but the developments of the last few days create hope that this matter will be closed sooner rather than later.

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Orioles need resolution in Duquette saga

Posted on 15 January 2015 by Luke Jones

It’s the story that won’t go away and it’s not a good one for the Orioles.

Nearly six weeks after reports first surfaced about executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette being targeted to become the new president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Blue Jays — and owner Peter Angelos fired back by saying the Orioles wouldn’t relinquish their contract running through 2018 — multiple outlets reported Wednesday that the sides were negotiating compensation and moving closer to an agreement. Angelos again responded by saying Duquette wasn’t going anywhere, creating more confusion about what will happen next.

“That is not going to happen. There have not been any changes in the status of Dan Duquette,” Angelos said to The Sun. “He is our GM and he is going to remain our GM. He is concentrating on his efforts to determine the composition of our team for 2015. That is the answer. Period.”

As was the case in early December, it’s easy to understand both sides’ perspective and wonder how much trust remains, but how much longer can this saga continue? Even with a contract in place, are the Orioles benefiting from continuing to employ a head baseball man who appears to have his heart in another place?

It’s time to ask Duquette point-blank whether he’s in or out.

Trying to analyze Duquette’s work in what’s been a lackluster offseason is difficult due to his unorthodox style that was on display in each of the previous three winters, but it’s becoming easier to question how diligently he’s tried to improve his current club with the reports linking him to Toronto not going away.

Angelos and the Orioles have every right to be unhappy with the timing of this pursuit and should be concerned with an American League East rival trying to poach their general manager. They’re certainly entitled to seek as much compensation as they can before seriously entertaining the thought of letting him go.

But at what point does the fight to keep him become counterproductive to the future of the organization?

If Duquette is no longer committed to the Orioles, it makes little sense to remain committed to him.

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Orioles agree to minor-league deal with catcher Arencibia

Posted on 08 January 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles made one of their most notable additions of an all-too-quiet offseason Thursday with the announcement of a minor-league agreement with veteran catcher J.P. Arencibia.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training for the former Toronto Blue Jay and Texas Ranger who has also played a limited number of games at first base. The 29-year-old is a career .207 hitter with 74 home runs and a .658 on-base plus slugging percentage in five major league seasons.

Arencibia spent the first four seasons of his major league career in Toronto after he was selected in the first round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Blue Jays. In his lone season with the Rangers in 2014, Arencibia hit only .177 in 222 plate appearances and spent part of the season in the minors.

With backup catcher Nick Hundley signing a two-year deal with Colorado and Matt Wieters’ status for Opening Day still unclear, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette had wanted to add another catcher to the mix for spring training.

Arencibia’s best major league season came in in 2011 when he hit .219 with a career-high 23 homers and a .720 OPS.

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Report: Blue Jays team president staying put for 2015 season

Posted on 09 December 2014 by Luke Jones

It appears the uncertainty surrounding Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette was all for nothing.

According to the Toronto Sun and FOX Sports, Toronto Blue Jays team president and chief executive officer Paul Beeston will remain in the position through the 2015 season. The news likely means the Orioles can rest easy about Duquette, who was reportedly interested in the job and viewed as a top candidate.

It remains unclear why news of potential replacements for the Blue Jays position was floated, but Orioles owner Peter Angelos made it clear Sunday that he expected Duquette to honor his current contract that runs through the 2018 season. Duquette reiterated Monday that he was under contract and representing the Orioles at the winter meetings, but he didn’t go out of his way to squash reports of his potential interest in joining the Blue Jays.

Beeston has spent large stretches of the last four decades working in the Blue Jays organization, serving as CEO from 1991 through 1997 and then returning to Toronto in the same capacity in 2008 after a five-year stint as the chief operating officer of Major League Baseball.

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Report: Duquette wants to leave Orioles to become Blue Jays president/CEO

Posted on 07 December 2014 by Luke Jones

What’s already been a difficult offseason for the Orioles could become much worse.

Multiple outlets are reporting executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is a candidate to become the president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Blue Jays. Duquette wants to take the position with only owner Peter Angelos standing in the way, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The 56-year-old is under contract through the 2018 season and helped guide the Orioles to their first two playoff appearances and first American League East title since 1997. However, it could be difficult for the organization to stand in his way from a pragmatic standpoint if his heart is truly in running another organization.

Angelos made it clear to MASNSports.com that he has no intention of letting Duquette jump ship.

“They would have to contact us and ask if we’re willing to relinquish him,” Angelos said in the interview. “We’re not relinquishing him, period. He’s signed for four more years, and we’re delighted by the team’s performance. We intend for him to remain for the next four years. We’re satisfied with him, obviously.”

Baltimore would likely seek compensation from the Blue Jays if Duquette were to be allowed to leave.

The Orioles have already lost outfielders Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis and left-handed reliever Andrew Miller in free agency this offseaosn, but Duquette’s departure would be a stunning blow for an organization that appeared to turn a corner following 14 consecutive losing seasons. Duquette was recognized as the executive of the year by Sporting News and Baseball America after the Orioles won 96 games to run away with the division title.

Duquette previously served as the general manager for the Montreal Expos from 1991 through 1994 and for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 through 2002. He has often spoken fondly of the late Harry Dalton, who once served as Orioles general manager and gave Duquette his start as a scouting assistant with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1980.

The executive addressed the rumors on MLB Network Radio after he arrived in San Diego for the winter meetings.

“Well, I’m with the Orioles, OK?” he said. “I’m here to represent the Orioles at the meetings, and I don’t really have anything to add other than that. These rumors, they come up in the industry all the time and I don’t spend a lot of time speculating on the rumors and I’m not in a position to do that here, either.

“And I do have a contract, and I’ve always honored my contract, so I appreciate the interest, and I don’t have anything else to add.”

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Former Oriole Reimold claimed off waivers by Blue Jays

Posted on 06 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Nolan Reimold was claimed off outright waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday.

The claim ends a week of speculation about the outfielder’s future. The Baltimore Orioles had activated Reimold from the 60 day disabled list (back) earlier in the week and designated him for assignment. After failing to be able to trade him, the Birds placed Reimold on outright waivers Friday.

The Blue Jays will be on the hook for the remainder of his $1.025 million salary this season.

Reimold’s Baltimore tenure ends after his most recent trip to the DL came following spine fusion surgery in the spring. This surgery was the most recent in a line of health-related issues for the Bowling Green alum. After being sidelined by an oblique strain and achilles tendon fraying early in his career, Reimold’s most significant issues began in 2012. He previously had surgery for a herniated disc in June 2012 that shortened his season, he was forced to have corrective surgery just a year later to fix the previous procedure.

Since arriving in the big leagues in 2009, Reimold played in just 286 games (all with the Orioles). He hit .252/.327/.439 with 41 home runs and 126 RBI in the span.

The O’s appeared to view Reimold as expendable in part due to a glut of right handed hitting outfielder/designated hitter/first base types on the major league roster. Manager Buck Showalter has struggled to find regular playing time for hot hitting Delmon Young due to Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce’s outstanding success to start the season as well.

CRUZ RESPONDS: Speaking of Cruz, he responded to comments made about him Saturday night by Red Sox pitcher John Lackey when speaking to reporters pre-game Sunday.

After the left fielder went 5-5 and came just a triple short of the cycle Saturday night, Lackey said “I’m not even going to comment on him. I’ve got nothing to say about him. There’s things I would like to say, but I’m not going to.”

The starter was clearly referring to Cruz’s 50 game suspension in 2013 related to PED’s and his relationship with Biogenesis.

Cruz was asked about the comments by reporters Sunday, saying “people can say whatever they want. It’s part of being free. I don’t have any comments about that,” according to CSNBaltimore.com. “What I care about is my teammates and what they think about me.”

He added “everybody is free to talk. What I care about is what I’m doing here.”

Showalter also addressed the comments in his pre-game chat with reporters, saying “you consider sources of people and some of their emotions after the game, whether it be a player’s comment or a manager’s comment or some fan’s comment. You understand that nobody makes those comments after they pitched a complete game shutout or Nelson is 0-for-5. It’s human nature. We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s,” also according to CSNBaltimore.com.

NOTES: Showalter re-affirmed to reporters in Boston that Bud Norris (groin) came out of his simulated game Saturday well and is expected to start Tuesday or Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. The Baltimore Sun reported the team is leaning towards Tuesday to get him an extra start before the All-Star break…MLB.com reports Sunday starter Kevin Gausman is not guaranteed to make another start before the All-Star break, saying the Birds could send him back down to get another reliever before the final week of the first half of the season…Slumping first baseman Chris Davis did not start Sunday as Showalter decided to give him a day of rest. Davis came into the day with just two hits in his last 34 at-bats

 

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Hopkins lacrosse officially joins Big Ten, announces 2015 conference schedule

Posted on 01 July 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD – On June 3, 2013, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels stepped to the podium in the Cordish Lacrosse Center and announced that he had accepted an offer from the Big Ten and commissioner Jim Delany for the Blue Jay men’s lacrosse program to join the league as a sport affiliate member. The effective date of that membership? July 1, 2014.

While the first official Big Ten men’s lacrosse game is still nearly nine months away, Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala, his staff and players are eagerly looking forward to the Blue Jays’ first season of competition as a member of the league. The Big Ten, which earlier today officially added Maryland and Rutgers as full members of the league, recently announced plans for the first two men’s lacrosse conference tournaments as it prepares to add both men’s and women’s lacrosse to its list of sponsored sports.

Below is some pertinent information for fans as the Blue Jays officially begin their membership in the Big Ten. While much of this information has previously been available, some is being announced for the first time.

Has Johns Hopkins ever competed in a conference in men’s lacrosse?
No. Johns Hopkins’ acceptance into the Big Ten as a sport affiliate member starting with the 2015 season will mark the first conference affiliation for the Blue Jay men’s lacrosse program. Johns Hopkins played its first men’s lacrosse game in 1883 and competed as an independent from then through the 2014 season.

Which teams will compete in the Big Ten in men’s lacrosse?
The six-team league will include Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers.

How will the Big Ten determine its champion?
The Big Ten recently announced that it will host a four-team tournament at the end of the regular season. The top four teams in the final regular season standings will qualify for the tournament and play for the championship.

And to the Victors?
The champion of the Big Ten Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championships.

Where Will the Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament be Held?
The Big Ten announced the location for the 2015 and 2016 league tournaments. The 2015 Big Ten Tournament will be held at the University of Maryland, while the 2016 Big Ten Tournament will be held at Johns Hopkins University.

Is there a history between Johns Hopkins and the other Big Ten men’s lacrosse programs?
Yes, Johns Hopkins has played each of the other five Big Ten lacrosse-playing schools. Below is a quick look at the series history between Johns Hopkins and its Big Ten opponents:

Maryland – Nothing like the Big Ten bringing the greatest rivalry in college lacrosse to the table. The Blue Jays and Terrapins have met 111 times with Johns Hopkins holding a 70-40-1 advantage.

Michigan – The Blue Jays and Wolverines have met twice with JHU winning both. Michigan added men’s lacrosse as a varsity sport in 2012.

Ohio State – Johns Hopkins and Ohio State have met five times with JHU winning all five. The Buckeyes visited Homewood Field in 2014 and the teams played a triple overtime thriller that the Blue Jays won 10-9.

Penn State – The Blue Jays and Nittany Lions have played five times with Johns Hopkins winning all five. The teams last met in 1946.

Rutgers – The Johns Hopkins-Rutgers series dates back to 1920. The teams have met 34 times with Johns Hopkins winning 30 of the 34. Johns Hopkins and Rutgers last played in 1998.

Is the Big Ten schedule set for the 2015 season?
Yes. While exact dates and times are not set, the weekend that each game will be played has been established. Below is a look at Johns Hopkins’ Big Ten lacrosse schedule for 2015:

March 27-29: Rutgers
April 3-5: @ Ohio State
April 10-12: Penn State
April 17-19: Michigan
April 24-26: @ Maryland
April 30 – May 2: Big Ten Tournament at Maryland

What about the rest of the schedule?
While not set in stone, here is a quick look at the tentative non-conference schedule for Johns Hopkins in 2015. Like the games above, the weekends of each game are listed, but exact dates and times have not been established.

Feb. 6-8: UMBC
Feb. 10-11: @ Towson
Feb. 13-15: @ Villanova
Feb. 20-22: @ North Carolina
Feb. 27 – Mar. 1: Princeton
Mar. 6-8: Navy
Mar. 13-15: @ Syracuse
Mar. 20-22: Virginia

Will Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse games be televised by the Big Ten Network?
Through its negotiated contract with the Big Ten, Johns Hopkins will maintain its television agreement with ESPN. Thus, all Johns Hopkins home games will air on the ESPN Network (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or WatchESPN (web)). Big Ten games played away from Homewood Field may air on the Big Ten Network, although those plans have not been finalized at this time.

What happens with television when the Big Ten Tournament is at Homewood Field in 2016?
The Big Ten retains the television rights to the Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten Tournament is not covered in Johns Hopkins’ agreement with ESPN.

 

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Former Hopkins, UMBC, Maryland stars make US lacrosse roster for Worlds

Posted on 30 June 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE — At the conclusion of a tryout process that included 98 players and spanned 11 months, US Lacrosse has named the U.S. Men’s National Team final 23-man roster for the FIL World Championship, presented by Trusted Choice, July 10-19 in Commerce City, Colo.

The team was selected from a 31-player roster that attended training camp last week in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and competed in Thursday’s MLL All-Star Game at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.

Four players return from the gold medal-winning 2010 FIL World Championship squad that defeated Canada 12-10 in Manchester, England, to earn the United States’ ninth world title. Returners include attackmen Ned Crotty and Brendan Mundorf (All-World) as well as midfielders Paul Rabil (MVP and All-World) and Max Seibald (All-World).

Team USA will next head to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., for a final training camp July 6-9 before beginning its world title defense in Denver on July 10.

“These men were selected from a group of 52 that participated in Orlando and 31 that participated this past week, so we feel this is a very solid team that will represent our country well in Denver,” said Team USA head coach Richie Meade. “Several of the men who have been part of this process distinguished themselves, but weren’t chosen for this team. We’re very humbled to represent our country and endeavor to do so to the best of our collective ability.”

The 23-man roster by position with professional teams, collegiate alma maters, and previous U.S. team experience noted:

Attack
Ned Crotty, New York Lizards, Duke*
Marcus Holman, Ohio Machine, North Carolina
Kevin Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Massachusetts
Brendan Mundorf, Chesapeake Bayhawks, UMBC*
Rob Pannell, New York Lizards, Cornell
Garrett Thul, Florida Launch/Philadelphia Wings, Army

Midfield
Matt Abbott, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Syracuse
Kevin Buchanan, Boston Cannons, Ohio State
Dan Burns, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Maryland
Kyle Harrison, Ohio Machine, Johns Hopkins^
David Lawson, Rochester Rattlers, Duke
Paul Rabil, Boston Cannons, Johns Hopkins*
Max Seibald, New York Lizards/Philadelphia Wings, Cornell*

Defense
Mitch Belisle, Boston Cannons, Cornell
Jesse Bernhardt, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Maryland
Tucker Durkin, Florida Launch, Johns Hopkins
Michael Evans, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Johns Hopkins
Kyle Hartzell, New York Lizards, Salisbury
Lee Zink, Denver Outlaws, Maryland

Goalie
Drew Adams, New York Lizards, Penn State
Jesse Schwartzman, Denver Outlaws, Johns Hopkins

Faceoff
Chris Eck, Boston Cannons, Colgate
Greg Gurenlian, New York Lizards, Penn State

* 2010 U.S. men’s national team member
^ 2006 U.S. men’s national team member

Two alternates were selected to travel with the team to Colorado Springs and Denver, and will be added to the active roster only in the instance of injury. Per FIL policy, no changes to the active roster may be made after Wednesday, July 9.

Alternates
John Galloway, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse
Steele Stanwick, Ohio Machine, Virginia

For more information on the U.S. men’s national team, visit uslacrosse.org/usmen. Follow the team on Facebook at fb.com/uslacrosse, on Twitter and Instagram at @uslacrosse and use #USAMLAX.

The World Champion U.S. Men’s National Teams train and play using best-in-class products provided by Nike (apparel and footwear), STX (equipment) and Cascade (helmets). Nationwide and Marriott International are official sponsors of Team USA.

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Loyola/Johns Hopkins to resume lacrosse series in 2016

Posted on 17 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Loyola-Johns Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse Series To Resume in 2016

BALTIMORE – The head men’s lacrosse coaches Loyola University Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, Charley Toomey and Dave Pietramala, announced that the two schools will not play a regular-season game during 2015, but the series will resume in 2016.

With both programs joining new conferences over the past year – Loyola began play in the Patriot League in 2014, and Johns Hopkins will be a member of the Big Ten starting next year – the traditional late-season date on which the teams have played was not an option.

The teams will play a scrimmage at Johns Hopkins on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, and will then meet in the 2016 season in a game to be played at Loyola’s Ridley Athletic Complex.

“We are disappointed that we will not be playing during the regular-season in 2015, but we are certainly looking forward to picking back up in 2016,” said Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey. “Playing this game on a Saturday was something that was very important to both programs, and I am pleased that we have been able to do that going forward. Our scrimmage against Johns Hopkins in 2015 is going to be a great way for our team to prepare for tough early-season games against Virginia and Penn State.”

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“It could be worse” shaping into 2014 theme for Orioles

Posted on 15 June 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The theme of the 2014 season has begun taking shape through the first 68 games as the Orioles stand at 35-33 and 4 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East.

It could be worse. 

A 5-5 homestand doesn’t sound too devastating when acknowledging seven of those contests came against the two best teams in the AL, but it feels very underwhelming when the Orioles’ normally-maligned rotation provided nine quality starts against Oakland, Boston, and Toronto. A 5-2 loss on Sunday prevented Baltimore from taking three of four from the first-place Blue Jays despite a fourth straight quality start against an offense entering Sunday ranked second in runs and first in on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) in the league.

No, they didn’t lose any ground to the first-place club in the division and remain firmly in the race in an underwhelming AL East, but the weekend and the homestand could have been better. The Orioles were electing to focus on the positive after Sunday’s loss.

“Not frustrating,” center fielder Adam Jones said. “They’re a good team. We could have gotten swept; we could have swept them. Look at the bright side — we got two out of four. Now, let’s go on the road and start the series off right [Monday] in Tampa.”

The loss came at the hands of Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who entered Sunday with a 4.37 ERA after giving up 12 earned runs in his previous three starts. The Orioles were held to a meager 29 runs over these last 10 games, with the high point of frustration coming in the Red Sox series when they allowed just one run total but still couldn’t complete a three-game sweep.

Any offense will go through its peaks and valleys over the course of a 162-game schedule, but the Orioles just haven’t been able to put it together. When they’re clicking offensively, the pitching has gone down the tubes, and the Orioles’ better stretches of pitching have come when the lineup struggles as it did during the second-longest homestand of the year.

Of course, the pitching issues were expected this season, but the Orioles entered Sunday ranked ninth in the AL in runs scored. The offensive inconsistency is that much more frustrating when they enter a rare stretch in which the starting pitching thrives.

“If you go through a little spell and you’re not swinging the bats well, your pitching allows you to stay competitive to that point,” manager Buck Showalter said. “So, it just depends how you want to look at it, but you’d like to have both of them clicking. But we haven’t been able to do that consistently yet.”

The silver lining in Sunday’s loss was the performance of right-hander Chris Tillman, who turned in his second straight quality start after a disastrous one-inning start in Texas on June 4 that had everyone questioning his status in the rotation. Both Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez have disappointed through the first 2 1/2 months of the season, but the rest of the rotation has pitched well recently, including 23-year-old Kevin Gausman after his latest promotion.

Even with others pitching well, the Orioles need Tillman to regain his 2013 All-Star form and can only hope his 13 innings of work during the homestand are steps in the right direction despite the two losses. Against Toronto on Sunday, he allowed three earned runs over seven innings, his longest outing since his complete-game shutout in Kansas City on May 16.

“We’re getting somewhere. Starting to feel like my old self,” said Tillman, who didn’t record any strikeouts or walks against the Blue Jays. “Making better pitches and feeling confident in the ability to make a pitch. Command the strike zone, that’s big. Made some big pitches at times, but also left some balls up.”

The Orioles’ long list of issues and misfortunes have been repeated over and over this year.

Catcher Matt Wieters will visit Dr. James Andrews for a second time on Monday and may officially learn he will need season-ending elbow surgery.

First baseman Chris Davis is on pace to hit roughly half the number of home runs he hit last year and shortstop J.J. Hardy is still looking for his first long ball of the season in the middle of June.

Third baseman Manny Machado has been a mess at the plate and fetched a five-game suspension for his embarrassing bat-throwing incident last weekend.

And Tillman and Jimenez have been the rotation’s worst two pitchers after being identified as the duo to lead the staff back to the postseason. The Orioles entered Sunday ranking 11th in starter ERA and sixth in bullpen ERA in the AL.

Still, the Orioles remain within striking distance and show no evidence of dropping out of the race anytime soon in such an underwhelming division. The problem is they’re not displaying any signs of being on the verge of snapping off an extended winning streak to stake their claim to the top of the division, either.

As we enter the second half of June, the Orioles have offered a vibe similar to last season — three steps forward, two steps back, two steps forward, three steps back.

Decent, but not good enough.

“It’s the game of baseball. Frustration is every day,” Jones said. “But that’s how the cookie crumbles. You can’t dwell on things. If you’re put in the situation, try and succeed. If you don’t, wait for another opportunity.”

Other opportunities will come, but you can’t help but feel the Orioles missed one over these last 10 games.

Yes, it could’ve been worse.

But it could have been better.

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