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The O's lose ugly in Chicago, Manny Machado explains why he chose surgery, and are the O's doomed without him?

David Banks

After long rain delay, Cubs topple Orioles 7-2 - Chicago Tribune
"The Cubs emerged from a 3-hour, 9-minute rain delay to defeat the Orioles 7-2 Saturday at Wrigley Field. With a strong effort from their bullpen, the Cubs have taken the first two games of this three-game series against the American League East leaders."

Baltimore Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez back with major league club -
"Everyone's receiving me like it was my first time being called up," Miguel Gonzalez said. "It was fun. They're all excited to have me back, so I'm excited as well. … I was excited to come back, and I think tomorrow's game is going to be a battle, and it's going to be exciting at the same time. I can't wait. It's been a while. It's been two weeks, so I'm excited."

For Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nelson Cruz, Wrigley Field 'feels a bit like winter ball' -
"I played here once last year," Nelson Cruz said. "I [haven’t] played many games here. For the fans, it’s always good, but it feels a little bit like winter ball. The fans are on top of you, and you can feel it. There’s a lot of history in the this ballpark, and we’re always looking to come in here and play [well]."

Machado, Duquette, Showalter and Bancells on Manny’s surgery " Britt's Bird Watch
"The only thing that I’ve ever heard that the doctors mention is a partial tear of the medial patellar femoral ligament, same ligament that he injured last year in his left knee, but obviously this one is in his right knee." - Richie Bancells. There's a ton of really interesting info in that article. I'm not telling you what to do with your life, but seriously, go read it.

More from Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on his surgery -
"From the get-go, we knew it was partially torn, so it was in the back of my mind. Obviously, with the position we’re in now, you don’t want to hear about surgery. You want to try to get back out there on the field and be back with the team and help the team get to the playoffs and continue with my season, but it’s been a couple weeks now, and the pain hasn’t gotten any better. So I think it was just the best decision to get it done now rather than later and wait like we did last year. I think it got to the point where I just had to make a decision." - Manny Machado.

Manny Machado Injury: Are Orioles doomed without their third baseman? - MLB Daily Dish

"With Manny Machado out, Chris Davis will move across the diamond to third base and Steve Pearce—who's hitting .288 with an .867 OPS in his breakout season—will play first base. That means the offense might not take much of a hit; rather, the team's defense is likely to be the bigger issue."

Mike Wise: Stirring the pot for a Nationals-Orioles World Series - The Washington Post

"Orioles owner Peter Angelos so feared the Nationals would halt his team’s monopolization of the Baltimore-Washington market he actually decreed in 2004 that the area could not support two major league teams. Now, the franchise whose television rights he has held hostage since baseball came back to Washington in 2005 could very well be the last obstacle preventing the miserly owner’s team from winning their first World Series since 1983." Objective journalism at its finest.

Happy Birthday to Cal Ripken, Jr!

On this date in Orioles history, in 1970 - "Oakland tags Dave McNally for 10 hits but the Orioles ace still wins his 20th, 5 - 1, the 3rd straight year he's reached the charmed circle."

In 1983, "Orioles southpaw Tippy Martinez picks off three runners in the 10th inning as the Blue Jays take long leads trying to take advantage of his new battery mate, Lenn Sakata, an infielder with no professional catching experience pressed into service behind the plate. The converted catcher gets revenge as his three-run homer in the bottom of the frame wins the game, 7 - 4."

In 2011, Mike Flanagan passed away.

And 23 years ago today, I became the luckiest man in the world. Happy 23rd anniversary, darlin'.

I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your Open Thread when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.