Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Remember when the Orioles clinched the AL East title in 2014? I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Out-of-nowhere 2014 sensation Steve Pearce fielding a grounder unassisted for the final out. Orioles pouring out onto the field and mobbing each other in the middle of the diamond. Buck Showalter and John Russell giving each other a big bear hug in the dugout. Fireworks and confetti raining down on Camden Yards, where a raucous crowd partied well into the night, as Adam Jones obliged a few lucky fans with a celebratory pie to the face.
What a magical night. What a magical season. It almost seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?
Well, it wasn’t yesterday. It was ... (furiously types numbers into calculator) ... five years ago. And as far as the Orioles are concerned, it might as well have been an eternity ago. Because the team as it stands today has almost nothing in common with that 2014 squad.
Another link to that outstanding club left the nest yesterday when Caleb Joseph, who was a solid contributor as a rookie that season, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The O’s non-tendered Joseph in November, so technically he’d already left the club, but now it’s official that he won’t be back. Mark Brown penned a Birdland Salute to everyone’s favorite scrappy, quick-witted catcher.
Only one player from the 2014 Orioles remains with the team, and he’s now their very worst player: Chris Davis. All the rest have been scattered to the winds, some still playing baseball elsewhere, some out of the game. Here, take a look.
Still active in MLB: Brad Brach (Cubs), Zack-not-Zach Britton (Yankees), Wei-Yin Chen (Marlins), Nelson Cruz (Twins), Ryan Flaherty (Indians), Kevin Gausman (Braves), Preston Guilmet (Twins), Nick Hundley (Athletics), Tommy Hunter (Phillies), Joseph (Diamondbacks), Nick Markakis (Braves), T.J. McFarland (Diamondbacks), Andrew Miller (Cardinals), Darren O’Day (Braves), Steve Pearce (Red Sox), Jonathan Schoop (Twins), Christian Walker (Diamondbacks)
Unsigned free agents: Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Bud Norris, Matt Wieters
Retired/not playing anywhere in MLB: Quintin Berry, Alexi Casilla, Steve Clevenger, Alejandro De Aza, Miguel Gonzalez, J.J. Hardy, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kelly Johnson, Steve Lombardozzi, David Lough, Brian Matusz, Evan Meek, Jimmy Paredes, Troy Patton, Cord Phelps, Ramon Ramirez, Joe Saunders, Josh Stinson, Chris Tillman, Ryan Webb, Jemile Weeks, Delmon Young
Those players, whether key contributors or no-name roster fillers, formed the best Orioles team of the last 20 years. It might be quite a while before we see an O’s team that good again.
In slow market, Adam Jones’ free agency confounds former Orioles teammates: ‘Unfortunately, it’s where we’re at’ - Baltimore Sun
Count me among those who are confounded. You’re telling me not one team could use an outfielder who’s a reliable hitter and a leader in the clubhouse? Have you seen the projected outfield for, like, the Indians?
The word for Hyde’s first Orioles day is competition - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff wraps up the first workout day for Orioles pitchers and catchers, in which some pitchers pitched and some catchers caught. Look, the exciting stuff isn’t going to be happening for a while.
Susac on second chance with Orioles - School of Roch
I figured Andrew Susac’s Orioles career was finished last year when he just went home instead of reporting to his rehab assignment, but here he is again. Even Susac says, “Yeah, I’m a little bit surprised that I’m back.”
Farmhand Yastrzemski invited to take his shot - Steve Melewski
Could this be the year that grandson-of-a-Hall-of-Famer Mike Yastrzemski finally makes it to the majors? It’d be a nice story, but I’m not looking forward to having to type out his name in game recaps.
Baltimore Orioles: 3 Pitchers Who’ll Surprise us in Spring Training
But if you’re predicting it to happen, can it really be considered a surprise? ... Or did I just blow your mind?
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there isn’t a single Orioles player in their 65-year history who was born on this date. Maybe you’ll be the first! Keep practicing, and never give up on your dreams.
On this date in 1959, the Orioles acquired Whitey Lockman from the San Francisco Giants. Basically what I’m saying is this has been an incredibly boring day in Orioles history.