Agent Scott Boras, who represents Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Matt Wieters, was with some of his clients during Monday’s media scrum and fielded questions.
Asked whether he is having any dialogue with Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette about extending the contracts of Davis or Wieters — both free agents after the 2015 season — Boras said now is not the time.
“Good teams are getting down to the wire here and they are playing,” Boras said. “Dan and I talk all the time, but it’s the kind of thing where the focus is on the play and not really their contracts now.”
Boras also was asked what he thought of Davis’ recent comments that the true home run record was set by Roger Maris in 1961 and not steroid-era stars Mark McGwire (1998) and Barry Bonds (2001)
“I think it is appropriate, because I think that’s what he, himself, identifies with,” Boras said. “And, also, the fact is there are only a few players that can get to make that statement. So more power to him.”
Cabrera on Davis
Davis could be the only player capable of stopping Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera from achieving a first in baseball history: consecutive Triple Crowns.
Cabrera leads the majors in batting average (.365) and RBIs (95; two more than Davis), but he is trailing the Orioles first baseman in homers, 37 to 30.
And the Tigers third baseman doesn’t think Davis will be slowing down in the second half.
“If you see the way he's hitting right now, I think he's locking in. I think he sees every pitch; he doesn't swing at balls a lot. He's in the zone right now,” Cabrera said. “I think he's going to hit a lot of home runs in the second half.”
And Cabrera said it’s OK with him if Davis wins the AL homer title.
“It don't matter to me. I worry about winning games,” he said. “I want to focus in the second half to try to win the division with my teammates.”
The Orioles’ three starting All-Stars are spread throughout the American League’s lineup for Tuesday night’s game: Davis is batting cleanup, normal Orioles cleanup hitter Adam Jones is seventh and J.J. Hardy is in the ninth spot.
Hardy, who has batted ninth just 67 times in his nine-season career and not at all this year, said he expected to hit last among the star-studded group.
“You look at all these guys in the lineup and I’m just happy to be in the lineup, for one,” said Hardy, who has 16 homers this year, third-fewest among the AL starters. “I don’t care where I’m hitting.”
Davis, who leads the majors with 37 homers, is batting cleanup, despite hitting in that spot just 10 times this year. He typically bats fifth for the Orioles.
American League manager Jim Leyland said it really didn’t matter who he put in the middle of his order. His second through seven batters all have 19 or more homers.
“Even I can’t mess that one up,” Leyland joked. “But, no, we just sat down and put [Mike] Trout up front, obviously, for some speed and bunched a bunch of power guys together and we’ll see how it will play out. A little bit of lefty-righty, but I don’t think that makes a lot of difference in this game.”