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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
While writing Monday's blog entry about Brian Roberts' thoughts on leaving the Orioles , I more than once halted my typing when referring to the New York Yankees. I wanted to call them the Orioles' chief rival, and I suppose that is true since the Orioles seemingly have always been gunning for the Bronx Bombers. But rivalry is a two-way street, and we know the Yankees' chief rival is the Boston Red Sox. Then I nearly called the Yankees the Orioles' most despised rival.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
I had a chance to talk today to former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the rival New York Yankees. Roberts, 36, can make up to $4.6 million total in 2014 if he reaches 650 plate appearances (it's an escalating bonus scale that starts at 250 plate appearances). He is coming off a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Orioles, the organization that selected him as a supplemental first-round pick in the 1999 first-year player draft.
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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
Despite the reality that he will not spend his entire career in Baltimore, former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said Monday that he believes his baseball-playing legacy will always be tied to his 13 seasons at Camden Yards. "I don't think I ever shied away from the fact that I thought that was a very special thing to be able to do - there are not a whole lot of players that can say they played 13 or 14 years in the league and all in one city with one team, one organization," said Roberts, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the New York Yankees this winter.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2014
In his first public interview since signing with the division-rival New York Yankees, former Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts had stinging words for Orioles fans. In a phone interview with the YES Network on Tuesday night, Roberts said that the Yankees “didn't need a whole lot of sales pitch” in order to draw him to New York and added that, “as a kid, I think so many of us dream of putting that [Yankees] uniform on at some point.” Not what you necessarily expect to hear from a player who spent his entire career in an Orioles uniform before leaving town for pinstripes.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2014
New Orioles right-hander Liam Hendriks doesn't have very many fond memories of Baltimore. The 24-year-old Australian started for the Minnesota Twins in the Orioles' home opener last season and saw an early three-run lead disappear quickly. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and watched from the dugout as Chris Davis hit a grand-slam to give the Orioles a 9-5 win. That probably still doesn't compare to the beginning of Hendriks' 2012 season in Baltimore. He had pitched well in the spring, going 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA to earn a rotation spot.
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Sports Digest | January 15, 2014
Lacrosse Bayhawks make trade to bring Peyser home The Chesapeake Bayhawks acquired Major League Lacrosse standout and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Stephen Peyser on Tuesday in a trade with the Ohio Machine. The Machine will receive the Bayhawks' 2015 second-round college draft pick as well as their 2015 first-round supplemental draft pick. Peyser, a six-year veteran in the league, has played in a total of 70 games, scoring 103 goals and assisting on 18. Peyser, 6 feet 2, played 13 games for the New York Lizards, scoring 13 goals and adding two assists.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2014
In this space 24 hours ago, I wrote an update on the Orioles' nine free agents. One of those players -- second baseman Alexi Casilla -- had yet to sign with a team. But on Friday, the Orioles announced that they were re-signing Casilla, whose $3 million option was declined in October, to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Bringing back Casilla is an interesting move -- and it seems to be a good move for both the Orioles and Casilla. I think few will be surprised if he makes the team, despite the growing logjam of candidates at second base.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2014
Back in October, we asked how many of the Orioles' nine free agents were likely to return in 2014. Now, with less than five weeks until spring training, it could end up that none of them return to Baltimore. The Orioles wanted to keep right-hander Scott Feldman, as well as outfielder Nate McLouth and second baseman Brian Roberts, but all three signed deals elsewhere. Interestingly, of the team's nine free agents, the one who seemed most likely out the door - right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez - is the most likely to return at this point.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | December 31, 2013
There's little arguing that on paper, the Orioles don't appear to be better now than they were last season, but they can still lay claim to having the best defense in baseball. ESPN's Buster Olney points this out, naming the Orioles as the best defensive team in baseball in his Top 10 defensive rankings (an ESPN Insider subscription is needed for the full article). The Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers round out the top five in Olney's rankings.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2013
The Orioles have drawn plenty of criticism this offseason for staying idle while division rivals participated in a heavy hot-stove spending spree, but their patience has landed something positive in closer Grant Balfour. Balfour and the Orioles agreed on a two-year, $15 million deal Tuesday, pending a physical, that will fill the void left when the club traded closer Jim Johnson earlier this month. Earlier this offseason, the Orioles allowed themselves to get priced out on free agents like Nate McLouth and Scott Feldman, who ended up signing lucrative deals elsewhere.
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