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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2012
On Saturday, the Orioles dealt two minor leaguers, catcher Gabriel Lino and pitcher Kyle Simon, to the Philadelphia Phillies for likely Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome. At first blush, it's a "why not?" trade. Thome doesn't have a high salary -- roughly half of the $1.25 million contract he signed this year is still on the books. He can still hit right-handers and is a professional hitter, and the Orioles desperately need another one, especially with Nolan Reimold (neck surgery)
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2012
NEW YORK -- During the Orioles' postseason run, manager Buck Showalter often said that 42-year-old future Hall-of-Famer Jim Thomewas walking around the clubhouse with the exuberance of a kid playing his first day of Little League. The Orioles acquired Thome from the Phillies to provide an experienced left-handed bat to help them get to the postseason. And while Thome spent a lot of his time in an Orioles uniform battling a herniated disk in his neck, Thome had some key hits for the O's down the stretch.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2012
The Orioles' newly acquired designated hitter, Jim Thome, sat in the Camden Yards' news conference room Sunday afternoon, wearing a black workout shirt with an Orange 'O' emblazoned on the chest, and talked about his new opportunity. “It usually is [a whirlwind] when you move from team to team and I am excited to be here,” said the 41-year-old Thome, who the Orioles acquired for two minor leaguers Saturday. “These guys, they've had a great year and I think they've done some special things and hopefully we can continue to do that.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2012
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said it was a difficult decision to not start veteran designated hitter Jim Thome , the club's most experience postseason player, in Sunday's American League Division Series opener at Camden Yards againtst New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia . Thome did receive the start in Monday's Game 2 against veteran lefty Andy Pettitte . Thome, 42, is a career .214 hitter against the 40-year-old Pettitte in...
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By Dan Connolly | June 30, 2012
During the seventh-inning stretch of an otherwise brutal Orioles' beating on Saturday, the video scoreboard at Camden Yards flashed a message that drew a thunderous roar from the announced crowd of 35,335. The Orioles had just traded two minor leaguers for likely Hall-of-Fame slugger Jim Thome, who is expected to join the team here Sunday and be the club's regular, left-handed designated hitter. It's a straight trade, with the Orioles picking up the remainder of Thome's $1.25 million salary for 2012.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2012
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that lefty Troy Patton(ankle) threw to four batters -- including two lefties -- in one inning in the organization's first instructional league game Sunday in Sarasota. He will pitch again Tuesday and Wednesday or in an elongated outing Tuesday. It's still possible he could join the club in Boston for Friday's game. Designated hitter Jim Thome (herniated disk in neck) will participate in simulated games Monday and Tuesday and then play in an instructional league game Wednesday in Sarasota.
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By Eduardo A. Encina | July 18, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome's 607 th home run ball has finally landed in the right hands. The 41-year-old Orioles DH, knowing that every homer he hits in his incredible big league career could be his last, has been collecting his home run balls since he hit No. 500 back in 2007. Last month, Thome hit his 607 th career homer at Target Field - where he played for the Twins in 2010 and most of 2011  - and it landed in the shrubbery just beyond the top of the outfield wall in right-center.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2012
Assuming all goes well in Sarasota in the next two days, designated hitter Jim Thome and left-handed reliever Troy Patton will be back with the Orioles for Friday's series opener in Boston. They are expected to fly into Boston on Thursday and re-join the team. “It's not like they have been out of it since spring training. They are not that far removed,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully they'll just come right back, especially Troy, and pick up where they left off. There will be a little unknown for the first couple times they appear.” Patton, who was 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 50 games before going on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle Aug. 14, threw a two-inning simulated game in Sarasota on Tuesday.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | August 20, 2012
The big news coming out of Buck Showalter's press briefing today in Arlington is that designated hitter Jim Thome is ahead of schedule and will head down to Sarasota, Fla., on Wednesday to begin rehab. Thome, who hasn't played since July 27 due to a herniated disk in his neck, was initially told by doctors that he needed to rest for 30 days, meaning he wouldn't be able to begin any baseball activities until September. “That was as much to slow him down,” Showalter said of the initial 30-day prognosis.
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By Dan Connolly | July 21, 2012
Jim Thome hadn't hit a homer in his first 11 games with the Orioles. He finally did it in the fourth inning Friday night in Cleveland. The Orioles were already up by six runs, so it was a pretty meaningless bomb. But when you are 41, have played 22 years and have been as daunting of a slugger as Thome has over his career, no homer is meaningless anymore. Thome's 418-foot shot - off the 39-year-old Derek Lowe - was the 610th of his career. That put him in sole possession of seventh all-time on the home run list, breaking a tie with former Oriole Sammy Sosa.
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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2012
When the playoff microscope gets rolled out next week and experts begin to dissect the Orioles - assuming they hold on to at least an American League wild-card spot - one of the primary criticisms is going to be the club's overall lack of postseason experience. No current Orioles player has won a World Series. Only four players on the current 40-man roster, not including those on the 60-day disabled list, have played in one - designated hitter Jim Thome in 1995 and 1997 with the Cleveland Indians, outfielder Endy Chavez with the 2011 Texas Rangers and pitchers Tommy Hunter and Darren O'Day with the 2010 Rangers.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2012
With the way the Orioles have mixed and matched this season, bringing in rookies and former All-Stars, once-weres and never-have-beens to form an eclectic group that keeps winning when it's supposed to fall back to reality, perhaps Wednesday's 12-2 pummeling of the Toronto Blue Jays shouldn't have been a surprise. But anytime a club hits three home runs in an inning - including two by players more than 20 years apart in age - and a franchise-tying seven in one game, it's noteworthy, even for this crazy season.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2012
BOSTON - When the Orioles acquired Jim Thome in early July, they did so hoping the 42-year-old had enough hits left in his bat to help get them get to the postseason for the first time in 15 years. Thome himself said being thrust into a pennant race re-energized him, but it was soon after that a herniated disk left the likely Hall of Famer's season in limbo. Thome returned to the starting lineup Saturday for the first time in eight weeks, and the veteran designated hitter provided his team with his biggest hit in an Orioles uniform.
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By David Selig and The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2012
[ Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming night for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues. ] About last night Orioles beat Mariners, 4-2, in 18-inning marathon Duquette says O's have what it takes to win AL East Thome and Patton expected to be back Friday Schmuck: Machado deserves a shot at Rookie of the Year Tuesday's full scoreboard AL East Standings BAL       84-64     -- NYY       83-63     -- TB         78-70      6 AL Wild-Card Standings OAK       84-63      -- BAL        83-64        -- LAA        81-67      3 DET        78-69     5.5 TB          78-70     6 Tonight's game Orioles at Mariners.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2012
Assuming all goes well in Sarasota in the next two days, designated hitter Jim Thome and left-handed reliever Troy Patton will be back with the Orioles for Friday's series opener in Boston. They are expected to fly into Boston on Thursday and re-join the team. “It's not like they have been out of it since spring training. They are not that far removed,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully they'll just come right back, especially Troy, and pick up where they left off. There will be a little unknown for the first couple times they appear.” Patton, who was 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 50 games before going on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle Aug. 14, threw a two-inning simulated game in Sarasota on Tuesday.
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By Dan Connolly | September 17, 2012
Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome, who has been on the disabled list since July 31 with a herniated disk in his neck, took five to six at-bats in a simulated game in Sarasota, Fla., on Monday and experienced no pain, setting the stage for him to possibly come back within a week, according to manager Buck Showalter. Thome, 42, will participate in a simulated game again on Tuesday and will hit in an instructional league game on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could join the Orioles in Boston for the series that starts Friday or in Baltimore for Monday's doubleheader.
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By Everett Cook and The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2012
The outfield walls at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, are lined with plants that occasionally eat home run balls.  Last month, current Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome hit the 607th home run of his career while he was with the Philadelphia Phillies and seemingly lost the ball forever in the vegetation. This mattered a little bit more for Thome than it would for the regular ballplayer, because the 41-year old has been collecting every home run ball he has hit since hitting the 500th of his career in 2007.
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By Eduardo A. Encina | July 19, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS -- If you walked into the Orioles clubhouse at Target Field at the right time this week, you might have seen the seventh-leading home-run hitter of all-time laying on the floor of the clubhouse, stretching his legs up into the air with the help of the team's strength coach. Newly acquired designated hitter Jim Thome has accepted the twilight of his big league career with grace. He's been an Oriole for just 11 games, and the club hopes Thome, who turns 42 in six weeks, can help the it stay in the playoff hunt.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2012
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that lefty Troy Patton(ankle) threw to four batters -- including two lefties -- in one inning in the organization's first instructional league game Sunday in Sarasota. He will pitch again Tuesday and Wednesday or in an elongated outing Tuesday. It's still possible he could join the club in Boston for Friday's game. Designated hitter Jim Thome (herniated disk in neck) will participate in simulated games Monday and Tuesday and then play in an instructional league game Wednesday in Sarasota.
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By Dan Connolly | August 22, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel (right knee surgery) again participated in pitcher's fielding practice on Wednesday, and if he feels fine, he likely will throw 25 to 35 pitches Friday in a simulated game at Camden Yards, pitching coach Rick Adair said. Hammel is scheduled to throw one more simulated game early next week, in the 40- to 50-pitch range, and then will be re-evaluated. Infielder Wilson Betemit (wrist) had his first pain-free day Wednesday since going on the disabled list Aug. 16, O's manager Buck Showalter said.
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