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SPORTS
By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, who was Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz's first manager with the Milwaukee Brewers, said the slugger has surpassed even Yost's high expectations for him since their time together in 2005. “I loved Nelson Cruz when he was there,” Yost said. “Nelly was right on the verge of becoming a special player at that time -- still struggling to make contact, but when he did make contact, it was loud contact. But you could tell down the road that he was going to be a big-time power hitter.” The Brewers, who Yost managed from 2003 to 2008, acquired Cruz from the Oakland Athletics in December 2004.
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SPORTS
Peter Schmuck and The Schmuck Stops Here | October 11, 2014
There is only one hook left for the Orioles to hang their World Series hopes on, and it certainly isn't history. They have dug themselves a hole in the American League Championship Series that no team has ever climbed out of, so they'll have to dig deep into their own team chemistry to pull out this best-of-seven playoff after losing the first two games at home. The Orioles have been known for their resiliency throughout the Buck Showalter era. They have bounced back from all manner of adversity, especially during this unlikely AL East championship season, and they will have to do that over the next several days in Kansas City just to force the series back to Camden Yards.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
A painting of a confident-looking bulldog wearing a Baltimore Orioles baseball cap propped outside the artist Robert McClintock's studio bears a caption reading, "How 'bout dem O's, hon!" The artist Tom Matarazzo's hand-painted screens of the Orioles Bird, with jauntily tipped cap and grinning beak, have never been more in demand than they are this month. Steve Mull's colored-marker drawing of an Orioles team jersey, mitt and a pair of steamed crabs evokes such strong associations with the city that you can practically taste the Old Bay seasoning on those crustaceans.
SPORTS
By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
With two passionate fist pumps Saturday evening, Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain punctuated an evening when he swung nearly every big moment in a tense 4-hour, 17-minute game in his team's direction. The first celebration came after his final running catch of the night kept the game tied. The second, two innings later, came after his fourth hit of the night helped ensure his Royals would head back to Kansas City with a 6-4 win and a two-game lead in the American League Championship Series.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn't announcing his starters for Monday and Tuesday yet. But assuming neither one is needed out of the bullpen Saturday, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Game 3 and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will pitch Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals. Right-hander Bud Norris gets the nod for Game 2, partially because Chen has fared much better against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium than at home -- he has a 4.17 ERA in six starts overall, but a 2.84 ERA in two starts in Kansas City.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2014
Orioles closer Zach Britton prefers to pitch to contact, keep the ball on the ground with his heavy sinker and allow his defense to work behind him. But with the way the Kansas City Royals were getting on base - with dinks and bloops and swinging bunts - Britton could only shake his head after the Royals scored two runs in his decisive ninth-inning appearance. Britton was making good pitches, and drawing weak contact, but the Royals still were rounding the bases. Their 6-4 win in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series put the Orioles in an 0-2 hole in the best-of-seven series.
SPORTS
By Don Markus and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
If the circumstances were different, Matt Wieters might have been surrounded by reporters during Thursday's media availability at Camden Yards. As his Orioles teammates faced cameras and questions, the injured catcher faced the reality of sitting out the team's first American League Championship Series in 17 years. Wieters, who hasn't played since early May and underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June, said the 2014 playoffs are the most significant games that he has missed since he had to sit out a summer All-Star game as a 13-year-old in Goose Creek, S.C. “It's difficult in the aspect that you want to be out there with your guys, you want to be out there on the battlefield playing, but at the same time, the way the guys have played have really made it easier for me,” Wieters said.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
There are more similarities between the Orioles and their American League Championship Series opponent, the Kansas City Royals, than not - they both have solid pitching, stellar bullpens and play exemplary defense - but the way they score runs is completely different. The Orioles led the major leagues with 211 home runs in the regular season, 25 more than the next-highest club, while the Royals were last with just 95. But when it comes to stolen bases, the teams rank the exact opposite, with the Royals leading the majors with 153 and the Orioles ranking last with 44. Over the course of the season, Orioles players have often said they never feel out of any game because they know they can change it with one swing of the bat. And one only needs to look at the AL wild-card game - in which Kansas City stole seven bases and erased a four-run, sixth-inning lead on their way to beating the Oakland Athletics - to see how they've made speed an X-factor.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 9, 2014
One of the things I like about baseball - and there are a lot of things to like, especially when the Orioles reach the American League Championship Series - is the way it marks time. You don't have to be a stats freak to remember the milestones. When your team is alive in October, the year of that happy development registers forever. In the Barry Levinson-directed film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's "The Natural," the fictional slugger Roy Hobbs shatters the glass clock in center field with a line-drive home run. That is to say: Baseball will never be ruled by time.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
Cal Ripken Jr. remembers well the pleasures of playing in Kansas City the last time the Royals were contenders - the smart, respectful fans who adored their team but would also applaud an opponent's standout catch. "Playing in Kansas City was a lot like playing in Baltimore," the Orioles great said Thursday as his former club prepared to play the Royals in the American League Championship Series. It's hard to imagine two franchises or two fan bases better equipped to understand one another's journeys.
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