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By Jeff Zrebiec and Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter | August 8, 2008
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Pitcher Jim Johnson acknowledges that going into the season, he couldn't have imagined becoming the Orioles' top setup man. That's why Johnson, a converted starter, hesitates to talk about his role with the team next year, knowing how quickly things can change. The Orioles, however, will spend some time over the coming weeks discussing where Johnson fits in their long-term plans. Is it in a rotation that has been dogged by lengthy injuries and ineffectiveness? Does he make the transition to closer with George Sherrill potentially being dealt and Chris Ray's health still in question?
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2013
At first glance, Orioles reliever Darren O'Day is just another fortunate jock who played top-shelf college baseball, married the beautiful blond, cruised to the majors and is now a millionaire. Yawn. Get to know O'Day, though, and the clichés spin away like the submariner's slider to a befuddled batter. That blessed right arm? He swings it around to the plate at about knee-level, prompting ribbing from teammates that he's a glorified softball pitcher. Throughout his career, his fastball has averaged just 86 mph. That collegiate baseball career?
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By Dan Connolly | January 24, 2012
The obvious “one that got away” for the Orioles on Tuesday was first baseman Prince Fielder -- though I have been arguing all offseason that you have to be in the game to lose. And the Orioles were never in the game. They never had any intention of spending $214 million or giving a nine-year contact to the hefty slugger, who agreed to those terms with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. A much less heralded signing, but one that should still interest Orioles fans, was the report Tuesday from Fox Sports that the Toronto Blue Jays had agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with reliever Francisco Cordero.
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By Dan Connolly | January 24, 2012
The obvious “one that got away” for the Orioles on Tuesday was first baseman Prince Fielder -- though I have been arguing all offseason that you have to be in the game to lose. And the Orioles were never in the game. They never had any intention of spending $214 million or giving a nine-year contact to the hefty slugger, who agreed to those terms with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. A much less heralded signing, but one that should still interest Orioles fans, was the report Tuesday from Fox Sports that the Toronto Blue Jays had agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with reliever Francisco Cordero.
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By Peter Schmuck and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF | December 17, 2002
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Baseball's winter meetings wound down yesterday without another significant trade and without snapping the free-agent market out of its monthlong slump. The New York Mets made what passes these days for a major free-agent announcement late yesterday afternoon, signing left-handed setup man Mike Stanton to a three-year contract worth $9 million, but the Mets have been one of the few teams that have been aggressively seeking to upgrade their roster. Stanton, who played an important role on three world championship teams with the cross-town rival New York Yankees, beefs up a solid Mets bullpen that is built around former Orioles closer Armando Benitez.
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF | October 14, 2004
The Orioles' shopping list this winter will include another late-inning reliever after Jason Grimsley underwent reconstructive ligament surgery on his right elbow two days ago. Dr. Timothy Kremcheck, medical director for the Cincinnati Reds, performed the surgery. The Orioles announced that Grimsley will be sidelined at least six to nine months, but that is "a very best-case scenario," said executive vice president Jim Beattie. Grimsley could miss the entire 2005 season. "As a reliever, it might be a little easier to come back because you don't go through the wear and tear of 100 pitches like a starter does," Beattie said.
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By Paul McMullen and Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF | December 11, 1998
COLLEGE PARK -- Terrell Stokes readily shares a basketball.His feelings are another matter.The freshman who couldn't hide his frustration has given way to a poker-faced senior. The unappreciated floor leader for Maryland, Stokes said "a point guard should always be calm, cool and collected," so he wants to maintain an even keel as the nation's No. 2 team approaches a monumental date.The Terps take a 10-0 record to No. 5 Kentucky tomorrow night, an anniversary that sheds light on Stokes' demeanor.
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July 3, 2005
This is what Arthur Rhodes has always wanted. A defined role, an injury-free season and a place he enjoys playing all at once. Rhodes is a Cleveland Indian now, a lefty setup man having a resurgent season. He's years removed from his time in Baltimore, when the can't-miss prospect was a starter, long reliever and setup man. He was asked to do everything, and the results were as inconsistent as his ever-changing role. He's 35 now, a seasoned veteran. And, deep down, he wants to end his career where it started.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter | November 28, 2006
The Orioles' newest player, reliever Danys Baez, hopes to get an opportunity to close some games in 2007. Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan discussed a scenario in which the club's current closer, Chris Ray, would need a day off after securing several victories in a row, and manager Sam Perlozzo could bring in Baez to continue a winning streak. But other than that, as long as Ray is healthy, Baez, who signed a three-year, $19 million deal yesterday, will be used as a setup man to get the game to Ray with the Orioles still in the lead.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2012
Orioles pitcher Jim Johnson, who shined in his late-season role as the team's closer, said he has a feeling he will open spring training in the bullpen. “I'm pretty sure about that,” Johnson said at Saturday's Orioles FanFest. “We'll figure that out in the team in the spring. The organization has considered the idea of making Johnson a starter, even as recently as this offseason. But with the Orioles' offseason starting pitching additions -- Wei-Yin Chen, Tsuyoshi Wada and Dana Eveland -- the bullpen appears to be his best fit. “I think Dan [Duquette]
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2012
Orioles pitcher Jim Johnson, who shined in his late-season role as the team's closer, said he has a feeling he will open spring training in the bullpen. “I'm pretty sure about that,” Johnson said at Saturday's Orioles FanFest. “We'll figure that out in the team in the spring. The organization has considered the idea of making Johnson a starter, even as recently as this offseason. But with the Orioles' offseason starting pitching additions -- Wei-Yin Chen, Tsuyoshi Wada and Dana Eveland -- the bullpen appears to be his best fit. “I think Dan [Duquette]
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By Dave van Dyck, Tribune newspapers | October 9, 2010
NEW YORK — They were teacher-student batterymates 10 years ago with the Cubs, and now Joe Girardi and Kerry Wood are reunited in a manager-player role. "It's great," Wood said. "Honestly, it's the same as when he was catching. He was kind of like a manager then. Joe's always been a student of the game and great baseball mind and nothing's changed. "The only thing is he's not wearing the gear anymore. " Girardi is wearing the boss' hat now, and since Wood arrived from the Indians on July 31, theirs has been a unique relationship.
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July 4, 2010
Commissioner Bud Selig has vastly improved the All-Star Game since that embarrassing 2002 tie in Milwaukee. A lot of people don't like using it to determine home-field advantage in the World Series, but it's a better alternative than merely rotating home fields on a yearly basis, which is how the Twins wound up hosting Game 7 in 1987 and '91. The game has become much more competitive. Selig has expanded rosters for the 2010 game in Anaheim, Calif., and made managers' lives easier by requiring that starting pitchers who work on the previous Sunday be replaced on the active All-Star roster.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | June 19, 2010
The Orioles' game of musical closers continued on Saturday when Samuel announced that Alfredo Simon will return to his role as Orioles' closer, while David Hernandez will go back to being a setup man. With Simon on the disabled list, Hernandez converted his first two save chances, but blew his third on Friday night, giving up two runs in the ninth inning in the Orioles' 3-2 loss. In the same game, Simon struck out both batters that he faced in his second outing since coming off the disabled list.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter | August 8, 2008
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Pitcher Jim Johnson acknowledges that going into the season, he couldn't have imagined becoming the Orioles' top setup man. That's why Johnson, a converted starter, hesitates to talk about his role with the team next year, knowing how quickly things can change. The Orioles, however, will spend some time over the coming weeks discussing where Johnson fits in their long-term plans. Is it in a rotation that has been dogged by lengthy injuries and ineffectiveness? Does he make the transition to closer with George Sherrill potentially being dealt and Chris Ray's health still in question?
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter | May 20, 2007
WASHINGTON -- The month of May began with a loss for Orioles reliever Danys Baez. And it hasn't grown much kinder to him as the days pass. Baez, who wasn't used last night, has posted a 9.00 ERA in May, allowing eight earned runs in eight innings. Two of those runs scored Friday night when Ryan Zimmerman homered off him in the eighth inning to reduce the Orioles' lead to 5-4 and make them sweat out a victory. Compare those numbers to April, when he allowed four runs in 12 1/3 innings for a 2.92 ERA as the club's right-handed setup man. So what's been the difference?
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By JEFF ZREBIEC and JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER | March 10, 2006
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The Orioles have 23 relievers in camp, but only two of them, Todd Williams and John Parrish, were on last season's Opening Day roster, and neither of them has pitched this spring because of injuries. Their projected closer, Chris Ray, doesn't have a career major league save, and their top left-handed setup man, Tim Byrdak, has only 41 major league appearances since the 2000 season. Less than a month before another baseball season begins, the Orioles' bullpen stands as the team's biggest question mark.
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By Roch Kubatko and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF | March 18, 2003
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - For Willis Roberts, being an Oriole has meant getting the chance to start and to close and to be the primary right-handed setup man. It has meant accepting change, which he'll do again this season. After the Orioles signed reliever Kerry Ligtenberg as a free agent, they envisioned his taking over Roberts' old responsibilities. Ligtenberg would pitch the eighth inning, his reliable hands carrying leads to closer Jorge Julio. Roberts would enter games earlier, dabbling in middle relief and working the seventh.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter | November 28, 2006
The Orioles' newest player, reliever Danys Baez, hopes to get an opportunity to close some games in 2007. Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan discussed a scenario in which the club's current closer, Chris Ray, would need a day off after securing several victories in a row, and manager Sam Perlozzo could bring in Baez to continue a winning streak. But other than that, as long as Ray is healthy, Baez, who signed a three-year, $19 million deal yesterday, will be used as a setup man to get the game to Ray with the Orioles still in the lead.
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By Edward Lee and Edward Lee,Sun Reporter | October 2, 2006
For the second time in as many weeks, wide receiver Mark Clayton made significant plays on the Ravens' final drive, helping the team complete another comeback victory. And for the second consecutive time, Clayton shrugged off accolades, this time for his role in the Ravens' 16-13 win against the San Diego Chargers. The first-round pick in the 2005 draft didn't score or lead the team in receiving yards, but Clayton turned in two receptions for 30 yards on the Ravens' final series - a drive that ended with quarterback Steve McNair's 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Todd Heap.
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