Buck Showalter asks prospect who didn’t recognize Frank Robinson to write paper on him

frank-robinsonFrank Robinson’s status as one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history safe and secure.

The 1982 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame has a Rookie of the Year Award, World Series MVP, Triple Crown, and the distinction of being the only player to win the regular season MVP in both leagues among his many accomplishments. Robinson’s uniform No. 20 has been retired by the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, with whom he was part of two World Series winning teams.

On Monday, Robinson was in Sarasota, Florida to speak with Oriole players at spring training. Among those in attendance was Josh Hart, who was selected by the team in last year’s amateur draft. As Robinson made his way around the facilities, Hart had the opportunity to meet the former All-Star. The minor problem was, the 19-year-old had no idea about the man with whom he had come face-to-face.

Given his place in the history of the game, there are sure to be more than a few — especially around Baltimore and Cincinnati — who will wonder how it’s possible to not know who Frank Robinson is. Fortunately, Buck Showalter made sure Josh Hart knows who he is now.

Orioles wear ‘Canadian Tuxedos’ for road trip to Toronto (Pictures)


Themed road trips have become increasingly popular across Major League Baseball over the past couple of years, thanks in large part to Joe Maddon’s commitment to the cause with the Tampa Bay Rays. On Wednesday, the Baltimore Orioles decided to put their own spin on the hilarious trend by sporting “Canadian Tuxedos” as they left New York to head for Toronto.

As you can see from the photo above that Adam Jones posted on Instagram, most of the players went with the basic jean jacket on jeans look. Infielder Manny Machado took it a step further by rocking overalls over his denim.

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Orioles and Nationals not refunding $6 service charge for playoff games that were never played

If you were lucky enough to have an opportunity to purchase ALCS or NLCS tickets for the Orioles or Nationals, it was disappointing that your team’s season came to an end in the divisional round. The only plus is that it saved Washington and Baltimore fans some money, as they received a full refund once their teams lost. Or did they? Not exactly.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Tuesday that Orioles fans were not given a refund for their $6 service fee that went along with purchasing ALCS playoff tickets through Ticketmaster. WTOP in Washington said on Wednesday that the same is true for Nationals fans. Some teams provide full refunds while others do not return the cost of shipping and processing.

In an email to the Sun, Orioles spokesman Greg Bader explained that there are “significant” costs that go along with printing and shipping tickets for games even if they aren’t played and that the $6 fee helps offset those costs. As Deadspin pointed out, a $6 service charge per ticket would net teams roughly $500,000 for a series of games that never existed.

In 2002, the Yankees were forced to refund 90% of the revenue they took in from service fees on tickets to unplayed games. The New York Office of the Attorney General determined that 10% of the money was sufficient to cover their costs.

While I don’t doubt there are fees associated with printing and distributing tickets, isn’t that part of a team’s basic operating costs as a business? Someone has to cover the cost of the team being eliminated, but why should it be fans who bought tickets to games that never took place? The product — or in this case the team — didn’t do what it was supposed to do. The consumer shouldn’t have to pay when that happens.

Orioles make rookies dress in tutus for hazing (Pictures)

The rookie hazing continued on Thursday with the Orioles finding a way to embarrass their new guys. The treatment for Baltimore? Tutus and ballerina attire. Baltimore Sports Report’s Avi Miller captured several hilarious photos of the rookies boarding the team bus, and third baseman Manny Machado (above left) seems to have stolen the show with his fantastic tutu.

Earlier this week, the Nationals rookies got the hazing treatment when the veterans made them dress as Olympic gymnasts. Machado and company got it pretty bad, but to this point I don’t think anyone has had it as bad as Mike Trout and his Lady Gaga outfit.

H/T Busted Coverage

Robert Andino: Sending Boston Home Crying on Walk off is Priceless

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Robert Andino delivered the final blow to the Red Sox, closing a miserable September, and perhaps the most disappointing season in Boston Red Sox franchise history. Though the Orioles would finish the season last in the AL East by a wide margin, and among the worst teams in baseball, they were only too happy to spoil the year for the Red Sox. Andino, who had the walk off hit to win the game, made no apologies for ending Boston’s year.

“End of season like this, to make Boston go home sad, crying, I’ll take it all day,” Andino said. “To walk off, everybody wants to walk off. It’s priceless, man. You don’t have any words for it.”

There are a lot of sports fans around the country that are rejoicing along with Andino. Boston fans have been spoiled by the success of their city’s sports teams recently. The Red Sox were expected to make a World Series run and pick up where the Stanley Cup champion Bruins left off. But after the team’s worst September since 1952 — when they also went 7-20 in the final month — the season comes to an end.

It’s incredible that the 2011 Red Sox’s legacy is that they’re the first team to blow a nine-game playoff lead in September. Don’t get too disappointed if you don’t see LBS writer, and diehard Red Sox fan, Del, writing too much Thursday. It’s been a rough month.

Baltimore Orioles 2011 MLB Preview: No Hope for Immediate Future

Previewing the 2011 MLB season, we’ve already named the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox the top World Series favorites. We’ve already looked at the NL Central and NL East and this week we’re analyzing the AL East teams not based in New York or Boston. We looked at the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Today we’ll wrap up the division with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Afterthoughts: Baltimore Orioles

Off-Season Moves: The Orioles had a relatively quiet off-season as compared to the rest of the AL East. They brought in third baseman Mark Reynolds — he of the major league-leading 211 strikeouts in 2010 — from Arizona in exchange for two right-handed pitchers. They also traded for shortstop J.J. Hardy and acquired first baseman Derrek Lee, designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, and right-hander Justin Duchscherer via free agency. Baltimore lost second baseman Julio Lugo, left fielder Corey Patterson, first baseman Ty Wigginton and rightie Kevin Millwood to free agency. Finally, the team re-signed reliever Koji Uehara and signed reliever Kevin Gregg.

Strengths: Three of the team’s four 2010 leaders in home runs and RBI — plus the top three batting averages — make up this year’s starting outfield; left fielder Luke Scott (.284, 27, 72), center fielder Adam Jones (.284, 19, 69, pictured above) and right fielder Nick Markakis (.297, 12, 60). The fourth member of that group is the departed Wigginton (.248, 22, 76).

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Baltimore Orioles Upgrade Infield with Derrek Lee Signing

After finishing a disappointing 66-96 last season, the Baltimore Orioles have made strides to upgrade their team this off-season. First they acquired Mark Reynolds from the Diamondbacks in a trade, and then they brought in shortstop J.J. Hardy from Minnesota in another deal. Now, The Baltimore Sun reports they have agreed on a one-year deal with first baseman Derrek Lee.

Lee is coming off a down year where he only hit .260 with 19 home runs. He got traded mid-season to the Braves and did well, but he only managed three home runs in 129 at-bats for them. Given that Lee smashed 35 home runs with a .972 OPS in 2009, this is a strong signing for Baltimore. On top of consistently playing good defense, he’s a good bounceback candidate for 2011.

Baltimore may not be anywhere near competing in the AL East, but at least they’ve improved their team. The infield consisting of Reynolds, Hardy, Roberts, and Lee is nothing special, but at least it’s respectable. Their pitching is another story, but at least they’re moving in a competitive direction, and I’d much rather have Lee on a one-year deal than Adam LaRoche on a three.