Adam Jones signs with the Arizona Diamondbacks

The time has finally come where I can no longer identify as a Baltimore Orioles fan. My last straw with the team was their failure to resign outfielder Adam Jones. Instead, yesterday Jones signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Orioles beat team with a similarly losing record for the win

The Baltimore Orioles (9-27) beat the Kansas City Royals (12-24) last night. The final score was 3 – 5. What last night’s game shows is that if the Orioles focus on playing teams who’ve lost at least 20 games so far this season, they have a real fighting chance.

Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis.

Chris Davis even hit a three-run homer last night. Hitting home runs is really the only thing Davis offers offensively, that and striking out. The problem is, Davis isn’t really hitting a lot of home runs this season. Davis is batting .172 this season with three home runs, 13 walks, and 43 strikeouts. In other words, he’s earning every penny of the $23 million he’s making this season. If you have a problem with a player such as Davis with his limited offense making that much money, you’d better get used to it: the O’s are paying Davis $23 million a year till 2022. 

Orioles’ second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

Jonathan Schoop returned to the lineup last night. That’s a good thing considering he was the O’s best overall player last year. A right oblique strain earned Schoop a visit to the 10-day disabled list last month.

The Orioles have generally sucked since I moved here to Maryland in 1994, but they were the only local team on TV at the time. This was before the Expos moved to Washington DC and became the Washington Nationals. This was also before you could pay around $100 a year for MLB.TV and watch any team you wanted to, live or not live, except when the extensive black restrictions applied.

MLB.TV has more blackout rules than a Norwegian death metal band.

I don’t mind watching a local team that sucks, as long as they have the potential to become good later down the line. My problem with the 2018 Orioles is they have players like Chris Davis and the un-American Manny Machado on the team. They’re stuck with Davis and his $23 long-term salary. Why Machado is still on the team at this point is a mystery. He’s having a career year playing his natural shortstop position this season. The time to trade him was yesterday. This is his final season under contract with the Orioles. What are they waiting for?

Orioles sign pitcher Alex Cobb to four-year, $60 million deal

The Baltimore Orioles got out their giant orange checkbook and signed Tampa Bay Rays right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb to a four-year deal worth a reported $60 million. The deal supposedly includes deferred money, money the team will not be paying Cobb until after his career with the Orioles is over. If memory serves, Chris Davis received a similar deal when he was resigned with the Orioles.

Alex Cobb is 30 years old and played his entire career with the Rays, so he’s familiar with pitching in the American League East.  He has a career 48-35 record and an ERA of 3.50 in 115 major league starts.

Alex Cobb had Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 2015. The 2017 season was his first full season back since the surgery and he pitched 177 innings with an ERA of 3.66. His career ground-ball rate is a whopping 54 percent. The fact that he can get hitters out with ground balls should make him quite effective in Camden Yards.

Something else that will help Alex Cobb pitch in Baltimore from his years pitching in Tampa: he’s no stranger to pitching in front of so many empty seats.

Orioles sign pitcher Alex Cobb to four-year, $60 million deal - Bent Corner
Alex Cobb pitching last season in front of the Orioles faithful.

This looks like it has all the makings of a fantastic free agent signing by the Baltimore Orioles, something they haven’t always been accused of doing. They needed a starting pitcher and it looks like they went out and got the best starting pitcher they could get.

Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis suspended 25 games for taking amphetamines

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was suspended by Major League Baseball for testing positive for amphetamines.

Davis released the following statement:

I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.

Adderall? That’s a drug for kids who have ADHD. Davis seems more than happy to sit for 25 games. I almost get the impression that he’s just glad he didn’t get caught for taking something else.

A therapeutic use exemption (TUE) is something covered in the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. It essentially allows a player to take a banned substance if they have a doctor’s note and they promise, cross their heart hope to die, that what they’re taking isn’t being taken to give them a competitive edge. MLB allowed Alex Rodriguez to use performance enhancers before they didn’t allow him to use them, and he simply kept on using them.

chris_davis

I assume from Davis’ statement that he was probably using amphetamines with the league’s blessing last year when he hit 53 home runs and batted in 138 runs.

For having such gaudy numbers last year, Davis was having a terrible season this year. He was hitting only .196, but he hit 26 home runs and hit 72 runs batted in. He also had 173 strkeouts, second most in MLB.