Tap-In Question: Who is your Most Valuable Oriole? Why? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: Who is your Most Valuable Oriole? Why?

MLB: Blue Jays vs Orioles APR 11
Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon


It’s time to cast your vote at Connolly’s Tap Room; we want to make baseball and beer great again.

Wait, when were they not. …

Anyway, we’re not discussing politics in here. It gets you thrown out on your keister.

No, we’re sports and sports only (maybe a little music) in this joint. But we’re still voting today.

The media that covers the Orioles had to submit their top three selections this week for the Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole Award.

This might have been the most difficult one in recent memory. I’m not revealing my ballot, but I believe there are four players that absolutely, positively deserve to be in the consideration. It’s tough to leave any of the four off the ballot, but technically we only have three spots.

Despite several great candidates, my sense is that it will end up being a two-man race between third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton.

That’s not exactly a shocking prediction considering Machado is a legitimate candidate for the American League MVP and Britton is a legitimate candidate for AL Cy Young. An easy argument could be made that the Orioles aren’t a true playoff contender without Britton’s mastery on the mound in the ninth inning and/or Machado’s work at the plate and at third base and shortstop this season.

But maybe you think there are others who were even more crucial to the club’s success in 2016. That’s your call. Just make a compelling argument.

I’m giving you the platform. You don’t have to shout from the rooftop. You can make your case quietly from your barstool. If you had a MVO vote, who would it go to? You can be official and rank them from first to third like the media does.

Tap-In Question: Who is your 2016 Most Valuable Oriole? Why?



  1. Dante

    September 8, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Manny Machado has provided power and run production while batting over .300. His fielding is incredible and has saved countless runs. If only be could teach his teammates how to swing the bat like he does.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

      I think his teammates for the most part, swing the bats pretty well.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      And he’s 24. Makes it even more incredible.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Well Dan, that indeed is a tough one. I’m going to name my four since you seem to think that any one four players are worthy of consideration. So set to the a little mellow Doobie Brothers playing in the background .. here are my four:

    1) Machado
    2) Britton
    3) Trumbo and
    4) Tillman.

    No disrespect to any of the other 3, but I’ll take Tillman.

    Reason being is that he was our ONLY starting pitcher worth a ½ pint Natty-Boh for most the year. I don’t know what the exact win/loss numbers are in games in which he started vs the rest of the staff, (I’ll let you fill me in) but take away those wins and it would indeed be football season by now. Wait a minute … it sort of is isn’t it?

    Go Cowboys !!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Cowboys? You better duck in this joint, big Boog.
      But, as always, you bring up a great BASEBALL point. O’s are 20-6 in games Tillman pitches (he is 15-5). They are 56-57 when he doesn’t start this year. That’s pretty stinking valuable.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm

        Well at least you don’t seem to have anything against the Doobie Brothers ….

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Heck no. The Doobies are just alright with me.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm

        Oooh Yeaaaaaahhh ….

  3. Creatively_19

    September 8, 2016 at 9:29 am

    My vote will actually be for Adam Jones and here’s why:

    1) Adam stepped into the lead-off role in late May. He had only batted lead-off 20 times in his career prior to that (and not since 2010), yet he took his average from .223 to .298 since then. He may not be a prototypical lead-off hitter, he only draws occasional walks, and he hacks away at first pitches with unabashed eagerness, yet he’s remained productive at the top of the order. Despite playing through various injuries, his hustle has never slowed, continuing to run out routine ground balls and run down every ball in the outfield. He pretty much carried the team through parts of the season, has continued to post up defensively, and is on pace yet again to hit over 30 home runs. He is the unquestionable leader of the Orioles, and is my pick for MVO.

    2) Zach Britton is a close second, as he’s so automatic you can put that Save on your scorecard as soon as AC/DC starts blaring over the PA system at Camden Yards. But with limited appearances, its hard to vote for him over Jones.

    3) Manny Machado might be my MVO if he hustled down the line on every ground ball, and didn’t take his time before throwing over to first way too often.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

      I can’t disagree with ANY point you make C19. If it weren’t for the lack of starting pitching, I may well have picked Jones for all the reasons you mentioned. His hustle and leadership are 2nd to none in the league.

    • Mau

      September 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Hands down Manny, Britton a close second, Tillman 3rd and Jones 4th.

      I give Manny the edge over Britton because he plays 9 innings mostly every day while Britton, best closer in baseball, doesn’t. Both mean alot to the team but without Manny’s bat and D Britton wouldn’t have as many save attempts. Manny’s power numbers are wow-like. He’s transitioning from being a doubles hitter to a legit 40 HR guy who sports a Gold Glove.

      • Dan Connolly

        September 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm

        Mau, I think the everyday aspect does tilt the scales, in my opinion. Can’t go wrong with either.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Excellent thoughts 19. I think Jones often gets overlooked with this star-studded team. But nobody sets a better example.

  4. Diane J

    September 8, 2016 at 11:38 am

    My vote goes to Zach Britton, Manny would be a close second. My point on Zach is that with 40 saves out of 40 chances, he’s has a 100% success rate. PERFECT. When can you say that a player has performed his job to perfection, with no errors/mistakes? The greatest players in the world *only* hit .400!

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Perfect is definitely really good. I think Britton will get plenty of votes for first and should certainly finish top 2 in my opinion. They’d be in trouble without Britton (and Machado, Tillman, Jones, Trumbo, Brach, etc)

  5. Steve Cockey

    September 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    It’s Machado for me. He’s their best player; he’s their most valuable. Britton/Tillman/Trumbo certainly have strong cases, but I’d VOTE MANNY.

  6. bill-s

    September 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I have to go with Britton, followed closely by Manny. Watching relievers for contenders like Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Washington, etc. etc. blow games all year makes Britton’s reliability the tie-breaker for me. Manny is undeniably great, and his defense is a key component, but he is surrounded by others who contribute a lot too. I agree with Tillman as third, although I have been surprised and impressed that the team hung in there while he was out. (Consolation vote for Ubaldo!! Who’d a thunk that?!?!) And honorable mention to AJ10. If only he could refrain from wild swings at bad pitches at key times. But tons of extra credit to him for his leadership on the team and in the community. He belongs in the Brooks/Eddie/Palmer/Cal pantheon of Oriole excellence.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Some really good thoughts, Bill. Drink chip.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    September 8, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    That’s totally easy:

    Ubaldo Jimenez.

    Now hear me out.

    In the Spring, the Baltimore Orioles showed up to camp intent to just sleepwalk through the season, knowing that it’s an even numbered year and they therefore already had won the AL East by 6 games. Machado had announced that he would honor his mentor A-Rod by wearing no shirt through the 2016 season. Jones just sat in centerfield with a bottle of 4 Roses Bourbon while constantly demanding the “that babyfaced sissy in left” go get him some Newports (Rickard wisely complied). And Davis showed up 40 pounds overweight, bursting in the clubhouse shouting “where’s the goddamn Popeye’s chicken, what’s this KFC bulls**t?!” It was at this time Showalter hung the pitching depth chart, wherein the entire team realized Ubaldo Jimenez was the club’s number two starter. This forced the horrendously sauced Jones to shout “neeeb sleeetung, moww!” ( “Team Meeting, now”, as translated by Schoop, now hurriedly dumping cold water on the Captain) and the team adjourned to a great summit at an undisclosed location in Sarasota. At that meeting it was decided that many things must take place to make up for a pitching staff that had Ubaldo Jimenez as a featured performer. Davis was instructed to hit the NordicTrack and avoid the Mendoza line, Machado to wear a jersey and play better than Bryce Harper. Britton was given the monumental task of not giving up a hit, ever. The Orioles new acquisition, Mark Trumbo, was told that he was a big ass white guy with a crewcut and thus obligated to hit 40 home runs. And Jones, in a sterling show of leadership, pledged to only drink during get away road games against Tampa in September. The meeting was a smashing success, marred only by Rickard busting in with a carton of Newports for Jones, who politely rejected the gift and instructed Rickard to ‘hustle the first quarter of the season before laying down and getting out of that asian guys way’. And so it was that a playoff contender was born, all through the majestic presence of one man, the Baltimore Orioles 2016 MVP, Ubaldo Jimenez.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      I’m not sure whether to get you in touch with my book publisher or cut you off completely from the bar. Maybe both. 🙂

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      I’ll have some of what he’s having …..

    • Steve Cockey

      September 10, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Well done, Richie.

  8. SMAC8567

    September 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    It has to be Britton. The O’s would be in the cellar without his record breaking year. Machado second.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      I don’t know about cellar. But yeah he’s been great.

  9. fkterp

    September 8, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    manny to me is the mvp. ok he isn’t the greatest base runner but he’s still young. he has had a monster year. great defense. the range, footwork, hands/hand-eye and arm. power, drives the ball, doubles machine. kinda think this draft pick worked out.

    jones has had a great year and hardy may be the unsung player of the year.

  10. AlaskanOsFan

    September 8, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Dare I say Pedro or Bundy? Both came up huge in spots when we needed it the most to stay in the race

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 9, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Alaskan where have you been? And uh … your suggestion of Bundy or Pedro …. really?

  11. RagingC

    September 10, 2016 at 10:46 am

    These are all good arguments for best numbers and most popular, but most valuable?
    Vance Worley.
    No question. He has been the most valuable to the team. Without his contributions we aren’t even in the hunt for a playoff spot.

  12. Claugher

    September 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Manny: platinum glove, .300+ BA, 30+ HR. Plays 3rd and SS.

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