Myriad Orioles Thoughts: Impressive reception for Wieters; Mancini's T-shirt Day blast; Camden Yards' leaderboard - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: Impressive reception for Wieters; Mancini’s T-shirt Day blast; Camden Yards’ leaderboard

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I don’t think anyone expected the Orioles and their fans to ignore the return of Matt Wieters, but it was nice to see so many people rise and applaud when he came to the plate in the third inning of the Orioles’ eventual 6-4 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Maybe Wieters, now with the Nationals, didn’t become “Joe Mauer With Power” for the Orioles. But he was a really important piece of the club’s resurgence. In the eight seasons he was with the club, it went from laughingstock to consistent contender.

And Wieters and his wife became a big part of the Baltimore community. That was obvious with the standing ovation.

“It was great. It was a good crowd, as always, here. I was very appreciative,” he said “I wish we could’ve been on the winning side of the scoreboard, but I appreciate the hand. And the ovation, however good it was, was not going to change how good of a time I (had) being here.”

One Wieters moment that may have been lost Monday occurred during the break in between the top and bottom of the first inning.

While John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” song played over the Camden Yards loudspeaker, the Orioles showed a video montage of Wieters’ highlights on the stadium’s large video scoreboard while the smaller screen showed Wieters crouched at home plate while catching Gio Gonzalez’s warm-up pitches.

“It’s a tug. Very classy thing the organization did there with the welcome back,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Had to swallow hard. I think we all did.”

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As the crowd cheered, Gonzalez attempted to stall so Wieters could watch the tribute, but the catcher wouldn’t have any of it. He kept twirling his right hand, to tell Gonzalez to continue to warm up.

It was a classic Wieters’ move. For all the fanfare he received throughout his career – especially in the beginning – he always was about the game first. And he didn’t want his return to affect his starting pitcher (incidentally, Gonzalez allowed four runs on three homers in the first), so Wieters dismissed the tribute because he had a job to do.

Wieters acknowledged the crowd later during the standing ovation in the third. He stepped out of the batter’s box and waved quickly to each side of the stadium while his former batterymate, Kevin Gausman, walked to the back of the mound, bent down to re-tie his shoe and allow Wieters some time to soak in the moment.

“They gave him a great reception, as I think they should,” Gausman said. “That’s (not) the first (time) I’ve been a part of something like that. I actually pitched against Nick Markakis his first game back here (in 2015), too. I’ve been able to kind of be a part of some cool things in my short major league career. I thought it was great. Great class by the fans. Obviously, he had a lot to do with bringing our team back to expecting winning seasons.”

Mancini homers on his T-shirt day

Rookie Trey Mancini hit a towering homer in the first inning Monday – a shot that nearly cleared both bullpens in left center. He said he knew it was gone as soon as he hit it.

Anyone with eyes did, too.

“That’s probably as good as I can hit one,” Mancini said. “I was looking for a fastball somewhere over the plate and he left it a little more middle than he intended to. And, luckily, I got a hold of it.”

He got a hold of it on the night the Orioles gave out Mancini T-shirts. But it’s not like the rookie was going to puff out his chest after that blast.

“Wade Miley recommended that I wear the T-shirt under my jersey and, if I hit a home run or something, rip my jersey open,” Mancini said. “And I said, ‘There’s no shot I’m going to be doing that.”

2,000 games leaderboard

The Orioles provided the media Monday with some statistics about the first 2,000 games played at Camden Yards – Monday was the 2,001st.

Not surprisingly, Adam Jones is leading in a bunch of offensive categories at the stadium: RBIs (404), extra-base hits (262), total bases (1,270) and is tied with Cal Ripken Jr. for most game-winning RBIs (51). Jones is also two homers away from tying leader Rafael Palmeiro (122).

Brady Anderson has played the most games at Camden Yards – 700 – but the factoid that really surprised me: The pitcher that has appeared in the most games by an Oriole at the 25-year-old stadium is reliever B.J. Ryan.

You could have won a beer off me with that bet.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Delsym

    May 9, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Nice touch, really sad to have lost him…just not that offensively productive and our pitching never has lived up to their potential…still….but for his choice of agent…BORAS(s)…I believe he’d still be an Oriole. He was my favorite when he left…same with Mussina… we’ve moved on, he’ll not be forgotten, nor should he…either one…both could be hall of gamers, but alas, not too likely…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 9, 2017 at 11:36 am

      I haven’t moved on …. sob … Is the tap room open?

      • Delsym

        May 9, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        It’s happy hour somewhere…can’t move on, just hang on and enjoy the ride, always interesting with lots of up and downs and sharp curves, sliders and some, increasingly used changeups , just so the majority are STRIKES!! Listening Ubaldo Guzman…? NO KNUCKNERS, though it’d be fresh to see a circle change once again…good times, we’re competitive and defensively sound, most days, and getting smarter, read Schoop and Jones and not swinging quite so freely and running smart…I like our team and it’s chemistry…

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 9, 2017 at 11:36 am

    BJ Ryan? Name rings a bell ….

  3. Ezrine Tire Award

    May 9, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    BJ might have to wait the full five years to get into the HOF.

  4. Ezrine Tire Award

    May 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Wieters never really panned out but the welcome back was a classy move.

  5. Bancells Moustache

    May 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    I think its a little unfair to say he didn’t pan out. Drafting a guy and getting nearly a decade of rock solid performance at the big league level from him is as good as you can ask for. Weiters had the bad fortune of being drafted at a time when there was nothing remotely interesting about the Baltimore Orioles, so the fan base and press turned him into something he wasn’t. Expecting him to be a cross between Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken and Jesus was setting ourselves up for disappointment.

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