Oriole fans have much to be thankful for - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Oriole fans have much to be thankful for

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Oriole fans do have much to be thankful about. This past week, the addition of Mike Elias as the team’s new executive vice president and general manager, and his first hire — Sig Mejdal, to run the fledgling analytics department — were met with acclaim from a restive fan base.

While this past year has been difficult, on this wonderful holiday, let’s take a few moments to thank the Orioles who won’t be returning next year.

Manny Machado gave Oriole fans great thrills with his wondrous play at third base and his strong offensive showing. Most knew he wasn’t going to be an Oriole for the long-term, but watching this generational talent was fun while it lasted.

Be thankful for Machado’s buddy, Jonathan Schoop, who was the team’s most valuable player in 2017 and the Orioles’ only All-Star. Unfortunately, Schoop’s new fans in Milwaukee didn’t get to see the real Schoop. Those Machado-Schoop handshakes were pretty cool.

Another former Oriole to be thankful for is Kevin Gausman, who despite teasing the fans with some excellent pitching performances for six seasons, never pitched consistently well. Gausman was always thoughtful and often funny and is definitely missed.

There was reason to be thankful for Darren O’Day, who was traded along with Gausman in a salary dump. From 2012-15, O’Day put together four consistent seasons in the bullpen and in his Orioles career went 28-14 with a 2.40 ERA.

Gausman, O’Day and Brad Brach, the classy right-handed reliever, ended up in Atlanta, and Brach gave Oriole fans reason to be thankful when he made the All-Star team in 2016 as an excellent middle reliever. We never had to look hard to find Brach on those rare occasions when he had a rough outing. He was always there, never making excuses.

Oriole fans are thankful for Zach Britton, who had the season of a lifetime in 2016 and is ready to cash in on the free-agent market. Britton, too, was always thoughtful and available, and also one never to make excuses.

They are thankful for Adam Jones, whose excellent play and community involvement make him one of the most popular players in Baltimore history. Fans are also thankful that Jones vetoed a trade that would have sent him to Philadelphia in late July and they got a chance to thank him personally on the season’s last day.

They didn’t get a chance to thank Buck Showalter, but that’s the way he wanted it. Buck wanted Jones to have his last day with the Orioles in the spotlight. Fans got to thank Showalter when he returned for his charity race in late October, and he returned the favor by writing a well-received letter to fans on these pages.

Oriole fans are thankful for Cedric Mullins, who replaced Jones in center field and, in his major league debut, led the team on to the field.

They’re thankful for first base coach Wayne Kirby, who entertained fans with his banter and by tossing balls to fans.

They’re thankful for Caleb Joseph, outspoken and devoted to his craft and to his team.

I’m thankful for the readers who welcomed me warmly to BaltimoreBaseball.com, when Dan Connolly left the site for The Athletic at the All-Star break.

I’m especially thankful for Steve Cockey, our publisher, and Jack Gibbons, longtime sports editor at The Sun.

This week was full of reminders of the team’s irreplaceable part of Baltimore. Despite the horrible 2018 season, there’s a pent-up affection for the team, and hope that a new day is coming soon.

Oriole fans were reminded at the introduction of Elias, who hit all the right notes, of what helped bring him to Baltimore. Elias grew up in Northern Virginia at a time when there wasn’t a major league team in Washington, and he regularly made the trek to Baltimore to see Camden Yards when it was new and filled regularly.

Fans are thankful to have that gem of a ballpark and hope that in the not-too-distant future, under Elias’ guidance, it will once again be filled regularly with a team that’s once again worthy of the grand venue.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. boss61

    November 22, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Rich. Many thanks for your tireless work keeping us informed and providing us with your perspective. I’m looking forward to the continued growth and success of this web site.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Thank you, Mark!

    • Jack Gibbons

      November 22, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Thank you, boss61. Tireless is a good word to describe Rich’s work ethic. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Steve Cockey

      November 22, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Well said, Jack. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

  2. Orial

    November 22, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Rich and all the Orioles fans who have patiently joined together in a special bond. Rich what you have just written is artistically put to words. I echo it all and find no need to add more.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Thank you, Orial!

  3. cedar

    November 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone at Baltimore Baseball. It’s my favorite site for not just for the great Orioles coverage, but also the informed and thoughtful discussion of the writers and followers.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Thank you, Cedar!

    • Steve Cockey

      November 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving, Cedar! We’re thankful to have such a loyal, thoughtful group of readers — yourself included.

  4. mlbbirdfan

    November 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Rich! And all.
    I am thankful that we have a major league baseball team in Baltimore, and the team and it’s leadership is relevant and will be exciting.
    I’m thankful that the Angelos sons have selected an outstanding executive talent to lead our rebirth and revitalization.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Thank you, mlbbirdfan!

  5. cards97

    November 22, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to all at BB. Thanks for all the great work.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you, cards!

  6. [email protected]

    November 22, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    We have much to be thankful for…great coverage on what is going on in the O’s organization as well as a fan base that loyal no matter what. The organization has turned the corner with these recent hires and better days are ahead!! Thanks to Rich, Jack and all the professionals who keep us up to date on what is going on in Birdland! Go O’s!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you, Steveo!

  7. TxBirdFan

    November 22, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Rich! It’s been a topsy turvy year and we’re grateful for your steadfast optimism.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you, Tx. It’s not necessarily optimism. It’s realism without being emotional.

  8. BirdsCaps

    November 22, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    In regards to baseball, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful that I am I live in a place and time where I am able to devote time and effort to the beautiful game of baseball. I am also thankful for my family that helped develop my love for the game. Also, I am grateful that I have found this wonderful website, which I just discovered in the last few months. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      BirdsCaps, I’m thankful you found us!

  9. whiterose

    November 22, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    hope this update worked

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      It worked, whiterose.

  10. PA Bird Lover

    November 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Happy and a warm Thanksgiving to you, too, Rich, and to those who are special in your life.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you, PA. Likewise.

  11. Beachfeet21

    November 22, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Hey Rich, just found the blog today. Looking forward to reading some more good news.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Welcome, Beachfeet!

  12. Beachfeet21

    November 22, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Rich. I just found the web site today. Looking forward to reading a lot more O’s news here in the future.

  13. Eldersburg Enigma

    November 22, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    What happens if MLB doesn’t approve of the new faces of ownership? What if the franchise takes a bath on the MASN arbitration proceedings? The lease at Oriole Park ends after 2021. This isn’t exactly some far-fetched scenario. Thoughts?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 10:05 pm

      I think that the MASN matter will finally be settled and the Orioles will adjust whatever the outcome is, Enigma. MLB seems to have no problem with the Angelos family, and the team will be in Baltimore for the rest of our lives.

    • Eldersburg Enigma

      November 23, 2018 at 11:00 am

      But I’m considerably younger than you so I’m not so sure.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Your age is an enigma to me.

  14. dakhd1

    November 22, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Rich, A very nice tribute to those who have moved on. As for Adam Jones, he’d be a great lead bird for the fledglings. I’d like to see him stay in the nest.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      dakhd, Jones’ future is up to Mike Elias.

  15. SpinMaster

    November 23, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Rich: I know that I am a day late (and probably a dollar short), but I echo all of the sentiments expressed by our fellow fans. This site is a welcome addition to our following of the Orioles on a deeper level than what is expressed in the newspapers.

    After reading your sentiments on the departed players from last season, it got me to thinking. How would some the traded players performed under our new front office leadership and our new devotion to analytics? I know that it is stupid to imagine something like this, but what else is the off-season for.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you for your nice thoughts, Spin. Never too late for a well-wisher.

      I’m not sure how Gausman or Schoop would have performed under a new front office, especially since I really don’t know the specifics of how they’re going to evaluate players.

      Elias did say he thought trading the players was the right move, and I’ve already expressed skepticism on the Gausman trade.

  16. Jacobs1928

    November 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Rich..I have been an O’s fan since I was 8 in 1936….you provide a wonderful place to
    Read the thoughts of O’s fans and I really appreciate what you provide to all of us..
    I am a day late but I wish all good health, much happiness and their thoughts re the O’s.
    Good O’s
    Bernie

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you, Bernie!

  17. GSISDANNO

    November 26, 2018 at 8:39 am

    What a wonderful tribute to Adam Jones at the Ravens’ game on Sunday. The Ravens introduced him and played a video montage of him on the scoreboard screen.
    It got one of the loudest cheers of the day.
    I am not usually one for sentimentality but I hope the Orioles bring him back to serve as a role model for all the younger players.

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