Hardy, Devereaux ready for Orioles' Hall of Fame induction; Injury updates; Adding Mateo - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Hardy, Devereaux ready for Orioles’ Hall of Fame induction; Injury updates; Adding Mateo

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—The last time J.J. Hardy was in Baltimore, he hit a home run in his final home game with the Orioles on September 24, 2017. He returned for his induction into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

The longtime Orioles shortstop will be joined by outfielder Mike Devereaux, broadcaster Joe Angel and Mo Gaba, the late Orioles superfan.

“It brought back a lot of memories just driving to the hotel and through the Inner Harbor,” Hardy said on Friday.

Hardy came to the Orioles from Minnesota and played here from 2011-2017. He enjoyed the final game of the 2011 season against the Boston Red Sox when Robert Andino’s hit set off a wild celebration.

“It felt like we won the World Series, but we just kept Boston from making it to the postseason,” Hardy said.

Hardy remembers the dramatics of 2012 when the Orioles went 16-2 in extra-inning games and won the wild-card game in Texas. In 2014, the Orioles won the American League East.

“My favorite moment in my whole career was Game 2 of the ALDS when Delmon [Young] hit that double,” Hardy said.

Hardy missed nearly three months because of a broken wrist and returned to play for the final week of the 2017 season after Tim Beckham was injured.

“You can’t really write up an ending like it happened for me,” Hardy said.

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Hardy served as a spring training instructor for the Orioles in 2020, but he’s still not ready to return to the game. He has two boys, 6 and 3, and he wants to be with them as much as he can.

“Every parent I talk to tells me to live it up, it goes by fast,” Hardy said. “Your kids grow up so fast. I’m taking everyone’s advice. I’m enjoying it.

“It’s gratifying. It’s fun to be around them and watch them grow. I just can’t see myself in the near future being away from them. There’ll be a time when they start school and maybe it will be easier to get away, but for now, I’m enjoying hanging out with them.”

Hardy doesn’t see many Orioles games but is confident if the team rebounds, the fans will return.

“This city absolutely loved us for all those years I was here,” Hardy said. “I was lucky to get traded here when I did when there were a lot of young and talented team here.”

Devereaux was with the Orioles from 1989-1994, and then again in 1996. It’s his first time back in Baltimore since 2019 when he returned for the 30th anniversary of the 1989 “Why Not?” team that nearly won the American League East, a year after the team lost its first 21 games and finished 54-107.

“When I think of Baltimore, I think of the fun I had here,” Devereaux said. “I still watch the games. I wish they were doing good.”

Devereaux was with the Orioles when they moved to Camden Yards in 1992, and he played in front of sellout crowds.

“The times I’ve been here the past few years, and I see that the crowd’s not here, it doesn’t even look the same,” Devereaux said. “It’s sad that it’s turned that way. I hope that it turns around when the fans start coming back.”

The most memorable moment of Devereaux’s career came on July 15,1989 when his ninth-inning, two-run home run gave the Orioles an 11-9 win over the California Angels.

There was no replay then, and it’s questionable whether the ball was fair. Angels manager Doug Rader was so angry, he was ejected from the following day’s game as the lineup cards were being exchanged.

“They bring it up a lot,” Devereaux said. “It’s more of a joke now. I know Doug Rader didn’t think it was a joke.”

The Orioles have undergone a radical turnover since Devereaux’s time, and even in the four years since Hardy left.

“There’s maybe a handful of people in this organization that were here when I was here,” Hardy said. “They’ve changed, and they’ve changed rapidly. I’m sure things will turn around.”

Gaba remembered: Sonsy Gaba, the mother of the late Mo Gaba, who died in July 2020 from cancer, will represent her son as he joins the Hall of Fame.

Gaba talked about how much her son, who died at 14, cared for Adam Jones and Trey Mancini.

“Those were his hearts,” she said. “When Trey got sick, that broke his heart. That’s what’s stood out to me.”

Gaba returned to the ballpark on July 28th, the one-year anniversary of her son’s death to throw a first ptich to Mancini and cheer when he homered. It’s been an awful year for her.

“Heartbeaking,” she said. “I miss him. It’s just a void that I could never fill. This year has been weird because I’m so used to celebrating everything with him, and I don’t have him hear to celebrate with me. Although I’m proud of him, I miss him dearly.”

Injury updates: Relievers Tanner Scott, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained left knee, and Tyler Wells, on the 10-day because of tendinitis in his right wrist, could be reactivated by the middle or the latter part of next week, manager Brandon Hyde said.

Wells threw a live batting practice at Yankee Stadium and felt some soreness. He played catch on Friday. Hyde hopes he can throw in the bullpen in the next few days and then throw another live batting practice.

Hyde said that Scott would get on the mound in the next few days to see how his knee responds.

The Orioles haven’t decided what’s next for pitcher Bruce Zimmermann, who threw three scoreless innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. He gave up two hits, walked four and struck out five. Zimmermann, who is on the injured list because of tendinitis in his left biceps, could have another rehab start for the Tides or be activated with the Orioles.

Hyde said that Matt Harvey, who injured his right knee on Wednesday night, felt better and should make his scheduled start next week.

Mateo plans: Hyde is eager to look at the newly acquired Jorge Mateo, claimed on waivers from San Diego on Thursday.

“I’m going to give him a big opportunity,” Hyde said. “It’s a really talented player, a guy that’s been on top of prospect lists for a long time, just hasn’t had the everyday major league opportunity.”

Mateo, who is one of the fastest players in baseball, has played the infield and outfield.

“We’re going to take a look at him in the middle,” Hyde said. “He’s an option to play all over the place because he has in the past … I expect him to be in there some place in the middle of the field right now. We’re going to focus on the infield at first and then go from there.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. dlgruber1

    August 6, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    “My favorite moment in my whole career was Game 2 of the ALDS when Delmon [Young] hit that double,” Hardy said. I think almost all younger fans who weren’t around to see O’s winning WS would say the same thing.
    “When I think of Baltimore, I think of the fun I had here,” Devereaux said. “I still watch the games. I wish they were doing good.” I’m sure ALL of us would say the same thing.

  2. Buzz1979

    August 6, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Using Greene in a situation is decidedly stupid, Hyde cost means another victory. These pitching moves lately do scream TANK!!!

    • ClayDal

      August 6, 2021 at 9:41 pm

      They have 3 steady relievers. Can’t use them every night. Occasionally you have to bring in some of the other guys. Luckily, this won’t hurt our playoff chances

    • EkimC

      August 6, 2021 at 10:49 pm

      It doesn’t matter who they bring in, you know there’s going to be runs going up on the scoreboard for the other team. It’s beyond ridiculous! There is NO ONE in the O’s pen that can be counted on. I can only imagine what an O’s starting pitcher thinks when Hyde comes out to replace him. Means wasn’t great but he left with a three run lead and then, poof, it was gone in a flash (or should I say “blast”. This season can’t be over soon enough!

    • Cali Orioles

      August 7, 2021 at 11:43 am

      You are ridiculous. They aren’t tanking. Bullpen is not the priority. I get sick of people that think a re-build is a flip of the switch and done

    • Tileman

      August 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      It’s really meaningless to win these games. Better to take the time now to see what we have in these situations. Don’t get me wrong I want them to win every night, but sometimes you need to give these guys a shot in lieu of them maybe failing.

  3. Buzz1979

    August 6, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Hyde is the worst ever at handling bullpens. BIG mistake in not trading Fry (Fried), at the deadline!!!

  4. dlgruber1

    August 6, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    The optimist in me is thinking Diplan looked really good. Was he drafted by O’s or part of a trade, waiver pickup?

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 6, 2021 at 11:46 pm

      He was picked up on waivers in December 2019.

  5. Buzz1979

    August 6, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    He’s been claimed on waivers 3 times, this is the old lightening in a bottle idea!

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 6, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    It’s a process.

    • CalsPals

      August 7, 2021 at 8:36 am

      So was the evolution of man (women, must be pc), the ice age, Mt. Rushmore (still not finished)…;)…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 7, 2021 at 10:27 am

        Stay thirsty my friend.

        • Tileman

          August 7, 2021 at 1:28 pm

          Better drink that red white and blue can

  7. Icterus fan

    August 7, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Last night’s game was a definite punch in the throat.

    This season has been tantamount to a NASCAR race – expecting, but hoping not to see – the inevitable crash.

    Years ago, I thought Nelson Cruz was roided out and cooked. Look at him go….at age 41.

    Now that the trading deadline has come and gone, what’s the next opportunity for improvement? Off season trades? Signing that elusive “top tier free agent”? Hiring Britton as the next manager? Minor league promotions?

    Need a glimmer of hope – just a scintilla of positivity – here in Bawlamer…..

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 7, 2021 at 10:36 am

      You’re not getting it Icty … we’re supposed to concentrate on Bowie, not Bawlamer.

      Oriole fans have become the proverbial cart pulling horse, chasing that carrot dangling in from of them which is otherwise known as ‘some day’.

      Drink Pepsi

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