It’s time for our monthly mailbag. We’ve received many excellent questions, and I’ll be answering some today and more on Tuesday. Questions are edited for clarity, style and grammar.
Question: Does the lawsuit filed by Louis Angelos against his brother John Angelos affect your confidence about the Orioles franchise remaining in Baltimore? From: Birdman via email
Answer: Joel, obviously that’s a hot topic. Dave Hersl and Michael Beale asked a similar question. Michael Mades asked a question about the possibility of the franchise being moved before news broke on the suit.
As Dave pointed out, the Maryland State Legislature approved $600 million to update Camden Yards, and it’s likely that a long-term lease will be signed before Governor Hogan leaves office next January.
Orioles CEO John Angelos could not move the Orioles unilaterally to Nashville or anywhere else without approval of Major League Baseball, and that’s not happening.
As for the team being sold, the suit does increase the likelihood of an eventual sale, but as Peter Schmuck pointed out in his excellent column here on Friday, the chances of the team being sold aren’t great while Peter Angelos is still alive.
Question: Any chance of Hyde bringing on Joe Maddon? From: Ray Kowatch via Facebook
Answer: Ray, the Orioles don’t have a vacancy on their coaching staff. As for 2023, Maddon has stated that he’d like to manage again, and with his record, I think he’d be an excellent candidate for openings this coming offseason.
With his experience, I don’t think Maddon would be interested in a coaching position. If he doesn’t manage next season, I think he’d be a natural in broadcasting. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Maddon in broadcasting later this season.
Question: What are your thoughts on a promotion of Gunnar Henderson this season? Could it happen? From: Andy Krauss via email
Answer: Andy, as you know, 20-year-old infielder Gunnar Henderson was just promoted to Norfolk this week, and the guess here is that he probably won’t advance to Baltimore this season. The Orioles don’t have to place him on the 40-man roster this winter.
But if he hits as well or better at Norfolk as he did at Bowie, perhaps they’ll think again.
Question: The Orioles released Jahmai Jones after he underwent Tommy John surgery. Who pays for the surgery, follow-ups and rehab? From: Gary Fillmore via email
Answer: Gary, the Orioles are obligated to pay for Jones’ surgery and rehab. The same is true for any player under a major league contract when he’s released.
Question: When high school and college players join the Orioles, they sign a contract and normally go right to the minors. However, when they graduate to the Orioles’ roster, you’ll hear that the Orioles purchased their contract. What’s the difference between the contracts? From: Larry Schultz via email
Answer: Larry, players are signed to minor league contracts, and they’re not signed to major league contracts until they’re placed on the 40-man roster. When Adley Rutschman was added to the roster last month, his contract was purchased or selected.
Question: Has a batter ever hit a right-handed home run onto Eutaw Street? From: Jerry Ragains via email
Answer: Jerry, I can’t find an instance of an Oriole right-handed hitter hitting onto Eutaw Street. Adam Jones, who was one of the best right-handed hitters in team history, never did it. Nor did Cal Ripken Jr.
Question: Why are the new left-field dimensions of Oriole Park at Camden Yards — nearly 30 feet deeper and 6 feet higher — so controversial? From: Seth Mendelsohn via email
Answer: Seth, I think the dimensions seemed to be controversial to Aaron Judge of the Yankees last month but since then the weather has gotten warmer and home runs to left have been hit more regularly.
Question: How do I get on Jersey of the Game? I’ve got a real random doozy for you when I come to The Yard for Father’s Day — a short-lived Oriole that I really enjoyed watching. From: Ben Perlman via email
Answer: Ben, thank you for this. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, Jersey of the Game is a popular feature where I snap a photo of a fan wearing a jersey of a former Oriole and tweet it during the fourth inning.
I generally take a walk on the lower concourse about 15 or 20 minutes before a game and take photos of possible jerseys.
If you email me the day you’re coming to the ballpark with your seat location, I’ll try to stop by before the game.
Question: Wondering when Merv Rettenmund will be selected to the Orioles’ Hall of Fame. Always in top 40 on all-time Oriole lists, three World Series, four American League Championship Series in six seasons, led team in batting in 1970 and 1971. From: Michael Goss via email
Answer: Michael, Rettenmund was a valuable player on the 1970 and 1971 teams. Another fan favorite who isn’t in the Hall of Fame was longtime catcher Andy Etchebarren. Perhaps both can find their way in in the future.
Question: The Orioles seem to be on schedule with rebuilding. Why in the world would they trade players that are solid and still relatively young such as Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander? From: Richard Hewitt via email
Answer: Richard, this was a popular topic. J.T. Bazzett wanted to know if Mancini and Austin Hays would be traded. Julius Silvestri wanted to know about Keegan Akin and Jorge López and @MDSportsChat wonders about Cionel Pérez.
I am a huge fan of Trey Mancini, personally and professionally. I’ve written that I hoped he’d be extended, which he hasn’t been. I think having his maturity helps a young team.
However, there’s been no movement on a contract extension, and with Mancini becoming a free agent after the season, it’s likely he’ll be moved by the August 2nd trade deadline.
Anthony Santander could be moved to create a space for Kyle Stowers to play. I don’t see Austin Hays being traded.
Teams often overpay for bullpen arms. The Orioles received Tyler Nevin, Terrin Vavra and outfielder Mishael Deson from Colorado for Mychal Givens in 2020. If they could get a similar package for López, Akin or Pérez, that would certainly be worth considering.
The Orioles need more young starting pitchers, so if any of these names could bring back starting pitcher candidates, that would be something to think about.
Question: Given the extraordinary changes in pitchers’ innings, is Major League Baseball looking at changing the definition of a win, making it four instead of five innings? From: @LamirandeRobert
Answer: That’s a great question, Robert, and it’s something I’ve wondered about, too. Fewer starters are going the necessary five innings for a win.
I suppose they could allow pitchers who don’t complete five innings to record a win, but then they might have to go back into baseball records and consider additional wins for starters who didn’t complete five.
I would be OK with allowing official scorers to consider a win for a pitcher who threw a solid 4 2/3 innings. Since teams often use multiple relievers, it’s often a pitcher who records three or four outs getting the win.
Keep in mind that the win statistic isn’t considered as important as it used to be and there are other stats to measure a starting pitcher’s effectiveness.
Question: Is it time to send Adley Rutschman back to Norfolk? From: Michael Mulcahy via email
Answer: Mike, it is absolutely not time to send Adley Rutschman back to Norfolk. He’s been with the Orioles for three weeks, and while his hitting had been lagging until Saturday’s three-hit game, that was to be expected.
He’s solid defensively. His enthusiasm and hustle on defense are outstanding, and it’s going to take time for him to get adjusted to major league pitching. He’s not overmatched. He’s learning. I can’t see the Orioles considering a demotion for Rutschman.