Should the Orioles Retire Adam Jones’ Number? Let’s Name the Camden Yards Centerfield Bar After Him Instead.

Earlier this week I shared my appreciation for Adam Jones, who has joined the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2019 baseball season.

I had the chance to talk more about Jones’ legacy in Baltimore and examine the question of whether the Orioles should retire his number during a guest spot on the Locked On Orioles podcast.

Give the podcast a listen. Maybe we can get some traction for the idea to name the Camden Yards Centerfield Bar after the Cap10.

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Saying Farewell to the Cap10, Adam Jones

Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

Adam Jones (Photo Credit: Norm Schimmel)

I don’t own an Adam Jones jersey, autographed baseball, bobblehead, or glossy photo. There is no tangible evidence to be found in my home of my appreciation for the player who brought the charm back to Charm City baseball. Still, the Cap10 leaves Baltimore as my favorite player of the Buckle Up/We Won’t Stop era. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Adam Jones didn’t promote his embrace of the city where he played. He was the antidote to Bryce Harper telling Philly he wants bring a title back to D.C. There was never any confusing what mattered to Jones. His actions spoke. Loudly. Clearly.

AJ didn’t tell us he loved Baltimore; he simply set about making it a better place. Granted, when something needed to be said, he stood up and was counted. His postgame interviews were where cliches went to die. One game at a time? Not hardly, slapdick.

Jones produced waves in 2014 when he told fans at Social Media Night that his favorite place in Baltimore was the airport so he could fly home. One attendee said to WJZ, “I’m taking this thing pretty seriously. No pies for you until you apologize.” Less than a month later, Jones mashed pies into fans’ delirious faces in the most memorable Camden Yards scene since the Ironman took a victory lap.

Orioles fans were starving for a winner in the post-Ironman era. We were starving for a new hero. Adam Jones ensured that we didn’t stay hungry much longer.

He never called himself Mr. Baltimore. By the end, others did.

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Bryce Harper Won’t Be Playing in Baltimore

Bryce Harper

Image Source: USA Today

Bryce Harper won’t be playing in Baltimore this season. Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract on Thursday.

Wait, you don’t think I was suggesting that Harper might have signed with the Orioles, do you? We all knew he was never going to contain that audacious hair flip under a cartoon bird cap.

The news here is that Harper’s annual visits to Baltimore are taking a pause. He won’t visit Camden Yards again until the Interleague schedule pits the O’s against the N.L. East. Until then, O’s fans will continue waiting for the big Bryce Harper moment.

Okay, to be entirely accurate, Harper could visit Camden Yards prior to Philadelphia’s next trip to Baltimore. For example, perhaps he’ll take a ballpark tour to see all of the Eutaw Street baseballs that don’t bear his name. Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina are the only Washington Nationals players represented on the walkway.

My personal obsession with Eutaw Street home runs aside, why do all of those blasts not by Bryce Harper matter? Here’s why: The big Bryce Harper moment in Baltimore, like the team’s long presumed rivalry with the Nationals, never really arrived.

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R.I.P. Frank Robinson: They Don’t Build Statues in Stadiums of Guys They Want You to Forget

Orioles legend Frank Robinson has died. Many words will be shared about the Hall of Famer, whose stature in baseball history is undeniable. Here are some meaningful words, including Robinson’s own, with a local flavor courtesy of WBAL. You can also watch his Hall of Fame speech in the video above.

Frank Robinson StatueI never had the pleasure of watching Frank Robinson play baseball; he debuted as the sport’s first black manager just days after I was born. I couldn’t rightfully claim to be a Baltimore Orioles fan, however, without knowing something about him.

They don’t build statues in baseball stadiums of guys they want you to forget. (And three teams – the Orioles, Reds, and Indians – have done so for Robinson.)

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Do You Remember When Chris Davis Was Baseball’s “Top Free Agent”? Roar From 34 Remembers.

The Baltimore Orioles‘ remaining paths of intrigue following a 115-loss 2018 season have been traveled.

Pepperidge Farm Remembers

O’s fans will “Walk With Elias” as the team’s executive vice President and general manager and sail with Brandon Hyde as the skipper. There’s nothing left to do now except, ahem, Buckle Up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

With Hot Stove intrigue in Baltimore ranking lower than the team’s likely attendance figures for 2019, let’s revisit a time when our beloved contenders were chasing baseball’s “top free agent.”

Hop in the Wayback Machine with me and set the dial for 2015 to see what people were saying about the Orioles’ pursuit of Chris Davis.

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Which Baltimore Sporting Event Do You Regret Leaving Early? And Who Is To Blame?

Perhaps you’ve seen the story that ESPN’s Michael Wilbon left Sunday’s Chicago Cubs game early and therefore missed David Bote’s walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals. That is, ahem, not so grand.

The “time-I-missed-a-great-sports-ending” storyline is a fun one. It can even make for movie magic. You don’t have to like the Boston Red Sox to appreciate the “I gotta see about a girl” scene from “Good Will Hunting.” It’s a classic. (RIP Robin Williams.)

My wife, a Nashville native, was in the process of leaving the Tennessee Titans’ stadium with her parents as the Music City Miracle occurred. The roar of the crowd – and the scene on the concourse TVs – brought them running back to their section, and they celebrated accordingly. She’ll never live that down with me. That was her “time-I-missed-a-great-sports-ending” moment.

I can’t claim nearly as great a story of my own (which is why I shared hers in the first place). The moment that comes to mind most immediately happened a few years ago when the Orioles hit two grand slams in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Kansas City Royals. We left during the top of the inning because of our kids and missed both home runs. I’m sure there are plenty of tales – including Michael Wilbon’s – that involve the blaming of children.

So what’s your story? Which Baltimore sporting event do you regret leaving early? And who is to blame?

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Today in Orioles History: Aug. 13, 1957 – The Season’s Most Valuable Oriole Goes Deep Twice Against the Washington Senators

It’s a fun day for Baltimore Orioles history. After all, Aug. 13 was the day Jim Palmer tossed a no-hitter in 1969 and Earl Weaver stalled his way into a rain-shortened victory against the rival New York Yankees in 1978. Be sure to read this colorful Tom Boswell article about the rain game that speaks to “One of the most bizarre weekends in Baltimore Orioles history” and includes a quote from Lou Pinella calling Weaver “that little shrimp.” Billy Gardner, Baltimore Orioles

We’ll go a little bit less obvious for this day in Orioles history and focus instead on the second of two career multi-homer games by second baseman Billy Gardner during a 5-3 victory against the Washington Senators on Aug. 13, 1957.

Gardner, a “feisty leadoff hitter,” had a solo homer in the seventh inning and a two-run homer in the ninth inning to up his season total to six long balls. He would not homer again during the 1957 season. Gardner’s first two-homer game came a season earlier on May 16, 1956.

The run support helped starter Connie Johnson to his 10th victory. Johnson posted 10 strikeouts against only one walk during what would be a career-best 14-win season in 1957.

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