The Orioles are a newsworthy ball club these days. On Tuesday alone the O’s topped Spring Training headlines twice.
First came word that Yovani Gallardo’s deal is on hold as the club examines issues from his medical exam. What’s with these injury concerns? I thought these guys were supposed to be in the best shape of their lives.
I like to imagine that the Orioles’ physical, which has become the stuff of legend around baseball, involves a push-up contest between the respective free agent and Peter Angelos.
As the day wound down we learned that the team signed Dexter Fowler to a three-year deal (pending a physical, of course). Here’s hoping Fowler can pump out some serious push-ups. The old man is tougher than you’d think, Dexter! Just ask Grant Balfour.
It’s a confusing time to be an Orioles fan. The team with a reputation for being stingy is among the off-season’s biggest spenders. Down is up. It’s too bad right isn’t left because we need a southpaw in the rotation.
At times like these it’s easy to fall back on what you know for comfort. Perhaps that’s why I find myself thinking about the late-’90s Orioles so much. You remember the late-’90s O’s, don’t you? They were among baseball’s biggest spenders, topping all of baseball in payroll in 1998.
That was the year the O’s signed Xavier Hernandez to a two-year deal only to find out during his physical that he had a torn rotator cuff. Messiness ensued, teams had to re-think the way they announced signings, and as Ken Rosenthal observed, “pending a physical” became a thing in baseball.
One year later, the Orioles signed Albert Belle to a five-year, $65 million contract. He was done with baseball by the third year of that deal. It’s a wonder the Orioles have spent any money since then. One thing’s for sure: this offseason, they’ve spent a lot of it.