It’s the little things that help a team win baseball games. Solid pitching, strong defense, and executing the fundamentals is a winning combination in this league. Perhaps the simplest thing a team can do to is hustle, though not every team does.
Adam Jones (10) heads to home on a one-run RBI sac fly by Chris Davis (not shown) in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
During the Orioles’ first home stand with the Twins, Adam Jones hit a fly ball that appeared to be an out. As most big leaguers do, Adam jogged half-hearted to first base, head hanging. But the ball wasn’t caught. Once Adam realized the play was botched, he turned on the jets and got into second base. If he’d been running the whole way, he may have been able to advance the third base. There was a second ball, a grounder during the same series that Adam also didn’t run out. Since then, the entire team has been running much harder.
As a baseball fan, nothing grates on my nerves more than seeing a guy hit what he assumes is a groundout or a fly out and jog casually toward first base.
Yes, most of the time it will be an out. However, in last night’s game alone, Oakland committed 3errors. JJ Hardy hit a single in the 7th inning that he alertly turned into a double by keeping his head up, and running hard. Hardy is possibly one of the slowest guys on the team, but by remaining focused and alert, he got into scoring position and came around to score on Steve Pearce‘s single. The score remained 1-0 until the top of the 9th.
Earlier in the same game, Nolan Reimold ran hard when he hit a ground ball to the first baseman and was able to beat the pitcher, Tommy Milone to the bag. Even when the opposition is executing plays, often times we are seeing Oriole runners being thrown out by just a step, or a half step. These guys are running out every ball, and it’s turning into runs.
Take notice of this trend if you haven’t already, it’s really great to see. That never say die attitude is what drives this team, and it’s really exciting to watch. It shows that this team takes pride in what they do. That makes me proud to be an Orioles fan.
One of my earliest memories is of going to Memorial Stadium to watch the O's with my father. One of my coolest memories is going to 2131 with my father. (I still wish he'd taken me to the 1993 All-Star Game instead of my brother.) I believe being at Camden Yards with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other is the closest thing to heaven on earth. The Orioles are my passion, and I'm so glad to have a chance to talk Orioles baseball with you! Follow me on Twitter @mandy_redman