Baltimore Orioles Information
The modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the Western League, beginning in 1894 when the league reorganized. After a series of re-locations of the team from Milwaukee to St. Louis, the team finally ended up in Baltimore in 1953. The O's began the development phase of the team throughout the remainder of the 50's, and stars such as Brooks Robinson, John "Boog" Powell, and Dave McNally were emerging in the strong Orioles farm system. In 1966, what is considered one of the most lopsided trades in the history of baseball was made. The O's sent Milt Pappas to Cincinnati for slugger Frank Robinson. That same year, Robinson won the Most Valuable Player award.
Between 1966 and 1983, Baltimore proved to the world that it was the best team in the major leagues. The Orioles won three World Series and six American League pennants during this time. Cal Ripken Sr.'s coaching philosophy of the "Oriole Way," based on the idea that every coach instructs in the same manner, with a high level of professionalism and dedication, can be attributed to the success of the organization.
They began rebuilding in 2008 under GM Andy MacPhail. To start the process the O's traded away star players Miguel Tejada to the Astros and ace pitcher Erik Bedard to the Mariners. In return, they received minor league pitchers Kameron Micholio, Chris Tillman, Tony Butler, along with prospects Adam Jones and George Sherrill.
Going into 2009, the O's announced a six-year, $66 million contract for star player Nick Markakis. Markakis had a .299 batting average in his first three seasons. In 2009 he posted a .293 average with a .453 slugging percentage.
In 2010, the Orioles suffered another disappointing season. During the middle of the season, the Orioles signed a new manager, Buck Showalter, and in August had their first winning month of the season. Even though they came in last in the division, things were looking up for the team.
During the post-season, the Oâ€™s signed former first base all-star Derrick Lee and traded for shortstop J.J. Hardy. Although the season was not anymore successful than the previous year, they gained fame and infamy for the final game of the season versus the Red Sox. Even though they had nothing left to play for, the team continued to grind until the very last play, when they won in a walk-off and eliminated the Red Sox from the post-season.
2012 will be a year of new beginnings. They signed former Red Sox GM, Dan Duquette to take over as GM and hope to continue building and find success.The Orioles are still in the process of building a young supporting cast to go along with Markakis as their franchise player. The AL East is one of the toughest divisions around, but with players gaining experience on a daily basis it's not hard to keep optimistic in regards to Baltimore Orioles baseball.