Schoop Shines as Orioles Take 3-of-4 From Rays

For the first time since last September, there is genuinely good news coming out of the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse this weekend.

First, the Orioles spent the weekend taking three out of four games against the Tampa Bay Rays, putting up 40 runs on 48 hits.

During the run, Jonathan Schoop took a stab at making some history. Schoop had hit five HR in as many games from the 22nd-27th and although slightly obscure, that tied the MLB record for consecutive games with an HR by a 2B. He just needed an HR on Saturday night to make history. Unfortunately, on Saturday, this happened.

What’s that? You’d like some salt in that wound? Well, here ya go…

While an MLB record that doesn’t involve Chris Davis and strike-outs would have been a nice band-aid on this sucking chest wound of a season, seven HR in six games will do. The O’s are .500 (5-5) since the All-Star break, and in that time Schoop has 16 H, 7 HR, 1 2B, 14 RBI. Not too bad if the O’s are trying to make a trade for the former All-Star before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

While we’re talking about trade deadlines, two important decisions were made this past weekend that will have broad implications on the future of the ball club. A trade that took place and a trade that seems like it won’t.

On Sunday, the Orioles announced that they traded relief pitcher Brad Brach to the Atlanta Braves. This isn’t exactly earth-shattering until you learn that the O’s didn’t receive a player, but instead took International Signing Bonus Slot Money.

The O’s have been notorious for trading away their ISBSM in recent years, much to the chagrin of the fan base and national pundits. This is the first true sign that the team is not only rebuilding their roster, but also their philosophy in the front office. Brach didn’t quite have the season he was hoping for, 1-2 with 11 saves, a 4.85 ERA (21 ER/39.0 IP), and 38 strikeouts in 42 appearances, but teams like Atlanta know there is a strong difference between what he is doing now, and what he can do when put in the right situations.

The second trade that has been talked about for weeks has been centered on Adam Jones, but in a surprising turn of events, it seems like that move is no longer going to take place.

Adam Jones is a 10-5 player, a 10-year veteran playing the last five with the same team, which means he can veto any trade the Orioles wish to make that includes him. Jones has spent plenty of time considering this, even asking fans how they would feel about a possible trade on twitter.

The fact of the matter is that it’s been a long time since a player came to this ball club and genuinely embraced the city and the community the way Adam Jones has. While we have no idea whether or not he will be an Oriole next year, his value cannot be overstated.

The Orioles built a strong, homerun hitting body that won an AL East title, took down three Cy-Young award-winning pitchers on their way to an ALCS appearance, won the very first AL-Wild Card Game, and brought the magic back to Camden Yards.

Adam Jones has been the heart.

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