Joan Jett loves the Orioles

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Now that the Orioles are headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 1997 fans are coming out of the woodwork and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about some celebrities making their Orioles fandom known.

My favorite was this little tidbit about lifelong Orioles fan Joan Jett:

Jett sent a letter this week to the Orioles that was posted on the bulletin board in the home clubhouse. She wrote about how her dad took her to Memorial Stadium on Aug. 13, 1969, which was the date of Jim Palmer’s no-hitter against the Oakland A’s. She wrote that she’s been taking her iPad on stage and hiding it next to her amp so she can check the Orioles’ scores this year.

For some reason picturing Jett on stage checking to see how Luis Ayala is doing cracks me up, although Connolly also noted that “truthfully most of these Orioles weren’t born when Jett was on top of the music world, but surely the support was much appreciated.”

Also, if you want a peak behind the scenes of HardballTalk … we decided Joan Jett is pretty great.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.