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.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.