Chris Davis joins the 50-homer club

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Orioles first baseman Chris Davis became the first Major Leaguer to hit 50 home runs in a single season since Jose Bautista hit 54 in 2010. With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the eighth, Davis drove a Steve Delabar 2-2 change-up to left-center for his milestone home run, putting the Orioles ahead 4-3.

Davis moves into a tie with Brady Anderson for the Orioles single-season team record. Davis will have 15 more games to become the sole leader.

The list of players to hit 50-plus since 2005:

Player Year HR Age Tm Lg
Jose Bautista 2010 54 29 TOR AL
Prince Fielder 2007 50 23 MIL NL
Alex Rodriguez 2007 54 31 NYY AL
Ryan Howard 2006 58 26 PHI NL
David Ortiz 2006 54 30 BOS AL
Andruw Jones 2005 51 28 ATL NL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2013.

Rob Manfred blames Bryce Harper for going unsigned

Bryce Harper
Mark Brown/Getty Images
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Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.

No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.

Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:

Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.

Manfred didn’t stop there, however.

An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.

Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?