BALTIMORE -- The simple gesture -- the number 46 that adorned the Orioles' visiting scoreboard in place of all out-of-town games Friday night -- was a fitting tribute in honoring Wednesday's passing of former O's pitcher, team executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan, whose humility and love for the organization was virtually unmatched.
"Mike wasn't a guy that was in anybody's business, he wasn't in the locker room trying to [impose advice]," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who blinked back tears as he discussed the well-liked broadcaster, who often sat in his office to swap stories in the afternoons. "[But] he was always there if somebody wanted to seek him out. He was such a source of wisdom for so many people, including me."
Flanagan, whose death was ruled a suicide at the age of 59, left the Orioles community in a state of shock, and the team paid proper homage Friday night with a moment of silence and a brief video montage following the first inning. The video, played on the JumboTron at Camden Yards, featured Flanagan's highlights from a career that included a Cy Young Award and the prestigious honor of being the last Oriole to throw in the club's old home at Memorial Stadium.
The tribute prompted the entire Yankees team to leave the dugout and stand on the field to pay their respects.
"You can look at his numbers, just the years that he was here is something that's amazing," said Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who along with the rest of the team, will wear a black "Flanny" patch on the sleeve of their uniforms for the remainder of the season.
"To have that long of a career and to be able to be on some of the teams here, that's just special, and then you look at his numbers and more importantly, just as a person, he was always a guy who was into baseball, ready to talk baseball, and ready to help you improve."
A black banner with the No. 46 in orange was also installed above the press box at Camden Yards, right below the booth where Flanagan called games for MASN, and the O's flag on the right-field flag court was flown at half staff, a tradition that will continue for all remaining home games. Fans can share their memories of Flanagan, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 1979 and was with the Orioles for 15 seasons, in a virtual guestbook at orioles.com/flanny.
"Last homestand, Mike brought a can of Oriole pine tar from 1960," Showalter said. "And it's sitting on top of my desk there, and when I got back last night, first thing [I saw was that]. I don't think I'll ever go get a cup of coffee back there, without thinking about it, [or] thinking about him.
"No, it hasn't gotten any easier," Showalter continued. "And I'm not trying to lose that emotion. It's not something I'm trying to figure out a way to get around."
Orioles Wives set to host silent auctions
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles Wives will host silent auctions on Friday and Saturday (Game 2 of the doubleheader) at Gate E at Oriole Park from the time gates open until 8 p.m. ET.
All of the proceeds will be split among three organizations: UNICEF, to benefit those affected by the tsunami in Japan last spring; Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation Memorial Account, in honor of Shannon Stone, a Texas firefighter who passed away from injuries suffered in the tragic accident at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington; and Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, an organization that the Orioles Wives have supported throughout the season by volunteering at building events.
Among the many items of memorabilia to be auctioned off are autographed game-used bats, batting gloves, cleats, gameday lineup cards and many more items signed by players, including Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Chris Jakubauskas, Kevin Gregg and manager Buck Showalter.
Additionally, the third annual Orioles Pet Calendar is on sale now at orioles.com, with all proceeds benefitting the Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter (BARCS)
The full-color 15-month calendars are $15, plus shipping and handling, and will be available at the ballpark on Friday at Eutaw Street, Saturday at the Community Booth located at Gate D and Monday on Eutaw Street. Fans are encouraged to purchase them quickly, as they have sold out the past two years. Many of the animals featured in the calendar are available for adoption from BARCS.
Adam Jones was not in Friday's starting lineup for the second consecutive game, and he said he's dealing with some chest soreness that makes it tough to swing. Jones was taken to the hospital Tuesday night in Minnesota after exiting in the first inning, and said the chest pains and shortness of breathe literally came out of nowhere. He's going to take the day off fully again on Friday, and we will see how he feels the next few days. "Hopefully we can get it taken care of so it's not something that challenges him the last month or so here," manager Buck Showalter said of Jones.
The plan right now is for lefty Troy Patton to leave the team following Sunday afternoon's game to attend a court hearing in Texas stemming from his arrest this winter for driving under the influence. Original plans were that Patton wouldn't miss a game, flying in before Monday night's contest, but Hurricane Irene could change this weekend's games, and Patton said his travel plans could also be altered.
Jason Berken (right elbow discomfort) hasn't done any baseball activities yet, but came in pain free for the first time Friday, which is a good sign. His wife, Emily, will have her labor induced Tuesday. It will be the couple's first child.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.