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Lone Orioles All-Star Jonathan Schoop is Bright Spot for Team

And other top news from Baltimore sports this week.

Lone Orioles All-Star Jonathan Schoop is bright spot for team.
This has been a rough first half of the Orioles season, to say the least. As we head into the All-Star break, the Orioles have a record of 40-45, a starting pitcher ERA of 8.66 in the month of July, and are averaging 3.25 runs per game this month—the worst run differential in the American League.

But we here at Baltimore magazine are optimists so, through our rose-colored glasses, we see that Jonathan Schoop was selected to play in his first All-Star Game on July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami. The second baseman, who leads the Orioles with 51 RBIs and 16 home runs, was selected by the MLB to be an AL reserve and becomes the fourth player from Curacao to become an  All-Star.

“I’m excited, happy,” Schoop told The Sun. “My head is spinning everywhere right now. I’ll just go in there and try to enjoy it . . . All I know since I was a kid was playing baseball. It was tough times for me to go through all this and now I’m an All-Star.”

Of course, his baseball BFF Manny Machado couldn’t contain his excitement either, and said he’s already offered to host Schoop and his family while they’re in Miami for the game. 

“To finally see what he’s turning into as a player, it’s unbelievable to watch,” Machado said. “His game has gone to another level and finally other players and teams and coaches are seeing it . . . words can’t describe how happy I am for him.”

Cue the chorus of awes. 

Plus, Britton is back!
Is it just us or does it seem like a lot of our problems can be traced back to May 5 when closer Zach Britton was put on the 60-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Up until then, the closer had recorded a save in all five chances with a 1.00 ERA.

Though Buck Showalter says he’s easing him back into the ninth inning, things are looking promising as Britton pitched a scoreless seventh on Wednesday against the Brewers. And, clearly, fans are excited, too.

Swimmer Chase Kalisz dominates in 400-meter IM at Nationals.
Cheering on a local swimmer comes naturally to us, which is why we were so excited to see Bel Air native Chase Kalisz dominate in the 400-meter individual medley at the National Championships this past week. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist—who trained with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club—clocked in a winning time of 4:06.99—the fastest in the world this year.

All of this is fuel for Kalisz’s next big goal—the Olympics Games Tokyo in 2020.

“I’m really happy with that progress,” Kalisz told TeamUSA.org. “I tell people all the time that the best thing that happened to me for this four-year period was me getting silver. It motivates me every single day.”

Leaving Indy with two National Titles and excited to represent the US at my third World Championships.

A post shared by Chase Kalisz (@chasekalisz) on

Dunbar alum Jamel Artis shines in Knicks Summer League
Though he was undrafted in the two-round selection process, Dunbar alum Jamel Artis is hoping to change is his story in the New York Knicks Summer League team in Orlando. In the team’s first three summer games, he has averaged nine points in under 18 minutes a game. Though he’s a swingman, Artis is playing mostly at forward and made five of 12 3-pointers.

“I’m in a good position right now with the Knicks,” told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m in a great position, actually. I can only be thankful and grateful for the position I’m in now. I’ve just got to go out there and play hard.”