Orioles Centerfielder Cedric “CM STORM” Mullins Has Led Team To Surprising Start Amidst Ownership Power Struggle
The Baltimore Orioles have to be the surprise of the MLB season thus far. For a team that was predicted to finish with just 61 victories this season, the lowest in the majors, being 43-44 just past the halfway mark is very surprising. The team has been the “cardiac birds,” as of late during their eight-game unbeaten streak.
All this despite a nasty ongoing power struggle between owner Peter Angelos’ sons and his wife. During this run no player in orange and black has shined brighter than centerfielder Cedric Mullins.
Mullins’ play as of late has drawn praise from manager Brandon Hyde, who loves how his stud centerfielder is playing. Following Saturday’s win over the Los Angeles Angels, Hyde had this to say about “CM Storm” in his postgame presser.
“Mullins has been impressive at the plate, but his defense has been outstanding.”
— WJZ Sports (@WJZ13sports) July 9, 2022
Mullins is the straw that stirs the drink in Baltimore and for him and the Orioles to be playing this competitively while the franchise is in turmoil is a true sign of players just playing. It’s that, and the leadership displayed by Mullins and the aforementioned manager Hyde.
Mullins Leading Orioles Amidst Power Struggle
In 2021, Mullins was voted an All-Star, and deservingly so, as the speedy outfielder joined the exclusive 30-30 club, which is homers and stolen bases.
The team was putrid, but he was definitely a bright spot. This season he hasn’t been as good, but he’s coming on as of late. His speed-power combo is one of the best in the game.
Mullins And Os Trending Upward As Ownership Battle Looms
Mullins and the O’s are accomplishing this while their owners are at war. When Peter Angelos fell ill in 2017 he established a trust in which his sons and wife would share in the daily operations and decision-making of the franchise. But his son John, along with wife Georgia have taken control of the team, ostracizing his other son Louis. But Louis isn’t going down without a fight, as he’s suing both in Baltimore Circuit Court, claiming if they keep control the team could be moved out of Baltimore, to Tennessee.
NEW: The battle for control of the Orioles between the sons of team owner Peter Angelos hit a Maryland court—and @FOS obtained the docs.
“If Mr. Angelos could speak to this situation, he would vociferously reject any effort … to override his will." https://t.co/a8FDzkspm7
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) June 10, 2022
According to the Baltimore Banner, here’s what the lawsuit is about.
“John intends to maintain absolute control over the Orioles — to manage, to sell, if he chooses, to move the team to Tennessee (where he has a home and his wife’s career is headquartered) — without having to answer to anyone,” the lawsuit states.
John was voted “control person,” in 2020, while Louis was working in the top role at the family’s law firm.
With that ongoing never-ending battle, it’s amazing how Mullins and the team continue to persevere, not knowing if they’ll even be in Charm City much longer.
Are Orioles On The Rise? Hope So
There’s no way to avoid having 72 of 162 games against the AL East gauntlet of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. But the O’s are currently armed with the top farm system in the majors, and that means a lot going forward. With the trade deadline approaching many believe teams will come after Mullins.
Cedric the Entertainer doing what he does:
ENTERTAINS AND WINS GAMES 😤 pic.twitter.com/V39AM3gAzv
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 6, 2022
With a plethora of outfielders in their farm system, the O’s could move Mullins and probably still be okay in the long run. But based on his leadership and play, he’s cemented himself as a part of the new Orioles culture. He’s the catalyst. They’d have to get an offer they just can’t refuse to move CM Storm.
Last season, Cedric Mullins became the first Orioles player ever to join the 30/30 club. After a slow start in 2022, he is putting himself back on the radar with his recent hot streak.
Mullins, AkA “CM Storm”, finished with exactly 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases last season – the only player in the Majors to do so.
That put him in rare company with some legends. Players such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds are just some of the 17 Black players in the club. Other notable recent members include Mookie Betts, who did it with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, and Matt Kemp who did it in 2011 – and he would be robbed of what would have been his only MVP award.
As has been the case for many hitters around the Majors, last year’s Silver Slugger and first time All-Star got off to a slow start after the lockout-shortened Spring Training.
He started off hitting only .167 through his first nine games of the season but has since hit safely in seven out of his last eight games entering Wednesday night.
An April 18th triple against the Oakland Athletics may have been what got Mullins out of his slump. He took the pitch dead to right center and the ball was estimated to have an exit velocity of 102.8 MPH with a protected distance of 382 feet.
This blast would have been good for a home run in a few other Major League parks that are not the size of the Coliseum outfield.
That triple came in Mullins final at-bat of the game. Since then, he has a .280 batting average, .419 on base percentage while slugging .440. He also has drawn four walks and stole two bases from his usual leadoff spot.
— For Future Considerations (@PodcastFFC) September 20, 2021
This week Mullins will look to continue his success during a weekday series against a familiar foe: the New York Yankees. Rumors say the Yankees could be interested in adding C-M Storm to an outfield that includes two of the best power hitting Bros in baseball in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, as well as Aaron Hicks who is looking for a bounce back year after missing a majority of last season with injury.
Around this time last season Mullins’ began introducing himself to fans around the game. It just so happened to be against the same Yankee team he’ll face off against this week. On April 26, 2021, Mullins was 3-for-4 with two home runs, two RBI and a double.
Cedric Mullins used to be known for bunting and speed. Now he’s just known for mashing. Head over to https://t.co/d5pfLsCroD to get a full rundown of his big game against the Yankees from @FANalyst1. #birdland #squadup #mlbbro #mlb #blackbaseball pic.twitter.com/PNJVyHpITr
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 27, 2021
In all, Mullins was 21-for-67 for a .313 average and five home runs in 16 games against the Yankees last season, so we’ll see if he can continue to rain in hits against one of baseball’s most noticeable franchises.
MLBbro.com covered Black and brown players for 162 games and the playoffs in 2021. Some of these MLBbros have performed with a passion and power that has earned them nicknames that immediately identify them to the MLB community.
According to Google, “A nickname is a substitute for the proper name of a familiar person, place or thing. Commonly used to express affection, a form of endearment, and sometimes amusement…”
Malik Wright is here with the #HIGH5 MLBbro Nicknames For 2021
That age old question, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” was made for Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles.
This MLBbro makes noise for the Old Birds, but nobody hears him due to their putrid season.
Last week, the 26-year-old became just the third player in O’s history to hit 25 home runs while also stealing 25 bases in a single season, joining senior bros Don Baylor, who stole 32 bases while launching 25 long balls in 1975, and Reggie Jackson who followed suit in 1976.
Coincidentally, Baylor was 26 like Mullins during his claim to fame as the first member of the franchise 25/25 club.
Baylor finished top 20 in the MVP bracket, laying the foundation before acquiring the award in 1979.
Like Baylor, Reggie Jackson, during his lone season with the old birds, became the second player enshrined in franchise history when he swiped 28 bags (the most he ever stole in his illustrious career) while banging 27 moon shots in 1976, as mentioned earlier.
Jackson finished 16th in MVP votes during that campaign.
Ced adds yet another accolade to his incredible breakout season. pic.twitter.com/y5VKf9Hipk
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 5, 2021
Because he reached all his original goals, Mullins has a different goal on the horizon: to become the first player in the franchise’s history to go 30 for 30 like an ESPN documentary.
CM Storm hit his 27th homer of the year Tuesday night as the Orioles took down the Kansas City Royals 7-3 inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 8, 2021
In his last three games, the newly lamented All-Star is 6-for-13 with four RBI and two homers.
In 518 at-bats, he’s accounted for 159 hits, 80 runs, 54 RBI, 33 doubles, and 26 bases on balls for the season.
With 25 games remaining, he only needs four stolen bases and three more home runs to join the exclusive 30-30 club.
It is within reach, which will keep the fans engaged down the stretch.
But for personal reasons, unlike his predecessors, if achieved, could he also be awarded the American League MVP at seasons’ end even with his team having a losing record?