08/06/12 7:35 PM ET
Camden Yards visionary Smith going to Dodgers
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Smith will serve as the senior vice president of planning and development for Los Angeles, overseeing the upgrades at Dodger Stadium.
"I'm looking forward to working with the new Dodgers ownership to find ways to create an even better fan experience," Smith said in a statement. "Dodger Stadium is a treasured piece of the Los Angeles community and a special place where I watched more than a dozen games per season when I lived in L.A. during the early 1980s.
"It's important to all of us that we restore and enhance the park in a way that honors its heritage and highlights its distinctive appeals, while still capturing what fans want and franchises need in a modern venue."
The announcement came Monday afternoon with a statement from managing partner Peter Angelos.
"The Orioles greatly appreciate Janet Marie Smith's efforts over the past three years, as she has overseen the construction of our widely lauded ballpark in Sarasota and many significant enhancements to Oriole Park at Camden Yards," the statement read. "In Sarasota, the goal was to create a ballpark that the local community and all of our fans would be proud to visit, and after two record-setting springs, this has clearly been achieved.
"At Oriole Park, we asked Janet Marie to enhance the fan experience, honor our history, and revitalize some areas of the ballpark with new, more contemporary concepts. And in this 20th anniversary season, those objectives have resulted in bringing our fans the Roof Deck, Dempsey's and the Orioles Legends sculptures."
Smith was named vice president of planning and development for the Orioles in 2009, marking her second stint with the organization. Prior to that, she served as the Red Sox vice president of planning and development for nine years.
Smith was first with the Orioles as vice president for planning and development from 1989-1994, under Larry Lucchino's leadership. She helped oversee the design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and was responsible for the stadium's civic image and relationship to surrounding city buildings and area transportation.
Smith is considered a pioneer in bringing urban planning and design into the world of sports.
"Janet Marie was the perfect choice to oversee these projects," Angelos said. "And we wish her the best of luck in her new role with the Dodgers."
Thome out until September with herniated disc
BALTIMORE -- Jim Thome will be out for at least four weeks after being diagnosed with a herniated disk following Tuesday's MRI, and the designated hitter hopes to return sometime in September.
Thome, who had an epidural in Los Angeles on Thursday, said he was told by the doctors to not do any baseball activity for 30 days and he will be reassessed after that. The 41-year-old, acquired in a July 1 trade with Philadelphia, said the injury news was disappointing, but tried to remain optimistic.
"It is because we're in a pennant race," Thome said. "You come over, you want to help. These guys have had a great year and I want to be a part of that. And it's still not over.
"The big thing is, as I said, you've got to have a good mental outlook on things. We have the month of September. Will it be all of September? I don't know. Again, it's hard to pinpoint a date, a month, a time and all of that."
Thome has hit .261 with two homers and six RBIs in 18 games since joining Baltimore, serving as the team's primary DH. He last played on July 27, with Chris Davis assuming the bulk of DH duties in Thome's absence.
"We feel like we're going to have two real good September additions, not from our Minor Leagues, in Jim Thome and Jason Hammel," manager Buck Showalter said. "We hope, knock on wood."
Asked if this DL trip had changed his mind about the future, Thome was hesitant to definitively say whether he would play in 2013.
"But you know what, this maybe changes my thinking a little bit," Thome said. "Maybe I do want to play a little bit longer. Again, I am trying to get back. I am not worried about next year. I think I'm trying to focus on this year, try to do the best to get back as quick as I can and to help us maybe accomplish and reach some special things here toward the end of September, through October. We'll come to that once that time frame hits."
Machado named Eastern League player of week
BALTIMORE -- Orioles top position player prospect Manny Machado was named Eastern League Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday.
Machado, the Orioles' first-round Draft pick in 2010, batted .476 (10-21) and hit for the cycle on Saturday night, including the game-winning two-run home run. The shortstop finished the week with five runs scored, two doubles, a triple, a home run and three RBIs.
In 106 games this season, Machado is batting .262 and leads Double-A Bowie with 56 runs scored, 26 doubles and a .425 slugging percentage. He is also second on the team with 57 RBIs. Machado's cycle was the first in his career, and he also set career highs with four hits and three runs scored.
Nick Johnson's right wrist injury isn't getting any better, and is a "long shot" to return next month, according to Showalter.
Reliever Stu Pomeranz is dealing with a leg injury that is causing some back problems in extended spring, setting back his attempt to rehab an oblique injury.
The Orioles will have Wei-Yin Chen T-Shirt Thursday for the lefty's start against the Royals. The first 10,000 fans 15-and-over attending the game will receive a T-shirt featuring "Orioles" on the front and Chen's name on the back, both written in Mandarin Chinese.
Hall of Famer Eddie Murray will be the fourth Oriole honored on Saturday as part of the Orioles Legends Celebration Series.
A larger-than-life bronze sculpture of Murray will be revealed in a ceremony in the Legends Area beyond center field, beginning at 5:15 p.m. All gates open at 5:00 p.m., and all fans in attendance will receive a replica of the sculpture.
Murray will also be honored in an on-field ceremony and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.