BOSTON — Friday was a big day for Ryan Flaherty. He checked the legal details, initialed where he was supposed to and signed his name in all the appropriate places.

Contract extension?

No. Flaherty is now a homeowner.

Flaherty, the Portland native and Baltimore Orioles veteran, bought a place in Falmouth. Because of Flaherty’s occupation, a trip to the mortgage broker in Maine was not going to work. The papers were hand-delivered to Flaherty, with the closing in a Boston hotel. He signed and took the keys, which he can’t use until next month.

“I’m going to try to spend time there in the off-season,” Flaherty said.

During the season, Flaherty hopes to keep spending his time in Baltimore, at the several positions he’s able to play. Manager Buck Showalter sounded agreeable to Flaherty remaining with the Birds.


“He brings plenty of value,” said Showalter, who penciled him into Saturday’s lineup, in left field – the first time he’s played there since 2012.

Add that to the other positions Flaherty has played this year – first, second, shortstop, third and right field.

“He’s always engaged,” Showalter said.

Just to prove Showalter right, Flaherty was tested in the first inning, making a leaping catch of a Xander Bogaerts line drive against the Monster.

Valuable … even if he isn’t always hitting.

Flaherty, 29, experienced a couple of bumps this season, starting with a strained groin injury that put him on the disabled list April 24. At the time, Flaherty was hitting .300 with two home runs.


He tried to return May 9, only to go back on the DL three days later. He was not activated again until May 27.

“It’s the first injury I ever dealt with in my life,” said Flaherty, who played football (quarterback) and baseball at Deering High, and then baseball at Vanderbilt.

“I have a lot to learn from it. Learning I’m not getting any younger and I have to do things in a different way – more preparation to stay on top of things.”

As for the baseball, Flaherty tried to continue what he’s done for Baltimore since 2012 – his first major league season after the Orioles grabbed him from the Cubs in the Rule V draft – play wherever he’s needed and hit a little.

Flaherty appeared back on his game – the groin injury healed – but he then endured the worst slump of his pro career. Flaherty has slumped before – he began the previous two seasons with 0-for-17 starts – but this year he waded into an 0-for-34 skid.

The slump was the third longest in Orioles history, surpassing Cal Ripken Jr.’s 0 for 33 in the last two weeks of his career in 2001.


But Ripken was a regular. Flaherty, the utility player, does not play every day and saw his struggles drag on for 27 days

“No one wants to go through that, but it’s baseball,” Flaherty said. “There’s no answer for it. Just not getting any hits.”

Flaherty finally ended it with a single on Aug. 20. His numbers entering Saturday were up to a .213 average, with a .296 on-base percentage (seventh best on the team) and .664 OPS. Those are close to his career marks of .219, .287 OBP and .655 OPS.

His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) rating is 0.2, down from his previous two seasons (1.5 and 0.7), but Showalter said that does not measure everything.

“He backed up a play in Washington (last week) that held the hitter to a double. Things like that don’t show up in analytics,” Showalter said. “He’s valuable.”

Asking Flaherty for an assessment of his play usually is a question not answered.


“When I was a Rule 5 guy, I just said I want to help this team win,” said Flaherty. “Whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I’m going to do. Individually, I don’t look at it that way. If we get into the playoffs, it will be a successful year.”

Flaherty spoke from one end of a crowded clubhouse at Fenway. His locker was with other veterans and next to that of Chris Davis, the slugger who is approaching his free agency. It’s likely Davis is gone after this season.

Flaherty has two more seasons before he’s a free agent. He’s likely not going anywhere. He’ll continue doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that for Baltimore – while visiting his new digs in Maine during the offseason.


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