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February 5, 2009

Orioles: Nine days out

Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Lauderdale next Saturday, which means I'm running out of time to get my dry cleaning and taxes done. The Aloha shirt collection -- 100 percent silk, accept no substitutes -- must be professionally maintained and the Internal Revenue Service no longer recognizes spring training as a legitimate excuse to file for an extension.

The Orioles, meanwhile, appear to have completed their offseason reconstruction. Left-hander John Parrish probably will be the last addition to the roster until they break out the bats and balls on Feb. 15. The O's made a real run at free agent Braden Looper and, by some accounts, put the highest offer on the table (if it's still there), but he has made it clear that he wants to sign with a National League team.

There has been some speculation that the signing of Ty Wigginton would set the stage for a deal involving Brian Roberts and/or Luke Scott, which wouldn't exactly defy logic, but I believe the front office is happy to go into camp with what appears to be some position surplus. Andy MacPhail -- and Orioles fans -- know that it only takes one key injury to change that, so I believe club officials will spend the first few weeks of training camp calling it "a good problem to have."

I just want to get there. It was so cold the last couple of weeks, I can't feel my feet. I'm used to not being able to see my feet, but I'd like to know they're there.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 10:40 AM | | Comments (62)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Don't get too excited, Pete. Wind Chill was in the 20s this morning down here. Dead Iguanas are falling out of trees, I tell you!

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Pete's reply: I've got only one thing to say about the dead lizards falling from the trees. FIVE-SECOND RULE!!!!!

Hey Pete, It's Mike from Florida. If the wheather stays the same the next couple of weeks, don't pack all short sleeves and shorts. Its been quite cold down here in Fort myers. Low 20's today. Welp, back to baseball. Do you think this could be the starting five, Guthrie, Uehara, Hill, Pauley, and Penn. As for the line-up, here goes.

2B Roberts
RF Markakis
3B Mora
1ST Huff
DH Wiggington
CF Jones
C Zaun
LF Pie
SS Izturis


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Pete's reply: I think your rotation definitely could happen, but you're betting on some longshots. I think your lineup is logical from an OBP perspective, but I don't know how Trembley will fill the two and three holes. There's really no classic No. 2 guy, which makes Markakis a decent choice, but you're moving your top run-producer out of the better run-production role. Do you really want Nick to focus on hitting behind Roberts, and taking good pitches so Roberts can steal bases? I'm not sure you do.

I think al ot of us thought we were done after getting Hill. Andy keeps plugging away doing awesome work.

I wouldn't rule out Looper just yet. AL or NL...he'll follow the money trial.

You're lucky to be actually be going to warmer weather. We all have to depend on just feeling warmer by reading spring training stories.I hope you're right about not making any more moves or trades before ST. Let's see how what we have works out.I definately don't want to see Luke or BRob go.

Schumcker,

Don't be in too much of a hurry, it's only 54 degrees down here right now. But it will warm up by the time you get here.

Here is an interesting article about Jay Gibbons I thought you'd enjoy:

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/columnists/israel_gutierrez/story/886640.html

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Pete's reply: Thanks. We ran the Miami Herald story on our Web site, too. I like Jay, but he was released by the O's as much because of performance as anything else. Looks like he's bouncing back and I'm rooting for him.

You're killing me, Schmuck! While I'm commuting to and from work, 4 hours a day, in the cold, working my miserable job, all I can think about is the gulf coast of florida, 70+ days, mai tais, the crack of a bat, the small of seafood and listening to Buffet tunes and wish I could be you!

I hope you enjoy yourself and don't choke on a fat piece of lobster (the secret is to load it with xtra butter) Good times!!

You're killing me, Schmuck! While I'm commuting to and from work, 4 hours a day, in the cold, working my miserable job, all I can think about is the gulf coast of florida, 70+ days, mai tais, the crack of a bat, the smell of seafood and listening to Buffet tunes and wish I could be you!

I hope you enjoy yourself and don't choke on a fat piece of lobster (the secret is to load it with xtra butter) Good times!!

I like Wigginton.
But to me, trading one of the game's premier second-basemen and leadoff hitters simply because you've now got Wigginton DOES defy logic.
And the logic is further defied if the other reason is that you won't give Roberts one more year on a contract.
With Izturis at SS and Roberts at 2B, the O's now have the best defensive combo up the middle possibly in baseball. If breaking THAT up doesn't defy logic, nothing does.
As for Luke Scott, we'd better keep him. As a full-time DH, his numbers are only going to improve. And we need his left-handed power bat.
In my mind, Wigginton already represents an upgrade over Millar.
But certainly not over Roberts or Scott as well.

Any word on Albers and Patton? They could be big time diffence makers.

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Pete's reply: Both say they're ready go go. Patton probably would start in the minors.

We're suppose to be getting into the 50's out here in the midwest starting tomorrow, so I'm sure that's heading east. Did you see they started a global warming conference in Buffalo and the temps were negative six? hahaha (follow the money on that subject). This ST should be a very interesting one and I'm excited to see what the team looks like. A lot of 'ifs ands and buts', if some of these SP can turn their careers around, the O's could have a decent season. I love the competition aspect for position players as well. Have a safe trip down Pete

My hat is off to Andy “Active” MacPhail for a dynamic off season. He’s worked hard to fill in the depth issues that were lacking last season. I’m looking forward to watching the 2009 version of the O’s. My hope is that Trembley keeps his perspective on the rotation, for a six month endurance contest. Ideally, he doesn’t over use Guthrie and Uehara in the first four months of the season.

With two SP a lock, three are in play - my guess is Baez, Parrish and Waters or Pauley battling for the last spot. Of course it is an open competition and “spit happens “ - it will be fun to watch how it unfolds. Pete - looking forward to your reports in sunny Florida.

I'd be happy if the O's didn't sign Looper. I just don't think he is any better than our current stable of mediocre pitchers. I also don't think they will trade Luke Scott. I think there will be enough AB's to go around and I agree it is a good safeguard against injury. Do mustard stains come out of the silk shirts during dry cleaning?

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Pete's reply: Not a mustard man, but mayonaise is the scourge of the silk shirt. Sometimes you just have to throw them away.

Pete- I am happy that you are with us here in Maryland . But do you ever regret leaving the sunny Califorinia or Arizona for Freezing Maryland?

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Pete's reply: No, but probably because I spend nearly two months at spring training in the dead of Maryland winter. My wife, however, hasn't spoken to me since the blizzard of '96...or was that '97. I don't remember because I wasn't here.

Just wondering if I missed something somewhere, but is Sheets completely out of the question at this point?

I know paying out the wazoo for him wouldn't be financially responsible, but if he's still around it might be worth taking a flyer on him, no?

On a side note, it's interesting to see how the "McFail" birds seem to have jumped ship after the last couple weeks.

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Pete's reply: Yes, my young former AACS baseball-playing friend, I believe he is out of the question.

It may not be a no-brainer, but I don't see how Trembley doesn't start Jones in the two hole this year. He has speed, and he was hitting well to end last year. Batting in front of Markakis, he'll get pitches to hit.

My order:

2B Roberts
CF Jones
RF Markakis
1B Wigginton
DH Huff
3B Mora
LF Pie
C Zaun
SS Izturis


Splits up the lefties (Nick and Huff), speed at top and bottom, and nice balance. Add in Scott off the bench, and I'm actually mildly encouraged by our offense this year.


I know it's foolish optomism, but honestly...with our bullpen depth, and offensive balance, IF our rotation can be decent, we could at least be in the WC mix into September.

I know it's a big if, but your thoughts, Pete?

35 in boca this morning. global warming? my lineup
roberts
jones
nick
mora
huff
wigginton/scott
izturis
zaun
pie

any word if the orioles have any interest in kris benson. on radio this morning heard he had pitched 9 straight quality games last half of last yr in the minors and he is healthy.

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Pete's reply: I believe that they believe they have paid him enough for not doing much.

I think I heard that word 'Uehara,' translated into English, would be 'Trachsel.'

On paper, the pitching looks really really dreadful. Maybe they'll surpisse us, but I can't ever recall having less hope for the O's.

Finally, something positive to look forward to...the warm breezes and thermostat-controlled waters of the hotel pool, eh? Enough of Roger "Don't Test My Urine" Clemens and Do-These-Steroids-Make-My-Head-Look-Too-Big? Bonds, time to talk BASEBALL...but before we do, just a shoutout to all the good people, whoever they were, who have now made it unlawful to bring alcohol to the infield on Preakness Day. My father and his brothers trained and owned thoroughbreds in Maryland and Virginia in the 50s and 60s and I spent alot of my formative years around racetracks, learning a respect for this great sport which has seen its glory days disappear like the rest of the field behind Secretariat in the Belmont. Heck, I never had to work a summer job, I made money as an amateur handicapper at Pimlico, Laurel, Bowie and Timonium! Anyway, I've always bristled at the site of all those drunken idiots who have absolutely NO interest in or respect for the Preakness or racing in general and are just happy to have an excuse to indulge their alcoholism or general stupidity. I never thought this would change though as Pimlico needs these drunken idiots to stay in the black each year, but perhaps they are hoping to make up the difference by selling drinks themselves, or it's the arrival of slots (something I'm not all that happy about either), but at least it's a step in the right direction. Okay, that's it, now let's get ready to play ball!

Is it me or is Hill Daniel Cabrera part II? Guy with a lot of potential, but no control.


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Pete's reply: No comparison. Hill has the yips. If he can cure that, he'll be a good pitcher. Daniel is just erratic. No cure for that, apparently.

Pete,
I bet if you wear a Cubs hat down to Spring Training the O's will try to trade for you.

Anyway, I haven't seen anything in a while in developments of a complex for the O's. Any updates?

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Pete's reply: Apparently not.

Hi Peter,
i am seeing the world through black and orange coloured glasses, i know
(see Jim Hunter). But i am excited to see which of the bubble pitchers step up and claim the # 4 and 5 slots......
i have a feeling we will catch lightening in a bottle. re Gibbons, i don't have much sympathy for the cheating millionaire.

Pete,
It would probably be a good thing that Looper stay in the National League. He would get the hell beat out of himself in the AL east. I think we should stay the way we are now. National League pitchers maybe not always, but mostly don't do well coming to the American League.

My Lineup opening day against CC and the Yankees

1. Roberts
2. Jones
3. Markakis
4. Huff
5. Wiggington
6. Mora
7. Freel
8. Zaun
9. Izturis

I don't really have a comment about the Orioles, but I would like to kow what happened to Steve Davis?

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Pete's reply: He was the victim of a severe economic cutback at WBAL. He did a good job and we miss him. I am not the permanent replacement, though I will fill a few of those hours for awhile.

Hans wrote: "On a side note, it's interesting to see how the "McFail" birds seem to have jumped ship after the last couple weeks."

Hans, are you kidding me? I'd be much happier if I could honestly say that the O's looked like they'd be competitive this year, next year, the year after that, or the year after that, but judging by the current roster, it's not going to happen.

Huff and Roberts are due to become free agents after 2009. At best, the O's will get Type A compensation for both, and, if those draft picks all pan out, and the current prospects all pan out, then the new picks could join Weiters, Markakis, Jones, Pie, Arrietta, Tillman, and Matusz to form a solid O's team by 2013 at the earliest.

In a sport where "wait 'til next year" is tantamount to surrender, "wait 'til half a decade from now" is just sad for real O's fans.

It's not that getting Hill, Pie, Izturis, and Wiggington practically for free are bad moves; they're great in and of themselves. But as the biggest moves of a team that finished last year in the cellar, they're just too insignificant to make the Orioles contenders this year, or in the next five years. That's why, name-calling at Mr. McPhail aside, this offseason was a failure.

World Series win = success
Playoffs = moderate success
Playoff contention = mild success
.500 = average
below .500 = failure

Now if the O's can trade Roberts and Huff for some top prospects (as McPhail did with Bedard), and then sign Adam Dunn, then we're talking about a ballclub that could be in contention before 2013. But those things haven't happened yet.

Pete,

Any thoughts/comments about the drink ban at the Preakness? I've never been into the scene at the Preakness but I imagine it will greatly diminish the attendance.
I believe no drinks of any type ban has been in force at the Kentucky Derby for years but they seem to cater to a different crowd than the Preakness.
Unfortunately horse racing is a dying business (kind of like the newspaper business) and it may be time for the Preakness to go away.

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Pete's reply: I have to believe it changes the who atmosphere there, but I guess they're banking on it changing for the better and bringing in a different set of people.

Anyone else thought that Wigginton is insurance if Pie falls flat? The difference without him is if Pie fails (its a possibility lets face it) we go back to the same situation as last year with Scott in LF, Huff at 1B and Melvin/Freel at 3B.
If everything goes according to plan and everyone plays well then anticipate some flavor of a trade at the end of spring training.

What the heck is the "Yips". Is that Schmuck code for can't hit the broadside of a barn with a John Deere tractor ?

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Pete's reply: I don't know where that expression came from, but it's obviously a highly technical baseball term. It means that he can hit the broad side of a barn, if there's one about 100 feet behind home plate.

Mr. Schmuck,
Is the cost of silk Aloha shirts a deductible business expense? For you, at least?

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Pete's reply: Well, now that you mention it, I'll have to talk to my tax man about that.


Thought you would enjoy this article to rub in the face of all us on the Ben Sheet band wagon.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090205&content_id=3801488&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp&partnerId=rss_mlb


If you don't have an accountant stop by Estabrook & Co Pc on Harford Rd. We have a 25% of Tax Return Preparation to all thos wearing a Aloha Shirts every Friday. We call it the Schmuck Discount. lol

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Pete's reply: If you're an expert, maybe you can answer that last question. Can I deduct them as a work uniform?

To Michael J. -- The Orioles already have a complex...an inferiority complex.

Pete, are there any vibes around the Yard on the inclinations of the O's towards signing B-Rob? Good to see such a productive off season for a change. It should result in a few more bodies at the Yard this summer.

.............................................................................................
Pete's reply: It doesn't seem like anything has changed in the Roberts negotiations. Maybe when they all get to Florida it might be catalytic.

I have a question about a former O's player whom I used to really like for some reason or another. Whatever happened to Larry Bigbie? I have not heard about him the last couple years.

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Pete's reply: Well, you can start by going to www.thesmokinggun.com and see the story about him from last night. He played in Japan for awhile, buit don't know where he will be this spring.

Pete, did you see Luke Scott Make an appearance on The Colbert Report last night? Stephen said he had a lot of money on The Orioles in the Super Bowl and he showed a picture of Luke Scott... Then he also said God had the orioles as well. This is the best press the orioles have gotten since Sosa!

Any chance for one more veteran pitcher? If so, who?


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Pete's reply: There's always a chance, but I think the Orioles are done for the winter.

We're excited to have you.

I just read that Ben Sheets is considering arm surgery... I don't think he will ever wear an O's jersey now, even if he was in the bargain bin.

Pete,
Who get's DFA'ed when Wiggington officially signs his two year contract...Will it be Scott Moore, who is outta options?


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Pete's reply: Pretty sure it is Scott Moore. Makes too much sense, unfortunately for him.

Sorry Pete, I have the utmost respect for you, but Davis was a caustic and patronizing boor, who attacked and cut off those who disgareed with his opinions, which were sometimes loopy and off the wall.

It is addition by subtraction for WBAL radio.

By the way, I think you and Ron Smith make a very interesting and informed team, as I listened to both of you driving home last night. Try to get Ron to stay over a little more. The conversation was stimulating and fast paced.

or HOW BOUT

roberts(.300 avg,.370 obp,40 steals,50 doubles)
izturis(.340-350 obp,25 steals,under 50 strikeouts,knows his role type of player)
markakis
huff(30+ hr,100+rbi,40 doubles)
mora(20+hr,100+rbi,30 doubles)
scott/wiigington(20+hr,both)
jones(let him develop into an all-around hitter at a spot in the lineup that doesn't ask as much out of him.)
zaun
pieeh(speed, at the least)
thank you

it all comes back to baltimore. i am suprised no one has brought up this newley released information .
thesmokinggun.com
this explains the steroid road that started here and now comes back full circle.

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Pete's reply: The Sun is working very hard on that story right now. Stay tuned.

Pete's reply: I've got only one thing to say about the dead lizards falling from the trees. FIVE-SECOND RULE!!!!!

Hahaha that's the best thing I've read on this site! I love you and I'm from NC which is an Oriole state too... think they can squeeze the letters NC somewhere on the unis? Just somewhere out of sight... I won't tell anybody.

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Pete's reply: I wouldn't rule it out. I love NC, by the way, except the college basketball teams. Gotta get back down there this spring.

Until Adam Jones shows that he can get on base more often, he shouldn't be the #2 hitter. Having Markakis hit #2 is the way to go. First of all, by hitting second, he actully gets more plate appearances than hitting lower in the lineup, which is good, since he is the best pure hitter on this team. Second, he is the most patient hitter on the team, even with nobody on base, so he does give Roberts the best chance of stealing a base. In my opinion, the best lineup for the Orioles would be:

Roberts 2B
Markakis RF
Wigginton 1B/DH
Huff DH/1B
Mora 3B
Scott LF
Jones CF
Zaun C
Izturis SS

I would use Pie as a late inning defensive replacement, as a regular when Scott goes into one of his hitting "funks" and when you want to give Jones, Wigginton, Mora, Markakis or Roberts a break. Now, once Weiters comes up, he would probably hit 5th, with Mora and Jones hitting in the 7th and 8th slots, respectively, most days.

Pete:
Don't worry about the IRS. Just ignor your taxes like Charlie Rangle, Tom Daschel and Tim Geithner, etc.. If the government catches you, just follow their lead and tell them, "you are sorry, it was just an oversight."

Thanks so much for this blog. I have gone from giving up on the Os to checking this site 3x a day!

Any word on Troy Patton? Is he healthy enough to get consideration for a spot on the team?

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Pete's reply: They say he is healthy, but club officials are leaning toward starting him in the minors no matter what happens in the spring. But things can change in a heartbeat down there.

Hello my fellow O's fans , Espn just reported that free agent Ben Sheets is leaning towards 'elbow surgery ' AND will 'miss all of 2009' . You can read all about it .

Do you guys still want O's to sign Sheets ?

Pete: What do you know about Pauley? Should we be excited about him? Why did the Sox let him go to a division "rival"?

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Pete's reply: I think it's fair game to get excited about anyone in the spring, but Pauley is one of several pitchers the O's hope will step up. I think the odds are less than 50-50 that he'll be in the rotation, but that's a higher probability than most, so I'm predicting he makes it.

I'll be Steve Davis' replacement. People tell me all the time I have the perfect face for radio...

Pete,

Don't worry about doing your taxes. Until you get nominated for a Cabinet post, I think they are basically optional!

I am really excited about the improvement in the O's defense going into this season. If they can find some pitchers who can 1)throw strikes and 2)keep the ball in the stadium, I think they can be competitive.

It looks to me like the O's will put a plus defensive player at every position except 1st base. SS and C defense will be greatly improved. They may have the best defensive outfield in the league. Mora has lost some range but can still make all the reaction plays at 3B. Roberts is as good as ever. Huff is no worse than average and Wiggington should be fine a 1B. And with Cabrera gone, the fielding prowess of the pitching position is at least 10x better.

Pass me some more of the Orange Kool-ade, .500 here we come!!!

"Free-agent pitcher Ben Sheets is considering elbow surgery that would probably keep him out for most, if not all, of the 2009 season, according to a major league source familiar with Sheets' medical prognosis."

still be nice to get Looper, you know, a caddie, a looper, a jock

I think a better fit for the O's is Wolf over Looper. Is the FO still communicating w/Wolf? Sign him and Roberts and it will have been a great winter. My hat is off to Mr. McPhail.

Since everyone is thinking line-up 9 days out, I thought I'd give it a whirl:

2B Roberts
CF Jones
RF Markakis
1B Huff
3B Mora
CF Jones
DH Scott
C Zaun
LF Pie
SS Izturis

Any word if Chris Ray will be available before the A/S break?

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Pete's reply: The word is that he'll be ready to go next week.

While im impressed with the moves this off season, I hope Parrish isnt the last pitcher they acquire. I would like to see one more solid innings eater. Someone we can say is definitely our #3 and let everyone else fight it out for 4 and 5. Spring training is coming fast...will B-rob get his extension done or is he out the door like Ray Lewis?

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Pete's reply: That's the $44 million question.

You can call me crazy but I still think Melvin is the best option in the second slot. He's not going to produce the power numbers from a few years ago so let him relax, take some pitches for roberts and shoot for the gaps. Besides Melvin our next best option is Izturis because you don't want your top run producer hitting there and Jones and Pie aren't proven hitters in that role.

Pete,

So I just returned from a business trip.... normal type of trip that takes me across the country.

Being close to spring training, I understand that enthusiasm reigns in just about every city. Talking to folks around the country however, it's just so difficult to say good things about the Orioles.

Yes, LM has filled out the rotation (sort of), but seriously Pete, name a worse rotation in all of baseball. Sure, you can find teams that are comparable, but I'm at a loss to find a rotation as bad as the O's.

LM absolutely does not believe in signing big free agent pitchers. But come on.... you can't spend some to keep the staff from being so embarrassing?

I know, I know.....It's all about getting to the kids. Until then however, how about giving the fans 'something' to root for (pitching wise).

Around the country, it's just so embarrassing to talk about the Orioles. Yes, LM has made alot of changes. Problem is, none of the changes are truly noteworthy to non homer baseball fans.

..............................................................................................
Pete's reply: Well, I hear Ben Sheets is still available. Do you still want Andy to sign him?

Pete-

What mind-altering substance did you put into the veins of many of your bloggers? Some are brainwashed to the point where they think a formidable lineup will trump all pitching woes. I guess it's part of the territory - optimism is all some Birds fans have left after eleven straight losing seasons. Sorry to deflate your Macy's Parade floats, but this team is destined to become unraveled by early July. And it all can be pinpointed to the lack of three items:
A.) starting pitching, B.) starting pitching, and C.) starting pitching.
Can Jay Gibbons pitch ??

Mr. Schmuck,
Can you tell me why we are rehashing the Steroid problems AGAIN. You would think that some people would get an idea that the country is ready to move forward, especially after the election. Lets proceed into the future, I believe we all have suffered enough of past transgressions.
In that vein, I am sooooo envious, having to go south right now. Enjoy. I'll be there around St. Patty's Day. for a week. Might run into you. I am looking forward to see what AM's gang can do. Should be fun.

Pete,

Why aren't we talking about trading Mora since we now have Wiggington, who I think fits there better than second.

As far as the steroid issue goes, all of those former O's apparently were taking the generic steroids and NOT the "performance enhancing" steroids.


..............................................................................................
Peter's reply: Mora has a no-trade he isn't going to waive. He has six kids and has settled here.

Pete,

Is a Roberts extension now out of the question?

Keith

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Pete's reply: No, not at all.

I will never understand why Mora is hated around here. All winter long, it was we need a local boy who loves the O's (NOT TEX), so while Melvin isn't local, he loves the Orioles and the city, but the kicker is he produces!!!!! He gets hurt, but he isn't playing LF, he is playing a tough position and one where he has become very good defensively. We finally have options and now it's trade this guy or that guy. I've been waiting for the day when guys have to earn jobs and more importantly, keep them because there will be guys behind them that can and want to produce, so I don't expect any slacking off. Dave can now bench a player unlike last season when he was limited with what he could do with Ramon and his utter lack of hustle. Let it play out, before trading guys that you might seriously regret in 2 or 3 months.

Pete, not sure if you still have connections in Cali, but what are they saying about Manny? I understand that Manny doesn't get that the country is in an economic crisis, but Boras (the best in my opinion) should know better. Nobody is going to give Manny his 4 yr. deal and furthermore, not exactly a banner year for Boras. Let's be honest, Tex would still have received a heck of a deal if he hired Gary Thorne as his agent. Boras and Tek, had to eat so major Humble Pie in Boston. The writers at the Globe and Herald, say no matter how and Jason, want to spin it, they overestimated the market and worth for Jason, and it looks like the same for Manny. Will he sit or go to Japan? Pete, you know a guy like Manny would love the publicity of going to Japan for a year to make some serious cash and be a highlight every night, although not sure how wise that would be for his MLB career. Thoughts?


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Pete's reply: I don't anybody hates Mora around here. I like Melvin and believe he's done a great job for the O's. The only good acquisition of that housecleaning in the early 2000s. Don't see Manny in Japan. The guy got hinky in Boston.

Why trade Mora? Especially while you cannot. The fact is Mora is one of the real good guys on this club. When he goes to retire I hope it is as an Oriole. He has refused before to waive his non trade and I am glad. Mora has been a two time all star I believe and his fielding percentage is better than Wigginton. Mora has a better lifetime average, drives in runs and has a better on base percentage. He has improved on his fielding and his shoulder is healed.

Pete: Help me out here, why do people want Mora and Huff out of here as soon as another guy that can play third or first come here? I have to admit I think your right they are going to start spring training with what they have then see what shakes out..

Pete,

This may be the best defensive team

the O's have had in several years.

Your thoughts ?

P.S. please bring some warm weather back to B'more for OPENING
DAY !


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Pete's reply: It's definitely the best defensive outfield. The infield also is improved, so yes, I believe it's one of the best defensive alignments in some time.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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