Bird Talk: Hunter profile, Hardy's defensive praise, Duquette succeeding and more

We are so close to the regular season starting.

Now, if only this pesky snow would leave us so the spring temperatures can come to Baltimore.

While we wait for the season to begin, make sure you're up to date with all the latest on the Birds.

Here are a few stories from around the nation that you may have missed about the Orioles.

* Tommy Hunter, the favorite to be the O's new closer, has an interesting take on the game he plays for a living. "Baseball is failing man's sport and there's something to learn and take from every day," Hunter recently said. The AP ran a story on Hunter detailing his journey to battling for the role of Orioles closer. To read the story and see a picture of Hunter from high school, click here. Neither the story, nor the picture will disappoint.

* J.J. Hardy has become Mr. Reliable at shortstop. The back-to-back Gold Glove winner is like a vacuum cleaner whenever a ball is hit in his general direction. Many, including MASNsports.com's Steve Melewski, have recently written about Hardy's defense. The AP published a similar story. Executive vice president Dan Duquette weighed in to say the club is still interested in signing Hardy to a long-term deal.

* One Orioles player that has turned heads this spring is Jonathan Schoop. He is playing so well that the Orioles should consider adding him to the 25-man roster for opening day. Well, at least that's what the Sporting News thinks. As of Sunday, Schoop is hitting .423, with one homer, four doubles, and six RBIs this spring. But will Schoop be able to stay on the roster once Manny Machado returns?

* Many criticized the Orioles, most notably Duquette, during the team's quiet start to the offseason. Up until the signing of starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, many wondered if the Orioles would make a move in an attempt to return to the playoffs. Duquette knew what he was doing by sticking with his group of players, says MLB.com's Richard Justice. According to Justice, Duquette doesn't always sign the high-priced free agent, but rather a player that can help the team win. This was not more evident than during the 2012 season when the club used players like Lew Ford and Randy Wolf. It's an interesting read on a guy with an interesting philosophy.

* I'll leave you this week with, what else, fantasy baseball tips. Infielders Ryan Flaherty and Schoop are both having great springs. It's no wonder that both have rising stocks. I don't want to give away all the details. Go ahead and study before your fantasy drafts.

That's a wrap of this week's Bird Talk. Make sure to come back to MASNsports.com every day for the latest on the Orioles.

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