The news that evangelist Oral Roberts died yesterday from complications of pneumonia reminded me of how, as a kid, I'd see "Oral Roberts" listed in TV Guide and think it was "Orioles Report." I'd be all bummed out because we didn't get that station and I was missing all the news and highlights about my favorite team.
What a loser.
Earlier this week on SIRIUS XM's MLB Home Plate channel, host Steve Davis (formerly of WBAL Radio) asked Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz whether there's been any talk of converting Jeremy Guthrie to closer.
According to the transcript, Kranitz replied: "Well, you know what, we have not talked about that yet. It's an interesting thought because we definitely need a closer. Jeremy's stuff is very good and he did not have the normal Jeremy Guthrie-type season that we saw the year before, but he could be that kind of guy because he's a tough kid.
"He's really not what you'd call your basic four-pitch guy. He's a guy that doesn't pound the strike zone with stuff. And with some of the closers that I've had in the major leagues, one being Joe Borowski, it doesn't necessarily take stuff as it does a lot of these guys, there has to be no fear, number one, but when things don't go good for them or go right for them, then they're the same guy the next day. And that's what Jeremy is. Jeremy is constantly there to work. He's probably one of the hardest workers we have on this ballclub.
"You know, that's an interesting thought. I hadn't thought about that but, you know what, that's what spring training is for and I'm sure Andy is going to look at the available free agents and/or trades and we'll make that decision as it comes up. But that's a good thought."
Not the cleanest quote, but you get the idea.
I don't anticipate Guthrie handling the ninth inning this season, but it's one more topic to debate.
The Orioles value the innings that he provides and expect his win total to increase as he's lowered in the rotation. They'd also prefer a closer who's actually done it.
I suppose if more of the "cavalry" gallops into the majors and the rotation becomes too crowded - again, I can dream - changing Guthrie's role would be one solution, but we're far from reaching that point. And Luis Lebron might have the closers job nailed down if he beats out Kam Mickolio.
Yes, I have a dream.