No closer to a decision on a closer

Since the Orioles don't appear to be in any hurry to sign a closer, we can debate the merits of another one that hit the market yesterday, right-hander Matt Capps, who was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Capps has accumulated 66 saves over the past three seasons on bad teams. His ERA was 2.08 and 3.02 in the two previous seasons before jumping to 5.80 in 2009. He also served up 10 home runs, matching his combined totals in '07 and '08, and he allowed 73 hits in 54 1/3 innings.

Still...he's not good enough for the Pirates?

He also carries an interesting nickname - The Mad Capper.

Get it?

I've been asked for my preference in closers. Fernando Rodney has always worried me. I get Armando flashbacks with this guy, and he's basically looking to get paid off one season, when he saved 37 games and posted a 4.40 ERA this year.

Mike Gonzalez also is looking to get paid for one season, but that was 2006.

Kevin Gregg has ties to pitching coach Rick Kranitz from their days together in Florida, and he's totaled 84 saves over the last three seasons. He's also blown almost as many. Heavy smokers cough up a lung. Gregg coughs up leads. I'd rather use him in the seventh or eighth inning.

I'll go with Jose Valverde and still wonder if a healthy Koji Uehara is a better choice.

In our perfect world, which we're still waiting for, Kam Mickolio will emerge as the full-time closer. The Orioles believe he has the tools for the job, but they couldn't experiment with him over the final month of the season because of injury, which frustrated manager Dave Trembley.

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