My belated Christmas continues in Ocean Pines today, but I wanted to keep the blog fires burning. I hope most of you have recovered from your holiday celebrations and are preparing for a happy and safe New Year.
No truth to the rumor that the ball has been moved from Times Square and will drop in shallow right field at Camden Yards.
My sister bought me the 10th anniversary edition of The Big Lebowski, which will provide my first chance to watch it. I guess she's just as appalled as the rest of you that I've never seen it.
My parents hooked me up with a Garmin GPS because I absolutely have the worst sense of direction on the planet. I'm thinking of wearing it around my neck as bling.
They also gave me an electric skillet, which shows just how much my life has changed over the years. (My poor daughter's eyes got real wide when I opened it. I'm sure she was thinking, "Oh no, daddy's going to try to cook.")
The Ravens change coaches, but they still lack discipline. Those penalties are inexcusable and an embarrassment, and they're not all due to the incompetence of the officials, though that's a separate issue that the NFL needs to address immediately after the Super Bowl.
Also, Joe Flacco still can't feel a pass rush. Step up, step to the side, get rid of the ball. Don't pat it and keep looking downfield. He takes too many sacks in critical situations.
And someone please explain to me why John Harbaugh was saving his timeouts when the Steelers were pinned against their own goal line late in the first half, but he used them when the Ravens were running the ball in the final 30 seconds. Pointless (no pun intended).
The Jets will probably make the playoffs because Colts coach Jim Caldwell yanked Peyton Manning at halftime. Rex Ryan should buy Caldwell's groceries for a year. Do all the shopping, cook the meals, clean up the dishes, whatever he wants.
With the Orioles looking to add another corner infielder, reliever and perhaps a starter, more room will need to be created on the 40-man roster. Here's the updated list to assist in your debate:
Pedro Florimon Jr.
Call me crazy, but I could live without Gabino. No offense, of course. And if the Orioles re-sign Mark Hendrickson, as expected, Castillo would become more expendable.
The only reason to keep Castillo on the 40-man and not risk losing him on waivers would be if the club wants three lefties in the bullpen and is considering him as a specialist, while Hendrickson works in long relief.
I've been asked multiple times about how Atkins's signing affects Wigginton's status on the 25-man roster. I should have included it in yesterdays' Because You Asked, but it's never too late.
I don't see how Wigginton becomes more expendable, since he's viewed - at least for now - as one of the four reserves. If Atkins stays at third base, he replaces Melvin Mora. Wigginton and Mora co-existed last year.
Granted, Atkins also can play first base, but he'll be in the starting lineup, no matter where he settles. Wigginton's only chance is if the Orioles keep Atkins at first. Wigginton and Scott Moore are in-house candidates to start at third.
If the season began today, I'd guess that Aubrey started at first and the bench consisted of Wigginton, Pie, Andino and Chad Moeller. Maybe you replace Andino with Turner, who will take fly balls in left field in spring training to potentially expand his role as a back-up.
Turning to the argument that the Orioles shouldn't have surrendered a second-round pick to sign Gonzalez, they are prepared to pay over slot for a selection in a later round who would, in theory, replace the one they gave up for their new closer. That idea was floated during the winter meetings, and it wasn't met with any resistance by the scouting department.