Early observations from FanFest

That was quite the long line wrapping around the Baltimore Convention Center this morning as I arrived here at 9:30 a.m. Hello right back to everyone who shouted out my name.

And please, no "Mr. Kubatko." Call me "Roch."

Season-ticket holders were allowed early entrance for the Andy MacPhail/Dave Trembley forum, which began with a moment of silence for Curt Motton.

MacPhail indicated again that the Orioles should sign a player within the next week. Then he mentioned the likelihood of increasing the "inventory" of left-handed pitching, so a corner infielder should be the next order of business, followed by a new arm.

The Miguel Tejada buzz is getting louder by the hour.

I'm waiting to hear whether any fans grab the microphone and voice their complaints to MacPhail, but the first four questions have centered on Luke Scott's new contract, Rhyne Hughes, how the Orioles go about scouting a player and the club's opinion of Carlos Delgado and Jim Thome.

MacPhail called Scott "the streakiest hitter I've ever been around in my entire life." He referred to Hughes as a "late-bloomer" and a "prospect" who possesses "tremendous power," and the first baseman has been asked about taking fly balls in left field at some point.

One scout in the organization considers Hughes an everyday player in the majors, but MacPhail also noted that the former Tampa Bay Ray strikes out too much and will have to improve in that department.

Trembley said he expects the Opening Day third baseman to be an offensive guy, whether it's Garrett Atkins or another newcomer.

Just an FYI: I'm pressed for time and can't respond to questions today. I'll approve as many comments as I can.


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