This, that and the other

Carlos Delgado went 1-for-4 last night and is batting .304. He started at first base and didn’t break a hip.

Delgado was removed for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning, which could explain the hip thing.

The Blue Jays reportedly are keeping close watch on Delgado, and it would be interesting to have him back in Toronto with new play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez, his former manager.

One of the more popular questions here centers on the FanFest lineup. I addressed it three or four times yesterday in the comments section.

To save a little time, I’ll post here that the Orioles are expected to provide an update later this week on which players will attend. It should be most, if not all, since it’s basically a requirement. You need a really good excuse to skip it.

I used to look forward to seeing Albert Belle, who would always be on his best behavior. He would smile, call out my name and happily consent to a sit-down interview. It bordered on surreal.

Belle told me that his ailing hip was fine and he’d be ready for spring training. Then he showed up at Fort Lauderdale Stadium with a pronounced limp and could barely hobble to first base - leading to one of the local media’s favorite Syd Thrift quotes.

Asked if Belle could still play despite being unable to run the bases, Thrift replied, “This isn’t Country Round Cat.”

We rushed back to our laptops to transcribe the interview, and it took a few minutes before someone finally spoke up.

“What the heck is Country Round Cat?”

I was afraid to ask, fearing that everyone else knew and I’d look stupid.

I’ll be back at the Convention Center on Jan. 23, knowing that Belle won’t be there. I’ll participate in the media forum and spend an hour or so at the MASN booth. And I expect my hip to feel fine.

Former shortstop and double-play partner Mike Bordick, on Roberto Alomar’s Hall of Fame snub: “He was the best second baseman I’ve seen, and to have a chance to play with him was an incredible thrill. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t get in. I thought he should have been in the Hall of Fame. It seems unfair when (Bert) Blyleven isn’t getting in and Jack Morris and those guys, which I’ll never understand. Robbie was one of the greatest second basemen. He really changed the game, both offensively and defensively, single-handedly. He was an impact player for a long time.

“Robbie was just born a baseball player. Not that he didn’t work on it, but everything just came so natural. He was a gifted athlete.”

Now, the notebook is officially cleaned out.

It’s up to the Orioles to sign somebody. I’ll happily report it.

I’ve placed a few calls outside the organization that weren’t returned. Unfortunately, some of the agents who have clients on the Orioles’ radar aren’t exactly media friendly during negotiations. And I’m only going to bang my head against a wall for so long.

Delgado, Adam LaRoche, Hank Blalock, Russell Branyan, Chad Tracy, Joe Crede. Pick one and let’s move on.

None of them figure in the Orioles’ 2011 plans. They’re a one-year rental. And for this, I have a headache and a hole in my wall?

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