Rumors and ramblings

No truth to the rumor that Juan Samuel has removed himself from consideration for the full-time managerial position.

No truth to the rumor that the Mets are holding a press conference to deny any interest in Kevin Millwood.

No truth to the rumor that Millwood is holding a press conference asking them to reconsider.

No truth to the rumor that Manny Machado wants to re-enter the draft - the 2010 draft.

No truth to the rumor that a rival GM claimed Alberto Castillo off waivers so he could release the lefty, too.

No truth to the rumor that most of the guys in the Orioles' lineup have contacted Adam Loewen for advice on making the transition to being hitters.

No truth to the rumor that Dave Trembley asked the Orioles to reconsider their decision to fire him - and do it about a month earlier.

That's it for me. You can take over.

Caleb Joseph started at first base again last night for Double-A Bowie. I haven't talked to anyone in the organization about the times that he's ditched the chest protector, but it's obviously a way to increase his value to the Orioles. A guy who can catch and play multiple positions.

It also allows Joseph to view himself as something more than Matt Wieters' future backup.

Speaking of catcher/first basemen, The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported that the Orioles have held internal discussions about Jake Fox, recently designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics. No idea how serious they are, but the name has come up.

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I wonder if Fox's numbers came up, too? He was batting .214 with two home runs and a .591 OPS.

You can't discuss Fox without bringing up Garrett Atkins, who isn't a catcher but does make occasional appearances at first base. Probably about as often as Joseph.

Atkins has received 11 at-bats this month, and he didn't play in the last two games of the Giants series. You know it's bad when he can't get off the bench against a National League club.

He's actually carrying a three-game hitting streak, but he's batting .219 with one homer and nine RBIs on the season. You can argue whether Fox would be an upgrade. Neither guy is the long-term solution at first base or in the middle of the lineup. It needs to become a priority this winter.

Atkins is a career .324 hitter with nine homers and 63 RBIs in 89 games against the Padres. We'll see if that counts for anything.

Interim manager Juan Samuel told reporters yesterday that he's trying to find situations where he can get Atkins some at-bats, but it's not easy, especially without a designated hitter in National League ballparks. Samuel also suggested that president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail will need to "come up with a plan."

I'm sure MacPhail planned to get a lot more out of the $4.5 million that the Orioles are paying Atkins.

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