I'll give Karl Ravech and ESPN's Baseball Tonight crew credit for not ignoring the elephants in the room.
Two of the network's studio analysts, Bobby Valentine and Buck Showalter, have recently interviewed for managerial jobs. Ravech talked to them separately on the air before last night's game between the Yankees and Dodgers.
Valentine mentioned how the Marlins are going through "the process." It sounds like he's still interested in the job - and still the favorite. Showalter confirmed what we already knew about his interview with the Orioles, but was respectful of interim manager Juan Samuel and didn't want to appear that he was campaigning.
"We'll see where it takes us," he said, adding that it's an "honor" to manage.
Yes, that includes the Orioles, much to Ravech's amazement.
Hey Karl, they've won four in a row. Cut 'em some slack.
No game tonight, so the streak lives. The open date on the schedule also gives me time to unpack some boxes and clean out my old townhouse. I still have food in the fridge and clothes in the closet.
Or maybe it's the other way around. The place was a mess.
Felix Pie went 2-for-4 with an RBI, walk and two runs scored last night at Single-A Frederick and made his first start in left field. Double-A Bowie begins a homestand tonight, so Pie could move up anytime.
The only surprise with the Garrett Atkins transaction yesterday was the timing. We knew it was coming, but it figured to wait until Pie rejoined the club.
Atkins was a gamble. His stats were in decline four straight years. Not only didn't he hit for power with the Orioles, he didn't show any signs of rediscovering it. A ball that carried to the warning track was cause for celebration.
Atkins didn't make much of an impression on the field or inside the clubhouse. Not a bad guy, just extremely quiet and unproductive. I never saw him talking to teammates before batting practice. He'd just sit alone at his locker.
To his credit, he never snapped when approached by another reporter for comments on his slump, lack of playing time or pending designation. For a guy who squints, he certainly could see the writing on the wall.
I'll say it again: No more reclamation projects, especially for $4.5 million, unless we're talking a minor league deal that involves someone who isn't projected to make the lineup or rotation out of spring training. Let him work out his problems at Triple-A, not Camden Yards.
Jeff Salazar, a left-handed hitting outfielder at Triple-A Norfolk, is batting .288 with 13 homers.
For everyone who keeps wondering what Michael Aubrey has to do to get another chance with the Orioles, I'd recommend hitting higher than .235.
Mike Bordick, a minor league instructor for the Orioles, will stay with the team for the remainder of their homestand. He served as hitting coach for one game, but otherwise has been doing some work with the infielders.
A scout recommended that shortstop Greg Miclat sticks close to Bordick when the former Oriole makes the rounds with the affiliates. The scout believes that Miclat, a fifth-round pick in 2008 who recently moved up to Bowie, has many of Bordick's qualities.
Bordick praised Miclat's work ethic and ability to retain everything he's told.