This, that and the other

The most shocking development in the playoffs for me, and I'm probably not alone, has to be the Rangers 2-0 lead over the Rays as the Division Series heads to Arlington.

How strange that two managers had never been ejected on the same day in the postseason until Joe Maddon and Ron Gardenhire were tossed yesterday.

Watching Matt Treanor behind the plate for the Rangers yesterday reminds me that the Orioles made a strong push for him at the Winter Meetings two years ago, but he rejected them. He signed with the Tigers and played a grand total of four games.

Treanor's known more for his work behind the plate - and for being married to beach volleyball star Misty May.

Does anyone else take a quick look at Josh Hamilton and think Bobby Flay?

According to Earl Weaver, the Orioles never would have traded Frank Robinson after the 1971 season if they knew the designated hitter would be introduced to the American League in '73.

I'll need a little help here: Was Robinson considered a liability in the field by that stage of his career?

At some point, we'll find out that Brady Anderson has been hired by the Orioles to do more than serve as an analyst on MASN broadcasts. He won't be the major league hitting coach, but he'll have a role in the organization. That much is apparent.

"He's had some conversations with Peter (Angelos) and Andy (MacPhail) and our strength guy and I think it'll be more from where he lives. Don't know for sure how it's going to fit," manager Buck Showalter said.

"He's got some things that, and like some other guys who played here, we need to take advantage of. And we want to create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable with it, as long as they know there's a certain way to go about it."

In other words, work with a hitter but don't step on any toes. It can be a delicate situation.

"He understands that," Showalter said. "He's an asset that we want to use potentially."

So when will Showalter begin mapping out his spring training plans - the various stations and day-to-day assignments?

"Each spring's different with the players and what you want to accomplish and your point of emphasis," he replied. "Obviously, you're going to want to tweak it a little bit. But I'm pretty far down that line. I've made notes to myself since I got here about some points of emphasis that we need to do. But it's not just a matter of, 'Here's the spring training that I've always done,' and just plug in the names and it doesn't change. No, it changes depending on what the needs are, what we really need to focus on.

"There are some absolutes that you're going to cover. It's not going to be a boot camp, but it's going to be good use of the time we have down there because it's fleeting.

"There's two best times of the year - spring training and postseason, because hope springs eternal in both of them, before the realities of your strengths and weaknesses show up. And you better be able to identify your weaknesses and attack them down there, because with the physical stress of playing up here every day, you can't have guys on the field every day at 3 o'clock who can't physically hold up."

Sounds like conditioning will be a particular point of emphasis. More running, perhaps? (Something Rick Dempsey has been calling for since I've known him.)

The renovations continue at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The clubhouse might not be ready by the time pitchers and catchers report, but the rest of the place will look quite different. And the Fort Lauderdale facility will fade a little more from memory.

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