Talking about Fox, Jones and Markakis

While wondering if former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel's next contract will include a vesting option ...

And while wondering if anyone got that joke ...

If I'm Jake Fox, I'm wondering where I fit on this team.

Fox didn't pinch-hit yesterday despite having a few opportunities. I explained in one entry why he isn't an automatic choice with a left-hander on the mound, considering that he's 3-for-28 against them this season and is a career .206 hitter against them. But playing the second-guess game, I probably would have sent him to the plate in the ninth inning against Mariners closer Brandon League.

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Robert Andino grounded into a double play, and the Orioles lost, 4-3.

For what it's worth, Fox is 1-for-2 lifetime against League. That's the ultimate small sample size. Andino had never faced him. Even smaller.

Fox can run into a fastball and give the Orioles a lead with one swing.

Adam Jones thinks he'll be ready to play tonight after being restricted to pinch-running duty yesterday. Day-to-day tends to drag with the Orioles.

Wasn't Single-A Delmarva shortstop Manny Machado supposed to miss a week after dislocating his kneecap May 5 in Ashville? He might play in his first extended spring training game tomorrow. But I digress...

The shoulder must also bother Jones at least a little when he swings a bat. Otherwise, you'd think he would have pinch-hit yesterday for Luke Scott in the eighth or Andino in the ninth. Instead, he pinch-ran in the eighth (which obviously removed him from consideration in the ninth, as I continue my habit of over-explaining things.)

Also for what it's worth, Jones is 0-for-13 with four strikeouts lifetime against League. He's 2-for-5 with a double and home run against left-hander Aaron Laffey. Scott is 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs against Laffey after grounding out with runners on the corners to end the eighth.

Nick Markakis had a big RBI single in the eighth, giving him hits in 13 of his last 15 games. However, he has two extra-base hits in that span, a double and home run on May 15 at Tropicana Field.

Markakis has four extra-base hits since April 14, a span of 40 games. For the season, he's batting .249 with four doubles, four homers and 17 RBIs.

He turned into a singles hitter when nobody was looking.

Last summer, Markakis joined Hall of Famers Joe Medwick and Tris Speaker as the only players in baseball history with four straight 43-double seasons. To be exact, Markakis totaled 43, 48, 45 and 45 doubles.

He'll need to pick up the pace this season.

Markakis has never batted leadoff, but a few fans here have suggested it. Is it really that crazy of an idea?

I'll close with a belated Memorial Day trivia question that I'm lifting from the Arizona Diamondbacks telecast:

Name the four players with 500 or more career home runs who served in the military.

No fair looking it up.

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