This, that and the other (and more)

I predicted that the Rangers would win the World Series in six games. I twice came within a strike last night of finally getting something right in the postseason.

Was last night’s game, won by the Cardinals in 11 innings on David Freese’s walkoff home run, the greatest in World Series history? Did it top Carlton Fisk? Bill Mazeroski? Kirk Gibson? BIll Buckner? The Jack Morris/John Smoltz scoreless duel?

Am I missing a more obvious choice?

As long as I’m firing questions at you, does anyone believe that the Cardinals will let Albert Pujols leave as a free agent?

The Orioles will interview their fourth candidate, John Stockstill, today for president of baseball operations. He’s the first real surprise.

It was only a matter of time before they contacted Jerry Dipoto, Tony LaCava and De Jon Watson. Stockstill’s name didn’t appear on any short lists that I wrote or read.

There’s one common denominator, which we’ve rehashed so many times, I should serve it with two eggs and wheat toast. Each candidate has a background in scouting and player development.

I’m not aware of any other scheduled interviews. I’ve heard that manager Buck Showalter will stay in town through Monday.

I just want the Orioles to introduce their new GM, complete their other hires and attack their 25- and 40-man rosters. There’s a lot of work to be done.

I still haven’t received confirmation whether the Orioles will bring in candidates for a second interview.

Update: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting via Twitter that the Angels will hire Dipoto as their new general manager. Dipoto was widely viewed as the Orioles’ top candidate.

According to’s Tim Dierkes, Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen qualifies for Super Two status. Dierkes reported that players with two years and 146 days of major league service time qualified, and Bergesen (2.147) barely made it.

Super Two players earn a fourth year of salary arbitration instead of the usual three.

A leftover from my interview a few days ago with Triple-A Norfolk pitcher Steve Johnson:

Johnson talked about lessons learned in going from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk over the summer. He went 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts with the Baysox, with 40 hits allowed, 15 walks and 59 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings, and 2-7 with a 5.56 ERA in 17 starts with the Tides, including 101 hits, 47 walks and 63 strikeouts in 87 1/3 innings.

“I think going to Triple-A this year was a great experience,” he said. “I did really, really well in Double-A. A lot of times down in Double-A, I was thinking, ‘OK, if I get called up from Double-A, I think I’m ready.’ I go up to Triple-A, and there were a lot of things I figured out I needed to work on. It was a good experience to figure that out there instead of the big leagues, because some guys don’t recover from that. I knew the hitters were a little different up there. It’s going to make me a better pitcher.

“I need to limit my pitches. That’s one of the reasons why my stats weren’t as good. I threw a lot of pitches to good hitters, and the more they see, the better they can hit you. Triple-A hitters did a good job doing that, fouling a lot of pitches off until they get their pitch. I have to limit my pitches, throw more pitches for strikes, make them put the ball in play sooner. You have a better chance of getting through seven, eight innings instead of six. There were a lot of times when I went six.

“It’s just locating better all around. They’re good hitters up there. Sometimes, you have to be able to pick out the guys who are looking for location and others who are looking for certain pitches. It was good to get that competition, to face guys who have been in the big leagues. I think that was a real good experience to finally get.”

Johnson left out how Norfolk’s crummy defense and inability to hold leads also affected his stats.

Johnson may have to begin the 2012 season back down at Bowie, though he has nothing left to prove in Double-A. Norfolk’s rotation has the potential to become quite crowded.

The Orioles figure to sign another batch of minor league free agents to compete for spots, and there’s always the chance that Bergesen, Chris Tillman and Jason Berken wind up as Triple-A starters again. Also, Brian Matusz won’t be handed a job in spring training. If he struggles, he’ll return to the Tides. And what if Rick VandenHurk is outrighted and clears waivers again? And what if a Bowie starter is deemed ready to move up?

Seriously, whatever happened to Cesar Izturis?

And seriously, why did Disqus attach 98 old comments to the bottom of this entry, which I just filed a few minutes ago? We’ll figure it out.

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