Turning over a new roster (and note)

The magnetic lineup board outside the Orioles’ clubhouse and across the hall from manager Buck Showalter’s office contained only one name after last night’s game against the White Sox. Joe Saunders was listed as tonight’s starting pitcher. The batting order will remain blank until this afternoon.

Saunders will be the 29th player to make his Orioles debut this season. Is that a lot?

Once the Orioles sign Randy Wolf, the veteran left-hander who could show up at Camden Yards today and throw for team officials, he eventually will be the 30th player to make his debut. That’s a lot.

Let’s go through the roll call:

Luis Ayala
Wei-Yin Chen
Dana Eveland
Miguel Gonzalez
Jason Hammel
Steve Johnson
Matt Lindstrom
Darren O’Day
Stu Pomeranz
J.C. Romero
Joe Saunders
Miguel Socolovich

Luis Exposito
Ronny Paulino
Taylor Teagarden

Wilson Betemit
Ryan Flaherty
Bill Hall
Nick Johnson
Manny Machado
Joe Mahoney
Omar Quintanilla
Jim Thome
Steve Tolleson

Xavier Avery
Endy Chavez
Lew Ford
Nate McLouth
Steve Pearce

Wolf will be joining the class as the 30th member. Be nice to the new guy.

OK, to put this whole thing in perspective, the 1969 Orioles used 30 players the entire season. Yes, the entire season.

Mike Adamson
Fred Beene
Frank Bertaina
Mike Cuellar
Dick Hall
Jim Hardin
Dave Leonhard
Marcelino Lopez
Dave McNally
Jim Palmer
Tom Phoebus
Pete Richert
Al Severinsen
Eddie Watt

Clay Dalrymple
Andy Etchebarren
Elrod Hendricks

Mark Belanger
Terry Crowley
Bobby Floyd
Davey Johnson
Boog Powell
Brooks Robinson
Chico Salmon

Paul Blair
Don Buford
Dave May
Curt Motton
Merv Rettenmund
Frank Robinson

The Orioles won 109 games that season and, well, you know the rest. Why go there again?

This year’s team has amassed 71 wins. Ten more and the streak of 14 straight losing seasons comes to a merciful end. Eleven more and the Orioles are assured of finishing above .500.

Remember when that was the ultimate goal? Now it seems like a plea to underachieve. It’s playoffs or pouting.

Since I’ve set my time machine for 1969, I’m reminded of this quote from Brooks Robinson, courtesy of Baseball Almanac:

“It’s a pretty sure thing that the player’s bat is what speaks loudest when it’s contract time, but there are moments when the glove has the last word.”

NOTE: The Orioles today announced that the club is accepting deposits on 2013 season ticket plans and that fans placing a deposit will receive access to 2012 postseason tickets. Fans who place a non-refundable $250 per seat deposit on a 2013 Full or Partial Season Ticket Plan (including 13-game plans) will be guaranteed the opportunity to purchase 2012 Orioles Postseason tickets before the general public.

Fans can place a deposit by visiting www.orioles.com/postseason or calling 1-888-848-BIRD. Plan type and seat location for 2013 season ticket plans will be finalized at a later date.

Current season plan holders do not need to place a deposit, as they have already been invoiced for 2012 Postseason tickets and will also receive an offer to purchase additional tickets prior to the general public.

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