This and that

I’m drying off my pumpkins this morning, and I really wish that were a euphemism.

The local news outlets continue to remind us to stay indoors. Amazing that anyone needs to be told.

I’ll pass along my own suggestions. Don’t stick a fork in a light socket - once your power is restored, of course - and never kiss a rabid dog on the mouth.

Common sense, folks.

Seriously, though, I hope everyone made it through the worst of Hurricane Sandy. Continue to be safe.

The sun has to come out eventually. Annie once sang that it would happen tomorrow. Her dog was named Sandy. Draw your own conclusions.

I’ll address two topics that seem to hold fan interest beyond team options, free agency and arbitration. I’ve been asked about them on this blog and on Twitter, so here you go:

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was hesitant yesterday to discuss Rick Peterson’s pending interview with the Red Sox for their position of pitching coach. The Orioles granted permission for the Red Sox to contact Peterson.

Specifically, I wanted to know whether the Orioles will hire another director of pitching development if Peterson leaves. It’s a specialized position for someone of Peterson’s background and skills. Seems to me he would be the only guy to fill it.

“I wouldn’t speculate on that,” Duquette said. “Rick is still with us. He’s still with the team right now.”

Duquette did say that he tries to create a structure “based on the strengths of people in the organization.” I would assume that the director of pitching development position wouldn’t exist without Peterson, at least in its current form.

I’ve also been asked about the Orioles’ level of interest in Japanese high school pitcher Shohei Otani.

The Orioles have scouted Otani - Ray Poitevint, their executive director of international baseball, covers the Asian territory - and they most certainly have been impressed by him. The kid has an upper-90s fastball, which is mentioned in this report from NPB Tracker.

“The kid has some good ability. He has some talent,” Duquette said, declining to offer any specifics about the Orioles’ plans for Otani.

“I think it has been reported that we’re one of the clubs interested in him. I’ve heard the Orioles, Boston, Texas and Los Angeles.”

In other words, it’s safe to believe what you’ve read.

The Nippon Ham Fighters selected Otani, 18, with the first pick in Thursday’s draft, even though he repeated that he intends to pursue a career in the major leagues.

According to Baseball America’s Ben Badler, Otani is still free to sign with an MLB team at any time. He doesn’t have to wait until the end of March, as previously reported.

My two cents: While the Orioles are more active in the international market under Duquette, I can’t envision them beating out the Red Sox, Rangers or Dodgers. Those three teams have been the most closely linked to Otani. And yes, whichever team signs Otani will ruffle a few feathers in Japan. The Orioles already know what that’s like in Korea.

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