This, that and the other

Anyone find it interesting that the Orioles seem to be focused on finding a designated hitter or left fielder, with no mention of first base?

This thought process could change if they don’t re-sign Mark Reynolds. Or it means they will move Chris Davis to first base. Or ... something else.

The Orioles aren’t real keen on clogging up the DH spot with a player who can’t contribute in the field, but it seems to work out that way. Ideally, they would find someone who also can play first base or the outfield.

I spoke with a few more members of the organization yesterday who basically dismissed Josh Hamilton as a possibility in left field.

One person, referring to Hamilton’s past issues with drugs and alcohol, said, “He just doesn’t fit our personality. I like the player, but I don’t see it happening.” There’s also the money issue, of course.

An executive speculated that the national media “made the connection” between the Orioles and Hamilton because the club is seeking a DH or left fielder. That’s pretty much all it takes at the GM and Winter Meetings.

The Orioles didn’t bid on Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, but they did sign right-handed hitting 17-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Carlos Rodriguez.

“Rodriguez has a big league arm,” said Fred Ferreira, the Orioles’ executive director of international recruiting. “He has a chance to have big-time power with a quick bat.”

Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia still hasn’t obtained his visa, which prevents him from reporting to Sarasota, but I’ve been told again that “it shouldn’t be too much longer.”

The Angels have hired former Orioles right-hander Pete Harnisch as a roving pitching instructor.

The Astros released their tentative spring training schedule and the Orioles aren’t on it. No trips to Kissimmee in 2013. No complaints from the media.

The Orioles haven’t released their schedule, but here’s what we know:

Feb. 23: Twins at Orioles
Feb. 24: Orioles at Blue Jays (Dunedin)
March 2: Orioles at Rays (Port Charlotte)
March 3: Phillies at Orioles
March 4: Orioles at Yankees (Tampa)
March 8: Orioles at Pirates (Bradenton)
March 10: Pirates at Orioles
March 15: Red Sox at Orioles
March 16: Orioles at Blue Jays (Dunedin)
March 17: Twins at Orioles; Orioles at Phillies (Clearwater)
March 22: Orioles at Tampa Bay (Port Charlotte)
March 23: Phillies at Orioles
March 24: Orioles at Pirates

More statements have been released with the passing of former Orioles executive Lee MacPhail at age 95.

Former MLBPA Executive Director Don Fehr: “It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Lee MacPhail. Over his lifetime in baseball, Lee made many significant contributions that helped to make the game what it is today. My wife Stephanie and I extend our heartfelt condolences to Lee’s family, and know that they will take comfort in his memory during this period and in the years ahead.”

Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig: “Lee MacPhail was one of the great executives in Baseball history and a Hall of Famer in every sense, both personally and professionally. I had great admiration for Lee as American League President, and he was respected and liked by everyone with whom he came in contact. His hallmarks were dignity, common sense and humility. He was not only a remarkable league executive, but was a true Baseball man as is evidenced by his brilliant leadership of the storied New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles franchises. Lee always put the interests of the sport first and through his love of the game taught all of us to cherish it in every way. Major League Baseball and all of our Clubs feel a great sense of loss today, and I send my deepest condolences to one of the first families of the national pastime.”

One of the primary reasons why Andy MacPhail declined the opportunity to stay with the Orioles following the 2011 season was his desire to spend more time with his father in Florida. He has no regrets for making that decision.

MacPhail never stated that he was retiring from baseball, saying that he was too young. He just needed to step away for a while and concentrate on family.

Shameless plug alert: If you want more Orioles talk, I’ll be joining Tom Davis and Dave Johnson today on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from 11 a.m.-noon on MASN.

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