The Orioles’ season is almost over, but the questions keep coming in waves.
Sometimes, you actually wave to me before asking them. But that only happens in person.
I keep answering them and you keep asking them and we dance the night away.
Here’s the latest sequel to “Because You Asked.” Unfortunately, I had to rush through it because someone named Sweet Pea said she needed to have a few words with me. No idea what that’s all about, but I’m told she brought refreshments.
Will the Orioles re-sign Brian Roberts?
It’s possible under the right terms. He won’t get another four-year contract. Perhaps a one-year deal with mega-incentives. Too soon to know. The market has to set itself, as the kids say. But the Orioles will certainly consider it.
What about Robinson Cano?
What about Edward G. Robinson? The odds are about the same. Cano reportedly sought a $300 million deal from the Yankees because he wants to exceed A-Rod’s $275 million abomination. Yeah, that should fit into the Orioles’ budget. Maybe they could include Fells Point as an incentive.
Could Steve Clevenger be the backup catcher next season?
Yes. Buck Showalter likes his bat. The question is whether Clevenger is deemed good enough behind the plate. The Orioles never want to sacrifice defense, though I’d sacrifice a virgin for a backup who can crack .200.
What do you think was Adam Jones’ favorite game as a kid?
Been waiting a long time to use that one?
What’s the Orioles’ primary need in the offseason?
I mean, who should they be going after in free agency or a trade?
Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he’ll be looking for pitching, as usual. The Orioles will be linked to pretty much every free-agent starter. As I’ve written, they really like left-hander Jason Vargas. In my opinion, they need a solid No. 2 behind Chris Tillman, since there aren’t many No. 1 starters out there, and they’re either not available or they’re out of the Orioles’ price range. David Price figures to be moved, but the Orioles won’t get into that bidding war. Also, they must decide what they’re doing with left field, second base and DH. And look for changes in the bullpen.
What sort of changes should we expect in the bullpen?
Well, do the Orioles non-tender Jim Johnson or give him another raise to remain their closer? Do they attempt to trade Brian Matusz, who wants to be a starter? Does T.J. McFarland begin the season in Triple-A, now that he can be optioned? Do the Orioles let Francisco Rodriguez walk and really, really hope that Nicky Delmonico doesn’t become a star?
Aren’t we supposed to be asking the questions here?
What player or pitcher will the Orioles most regret trading over the past few years?
Single-A left-hander Josh Hader, who was part of the Bud Norris deal with the Astros. That one has the potential to blow up in their faces. It’s not hard to find people in the organization who are wringing their hands over that one. He’s got tremendous upside and looks like he’s on the fast-track to the majors. And he’s an Old Mill High School graduate. I mean... come on!
How many Orioles will win Gold Gloves?
I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’d like to thank you for not saying “Golden Gloves.” That’s boxing. I’m punchy after seven weeks of spring training and 159 games, but I can still tell the difference. Anyway, Showalter will flip his lid if Manny Machado doesn’t win one. J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters and Adam Jones all have a shot, of course. And don’t overlook Chris Davis. He’s probably going to be stuck behind James Loney and Eric Hosmer, but he’s been really good.
Will Tsuyoshi Wada get a start?
No. It’s just not going to happen. Accept it and move on, please. And I’ve heard that there’s more to it than just a reluctance to pitch him in a pennant race. Especially since, you know, the Orioles aren’t in a pennant race anymore. I’m not sure of the exact reason, but I’ve been told to check with the front office for an explanation. I’ll try to get one.
Is Nick Markakis hurt?
If he is, he’s not talking about it. To anyone. I’ll force him sit under a hot light after Sunday’s game and see if I can sweat it out of him. But I’m warning you that the standard answer to that question goes something like this: “Everyone’s hurting this time of the year.” We also would have accepted: “Everyone’s got something that hurts this time of the year,” and, “No one is 100 percent this time of the year.”
Got an update on Dylan Bundy?
Sigh. Bundy told me on Aug. 8 that he should be cleared to start some light throwing in late November. Until then, he’s in recovery mode after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Should Tommy John be in the Hall of Fame?
Yes. If nothing else, the guy has a surgery named after him. Shouldn’t that count for something? Or the 288 wins and 26 years spent in the majors? But if he goes in, Jim Kaat needs to go in. Don’t even get me started there.
Non-baseball question: Jacoby Jones is hit over the head with a champagne bottle by an angry stripper. Nate Burleson breaks his arm in a single-car crash while reaching for a pizza box. Which is worse?
It could only be worse for Burleson if he had been driving a party bus. This sounds like a bad Papa John’s ad. Maybe they could do a cross-promotion. “She’ll get you there in 30 minutes or it’s free.”
You’re just counting down the days until the season’s over, aren’t you?