The World Cup is over. The All-Star Game is over.
I no longer have a reason to live.
Wait, I still have my reader mailbag, which allows me to churn out another sequel to the "Because You Asked" series.
As you know, sequels rarely live up to the original, but these don't cost you anything except a few minutes of your time. And they exist because of you.
You ask, I answer, you ask again, I wonder whether I'm operating inside the cone of silence, Then, I wonder whether you get the reference.
It's basically our version of lather, rinse, repeat - but without the clumps of hair clogging the drain.
Idina Menzel offered to sing each question, but I can't afford her. My assets are frozen.
(See what I did there?)
Anyway, let's dig into that mailbag:
When do you think Dylan Bundy will be pitching for the Orioles?
They're just trying to get him back up to Double-A Bowie. There's no timetable and no rush. He's starting again tonight for Single-A Frederick, where he's had some difficulties after cruising in the New York-Penn League. Bundy could be in Baltimore later this summer, but there's no date set for it. Depends how he's feeling. Depends how he's pitching. Depends whether there's a spot for him on the pitching staff. He's not first in line.
Do you think the Orioles will re-sign Nelson Cruz?
I'm sure they'd like to keep him and he seems really happy here. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to get a deal done. Depends what he's seeking. I'm pretty sure it's going to be more than $8 million over one year. I'm also pretty sure there will be lots of competition for his services.
Why didn't the Orioles sign A.J. Peerzinski?
I'm not answering until you spell his name correctly.
There you go. The Orioles don't consider him a big upgrade behind the plate and aren't huge fans of his personality. He tends to rub players the wrong way.
What's the right way to rub a player?
Should the Orioles option Jonathan Schoop? He's not hitting.
As long as he's playing defense to the satisfaction of manager Buck Showalter, he's likely to stay. The only way he could get sent down to Triple-A Norfolk is if the Orioles acquire another second baseman at the non-waiver deadline. Showalter tells young players that as long as they can defend, they can remain in the lineup while the offensive side of their game develops.
Why don't the Orioles DFA David Lough?/Why didn't the Orioles get rid of David Lough and keep Nolan Reimold?/Why don't the Orioles blame all of their problems on David Lough?/Why does David Lough make it rain?
I decided to combine the Lough questions, since my answer is the same. Lough is the only backup center fielder on the roster. He's also a left-handed bat. The Orioles don't want to subtract another one. And Lough is a plus-defender and runner, which makes him valuable as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner. The Orioles could reach a point where Quintin Berry replaces Lough. Similar skill set. But we're not there yet.
What about the rain?
Definitely not Lough's fault. But I do blame him for the blizzard of '96.
Are the Orioles sticking with their current catchers or will they look for a long-term solution?
They'd like for Matt Wieters to be the long-term solution, but he's got to be healthy next year and then, you know, sign an extension. Right now, they seem committed to Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley, but they also believe that Steve Clevenger and Brian Ward can help them. Clevenger more with his bat, Ward with his catch-and-throw skills. There's some depth at the position that didn't exist in previous years. They reportedly checked on the Cardinals' interest in Hundley after Yadier Molina was lost for the season, but they appear content with their current duo.
What are the odds that they play this game tonight?
What game? Oh, this is an old one. Like I always say, I don't have inside weather information. I check the radar like everyone else and then try to remember if green is good or bad. Pretty sure it's bad.
Have you seen what Jake Arrieta's doing in Chicago?/Have you seen what Alfredo Simon's doing in Cincinnati?
Again, I'm combining. Yes, I'm seen what they're doing in the National League Central. Doesn't mean the Orioles would have gotten the same results out of them this season. No one doubts their stuff - I chose Arrieta as my breakout player three consecutive spring trainings - but they were given plenty of chances in Baltimore. Sometimes, a change of scenery is beneficial. And the Orioles are glad Arrieta is doing so well because it means the Cubs are more likely to trade with them again. You want a deal to work out for both sides. I'm pretty sure the Mariners and Twins have Andy MacPhail's number blocked and he's not in baseball anymore.
How do you feel about the non-waiver trade deadline?
It gives me a full body rash. I'd rather remove carcasses from the highway than cover it. Better than the Winter Meetings, but still annoying. I'll most likely be writing about at least one new pitcher for the Orioles. Don't know who, but they want a late-inning reliever and are checking on starters.
What pitcher do you want?
Clayton Kershaw for a PTBNL
Is Henry Urrutia a trade chip for the Orioles?
Hammerin' Hank is recovering from sports hernia surgery and batting .220/.250/.293 with 23 strikeouts in 82 at-bats at Norfolk. The Orioles would be selling low. He's nearing a return to the Tides, and the Orioles hope he can be a contributor later this summer.
Who's got the better outfield arm, Adam Jones or Nick Markakis?
Why would the Orioles trade Brett Wallace to a division rival? Why would they help the Blue Jays?
The Orioles are receiving a small amount of cash in return. And by small, I mean they'll be able to feed the meter on Pratt St. I don't think they're worried about the balance of power shifting in the AL East. And they're making room at Norfolk for Christian Walker, one of their better position prospects.
Did Derek Jeter miss anyone while tipping his cap in that Nike commercial?