Is anyone else having trouble concentrating today because of the excitement surrounding the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium?
Like we don't have enough meaningless bowl games polluting our airwaves.
Kansas State and Syracuse are playing in the Bronx. I guess RFK Stadium couldn't be cleaned up in time.
I yearn for the days of the Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Orange, Gator, Peach and Tangerine bowls. Throw in the old Blue-Gray game. And bring back the game between the Super Bowl champions and the college All-Stars. That was plenty for me.
No 6-6 team should be playing in late December or January. No team should be playing in a bowl that includes a corporate name. And absolutely no games should be played in D.C. and the Bronx.
OK, I've stalled long enough.
You want Orioles news? It's not coming this morning. Maybe while I'm driving back to Sykesville. Maybe not until after the ball drops in Times Square - and I'm hoping it's not a punt from another lame bowl game.
The Orioles and Adam LaRoche might be playing chicken. LaRoche wants a better offer (preferably from a better team.) The Orioles don't feel the need to increase their offer when the market for the free-agent first baseman has been reduced to only a few teams.
The Nationals seem to prefer Derrek Lee. The Orioles stepped up talks with his agent, Casey Close, just in case LaRoche continued to drag his feet. But you probably knew that if you've been paying attention.
We've talked about first base. We've talked about the bullpen. We've talked about the rotation. We've talked about the bench.
Did the Orioles already announce their coaching staff? Yep. Can't go back there, either.
It figured to be a quiet week during the holidays.
Thanks to Matt Hobgood for coming down with a sore shoulder and diverting our attention for a few hours.
He wasn't shooting a commercial. I already checked.
And please, no jokes about what products he would endorse. The kid knows he needs to get in better shape. That's why he spent part of his winter at Athletes' Performance Institute.
I'll close by taking another look at the free-agent starting pitchers still on the market (list courtesy of mlbtraderumors):
Brian Bannister (30)
Jeremy Bonderman (28)
Brian Burres (30)
Dave Bush (31)
Chris Capuano (32)
Bruce Chen (34)
Doug Davis (35)
Justin Duchscherer (33)
Jeff Francis (29)
Freddy Garcia (35)
Braden Looper (36)
Rodrigo Lopez (35)
John Maine (30)
Pedro Martinez (39)
Kevin Millwood (36)
Brian Moehler (39)
Carl Pavano (35)
Brad Penny (33)
Andy Pettitte (39)
Nate Robertson (33)
Ben Sheets (32)
Ian Snell (29)
Jeff Suppan (36)
Jarrod Washburn (36)
Todd Wellemeyer (32)
Chris Young (32)
Pavano is a Type A who was offered arbitration, so he comes at a price beyond the three-year deal he's seeking. The Orioles aren't going to pay him.
They want a veteran who can be plugged into the middle of the rotation, perhaps behind Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Matusz. That seems like the logical spot to me. I have no problem with Matusz being the No. 2 in this rotation.
I had no problem with Matusz being the No. 3 if the Orioles signed Cliff Lee and pushed Guthrie to No. 2, but that didn't happened.
We can cross Pettitte off the list. He's probably going to retire. He's definitely not going to finish up his career in Baltimore.
Been there, done that.
As I've stated, adding another starter is far down my list of priorities, but manager Buck Showalter is carrying a different list and he wants more spring competition. I can understand. Zach Britton is likely to begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk and Chris Tillman could join him if he doesn't step up. Rick VandenHurk will compete for a spot, but might have to settle for long relief. That leaves us with Guthrie, Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta.
Showalter's list is making more sense each time I check it.