I've arrived at the Baltimore Convention Center after skating from Lot A at Camden Yards. I attempted a Hamill camel, but I ended up on the seat of my pants.
The Foo Fighters is cranked up here, which seems appropriate, since I'm learning to walk again after slipping all over the icy sidewalks (see what I did there?)
Anyway, now it's a party.
Season ticket holders are allowed inside at 10 a.m. and can attend a private screening of "The Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter Show." That's not what they're calling it, but I'm my own man. It's actually a fan forum, and Showalter told me yesterday that he's prepared to answer anything that comes his way.
I'm still trying to establish the over/under on how many times the name Prince Fielder will be uttered at these forums. Is 500 too high?
I'll be interviewing players all day and will grab a few minutes with Duquette and Showalter. I'm also scheduled to pose for photos with Amber Theoharis from 4-4:20 p.m. at the MASN booth. All I ask is that the guys wait until they get home to cut me out of the picture. Be discreet.
In case you missed it last night, the Orioles might be on the verge of signing another pitcher. Reliever Luis Ayala is weighing offers from the Orioles and Angels and could sign with one of the two "at any moment," according to Fernando Ballesteros of the Mexican baseball magazine "Puro BÃ©isbol."
Ayala is seeking a two-year deal, so we're not talking a minor league contract and a spring training invite.
Ayala, 34, was 2-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 52 appearances with the Yankees last season. He's 31-41 with a 3.47 ERA in seven seasons with six teams. He didn't pitch in the majors in 2010.
Here's the latest look at the pitchers on the 40-man roster (and keep in mind, I'm not including minor leaguers who are invited to spring training:)
The Orioles shouldn't have much trouble crafting a seven-man bullpen from this group, but they're apparently looking to add to the mix. They're also reportedly interested in closer Francisco Cordero.
How does all of this impact Jim Johnson? Good question.
Showalter indicated yesterday on "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" that Johnson would remain in the bullpen in an undefined role, but he also left open the possibility that a future transaction could change those plans.
As I've been writing, it depends whether the Orioles focus on upgrading the rotation or bullpen from the outside. So far, they've channeled most of their energy toward the rotation, but Duquette isn't done tweaking the roster.