Ending the year with some random takes and thoughts:
What made me think of Jake Fox?: It was a comment posted on Twitter yesterday after quarterback Tyrod Taylor made a nice run early in the game for the Ravens. Someone pointed out that could lead to talk-show callers calling for Taylor to play over Joe Flacco.
I posted that if you think that is far-fetched, I had callers to my baseball show early in the 2011 season imploring the Orioles to start Jake Fox over Matt Wieters at catcher.
Fox had batted .297 with 10 homers, 15 RBIs, a .797 slugging percentage and an OPS of 1.122 in spring training that year with the Orioles and it had some fans so enthralled with his play that they said they'd play him over Wieters. We all know how ridiculous those comments look now, but believe me the callers were lined up to voice strong support for Fox then.
On the radio shows, there is always a segment of fans that will jump on any player's bandwagon after just a few games. I don't know why, but it happens all the time.
Fox didn't get a single big league at bat last year, batting .233 with seven homers and 30 RBIs at Triple-A before ending the year in the Double-A Eastern League.
Since he left the Orioles after the 2011 season as a minor league free agent, he signed with and was released by Pittsburgh, signed late last year with the Phillies and is now a free agent again.
He's a great guy who was great to deal with, but at no time should anyone have thought he should play ahead of Wieters. It goes to show that we shouldn't get carried away with spring stats. A good lesson to remember with spring training now just weeks away.
A unique honor for one Oriole: Kevin Gausman, the Orioles' 2012 first-round pick, has been honored by Baseball America. But not in the way you might think, for his pitching or as a top prospect.
No, BA ranks Gausman as having one of the top 50 baseball-related Twitter accounts. It says of Gausman on Twitter that, "The Orioles' 2012 first-rounder has a plus-plus sense of humor to go with his frontline stuff."
Gausman is keeping good company as the likes of Peter Gammons, Ken Rosenthal, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Tim Kurkjian and David Price also made the list. You can follow him on Twitter @kevingausman.
My final word today: I still think there is a good chance we see some significant move by the Orioles before spring training starts. In one sense, it has been a cruel offseason for fans that live and die with the Hot Stove rumors as many about the Orioles have not been true.
It started with a national report early on linking the Orioles to Josh Hamilton and, to a lesser degree, Zack Greinke. At the Winter Meetings, the Orioles were said to be in hard on Adam LaRoche and, at that point, they hadn't even talked with him.
Yesterday on Twitter, Jim Bowden of ESPN posted this:
Dan Jennings Marlins AGM told us they will listen to all offers on Giancarlo Stanton but they're not shopping him and don't want to move him.
Man, that set some fans in motion on message boards wondering if the Orioles would pursue him and what offer they might make. Most fans seem to think the Orioles could center a package around Dylan Bundy and make a run at Stanton.
Keep in mind this is all fan speculation. It's fun to banter about it, but in reality, my sense is Stanton has almost no chance of going anywhere. Sometimes where there is smoke, there is fire. With this one, there isn't even a hint of smoke. That's smoke, not Smoak by the way.