Keeping a close watch on Koji Uehara

Keeping a close watch on Koji Uehara
My bags are packed and I'm ready for the airport. But is the airport ready for me? I'm trying to tear myself away from my 800th viewing of "Cobra" on Spike TV, easily one of the worst movies ever made. Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen. I know, I know ... how could they possibly mess up that one? Stallone utters one of my all-time favorite cringe-worthy lines while confronting a shooter in a grocery store about two minutes into the flick: "You're a disease, and I'm the...
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Funeral arrangements for Ernie Tyler

Funeral arrangements for Ernie Tyler
The Orioles just released details of the funeral arrangements for longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler, who passed away last night. A viewing will be held Sunday and Monday from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Evan's Funeral Chapel, 3 Newport Dr., Forest Hill, Md. 21050. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Saints Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 533 East Jarrettsville Rd., Jarrettsville, Md. 21050. Interment will follow at Bel Air Memorial Gardens, 809 Rock...
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Ripken statement on Ernie Tyler's passing

Ripken statement on Ernie Tyler's passing
Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. was deeply saddened by the news that longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler passed away last night at age 86. Ripken released a statement today that read: "Today, Baltimore lost a very special man in Ernie Tyler. The Tyler family is synonymous with Orioles baseball, and O's games won't be the same without Ernie. His commitment and dedication to the Orioles and to the game was something my family and I have always admired. He was Baltimore's true Iron Man and...
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Orioles reach agreement with Guthrie (quotes added)

Orioles reach agreement with Guthrie (quotes added)
The Orioles have reached agreement with Jeremy Guthrie on a contract for the 2011 season, assuring that they won't go to arbitration with any of their eligible players. Guthrie will receive $5.75 million this season. He was seeking $6.5 million, while the Orioles countered at $5 million. His hearing was scheduled for Wednesday in Phoenix, but it's no longer necessary. Guthrie, who made $3 million last year, will likely be the Opening Day starter. He went 11-14 with a 3.83 ERA in 32 starts...
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Ernie Tyler, O's Hall of Famer, passes away (with statement)

Ernie Tyler, O's Hall of Famer, passes away (with statement)
Sadly, the rumor is true. Ernie Tyler, the longtime and beloved umpires attendant at Camden Yards, passed away last night at age 86. An Orioles official confirmed the news. Tyler had undergone surgery Oct. 6 at University of Maryland Medical Center to remove a benign brain tumor after experiencing dizziness four days earlier at Camden Yards. He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in early December. Tyler, a member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, worked 3,819 consecutive home games at...
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This and that

This and that
One more day in Maryland and I'm heading south for part of the winter. If another person asks when I leave for "spring break," I'm going to launch myself and deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit. I won't be shotgunning beers poolside on MTV and judging wet T-shirt contests (at least not during the week.) It actually qualifies as work. I looked it up. On the positive side, I won't be packing my ice scraper. And if I suddenly change my mind, I could always race back home after missing my...
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Scott talks about his contract agreement

Scott talks about his contract agreement
I just spoke to Luke Scott over the phone from the parking lot of an Eldersburg grocery store. As always, timing is everything. It's really not safe for me to leave the house. I do appreciate that Scott took the time to call me back. He was at a gym in California when I texted him earlier today about agreeing to terms on a contract for the 2011 season and avoiding arbitration. "I'm very happy with the deal. Its a fair deal, it's a good deal for both sides and I'm glad we got it done,"...
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Orioles avoid arbitration with Scott (updated)

Orioles avoid arbitration with Scott (updated)
Once again, the Orioles have managed to reach agreement on a contract with an arbitration-eligible player and avoid the potentially messy process. Luke Scott, expected to be the regular left fielder, has agreed to terms on a 2011 deal, according to a team official. The Sun is reporting that Scott will be paid $6.4 million. He asked for $6.85 million and the Orioles countered at $5.7 million. A hearing was scheduled for Monday in Phoenix, which is no way to spend Valentine's Day. It's been...
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Picking a dark horse in Sarasota

Picking a dark horse in Sarasota
I could attempt to cheat and wait until I get to spring training, watch a few workouts and talk to the manager before choosing my dark horse for 2011. Or I could do the honorable thing and make my decision today, without benefit of bullpen sessions and batting practice, without the opinions of the people who will construct the 25-man roster, without first having my palm read. As if it matters. I selected pitcher Brad Hennessey before arriving in Fort Lauderdale, blinked and missed his entire...
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Guerrero physical in Sarasota

Guerrero physical in Sarasota
The Orioles reached agreement with Vladimir Guerrero on a one-year contract Friday night, but he won't undergo his physical until early next week. No sense rushing these things. I know Guerrero moves slowly these days, but this is ridiculous. OK, I'm spent. The Orioles' physicians will gather in Sarasota for spring training - the equipment has been shipped down there - so it makes sense for Guerrero to meet with them at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The physical could take place as...
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Not many camp competitions looming

Not many camp competitions looming
It's another busy day for me as I try to get my life in order before spring training. As if I can do that in one week. I haven't succeeded over the last 25 years. Why start now? Anyway, I'm getting my taxes done this morning and racing to the warehouse for - wait for it - a Twitter meeting. Yes, I'm going over to the dark side. And I brought extra batteries for the flashlight. Right now, you can only find my blog entries linked on Twitter, but I'll do a lot more with it once I get to...
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Orioles back on WBAL

Orioles back on WBAL
The Orioles issued a press release announcing that they're returning to 1090 AM WBAL Radio after a four-year absence from the station's airwaves. It's a multi-year deal, but I'm not sure if it includes incentives. I'm also not sure how many fans really care, but I know there was some curiosity. You'll tune in wherever you can find the games. Just make sure to switch to AM. And I don't mean Andy MacPhail. Orioles representative Alan Rifkin made the official announcement tonight at 6...
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A call to young arms

A call to young arms
No matter which lineup you've chosen for the Orioles, and we kicked around a few more ideas yesterday, it's important to heed the words of second baseman Brian Roberts that he delivered to reporters at FanFest. They reached our ears long before the Orioles reached agreement with Vladimir Guerrero, but Roberts' message still rings true. "For us, the biggest key is still going to be our young pitchers, our young starters," Roberts said. "They're going to have to pitch well for...
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Riske business

Riske business
You have to like a sports agency that announces when its clients sign a contract. Welcome to the Twitter world. CAA Baseball has tweeted that reliever David Riske agreed to a minor league deal with the Orioles that includes an invitation to spring training. Riske appeared in 23 games with the Brewers last season, compiling a 5.01 ERA before being released in August. He already got his Tommy John surgery out of the way in 2009. Riske is 20-20 with a 3.67 ERA in 11 seasons with the Indians,...
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Reimold talks about Guerrero signing

Reimold talks about Guerrero signing
I found Nolan Reimold in the usual place this winter, working out with former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson in California. He'll stay a little longer before reporting to spring training in Sarasota. Reimold knows the addition of Vladimir Guerrero could have a direct impact on him, "but I guess the full extent of how it impacts me remains to be seen," he said earlier today in a brief phone conversation. "There will always be good players in the major leagues and there will always be...
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Another look at the lineup

Another look at the lineup
I have another appointment this morning that's going to occupy a chunk of my time, but I'll return later with something a little more substantial for the blog. In the meantime, I wanted to revisit my projected Orioles lineup that I filed Friday night after the news broke about Vladimir Guerrero. A reader suggested that Mark Reynolds should bat fifth behind Guerrero and ahead of Luke Scott. I had Scott's left-handed bat separating the two right-handers. To review: Brian Roberts 2B Nick...
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A busy winter

A busy winter
Exactly one week from today, I'll be standing inside the home clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota or staking out the parking lot, jotting down the names of pitchers and catchers as they report on the mandatory date. I'll make note of any position players that show up early. And I'll wonder again whether I packed enough socks and underwear. Where has the winter gone? It's fair to assume that the Orioles are done shopping. They're certainly finished with the heavy lifting after...
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Duchscherer looking forward to fresh start & good health

Duchscherer looking forward to fresh start & good health
Justin Duchscherer just proved that he can interview hurt. Duchscherer came down with a bad cold, but he still took questions between coughs in a noon conference call. "I don't usually sound like a 70-year-old smoker," he joked. I guess he was a little too enthusiastic after a team physician told him to "turn and cough." It's OK to stop now. Duchscherer, who agreed to a one-year contract late Sunday night that could pay him $4.5 million with incentives, discussed his three hip...
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Crunching some Guerrero numbers

Crunching some Guerrero numbers
Good morning to everyone. Many thanks for the kind birthday wishes directed at my lovely daughter. I'm sure she'll expect more of them on the actual date (She's a Valentine's baby, and not the least bit spoiled.) I'll pass along some Justin Duchscherer quotes later today. You remember him, right? Veteran free-agent pitcher. Sort of a big deal until last night. Looking at some of Vladimir Guerrero's numbers, I'm just blown away by his consistency over 15 major league seasons. He's...
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A few thoughts on Guerrero

A few thoughts on Guerrero
For my daughter's 18th birthday, I decided to get her Vladimir Guerrero. She really wanted a car. (If I was feeling more clever, I'd come up with a joke that ties together Guerrero and a car. Maybe later.) Actually, my daughter turns 18 on Valentine's Day, but my family gathered tonight because I'll be in Sarasota for the big occasion. And naturally, the Orioles decided to make news as the entrees arrived. Well, it's the least they could do after forcing us to wait until tomorrow to...
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