Ripken critiques Reynolds, Hardy and more

Ripken critiques Reynolds, Hardy and more
If you're looking for someone to critique the Orioles' winter additions at third base and shortstop, Cal Ripken seems like the logical person for the assignment. He's played both positions and his opinion always counts. Ripken has added next month's coaching clinic at the University of Maryland to his busy schedule (more on that later), but he took time earlier this morning to talk to MASN and The Sun in a conference call. Ripken gave high marks to the trade that brought third baseman...
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OK, so what about today?

OK, so what about today?
Yesterday passed without the Orioles doing anything. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail might have made contact with more agents or rival executives, but that's only an assumption. The media has been left in the dark because he's no longer returning our calls. I can confirm that the Orioles didn't sign any free agents or complete any trades. Only four shopping days left until Christmas. I'm actually stopping the count after Thursday, so make it three. Assuming that Adam...
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Ex-Oriole update

Ex-Oriole update
The Nationals signed first baseman Michael Aubrey to a minor league deal, according to this tweet from the team. And yes, I just wrote "this tweet from the team." Aubrey made a pretty good impression on the club late in the 2009 season, but he was hurt in spring training and recovering from a minor medical procedure that required stitches in his back. He fell behind the other first basemen in camp, hit .235 in Triple-A (though a power surge raised his home run total to 22, fifth-best in the...
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Is this the week? (updated)

Is this the week? (updated)
Baseball activity usually slows down the week between Christmas and New Years, so this week could be relatively busy for the Orioles. Keeping those fingers crossed. Players generally prefer to be signed before the holidays to remove that distraction and plan their lives accordingly. Their families obviously share the burden. The exceptions, of course, usually involve Scott Boras. Adam LaRoche figures to make his decision before the weekend. It's not like the market is growing for him. And...
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This and that

This and that
Cliff Lee is out of the American League, and he took Zack Greinke with him - and dropped off the right-hander in Milwaukee. This season should be a breeze for the Orioles. All they need is for Andy Pettitte to retire and they'll win 90 games. Greinke reportedly has been dealt to the Brewers for shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. The Brewers also will receive shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and $2 million. I don't...
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Still waiting for LaRoche

Still waiting for LaRoche
Howard Megdal at mlbtraderumors.com posted the top five Phillies general managers since 1960, with Paul Owens placing first. I suppose we could do the same thing here with the Orioles. Feel free to submit your top five GMs in franchise history. Extra credit if you include the reasons. Homework on a Saturday? That's so not fair! The Orioles still haven't announced their minor league coaching staffs because they're waiting for a few contracts to come back. Should happen early next...
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Three-year offer for LaRoche? (with Accardo update)

Three-year offer for LaRoche? (with Accardo update)
I received a call at 6 a.m. with an automated message alerting me that Carroll County schools are opening two hours late. I texted my daughter, who responded with a "Yes!!" and went back to sleep. I had two dreams that I can remember: Rushing somewhere to conduct an interview for the blog, and co-hosting a sports talk show on MASN. Not exactly an escape from reality. I remember the days when I'd dream about Salma Hayek. What's happened to me? (I'm sure my parents remember the days...
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Ohman: "I'm not going to close the door" (updated)

Ohman: "I'm not going to close the door" (updated)
As the Orioles search for another left-handed reliever, they haven't given up on the possibility of bringing back Will Ohman. They've had talks with his agent, Danny Horwits, and Ohman said a return is "always a possibility." "I'm not going to close the door, either," he said earlier today via cell phone. "I enjoyed my time there." His time with the Orioles ended with the July 31 trade to the Marlins that brought pitcher Rick VandenHurk into the organization. "It's a situation...
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Roll call for relievers

Roll call for relievers
I'm still dealing with e-mail issues because AOL - yes, I know, so lame - keeps forcing me to change my password once or twice a day since the great virus attack of 2010. AOL randomly decides that my password is invalid, which also prevents my BlackBerry from receiving e-mails. I can't get a technician to assist me because I don't pay for the service, and the AOL.com "chat room" didn't provide any solutions before I went to bed. Maybe I entered the wrong room. I should have known when...
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Paying the utilities

Paying the utilities
The Orioles have bigger fish to fry than a second utility player. A first baseman comes to mind. It jumps right into the boat. I'm not overly concerned about a veteran starter, though I understand the team's interest in acquiring one. Manager Buck Showalter wants more options for the five spots. He's counting six right now, which doesn't give him much room if there's an injury or a young arm - we'll use Zach Britton as an example - isn't deemed ready. Rick VandenHurk, who's out of...
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Accardo reaches agreement; Gregg rumor

Accardo reaches agreement; Gregg rumor
A team official confirmed this afternoon that the Orioles have reached agreement with former Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo on a one-year deal worth $1.08 million. The Sun quotes Accardo's agent, Damon Lapa of All Bases Covered Sports Management (catchy name.) The deal is official pending a physical. The Blue Jays non-tendered Accardo, making him a free agent. He's eligible for arbitration again after 2011, so the Orioles could retain his rights for another season. Accardo registered...
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A sit-down with Mark Reynolds

A sit-down with Mark Reynolds
Manager Buck Showalter believes that the Orioles traded for Mark Reynolds "at the perfect time." He considers Reynolds a "change of scenery guy," as he described the new third baseman earlier today. Showalter doesn't care about the .198 average and the three straight seasons with 200-plus strikeouts. That's in the past. Mark Reynolds stops by the MASNsports.com Web Studio for a one-on-one with Roch Kubatko Reynolds made his first friend on the team when he shared a ride with pitcher...
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Brian Roberts talks about the new infield

Brian Roberts talks about the new infield
It doesn't sound like the Orioles have a lot of interest in pitcher Joe Blanton, who's reportedly available after the Phillies signed left-hander Cliff Lee. The reviews seemed to be mixed in the organization and I'd be surprised if the club made a run at him. The Orioles still want to add a veteran starter to provide more competition in spring training. Right now. you're looking at Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Rick VandenHurk....
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Arrieta: "I'm completely healthy"

Arrieta: "I'm completely healthy"
Since I'm keeping tabs on the facial hair, I'll pass along that Jake Arrieta is sporting a full beard. That's going to come off in Sarasota. Arrieta says the concern over the bone spur in his right elbow was "kind of blown a little bit out of proportion." "I know some people have my health as a concern, just with that bone spur, but it's been there for a long time," he said. "Kind of went away. It only kind of flared up for that one outing and then went away, so it's really not an...
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Koji fine with closer or set-up role

Koji fine with closer or set-up role
Koji Uehara arrived at the Dave & Buster's at the Arundel Mills Mall with sideburns that are so long, the ends meet underneath his chin. And he wants to keep them that way as his new "trademark." Not sure that'll be allowed under the club's facial-hair policy, but I'm rooting for him. Uehara, speaking through interpreter Jiwon Bang - but also understanding many of the questions before they were relayed to him - said he's "really happy" to stay with the Orioles. Asked for the factors...
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Surprise! Cliff Lee is off the board

Surprise! Cliff Lee is off the board
I woke up to the shocking news that Cliff Lee has agreed to a five-year, $120 million deal with one of his old teams, the Philadelphia Phillies. So much for the Yankees and Rangers fighting it out for Lee. There's something about the Yankees not getting what they want that puts a smile on my face, even at this early hour. Lee took a lesser deal to pitch for the Phillies again, but we're still talking $120 million. And the contract reportedly includes a vesting option for a sixth year that...
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Cal Ripken's statement regarding Favre

Cal Ripken's statement regarding Favre
Cal Ripken knows a thing or two about streaks. He seems like the logical guy to comment on quarterback Brett Favre, whose NFL-record streak of consecutive starts ended tonight at 297 (only a few more than his record number of retirement announcements.) Favre has been taking snaps since 1992, but a right shoulder injury didn't allow him to suit up for tonight's rescheduled game against the Giants. He was listed among the Vikings' inactives. In a statement, baseball's Iron Man said the...
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Koji's re-signing official; role to be determined

Koji's re-signing official; role to be determined
Koji Uehara passed his physical today and signed a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2012. Uehara will receive a base salary of $3 million, with incentives that could raise the deal to $5 million. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail didn't declare Uehara the closer during the winter meetings. He said the reliever's role would depend on manager Buck Showalter. If the Orioles sign Kevin Gregg, Uehara could slip into a setup role, though his pinpoint control makes him my...
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Trying to figure out a lineup

Trying to figure out a lineup
I woke up this morning to a massive spam attack on my e-mail account and a video of Miley Cyrus taking a bong hit. It's going to be one of those days. My BlackBerry refused to accept anymore e-mails from my account after about 30 "undeliverable messages." Now that's a smart phone. Meanwhile, my laptop held about 1,850 of them, plus another 241 in my spam basket. Had to change my password to log on, and I'm still receiving them and, apparently, sending them out to the innocent...
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Brady Anderson talks about Reynolds

Brady Anderson talks about Reynolds
A few days ago, I wrote about outfielder Nolan Reimold's workouts with former Oriole Brady Anderson. You also can include third baseman Mark Reynolds on the list of Anderson's clients. In an interesting coincidence, Reynolds contacted Anderson before the Orioles traded for him at the winter meetings. "It was a nice circumstance that he's with the Orioles now," Anderson said. Anderson had a lot of favorable comments about Reynolds. "Reynolds is a stud," Anderson said. "I've...
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