Making their pitch (updated)

Making their pitch (updated)
Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell will throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Friday's home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1970 World Series championship. Having Brooks and Boog together on Friday is a wonderful and appropriate gesture. Boog was the American League's MVP. Brooks was the Series MVP. Perfect. Gates open at noon. The Orioles will take batting practice from 12:25 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. The Blue Jays will take BP...
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Rays lineup for tomorrow

Rays lineup for tomorrow
Jason Bartlett SS Carl Crawford LF Ben Zobrist RF Evan Longoria 3B Carlos Pena 1B B.J. Upton CF Pat Burrell DH Sean Rodriguez 2B Dioner Navarro C James Shields RHP It must seem strange for Orioles manager Dave Trembley to be overseeing a workout on the day that most teams are starting their seasons. "You play the schedule as it's given to you," Trembley said. "Just like I tell people, I wish I was 29 again, 6-3 and had a full head of hair. Not going to happen. No sense crying over...
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The Opening Day lineup

The Opening Day lineup
Brian Roberts 2B Adam Jones CF Nick Markakis RF Miguel Tejada 3B Luke Scott DH Matt Wieters C Felix Pie LF Garrett Atkins 1B Cesar Izturis SS Kevin Millwood RHP Manager Dave Trembley was asked earlier today whether he's confident that Mike Gonzalez will turn it up once the lights come on and the games count. "Well, he's the closer," Trembley replied. "He's going to get the opportunity to save the games. If it's a save situation, he's going to pitch and I'm confident that he's going...
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Pie vs. Reimold

Pie vs. Reimold
It's become the most interesting battle in the AL East. Forget the Yankees and Red Sox (and I keep trying). Orioles fans seem more worked up about Felix Pie unseating Nolan Reimold as the starting left fielder. Has he really done it? Reimold was brought along slowly this spring because of the Achilles surgery. He told me that he wouldn't be 100 percent until mid-summer, though he ran the bases much better as the Orioles were preparing to break camp. Reimold also started to look more...
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Luke Scott's spot in the order

Luke Scott's spot in the order
As expected, Luke Scott is batting fifth tonight against Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields. The lowest that he figured to drop was sixth behind catcher Matt Wieters, but fifth seemed to be his most likely destination. I had an interesting conversation with Scott earlier this spring - and most of them are interesting because the talk often shifts away from baseball - about his placement in the lineup. He actually suggested that he would make an ideal No. 2 hitter. Scott has accumulated...
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Millwood's Place

Millwood's Place
Pitcher Kevin Millwood heard the rumors about a pending trade to the Orioles. He wasn't exactly blindsided by the news. "I'm a little surprised," he said. "I can say that, but it wasn't a total shock." Winter Meetings Audio: Kevin Millwood calls in to talk about being traded to the O's It became a reality late this afternoon, as reporters gathered at an elevator that would take us to Andy MacPhail's suite at the Westin. Millwood was placed on a conference call after we interviewed...
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Let's all go to the lobby

Let's all go to the lobby
The small lobby area at the Marriott is packed with reporters, baseball executives and managers. The Christmas tree in the middle is taking up valuable space, and I've almost run into it twice. Members of the print and electronic media are constantly checking their BlackBerry's for the latest updates and contradictions. For instance, the New York Post reported that left-hander Andy Pettitte has turned down a one-year offer from the Yankees. The Daily News shot back that no offer has been...
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Who's on first?

Who's on first?
We still don't know. Orioles manager Dave Trembley remains convinced that the first base situation "will be addressed before spring training," as he wrote in an e-mail to me earlier today. That could mean Garrett Atkins or an acquisition from outside the organization. It doesn't sound like Trembley expects to rummage through the inventory, but he might be playing a hunch. More likely, he's basing that opinion on conversations with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. I've...
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Trembley on Pie

Trembley on Pie
Felix Pie returned to Sarasota before the final out in today's 6-6 tie because George M. Steinbrenner Field doesn't have the necessary X-ray equipment. I thought the Yankees splurged for everything. "They don't think it's anything serious, but they have to get an X-ray," manager Dave Trembley said. "That's standard. If somebody gets hit, they get an X-ray. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it until you find out tomorrow where he's at or you get the word on the X-ray." Expect...
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Lugo's "welcome to the Orioles" moment (w/Pie update)

Lugo's "welcome to the Orioles" moment (w/Pie update)
Julio Lugo's first at-bat with the Orioles came with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game. No pressure. Lugo struck out on four pitches, failing to check his swing on the last one from non-roster reliever Grant Duff, but Robert Andino followed with a two-run single. Orioles 6, Yankees 4. Andino homered yesterday after learning of the trade. Now he's snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning. You figure it out. Pie update: Felix Pie suffered a "lower right leg contusion." He'll...
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Game update

Game update
Alfredo Simon retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced, Mark Teixeira's single the only interruption. Four of the five hits he allowed, and all four runs, came in the first inning. Simon didn't walk a batter and struck out two. His velocity was outstanding. Ross Wolf has replaced Simon. We're not used to seeing him enter a game this early. The Orioles collected seven hits off Andy Pettitte in 4 1/3 innings, including singles by Brian Roberts and Nolan Reimold in the fifth. Naturally,...
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Two observations

Two observations
Alfredo Simon allowed four runs in the first inning and almost took off Derek Jeter's head in the second, but the guy's pumping 97-mph fastballs to home plate. It's easy to forget that Simon underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow 10 months ago. Most guys aren't back on the mound this early. Simon is bringing his best heat. Simon made Jeter look foolish while striking him out on a curveball after flashing that 97-mph fastball. Felix Pie doubled in the second inning...
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Nothing new on Andino (w/game update)

Nothing new on  Andino (w/game update)
No sense teasing you and referring to this entry as an "update." The Orioles don't appear close to finding a trade partner for utility infielder Robert Andino, who became expendable once they acquired Julio Lugo from the St. Louis Cardinals. It's worth noting that the Orioles didn't think they would obtain Lugo until a few days ago. Things can change quickly. Andino is out of options, so he would have to pass through waivers before being outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. And you can...
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Pre-game notes

Pre-game notes
Kam Mickolio made it through a bullpen session without reinjuring his groin, and he'll follow Brad Bergesen to the mound in Sunday's intrasquad game. The game will be closed to the media. The entire complex will be closed to the media. And we're not complaining. The Orioles' roster must be finalized and turned into the MLB office by 3 p.m. Sunday. "I would say we're close," manager Dave Trembley said. "You never know, though. I've been in this game long enough to know things happen...
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Yankees lineup

Yankees lineup
Derek Jeter SS Nick Johnson DH Mark Teixeira 1B Alex Rodriguez 3B Robinson Cano 2B Nick Swisher RF Curtis Granderson CF Brett Gardner LF Mike Rivera C Andy Pettitte LHP
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Running the option

Running the option
One of the more commonly asked questions in spring training involves players who are out of minor league options. You wants names. I want to pass them along to you. It's the perfect storm. It also won't require that you put on a heavy coat and grab a shovel. You can check out this list from mlbtraderumors that contains players who are out of options and have less than five years of service time. They have to clear waivers before being sent down. The Orioles' representatives are Matt...
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The keys to Koji

The keys to Koji
Any reference to the Orioles' bullpen has to include Koji Uehara. And any reference to Koji Uehara has to include a mention of his health. Uehara missed two weeks in spring training with a strained hamstring and went on the disabled list with the same injury in late May. He returned to the disabled list on June 24 with a sore right elbow, later diagnosed as a partial tear of the flexor tendon. The Orioles finally sent him home in September. The last time we checked, Uehara was playing catch...
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Because You Asked - The Final Insult

Because You Asked - The Final Insult
Spring training starts, but the questions won't end. You know them, you need them, you want them, you can't live without them. And you'll keep reheating them and pretending they're fresh. Sort of like the side dishes in the press dining room. No matter how many times I shovel the snow off my sidewalk, the questions are piled much higher. And while no two snowflakes are alike - at least in my personal collection that I keep in a safe deposit box - your inquiries look strangely...
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Postcard from the edge

Postcard from the edge
I have seven weeks to fall in love with Sarasota. Right now, I want to take it out for a nice seafood dinner and never call it again. Let's just say my first impression of the city hasn't been a good one. There's not a lot to see and do on Fruitville Rd., at least the stretch that I've traveled since leaving the airport. I can't imagine that this particular area is a hot tourist attraction unless you're into medical buildings and auto repair shops. In that case, you'll want to keep...
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First sign of spring

First sign of spring
It wasn't much of a challenge to find Ed Smith Stadium today. Just hang a left at the huge sign, complete with the cartoon Oriole bird, which welcomes you to the team's new spring training home. I'm seeing a lot of orange and black around here. That Cincinnati red has been covered up nicely. Jim Johnson just threw off flat ground, with Chad Moeller providing the target. "I'm back home," said Moeller, who trained here with the Reds in 2007. Koji Uehara is jogging in the outfield. And a...
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