Some minor leaguers need to bring extra gloves this year

Some minor leaguers need to bring extra gloves this year
With the news coming out of Sarasota this week that Brandon Snyder will put the catching gear back on for a look at that spot in the big league camp, it reminds me of a topic we've discussed here before: defensive versatility in the O's minor leagues. We began to see some of it last summer. This year, we should see players at times playing somewhere that would not normally be their regular position. For instance, first baseman Joe Mahoney played four games in the outfield at Single-A...
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The O's minor league spring training schedule

The O's minor league spring training schedule
The Orioles have announced the schedules for their minor league spring training squads. The clubs will play 16 spring training contests. Minor league pitchers and catchers will report to camp in Sarasota on Sunday, March 6, while position players will report on Thursday, March 10. There will be four games each day with a Triple-A, Double-A and two Single-A games with the two O's higher level squads playing at one site and the two lower level clubs at another. If the higher level teams are...
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Adam Jones' take on "First Take"

Adam Jones' take on "First Take"
While waiting to see how distracted Albert Pujols will be waiting for the all the money his next contract will provide, I took some time to watch the video of Adam Jones' appearance on ESPN's "First Take." What, ESPN covered the Orioles? Yep, Adam was in Bristol this week. Click here to see that video. (Yeah, I'm slow getting around to see this, guess I was distracted.). "We're going to go out and play hard and the sky's the limit really because I think everybody is optimistic about...
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Hearing from the man with the O's plan in Sarasota

Hearing from the man with the O's plan in Sarasota
Now that spring training is here, David M. Schwarz is getting to see his vision come to life. Schwarz is the design architect and master planner for the improvements and renovations to the Orioles' facilities in Sarasota, Fla., which include Ed Smith Stadium and the club's Twin Lakes minor league complex. "For us, it was extremely important to make something that felt quite at home in Sarasota," Schwarz said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "Sarasota has a style that is...
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They came to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler

They came to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler
It was a cold and blustery morning in Harford County. Not a day exactly made for a ballgame, but that didn't stop hundreds from making their way to St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Jarrettsville to say goodbye to Ernie Tyler. The man, who was an Orioles employee since their first season in 1954 and umpires attendant since 1960, died at 86 on Thursday. The stories about Ernie and kind words from so many have been pouring in ever since and today was a time for a final goodbye. The...
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Building deep depth in the lineup and bullpen

Building deep depth in the lineup and bullpen
Call it the principle of displacement. If the Orioles put Vladimir Guerrero in the fourth spot in the batting order, doesn't that mean it will move others down in the order, displacing them? It should then help the order become stronger if someone who batted fourth can move down to fifth or sixth and so on and so on. One possible batting order for the Orioles is Brian Roberts leading off, followed by Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee, Guerrero, Luke Scott, Mark Reynolds, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and...
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It looks like Chorye Spoone is back on the O's radar

It looks like Chorye Spoone is back on the O's radar
For Orioles pitching prospect Chorye Spoone, the long road back from shoulder surgery in September 2008 has just about reached its end. Some fans were worried when he walked eight in just 3 2/3 innings in his last start at Bowie last Aug. 19. But he was simply out of gas, but not hurt again, after throwing 132 innings in 2010 at Double-A. That is not a lot until you remember, he had pitched just 71 innings combined in 2008 and 2009, before and after his surgery. But Spoone, once one of the...
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What are you thinking about as spring training begins?

What are you thinking about as spring training begins?
Well, a new Orioles season is finally here. Pitchers and catchers will be on the field in Sarasota tomorrow and the first exhibition game is two weeks from tomorrow. So what story lines are you interested in as camp begins? What are you wondering about? What most excites you about this team? I am wondering if: * Adam Jones will bat second. Since I wrote that was my preference several weeks ago, I've noticed I am not alone. Despite the fact several of you think I am crazy and have lost my...
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Taking a guess at who might play this year at Norfolk

Taking a guess at who might play this year at Norfolk
Now that the Orioles' spring training roster is out, we can take a guess and make some projections as to what this year's Triple-A Norfolk lineup might look like. It's clear to me that Norfolk is likely to have a more veteran lineup this year, one potentially filled with players that may be more major league-ready than in some past seasons. Not only is the O's big league roster upgraded, but it looks like the Orioles have made a decided effort to have players at Triple-A that will have...
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Contemplating a baseball season without Ernie Tyler

Contemplating a baseball season without Ernie Tyler
Ernie Tyler was a physically small man, but his impact on the Orioles' organization was massive. For me and many of you, Ernie has been a constant over so many years of going to O's games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards. It says all you need to know about Ernie when Cal Ripken Jr. asks you to end a streak and come to his Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown. By now, you know Ernie died last night at 86. The offseason began with news he was hospitalized, and now, as a new season is...
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Looking back on a busy day in the comments section

Looking back on a busy day in the comments section
First of all, I thank everyone for posting so many comments yesterday. Many were well thought out and I think you all proved that the baseball IQ of the readership here is high. I think my computer is still smoking. Some of the comments were coming in faster than I could get to them. I remember telling someone that called, "Can't talk now, got to get to more comments. Maybe later." I remember thinking I needed to check my e-mail and finally got to it about an hour later. Hey, that was...
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Keith Law criticizes O's offseason moves

Keith Law criticizes O's offseason moves
There is clearly a lot of excitement and anticipation for the 2011 Orioles season. Some of the national media has given the team some props lately. But ESPN.com's Keith Law won't make that list. In a phone conversation yesterday afternoon, Law told me he feels certain the O's have little chance to even be a .500 team this year. He also was very critical of Vlad Guerrero and Mark Reynolds and of many of the moves the club has made this offseason. "The Orioles are not a club right now that...
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Adam Jones: "The time is now"

Adam Jones: "The time is now"
Even before the Orioles acquired Vladimir Guerrero, O's center fielder Adam Jones was psyched about the club's offseason additions and rather excited for the 2011 season. "The first couple years (I was here), no moves really had been made, maybe a couple here and there. This one seems like, the time is now. I like it," Jones said recently at FanFest. Even though Jones has been in the Oriole lineup for three years and has played in 473 major league games, he remains one of the youngest...
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The Frederick Keys have their say

The Frederick Keys have their say
Last week, I wrote about the Frederick Keys' unsettled lease situation with the CIty of Frederick for Harry Grove Stadium. The Keys' lease runs only through September of this year and the city may soon accept bids for that lease for the 2012 season. If that happens, it is at least possible that an independent league team could gain that lease for 2012 and beyond and the Keys would be without a home. You can review that story here. It seems hardly anyone wants to comment or be interviewed...
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O's look to bring BuckBall to their minor league affiliates

O's look to bring BuckBall to their minor league affiliates
When the new seasons begin for the Orioles' minor league affiliates in April, the O's want their minor league managers to take on even more responsibility than they have previously and will provide them some help to do that. To make sure the four full-season clubs - Norfolk, Bowie, Frederick and Delmarva - are ready to provide proper instruction for the players and that everything is running smoothly and efficiently, the club will place at least one minor league staff member with each team...
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More Guerrero benefits, including lineup protection

More Guerrero benefits, including lineup protection
Two fringe benefits of the Orioles' addition of Vladimir Guerrero are that it should bring more media attention to the club and it might help the O's sell a few more tickets. The O's pickup of Guerrero produced airtime for the club on MLB Network and a live appearance by Buck Showalter on "SportsCenter" this weekend - time the club would not otherwise have gotten. To many that won't be a big deal, and I agree with those of you who think that way, but it's still nice to see ESPN mention...
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Showalter comments about addition of Guerrero

Showalter comments about addition of Guerrero
There has been a lot of discussion about the Orioles increasing their contract offer to get an agreement with Vladimir Guerrero. According to this report on ESPN.com, Buster Olney's sources say that $2 million of the $8 million is deferred. Meanwhile, while O's president Andy MacPhail will not comment on the deal until it is official, manager Buck Showalter did appear on ESPN's "SportsCenter." He pointed out that the deal is pending a physical, but he also made some comments on the...
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In other news

In other news
After the blitz of news, posts and reader comments about Vladimir Guerrero, here is a tidbit or two on other things Oriole. Even though new Orioles' pitcher Justin Duchscherer has made 192 career major league appearances out of the bullpen, don't expect to see him doing any of that in Baltimore. "He sees himself as a starter and we brought him in with the idea that he'd be given every chance to be a starter," O's president Andy MacPhail said. MacPhail said the Orioles currently have...
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I can't agree with Rob Neyer this time

I can't agree with Rob Neyer this time
There are a lot of national baseball writers out there who are talented, bring a lot to the table and are worth reading all the time. Rob Neyer is clearly one of them. He may be underrated and almost always has some real knowledge to spread with his opinions. But I don't agree with this column where he is down on the Orioles' addition of Vladimir Guerrero. Let's take some of this point by point, with some excerpts from his column. Guerrero's got a name, obviously. But can you really...
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More Guerrero: Some stats, facts and opinions

More Guerrero:  Some stats, facts and opinions
While no one knows for sure how well - or not - Vladimir Guerrero will hit for the Orioles this season, no one with any sense can deny the amazing career he has had. He ranks 24th on baseball's all-time OPS list. Some of those ahead of him are Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Mickey Mantle, Rogers Hornsby and Joe DiMaggio. Here are some that trail his career mark of .946: .945 - Ty Cobb and Ryan Howard .941 - Willie Mays and Chipper Jones .933 - Albert Belle .929 - Hank Aaron .926 -...
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