More Orioles mailbag leftovers

The leftover Halloween candy should be the good stuff if you were smart and used the proper strategy. Hand out the filler first from those big variety bags – Whoppers, Sweet Tarts, Dum Dums – and withhold the fun-size Snickers until you run out.

We could debate what’s “fun” about a smaller version, but I’m here to share extras from this week’s mailbag.

Always a sweet treat.

An important reminder: My mailbag turns sugar into muscle and yours turns it into Type 2 diabetes.

Did any Orioles make the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game?
We found out yesterday that left-hander Trey McGough was chosen. The Orioles selected him from the Pirates organization in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. He pitched at Mount St. Mary's University and was recovering from Tommy John surgery when the Orioles got him at the Winter Meetings. McGough allowed three earned runs and struck out 12 batters in nine innings with the Mesa Solar Sox. The game airs Sunday night on MLB Network.

Are there even any murmurs about early-bird extensions for Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson?
Not a peep. But keep in mind that executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias keeps any talks private because, as he puts it, there’s no benefit to sharing. So, we can’t be certain. I am certain, however, that Henderson’s agent, Scott Boras, prefers having his clients hit the free agent market.

Just spit-balling here, but if the Orioles bring Shintaro Fujinami back, will the first thing they have him do is go to an optometrist?
The spring training physicals include eye exams. I don’t think vision is his biggest issue.

Have you heard any rumors, murmurs or other scuttlebutt about international amateurs connected to the Orioles?
I have a heart murmur. Will that suffice? Also, Francys Romero tweeted last week that 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Jordan Sánchez is signing with the Orioles in the $400,000-$450,000 range. He left Cuba in July. Good bat speed and power, per the report.

Could the mailbag column BE any funnier? RIP Matthew Perry.
Thanks for this. RIP Chandler Bing (and especially Alex Whitman in “Fools Rush In” with some actress named Salma Hayek.)

Has Rolaids or Tums ever contacted Brandon Hyde about doing TV commercials when he endures his "bad salami" posture during games in the dugout?
Hyde has talked about watching replays of games on MASN, seeing himself in the dugout and thinking, “Is that really how I look during games?” Pretty funny. I give him credit for staying in the dugout during those 100-plus loss seasons. I would have been seated at the nearest bar by the top of the fourth.

Have you heard any plans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the modern Baltimore Orioles next season? Or is 75 a better number, which would be the 2029 season?
They’d both work for me, but I haven’t heard anything yet. Good question. I’ll stay on top of it.

Are you going to stay for the Rule 5 draft in December or skip out early?
I always stay and the Orioles always make a selection. Every year beginning in 2006. Not all of them keepers, of course, but it’s a small cost and no risk. Are we really talking about this in early November? We need some real news around here.

What would be the first thing you would add to the Orioles outside stadium experience?
A PA system where the sound travels outside a three-foot radius.

What stadium upgrade could they do that would most help you in doing your job?
Besides an upgraded PA system? A scoreboard that’s easier to read from the press box. And maybe a four-second pitch clock to really speed up the games.

Do you see any of our players getting extensions this offseason beyond arbitration years?
I don’t expect it. Guys coming off Tommy John surgery – John Means and Félix Bautista – have been exceptions.

Who is your favorite out-of-town stadium worker that you go out of your way to visit with at the ballpark?
I don’t have to go far on my trips to Tropicana Field. Dukes Knutson works in the press box and is as good as it gets. An exceptionally nice guy who also happens to be very good at his job. He takes tremendous care of the media.

Should the O’s trade for Tyler Glasnow? If he’s a worthy target, would you let Tampa Bay pick and choose from the O’s prospects?
Yes and no. He’d be a good target at the right price, with fingers crossed that he stays healthy. But letting the Rays take any prospect isn’t right.

Who are some candidates to take over as pitching coach in 2024? Please don't say "your mom."
I’d never! But at least you said “please.” Logic says Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Justin Ramsey is a candidate. There’s also pitching strategy coach Ryan Klimek. They’d be two solid in-house options.

Any thoughts on having a SOR get-together at Lou7’s place this winter so he can grill for us?
That’s a char-cool idea. I’ll bring a side dish.

Or a six-pack of your bad puns.
That isn’t a question.

For the past few years, we’ve read how great the clubhouse is and all vertical management. Without specifically throwing anyone under the bus, can you reference a time when the opposite was true with the team?
Going way back to my early days on the beat, there was noticeable friction between player development and scouting. One side didn’t like the draft picks, the other side didn’t like how they were developed. Fingers pointed with each bust. As for the clubhouse, there was some jealousy over preferential treatment with certain players and wives. Some of the stars wanted the same perks. You can probably figure it out. And cliques were more common. Not as much blending of personalities, cultures, whatever.   

How do you define a top of the rotation pitcher? How many TOR pitchers do you think there are in MLB? Can you give us a few names of current guys in MLB who you consider to be TOR guys? Who in O's history would you consider to fit your TOR definition?
You ask a lot of questions for a guy from New Jersey (RIP Gilda). Top of the rotation for me is a guy who isn’t there by default. He has a track record. He’s a stopper. An All-Star who’s going to rank among the statistical leaders and maybe vie for the Cy Young. Mike Mussina comes to mind, though I recall a former club official questioning the right-hander’s ace status due to his tendency to come out of games “early.” But Mussina was an ace. Just like Gerrit Cole, Blake Snell, Shohei Ohtani, Shane McClanahan, Corbin Burnes, Zac Gallen, and a healthy Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer.  

In the spirit of Halloween: Reeses, Snickers or M&Ms?
There is no wrong answer here. And especially peanut M&Ms.

Do you believe that Adam Jones’ role will expand within the organization? Perhaps serve as a coach in spring training and/or perform other duties during the season?
Jones doesn’t really have a role to expand. Just retired as an Oriole and was a guest splasher for one game. He’d be an asset as a camp instructor. Probably too early for the club to be compiling that list. He made it clear this summer that he’d be open to serving in some capacity in the organization. This is home for him.

Was the Bird Bath a one year thing? Do they come up with a new shtick?
I’m anticipating a new shtick. The players dictated the water theme with their celebrations. They’ll probably come up with something new in 2024. Remember the championship belt? Here and gone.

Favorite Thanksgiving leftover?
My mom’s stuffing. I’ll eat it cold. Also love her sour cream mashed potatoes, but not cold.

What does your crystal ball see for Ramón Urías and Ryan O'Hearn?
I’m not getting a clear read on Urías, only speculation that someone like Joey Ortiz could fill the utility role, and at a lower cost. The ball says “signs point to yes” on O’Hearn making the Opening Day roster, but I had to shake it. Wait, that was a Magic 8 Ball. No wonder.

If Coby Mayo makes the team, will he automatically be in the condiment races each game?
I see what you did there.

What are the chances we get Gunnar Henderson or Adley Rutschman as next year's cover athlete for MLB the Show?
Two solid picks. Especially with Henderson being the American League’s Rookie of the Year. It’s Gunnar happen.

I see what you did there.
Hard to miss it. And not a question.

Is it OK to hand out candy cigarettes to trick-or-treaters?
Yes, if the choices are the cigarettes or the cinnamon snuff. And this is probably a good place to stop.

Will John Angelos pay for the installation for a high diving board for Mr. Splash to celebrate Orioles home runs in 2024? Just thinking outside of the box, “Soar in ’24.”
I’m not expecting Mr. Splash to return. And this is definitely a good place to stop.

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