Waiting for the first workout (with radio schedule)

Waiting for the first workout (with radio schedule)
SARASOTA, Fla. - I woke up to a bunch of spam comments on the blog, most of them from senders claiming to have squirrels in their pants. Is that really how my day is starting? Anyway, pitchers and catchers are taking their physicals this morning and the clubhouse is closed to the media. They'll immediately head to the back fields for workouts, so access will be delayed. I won't be arriving at Ed Smith Stadium before 11 a.m., unless I want to sit in a room and stare at the walls. A team...
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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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Gonzalez ready to get going

Gonzalez ready to get going
SARASOTA, Fla. - Michael Gonzalez was a health riddle last spring, insisting that his left shoulder felt fine while everyone noticed his diminished velocity and spotty location. He blew two of his first three save chances and went on the disabled list April 14 with a strained shoulder. He wasn't reinstated until July 21. Gonzalez posted a 1.76 ERA in his first 18 appearances after being activated. He looked like a different pitcher, and not simply because he no longer was closing. Orioles...
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Talking renovations and Tillman

Talking renovations and Tillman
SARASOTA, Fla. - I took an extensive walk through Ed Smith Stadium, where the construction will continue right up to the home opener on March 1. Most of the work should be completed by Feb. 21. Construction beyond the left field fence, including an elevated picnic perch that fans are going to love, will take a little longer. The lawsuit delayed construction, but it also allowed for some late changes to the original plans, including raising the picnic area from ground level. I walked through...
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Notes on Patton, Accardo and Drese

Notes on Patton, Accardo and Drese
SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman just arrived together at 12:16 p.m. Troy Patton isn't allowed to speak with the media regarding his DWI arrest in Houston last month. He politely declined to comment before leaving the clubhouse, but he's clearly embarrassed by the incident. Patton may not have to leave the team for a court hearing later this month. There's a chance that he'll be able to work around it. Brad Bergesen was playing catch on one of the back fields with Jeremy...
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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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More scenes from Sarasota

More scenes from Sarasota
SARASOTA, Fla. - Koji Uehara just played catch outdoors. So far, so good. Third baseman Mark Reynolds has reported with the pitchers and catchers. Looks like he's eager to get started. Reynolds is working out today and will take his 2-year-old daughter to Disney the next two days. I told him to enjoy these precious moments while he can, since my little angel turns 18 tomorrow. I swear she was 2 when I left the house yesterday. I took another spin through the clubhouse. It's a little...
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The start of spring training (updated)

The start of spring training (updated)
SARASOTA, Fla. - I can say that spring training has officially started because my rental car is parked at Ed Smith Stadium and I've already walked through the clubhouse once this morning. I saw a bunch of empty lockers. I also saw a huge crane outside the stadium as the renovations continue at the complex. The finishing touches are being applied to the back fields, which should be ready for tomorrow's first workout for pitchers and catchers. Some of the stadium work could continue until the...
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More on Vladimir Guerrero's physical

More on Vladimir Guerrero's physical
It's become more apparent that Vladimir Guerrero isn't in a hurry to do anything this winter. Sign with a new team. Take his physical. The man works at his own deliberate pace. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was on my AirTran flight to Sarasota today, and he informed me that Guerrero's physical is now scheduled for Wednesday. Guerrero's been dealing with some scheduling conflicts. He's not trying to back out of the deal. Though Guerrero hasn't signed a...
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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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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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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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Ernie Tyler never stopped doing what he loved

Ernie Tyler never stopped doing what he loved
The last time I saw Ernie Tyler was, well, vintage Ernie. He was sitting near the corridor that leads to the umpires' dressing room in Camden Yards, a stack of towels perched on his lap and a smile on his face. It's a pretty good memory, befitting an amazing guy who is as synonymous with the Orioles - and on a first-name basis, no less - as Frank, Brooks, Boog or Cal. It happened the day before dizziness forced his hospitalization last October, before surgery a few days later to remove a...
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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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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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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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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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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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