The closer

Sorry to leave the comments unattended for so long. I ended up in Canton last night and...well, I ended up in Canton.

I could use a little more sleep, but I’m playing tennis in about an hour and I wanted to get the blog cranked up before I dragged my tired body onto the court.

The Orioles will make their selection in tonight’s First-Year Player Draft no later than 7:15 p.m. Each team is on the clock for five minutes now that MLB Network has gotten involved and we have to milk this sucker for all it’s worth.

I’m hoping for Texas prep flamethrower Jameson Taillon, but I wouldn’t fuss if he’s gone and they take Florida prep shortstop Manny Machado.

I’ve heard Machado described as having “five-tool potential,” but a scout from another organization over the weekend was talking about the kid’s below-average speed. I have no idea, but four tools would suffice.

The Orioles won’t select a closer, and I’m convinced that they should do away with him. Not Sopranos style, but they shouldn’t designate one. It just doesn’t work out for them.

I haven’t researched it, but I’m guessing that the Orioles are the only team in baseball that doesn’t have a player on its active roster with a save. Alfredo Simon (six), Michael Gonzalez (one) and Jim Johnson (one) are on the disabled list, and Cla Meredith (one) is at Triple-A Norfolk.

Juan Samuel gave the ball to Will Ohman yesterday in a save situation and the left-hander allowed the tying run. Samuel will probably do the same thing if the opportunity presents itself, judging from his post-game comments.

At least, that’s how I’m interpreting them. Let me know if I’m wrong:

“Going into that inning with the lead, we said we were going to use Will to close the game, and hey, that’s the guy we wanted out there,” Samuel said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t do the job, but if the situation comes up again, we’re going to be doing it.”

Maybe Ohman is the right guy in certain situations, especially if the opponent is sending up two or three left-handed hitters. Other times, it might be David Hernandez and his mid-90s fastball. Or Jason Berken if he’s locating and getting outs. Ditto Matt Albers.

I’m usually not a big proponent of the closer-by-committee approach, but I don’t see a way around it.

Samuel says Simon (or is it Simon says?) will be the closer once he’s activated, but I’m not sure that’s a good idea, either. Sometimes, yes, but not automatically.

It just doesn’t work out for them.

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