Because You Asked: Money Never Sleeps

It’s time for interleague baseball and the return of the Battle of the Beltway, though I still insist on taking the Baltimore-Washington Parkway into D.C.

Get ready to watch pitchers try to hit. Or lay down a bunt without losing two fingers.

While we’re waiting, I decided to break out another sequel to the always popular and occasionally sarcastic “Because You Asked.”

Why? Because I’m getting asked a lot of the same questions, and it makes sense to just post them here rather than have them get lost - along with my responses - in the comments section.

So here we go:

Why does Brian Matusz have Brady Anderson’s name on his glove?

This is a popular one. I usually get asked four or five times whenever Matusz starts. It’s quite simple: Brian keeps forgetting and picking up the wrong glove.

Why does Brian Matusz have Brady Anderson’s name on his glove?

OK, the real reason is Anderson gave it to Matusz as a gift while the team was in Anaheim. It’s not much different from the glove Matusz used to wear, but he appreciated the gesture. And he has three quality starts in his last five outings. Maybe it’s bringing him luck.

When are the Orioles going to dump Kevin Gregg?

Right now, that would be like breaking up with the hot Kardashian sister. Gregg hasn’t allowed a run in his last six outings covering 8 1/3 innings. His ERA is down to 3.75. He’s gone two innings three times, which qualifies as a long man in this bullpen. And for anyone claiming that Gregg hasn’t been used in pressure situations, I’ll politely ask you to check your facts and refer you to the Boston and Kansas City games. Gregg can help the Orioles right now or he can be trade bait at the non-waiver deadline. No need to swallow the rest of that contract.

Are the Orioles making any progress in contract negotiations with Adam Jones?

Executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated that negotiations wouldn’t take place during the season, but he’s had contact with Jones’ representative. The assumption here is nothing’s hot or Jones would know about it, and Jones claims that he hasn’t heard anything. His rep has been instructed not to bother him with non-update updates. If there’s a significant development, he’ll be informed. Otherwise, he’s just focused on baseball - and hitting home runs pretty much every day.

Why does Jones touch his left arm when he crosses home plate?

It’s his way of signaling to Duquette that it’s going to cost the Orioles an arm and a leg to keep him. He also taps his thigh, but nobody seems to notice.

Why does Jones touch his left arm when he crosses home plate?

Tough crowd. OK, the real reason is he’s honoring his mother and grandmother. From what I recall - and Jones isn’t big on making this stuff public - he has tattoos on that arm. My daughter’s name is tattooed on my right shoulder and I tap it every time I tweet.

How many followers do you have on Twitter?
At last count, 7,646 people are following me at @MASNroch.

Was that a shameless self promotion?

Next question.

What’s the timetable for Brian Roberts’ return?

There’s no timetable. Roberts and manager Buck Showalter have discussed some dates, which aren’t being made public because they’re as flexible as the hot Kardashian sister. Showalter doesn’t want Roberts to feel pressured into meeting some sort of rehab deadline. And Roberts literally is taking it one day at a time, also to relieve the pressure. He’s taking early and regular batting practice. He’s taking infield and simulating turning the double play and diving for balls. He’s making all the road trips and watching games from the dugout. But none of that brings us closer to knowing exactly when Roberts will see his name in a lineup for the first time since May 16, 2011.

What’s the timetable for Nolan Reimold’s return?

There’s no timetable. Reimold doesn’t know whether he’ll need a second epidural injection to alleviate the discomfort from a herniated disk in his cervical spine. He still has tingling in his left thumb and forearm, and soreness in his shoulder and upper arm. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday. Two days later, he hasn’t even reported to extended spring training or gone on an injury-rehab assignment. We might have to wait until June before we see Reimold in the Orioles’ lineup.

What’s the timetable on Zach Britton’s return?

There’s no timetable. Britton will make his third extended spring training start Monday. Then, he’s expected to report to one of the affiliates and begin an injury-rehab assignment. He could make one start. He could make two starts. The Orioles could activate him and plug him into their rotation. They could activate him and plug him into Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation. We just don’t know at this time. But he’s made significant progress, and he’s the next man up if anyone in the rotation isn’t deemed worthy of occupying that spot.

What’s the timetable on Sidney Ponson’s return?

His bar tab hasn’t been paid, so unless he climbed out the men’s room window, he’ll be back.

When will you stop making Sidney Ponson jokes?

When I’m dead.

What’s the timetable for Dylan Bundy moving up?

Unless something changes, he’ll make two more five-inning starts at low Single-A Delmarva before being promoted to high Single-A Frederick. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends the season at Double-A Bowie. I’d be surprised if he got any higher. Then again, I also said that I’d be surprised if a third minor leaguer in this organization got higher after two others were suspended for a drug of abuse, and look what happened.

What happens to Robert Andino when Brian Roberts comes back?

Wish I had a firm answer, but there are so many factors. Roberts could be the designated hitter, at least in the early going. Andino could move to third base, where his glove would be a welcomed addition. He could be the super-sub that Showalter envisioned over the winter, starting most nights, but at different positions. I love Andino’s glove at second. I’d love it at third. And he’s earned regular at-bats. A pleasant problem to have, and one that Showalter will gladly tackle. He’s been waiting.

When is Showalter going to move Markakis down in the order?

Buck doesn’t have a list of dates that he passes out to the media, and he doesn’t rank Markakis among his biggest worries. Trust me, he isn’t losing sleep over Markakis. He spends enough hours staring at the ceiling while the errors pile up and the starters slump and the bullpen empties when his team plays 15- and 17-inning games and the disabled list swells like the other Kardashian sister. He isn’t pacing the floor over Markakis.

What’s your favorite Donna Summer song?

Tie between “Last Dance” and “On the Radio.”

How old are you?

Next question.

What’s the latest on Miguel Tejada?

Had a falling out with Melvin Mora. Had a falling out with Sammy Sosa.

No, what’s the latest on Tejada’s return to the Orioles?

That ship has sailed. Garrett Atkins will play third base.

No, what’s the latest on Tejada’s return in 2012?

Oh. That ship keeps springing a leak. It doesn’t seem to get far. The S.S. Minnow was sturdier. Tejada remains at extended spring training in Sarasota. He’s played shortstop and third base, along with serving as the designated hitter. He’s rusty, so the Orioles are keeping him there a little longer. Duquette said Tejada will be evaluated again at the end of this week. He told me this yesterday. On a Thursday. So I guess we’re close to a decision. The big question is whether Tejada would be willing to play at Norfolk, or would he only accept a major league job. He signed a minor league deal, so the answer should be obvious, but we’re talking about Tejada here.

What’s trunk stabilization?

Let me begin by saying it has nothing to do with Ronny Paulino’s car, which arrived at spring training long before he did. Players with lower back issues, and this includes backup catcher Taylor Teagarden, do a series of exercises designed to strengthen that area of the body. And I developed a love for that phrase, so I tried to use it at least once a day while in Sarasota. Got my face slapped a few times.

Should Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Jim Johnson make the All-Star team?
It’s terribly early to submit your votes ... but don’t forget Wei-Yin Chen.

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