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To bop or not to bop, that is the question

It has been an oft-debated topic this winter. Do the Orioles need a big home run bat in the middle of the lineup? There are varying opinions on that one. A - The O’s just don’t have a true four-hole hitter. B - The O’s can’t win without one. C - To keep up in this division, you must have one. D - What if

Snyder is likely to get another shot at Norfolk

O’s first base prospect Brandon Snyder is smart enough to know that he is likely to begin the 2010 season in the Norfolk Tides’ lineup. He’ll head to spring training with the Orioles in a few weeks “out to win a job” at the Major League level, but he surely realizes that while his time may come this year, it probably will not be on

Not drafted but not forgotten: Frabizio had big year at Bluefield

Vito Frabizio is a guy who left high school during his senior year, almost never pitched as a youngster and was not drafted by any Major League team. So how did this right-hander from West Islip, New York wind up on the mound, pitching well for the Bluefield Orioles last summer? He went 4-4, 2.96 in 12 starts and was third in the Appalachian League

orioles, Steve Melewski

A talk-show caller had a question on a Baltimore radio show last night. How many games does Andy MacPhail feel the 2010 Orioles can win? You won’t get a straight answer from MacPhail on that one. Almost any answer he could give would upset someone. If he took a real conservative route and said the team could improve to 75 wins, some fans would say

After the press conference...

After today’s press conference to re-introduce Miguel Tejada to the fans of Baltimore, the team’s newest player said the Orioles were not the only team that sought his services. “Before the Orioles, there was another team that I considered and they wanted me to play shortstop. I waited, because I felt this was the time to make the move to third base. When my agent

The Orioles’ streakiest player

Andy MacPhail didn’t mince words when asked about Luke Scott during a fan forum at FanFest. He didn’t try to put a positive spin on Scott’s big ups and downs as a hitter. “He is the streakiest hitter I’ve ever been around in my life. There was a three-month stretch where he absolutely carried us. As our guys say, it doesn’t matter who is on

Jeremy Guthrie puts one theory about his 2009 season to rest

O’s pitcher Jeremy Guthrie says it’s too early to predict whether he and the club will avoid an arbitration hearing. Guthrie’s agent recently submitted a salary request of 3.625 million for 2010 while the O’s countered at 2.3 million if it gets to an actual hearing. “It’s so early in the process, we filed numbers. I think the numbers set up the parameters for future

Miggy’s return to Baltimore

Now the O’s have Wiggy and Miggy. Miguel Tejada once drove in 150 runs while with the Orioles - that’s a single season O’s record. Another year he batted .330, that is the second best batting average in team history. Yet he returns to Baltimore older, with more baggage this time (I don’t mean luggage) and as a player whose skills must be declining at

FanFest notebook

A crowd of around 12,000 was on hand for FanFest Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center. It was a great day to get autographs, talk baseball, enjoy many fan forums and for some of us to get the chance to interview several Orioles players. Here are some notes from Saturday with a lot to come in the days ahead.

Mickolio is 100 percent (plus FanFest attendance note)

Reliever Kam Mickolio who was bothered by an inflammed bicep tendon late last year, says he is now 100 percent. “I got it checked here Friday by our trainers and everything checked out 100 percent. They said they were impressed with the range of motion and strength. Everything is looking up right now. “I’ve been throwing for a couple of weeks now. At first, you

MacPhail confirms Tejada agreement

Andy MacPhail says yes, the O’s do have an agreement in principle with Miguel Tejada, pending a physical. He just hinted at that during a fan forum here at FanFest and confirmed that part of the deal with a few reporters after his forum. MacPhail also said Tejada’s physical has not yet been scheduled. The one-year deal is believed to be worth about six million

Roberts talks about Tejada

Moments ago Brian Roberts talked about the O’s likely signing of Miguel Tejada. “I love Miggy, I’m excited. We’re excited to have him back if that’s the case. We’re looking forward to what he brings to the team on and off the field. His personality in the clubhouse and the numbers he puts up.” He was asked about Tejada adapting to a move to third

Luke Scott said.......

He was, of course, pleased that he got his contract resolved recently and is able to avoid an arbitration hearing. “My approach has always been simple. I don’t need to be wined and dined that not’s me. I just want what is fair. I’ve had people try to walk over me in this life and I won’t let that happen. They were fair with me

A few tidbits as FanFest arrives

I’m looking forward to today’s Orioles’ FanFest. It’s a great day to talk baseball, meet fans and even get some new interviews and material for this blog. I believe I will be at the MASN booth for a time in the late afternoon and I will be hosting a fan forum at 5:00 p.m. called “blogging the Birds.” So come on by or stop me

The happiest spring training invitee

If he isn’t the happiest non-roster player that got an invitation to the Orioles’ Major League spring training camp, than he’s right up there. Less than two years after being drafted in round seven in 2008, catcher Caleb Joseph will rub elbows with the big boys in Sarasota starting next month. He and 11 others have been invited to big league camp.

More Dave Trembley comments on Reimold & Pie

Earlier today, we posted a blog where O’s skipper Dave Trembley confirmed that Nolan Reimold will be the O’s starter in left field and that the club has no plans to use Reimold at first base. Here are some other comments from the O’s manager.

Trembley sets the record straight on Reimold

He’s the Oriole that has probably been the most talked about by the fans this winter. Some suggest Nolan Reimold should be the DH or tried at first base this year. Some feel he should be part of a left-field platoon with Felix Pie. Some have questioned his defensive skills.

Pondering a worldwide draft with the O’s Joe Jordan

It’s been discussed for years and now there are reports that Major League baseball has convened a committee to study the possibility of implementing a worldwide draft. Right now, the First-Year Player Draft, that is held in June, covers players from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico only. Players from countries like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are not eligible to be taken.

Have you noticed...

There are a lot of high draft picks among the players projected in the O’s rotation and starting lineup in 2010. The Birds will feature eight starting pitchers or players that were drafted in the first or second rounds, nine if Michael Aubrey starts at first base.

Looking at the Orioles’ big picture

There are certainly a lot of upset O’s fans around here lately. They feel like the club should have added another bat by now and are concerned who will play first and third base next season. But keep in mind this fact - the O’s don’t need to play a game tomorrow and they still have time left to make a move. Some are unhappy

More on the Minor League coaches and staff

The Orioles recently announced their minor league coaches and staff for the 2010 season. Here are some comments from the man that put the staff together, the O’s Director, Player Development, David Stockstill, about this year’s staff. Click here to check out the staff for 2010. Of your seven U.S. affiliated teams, five managers return to the club they managed last year. The other two

A matter of leadership

So what makes a leader on a Major League baseball team? Do all teams need a leader and in what ways does it help to have a strong leader? In a game so filled with statistics, we can’t put a number on leadership. And we can debate whether it’s important or not.

More with David Hernandez

Earlier here I presented a story and interview with O’s pitcher David Hernandez. He talked about his winter workouts, his outlook for the coming season and his goal to improve his control for 2010. Here are some more quotes from that interview.

Hernandez preps for 2010 season

After making 19 starts for the Orioles on the mound last year, right hander David Hernandez is quite aware that he is not assured a rotation spot in 2010. But right now he has other important issues to deal with. When I spoke with David by phone Wednesday afternoon, he was speaking from his new house in Elk Grove, California. He and his wife Rachel

It’s Complicated

That might be the title of a Meryl Streep movie. It could also be a phrase used when talking about Mark McGwire and his admission that he used steroids. McGwire should score some points with fans and media for admitting his mistake. He should lose some points for the fact that it took him this long. But he has at least admitted using steroids. Anyone

Staying put for Reimold

I don’t understand why some fans want to move Nolan Reimold to first base. I know the O’s have an opening at that position. But they still might acquire someone to play there - plus they have three first basemen on the 40-man roster in Brandon Snyder, Rhyne Hughes and Michael Aubrey. If the O’s had any designs at all to put Reimold at first

Minor League notes

The Orioles began the offseason with 22 of their own players that qualified as minor league free agents. While the club has not officially announced any signings yet, the O’s have re-signed five of those players: pitchers Josh Perrault, Ross Wolf, Chris George and Alfredo Simon and third baseman Scott Moore. Perrault is a 27-year-old right-hander the O’s selected in the 2008 Rule 5 minor

Stockstill talks about Bordick’s new role

Mike Bordick played six seasons for the Orioles and had a reputation as a smart and very solid defender at shortstop. But it’s the smarts he also used with his bat that he’ll use in his new role as O’s minor league offensive coordinater. Bordick, a career .260 Major League hitter with 1,500 career hits, served as roving infield instructor for the Toronto Blue Jays

How former Twin Denny Hocking joined the O’s organization

A friendship with a member of the O’s public relations department and a Little League coaching dispute have combined to lead former Twin Denny Hocking to the Orioles organization. Hocking will be a first-year pro coach when he serves this coming season as Frederick Keys’ field coach. Hocking, who played in the Majors from 1993 to 2005, has known Jeff Lantz, the O’s media relations

Tough time for a real good guy

It has been a tough few months for now former Orioles pitcher Bob McCrory. After pitching in good health most of the 2009 season between Norfolk and Baltimore, he felt some pain while pitching for the O’s in September and underwent labrum surgery October 2nd at Johns Hopkins hospital. Several weeks later the O’s out-righted him to Triple-A and he was removed from the 40-man

Pondering the pitching roles for Hernandez and Berken

Last season David Hernandez and Jason Berken combined to start 43 games for the Orioles. But will that pair start any games for the Birds in 2010? Will they be moved to bullpen roles? It is a key question to be answered, probably not until at least deep into spring training. First the O’s have to make sure the projected starting five of Kevin Millwood,

Not so fast on the Erbe to the bullpen talk

O’s minor league hurler Brandon Erbe was recently named by Baseball America as the O’s 7th-best prospect. After going 5-3, 2.34 in 14 Double-A starts in 2009, with Eastern League batters hitting just .170 vs. him, it looks like Erbe could be a future stalwart in the O’s Major League rotation. The only problem with that thinking is some project Erbe’s future to be in

Jays join O’s and Rays in pursuit of NY & Boston

The team that once signed B.J. Ryan to a five-year, 47-million dollar deal and then later released him, is going back to the future. The Toronto Blue Jays, who once built championship teams partially due to shrewd drafting, will now put added emphasis on the First-Year Player Draft. It seems the Jays now realize like the Orioles and Rays that you can’t outspend the Yankees

For the love of the game

The movie “the rookie” was on TV last night. It reminds us all that baseball produces great stories. It’s about Jim Morris, the pitcher that made the Tampa Bay club as a 35-year-old rookie in 1999. The game of baseball can be so great. So can the people that play it. Of course there are plenty of times when those people that play and run

Starting a New Year pondering starting pitching

There are many factors which will determine if the O’s can make a solid improvement in 2010. Chief among them is what happens on the mound. It all starts with the starting pitching. The O’s rotation for 2010 projects to be, not necessarily in this order, Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.

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