We need to build our pitching staff, but we need to build the innings with our starting pitching first. Once we do that reasonably well, I think we'll look at a closer. We have a little more depth to our staff, but like any good pitching staff, you need to have a thousand innings going into the season. If you look at the left-handers we've picked up, they've pitched closed to 200 innings. [Tsuyoshi] Wada pitched 205 innings [in Japan], counting the playoffs. [Dana] Eveland pitched 185. We're working on conditioning programs for the other pitchers so they can withstand the stresses of major league pitching. We're working on that but have some options at closer that I think Buck [Showalter] can figure out in spring training.
I think it's a part of it. It's managing the pitching staff very concisely. Part of it is the recovery between starts, the throwing program, the maintenance. I think those are all factors. We're addressing all those things. If we're going to stabilize the team, we've got to stabilize the pitching staff.
Even though a lot of the fans would rather have Prince Fielder, right?
Well, who doesn't, right? (Laughs)
What about the situation at second base? Right now, you really don't know what you're going to get out of Brian Roberts.
If he's ready, that's great. If Roberts is not ready, we've got some other guys who are professionals who can do a good job. We've got [Robert] Andino, the kid [Ryan] Flaherty we picked up, we have [Matt] Antonelli. We have this other kid, Ryan Adams, who is a pretty good hitter. So we have four potential options there. There's a little bit of depth there.
A blast from your past, Manny Ramirez, is supposed to work out for teams this month. Can we expect the Orioles to be at that workout?
Manny? Manny is an interesting guy. He's trying hard to make a comeback.
But would you be interested in seeing his workout?
Manny's an interesting guy. He's interesting to the fans. And he can hit. Or he could hit. I don't know if he still can. But he's working hard on getting a second chance. [According to a report by ESPNDeportes.com, the Orioles recently watched Ramirez hit in a batting cage.]
What has been your take on the fans so far?
They love the Orioles. They love the ballpark. And they love the winning tradition. They're not keen on the 15 years. They're proud of the tradition here, and it's a good baseball town.