I have received no information otherwise -- and I’ve checked -- so it’s assumed the private hearing commenced today. They usually run for several hours, and the three-member panel usually doesn’t offer its opinion until the following day.
This is the first time the Orioles have gone to a hearing with a player since 2006 with pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. The Orioles haven’t lost a case (6-0) since 1995 with pitcher Ben McDonald.
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* Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has added 11 members to the 40-man roster since he took over in November. Even with pitchers and catchers reporting next weekend, I’m still not convinced that Duquette is done adding players.
That said, most of the guys on the bottom end of the 40-man roster are Duquette’s acquisitions, so to add someone else, he likely would have to cut loose someone he picked up. That’s why the safer bet is that the Orioles grab a potential major leaguer with a minor league deal. There are some potential bargains out there (including one slugger with Hall of Fame credentials and a looming suspension that I believe has been mentioned once or twice recently).
* My take on Manny Ramirez is similar to most other observers. There wouldn’t be a lot of risk to it financially, but I’m not convinced his presence in the second half of the season will make the Orioles much better. And, with an organization that hasn’t exactly made all the right PR moves in past years, I don’t know what would be gained by such a move.
I will say, however, that just in his three months here you can tell that Duquette is a pretty loyal guy. That’s easy to see based on the staff he has assembled (made up primarily of people he has had success with in the past). And Ramirez played well for him while they were together in Boston. And I think Duquette genuinely would like to see Ramirez get another chance.
Just not sure it will be here.
* The Orioles have announced a new website, CamdenYards20.com, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Orioles’ prestigious stadium. The site includes lots of peeks at history and the park, and includes a Eutaw Street Home Run Tracker that provides details and videos of homers that landed beyond the flag court in right and wall in right-center. Eventually this year, the site will have a countdown of the 20 most exciting games in Camden Yards history.
* The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation will host its annual Babe's Birthday Bash on Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., to celebrate Ruth’s 117th birthday. Baseball's first home run king was born in Baltimore on Feb. 6, 1895. Among the special guest joining in the event are: Duquette, former Orioles catcher and member of the Orioles Hall of Fame Chris Hoiles, Maryland football coach Randy Edsall and former Terps basketball star Johnny Rhodes.
Also, Trevin Jaggers of Homesdale, Pa., is one of 50 fans who will be vying for a chance to be part of MLB's Interactive Fan Cave in 2012. Jaggers is the only Orioles fan to make the initial cut. Online voting, which begins today, will help to determine the Top 30.