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Some names from the Orioles' past:

The Mariners released Jose Morban, the former Rule 5 pick who made up part of manager Mike Hargrove's thin bench.

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I can still remember fans roasting Hargrove for not playing him more, as if Morban was a legitimate prospect. Hargrove knew better. And he was trying to save his job.

Former first-round pick Darnell McDonald made the International League's post-season All-Star team after batting .292 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs at Triple-A Durham.

McDonald came to the Orioles accompanied by a tremendous amount of hype. Teams passed on him in the 1997 draft because they thought he'd accept a football scholarship to Texas and be impossible to sign. The Orioles took a chance with the 26th overall pick, signed him and got very little in return.

His attitude turned off some people in the organization - more than one person considered him a bad influence on former outfielder Tim Raines Jr. - and once McDonald started to show signs of maturing...well, he wasn't as good as advertisesd. He appeared in 17 games with the Orioles in 2004, going 5-for-32.

Maybe football would have been the smart choice.

By the way, nobody from Triple-A Ottawa or Double-A Bowie made their respective league's post-season All-Star teams.

The Reno Silver Sox won the independent Golden Baseball League championship. The tournament MVP: First baseman Doug Gredvig, a former Orioles farmhand.

Remember pitcher Franklyn Gracesqui, whose fastball reportedly was clocked at 100 mph over the winter? Remember how it didn't even reach 90 in spring training, which puzzled the Orioles and left them groping for reasons? I kept peaking at a scout's radar gun during an exhibition game in Vero Beach, Fla., and Gracesqui was stuck in the '80s like a VH1 special.

I hear that after they removed him from the 40-man roster, his fastball touched 95.

Go figure.

Gracesqui was put on the restricted list and didn't finish out the season at Ottawa. Improved fastball, declining attitude.

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