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Hayden Penn didn't make it out of the first inning today, but there's still good news from Oakland:

He got out of the shower without any mishaps.

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I felt like I was undergoing an appendectomy while watching the first inning, except my enthusiasm was being removed. A little at a time. With a melon baller.

It got so bad, I think one of Ryan Howard's home runs today was charged to Penn.

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So what should the Orioles do?

Keep starting Penn until the season ends. Forget about this one. Regard it as a glitch, or the result of a severe case of nerves. Whatever excuse works for you. But the organization's opinion of Penn won't be shaped by this one outing.

He might need a pep talk, maybe a hug, but that's about it. No need to overreact. He's much better than what he showed today. He knows it, and the Orioles know it.

Penn could begin next season as a long reliever/spot starter, but he should get a September look in the rotation, with the understanding that days like this one won't bury him.

It's funny how this game works. If Penn handles that comebacker and begins a double play, he's out of the inning. The ball deflects off his glove for an infield hit, a run scores and the flood gates open.

This bit of news is sure to crush all of you Ravens fans - try to be strong - but Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had an emergency appendectomy today (as opposed to the leisurely kind) and will miss Thursday's opener against Miami. Charlie Batch will start in his place.

At least Penn already got his out of the way.

What's next for Roethlisberger? A tummy tuck? Three more surgeries, and this guy will break David Segui's single-season record.

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