Since we're talking tired cliches, how about "on baseball's biggest stage?" Or "on football's biggest stage?"
Pretty much any "stage" where an athlete stands while having a big game.
You'll be inundated with that one during the Super Bowl. If you check out a handful of World Series stories, it'll be splattered all over the place. And just wait for March Madness.
Don't even get me started on "two teams heading in opposite directions."
Meanwhile, I have no problem writing another entry on the blog world's biggest stage. So here we go:
The Orioles "kicked around" the idea of signing a third baseman and moving Melvin Mora to left field, according to executive vice president Mike Flanagan, but that was earlier in the off-season. Not anymore.
Reading between the lines, that means: "Kicked it around until Aramis Ramirez resigned with the Cubs."
Speaking of the Cubs, which bank did they rob? I've checked all the papers.
Mad props to Kevin Millar for realizing that there weren't any two-year offers coming his way. The longer he waited, the more his options would have dried up. And hey, he chose the Orioles over the Yankees and Red Sox. Gotta love him for that, right?
Mike Mussina resigns with the Yankees for two years, $23 million. During contract negotiations, I wonder how many times he said, "So, tell me again exactly how much Pavano is getting next season?"
I think David Dellucci would have been a nice Plan B - or is that Plan C? - in left field next season. Again, judging by what's out there.
I've been asked about Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday. He would be an amazing addition and most certainly worth pursuing. Hard. Just one problem: I haven't heard a single thing about him being available. Am I missing something?
I'll suggest it again: Take the money saved from the Carlos Lee "negotiations" and dump it in Jason Schmidt's lap. Get your No. 1 starter, backed by a reinforced bullpen, find a decent left fielder - or decent platoon - and take your chances.
Oh yeah, and hold onto Miguel Tejada. Those 100-120 RBIs might come in handy.
As for the harsh national assessments of the Orioles' spending on the bullpen, it's not strictly middle relief. The seventh, eighth and ninth innings would fall into the "late" category. And it had to be addressed.
I lost track of how many times I saw a starting pitcher in serious trouble, looked to see who was warming and thought, "He's not the only one in serious trouble."
An Orioles official would grab the press box microphone and announce which relievers were up, and the most commonly uttered sarcastic line of the season would fly out of somebody's mouth (very often my own):
"Oh, now I feel better."
I wonder how many times those same words bounced off the walls in the Flanagan-Duquette suite?