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Congratulations to Jonathan Ogden, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister, Adalius Thomas and Ed Reed for making the Pro Bowl. Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, Matt Stover and Gary Stills were named alternates.

Looks like Ryan Klesko is signing a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants.

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We could really spark an interesting debate on whether Chris Ray is expendable in the right trade.

How important is a good, young closer on a fourth-place team? I've made past comparisons to putting nice wheels on a beat-up car. My 1997 Cavalier, for instance. But few things demoralize a team faster, and especially its young starting pitchers, than blown saves. And my guess is Danys Baez would compile more of them than Chris Ray.

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Jamie Walker is a left-handed specialist. Chad Bradford should be pitching in the seventh and eighth innings. Who knows if Scott Williamson will hold up physically?

Baez would be the logical replacement. I just doubt that many of you would make that trade straight-up.

Which takes us back to whether Ray is expendable in the right trade - like one that would bring a power-hitting first baseman or left fielder.

If I was more sold on Adam LaRoche, I'd be more willing to pull the trigger. I still have my doubts about this guy. But Ray shouldn't be untouchable.

The Orioles would take back Todd Williams as a sixth-inning guy. Or fifth inning, if you're not as optimistic about the starting pitching. They could do worse.

Chris Hoiles says he'll make some calls seeking advice on his new managing gig in York, Pa. Sam Perlozzo can expect to hear from him.

"Sam was always kind of the architect behind spring training with the Orioles when I was there," Hoiles said. "I'll be picking his brain a little bit now from this side. There's going to be a lot of braining picking here the next few months."

It's been a good year for Hoiles, who was inducted into the Orioles' Hall of Fame in August.

"To tell you the truth, it's all been good, with all the accolades I got through the Orioles, not only in '06 with the Hall of Fame, but making the 50th anniversary team," he said. "Since I've retired, it's been really nice to be noticed in that way and have my name called with a lot of Oriole greats. To have my name mixed in with that group, it's been great. I can't even put it into words."

Hoiles said he'll lean heavily on Ryan Minor, his infield and hitting instructor, who played and coached in the Atlantic League. And with all these former Orioles on his staff, he's looking to instill "The Oriole Way" into the York Revolution.

Hoiles was making the 7 1/2-hour drive today from his Ohio home to York, with his wife and three sons, ages 10, 8 and 5. He loves the idea of being back in this market, so close to Baltimore.

"That's kind of the neat thing, too," he said. "I don't know where we're going to live yet, but being so close to Baltimore after so many years is really exciting for me and my whole family. We get to eat crabs again."

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Hoiles was a volunteer coach at Bowling Green for four years and spent the last two as the head assistant coach at Eastern Michigan. His family once again will have to get used to having him gone.

"This is going to be a lot different," he said. "It's going to be hard on all of us for a short period of time. The college level is really family friendly. You're able to come home at the end of the day. You take road trips on weekends, for a couple of days, and then you're right back home. This is going to present a whole different level here because I'm basically going to be without them from the time we go to spring training in the middle of April until school's out at the end of May. My oldest boy's playing ball. Probably middle to third week of June is when they'll come out to be with me until school starts again in August. It was a family decision, but there are certain things that come up in your lifetime, opportunities that you can't hardly pass up. I feel this is one of them for me."

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