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The groundhog didn't see his shadow today, which means six more weeks of Bruce Chen on the free agent market.

Nobody said it was going to be easy for the Maryland women's basketball team to repeat as national champions.

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No, wait...everybody said it was going to be easy.

Guess again.

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Corey Patterson and Erik Bedard are the only Orioles still eligible for arbitration. Must be nice to know you're getting a raise - win, lose or settle.

This is a very important year for Patterson, who can't afford to revert to his Cubs form after a mostly impressive 2006 season. He still must convince team officials that he's the long-term answer in center field, or they'll open the door for him to leave via free agency.

Patterson increased his average by 61 points over the previous season and had a career-high 45 stolen bases, the third-highest total in club history. He led the American League with 17 bunt hits. He also showed tremendous range in center. But he also batted .207 vs. left-handers, the third-lowest average in the league, compared to .301 vs. right-handers. That needs to change, or Jay Payton will be playing a lot of center.

Former Orioles catcher Raul Casanova (Class of 2002) signed a minor league contract with the Devil Rays.

The groundhog didn't see that coming, either.

Yesterday's best quote, courtesy of Bears quarterback Rex Grossman: "I'm realizing how ignorant you guys (reporters) are. But I don't mean that in a bad way."

It's all good, Rex. It's all good.

Grossman sounded much friendlier earlier this week during a taped interview that aired on The Anita Marks Show on ESPN Radio 1300 and MASN, but that might have been before the media's 427th reference to his erratic play.

Adalius Thomas is supposed to sit down with Marks today. Most of the guests are credentialed. Thomas will be wearing a franchise tag.

Don Shula also will join Marks.

Shula, Miami, the Super Bowl.

Am I the only person who sees these words strung together and thinks 1969 and Joe Namath?

(Super Bowl III was played in Miami, in case I needed to explain that).

Other Marks guests this week included Hines Ward, Tony Siragusa, Trent Dilfer, John Riggins, Emmitt Smith, Rob Dibble, Steve Beuerlein and Gil Brandt.

I bet she can't wait to get back to Baltimore and sit across from me. She just won't admit it.

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