I know the Orioles are desperate for healthy starters, but I had no idea they put Armando Benitez in the rotation last night.

What's that?



Daniel Cabrera says he wasn't throwing at Dustin Pedroia. He also says the moon is made of cheese.

"The guy is an idiot," Pedroia told reporters afterward. "I dropped my bat. It kind of freaked me out. I was upset they took him out of the game. He is good to hit. He's 9-15. The guy [stinks]."

Pedroia also is an idiot for calling out the 6-foot-9 Cabrera, unless he plans on using David Ortiz as a bodyguard. But I understand why the rookie is upset. Having a 98-mph fastball fly past your head isn't much fun.

I highly recommend that you tune into The Insiders Roundtable Show tomorrow at noon on WHFS (105.7), and not because I'm the co-host. Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone was terrific, and Cabrera was one of the topics - before last night's dust-up.

Mazzone dismisses Cabrera's record and says the right-hander is pitching better than he did in 2006. He also believes the Orioles have a "championship" rotation in Cabrera, Erik Bedard, Adam Loewen and Jeremy Guthrie. And I don't need to remind you which rotations Mazzone coached in Hot-lanta.

I love Cabrera's arm. I'm not a big fan of his head. He needs to grow up in a hurry.

Anyone out there still think he would make a good closer?

Staying calm under pressure isn't one of Cabrera's strengths. He's still learning to pitch at this level, which is brutal. He can't field his position. He's a work in progress like Radhames Liz, except Cabrera should be more advanced at this stage of his career.

Cabrera is a conditioning freak. He'll run the steps at Camden Yards before batting practice. But Mazzone once had to remind him to do it AFTER his bullpen session, because Cabrera barely could stand up on the mound.

That's not to say the guy's an idiot - no matter what Pedroia thinks. But he needs a lot of guidance.

Mazzone also tells a great story about his first meeting with Erik Bedard, who bluntly told him, "I've hated every pitching coach I've had."

Mazzone's response: "Wonderful." Then Mazzone started telling Bedard about all the guys he's hated in baseball, and they soon bonded.

Mazzone should have his own show. If he played for the Ravens, he already would have a deal.


Now I need Tom in Tinseltown to post a comment about Cabrera. Wouldn't Elton John's "Daniel" be the perfect song to accompany it?