Thinking out loud

I'll apologize in advance for what's about to follow:

A soon-to-be-released biography of Charles M. Shultz portrays the cartoonist as bitter and depressed.


Maybe he was just tired of working for Peanuts.



Would someone please get Indians manager Eric Wedge a razor? He looks like he should be waiting in line for a bowl of soup. Does he know these games are televised?

Once the Orioles fired Mike Hargrove and he returned to the Indians in some advisory role, speculation was rampant that he would replace Wedge at some point. It was just a matter of time.

I find it interesting that three of the four managers whose teams are still alive in the playoffs are Wedge, Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin.

We're not talking legends here. But Bob Brenly didn't qualify, either, and he won it all in 2001.

Then there was a guy named Joe Altobelli...

As for that guy named Joe Torre, he sure sounds like someone who expects to be fired. Then again, George Steinbrenner might have forgotten that he threatened to make a change if the Yankees lost in the first round. Or he might have forgotten that Torre is the manager.

I've never heard anyone suggest that Torre lost the clubhouse in New York. Not this year, not any year. His players rally around him every single time there's even a hint that he could be fired. That's highly unusual these days. And we're talking heavyweights like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

I know the Orioles are roasted every year for failing to improve their bullpen, no matter how much money they spend, but the Yankees haven't exactly mastered the art, either. Doesn't it seem like they bring in a batch of new arms every year?


Meanwhile, I'm sure Mike Mussina will be getting that World Series ring any time now.

Wasn't Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach the player who was supposed to be traded from the Red Sox to the Rockies for Larry Bigbie, after the Orioles swapped Bigbie for Eric Byrnes? The two teams had a deal in place, the Red Sox backed out and the Rockies were stuck with Bigbie. They also were furious.

My take on Brandon Snyder playing third base in Hawaii: The team has two first basemen. And the Orioles wouldn't mind gauging Snyder's versatility. They like his bat, or at least what it's capable of doing. And they invested a first-round pick in him, so they really, really want him to reach the  majors. They just don't know where he'll play.

As for Miguel Tejada's influence in the Orioles' clubhouse, just like any other player, he has his supporters and a few guys who believe the shortstop, and the team, would be better off if he was traded. He's not universally loved. Who is?

You approach any guy in that clubhouse, and if pressed, he would point to someone else and unleash criticisms. And that same guy would be on the receiving end if you ventured elsewhere. But there's a lot of respect for Tejada, especially his willingness to play hurt.

Players who appear to be milking an injury, or don't know the difference between pain and injury, are the ones who catch the most heat. Tejeda isn't one of those guys.