A fresh outlook

I just plowed through the breakfast buffet at the Ramada and I’m in a much better mood this morning. Sorry about the rant last night. Must have been the flight and the long wait for the shuttle.

I showed absolutely no restraint at the buffet. People were beginning to stare, and I doubt it had anything to do with being fans of the blog.
The players and coaches aren’t the only Maryland representatives staying at the hotel. So are the cheerleaders. I spotted a few of them at breakfast.
I’m in a much better mood this morning.
It’s Senior Day for the Florida State contingent, so you know they’ll come out with a lot of emotion. The Terps will need to hang tough and not get steamrolled early. If it’s close at halftime, I like their chances, especially because coach Ralph Friedgen is confident that he can find five healthy offensive lineman.
That always helps.
It’s a chilly morning here after being downright frigid last night. So much for that warm Florida weather. Plenty of room around the pool.
The Terps are wearing their white jerseys with red pants. Just thought you’d like to know. And left tackle Scott Burley is likely to start despite that nagging ankle injury. No Andrew Crummey, however. That means his replacement at right guard, Jack Griffin, will have to do a Crummey job.
Now that Alex Rodriguez is returning to New York, we can turn our attention to Mike Lowell, who reportedly has been offered a three-year deal from the Red Sox worth about $40 million – and they're not budging from it. And Miguel Cabrera, who no longer is on the Yankees’ radar unless they plan on moving A-Rod to second.
The Yankees reportedly made a four-year offer to Lowell worth $55-$60 million, with the intention of moving him to first base. It appears the Angels, Braves and Cardinals also are willing to go four years, which must mean the Cardinals would shop Scott Rolen. I’m not sure what the Braves are thinking.
If Cabrera is, indeed, available, he’s also a more appealing option for teams than Miguel Tejada, who seems to be everyone’s fallback guy. “If we can’t get him or him or him, then we’ll consider Miguel.”
The Twins want to upgrade at third base after Nick Punto batted .210, but they’re more likely to sign Mike Lamb, who batted .289 with 11 homers for the Astros.
The Cubs traded outfielders Jacque Jones and Craig Monroe this week because they want to give the fulltime center field job to Felix Pie and make a run at Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome – a name I haven’t heard attached to the Orioles. A name I’d love to hear certain people here attempt to pronounce.
By the way, the Cubs aren’t going to re-sign Cliff Floyd. I remember when the Orioles made a run at him and thought they had him. They came close.

More Cubs: They’re moving Ryan Dempster back into the rotation and hoping to re-sign Kerry Wood so he can share closing duties with Bob Howry.

Free-agent closer Francisco Cordero is represented by my favorite agent name: Bean Stringfellow. Stringfellow met with Brewers officials on Wednesday and they remain the frontrunners to sign Cordero. It’s believed Stringfellow is seeking the same four-year, $43 million deal he got for Billy Wagner two years ago.
If the Orioles were a closer away from contention, I’d recommend they go after him hard. But it wouldn’t make much sense now – unless they figure to be ready to make a run in 2009 or 2010, while Cordero still is under contract.
Again, there are no indications that the Orioles are going to pursue a big-name free agent. None.