Cleaning out my notebook

Just when it seems the Ravens can't catch a break, they have Steve McNair's shoulder injury as the perfect excuse to change quarterbacks.

So how long before fans are chanting Troy Smith's name on Sunday?

The Orioles will help the Nationals break in their new ballpark with a March 29 exhibition game. This gives the local media – especially the talking heads – another chance to force the "rivalry" angle down our throats.

Tasty. But I'll need to wash it down with more references to "Baltimore" on the road jerseys and Jon Miller coming back to Baltimore.

Tickets won't be sold for this life-altering event. People with a season-ticket package get in free (and I know there's a joke in there somewhere). Other tickets will be given away (same joke).

If you believe in signs, maybe the fact that Allie Hunter, daughter of MASN studio host Jim Hunter, won the 3A state field hockey championship with Fallston last night means the Orioles are closer to winning a title than we realized.

I'm just not sure the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association will allow them to compete in the sport.

Admit it, you woke up this morning and thought, "What were Curt Schilling's incentive clauses in re-signing with the Red Sox?" Well, here they are:

He can earn $2 million if he makes weight during six weigh-ins – and that would be incentive enough for me to drive past Taco Bell at 2 a.m. He's also got innings-pitched bonuses starting at 130 and going up in 10-inning, $375,000 increments to 200. And he receives $1 million if he gets one Cy Young vote.

He also earns another $1 million if I get his stats right while comparing him to other pitchers in the voting.

By the way, the weigh-ins were Schilling's idea.  I'm guessing that we'll soon see him doing Jenny Craig ads with Kirsty Alley and Valerie Bertinelli.

(Raise your hands if you had the same crush on Bertinelli that I did as a kid. I was one fan letter and a vial of blood away from becoming a stalker)

The Astros are looking for a closer and/or set-up man after trading Brad Lidge. Think they've heard about Danys Baez's surgery?

They've already contacted Francisco Cordero's agent and have inquired about Dontrelle Willis. Should the Orioles be doing the same?

A sure sign that Torii Hunter isn't re-signing with the Twins: His agent, Larry Reynolds, didn't meet with the team during his two days at the GM meetings.

The buzz around baseball is that free-agent pitcher Carlos Silva could command four years and $40 million this winter. The Twins reportedly offered three years and less than $20 million.

More on the Twins: It appears they are willing to move starter Matt Garza for a young hitter. They're targeting Delmon Young and B.J. Upton. You have to figure they're also looking at Nick Markakis.

Program alert: Aubrey Huff is supposed to call into The Anita Marks Show today around 4 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1300 and MASN. I'm going to ask him to compare the crab cakes in Baltimore and Tampa, just to even the score.