Baltimore Sun

Projected and rejected

I took the advice of one reader and Googled the words “Marisa Miller” and “iPod.” My vision’s still blurred, but I’ll try to write this entry.
While contributing to a magazine’s baseball preview edition, I had to post a mock batting order, bench, rotation and bullpen for the Orioles. It’s still so early, but I needed to pretend that Opening Day was tomorrow. And I needed to resist the urge to scream.


2B – Brian Roberts

3B – Melvin Mora

RF – Nick Markakis

1B – Kevin Millar

DH – Aubrey Huff

C – Ramon Hernandez

LF – Luke Scott

CF – Jay Payton

SS – Luis Hernandez

I noted that Payton could platoon in left if he’s not traded. Tike Redman could play center. Freddie Bynum could play center. Paul Blair could come out of retirement. But for now, I’ve got Payton in center while waiting for the Orioles to make another move.

Was Corey Patterson so bad?

I put Bynum, Redman, Scott Moore, Jay Gibbons and catcher Guillermo Quiroz on the bench. Yes, Guillermo Quiroz is the early favorite to back up Ramon Hernandez. Maybe Brandon Fahey cracks this group. Maybe one of Chris Gomez’s old batting gloves becomes the 25th man.

The first four spots in the rotation were easy: Erik Bedard, Jeremy Guthrie, Adam Loewen and Daniel Cabrera. The winner of the fifth slot would be determined in a steel-cage match involving Garrett Olson, Brian Burres, Troy Patton, Matt Albers and Hayden Penn. Radhames Liz can hand out towels at the end before reporting to Norfolk.

Matt Clement might not be such a gamble afterall.

Now for the bullpen.

Should we really go there?

Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford are slam dunks. Burres can be the long man if he doesn’t make the rotation (I believe the other fifth-starter candidates should be starting in Norfolk if they’re not in the majors). Dennis Sarfate, acquired in the Miguel Tejada trade, is out of options and must make the team or someone will claim him off waivers. Randor Bierd is a Rule 5 pick who has to stick around or be offered back to the Tigers for $25,000 – roughly the cost of Aubrey Huff’s “incidentals” on road trips. Jim Hoey didn’t make much of an impression on manager Dave Trembley, and team president Andy MacPhail won’t rush any prospects. In my book, that spells N-O-R-F-O-L-K. But there’s always Fernando Cabrera, who allowed 14 runs and 12 hits, and walked nine, in 10 innings after joining the Orioles. And Greg Aquino, signed off waivers from the Brewers. And Rocky Cherry – porn star or ice cream flavor.

I’m getting sad.

It’s still early. Opening Day isn’t tomorrow. And that’s good, because there’s a lot of work to be done.