The Orioles are playing the New York Mets tonight in Port St. Lucie. The clubhouse at Fort Lauderdale Stadium doesn’t open to the media until 2 p.m., and the bus leaves an hour later.
Given a rare chance to sleep in, I still rose at 7:30 am., showered and went to the gym (yes, I shower first. Don’t judge!)

It’s always difficult to sleep late when you can’t breathe. And this cold has become quite the nuisance.

I’m not getting much sympathy from beat writer Jeff Zrebiec, who went to a nearby clinic to have his persistent cough checked, sat in a waiting room for four hours and was diagnosed with bronchitis and an upper-respiratory infection. He was prescribed an antibiotic and a steroid.

One guy in The Sun’s spring training condo is juiced, and it’s not me. The bookies take another beating.

Anyway, I promise to scroll through the comments and address some of your questions. I’m working on a few projects, as well as handling my share of the daily stuff, so it’s difficult to keep up. But no more excuses.

Someone asked about Hayden Penn’s standing in the organization. It’s improving. Though he was sent down, it was done to get him more innings and make him a more viable option if the Orioles need a starting pitcher next month. He’s healthy and throwing better than we’ve seen in a while. I believe he’ll be in the majors this year. He could be the first starter called up. There’s no way the five who break camp will make it through the entire season.

I just read that Saturn’s rings are disappearing. And I’m sitting here thinking how it’s more likely to get new ones than the Orioles.

I kid, I kid.

Just to make sure I’m keeping up with the NCAA tournament – a difficult task for some of us down here: Did Mount St. Mary’s victory over Coppin State in the play-in game really give them the chance to meet Goucher College in the opening round?

The White Sox put Juan Uribe on waivers, but he wasn’t given his outright release. Those reports were inaccurate. The club is gauging his value, seeing how much interest is out there. And the Orioles were, indeed, interested over the winter.

If they acquired Uribe to play shortstop, Ronny Cedeno would have to play second base if the Orioles complete the Brian Roberts trade with the Cubs. And Luis Hernandez and Brandon Fahey could fight it out for the utility job.

I wouldn’t classify Uribe as an integral part of a rebuilding project, but the Orioles do need to send out a respectable major league club. They’re still trying to win games. And if they think Uribe gives them a better chance to be competitive and not lose 15-0 every night, so be it. Team president Andy MacPhail won’t expose the youngsters any sooner than he deems necessary.

I just don’t want any Deivi Cruz flashbacks. And if one phone call is placed to Tony Batista, I’m outta here.


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