Ex-Orioles roundup: Conine trains for triathlon; Latest news on Benson

Here's an update on former Orioles:

Jeff Conine


Played in Baltimore from 1999-2003, 2006

Conine retired from professional baseball before the beginning of this season, but that doesn't mean he's sitting back and relaxing.


According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, the 41-year-old Conine has started training for the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship triathlon on Oct. 11 in Hawaii. The article has a few interesting quotes from the 17-year veteran. He says his goal is to cross the finish line at the triathlon under his own power.

While the article says he doesn't plan to pursue a career on the pro triathlon circuit, Conine hopes to remain involved in competitive sports.

"I will always be doing something competitive, even if I have to pick a different sport each year. Competition will always be part of my life," Conine told the newspaper.

Eric Byrnes

Played in Baltimore in 2005

Last time we checked in on Byrnes, he was hitting .293 with three home runs and 14 RBIs through 20 games.

However, he's been struggling at the plate recently. In 78 at-bats this month, Byrnes is hitting .154. He only has one double in May after hitting 10 in April.

His batting average has plummeted to .219 and he only has four stolen bases in 2008 after establishing a career high of 50 stolen bases last season.

It looks like Byrnes' struggles can be attributed to a hamstring injury that the 32-year-old outfielder suffered before the start of spring training. According to the article on MLB.com, Byrnes originally tweaked his hamstring while running sprints with Arizona Diamondbacks teammate Chris Young.

The article says that Byrnes played through the pain by arriving at the ballpark six hours before each game to receive treatment. The Diamondbacks finally decided to place him on the 15-day disabled list yesterday.

Byrnes says he expects to be ready in 15 days, but it's unclear how long the injury will actually keep him sidelined.

Erik Bedard

Played in Baltimore from 2002-2007

There's an interesting article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that chronicles the struggles of the Seattle Mariners so far in 2008. The article includes a brief piece about Bedard and how his ERA has jumped from 1.82 on May 2 to 4.70.

Bedard allowed six runs in two innings against the Texas Rangers on May 12. Following a solid performance against the San Diego Padres (two runs allowed in eight innings) in his next start, he surrendered nine runs in 4 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees on May 23.

In May, Bedard is 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA. He's scheduled to pitch tonight against the Boston Red Sox.

Miguel Tejada

Played in Baltimore from 2004-2007

Tejada hit his sixth home run of the season last night as the Houston Astros defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-2.

In 53 games this season, Tejada is hitting .332 with 37 RBIs. He has 16 doubles and 43 runs scored. Tejada has committed five errors so far this season.

Jack Cust

Played in Baltimore from 2003-2004

Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle had a nice story about Cust's journey to the major leagues.

After the Oakland Athletics took a chance on him last season, Cust had a breakout performance with 26 home runs and 82 RBIs. However, as the article states, he slumped at the beginning of this season and people wondered if last year was a fluke.

Cust currently leads the American League in walks (40) and he ranks second in on-base percentage (.418). He leads the Athletics in runs scored (28) and home runs (eight).

Kris Benson

Played in Baltimore in 2006

Do you remember how Benson was working out for several teams during the offseason in an attempt to make a comeback following the shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the 2007 season? What happened to him?

After a couple setbacks, the Philadelphia Daily News says that he's finally ready to make a start in the minor leagues. According to the article, Benson threw 75 pitches in an extended spring training game recently and will make his first start for Class A Clearwater on Sunday.

The article also states that Benson's original deal with the Phillies permitted him to opt out of the contract on June 1, which is – you guessed it – Sunday. The writer wasn't able to contact Benson's agent, Gregg Clifton, but it's believed that Benson will remain with the Phillies at this time.

Todd Williams

Played in Baltimore from 2004-2007

Williams recently signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

The 37-year-old reliever has allowed two runs (one earned) in 3 2/3 innings since joining the team last week. He's walked three hitters and struck out two.

Williams has also thrown one wild pitch. There's no word on whether the wild pitch occurred during an intentional walk.