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Dan Connolly here. I decided to jump in and be a Schmuck today while Pete is doing his best to destroy renewed hope in international relations.

I'll take Ugly American for $100, Alex

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Anyway, you all can catch me at Connolly's Bar on Tuesday. We'll be open again, and the septic system is cleared, I've been told.

I just received my Baseball America's annual American League East prospects issue, which will be on sale through Nov. 30. In it, editor Jim Callis ranks his Top 10 lefty/righty pitching duos throughout the majors, and get excited O's fans.

Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman are fourth, behind David Price and Wade Davis of Tampa Bay, Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers and Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill of Oakland. Callis picked the Washington Nationals' Ross Detwiler and Jordan Zimmerman seventh.

If you haven't seen BA's Top 10 Orioles prospects for 2009, here they are in order: C Matt Wieters, RHP Chris Tillman, LHP Brian Matusz, RHP Jake Arrieta, OF Nolan Reimold, RHP Brandon Erbe, 3B Billy Rowell, LHP Troy Patton, 1B Brandon Snyder and RHP Kam Mickolio.

Some quick thoughts about that group:

1. No internationally signed players. In contrast the Boston Red Sox have three in their Top 10 and the New York Yankees have two. The Rays and Blue Jays also have none.

2. Six of the Orioles' 10 weren't in their farm system 18 months ago.

3. Eight of the 10 are 6-foot-4 or taller. Joe Jordan has always said he likes his players big, and apparently Andy MacPhail is on board with that.

4. Does Rowell, who batted .248 with just seven homers and 104 strikeouts in 375 at-bats at Frederick, still belong on the list? The club's No. 1 pick in 2006 is only 20, but he has struggled as a pro. Is it true there are only six better prospects in the Orioles' organization? Do you think his inclusion is more about his upside or the Orioles' farm system in general?

-- Dan Connolly

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