Grade the Orioles' offseason

With the Super Bowl completed, we're moving away from football.

At least temporarily we're going to get back to what we know best at the bar: Baseball, ridiculous pop culture and the occasionally well-placed dumb joke.


To fill the void I am sure you've experienced the last week or so at the bar, I feel compelled to inform you that Monday was the 62nd birthday of actress Farrah Fawcett and the 55th birthday of model and pseudo-actress Christie Brinkley.

That's a whole lot of talent born on the same day.


Think about that Farrah is 62. Or at least about half of her is.

And the press-on-decal, Farrah-in-a-red-bikini T-shirt I got on the Ocean City boardwalk at age 10 is almost 30 years old.

Painful thought. And not just because I realize I was once a 10-year-old kid wearing a bikini-clad actress on my chest (what were my parents thinking? Must have whined about that one until they gave in). In case you're wondering, I no longer have the T-shirt. And I guarantee it wouldn't fit if I did (It probably didn't fit when I turned 11 either. Not exactly high-quality merchandise).

Anyway, now that you've gotten your stupid blog fix, let's talk O's baseball.

We all know the Orioles didn't sign Mark Teixeira or A.J. Burnett, Baltimore-area homeboys and big-money free agents, this winter.

In fact, the Orioles' biggest acquisition this offseason was a guy who you hadn't heard of four months ago, Japanese right-hander Koji Uehara.

They added infielder/outfielder Ryan Freel, shortstop and defensive whiz Cesar Izturis, steady catcher Gregg Zaun, high-upside outfielder Felix Pie and potential starters Mark Hendrickson and Rich Hill, who the Orioles officially acquired from their parent club, the Chicago Cubs, Monday.

The Orioles also dumped three players who could be extremely frustrating to watch: catcher Ramon Hernandez and starters Daniel Cabrera and Garrett Olson.


Club president Andy MacPhail won't say he's done yet, and that means another starter, a right-handed bat off the bench or both could join the team this month in Florida if the price is right.

I wouldn't hold my breath, but it is possible. We know they have made an offer to free-agent pitcher Braden Looper and are waiting to see if he accepts it.

In less than two weeks, though, the Orioles' pitchers and catchers have their first workout in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. So it's certainly late enough in the winter to grade MacPhail's moves this offseason (which also included signing Nick Markakis to a long-term deal).

I give Andy a B. I know Mark Teixeira wasn't coming here, but I still don't think he was aggressive enough in his pursuit of Tex or Burnett. The offer to Tex was more than fair; it's the laconic approach I have issue with. And Burnett was never made a priority, which I thought was shortsighted.

That said, I agree with just about every move MacPhail did make. And, more important, I applaud the fact that he didn't take the $140 million earmarked for Teixeira and blow it on six overpriced, veteran free agents.

He didn't abandon his plan after the major disappointment felt in this town after Teixeira's decision to go to the New York Yankees. And I am not sure previous administrations would have acted as responsibly.


So he gets extra-credit points for not doing anything stupid. He made all low-risk moves, most with potential high rewards.

He gets a B from me. What do you think?

Daily Think Special: Grade the Orioles' (and MacPhail's) offseason.

Bonus Think Special: Did you ever wear one of those terrible Ocean City decal T-shirts? If so, please share. If we have enough confessions, we'll start a support group in the back.