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Random thoughts

Woke up this morning hoping the past two days were a bad dream. Many great people -- including sports columnists Rick Maese and David Steele -- were laid off as the Sun continues to suffer the effects of this horrible economic downturn. Of course, this recession is hitting home everywhere, but it was surreal to watch Rick and Dave pack up their stuff in the press box at Camden Yards during yesterday's game and head into an uncertain future.

Lefthander Rich Hill gave up just one hit over 3 1/3 innings in his injury rehab start at Norfolk last night, but he gave up two runs. He walked a guy and surrendered a home run and that was enough to get tagged with the loss. With that kind of luck, he'll fit right in with the O's pitching staff.

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The Orioles open a weekend series at Rogers Centre in Toronto tomorrow with Mark Hendrickson facing Roy Halladay in the opener on Friday night. The matchup fulfills all the requirements for a classic "reverse lock," but I can't in good conscience predict an Orioles victory. Not sure the reverse lock rule applies outside the continental United States.

The drumbeat continues to increase for the Orioles to pull the plug on the Felix Pie experiment, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Andy MacPhail said Pie would get at least a couple of months to see if he can settle into the starting lineup and become a productive and dependable player. MacPhail is a stubborn guy and he's probably going to let the thing play all the way out. In a weird sort of way, I like that about him.


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