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Buck stops here

Just ran into Buck Martinez, who is in with the Toronto Blue Jays today. Buck jumped back to the team he had been associated with as a player, manager and broadcaster for a couple of decades, which created the opening in the MASN broadcast booth for Mike Flanagan.

"I was in Toronto 21 years, so it feels like a homecoming," Buck said, "but I really enjoyed my time in Baltimore with MASN and working with Gary Thorne and Jim Hunter, it was terrific and, you know what, I just went over and saw a bunch of the (Orioles) kids on the back field. Great bunch of kids on that Orioles team and I know they are going to be a very good ballclub in a very short time."

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Martinez returns to a team that is actually in a much earlier stage of rebuilding than the Orioles, but he thinks that both teams will rise again in the American League East. The Blue Jays, without pitching ace Roy Halladay seem to have a long road ahead, but Buck is upbeat about their future.

"I don't know if it's going to be as bleak as everyone says,'' he said. "It's much like the Orioles situation where there are a lot of good arms that people aren't familiar with.yet. You look at Ricky Romero and Shaun Marcum is back and he's been terrific all spring and they're going to get Dustin McGowan back and Jesse Litsch is going to come back and that doesn't even mention the Brett Cecils and Mark Rzepczynskis and Chad Jenkins and there are just pitchers coming out of the woodwork right now.

"That's the name of the game. If you're going to beat the Red Sox or the Yankees, you're going to have to outpitch the Red Sox and you're going to have to outpitch the Yankees, because you aren't going to outslug them and you're never going to outspend them,"

Though Martinez has gone home, in a sense, he said he's going to miss Baltimore.

"I'm going to miss Baltimore fans," he said. "The Orioles were great and it was a terrific run. They certainly gave me an opporutnity to get back in the booth after I had my time on the field. It was great there and I think the organization is looking at some real bright days ahead."

Associated Press photo

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