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Today's featured comment actually came in yesterday from Keith Rowe, who took issue with my column about the pros and cons of the middle-of-the-lineup hitters that might be available this winter. Of course, I appreciate Keith's faithful readership, but if he expects me to have a thick skin, I hope he has one, too.

Keith's take:There you go again, just gulping the old AM Kool Aid, and taking in every word and quoting him like he was St. Peter.

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Just STOP IT! This garbage about the fairly thin free agent crop is a myth fabricated by AM and perpetuated by only those who consume the orange kool aid by the gallon. Look at the list below and tell me, based on what the Orioles currently have on their roster and in their system you couldn't find more than 10 players from this list who would help the O's win more games!

Enough with making excuses for the Warehouse, they have had 13 years to turn this around and it starts with spending some real money, $120M in annual salary would be a starting point to compete in the AL East!

Give Buck a fair shot at winning and the Oriole fans what they deserve a real major league baseball team!

First Basemen

Adam Dunn WAS

Lance Berkman NYY *

Paul Konerko CWS

Derrek Lee ATL

Lyle Overbay TOR

Carlos Pena TB

Albert Pujols STL *

Second Basemen

Willie Bloomquist CIN

Mark Ellis OAK *

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Akinori Iwamura PIT

Jose Lopez SEA *

Kaz Matsui COL

Shortstops

Alex Gonzalez ATL

Cristian Guzman TEX

J.J. Hardy MIN

Omar Infante ATL *

Cesar Izturis BAL

Derek Jeter NYY

Jhonny Peralta DET *

Jose Reyes NYM *

Jimmy Rollins PHI *

Ramon Vazquez HOU

Third Basemen

Adrian Beltre BOS *

Jorge Cantu TEX

Pedro Feliz STL

Brandon Inge DET

Maicer Izturis LA

Nick Punto MIN *

Ty Wigginton BAL

Outfielders

Carl Crawford TB

Coco Crisp OAK *

Michael Cuddyer MIN *

Jody Gerut SD

Jason Kubel MIN *

Magglio Ordonez DET *

Marcus Thames NYY

Jayson Werth PHI

Starting Pitchers

Bronson Arroyo CIN *

Jeremy Bonderman DET

Kevin Correia SD

Jorge De La Rosa COL

Justin Duchscherer OAK

Freddy Garcia CWS

Jon Garland SD *

Aaron Harang CIN *

Hiroki Kuroda LAD

Cliff Lee TEX

Ted Lilly LAD

Noah Lowry SF

Brian Moehler HOU

Carl Pavano MIN

Javier Vazquez NYY

Brandon Webb ARI

Jake Westbrook STL

Chris Young SD *

The Truth will set you Free!

Pete's reply: Jeez, Keith, cool your Jets. I was talking about the first base/third base situation. I'm sure there are plenty of players out there who are "better" than their Orioles counterparts, if that's all you care about. Hey, let's go out and sign Jorge Cantu for three years and Lance Berkman for four years and marginal offensive shortstop and run that payroll up to $120 million.

If that's the truth, it will certainly set you free -- of the notion that the Orioles will ever compete in the AL East. If you want to win 78 games every year, you're right on the money. I'm not the guy saying it's a soft free agent market. Go read the national guys who couldn't give a rat about the Orioles. BTW, those asterisks next to a lot of the really good players are almost all club options that will be picked up. If Pujols is out there, the Orioles ought to offer him $250 million bucks. I'm right there with you. If all you can sign is Jorge Cantu, I'll grudgingly wait. If you've been reading me, you know I've been clamoring for big offensive improvement THIS WINTER, even though it is a soft market, so stop with your ranting about me parrotting the company line.

Apparently, you can't handle the truth.

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