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I haven't spoken to Brian Roberts since the season ended, but I'm told that the second baseman, who missed the final six games because of concussion-type symptoms after he hit himself in the head with his bat in frustration, is doing fine.

If Boston Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell takes the Toronto Blue Jays' managerial job and he's reportedly been offered it, it will be interesting to see if Boston considers Rick Kranitz for its pitching coach vacancy. Kranitz knows Boston manager Terry Francona reasonably well through his close friendship with Houston Astros manager Brad Mills, a long-time bench coach under Francona. Another name that might also be worth keeping an eye on is Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin. Griffin spent nine years in the Red Sox organization before joining the Orioles. He apparently still has a strong relationship with one of his pupils, ace lefty Jon Lester.

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I wrote on Thursday about the Orioles discussing a different role with hitting coach Terry Crowley, who would become more of an evaluator and an organizational instructor. I want to stress that it certainly isn't a done deal and plans could change. They already have in a way. However, the more I hear, the more I expect that Crowley will take on the new role and the Orioles will have a new hitting coach for the first time since the 1997 season.

And finally a quick plug for an Orioles great and baseball Hall of Famer: Cal Ripken Jr., who is doing a fine job in his analyst role with the TBS playoff coverage, is part of a new integrated marketing and media company called The Experts Network. Other former athletes involved in the venture, which will deliver group rights through multiple platforms including sponsorships, endorsements, licensing partnerships and digital and social media, include Phil Simms, Howie Long, Cris Collinsworth, Boomer Esiason and Nick Faldo.

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