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Earlier today, Orioles outfielders Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Luke Scott -- yes, he was included in this group even though he primarily served as a designated hitter last season -- and Nolan Reimold took their turn answering questions from the FanFest crowd.

Scott, like pretty much everyone else who participated in a forum today, was asked what he thought about the Orioles potentially acquiring free agent Vladimir Guerrero. He was diplomatic in his answer.

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"I think competition will bring the best out of people," Scott said. "It'll be a hard decision for our management" in terms of how to allot playing time if Guerrero ends up in Baltimore.

(Scott, by the way, was sporting quite the bushy beard. Asked whether he planned to shave it, he said he would like to keep it but lamented the fact that the Orioles would require him to get rid of it once official baseball activities start. Orioles fans can only hope that the team makes the postseason and the organization revises its facial hair policy to allow playoff beards.)

Applauded for his meeting with owner Peter Angelos last season to discuss the direction of the team and asked whether he wanted to take a similar leadership role this coming season, Markakis said he planned to do more of the same this year but added that he felt the Orioles had several players who could step into that position.

Markakis also had high praise for Baltimore. "I'm grateful to play in what I consider one of the best baseball cities in baseball," the right fielder said.

The panel was also asked which pitchers each of them dreaded facing. Markakis named Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester. Reimold, who endured a nightmare of a season last year, said that some days, any pitcher can feel like a hitter's worst enemy. He then singled out 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez as someone who gives him a particularly hard time.

And Jones? The always-quotable center fielder said he "can't stand" facing National League Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who pitched his first season with the Philadelphia Phillies last year after parts of 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. "I'm glad he moved to a different division," Jones added.

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