Various things involving the Orioles:

Liked Lee's answer


During his teleconference with Baltimore media today, Derrek Lee was given a chance to blame his sub-par 2010 (by his standards) on an injured thumb that he first hurt on Opening Day. His response: "I've had injuries before and played well, and been healthy before and played bad, so injuries don't help. But I think a lot of guys play with injuries, and that's part of the game. You have to do the best you can, and your numbers are what they are."

The "veteran leadership" thing gets overblown at times. More than anything, the key is accountability within a clubhouse. If a player doesn't take responsibility for his actions, it's good to have someone respected in the clubhouse -- a veteran or a star -- who will call the player out on that. So it's nice to see a newly anointed veteran presence refusing to offer an easy excuse.

Gregg's physical next week

I've been told reliever Kevin Gregg will be in Baltimore either Tuesday or Wednesday for his physical. Once he passes that and his two-year, $10 million deal becomes official, the Orioles will have 39 men on their 40-man roster.

That leaves a spot for someone else without having to expose anyone to waivers (not that there aren't some guys on the 40-man that are expendable, but that's for another day). The best guess is that the Orioles will add a left-handed reliever to the mix, either filling that roster spot or offering a minor league deal with a spring invite to a lefty who will have a good shot of making the team (like Will Ohman last year). The Orioles also still want a veteran, innings-eating starter.

Lobbying for a DH

There's been a movement among posters here recently for the Orioles to jump on one of the available designated hitters on the free agent market: Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez or even Johnny Damon.

No question adding one of those guys -- especially Guerrero -- would make a solid offense more formidable. But don't hold your breath. We've heard the Orioles are pretty much at their 2011 budget right now. So they are not going to be offering what it takes to get one of those guys right now. But if one of those players is still looking for a job at the end of this month, and the contract demands have dropped significantly, the Orioles might make a push. But I don't see them making an aggressive bid -- especially not now.

J. Stockstill back in the country

Orioles director of player development John Stockstill was back at Orioles' offices Thursday. That's worth reporting because he had been in the Dominican Republic since Monday checking out the Alfredo Simon situation. Stockstill's not commenting, but presumably he knows enough now to help the Orioles make an informed decision on Simon as his case progresses.

What we know right now is that Simon is still being held near his hometown of Santiago in the shooting death of his 25-year-old cousin while authorities await a ballistics test on the gun Simon handed over. The hope is that the full report will be released Friday, but there have also been allegations that the gun was tampered with before it was turned in. So even if the ballistics test comes up negative, Simon may not be fully cleared yet. The bottom line is that this is a wait-and-see situation because so many different theories and accusations are being floated.

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