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SARASOTA, Fla. - Before the game, Cal Ripken played catch in front of the Baltimore Orioles dugout with J.J. Hardy. Ripken needed a brief warmup because he was going to throw out the first pitch.

A moment later, Hardy caught the pitch, and Ripken trotted off the field.

Ripken was on a book tour for his new children's book, "Squeeze Play," and he stopped by the team's training facility to visit with Orioles minor league coaches Mike Bordick, Scott McGregor and Alan Mills.

Before signing some books, Ripken said he was excited about his old team's spring signings.

"I take comfort in knowing that the strategy to improve your team is not just in the offseason," Ripken said. "You want to be opportunistic and you want to improve your team in all parts of the year and so I have confidence that the brain trust of the Orioles were thinking about ways to improve their club all the way through, so it does create some excitement when there's a flurry of activity a flurry of moves, but in the end you want to leave spring training with your team intact, and I think the great value of spring training is to get everybody healthy and get everybody feeling good going north.

"The flurry was exciting and a little bit of a surprise, but they've got a chance to have a full spring training to get everybody ready," Ripken said.

Ripken is often asked about his interest in returning to the game as a manager or a front office executive.

"The safe answer is to say, I'm very happy doing what I'm doing right now because anything else I say can be pulled in different directions. That would be the safe answer," Ripken said.

"I've had success in a couple of business models from the kids models that I'm looking to duplicate around the country, which requires time and planning, but there is a side of me that would like to be able to apply what you know at this level. I have no plans. I have no business strategy. I have no professional baseball strategy whatsoever, but there's a side of me that feels that way. Does that leave the door open?"

JIMENEZ HIT HARD: Ubaldo Jimenez allowed four runs in two innings as Baltimore lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 before 7,010 at Ed Smith Stadium on Wednesday.

It was Jimenez's second start with the Orioles. In his first, also against the Phillies, he retired all six batters he faced.

Jimenez walked three and struck out none.

"It doesn't matter where you are, in spring training or wherever. You never want to give up runs," Jimenez said. "It was a tough day. The first time I got to pitch from the stretch in a game and it got the best of me."

Zach Britton followed Jimenez and retired all three batters he faced, striking out two of them.

REIMOLD STAYS: Manager Buck Showalter decided against sending Nolan Reimold to minor league camp on Wednesday. He will go on Thursday to get some additional at-bats. Reimold had two hits, including his first home run of the spring.

"It's always feel good to hit the ball hard, so it's good to start, making progress and feeling good at the plate," Reimold said. "It feels good getting results."

CUT: The Orioles reassigned right-handed pitcher Brock Huntzinger, promising rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and infielder Ivan De Jesus to minor league camp. They have 47 players in camp.

YOON COMING BACK: Suk-min Yoon should arrive back in camp sometime on Thursday. The South Korean right-hander was in Canada acquiring a work visa. Showalter said that he should pitch for the first time Saturday.

COMING UP: Baltimore plays the New York Yankees in Tampa on Thursday. Bud Norris and Kevin Gausman pitch for the Orioles. Michael Pineda, David Robertson, Matt Thornton, Bruce Billings, Chase Whitley and Cesar Cabral are scheduled for the Yankees.

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