Schilling, the 40-year-old Boston Red Sox right-hander, is probably the best starting pitcher available in a thin free-agent market. He's having a down season by his standards (8-6, 4.04 ERA in 21 starts), might only pitch one more season and won't be cheap; he's making $13 million this year.
But the Orioles yearn for a veteran starter to provide some leadership for their young starters. And Schilling debuted with the Orioles, his wife is from here and he always has talked glowingly about this area.
So if Schilling isn't re-signed by the Red Sox, would he be interested in returning to the place where he started his big league career?
Hold that thought.
Schilling, who negotiates his contracts, isn't biting. Not going anywhere near it. First, the Red Sox are in a pennant race, he said, so he doesn't want to create a distraction.
Secondly, he already started a mini-controversy a couple of weeks ago when he told a Boston radio station that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays intrigued him for 2008 because he enjoys tutoring young pitchers and loves the Tampa, Fla., area, where he once owned a home.
It made news for a day, irking Schilling.
So when asked a similar hypothetical about Baltimore last week, he barely looked up from his crossword puzzle.
"I'm not going to expound on it because I did that once already and it was a nightmare it shouldn't have been," Schilling said.
He promised to answer the Baltimore question - in November.
Former University of Maryland pitcher Kevin Hart, whom the Orioles dealt to the Chicago Cubs as the player to be named in the trade for utilityman Freddie Bynum, made his major league debut in a sticky spot Tuesday.
And he made a big impression.
Hart, a 24-year-old right-hander, entered in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers with none out and the bases loaded. He escaped the jam with only one run scoring. He pitched a scoreless ninth, and struck out three in two innings.
Primarily a starter in the minors, Hart was 12-6 with a 3.99 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A this year.
The Cubs sent rookie infielder-outfielder Eric Patterson, who was part of the team's Sept. 1 call-ups, back to the minors Tuesday as punishment for showing up late to Monday's game. Orioles center fielder Corey Patterson said he talked to his younger brother about the situation and thinks a lesson was learned.
"He'll make sure it won't happen again," Patterson said. "We all make mistakes, so you live with it and then you go from there."
Give 'em five
The Cleveland Indians have won all five of their games this season against reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. Heading into this weekend, the Minnesota left-hander was 0-5 with a 4.38 against Cleveland and 14-6 with a 2.85 ERA against everyone else.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time one team has beaten a defending Cy Young Award winner five times in a season. The Indians hadn't beaten one pitcher that many times in a season since they went 5-1 against the Washington Senators' Camilo Pascual in 1957.
Quote of the week
"I hate being touched by other people. So, rather than being touched, I'd rather run away from them."
Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (speaking through a translator), who was caught between first and second base this week after a single. To the laughter of fans at Yankee Stadium, Suzuki decided to run across the field and into the Mariners' dugout instead of going through the motions of a rundown.
One scout who watched the New York Yankees farm system recently said the club has "five to six more power arms" that should join call-ups Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes in the majors in the next few years. ... Washington Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in June's amateur draft, became the first member of the Class of 2007 to get promoted. He's expected to come out of the bullpen and not get a big league start this year. ... Among the first six candidates to interview for the vacant Houston Astros general manager job was former Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie.