Rebuilding might not be needed if O's pitchers can recruit A-Rod

The Baltimore Sun

News item: The Orioles close out the regular season today against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park, completing their 10th consecutive losing season. Now, the debate begins. Should they break open the vault and try to fill some of the gaping holes in the roster through free agency or concentrate on a long-term player development approach to revive the franchise?

My take: I'm pretty sure Andy MacPhail will take the slow boat to contention, but that's not going to go over very well with the fans - or what's left of them.

News item: For the third time during the final homestand of the season at Camden Yards, a fan will be chosen at random today to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

My take: If they exclude everybody in a Yankees jersey, I like your odds.

News item: This could be the last regular-season game in pinstripes for Alex Rodriguez, who can opt out of the final years of his 10-year contract and become a free agent in November.

My take: I particularly like the way the Orioles' pitching staff is making him feel really comfortable this weekend at Camden Yards ... just in case his one unrequited career goal is to move to Baltimore and turn around a tormented franchise.

News item: Former Orioles pitcher John Maine took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning yesterday to help the New York Mets score a crucial victory over the Florida Marlins.

My take: The Kris Benson deal seemed like a good idea at the time, though I suppose somebody should have considered the possibility that he was not a career underachiever by accident. That said, I still would trade Jorge Julio straight up for Anna.

News item: Navy defeated Air Force, 31-20, yesterday and took a giant step toward a fifth straight Commander in Chief's Trophy.

My take: Mids coach Paul Johnson has got to be getting tired of carrying that thing around.

News item: Former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis faces his former teammates for the first time today when the Ravens play the Browns in Cleveland. He told reporters Wednesday that his final years in Baltimore left a "sour taste" in his mouth.

My take: If you think that's bad, imagine the kind of things Miguel Tejada is going to be saying the first time he plays against the Orioles next year.

News item: Scottish golfer Marc Warren had to be rushed to a hospital in Ireland after he was injured by falling glass from a hotel chandelier. He said that he accidentally hit the light fixture while swinging a 5-iron.

My take: Wow. I never realized there was such a shortage of driving ranges over there.

News item: Notre Dame fell to 0-5 yesterday with a 33-19 loss to Purdue.

My take: This isn't funny anymore. If the Frightning Irish don't beat UCLA their next time out, they're going to be well on their way to 0-8 with No. 12 Boston College and No. 1 Southern California waiting in the wings.

News item: Benched goalkeeper Hope Solo lashed out at coach Greg Ryan after the U.S. women's soccer team lost, 4-0, to Brazil in the World Cup semifinals.

My take: This really is no big deal in the greater scheme of things, especially when you consider that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, her great-great-great-great-great grandfather Han Solo helped destroy the Death Star and save the universe.

News item: The Mets' victory interrupted their historic late-season collapse and put them back into a tie for the National League East lead with one game left.

My take: Did you honestly think the Mets would be able to out-choke the Phillies?

Listen to Peter Schmuck at WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Saturdays and Sundays.

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