O's coaching shakeup no surprise

News item: The Orioles will bring back former interim manager Juan Samuel as third base and infield coach, but apparently will not return any of the other coaches from last year's squad.

My take: Change is always painful, but after 13 straight losing seasons, it's hard to make a case against it. Don't take that as an indictment of the outgoing coaching staff — every one of those guys was a solid professional working in unforgiving circumstances — but Buck Showalter obviously intended to shake things up as soon as he got the chance.

News item: The Miami Dolphins arrive at M&T Bank on Sunday with a perfect 4-0 record on the road and a perfectly awful 0-3 record at home.

My take: I'm guessing their home record is a lot better at South Beach.

News item: Steelers linebacker James Harrison was fined $20,000 for his late hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday night. That brings the total of his fines for the 2010 season to an even $100,000.

My take: He's clearly a marked man … and obviously a slow learner.

Related news item: Harrison's teammate, All-Pro linebacker Troy Polamalu, criticized commissioner Roger Goodell's dictatorial approach to the player safety issue and suggested that players should get to play more of a role in making policy.

My take: Even though he's a Steeler, Polamalu is a pretty smart guy, and I think he made a lot of sense. Trouble is, you're never going to get any consensus from the players on what constitutes a safe or legal hit.

Bonus take: In my perfect world, we'd just let Harrison and Tom Brady work it out in a steel-cage, UFC-style smackdown. Right before the playoffs.

News item: NBA superstar LeBron James said this week that he "would love" to be on the 2012 Olympic squad.

My take: It's not official because ESPN has not had time to set up "The Announcement" — a special one-hour primetime special.

News item: The Tennessee Titans claimed receiver Randy Moss off waivers and hope he can be a difference-maker in their drive to the playoffs.

My take: The Minnesota Vikings thought that, too, but all he turned out to be was different.

Related news item: There has been speculation that the Moss fiasco will end up costing Vikings coach Brad Childress his job at the end of the season.

My take: Brad Childress will still have his job at the end of the season?

News item: Agent John Boggs announced that power-hitting San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez will become a free agent after the 2011 season.

My take: Now, the question is when the Padres will trade him. The team has indicated that Gonzalez will start next season in San Diego, but that could change if somebody makes a compelling offer for him.

Bonus take: Do I need to tell anybody here who that team should be?

News item: The average network rating and audience share for the five games of the 2010 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers equaled the lowest ever recorded — tying the 2008 Phillies/Rays series.

My take: Apparently, competitive balance isn't all it's cracked up to be.

News item: Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who skippered the Big Red Machine and the 1984 world champion Detroit Tigers, died this week at the age of 76.

My take: If you didn't like Sparky, you didn't like baseball. Godspeed.


Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon Fridays and Saturdays and at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with Brett Hollander. Also, check out his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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