Around Spring Training….
Andy MacPhail was named president of baseball operations last June following his time with the Twins and Cubs. “I didn’t do much my first few months,” he said at O’s-Red Sox on Friday.
“In this division, if you want to win you have to make a commitment to excellence,” said MacPhail, in an unintentional but perhaps unfortunately telling allusion to the catch phrase of Al Davis and his Oakland-LA-Oakland Raiders.
The Orioles are one of the latest entries to the Dominican Republic scouting and schooling departments. Maybe they’re a little late on that one. That pool has been well-drained.
Melvin Mora has been playing with enthusiasm and energy, according to MacPhail whose major concern is pitching, especially with the departure of Erik Bedard. “I think out starters need to be asked to carry us far enough into the game where we don’t get overexposed in the bullpen. It’s important for us to to get our starters far enough into the game so we can manage the load.”
Good luck with that considering Jeremy Guthrie is projected as Opening Day starter, apparently. He threw OK on Friday. “My fastball was not as good as the last outing, but the results were better,” Guthrie said.
George Sherrill is projected as closer. “I’m keeping everything the same here,” he said. “My changeup is coming along pretty well.”
Baltimore-Washington or San Francisco-Oakland? Which will be the losingest exacta play this year?
Joe Nathan yes, contract talks with Joe Nathan, no. This from the mouth of Twins general manager Billy Smith: “Joe Nathan signed through this year. It’s been quiet (contract talks). We’re going to try to keep it that way and let him concentrate on pitching rather than all that other stuff.
The Twins rotation is up in the air with “lots of names,” according to Smith. “It’s a large group,” he said. “It’s a young group. But we’ve never been afraid of going with young players. We’ll have to let the pitchers sort it out.”
Boofalicious…Boof Bonser lost 30 pounds this winter. “I said I was going to lose the weight and am sticking to the diet in camp,” Bonser said Sunday.