With Peter Schmuck

Q & A

March 15, 2004|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Baltimoresun.com Staff

Peter Schmuck has been at The Sun since 1990. He is in his 25th year of covering major league baseball and has been a Hall of Fame voter for 15 years. During his newspaper career, he has covered the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles as well as writing a weekly column on national baseball.

Dave, Parkville: I think that baseball in D.C. or Va. would enhance, not detract from that here in Baltimore, because of the rivalry. It might bring up more fans from those areas in interleague play if Angelos were to give it a try. What do you think?

Peter Schmuck: I believe it might enhance the local experience for hardcore Orioles fans, but I'll have to defer to the Orioles on how it might affect the club in the future. They've done a couple of marketing studies that indicate it would take a big bite out of their revenue, which would make it even harder to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees.

Adam, Cardiff: Denny Bautista is supposed to have an electric arm and be a top prospect, but he still isn't in camp! Why are these visa problems just considered business as usual? Does it take a brain surgeon to figure out a way to keep this from happening every single year?

Peter Schmuck: Apparently, it does, because I've been writing about this issue since I broke in as a baseball writer in 1979. The visa situation got worse, however, after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, probably because the INS could no longer rubber stamp seemingly routine applications.

VJ, Baltimore: What is the likelihood the O's can keep Raines on the roster by having him DH and leading off? He and Hairston/Roberts can hit 1 and 2 setting the table for the 3-4-5 hitters and creating havoc on the base paths. This also allows Mora to hit near the bottom of the lineup with Matos and Bigbie-more speed at the bottom creating havoc.

Peter Schmuck: There's no doubt that Raines is opening some eyes this spring and could stick if Roberts and Hairston both are banged up on Opening Day, but I don't see the club going with Raines and one of the second basemen 1-2 in the lineup. I think Lee Mazzilli is looking for more than another leadoff guy in the No. 2 position.

Art, Jersey City: Everyone is penciling in the Yankees and Red Sox to rule the East this year. I think if the O's get good pitching and Toronto gets good pitching along with its offense, it is these two teams that could be one-two. What do you think?

Peter Schmuck: I think you ought to get a job on the Orioles PR staff. If the Orioles and Blue Jays both get good pitching, they can dream of competing for a wild card berth, but it would take a major collapse on the part of the Yankees and Red Sox to change the balance of power in the AL East.

David, Rockville: When do you think Marty Cordova will play again?

Peter Schmuck: Good to hear that somebody remembers Marty. He's in camp and he's hitting in the cage, but the club has no timetable for his return from Tommy John elbow surgery. The best guess probably is June or July.

Matthew, Des Moines, Iowa: Before the injury to Hairston Jr. occurred, their were rumors of him being traded to the Yankees. Do you feel that he or Brian Roberts will be traded this year? Also, are their any potential trades that could bring the O's a starting pitcher?

Peter Schmuck: I didn't know they had Orioles fans in Iowa. Thanks for writing. I believe that Hairston or Roberts will be traded once the Orioles are confident that they both are healthy. Haven't heard any real hard pitching rumors, but the Dodgers are trying to move Odalis Perez and might take one of them and another hitter in exchange.

Charles, Silver Spring: Do you think John Stephens will be on the Orioles on Opening Day? If not, when you think he will be called up?

Peter Schmuck: The way things stack up right now, I don't believe that Stephens will open the season in the majors. But, there are still three weeks left for a slot to open if someone comes up sore.

John, Baltimore: What's going on with Rodrigo Lopez?

Peter Schmuck: Rodrigo had a tough year last year and didn't look good in winter ball, which raised questions about his ability to hold a place in the starting rotation this season. He rebounded, however, with a big performance in the Carribean Series and has pitched decently this spring. If the season opened today, he'd be in the rotation.

Dave, Trenton, Ill.: What are the chances of Aaron Rakers making the opening day roster this year?

Peter Schmuck: Aaron has virtually no chance of opening the season on the major league roster, but he is a valued prospect who should get here at some point in the next couple of years.

Bill, Catonsville: Why do big strong young men who are mostly in their 20s get hurt so easy?

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