Roch Around The Clock

Online

December 08, 2005|By ROCH KUBATKO

The Orioles have swapped one irritable reliever for another. The only difference, besides one being right-handed and the other a southpaw, is Steve Kline's a great media guy and LaTroy Hawkins is a complete jerk. But if he gets hitters out, nobody outside of the press box will care. For that to happen, the Orioles must keep Hawkins in a setup role and not fool themselves into thinking he can close, even on rare occasions. He's like Arthur Rhodes, mentally unsuited for the pressure of a ninth-inning save situation. He'll implode. Nobody wants to see that, least of all him.

It now seems more likely that Jorge Julio is gone if he's not going to close. But the Orioles have lost two lefty relievers, including closer B.J. Ryan. Tim Byrdak must feel like he has the ultimate job security now. How's John Parrish's arm feeling these days?

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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