Roch Around The Clock

September 24, 2006|By Roch Kubatko

The Orioles have confirmed that their Triple-A affiliate will be based in Norfolk, Va., for at least the next two seasons, but club officials are hesitant to comment publicly until after tomorrow's news conference at the Tides' home ballpark. They don't want to steal the Tides' thunder.

I hear the ballpark is in a gorgeous location, with a beautiful view of the water, and will be an easy sell for minor league free agents.

The Orioles want a four-year agreement, the maximum allowed, rather than the standard two-year deal. That's the final detail to be worked out. The sides have reached an agreement, but nothing will be signed until tomorrow.

The Tides apparently will keep their nickname, too.

Fernando Tatis, who once drew a paycheck from the Montreal Expos, says Ottawa was the worst place he has ever played. Among the complaints from the Orioles about their current Triple-A affiliate: The Lynx don't have an indoor batting cage. Instead, they use something that manager Dave Trembley described as a "picnic tent" with a heater.

Beautiful city, nice weather as the season rolls along. But it got to where players wanted to report to Double-A Bowie instead of being assigned to a higher level.

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