The Ruthless Rewind: O's spring training and more

February 26, 2010|by Matt Vensel | | Baltimore Sun reporter

Spring training is in full swing, so we finally have something to discuss besides the Terps, Ravens and Caps. Sure, we'll still talk about them, too, but it's nice to have another option.

[1] The gang's all there in Sarasota, Fla., after the Orioles position players reported to spring training Tuesday morning. Miggy Tejada rolled in at the last minute, of course, but hey, at least he made it. Making the switch from shortstop to third base, Tejada says he feels "like a little kid with a new toy." His transition is one of a few major concerns for the O's this spring. How will Dave Trembley manage his newfound bench? Will the O's young starters live up to expectations? Has Koji Uehara finally mastered the art of the high-five? We'll find out the answers soon enough, but it's a good sign that there are fewer question marks than usual this year.

[2] They're not ranked in the Top 25 -- that should change soon -- but the Terps look more and more like a team capable of winning the ACC tournament and maybe even making a deep run in the NCAAs. This month, the Terps have shown they can mount comebacks (right, Clemson?), nail buzzer-beaters (thanks, Cliff Tucker) and play solid hoops despite taking the court three times in five days -- all good things come tourney time. Having an inspired Greivis Vasquez helps, too.

[3] Trembley is forcing the O's to get back to the basics this spring, which will be welcomed by fans who groaned their way through a 2009 season filled with bad baserunning, poor hitting fundamentals and the occasional comedic miscue in the field. "I take it real personally," he said of the shoddy fundamentals. It could get even more personal for Trembley (I'm talking job status) if those issues aren't resolved this season.

[4] Do you love baseball? Are you physically past your prime? Want to get jeered after you boot a grounder down the left field line? Then I've got a job for you -- no, it's not playing third base for the O's. The team is holding tryouts for ballboys and ballgirls (ages 18 and up) next Saturday at Camden Yards. An accurate birth certificate is not required.

[5] The NFL scouting combine started Thursday in Indianapolis, and the Ravens continue to say they won't let need dictate who they select in the draft. But I hope the Ravens take a long look at wide receivers in Indy because it would be inexcusable if they couldn't find one of value in the first two rounds of a draft stocked with wideouts.

[6] Like many of his countrymen, Russian Alex Ovechkin was a total non-factor in Wednesday night's 7-3 loss to the Canadians. I'm sure many Caps fans felt conflicted. They wanted to see their team's star do well in the Olympics, but they're probably happy the Americans won't have to try to shut him down to win a gold medal. And hey, at least now he has some time to rest for a Cup run, right?

Matt Vensel is a content creator for b. Follow him on Twitter, @mattvensel.

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