Baltimore Orioles: Spring Training Begins!


Aug 3, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera (2) after striking out during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, that is the good news today. Spring training begins for the Baltimore Orioles with the reporting of pitchers and catchers. And Lord knows we need some spring news … gonna be -6 degrees tonight where I live in Western Maryland.

Yesterday, just as I was loading up my daily O’s article on reserve infielders being collected by Dan Duquette, the dinger goes off on my phone and a text message arrives stating that the Orioles are planning to sign another infielder: Everth Cabrera. Crap! Too late to do more than add a quick paragraph that this was in the news.

Insider story here: The 10-12 guys of The Baltimore Wire have a daily ongoing phone messaging group chat using WhatsApp. It is a rather jocular and good-natured bantering of guys who have become friends without ever having actually met each other. One of the other O’s writers – Joe Serpico – said that he was going to write a piece on Cabrera, having heard my whining about the last minute disruption. Our lead football guy, lead trouble-maker and co-editor Shawn Brubaker said, “Randy, just take the opposite opinion of what Joe does.”

Okay – that sounds like a good idea to me. Joe was very positive about the probable Cabrera signing, and I’m quite less excited genuinely … so, here goes …

The following is a believable conversation that could have happened between Orioles fans yesterday.

“Hey, did you hear the news? We are going to be getting Cabrera!”

“Really? How’d they pull that off? Some people say he is the greatest pure hitter ever.”

“No, no, no, you’re thinking of Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, who is signed for at least nine more years with them.”

“So, Melky Cabrera is the one! Yes! Lots of people wanted him earlier in the offseason – a .301 average and .351 OBP … just what the Orioles need!”

“Ah … no … Melky was signed a long time ago by the White Sox.”

“OK… well Asbubal Cabrera can probably help us out. He was a two-time All-Star, can play second base and likely hit better than Jonathan Schoop. I’m surprised the Nationals don’t want to hold on to him.”

“That don’t; and they didn’t. He signed with the Rays.”

“There’s a fourth Cabrera out there?”

“Yes, Everth Cabrera, who has played with the Padres over his career. He’s only age 28.”

“Hold it. I remember him now. Isn’t he in jail for resisting arrest on a marijuana thing?”

“Well, no, not yet anyhow; but it could happen in April.”

“And don’t I remember that even though he’s crazy fast and led the league in steals one time, didn’t he have hamstring problems after that?”

“Well, yes, that is true.”

“And beyond that, wasn’t he a Biogenesis suspension guy too?”

“True, true … but we know that can really turn out well for the Orioles.”

“And even though he was an All-Star, isn’t that more because the National League needed someone to represent the Padres that season?”  

“Some people would say that is true, but he was having a really big year.”

“So, what’s a big year for Everth? Like, what’s the most games he’s ever played in a season?”

“Just a moment … looking it up here … ok … here it is … 115.”

“Well, maybe he could be a leadoff guy. That must be what the headline I saw on The Baltimore Wire was talking about. While you’ve got the stats sheet open, what is his batting average and on base percentage as a leadoff hitter?”

“Right here it is … .247 / .315.”

“That’s nothing special; how about second in the order?”

“.238 / .302”

“Why am I not feeling encouraged about this? And even though he most often defends Duquette, I don’t think Randy Buchman is going to be too excited about it either when he writes up an article on it.”

Next: Is Everth Cabrera the missing piece for the Orioles?