Thursday Open Thread

Orioles Insider: Bergesen enjoying a happy and healthy offseason 
"Last offseason was such a mental strain from me, coming off the leg injury," Bergesen said today in a phone interview. "I wasn’t walking on that until October. And then the arm injury came, obviously. Just to be completely healthy this season and to go about the normal routine is a great feeling." So the leg injury was much, much worse than we were led to believe.

Buck Showalter excited about Double-A baseball | pnj.com | Pensacola News Journal
Buck is thrilled about the new AA franchise in..... Pensacola? -zk

28 Guys Who Never Would Have Worked For Earl Weaver " Baseball-Reference Blog
List of some of the lowest OBP regulars in MLB history.

Steve Melewski: Exclusive: O's prospect Matt Hobgood talks about his shoulder injury
Matt Hobgood has been pitching with pain in his shoulder since he reported to Bluefield 18 months ago. Great.

Berken talk, baseball camp next month | Green Bay Press Gazette
Jason Berken is a busy guy back home this winter.

"Orioles Day" at Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan - War On Terror News
"Service members participating in the softball league at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, try on T-shirts and hats donated by the Baltimore Orioles, Dec. 26. There are a total of 22 teams in the softball league that began Oct. 1. The teams are comprised of Marines, sailors and members of the British forces." The Orioles never even issued a press release about this. They just did it. Cool.

The Playoffs Sweet Spot | FanGraphs Baseball
Numbers can tell us when a team should rebuild and when the playoffs are a realistic expectation. What can't they do?

Nick Markakis: No Longer A Star? - Beyond the Box Score
Nick Markakis' biggest problem? He's hitting more routine fly balls to center field.

Joe Posnanski Posts: Hall of Fame: The Eight Definites
"Sean Smith’s Total Zone Rating concludes that (Roberto) Alomar was actually a below average defensive second baseman for his career..." For those who don't like defensive metrics, here's more proof for your argument. Or not.

2011 MLB Projected Standings - Replacement Level Yankees Weblog
There's something called the CAIRO System that projects the Orioles to win 70 games next year. The good news is, that will only put us four games out of fourth place!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: CAIRO says we'll win 70. Some writers think we're a sleeper for 2011. OK, I take that back - a quick Google search doesn't turn up much in that regard aside from Bleacher Report, and we don't link to them because they suck. Anyway - just how many games do the O's win in 2011, and does it really matter? 

I got thrown out of a bar in New York City. Now, when I say I got thrown out of a bar, I don't mean someone asked me to leave, and we walked to the door together, and I said, "Bye everyone, I gotta go!" Six bouncers picked me up and hurled me out of that bar like I was an Open Thread.

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