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OK, it's pretty much statistically proven that in whatever way, Ray Miller has had a great effect on the pitching staff since taking over as the pitching coach last season. I don't think any of us would disagree with that. The work he's done to make Bedard as good as he was this season before the injury, and to make Chen about as reliable a starter as we've had since Mussina left, and to change Cabrera's wind-up mid-season to try to give him a boost and find more consistency - these things are all great, and have obviously been a benefit.

But here's a question for all of you: just how crucial is it to keep Ray Miller on as the pitching coach? If you're not yet decided on Lee Mazzilli's return (though I think most of you are for it, and frankly I'm getting there because I'm really becoming a Mazz fan of late), and we know how it's tied to Miller returning next season, do you think it's vital that Ray returns? Do you think the O's could find another coach that these guys benefit as much from?

How much of it is just the natural talent of these guys coming out, and how much of it is what Ray Miller himself has been able to dig out of them and teach?

I think this is an interesting question if you give it some thought. Again, it's not whether or not Ray has been a help, because he has. But how much of one has he been, and how important is it to keep him on the staff?