Only counting those that were "contributors" to last year's team.
2007 O's that didn't land anywhere this spring: Adam Stern, Todd Williams, Paul Shuey
Corey Patterson did, but there's not yet a Reds roster photo of that guy, so he doesn't get to be included in this magnificent feature article.
Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros
Miggi has been scorching it this spring: .353/.411/.627 in 18 games with two homers and eight RBI. Only Hunter Pence and Jose Cruz are out-hitting our former shortstop for the 'Stros.
I really wish Tejada nothing but the best, considering his baseball exploits might get worse before they completely calm down. Plus, his lack of hustle never really bothered me. The public whining did on occasion, but I've said this a trillion times. He signed here with the idea that he was THE centerpiece of a big-time attempt to get back into contention. They surrounded him with crap.
Erik Bedard, Seattle Mariners
We've heard about how badly E.B. has struggled this spring, but check the numbers. 18 IP, 9.50 ERA, 30 hits allowed, eight strikeouts, five walks, and seven bombs given up.
So what's Mr. Bay-dar hiding? Is he hurt? Is he just not the same guy? Is he a fluke? A flash in the pan? Does he suck? Did we trade him just in time? Will the Mariners have their own Glenn Davis? Will the Mariners and their fans be beating their heads against the wall for the next two decades thanks to Erik Bedard?
Yeah, probably not. It's spring training. He's not used to pitching in Arizona. Maybe he's had real bad gas all month. Maybe he's constipated. He'll be fine. Though I don't care if he's not. I liked Bedard, but screw 'im, he's with them now.
Jaret Wright, Pittsburgh Pirates
He's pitched in eight games this spring. For eight innings. So he doesn't look like he'll be factoring into the rotation any time soon. Actually, trying to use him in a relief role, where he could dial it up every few days instead of trying to go five or six innings with his bad stuff and worse arm, isn't at all a bad idea.
Well, it's a bad idea because signing Jaret Wright is never really a good one, but if you're going to (and it is the Pirates, our NL counterpart), at least...no, he sucks. He sucked when we sent Britton away for him, he sucked in his handful of appearances last year, and he sucks now.
But I do like that murderous glare he's got going.
Chris Gomez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Sub at short
Sub at third
Need Chris Gomez? Just say the word!
Sub at second
Sub at first
Chris Gomez! It could be worse
From the O's to the ALCS-bound Indians and now to the Pirates. Good grief, some men love baseball. He's slapping the ball around at a .324/.390/.405 clip this spring. He's aging remarkably well for a utility infielder.
John Parrish, Toronto Blue Jays
Proof positive of the face upgrade that can come with just that little bit of facial hair that the Orioles think is so awful. Parrish now looks positively like a regular guy, instead of a porn star in 1983 that hasn't gotten over 1978.
Unfortunately for him, he still can't pitch, with a 7.36 ERA this spring. Parrish is one of the most frustrating SOBs I've ever seen, because he has the stuff to do some business out there as a reliever. But he's always picking at corners he can't hit, trying to be Tom Glavine.
J.R. House, Houston Astros
Dr. House has only gotten to the plate 17 times this spring, hitting .176 with a homer. He's not a major league player. He can't field his position, and his growth as a hitter was irrevocably stunted when he kept getting hurt and then tried to play major college football as a quarterback, like those schools don't recruit quarterbacks. There aren't many Chris Weinkes, but I suppose J.R. has time to try again if he wants to, since Weinke was close to AARP membership when he won the Heisman.
Everyone still in love with the idea of House has to give up the ghost pretty soon. He may have been a good prospect at one point, but that was almost a decade and way too many twists and turns ago. Forget it.
Victor Zambrano, Colorado Rockies
From the makers of Donald Trump for President and New Coke comes Victor Zambrano: Colorado Rockie!
I thought maybe Zambrano was the worst ex-Oriole still pitching in anything resembling the major leagues, but then I found out Jim Brower is at Reds camp with Patterson and Hairston, so it became a real race.
Zambrano has a 9.00 ERA and a 1-to-4 BB-to-K ratio in his five innings for the defending NL champs. He's about as likely to make the team as I am.
If you have a buddy or relative or wife or husband or whatever that is a fan of another team, and they ever have a 1-2 catching punch so bad it makes them complain out loud in front of God and everybody, remind them of the time in 2007 when your team was starting Paul Bako and subbing in Alberto Castillo when Base Knock needed a day off.
Bako spurned the Pirates for the Reds, not that he had any real shot of making either team. This after he put up a season no different than any of his others, which followed a season in Kansas City that was just as terrible. And the Orioles gave this guy a guaranteed $900,000 contract last year, his highest salary -- by far -- ever. So here's another thing to remember: Never curse Andy MacPhail. When he went searching for your run-of-the-mill backup squatter, he came up with Guillermo Quiroz out of the super bargain bin and not a proven bum and former Maddux caddy.
Jon Knott, Minnesota Twins
Knott's in Twins camp with another eternal minor leaguer on the very fringe of a big league bench spot, the one and only Howie Clark. Two guys that I really root for to have a Tike Redman 2007 sort of season at some point.
Knott is slugging over .500 for Minnesota this spring, but that's also all he's doing. At 29, Jon is well used to awesome springs in the sun and then that inevitable call to the skipper's office to explain the red tag. Don't cry for the big guy. It's Knott over yet.
Gustavo Molina, New York Mets
He was barely an Oriole, and he's barely a Met.
He's got his uses as a backup catcher that can hit lefties a little bit, plus he has that last name which all but guarantees you years of service in the fool's gear in and around Major League Baseball, but anyone that caught for the O's in '07 was no damn good, so that means Molina is destined to stink forever.
There have been a lot of guys who have made very lengthy backup catching careers out of odd talents, like being good conversationalists in the dugout, dynamite pinochle players, or just all-around nice dudes, so I hope for Gus' sake he's got some of that extracurricular stuff down.
Rob Bell, Washington Expos
Everyone that yammered about wanting to see what Rob Bell could do got the answer that anyone would who'd seen what Rob Bell could do in previous major league stints knew would come. Rob Bell can't do nothin'.
He's pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Expos this spring, with an ERA juuust over eight. Same old story, same old song and dance. He's 31 years old. Game over, man.
In short, there are a billion and a half guys just as useful as Rob Bell to have around that aren't as old or as proven as him. It's possible to be proven in a bad way, too. And Rob Bell has done it.
Kurt Birkins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
If they didn't want their team nickname to offend those that have just utter contempt for the dark lord, or whatever their stupid reason was to take "Devil" out of the name, then that's great. But signing Kurt Birkins is an affront to all mankind, isn't it?
Like all other ex-O's hurlers, he's stunk this spring. You could say he's made fans hurl. Birkins is assumedly hired to get lefties out, which has proven to be somewhat tough for him to do, but at least he's not going to be brought into pivotal ponts of games to face righties in Tampa Bay. Or is he? Can someone Sam Perlozzo their bullpen if they aren't indeed Sam Perlozzo?
Victor Santos and Scott Williamson, San Francisco Giants
The other of the two late-season Victors that were pound-for-pound crappier than the two Jays, Santos has landed on his feet in the city by the bay, home of the roided up homer king and the Real World season that featured real world douchebag "Puck"! Not to mention the cartoonist that brought hate crimes into the world of the Green Lantern!
And he has an ERA over eight this spring, too.
Since the Giants are going to be as awful as anyone this year and have a team with a few good-looking young players and a bunch of retreads and chumps, they have one of those terribly transparent, pandering and pathetic slogans for the 2008 season. Theirs is, "All out, all season!" Williamson can't even go all out for four pitches, so I don't think he'll fit in. Or, unfortunately, he might.
The only thing I'm terribly interested in regarding the Giants this year is how long the rotting corpses of Ray Durham and Omar Vizquel can man the middle infield.