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We're gonna take the rest of the weekend off so we can be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when the Hot Stove wurlitzer cranks up again next week. Because of the need to fill up 48 hours, I'm giving you a TON of reading. There will be a test.

Consider this your place to yap about the Orioles until Monday morning. -zk

Reports: Baez agrees to 2-year deal with Phils
"Former Orioles reliever Danys Baez has agreed to a two-year deal with the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, according to multiple reports." Talk about falling up. -duck

Baseball Beginnings " Catching up with Matt Hobgood, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
John Klima has a terrific in-depth interview with the O's number 5 draft pick from this past year. Hobgood answers questions candidly about his velocity and his winter conditioning regimen. In two parts: (Part 1 link; Part II link). -zk

Starting a New Year pondering starting pitching - MASNsports.com
Malewski blogs about the rotation, and then closes with this unrelated factoid:

At bats per homer in 2009:
Holliday - 1 every 24.2 at bats
Reimold - 1 every 23.8 at bats

The Baseball Analysts: Heyman "Breaks" Another Story
Rich Lederer provides a scathing analysis of the degree to which Jon Heyman is a mouthpiece for Scott Boras. An article that's almost a year old, but I'd never seen it before. Well worth the read. (Hat tip to Demsey's Army) -zk

third annual year Of team recaptacular
I often don't know what planet the Wayward O is living on, but his year-end recaptacular is well worth your time. My fave quote:

April 3: Hayden Penn sent packing for Robert Lazaro Andino, who got into nearly half of Team's games in 2009 and acquitted self. Redundant note to fans who currently think every young pitcher on Team is next Jim Palmer: there will be Penns.

Answers to some O's questions for '10 | orioles.com: News
From the official website, 10 questions related to the Orioles for 2010, including "Which Felix is the real one?", and "Whaddaya do with Luke Scott?". -zk

Adam Jones on the New Year - MASN
Kate Wheeler gets Dr. Jones to answer a bunch of year-end questions via Twitter. Did you know he's an astronomy freak? -zk

2010 MLB Free Agents: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
Wondering who's left for 1B/3B? MLBTR's list was updated on New Year's Eve. Rich Aurilia, anyone? -zk

The 2000s sports hall of fame and shame - baltimoresun.com
The Sun reprints an LA Times article about the highs-and-lows of sports stories in the first decade of the new millenium. Predictably, the article is very LA-biased (Kobe Bryant is a "close facsimile" of MJ? Um, no.) I know the Sun has fired all their decent sportswriters, but seriously? An article like this localized to Baltimore would take all of three to four hours of research and would pretty much write itself. Too much work, Sun scribes? -zk

Holiday Q&A with Nicole Sherry | orioles.com: News
A little chat with Baltimore groundskeeper Nicole Sherry from just before Christmas. -zk

Orioles - MLB Outlet - MLB.com Shop
MLB has extended their 15% off sale on O's clearance items through January 4th. -zk

Oh, and a special Happy Birthday to Mrs. zknower today. :)

Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?
Rick: It's not particularly my beloved Paris.
Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?
Rick: When you get there, ask me!
Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!
Major Strasser: How about Open Thread?
Rick: Well there are certain sections of Open Thread, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade.