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Cliff Lee rejects Yankees, Rangers to return to Phillies - MLB -
Cliff Lee took a lot less money to go to the Phillies than the Yankees were offering. I guess, for once, it wasn't all about the money.

Quote of the Day: the New York Yankees didn’t want Cliff Lee anyway. Right. | HardballTalk
"Anybody who would leave $50M on the table obviously doesn’t want to pitch in New York. Thank God we found out in time." As Craig Calcaterra added, "That might be the most ridiculous quote I’ve heard in some time." And he only left $20+ million on the table, by the way.

LATE ADDITION: With Cliff Lee gone, what’s next for the Rangers? | HardballTalk
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels gave Lee credit for not chasing the most money possible (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram): “Let’s give the guy some credit. How many people criticize players for running after the last dollar?” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Cliff didn’t do that. He made a decision for other reasons, and I have to respect that.” Slightly different response than the Yankees, huh?

Best. Rotation. Ever? | FanGraphs Baseball
So, the Phillies top four pitchers going into 2011 had a collective 65.5 WAR for the last 3 years. That's four of the top 21 in starting pitchers. I suppose that means, hypothetically, their #4 starter would be better than the #1 starter of at least eight teams in MLB. Wow.

LATE ADDITION: Steve Melewski: A take on Reimold and Guzman heads for Japan
"Joel Guzman led Orioles minor leagues in homers and RBIs last year at Double-A Bowie and he recently turned that solid 2010 season into a nice, new contract." It's going to be in Japan, however.

LATE ADDITION: Orioles Insider: Josh Bell on Reynolds trade, his conditioning
“I’ve not put too much thought on it, personally,” Bell said in a phone interview from his offseason home in Arizona. “I knew that they were going to try and bring someone in. And my job is the same, to go out in spring training, do my best and prove somebody wrong.” Gotta like that attitude.

Steve Melewski: How to compete in the East: Win the arms race
If the O's young (and cost-controlled) pitching meets its potential, the team can stay competitive with the big dogs of the AL East. At least, that's what Steve Melewski thinks. And I think he may have a point.

Orioles Insider: Joe Blanton, anyone?
Now that the Phillies have Cliff Lee, Joe Blanton is said to be available. Jeff Zrebiec at The Sun thinks the O's would make a perfect trade partner for the Phillies excess starter.

Orioles Insider: Koji officially back
He passed his physical, he signed his contract, and so Koji Uehara will be a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2011.

Orioles: Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts says his back is healed
Buried in this item is the fact it took Brian almost a month and a half to recover from his concussion.

Orioles Insider: Buck Showalter's staying busy 
Buck Showalter doesn't sleep. Ever. He's making out lineups right this moment. Really. In December. And he doesn't even have a 1B yet. You ever tried to make out a lineup without a 1B? Not as easy as it looks.

Fan Projection Targets: Jackson, Kemp, Markakis | FanGraphs Baseball
I know Nick Markakis hasn't hit for the power we've hoped for the last two years, but WAR has him as barely above league average? Really? That seems a bit harsh.

Local fan: Top 5 best sports moments of 2010 in Baltimore - Yahoo! Sports
There are two Orioles-related moments, although one is kinda lame and mislabeled.

Top five worst sports moments of 2010 in Baltimore - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Three are Orioles-related, although the Ravens did their best to add another one last night. What was that? I went to bed at 28-7 in the 3rd quarter, wake up and I'm reading about how they pulled it out in overtime? What?

School of Roch: Cal Ripken's statement regarding Favre
"Brett has had an incredible career and his consecutive-games streak is remarkable. As a football fan, I cannot fathom his accomplishments and I appreciate his dedication to and passion for the game. He is a true gamer and has provided us all with a lot of wonderful memories."

What's the matter, Othello - jealous? Did you know there's a swimming pool under this Open Thread? And did you know that *button* behind you causes this floor to open up?