There's a lot to talk about these days, even for a last place club
by Matthew Taylor
-Mike Mussina got rocked by the O's again on Monday night. In the past two seasons, Mussina is a combined 1-3 in five games against the Orioles, giving up 35 hits and 19 runs in 21.2 IP.
Talking points: Do wins against the Yankees count for even more when Mussina is on the mound, or do you still have a soft spot for the guy? Is this the year Mussina finally wins 20, or is Monday's game a sign of things to come down the stretch for the hard-luck hurler?
-Roch Kubatko, he of the 97 percent positive approval rating in The Loss Column's "Baltimore Sports Approval Ratings," is leaving The Sun.
Talking points: How bad will this hurt The Sun's readership among O's fans? Where will Roch wind up? What will happen with the blog? And most importantly (warning: sarcasm to come), can he parlay that appearance in the Albert Belle episode of ESPN SportsCentury into something bigger?
-Manny Ramirez referenced Iraq this week while expressing his displeasure with the Boston Red Sox: "I don't have any preferences. I could choose a team that offers me the best conditions or one in the chase for the postseason. I don't care where I play, I can even play in Iraq if need be. My job is to play baseball."
Talking points: Will Manny's act ever wear thin in Boston, or will he continue to get the "Manny Being Manny" pass as long as he keeps hitting? Is it fair to say that referencing Iraq is going several steps too far, even for Manny? Peter Gammons thinks enough is enough regardless of the comments; he's more concerned with Manny ducking top-flight pitchers.
-The O's are solidly entrenched in last place in the A.L. East and dropped a season-worst seven games under .500 prior to their brief two-game revival.
Talking points: Did the weekend series with the Angels mark the official beginning of the Birds' Summer Swoon?
-Matt Wieters' legend is growing: pinch-hit grand slams, 9 RBIs in three games. Says Dempsey's Army: "Matt Wieters is coming. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon."
Talking point: How soon is too soon for Wieters to join the big club?
-Could Miguel Tejada be moving back to the AL East via the Red Sox? Erik Bedard as well via the Rays? Unlikely as those moves might be, that makes two recently traded O's stars who are taking another turn on the trading block.
Talking points: Do you believe in MacPhail Magic? Would the O's have Ervin Santana in the rotation and Erick Aybar at short had MacPhail arrived sooner?
-Speaking of trades, Never in doubt, Georgie?
Talking point: What's going to happen with George Sherrill?