It's a bitter cold January, the Hot Stove doesn't have much heat left to provide, and Rick Dempsey has packed away the Santa suit (until next year?).
Don't despair, O's fans, there's still some good baseball reading to be done.
Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail details Roberto Alomar's brilliance during his pre-Orioles playing days in Toronto. "Hero, Heartthrob, Goat, Target ... Let's Start Over" discusses Alomar's rock star status in Toronto when the city functioned in concert with its chart-topping Blue Jays. We O's fans aren't the only ones to witness the decline of a once-mighty baseball town.
Did you know that Orioles third base coach and three-time All Star Juan Samuel - he of the .259 career average and 161 home runs in 16 seasons - received multiple first-ballot votes for the Hall of Fame? Paul Francis Sullivan of Sully Baseball runs down the idiosyncrasies of Cooperstown voting in "Hall of Fame Ballot Insanity"
Finally, Real Clear Sports brings us a fun, retrospective read, "The Top 10 Erroneous Columns of 2009." Included on the list are two mistaken A.L. East-related prognostications:
1. Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated, in the April column "Some Semi-Bold Predictions Entering the 2009 Season," envisioning a post-season without the Yankees.
2. Dan Shaugnessy of the Boston Globe, in the September column "Things are falling into place," predicting a Red Sox World Series victory.