July 25, 2012
The hill of thrills: Clearly, the wisdom of stockpiling inexpensive pitching over the past seven months has become evident to anyone watching how the Orioles have remained in the hunt for the AL East title. The Orioles lost Japanese pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada early in spring training and had to replace four-fifths of the rotation for various reasons -- including the injury to Jason Hammel -- at midseason. That would have been the beginning of the end of some other seasons (like 2005), but baseball operations chief Dan Duquette, pictured, kept bringing in pitchers and Buck Showalter kept finding ways to use them to great advantage and here they are, very much in the thick of the playoff chase. We just might be talking about the Executive and Manager of the Year.