Triple-A Norfolk manager Ron Johnson had seen enough.
All year the Orioles had sifted through the scrap heap and shipped former All-Stars and wanna-bes alike to the minors to be evaluated by Johnson, a baseball lifer with a keen eye for talent.
Johnson had been watching the newest addition, the short outfielder with wavy blond surfer hair and a sculpted physique, and he finally snapped after the guy swung defensively and hit weakly to left.
The husky Johnson lumbered over to the 30-year-old and said, "Let me ask you a question. Aren't you Nate McLouth?"
A sly smile — one that his friends say is his mischievous trademark — crossed McLouth's lips. He...