Does third base ring a Bell?

Former Ravens cornerback Frank Walker is headed to Miami?

I bet the receivers get there ahead of him.

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If you woke up feeling a little different, it's probably because the Orioles are 40-74 and the Pirates are 39-74.

That's what happens when one team goes 8-2 in its last 10 games, and the other goes 3-7.

Interesting observation from West Coast O's Fan: Orioles starters have been victimized by only one bad inning in the last nine games. Jake Arrieta allowed five runs in the fourth inning Tuesday night.

Interesting stat from Jack Webb: Brian Roberts went 3-for-4 and saw 31 pitches. Josh Bell went 3-for-4 and saw eight pitches.

Bell raised his average to .212, and he must have been in a hurry. He's collected four hits in his last 11 at-bats.

Baby steps.

Bell has been working overtime with hitting coach Terry Crowley. He's got two months to make an impression on manager Buck Showalter and the front office, which will have to figure out whether the club needs another one-year stopgap at third base, a longer commitment or none of the above.

I hear Garrett Atkins is a free agent, and he can play third base. And there's always Miguel Tejada.

Did someone say Melvin Mora?

Here's the list of pending free agents, according to mlbtraderumors, in case you're interested:

Garrett Atkins (31)
Adrian Beltre (32) - $5MM player option with a $1MM buyout.
Wilson Betemit (29)
Geoff Blum (38) - $1.65MM mutual option
Jorge Cantu (29)
Eric Chavez (33) - $12.5MM club option with a $3MM buyout
Craig Counsell (40)
Pedro Feliz (36)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (35)
Bill Hall (31) - $9.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Wes Helms (35)
Brandon Inge (34)
Jose Lopez (27) - $5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Mike Lowell (37)
Melvin Mora (39)
Jhonny Peralta (29) - $7MM club option with a $250K buyout
Robb Quinlan (34)
Aramis Ramirez (33) - $14.6MM player option
Miguel Tejada (37)
Juan Uribe (31)
Ramon Vazquez (34)
Ty Wigginton (33)

Does this mean we'll be debating Pedro Feliz all over again? It's like Groundhog Day.

In a perfect world, Bell will go on a serious tear and eliminate third base from the shopping list. He needs work defensively, too, especially with his throws. Maybe he'll improve the more he relaxes. Again, in a perfect world...

Another interesting stat: Bell is 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs with two outs and men on base.

We're obsessed with Bell's splits, so I'll point out that he's 3-for-14 (.214) from the right side and 8-for-38 (.211) with a double from the left side.

Speaking of third basemen, Single-A Frederick's Billy Rowell went 2-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .260. And while we're trolling the farm, Double-A Bowie's Joel Guzman hit his 26th home run.

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