Alfredo Simon to be activated from restricted list today

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The Orioles’ beleaguered bullpen took yet another beating in last night’s blowout loss to the Nationals, so Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that they have decided to activate Alfredo Simon from the restricted list a day earlier than originally expected.

Simon was placed on the restricted list in the early part of spring training while he was being held as the prime suspect in the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Michel Castillo Almonte in the Dominican Republic. He will still have to stand trial eventually, though he hasn’t been formally charged and no trial date has been set.

The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 3.38 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio across 16 innings over three recent rehab starts with Double-A Bowie. While he led the Orioles with 17 saves last season, he is now expected to serve as a long reliever.

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.