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MLB Network is going to mic-up players for a spring training game

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I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but one of my favorite 1990s baseball things is watching Braves games on TBS and hearing a constant flow of Greg Maddux F-bombs through that networks’ seemingly over-sensitive field mics.  That doesn’t seem to happen very much these days. Maybe because players are more refined than Greg Maddux — hard not to be! — or maybe because of mic placement or what have you.

But those days may be back soon!

MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In cooperation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, up to as many as six players on each team will wear live microphones during the game. Coaching staff will also wear live microphones throughout the game and live microphones will be positioned at each base, down the first- and third-base lines and along the outfield wall, producing in-game audio content on a scale that has not previously been done.

That “brief delay” is a bit of a drag if, like me, you just want to hear gratuitous profanity.  But those of you who want to hear what ballplayers say to one another and stuff, this should be cool.

But never fear: I will be in Arizona on March 7th, and I’ll try to be at that Indians-Diamondbacks game.  I’ll position myself near the field so I can hear the profanity and make a point to tweet it to all of you.  That way you can get the entire experience.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

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Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

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Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.