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The X-Factor
Tom Verducci
March 23, 1998
As a Mariner last year, Norm Charlton was a key part of a five-man group that couldn't pick up a save in a Salvation Army thrift shop. For the Orioles this year, his main job will be to set the table for Armando Benitez. At this stage in his career, Carlton is too wild to be a closer (49 walks in 69? innings last year) for a good team like Baltimore. That's fine, except for the fact that Benitez may also be too wild to be a closer. So if Charlton relieves Benitez 10 times, that'll mean the O's closer can't find the plate. And that could cost the Orioles the division title.
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March 23, 1998

The X-factor

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As a Mariner last year, Norm Charlton was a key part of a five-man group that couldn't pick up a save in a Salvation Army thrift shop. For the Orioles this year, his main job will be to set the table for Armando Benitez. At this stage in his career, Carlton is too wild to be a closer (49 walks in 69? innings last year) for a good team like Baltimore. That's fine, except for the fact that Benitez may also be too wild to be a closer. So if Charlton relieves Benitez 10 times, that'll mean the O's closer can't find the plate. And that could cost the Orioles the division title.

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