The bullpen shake-up represented the bulk of the team's off-season player moves, which is odd when you consider Baltimore's poor record, funereal clubhouse and the fact that the front office's top personnel man, vice president of baseball operations Syd Thrift, is a legendary lover of the open market. (Free-agent pitcher Aaron Sele and the Orioles reached a oral agreement on a four-year contract in January, but that offer was rescinded after Sele failed a physical and refused to agree to a lesser deal.) That absence of big moves reflects the front office's belief that Miller, not a lack of talent, was the problem in 1999.
Hargrove, who was greeted even by Belle with gold coins and rose petals, should get more out of the team, though he has had spotty relationships with his bullpens in the past, and he sometimes forgets to rest his starters. "His way of going about things is much...different" says Mussina, tiptoeing around the team's latest favorite endeavor, Miller bashing. "It's already more comfortable here than it was last year. We all know what Hargrove has done. He's a winner, and he's done it more than once. We know we have the talent to win. We just have to put it all together."
In this House of Horrors, that's easier said than done.
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