The Washington Post’s Jorge Aranague Jr. claims Baltimore might be eager to trade SS Miguel Tejada.

A player of Tejada’s caliber is rarely dealt at midseason, though one high-ranking team source said Baltimore has already received several inquiries about the 2005 all-star, who is hitting .312 with 16 home runs. The club, according to another Orioles source, would ask for a major league pitcher as part of any package for Tejada.

“If the return is right — two to three pieces that could be core [major league] players quickly, I think they would have to consider it,” said an executive for one American League team. “The reality, however, is that deals like that are not often out there and they would need to be sure they were right on the guys they bet on.”

Those who have spoken to Tejada recently about the subject said he is happy and does not want to be traded. But Orioles executives and Manager Sam Perlozzo have met several times, though not in the past month, to discuss how to deal with Tejada’s tardiness in arriving for games.

One team source said Baltimore has tried to fine Tejada, but those fines have been ignored. The source said it was possible team officials had not pushed Tejada to pay the fines or disciplined Tejada publicly because they did not want to risk alienating him or hurting his trade value.

“I can’t remember the last time I heard anything about it at all,” Orioles Executive Vice President Mike Flanagan said. “Sometimes this business of being late is a matter of interpretation.”

Flanagan said Duquette spoke with Tejada on Sunday and “felt really good” about the conversation. But Tejada arrived at 12:10 p.m. for Sunday’s 1:35 game against the Washington Nationals.

Several team sources said they have noticed Tejada sulking some of late, perhaps stemming from his name being linked to the investigation into an affidavit from former Oriole Jason Grimsley, which appears to link several of his ex-teammates to the use of amphetamines and perhaps other substances. (The names in the affidavit have been redacted.) Since it became public on June 7, Tejada is hitting just .236 (17 for 72).

With little to celebrate besides Jason Bay leading all NL outfielders in All-Star Game balloting, Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy confirms “we’ve fallen on hard times”, though crushes the hopes of many in denying rumors he’s planning to sell the club. Though not denying them very convincingly. From the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Joe Rutter.

For about a year, speculation has persisted that the franchise would be sold — or McClatchy would jettison his stake in the team — after the Pirates hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 11.

With that date fast approaching — and with the Nutting family’s purchase of Seven Springs Resort becoming public earlier this month — the rumors have intensified. One possibility is for the Nuttings to buy out McClatchy, who spearheaded the most recent ownership change in 1996.

Pressed further on the subject, McClatchy did indicate he would explore his options later in the season.

“I’m going to look at it as we get to the end of the year,” he said. “I’m comfortable with the job and all that. We’ll take a look at it. Right now, we’ve got an All-Star Game coming here. That’s all I care about. That’s where all of my focus is now, making sure we put on the best All-Star Game for the city of Pittsburgh. That’s what we’re working on.”

While most of us were too busy laughing at the oft-replayed meltdown of Ashville Tourists manager Joe Mikulik from this past Sunday night, Bad Altitude’s Mark Donohue took the time to fully analyze the performance.

1) Hat toss
2) Headfirst slide into base at which contested play took place
3) Removal from moorings of base
4) Toss (underhand style) of base
5) Kicking dirt on home plate
6) Kneeling down and using hands to complete covering of home with dirt
7) Chucking of several bats onto field from dugout
8) Return to field from dugout to empty water bottle on home plate
9) Blown kiss to umpire
10) Crouching behind home catcher-style into grand finale spike of water bottle

Mikulik managed to accomplish all of the above while never actually making physical contact with any of the umpires. Watch his body control between 1 and 2 and then again after 10. The Rockies organization should be proud to call this guy one of their own, and be careful to make sure he’s not snatched up by an offer of a higher-level job somewhere else.