The World’s Strangest Fan

I have determined that I must be the World’s Strangest Fan.  I am once again saddened by the departure of a member of “My Team.”

Luis Matos has been designated for reassignment.  There was never a doubt that this would happen someday, but I am never happy when the day finally comes.  He was never a great outfielder, never really hit for average or power.  You really aren’t going to do well in the Beast that is the AL East with players like Luis.  None of that mattered to me.  Every time I had the opportunity to speak with him, he seemed like he was genuinely happy to respond.  We saw him last year with his hand still bandaged from breaking it during a bunt attempt, running the ramps at Camden Yards.  We asked him how his hand was, and he slowed down, turned and smiled, and said it was getting better and he hoped to be back soon.  He could have kept going and yelled “Fine” over his shoulder, but he didn’t.  I don’t have great expectations for civility from professional athletes, so all it takes is a little courtesy to push one of them into my “Top Fourty.”

I don’t understand why, and it seems sort of un-American, but for me it’s not about winning and losing.  Of course I want my favorite team to win, but that isn’t the most important thing to me.  I like to watch baseball players play baseball.  I believe that most of them come to the ballpark every day and do the best that they can.  Some are better than others and, honestly, some try harder than others.

There have been many players who have come and gone in the last couple of years and they will soon be more to follow.  I won’t miss some of them, but several of them, although not stars, made my trips to Camden Yards more enjoyable.

I will admit that I would cringe every time Matos came to bat this year, but I didn’t want him to leave – I just wanted him to get better.

Goodbye Luis, and may you find success wherever you go from here.


Déjà vu

Whining about the sacrifice bunt is getting boring, but maybe someday Perlozzo will get the message.

Ninth inning.  Scored tied.  Markakis on first, no outs.  Your .300 hitter, Brian Roberts, sacrifice bunts, and moves him to second.  Matos strikes out.  Two outs.  With first base open, they intentionally walk Tejada.  Hernandez strikes out.  Inning over. No runs scored.

OK, that plan didn’t work.

Eleventh inning..  Scored tied.  Markakis on first, no outs.  Your .300 hitter, Brian Roberts, sacrifice bunts, and moves him to second.  Matos strikes out.  Two outs.  With first base open, they intentionally walk Tejada.  Hernandez strikes out.  Inning over.  No runs scored.

Score for the entire game – 3 sacrifice bunts – ZERO runs scored.

Final result – game lost.

The Steal

I’m making a rare weeknight entry partially because I got home from work at a reasonable time, and partially because I can’t believe what I’m hearing.

On Sunday, with the Orioles leading the Yankees by a score of 10-4, Corey Patterson stole second, and then third. Larry Bowa yelled something to him about playing the game correctly.  Corey had violated part of the “Unwritten Law” that says you don’t steal with a big lead.  It’s now Tuesday, and ESPN is still talking about it.

Hello out there – this was against the New York Yankees!!!!! They had just scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th! This is the same New York Yankees that scored 7 runs the next night in the second inning against Josh Beckett!  The Oriole’s bullpen isn’t exactly Josh Beckett.  Their ERA is about 40.00. Six runs, with 2 Yankee at bats to go, is not a big lead.  I was paying careful attention, and I didn’t see Joe Torre waving a while flag.

Maybe we should have more parts to the Unwritten Law.  How about adding to page 2, paragraph 4, section 5 – “No breaking balls with a big lead”? How about putting on page 12 – “No diving for catches if your team has more than a 5 run lead.”?  Or maybe – “If you team is ahead by 6 runs, you must strike out until they catch up.”

OK – those may be a little extreme, but shouldn’t we at least ban the changeup?

Nothing To Say

I have received a few e-mails asking me “Where have you been?”  Well, there have been several reasons that I have been absent from Blogdom for a while – work, life, Daddy Duty (band stuff), and the need for a little “down time”, have all contributed to a lack of postings.

But the main reason I haven’t posted is because I have had nothing to say that someone hasn’t said already.

You would have to read all of my previous posts (including the archives) in order to understand my position on all of this, but my purpose here was not to chronicle the season, nor to win the “Most Prolific Blogger” Award.  This Blog thing is a hobby for me, and unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day.

I have posted comments to the Baltimore Sun, and sent an e-mail or two to the local sports reporters, but when I sit down to write something to post, I write it, read it, and say “who cares?”

I do wish the Os were playing better, but around here (at least according the people who are the most vocal) the solution is always to go get some better players and for Angelos to sell the team.  A few days ago, I posted the following comment to Roch Kubatko’s Blog on the Baltimore Sun’s site (BTW – Roch (pronounced Rock) is a Sun sports reporter):

I just don’t get it.

The 1971 Orioles had 4 twenty game winners.  The team was full of some of the most beloved Orioles of all time.  If you ask any Oriole’s fan to name 10 of the greatest Orioles, most of them were on this club.  Peter Angelos was not around. 

Baltimore loved that team.  According to most of the things I hear and read, the reason people don’t go to O’s games now is because they don’t have the things that the ’71 Orioles had – a winning team, All Star players, great pitching, and no Angelos.

If that’s true, then why did the Orioles average less than 13,000 for home games and didn’t even sell out Memorial Stadium for games 6 and 7 of the World Series that year?

I received a single response – We had the Colts back then.

I still don’t get it.

Happy Mother’s Day ! ! !

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and we will celebrate the same way we do every year. We’re going to the ballgame.  Because it’s a special day, dinner will probably be roast beef sandwiches from Boog’s Barbeque.  Who would have thought that a first baseman would continue to “smoke up the yard” even after retirement from baseball?  I may even spring for one of those special little desserts they push around on a cart, but I know there will be cotton candy on the way out of Camden Yards.

Just wanted to say “thanks” to all the Moms, and hope you all have a wonderful day.

Where To Start?

It seems like the only one you see on the field everyday is Richie Bancells.  He is the Oriole’s Trainer.

Roberts – DL

Newhan – DL

Javy Lopez – DL

Matos – DL (back as of yesterday)

Millar – Day to Day (but back now)

Tejada – Relegated to DH, but should really be sitting.

In a single inning last Saturday, Sam Perlozzo made 7 substitutions, most due to injury.  You know it looks bad when the infield is:

3rd – Backup Outfielder (Conine)

SS – Utility Infielder (Gomez)

2nd – Your 3rd baseman (Mora)

1st – Your starting catcher (Hernandez)

And then on Sunday – “Starting at Shortstop, substituting for your All-Star, MVP of last year’s All Star Game, former AL MVP, League leading hitter Miguel Tejada, is Brandon Fahey.  I may have been the only person in the stadium who knew who he was.  If you have read my Blog before, you already know that I am a Fahey fan, but last September I saw him playing for the Bowie Baysoxs in AA.  At one point in Sunday’s game, there were 3 players who I watched 8 months ago in Bowie.  At least the tickets are cheaper there, and parking is free.

The bad news is that the Os lost, and even though Fahey went 2 for 4 and made an amazing defensive play, the highlight that made it to ESPN was his strikeout in the 9th.

The good news was that it was a great day for a ballgame, and because my family was in  Florida, I had the chance to go to the game with 2 good friends.

From where I sit, the good was far better than the bad.

Today’s Great News

I have tried to keep this Blog focused on baseball.  I know it’s the first day of the NFL Draft, the NBA playoffs are going on, and the Os could actually be in first in the AL East by the end of the day, but, but as far as I’m concerned, the most exciting  thing that happened today doesn’t involve professional sports.

The Arundel High School Music Department has been crowned Overall Grand Champions of the Festival Music Competition in Orlando, Florida.  Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Guard, the Percussion Ensemble, and two choral groups all won Grand Championships in their events.  They were the Grand Champions in every event that they entered.

None of these kids will be getting $25 Million signing bonuses.  You won’t see their faces on ESPN.  You won’t even see an article in the Baltimore newspaper, but nobody works harder than these kids.  The Marching Band and Guard start working in mid-summer, in the heat and humidity of Maryland, with 8 hour a day practices.  After school starts, they practice 3 hours a night as a group.  This doesn’t count the time each one of them spends at home practicing their individual instruments.

My youngest daughter is a member of several of the AHS bands, and I couldn’t be prouder.