Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Win, Ten Losses, and a "No Thanks" to Cal

It's no surprise that the Orioles continue to be abysmal. In any other business, would an owner as inept as Peter Angelos be allowed to run an organization into the ground? In New York or Boston he'd be history. Baltimore walks on egg shells around him because of his money and the city has bigger problems than a losing baseball team right now.

The asbestos gravy train will fill his coffers for decades and the team will remain at a minor league level as long as he presides over it like a giant carp over the contents of Baltimore harbor.

It's easy to see that trading George Sherrill to the Dodgers left a massive crater in the bullpen. They haven't won many games without him going back to last summer. With him, they would have at least three to four more wins than they do now. Middle and late relief provide the backbone for victories. They give confidence that winning is possible in the late innings and are key to the psyche of a team.

What you are seeing this year is a team in August to September form. The Orioles are giving you your summer back.

Cal Ripken offered his services this week as an instructor and Angelos turned them down. Cal helps Larry Sheets coach the Gilman high school team because his son plays on it and he's a "diamond rat." He loves to be around the baseball field. It's strikes at the heart of his soul. Anything Cal says to one of our young players could be helpful. The rise of the Yankees began with Wade Boggs on the bench schooling Jeter, Williams, and others on how to work a count.

On the night that Cal broke Gehrig's record, Angelos droned on for thirty minutes like Charlie Brown's teacher--all but killing the energy of the crowd. The disconnect was evident. He wanted to make the evening about him. For the last 12 years, he has succeeded in one area. He has made losing about him.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


The Orioles avoided a three-game sweep tonight with a victory over the Rays. The previous two losses felt like the last twelve years. Bats go to sleep and pitching disappears. Brian Matusz pitched two-hit ball and the birds are coming home tomorrow for the opener against the Jays. The kid handled the Tampa Bay line-up. The new closer sent a chill into the bones by putting runners on in the ninth but managed to end it with a fly ball. In 40 years of watching baseball, I've never seen a pitcher deliver the ball to the plate like Mike Gonzalez does. It's strange.

It's nice to be back in Birdland again--home after thirty years.
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