Melvin Mora laying down a bunt. Jay Payton stealing third base. Guys taking pitches and walking.
A grand total of 12 singles and a timely home run from Kevin Millar tonight at Camden Yards, and the Orioles are suddenly in sole possession of first place on Tax Day.
And the “overmatched” Orioles – or perhaps scrappy is the operative word here – outlasted the Blue Jays, 4-3, tonight and are suddenly 8-5 and as Gary Thorne said many times this evening, “playing the game right.”
Or are those Dave Trembley’s words?
It was another “friends and family” gathering – maybe 5,000 people, and I wasn’t one of them – but the “not ready for full house” Birds are playing some decent and interesting baseball at home.
Granted, Brian Roberts should’ve tagged up. Obviously, Luis Hernandez should’ve been running on contact on the Baltimore (or is it the Orioles?) chop. Jay Payton clearly needs to learn how to slide safely.
And the starting pitching is going to be a recurring issue, giving us heartburn with every early game high pitch count, and every Daniel Cabrera (or Cabrera-esque) outing.
But these guys have been fun to watch and they’re in every game. At least for the time being, the 30-3 kinda nights would seem to be foreign to these guys, especially if the bullpen has any say in the matter.
Of course, tonight George Sherrill came in and Alex Rios made the game, ahem…interesting?
But that’s the word for the Orioles of 2008: they’re “interesting.”
And that onto itself, is a gift to me in my 40th year. I’m enjoying watching them play and scrap.
I still don’t think they can win 70 games, but I’m buying into the early prosperity for the moment. It’s kinda like one of those two-furlong horses in a 1 3/16-mile race. Who is winning the race at the first turn isn’t truly significant but it’s still fun to watch them run out to the lead.
It’s even more fun to watch Rick Dempsey and Jim Hunter do the postgame show and pretend that this team really can win the A.L. East. But when the seats are as empty as they’ve been over the first two weeks, you gotta love them for selling “hope.”
And they’re in FIRST PLACE!
Why NOT brag and gloat and be giddy?
I find it very hard to believe that this team can sustain its pace or not be sorted out as a “pretender” over the long haul. Just look at the team’s offensive production. And look at the starting pitching.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t find watching Adam Jones and Luke Scott “interesting.”
I can’t figure out if they’re Jim Fuller and Drungo Hazewood, or whether they’re Al Bumbry and Rich Coggins. Or perhaps they’re Steve Finley and Brady Anderson? But it’d be REALLY nice if they were Jim Rice and Fred Lynn!
As for me, I was really sincere about wanting to go to the game tonight. But I couldn’t find a friend who wanted to brave the chilly-ish weather conditions and I’m “totally committed” to my Thursday night mixer featuring Gavin Floyd, the White Sox and maybe even an Ozzie Guillen lookalike contest.
We’re going to meet at Regi’s on Light Street after 4:30 at the bar. It has about 12 seats. I hope to fill them.
(My goals are modest.)
I’ll be buying my tickets on the street, as usual for less than $10.
As it turns out, I found out that I had two friends at the game tonight when the texts started arriving at 7:30 saying, “Where are you sitting?”
Of course, I text them back: “Where were you at 5:30 when I was trying to find someone to go to the game?”
At my age, I’ve learned, I run the risk of getting “sportsed out.” I’ve been going to 2-to-6 sporting events every week since 1973.
So, this week I decided tonight to save some of my energy for the Blast on Wednesday night (and we’re going to knock back a few beers at the DSX around 5:30 before the game). ALL BLAST FANS INVITED! I’ll shoot some wnsTV, we’ll do a little pep rally and have fun.
And then Thursday, it’s onto Regi’s and Oriole Park.
And for all of you who have emailed me about Tuesday night’s game, please save me an Adam Jones orange T-shirt. Medium or Large. And enjoy those $8 tickets. I can’t make it tonight, but I’m ready to have fun the rest of the week before the Yankees fans inherit the Inner Harbor on Friday around noon.
Temperature at gametime is slated to be 70 degrees on Thursday!
Come back downtown, spend some money and go to the ballgame “on the cheap” with us.
P.S. I was switching back and forth from the Orioles on their Mickey Mouse (or is it Mighty Mouse?) low-def MASN to ESPN’s HD coverage of the Indians and Red Sox.
Geez, it’s just incomprehensible and unexplainable the difference in watching these games and the presentation of them on television!
Nothing would help these fools sell their game and the Orioles team better than HD television for their product but they’re too cheap to do it, except when the Yankees come to town.
It’s disgraceful, especially considering what we’re paying to have MASN on our cable bills.
I just write what I see..