Archive for October, 2007

It’s come this
October 29, 2007

e-mail Pete

Happy Monday Morning! The Red Sox won the World Series! Couldn’t have happened for a finer group of well mannered fans.

Managed to sweep the Rockies, and did it without Kevin Millar Cowboying anybody up in Denver. I don’t begrudge the actual team. A spectacular combination of hitting, pitching, youth, veteran leadership, and drive clearly had the Sox a cut above the rest of baseball. Hats off for getting it done not just with high priced free agents, but a collection of kids from the farm that will keep Boston in the post season for years to come. They’re not just planning the parade past Thaniel Hall for later this week they’re clearing late October on the Calendar for the next decade. Frightening.

But I will revisit the decision of Kevin Millar to not only throw out the first pitch in Game Seven of the ALCS at Fenway, but also openly solicit cheers on national television for his division rival.

Last time out I blasted Millar for gleefully representing his former mates, thus embarrassing his current fans in Baltimore. And I ripped the O’s for allowing Millar to take part in the Fenway festivities.

A few days later and my jaw remains unhinged. Not because of Millar’s actions, but rather a collective level of apathy from a large portion of Orioles fans. Orioleshangout.com is the home for hard core Baltimore baseball fans. The message board traffic following Millar’s shenanigans was like the inner loop of 695 at 5:00 PM on Memorial Day Friday. Much of which centered on how it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Many claimed the Orioles have far bigger problems and questioning the off season happenings of a player whom always seems to give his best effort just wasn’t worth the time. Many fans just simply didn’t care.

So it’s come to this. One of the most visible players for the Orioles rallies the dreaded rival Red Sox and the hard core fan base can’t even agree how crappy a thing that is.

What would the reaction have been in New York if Johnny Damon had pulled the same stunt? Apathy, indifference, and malaise? Try hostility, venom, and pure unadulterated anger.

Kevin Millar’s actions revealed a Josh Beckett fastball kind of scary problem for this once proud franchise. Fans have trouble even getting embarrassed by their club anymore. That kind of apathy leads to total ruin.

Don’t misread this though. I’m not blaming Orioles fans for their lack of concern. It just saddens me their team has so beaten them down with a sledge hammer of losing, steroid use and allegations, trade demands, and finally solicitous cheering of their rivals. Thank God baseball season is over.

Millar’s Mistake
October 23, 2007

e-mail Pete

My jaw remains unhinged after watching the beginning of Game Seven last night of the ALCS. Not because the Red Sox rallied from the brink with three straight wins to reach the World Series. Rather because one of the most prominent faces of the Orioles, Kevin Millar, not only threw out the first pitch for the Red Sox, he read the Boston Lineup with more enthusiasm than Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch.

Didn’t see the beginning to Game Five, but his Cowboying Up for Boston was even worse.

Absofrigginlutely ridiculous.

Nauseating.

Embarrassing.

Stupid.

Any of the aforementioned appropriately describe the decision by Millar to take such an active role in cheering a division rival while still playing for Baltimore, and the decision by Andy MacPhail to let Millar trade in the orange and black for Beantown red and blue.

I get that what the Sox did in 2004 was beyond memorable, that they want to use it for inspiration this year. But even in Boston, they don’t get having Millar back to rally the Sawx. NESN’s coverage from Game Five had everyone kind of scratching their heads from Boston Manager Terry Francona to Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy.

The Orioles may have thought Millar was to simply throw out the first pitch and be done with it. But they know him. They had to know he’d go five steps farther. If he could still be playing in Boston, Millar would hop on Southwest in a heart beat for the $49 special and cab it straight to Fenway without ever checking in to a hotel. He of course got caught up in the festivities, the excitement of the post season, all the things we don’t have and won’t anytime soon in Charm City. His judgment, or lack thereof, comes as no surprise. His rally cry three years ago came with he and his mates titled as idiots.

The real frustration comes in allowing Millar the stage to embarrass everyone associated with, and that roots for the Orioles. How doesn’t the front office know that O’s fans hate the Red Sox. They hate that tens of thousands come to town taking over Camden Yards turning it into Fenway South. They hate that New England fans also have the best football team on the planet. Anyone seriously think the Red Sox needed Millar’s help?

A team leader shouldn’t be openly soliciting cheers on national television for a rival. It’s just that simple. If you can’t see why that hurts, why that’s wrong, and why it’s symptomatic of a growing tradition of losing, then you just don’t get it. And once again, that’s the case with the Orioles.

Saturday Night’s All Right for Terping
October 21, 2007

Kind of lame? Sure, but I’m at work while you’re hopefully not. In fact, I hope nobody reads this till Sunday. But watching Maryland face 19th ranked Virginia inspired me to get to typing. Napoleon Dynamite continues to lead the Terps on a surprising run of success. Who knew the best quarterback on campus looks more harmless than Elmo building blocks with Big Bird. Chris Turner somehow kept hidden the leadership skills that have everyone on College Park buzzing about football even though basketball season is underway. Turner will lead Maryland to a decent bowl game and a year end ranking in the top 25. There I said it.

Speaking of Maryland hoops, a very different feel encompased media day. Gary Williams made it clear that he likes this team. Not just the talent, but he actually likes the kids. Told me he doesn’t have to motivate anyone to practice, that they really want more than to win, but to do it the right way. And the way he talked about this group made it clear that the last several years were not like this. He refused to ever publicly get down on his back to back, highly touted recruiting classes after the National Championship. He held his tongue. But now he has a very different chemistry working at Comcast Center, the kind that makes runs into the post season. It might be ugly early with six freshman and just two seniors with significant roles, but in February they might start ripping through the ACC. In fact, they will, earning a five seed or better in the NCAA’s. There, I said that too.

1st round at BCC – Tasselmyer’s Revenge
October 4, 2007

A fog bank thicker than Ted Washington’s mid section caused a two hour delay at the 1st round of the Constellation Energey Senior Players Championship. But they’ve headed to the course now and I’m going to follow Fred Funk for a while. The Takoma Park native would love to win in his home state for the first time as pro, and claim his first ever major at the same time. I’ll check back in shortly.