The here-to-fore winless O’s bested the boys in pinstripes 6-4 at vaunted Yankee Stadium Friday. Former Oriole Mike “Moose” Musina gave up all six runs and lasted only four innings. The Moose abuse was loosed with the very first Oriole, as Brian Roberts opened the game with a double. Melvin Mora then singled on a perfect bunt, before Nick Markakis hit the first of his two doubles, driving in two runs.
The Moose really had no excuse as it was an ideal night for pitchers, cold with the wind blowing in. Adam Lowen threw five strong innings, a hopeful sign for Baltimore, who has had little to cheer about so far. Kevin Millar, who as a former Red Sox has plenty of experience with the Yankees, noted before the game that the Orioles needed to arrive with a swagger and dominate in Yankee Stadium.
The O’s did. At least for one game. The two teams play ball again today with Steve Trachsel matched up against Kai Igawa.
Meanwhile, the teams’ two Triple A clubs are battling it out elsewhere in New York, with the Orioles affiliate Norfolk Tides losing to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 6-3 to even the series at one apiece.
And the Nats fell short after falling behind again…
— Michael Norton
Well, He11, after watching the Tides defeat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees last night I realized the impossibility of ignoring the Orioles, the parent club of my Norfolk Tides.
There is a part of me that envies fans who live in the same city their entire lives and get to root for one team from birth. I suppose this is the classic American story: very few of us really have roots anymore.
On the other hand, the grass is always greener in the other ballpark, and in a sense I’m blessed. I have experienced the great variety this land of ours has to offer. I have at one time or another been a Giants fan, a Yankees fan, a Red Sox fan, a Cubs fan, a Rangers fan and a Mets fan, and enjoyed every minute of it. I suppose I am fortunate to have not one but two major league teams within an hour of each other.
One should have an AL team and an NL team I’ve always said. It’s not like these two teams are likely to ever meet in the World Series. So I suppose rather than a Nats fan or an O’s fan, I could be more properly called a Chesapeake fan, property of MASN, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
Thanks, Peter Angelos.
Well, we’re back. No, I didn’t just refer to myself in divine plural: my son also writes here, just less frequently considering he is defending our country, attending college and raising a family. We were ruminating last night that it has been one busy, busy summer for both of us.
But I’m taking a long weekend after a brutal software project. Last night my son and I headed to a Tides game. There was a Beatles tribute band before the game, Beatlemania Again. Check them out if you get a chance. They replay the evolution of the Fab Four from lads in suits through Sgt. Pepper to hippies, with an authentic sound and equipment.
It was good to be at Harbor Park again-ah, the grass looks so green! The hot dogs just taste better in August for some reason. We had seats behind home plate, which was fortunate because Oliver Perez pitched a masterpiece, carrying a no hitter into the seventh. Even with special guest Reggie, the purple mascot that looks something like the Philly Phanatic, diverting the crowd, Perez received a huge ovation when the no hitter was broken up. Again I was reminded that Norfolk has great fans who actually pay attention to the game.
Oh and by the way, the Tides won, 1-0. — Michael Norton
The last night’s game between Norfolk and Rochester may be the one where the Tides turned the corner—and I was there. After a closed door meeting following Friday’s 5-0 loss which dropped them to 6-17, the Tides pulled together a thrilling 11th inning win. Lastings Milledge drove in Julio Ramirez (shown rounding third) for the winning run.
The boys are learning to deal with adversity. They coulda/shoulda when the batter before Lastings, Joe Hietpas’, bounced a ball off the pitcher, but Chris Basak was thrown out at home on a play I still can’t believe happened. It was so impossible everyone in the stands started celebrating before the call. Tide’s manager Tony Tijerina threw a lengthy tantrum, which I suspect was as much to communicate to his players his burning desire to win as anything else.
The Tides fans are marvelous. I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout on a really cold night for a team with a woeful record. In the eighth some fan ran, beer in hand, around the walkway between the first and second sections, raising the cheer. There really wasn’t a need—everyone was into the game as they sensed a potential victory. The Tides fell behind early, and trailed by a run late in the game, then tied it up in the eighth.
It was one of those wonderful games where the will to win was discernable, and the difference in the game. The crowd wanted it, and the players wanted it. Suddenly it was no longer just a game, it was something more.
And it was fun.
The Mets were also in a contest, at Turner Field, where the Mets had dropped 28 of 35. Tom Glavine got the victory against his former team. It is the Amazins first series win in Atlanta since 2003. Floyd had a great quote:
"I’ve always said, ‘Teams that win 90, 95 games … they remember the good things,’" Floyd said. "And teams that win only 80 or less, all they remember is the bad stuff." — MLB.com
Speaking of good stuff, Binghamton lost 1-0 to Erie, but Mike Pelfry gave up only 3 hits in 5.2 innings and didn’t allow an earned run.
Let’s hope both the Tides and Mets remember the good stuff they experienced tonight.
The Tides got shelled last night, at the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, affiliate of the Phillies. Well, sort of. The relationship has soured, and next year the 18 year affiliation will end. Guess Pennsylvania is not the state of brotherly love. I haven’t really been able to get engaged in this series, in part because when you can find information on a player, it is usually something like “is nothing more than organization depth for the Phillies”. I’m wondering if the Phillies have basically abandoned the Red Barons, shipping all their prospects to AA Reading. The Red Barons do play in one of my favoritely named ballparks: Lackawanna County Stadium. Unfortunately there’s no lack of want in Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Guess I should speak softly, though: the Red Barons have won three of four in this series.
Next up for the Tides is the Rochester Red Wings, affiliate of the Twins and one of the original teams in the International League via the Eastern League. The International League itself is very old. In 1897 the Rochester ballpark burned and the team, then called the Jingos, finished the season in Montreal, with the understanding the team would return to Rochester the following season. Montreal decided possession was nine-tenths of the law, and Rochester had to buy the Scranton membership to stay in the league. The International League gets its name from its historical connections to Canadian teams.
The Jackie Robinson story really begins with the Montreal Royals of the International League in 1946, where Robinson was positioned to prepare him for what was to come. On this date, April 18, Robinson went 4-for-5 with four runs, a dinger, 4 RBIs, 2 stolen bases and forced 2 balks. MiLB.com is chronicling Jackie’s exploits in the International League this season in its series, Remembering Jackie.
Last night my son and I attended the Norfolk Tides opener versus the Durham Bulls. Although Oceana AFB is so close residents complain constantly about the jet noise, there were no fly overs. Welcome to the Minor Leagues. Nevertheless, all eight thousand of us seemed to have a marvelous time, despite getting pounded 8-0 by the Bulls, AAA affiliate of the Devil Rays.
Winning and losing is somehow less important at this level; it really is more about how you play the game. Players are working on their skills, honing their talent for their shot in the show. Or playing out their time as a professional ballplayer. Anyone who has watched Bull Durham has to have some appreciation for the Minor Leagues.
It is always fun to see the Bulls immortalized in that classic movie. Of course Triple-A ball is not played in dusty, decrepit stadiums depicted in the film. Many of the stadiums are actually better than major league parks. I would rather see a game in Harbor Park than Pro Player Stadium, where the Marlins play, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Like The Brick in Oklahoma City and many other modern facilities, it is well designed and comfortable, home away from home to any baseball fan.
My son ran into a buddy from his command on his first visit to Harbor Park. Welcome to Our House. Baseball is a communal experience. No other sport has a seventh inning stretch, during which the starting pitcher for the Norfolk Tides, Jose Lima, a former NL All Star, sang “God Bless America”.
Ah, what a wonderful time. – amn