Tagged: Orioles

A Horse, Of Course

 In case you haven’t heard–and you probably haven’t–Oriole Aubrey Huff is in hot water for calling Baltimore a “horses *** town”.

As Aubrey protested, “It must be a slow news day.”

Huff was apparently engaging in an old college “compare and contrast” exercise on a local shock jock radio show, observing the difference between the night life in Tampa and Baltimore (Huff was traded to the Orioles from the Devil Rays).

Are you kidding me?  Firsl, I don’t see how anybody could take seriously something somebody told to “Bubba the Love Sponge”.  Second–I mean, is the comparison, allowing a certain poetic license, really that inappropriate?  You don’t have to have a little Captain in you to know Tampa nightlife is a little more lively and exotic than lovely downtown Baltimore.

Besides, Baltimore is the home of the Preakness, second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.  The outskirts of Baltimore feature picturesque thoroughbred racing stables with their maypole like longe lines and distinctive brands.  One might even catch an oriole perched on the white split rail fencing.  Baltimore has as vibrant a horse culture as Tampa has a nightlife.

Maybe that’s what Aubrey had in mind.  What is the huff about?

— Michael Norton


Moose Abuse

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

O Say

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.

My O My

Matt from Diamondhacks misses nothing.

Rumor has it I’ve been traded.

In his comments on the Mets clinching, Matt penned a mock letter from the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. His reference was to my hometown Norfolk Tides choosing not to renew the player development contract with the Mets. It appears a relationship that has existed since the Miracle Mets of 1969 is soon to be no more.

Ironically it is the club the Mets vanquished in that historic series that is destined to usurp their role in Norfolk. I’ve written on the switcheroo in my column for Spike’s Ballparks, so I won’t repeat all the gory details here. But here is the essence: The Tides president, Ken Young, is part of an ownership group that purchased three Orioles farm clubs over the summer. The Tides management have kept up appearances that they were entertaining consideration by the Nationals, Orioles, Mets and even Yankees, but my suspicion is this deal was done months ago.

The Nats got smart and, realizing Norfolk was going to the Birds, signed up with Columbus. The Mets got caught with their pants down and are now swamped in New Orleans. The spin is laughable: "We are excited to relocate our top Minor League operation to New Orleans to become a part of the rebirth and renaissance of one of America’s great cities," said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. Right. Having an affiliate in the PCL (Pacific Coast League) is a disadvantage for eastern seaboard clubs. That is why the Nats wanted out of New Orleans.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. It may not be a bad thing. The Orioles are a rich team but they cannot compete via free agency. They must develop through the farm system. So I don’t know how to feel. I do know I wish they had the decency to wait until after the season. Suddenly I am not really a Met. Now I know how Xavier Nady felt. Of course the fans’ voice was not even a consideration. Baseball is a business.

Think I’ll go golfing.