by Matthew Taylor
They say in Annapolis that it doesn't matter what Navy's football team does any other game of the year as long as they beat Army. It's not exactly the same situation in Baltimore, but I do find that a Birds series win over the Yankees helps heal some of this fan's constant baseball pain.
Each series against New York is almost a season of its own, which means the O's are doing pretty well in 2007. Here are some of my favorite moments from the the first two games of this week's match-up with the Yankees:
-Rick Dempsey butchering player names in "O's Extra," including my personal favorite, Milk-y Cabrera.
-Learning that the Yankees have the fewest saves in baseball this season; yes, even fewer than the Orioles.
The only objective Yankee fan I know told me during the team's recent win streak that he didn't think they could catch the Red Sox - or even make the post-season, for that matter - because their bullpen is so bad. That's not something you commonly hear about the Yankees, but it has a nice ring to it.
-Zero strikeouts for Roger Clemens, ending his streak of 200 consecutive starts with at least one strikeout.
As usual, Joe Torre provided plenty of spin for the Rocket: "I think Roger, knowing the conditions, always has a plan. There was never really a situation where he needed a strikeout Roger was thinking more about contact than striking people out, though it was an oddity."
I hope the Rocket is sharing some of his ridiculous wealth with Torre for the manager's PR efforts.
-Denying Clemens win No. 350.
-My wife's comment after Aubrey Huff's three-run home run on Wednesday night: "I'm going to have to change my opinion of Aubrey Huff. I'm not used to him getting big hits."
No, hon, you were right in the first place.
-O's fans yelling "I got it" to Alex Rodriguez as he ranged into foul territory for the final out of the 7th inning.
-Chad Bradford ringing up Jorge Posada with a wicked third strike on a full count in the 8th inning. With two runners on, one out, and the tying run in the on-deck circle, the setting was starting to look all too familiar.
-Hearing cheers for the Birds in Camden Yards during a series against New York, including a very audible "Yankees Suck" number late in the game.
-With absolutely no apologies to John Sterling: "Orioles win! Theeeeeeeee Orioles win!"
-Waking up Thursday morning and reading an AP story with this wonderful lead:
"This was one personal accomplishment that Roger Clemens really wanted, mostly because it would provide the New York Yankees with a lift they desperately needed.
It was a win-win situation. Clemens earns his 350th victory, and the Yankees end a three-game losing streak.
Unfortunately for Clemens and the Yankees, that scenario did not play out Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
Clemens was denied his milestone win, his streak of consecutive starts with a
strikeout ended at 200, and the Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-0."