Thursday, April 24, 2008

Around the Horn: Scott Erickson the filmmaker, the Wild Card O's

From the Netherlands to Cumberland, a sampling of things interesting, enlightening, and downright curious

by Matthew Taylor

Sometimes the most interesting info has little to do with the game itself. Scott Erickson is making films with the Fonz and Dante' Maddox (who?) is anticipating a Birds - Yankees showdown in the AL East. Put down the pine tar and join Roar from 34 for some "Base Hits."

-Does anyone in Baltimore really feel bad for Texas after the Rangers gave up 11 runs in an inning on Wednesday against the Tigers? Even the Birds didn’t have an inning that bad when they lost to Texas last season. Need I mention the score of that one?


-WillieBill is blogging about the Birds. The catch? He’s from the Netherlands. If Free Online Translator is to be believed, his blog description reads something like this: “Ok√©, here will I the Orioles keep up as from the day that the pitchers and catchers report to Springtraining. Perhaps are it the one day a photograph, kleinstukje, sometimes soundbite or rumour. I see, however.”


-I hope he knows his baseball as well as he knows his comics. Dante’ Maddox has picked the O’s to compete with the Yankees for the division. And from the sounds of it, he’s got us as the Wild Card.

The Red Sox collapse - Big Poppies April has flat out sucked, and the Yankees will need a few more months of that if they want to win the AL East. This will be a horse race with a Baltimore Orioles team that will be in the hunt all year. The Yankees should be the most consistent team in the field and should win a wild finish. The wild card will also come out of the AL East.


-Can Daniel Cabrera and Hideki Matsui teach the Washington crowd a thing or two about playing nice? This op-ed writer thinks so.

Daniel Cabrera, the towering Baltimore Orioles starter, plunked Yankee left fielder Hideki Matsui twice Friday night. The second hit smelled bad. Matsui grimaced in pain both times, but by the time he got to first base he chatted amiably with the voluble Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar.

The presidential hopefuls could learn something from Matsui's grace under fire.


-Scott Ericks
on and his wife will be hawkin’ (or should I say, “JetHawkin’) a feature film at a Single-A game. The loveBirds produced the flick A Plumm Summer,” which stars Henry Winkler (yup, the Fonz) as “Happy Herb.” Who’s in for a viewing party? Just contact group sales at, I kid you not, gofroggydoo@verizon.net.

The Lancaster JetHawks, Class A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, will welcome 17-year Major League veteran Scott Erickson and actress/reporter Lisa Guerrero to its Sunday, April 27 game at Clear Channel Stadium. The husband and wife pair will meet fans and sign autographs during pre-game, as well as discuss their upcoming feature film “A Plumm Summer”.

-Kud-O’s to Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar for their attendance at the Howard County Special Olympics Inspiration Walk on Saturday.

That was quite the crowd that came out on a beautiful day this last Saturday morning for the Howard County Special Olympics Inspiration Walk. County Executive Kenneth Ulman, state Sen. James Robey and state Del. Guy Guzzone were on hand along with Baltimore Orioles players Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar. Since the Inspiration Walk began six years ago, it has earned upwards of $325,000 for Special Olympics.


-In light of John Smoltz’s recent accomplishment, USA Today lists Orioles great Jim Palmer among its five greatest pitchers never to strike out 3,000 batters.

4. Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles: Had 2, 212 strikeouts. From 1970-78 won 20 games seven times. Had a lifetime earned run average of 2.86. Won 268 games. An odd statistical fact: In 19 years never gave up a grand slam. He was 8-3 in the post season.


-Racist taunts? You stay classy, Boston.

Hunter told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., that until the last couple of years, he regularly heard racist taunts when visiting Fenway as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

“I’ve been called whatever they call me - a lot - since I was a kid,” Hunter told the newspaper. “My first five or six (years), I was ‘That N-word.’ Some people would chant that out, some people would throw beer or whatever . . . batteries.”


-Speaking of Boston, can we start calling Camden Yards a "Green Monster"? (As if Red Sox fans need another reason to feel comfortable here.)

In Maryland, officials are eyeing Oriole Park at Camden Yards among hundreds of state-owned buildings with so-called green strategies that could yield $10 million annually in energy savings.

The energy efficiency fixes, such as automatic-flush toilets, motion-sensing lighting systems, efficient heating and cooling systems, window sealants and compact fluorescent light bulb replacements, would eliminate an estimated 545 million pounds of carbon emissions each year -- the equivalent of removing 45,000 cars from the region's roads.


-Who is this Bill Pemstein you speak of? The former O’s employee, who must still follow the team given his comment on Roch Kubatko’s blog, is now a sportswriter in the Midwest.

The first account executive in Baltimore Orioles history has now settled (17 years) into his chosen role as a sportswriter in the Midwest. His specialties include golf, baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball and football. He’s especially proud of the Pioneer Press Foursome Golf Tournament that he began in 1998.


-If you’re not reading Mike Burke - he of the exclusive Perlozzo interview shortly after Sam got fired last season - you should be.

As we know, Leo Mazzone loves to talk (and we love to listen). Last Saturday the former Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles pitching coach hit the mother lode, actually getting paid real American dollars to talk about a baseball game he was watching as he made his debut as an analyst for MLB on Fox, calling the Indians-Twins game with play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian.

As expected, things went well and Fox called Leo this week with his second assignment: May 31, Braves at Reds. Hopefully, the Dodgers at Mets game, which Fox is also scheduled to carry, will be rained out that day and area viewers can catch Leo's work.

Naturally, we feel Leo belongs back in the dugout very soon, but until that happens, this gig with Fox would appear to be a perfect fit for him. Who knows? There might be an egg salad sandwich in his future as well.

Nah. It would probably be pasta.


-Stairways for the Stars – a Frederick business owner touts his O’s connections, among others.

Eric Glass, co-owner with wife, Audrey, of The Taney Corp. said he has enjoyed interacting with Cal Ripken Jr., Wayne Newton, Mario Andretti and the late Edward Bennett Williams, former owner of the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Orioles.

Glass's Allendale Lane showroom is filled with sample stairs and stair accessories for potential customers to examine.

Twenty-five years ago, he built a sample for Ripken to review, but a staffer said Ripken couldn't visit the plant because he wouldn't be able to make up his mind, Glass said.

Glass took the sample and visited Ripken's Greenspring Valley home in Baltimore County.

Ripken ended up buying two circular stairs for Glass to install.

At one time, Glass also owned an airline charter business at Philadelphia Northeast Airport. He also owned an airplane.

In 1982, Edward Bennett Williams was sitting with Glass at the airport listening to an Orioles game.

"Mr. Williams wanted to buy my airplane. He said that if the Orioles won, he would buy my plane; if they lost, he wouldn't," Glass said.

"I don't know if he was kidding or not, but he bought the plane."

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