Friday, November 21, 2008

Offseason Odds and Ends

Mussina retires, Erin Andrews interviews Teixeira, and more

by Matthew Taylor

A roundup of interesting O's-related topics ...

-"Flashback Fridays" ended with the last pitch of the season, but a tip from Stephen Johnson allows Roar from 34 to revisit the tradition in brief.

Johnson is the creator/executive producer of "Gettysburg Eddie" and the producer of the long anticipated "Forgotten Birds." He notes that Hall of Famer Eddie Plank, a longtime Philadelphia Athletic and the subject of his latest documentary, has an O's connection: "In 1901 on May 13th, Connie Mack called for the bullpen and Eddie Plank ran to the mound. He came in to mop up a game with the Baltimore Orioles. So a future hall of famer (1946) started his pro career in Baltimore."

It's also worth noting that Plank finished his career with the St. Louis Browns, a precursor to the Birds, and therefore appears on the Baltimore Orioles' all-time roster.

-Mike Mussina has decided to call it a career. Buster Olney, who covered Mussina as an Oriole and as a Yankee, offers a nice coda on his blog. It says a lot about Mussina that even after he left the Birds for the hated Yankees, many O's fans still hold him in high regard. I'm one of them.

-Bleacher Report considers a hypothetical Ryan Theriot-for-Brian Roberts deal between the Cubs and Birds.
"Does the name 'Brandon Fahey' ring a bell? I doubt it...unless you're a fan of the Baltimore Orioles. Fahey, who will turn 28 in January, is projected to be the Orioles' starting shortstop on Opening Day 2009—which is great if you're related to Fahey.

He hit .228 in 58 games last year, including 25 strikeouts in 106 at-bats. Comparatively, Theriot struck out 58 times last year in over 500 at-bats.

So do you think an enormous upgrade at shortstop would be enticing to the Orioles?"
-Mark Teixeira did a sideline interview with Erin Andrews (poor guy) during Thursday night's ESPN game between Miami and Georgia Tech. Andrews mentioned the Red Sox and Yankees, but the O's name never came up. The circumspect Teixeira noted that (I'm paraphrasing here), "the East Coast is my home." Make of that what you will, but it seems like the "hometown" radius has grown considerably.

-I admittedly have not been following the Orioles' spring training saga. Nevertheless, it's nice to see some positive things written about the team, no matter the motivation. Doug Holder of the Florida House of Representatives has this to offer:
"This is the opportunity we have with the Baltimore Orioles organization -- one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball history, winning the World Series three times and the American League pennant six times. But perhaps sometimes we focus too much on the aspect of the game of baseball and overlook the business side of bringing a new team to Sarasota County for spring training."
-Sad to see the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards struggling so much. If you haven't been there, it's worth a visit.
"The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved $440,000 in debt relief for the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards.

Mike Gibbbons, the museum's executive director, says the facility has been hindered by diminishing attendance at Baltimore Orioles games. Gibbons says the nearby Babe Ruth Museum also could suffer without help."

2 comments:

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Matt, great stuff.

About Tex -- I see nothing at the moment that makes me think he wants to come to Baltimore for the sake of it being "home".

If that was the case, he (um, Boras - I should say) would have started some dialogue with the team as soon as they could.

I think he's going to the highest bidder and a place where Mark thinks he could win.

The Orioles *may* get him, but based on what I have read around the web and forums, a lot of people may be in for a rude awakening if he decides to go somewhere else.

He's being awfully coy.

james said...
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