At least one good thing came from the Birds' otherwise forgettable trip to Oakland this weekend.
On Sunday, Paul Gutierrez of The Sacramento Bee offered another article in the growing "local kid makes good" series about young O's players, this one focused on pitcher David Hernandez of Elk Grove, Calif.
(See also: The Contra Costa Times' coverage of Brad Bergesen and the Green Bay Press-Gazette's love for Jason Berken.)
Gutierrez provides a nod to the Orioles' proud past, which begs the question, "When was the last time you heard anyone refer to the O's as one of the game's iconic franchises?" And he uses the word "passerine" to boot. Must've been an English major.
Baseball needs the Baltimore Orioles to be good. Not just decent. Not just an occasional contender. But one of the national pastime's haves, and not a has-been.
It's one of the game's iconic franchises (who doesn't dig that simple cap adorned with a prideful passerine?) that has lost its way and needs to be found. Fast.
Paging an Elk Grove kid, The Bee's 2003 Pitcher of the Year who knew next to nothing about the team that calls the birthplace of Babe Ruth home, and used a 16th-round pick in the 2005 draft on him after his stint at Cosumnes River College.
"Cal Ripken," said a sheepish David Hernandez. "Basically, that was it."