|Odds, Ends and Observations|
by Ed Veit
Nick Markakis is finally batting third, where he belonged when his bat started getting hot. Any other manager would have placed him there much sooner. How many loses could O’s have avoided had Markakis batted third and not eighth, ninth or second?
Melvin Mora belongs in the No. 2 slot. He can bunt, hit to the opposite field and is good with two strikes. Mora and Brian Roberts should be interchangeable -- with Roberts leading off against right-handers and Mora against left-handers.
What the Orioles need in this age of pitching specialists is a true "opener" -- that hard-flinging guy who can throw strikes and get the Birds to the third inning without a deficit. After that, start the parade of pitchers. How many runs has Rodrigo Lopez given up in the first inning?
Will the Orioles’ spring training or the reference to it ever end? When the Orioles finally do start spring training in February, 2007, I hope the team practices how to get runners home from third with less than two outs.
Will front-page coverage of the Ravens’ practice ever end?
Are the Ravens really set to begin the season after nosing out the “Deadskins.” Remember the Patriots beat the same team at practice 41-0.
How many people remember Trent Dilfer? Hint: He’s the QB that won a Super Bowl.
Before granting Ray Lewis “the greatest linebacker of all time” please check the records and careers of the Eagles’ Chuck Bednarik, the Falcons’ Tommy Nobis, Ray Nitschke and Dave Robinson of the Packers, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary of the Bears, or Willie Lanier of the Chiefs. One season does not a career make.
The Penn State administration is stopping alcohol consumption at tailgate parties outside Beaver Stadium during the game -- tailgaters can get as sloshed as they want before and after football games, but not during. This ban was imposed to stop underage drinking. According to one source, “…this policy is unfair to those who drink responsibly.” Are there really responsible drinkers at tailgate parties?
It’s great to have Washington back in baseball and now it’s “First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League East” (almost a rhyme). How many remember the old Washington Senators and Clark Griffith, Griffith Stadium, Albie Pearson and “The Walking Man,” Eddie Yost? They were last in the AL until the days of Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camillo Pasquel and Earl Battey. Griffith had developed a team that could finally compete with Yankees and moved it to Minnesota in 1961. Senators II came as an expansion team and were eventually managed by Ted Williams and he became Manager of the Year in 1969. Then Senators II went to Texas in 1971 as Bob Short and a little-known George W. Bush became the owners.