The Saturday Feed
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
So far, I am 1-for-2 when it comes to liking the statues of the six Orioles legends.
Frank Robinson's is a thumbs-up. Earl Weaver's is a big thumbs-down. I'm not sure what the sculptor was going for with his likeness of No. 4, but it seems he may have gotten caught up in Weaver's opinion of his squawky days, arguing with umpires. When Weaver had his hands on his hips or in his back pockets, he was in a fighting mood.
This statue has the hands in the arguing stance, but the face looks way too mellow for my taste.
Although it has always been easy to pile on Orioles owner Peter Angelos about some past miscarriages of O's justice, his sticking to his guns in his hard-ball negotiations on behalf of MASN with the owners of the Nationals is something Baltimore fans should get behind. The key mistake by Major League Baseball was announcing the Expos were moving before they negotiated the deal with Angelos to allow them to infringe on his TV territory.
Perhaps when the Lerners purchased the team from MLB, commissioner Bud Selig gave them a wink and a nod that Angelos wouldn't be around when the TV deal was redone. The bottom line is that Angelos' stake in MASN's revenue stream was supposed to be the payoff to him for his loss of TV money, not a trap that would have him backed into a public-relations corner led by the Lerners -- with help from the Washington Post's once-respected baseball writer Tom Boswell.
Although there is no question Ravens fans can't wait for the 2012-13 season, it'll be an interesting side effect of the in-house move from McDaniel College to the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mils to see how intensely fans follow the team during training camp -- at least until the three public outings Aug. 4 at M&T Bank Stadium, Aug. 12 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and Aug. 19 at Stevenson University.
The frenzy in Westminster was always the litmus test to illustrate just how crazy the area is for its football team.
Speaking of football in the state of Maryland, the Terps are putting some clout into PR efforts for the entire athletic program. A former PR guy for the Orioles, John Maroon, has his firm working on dusting off the overall image of athletics in College Park.
It's amazing how poorly universities everywhere handle -- or should I say mishandle --public relations. Coach Mark Turgeon will do fine in time with men's basketball, and he is a breath of fresh air compared with his predecessor, the temperamental Gary Williams. But, the university needs to rally around embattled football coach Randy Edsall. He has been the whipping boy for Ralph Friedgen loyalists.
Truth be told, Edsall was in a tough spot. He pretty much had a mutiny on his hands last season as he tried to instill some basic behavioral and academic standards. The thing the school could have, and should have, done is show the comparison between the huge number of transfers he lost at Maryland and the miniscule number of losses suffered at Connecticut.
It feels as if the return of O's second baseman Brian Roberts, which even includes the return of Brian's Baseball Bash at Dave & Buster's Aug. 12 to benefit the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, has sadly given way to the reality of just how diminished a player B-Rob is these days. Although I have never been one of those that questioned Roberts' playing ability in terms of his use of performance enhancers, watching him this summer is like looking at a miniature version of his old self.
I stand by the column I wrote when Roberts returned; the fact he worked his way back was a triumph. But, at his age, missing that much time and not spending more time in the minors was a recipe for a breakdown when he returned to the rigors of big-league play.
The feeling in this corner is that Roberts' groin injury, which has landed him on the DL, may end up spelling the end of his career.
Getting back to Orioles statues for a minute …
The six retired numbers are Cal Ripken's No. 8, Frank Robinson's No. 20, Weaver's No. 4, Jim Palmer's No. 22, Eddie Murray's No. 33 and Brooks Robinson's No. 5. Here's a question for O's fans: Who should be the next player to have his number retired?
For me, it's a tie between Boog Powell's No. 26, Elrod Hendricks' No. 44 and Mike Mussina's No. 35. If I'm going by play on the field, it's Mussina besting Boog.
Let me know what you think.
Posted July 7, 2012