Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Catching On

The next-to-last thing I ever want to do is turn this blog into a sports commentary blog. I love sports - baseball and football chief among them - but there are already plenty of people plowing that field.

The last thing I want to do is to figure out a way to be there when they read my will. There are going to be some surprised faces in that room, I wanna tell ya. For one thing, I want to make sure to remember Christina Crawford in my will. I don't think she was treated very well in the past. Although, to this day, I avoid wire hangers at all costs.

But let's talk baseball for a second. Baltimore's Orioles have hired a new manager, and the same team that played like the Bad News Bears up until last week has all of a sudden found a way to win 8 of the 10 games that Buck Showalter, the new head man, has managed. It's fun to watch. The players are actually acting like they like to play baseball. I tell you, earlier this year I almost gave up watching the games, because some of the countenances on some of the players wore that look like, "All right, you can force me to play, but I'm not going to enjoy myself!" I have seen this look on countless men forced to dance at wedding receptions.

But now, there is zip and zest on the local nine as they race around the bases, tear across the outfield making acrobatic catches, and throw balls past batters who, just weeks ago, were knocking the horsehide off the old apple, slamming circuit clouts and round-trippers and grand salamis...these are old sportswriter terms for, respectively, the baseball itself, home runs, and grand slams. Those old-time sportswriters used to amuse the well! out of me. They would call football games "grid tilts" without batting an eyelash.

However, there are a couple of points to ponder, and no one should be printing World Series 2011 tickets for Oriole Park just yet. Some fans are grousing because, if we don't finish this season with the worst record in the major leagues, we won't get first dibs in the draft to select a future star. And there was this quote from catcher Matt

"Any time you get a change of manager and the new guy is going to be here for a while, a little bit of excitement comes with it. It might have helped the guys a little bit. Especially to pick them up this time of year."

This seems to be Wieters's way of saying that he and the rest of the O's were not exactly hustling their butts off earlier, since it was clear to the world that both of the previous managers at the helm this season, Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel, had a less-than-firm grip on the position for the long term. I don't know. I'm just glad that the second-year catcher out of Charleston SC, with the $400,000 that he is earning this year that is keeping company with the $6,000,000 signing bonus he was given three years ago, has found that little lift of excitement that having a full-time manager with a long-time contract can give.

As for me, the interest on the 6 million semolians would thrill me beyond all measure, but hey, if Matt Wieters finds joy in consistent leadership, then we all can breathe the sweet air of contentment.

Let's go, O's!

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