A great week of sports for the area

April 09, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Let’s start with the obvious: the Orioles are off to their best start in recent memory. Pick a game, any game in the last week, and there have been reasons to cheer.

Good pitching from the bullpen, adequate starts from everyone but Daniel Cabrera and timely hitting late in games.

It’s hard to argue with six wins in a row, sole possession of first place and a different star every day (even if it is Aubrey Huff, who was 4-for-4 yesterday).

I watched all of yesterday’s drilling of the Texas Rangers and seeing the emergence of some team chemistry and new, young stars is a great thing for the franchise.

Now, if they could only figure out how to market their new young players and get some people to the ballpark to see these players.

It’s also nice to be looking forward to their games every day as if they have some meaning. It’s been a long time since they’ve played games that have any significance.

At least for the time being, they’re in the race. And, because I don’t really expect them to compete all summer (I’d settle for an interesting spring), I’m going to enjoy what little bit of prosperity comes their way.

Again, it’s hard to blame Adam Jones, Luke Scott and George Sherrill for the 15 years of sins of Peter Angelos.

But the players should not be popping off to the media because the Las Vegas oddsmakers picked them for last place and 65 wins. If the players want respect and want to be treated like “big leaguers” they have nine innings every day to prove if they’re any good.

They should “shut up and play.” Except for Kevin Millar, who seems to have fun popping off to the media.

For all of the jerks I’ve had to endure over the years with the Orioles, it seems like Millar would be a cool guy to know in the clubhouse.

So far, so good…but it’s a little early to be making October plans!

We’ll be doing a pair of “WNST See The Birds ballpark nights” next week. I’m just trying to get a weather report and pitching matchups, but we’ll be doing a fun gathering at one game from each series next week (Toronto and Chicago). I’m leaning heavily toward Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Just stay tuned to my blog and to WNST-AM 1570 for more details.

I can’t guarantee a win or an Aubrey Huff late-inning home run, but I can guarantee you good, cheap fun for the night. Bring your kids and we’ll teach them how to keep score!

* Speaking of affordable family fun, the Blast begin their quest for another MISL championship tomorrow night at 7:05 at the First Mariner Arena against the New Jersey Ironmen. I spoke with Danny Kelly and many members of the team yesterday at the team’s press conference and I’m looking forward to going to the game tomorrow night. The Blast are truly a community team that deserves Baltimore’s support. I hope you join me (and bring your kids)!

* And, finally the Capitals begin their Stanley Cup quest (their first legitimate one in a decade) on Friday night in D.C., appropriately enough against the Philadelphia Flyers. I have been guilty of drifting away from the NHL over the years but there’s nothing like an “old-time hockey” matchup like this that forces me to take notice. I’ve actually had a handful of my old hockey pals calling me to see if I want to do a game this week in D.C.

I’ll be watching plenty of hockey over the next few weeks. It’s the best tournament in sports every single year and has been for much of my lifetime.

And I haven’t even mentioned that little golf tournament this weekend from Georgia.

 

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