Around the Horn

May 30, 2011 | Paul Hoke

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a bit lax with my blogs.  Some will cheer because a lot of times, the things I say, certain people don’t agree with.  It’s not for a lack of topics, but a lack of time.  So, as I do on occasion, I present to you another installment of Around the Horn, where I touch on several pertinent sports topics.  Some local, some national, and some that only I deem important.  Either way…..enjoy.

— The Baltimore Orioles recently took two of three from the equally bad Washington Nationals in a weekend series that year in and year out is dubbed, “The Battle of the Beltway.”  Look, I’m all for trying to stir the interest of the local fan base, especially when the product has been so God-awful over the last 14 years, but what kind of battle are we marketing with two teams who are both under .500 as we near June.  If the O’s and the Nats met in the World Series, ala the Yankees and Mets a little more then a decade ago, that would be one thing.  But a meaningless 3 game set at the end of May?  Not so much.  In my opinion, the luster of Interleague Play is gone, and it’s about time the MLB reverts back to the regular balanced schedule, where instead of playing the Nats, Cards, or Pirates, the Orioles play their second West Coast set against the Angels, A’s, and Mariners, the way it used to be.  I remember fondly, as a kid, falling asleep to the voice of Jon Miller calling the 10pm O’s games out on the left coast.  As much of a thrill as it is to see Albert Pujols come to Camden Yards, I would prefer that they stick to beating teams in their own league, before we let the National League come in here and whip us.  But, as much as I want it to disappear, it looks like we’re stuck with interleague baseball…oh how I wish for the good ol’ days….

—  A few days ago, I attended the funeral for Trooper First Class Shaft S. Hunter of the Maryland State Police.  Having been in law enforcement for over 15 years, I’ve attended more then enough police funerals, but something struck me as I sat in the congregation at TFC. Hunter’s funeral.  The entire service was geared towards celebrating life, as opposed to mourning death.  As a person who doesn’t go to church regularly, or consider myself all that religious, it was strange that a church service would have that kind of effect on me.  Of course, part of that is born out of the fact that the day before, I was on scene at the Perring Terrace barricade with an armed subject, where only 30 feet separated me and the bad guy with the gun.  It’s funny how things affect us after the fact, but on this Memorial Day, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers too all who have given their lives for this country, especially the family of TFC. Shaft Hunter.  You touched me in a way that few things have…God Bless You.

Sorry, but this is where the overly patriotic part of me ends this blog on Memorial Day night…I don’t think that we can ever give enough thanks to the men and women who wear our Nation’s uniform in defense for the freedom that we take for granted each and every day.  As a man who comes from a military family, my dad fought in Vietnam, my grandfather and grandmother fought in the Pacific during World War II, and my great great great grand uncle was a General in the North Carolina infantry during the Civil War, I wear my patriotism on my sleeve.  We truly live in the greatest Nation in the history of the World, and it’s days like this that we need to stop, and tell the men and women of the Armed Forces…THANK YOU!!!!!  And please, Keep kicking ass..!!!!!!!