BALTIMORE’S 19 points to ponder…

June 02, 2008 | Drew Forrester

1. About 13 months ago, the Orioles refuted a story about the team changing their away uniforms for 2008 by saying, “we will not allow a vocal minority of fans to dictate club policies.” Suddenly, that vocal minority either got A LOT bigger or the team finally figured out putting BALTIMORE back on the away uniforms for 2009 is a winner for everyone involved and it makes the fans feel like the team is listening to them. I don’t know about you, but for once, it feels good to be part of a (*ahem*) vocal minority.
2. On a scale of 1-to-10 in terms of being a die-hard NBA fan, I’m a 7 at best. But I’m even excited about this Boston-LA championship series. I don’t think I can root for the Lakers. It seems like only yesterday Kobe was whining about wanting out, wanting better players, wanting whatever…while Boston endured a major down period that saw them free-fall to the bottom of the league. I like Boston to win in 6 games and I hope they do. 
3. King of Baltimore Sports update: I have two of my write-in/play-in votes locked up. I’m definitely voting for Rafael Palmeiro and Bert Jones. I’ll have my other two ready for public unveiling later on today.
4. Let’s be honest here. That dude Jacoby Ellsbury is a freakin’ PLAYER and a half. 
5. So, an out-of-towner walks into a bar and there’s a football game on TV. He sees a guy at the end of the bar and says, “Who’s playing?” and the guy says, “Redskins and Cowboys. Redskins have a 39-yard field goal coming up to win the game.” The visitor slides down and notices the guy at the end of the bar has a dog next to him. Suddenly, the field goal goes up and it’s good. “Holy Cow!! Holy Cow!!,” the guy yells out. “The Redskins won!! The Redskins won!!” He puts his dog up on the bar and the dog does a handstand and walks the entire length of the bar on his front paws. He then sprints back down to the other end of the bar, jumps up in the air, does a flip and catches a dog bone in his mouth…all on the way down. He lands gracefully on the bar and lets out a beautiful dog smile. “Wow…pretty daggone impressive,” the out-of-towner says. “He does that when they just win one game? What kind of tricks does he do when the Redskins win the Super Bowl?” The guy rubs his dog on the head and says, “Couldn’t tell you, I’ve only had him since 1994.”
6. It’s going to be hard for Paul Azinger to keep Kenny Perry off the U.S. Ryder Cup team now that he won The Memorial. If he doesn’t make the team on points, he almost has to be one of Azinger’s four captain’s picks.
7. Is it me or does Dave Trembley have a habit of being either too quick or too late with his starting pitchers? Why take Garrett Olson out on Saturday night (that early) and why leave Brian Burres in (that late) on Sunday? 

8. Even in a Triple-Crown-is-a-definite-possibility-year like this one, I think the three-week break between the Preakness and the Belmont is a momentum killer. I realize they have to think of the health and safety of the horses who are competing, but the energy for the race just doesn’t feel the same as it would if they took only two weeks off. 

9. Maybe I’m just becoming Mr. Optimist, but I think Matt Albers is going to turn into a very good starting pitcher. I hope they give him 10-15 starts to finish out the year and see if he can handle the workload looking ahead to ’09.

10. I’m already Jaba-Chamberlain’d-out. 

11. Jim Palmer on Saturday night’s broadcast, after Alex Cintron threw a ball away on a routine play: “This is getting serious now…the Orioles have to find themselves a shortstop.”
12. Speaking of TV broadcasts, are any of you as amazed as I am at how many of those rat-fink Red Sox fans are sitting right behind the dugout (home and away) for the games at OPACY? Where do they get THOSE tickets, I wonder?
13. To borrow a line from White Men Can’t Jump: “That’s a bet!”… Alan in Towson e-mailed me last week after a point I made about Tiger Woods and bet me $100 that Woods won’t win two more tournaments this year. I had to give him 4:1 odds, which I did. If Woods wins two more events (a slam dunk), he donates $100 to Casey Cares and if Woods doesn’t, I donate $400 to his charity. Hey, don’t look at me. I can’t help it if Alan doesn’t watch golf.
14. Boston is the best team in baseball and they don’t have a real shortstop, either. 
15. A-Rod has 525 career home runs…he’ll play at least 8 more years, maybe even 10. Unless he suffers some kind of bad injury that sidelines him (plays 90 games over two seasons or something like that…) he has to get to 800 career homers, right?
16. Adam Jones can’t hit a curveball, but he can sure as heck play one mean centerfield. When he figures out how to hit, watch-freakin’-out.
17. Do you realize if 20,000 Boston fans invade the city, they contribute roughly $6 million per-day to the local economy? And you all wonder why the team’s diminished attendance is such an issue?
18. He’s a great player and all, but will someone please wash Manny’s batting helmet? He looks like a hobo.
19. And my pick for who SHOULD win WNST’s King of Baltimore Sports tournament is……I’ll tell you on Wednesday morning.