For the love of baseball, hockey and Bobby Valentine…

May 14, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

I had a chance to go to the Orioles game tonight. I WANTED to go to the Orioles game tonight. But these are the toughest nights of the year.

Hockey vs. baseball…

As many of you know, I have some hockey friends and they wanted to watch the Flyers-Penguins game. (OK, truth be told, Hockey Meg and Kenny Ballgame talked me out of the Orioles game and saved me from donating $8 to Peter Angelos!)

I am going to make a donation on Wednesday with Bob Haynie, Drew Forrester and Phil Stern (UMBC Women’s Hoops coach). I’m calling a 12:30 cocktail summit at Regi’s. All are welcome to adjourn at the main bar on Light Street. We will hit the upper left field reserves right around game time.

So, instead of hitting The Yard tonight, I watched two periods of what must be a frustrating time for anyone wearing an orange Filthy jersey. I’ve hated the Flyers most of my adult life. But I’m kinda pulling for them to win because Terry Murray (a really good guy) would get his name on the Stanley Cup and I love Terry Murray!

The Flyers stunk late in the game, apparently.

But I digress…

After two periods, I tuned to MASN and found the Orioles up 5-3 in the 7th and saw that spectacular shootout between Jim Johnson and the heart of the Red Sox order. WOW! That was some serious Orioles Magic right there. Bases loaded, nobody out. Walker walks Ortiz. Ramirez and Lowell staring down that two-run deficit.

That was just a great moment for the Orioles season, no matter how it finishes. It’s times like these that if you didn’t know any better you might even get a little hopeful.

Jim Johnson? Who knew?

It was a great win, slaying the giants from Boston.

And while it sounded very pro-Boston early in the game, it surely looked like there were plenty of Orioles fans in the 7th when Johnson started dealing the heat.

I’m looking forward to the game later today and hope we have some fun at an Orioles game for a change. And I hope someone offers to pay for Drew’s ticket.

*******

Right now, I’m watching one of the most fascinating shows I’ve seen on TV in a long time.

I’m watching “The Zen of Bobby V.”

I don’t know where to begin.

I’m fascinated by Japan and by Japanese baseball, ESPECIALLY after spending three days there on my Cal Ripken Asia tour last November. I missed the end of the Japan World Series by 24 hours when I landed. It was a bummer!

Bobby Valentine was my first favorite baseball player in the 1974 and 1975 when he played for the California Angels. Over the years, I’ve met him many times and had him on my show many times. I’m still a big Bobby V fan (despite the fact that I got a bad meal in his restaurant in Arlington, Tex. one night!).

When you walk down the streets of Tokyo or ride the inevitable mobbed subways, you see his image almost everywhere. He’s a ROCK STAR in Japan.

And this HD film on his season is spectacular.

It shows the “reality” part of baseball on the island.

It shows the amazing enthusiasm for the sport. The chants from the stands. The flag waving. The singing and songs. The players actually SING the team fight songs with the fans!

And the best part? If you’re a Ravens fan, his team does the Ray Lewis “WHAT TIME IS IT” chant in a circle like they’ve seen it on NFL Films. They do it WORD FOR WORD in Japanese and touch the ground just like Rex Ryan’s defense.

(I wonder if Ray Lewis or Rex Ryan know this??)

How bizarre, right?

Before the Beijing Olympics, I’ll bust out my movies from Tokyo (I never completed editing them). But it was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been and watching this film is amazing. My videos will point out all of the cool “differences” of life in Tokyo. I shot a LOT of film.

“The Zen of Bobby V” makes me think good thoughts about my trip there.

I hit pause to write this.

I gotta get back to watching it.

See you at The Yard…or at Regi’s first!

 

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