Millar & O’s should stay chippy…

May 19, 2008 | Drew Forrester

An open letter to Kevin Millar:

I don’t want to spoil your secret Kevo, but I can’t help but applaud what you’re doing.

You’ve finally figured out a way to get the team to play hard.  Lord knows after 10 years of this embarrassing play from the Orioles, we’re thrilled to death to have the team finally being representative – even if you’re making up fights with the media to get the team to overachieve.

Like I said, I’m all for it.  It’s not quite professional wrestling, but it’s close. 

So now, I’m hearing you threw a playful tantrum on Sunday morning in the locker room after exploring the sports section of The Sun and seeing Saturday night’s O’s/Nats game story on page 9D.

Was it just a coincidence you waited until the media arrived on the scene to witness it?  Of course not.  But that’s part of the game…get the players to laugh at the press, get ‘em loose, and engage them all in “us against them”.

I heard your main beef was the coverage and placement afforded the NCAA lacrosse tournament, which featured a photo of the game and, evidently, a couple of lonely souls in the stands enjoying the Maryland-Virginia game.  Lonely souls is a word you should be familiar with Kevin…how many times have you sat in the dugout at Camden Yards and looked out in the left field bleachers and said to Jay Payton, “who are those lonely souls out there in the seats behind you?”

But, I get it.  I really do.  You’ve taken on the role of the team’s “Director of Locker Room Chemistry” and I think you’ve found your niche.  Hitting clean up certainly isn’t your calling, as evidenced by that .234 average you’re currently sporting. 

The team needs a chip on their shoulder and you and Flat Brim are doing a helluva job of bolting it down on everyone’s shoulder.  Good for you.  Evidently, Charlie Brown is putting up every negative article in his locker and you’ve now taken to questioning the coverage of the team in the local paper.

Well, fair is fair, I guess.  The front office has gone out of its way to fight with the local media (a fact you’re probably not aware of…) and that friction has done nothing but HURT the team at the gate.  If you’ve figured out a way to fight the media and WIN on the field because of it, more power to you and the rest of the gang. 

Oddly enough, the media in this town really IS pulling for you guys.  Hell, half the town is somehow or another on the club’s payroll either by virtue of their work on CBS Radio or MASN TV, so don’t think for a minute they don’t want you to win.  More games (as in playoffs) mean more money for everyone.  And, for people like me who were born and raised in Baltimore and have spent upwards of $10k-$15k or so on tickets over their lifetime, we want you to win again just so we can have that feeling of pride in our hearts.  The media won’t confess to you that they want you guys to win, but trust me, we do.  We really do.

But I also understand you have to figure out some mechanism to get the players to play hard.  Silly me, I assumed getting $4 million a year to travel around the country and play baseball would be enough to get some of you to break a sweat, but it’s looking more and more like the only thing that gets your blood boiling is a negative article from Peter Schmuck or David Steele.  Hey, like I said, you do what you have to do, Kev.  Just win, baby.

You probably COULD take out your anger on the team’s front office.  They’ve created a bunch of neanderthal rules and policies that have made covering the team next to impossible unless you’re writing the club a check. 

Kevin, I’d have you on my show any day you want.  But you’re not allowed on our radio station.  And, you’re not allowed on WCBM either.  Or WBAL.  Or WCAO.  Or WIYY.  Or 92-Q.  Don’t believe me?  Ask one of the Public Relations wizards over there – they’ll give you the lowdown.

We like you and we generally like the team.  But it’s YOUR boss and HIS EMPLOYEES who are fighting the media.  If you think the media isn’t pulling for you, you’re nuts.

Now, occasionally, the media has to tell the truth, which is something everyone over there – you included – seems to bristle at on a regular basis.  I just checked baseballreference.com and you, Kevin Millar, are hitting .234.  You can get pissed off at me all you want, but those are the stats, my man.  I don’t make ‘em up – I just check ‘em.

That doesn’t make you a bad buy, by the way, anymore than it makes Aubrey Huff a bad guy when he runs from first to third on a fly ball to the left field wall and gets doubled up at first with that piano on his back.  Facts, bro.  Facts.

That’s enough for now.  I just wanted to let you know that I’m on to your game, but I like it at the same time.

Remember in the old days when Mr. Fuji would throw salt in Bob Backlund’s eyes and Mr. Saito would pound him while the ref wasn’t looking?

I didn’t really like that too much because I was a Backlund fan, but it was all part of the act.

Like you, they were just trying to take everyone’s attention away from reality.

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