Some stuff to think about

August 06, 2010 | Keith Melchior

Lately, some of the latest stories I have heard and read pertaining to the sports world makes me want to share my thoughts..

Rick Dempsey chimed in about being one of a very few people who knew the ins and outs of the Orioles franchise and current team better than anyone else.  Sorry Rick, management felt you weren’t a good fit, no matter what you think. If you want to get back on the field, do it with another team. You surely aren’t going to be considered for a coaching  job now, not that you should have been a candidate in the first place.

Juan Samuel decided not to return to coach 3rd base after Buck Showalter was hired as manager. Juan, do you really know what the term “interim” means?  Last I looked in the dictionary, it means temporary, fill in, substitute. It’s obvious you weren’t getting the job on a full time basis. The Orioles already tried that twice when Perlozzo replaced Mazzilli and Trembley replaced Perlozzo. Neither choice worked out. What makes you think it’d be any different this time around?  I heard the Blue Jays will be looking for a new manager when Cito Gaston steps aside after the season.

Jim Hunter. I liked this guy when he first came to Baltimore as a broadcaster. He appeared to be fresh and entertaining. When they moved him from radio to TV his entire persona changed. Now all he does in the post game show is whine about the umpires. I guess the players have  nothing to do with being 35-73. When’s the last time Joe West dropped a fly ball to center or C B Buckner threw to the wrong base.  It wouldn’t break my heart if Hunter, Dempsey, Angel and Manfra were all jettisoned from their jobs after the season. It might be time for a change.

Someone on one of the radio talk shows said that Mycheal Miller would return to sing the national anthem at Ravens games again this season. The Ravens will begin their 13th season playing at the Camden Yards complex. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, I know they have done the exact same pre-game activities. I think 9 years is enough to do the same things over and over.   Thankfully, the band no longer does their script Ravens schtick anymore, so what’s wrong with changing some other portions of the pre-game show?  Bruce Cunningham has been the stadium announcer since M&T opened in 1998 as well and personally, I think he’s terrible and has gotten worse. Year after year there are mistakes, corrections and it sounds so unprofessional. The fan credo thing has to go too. We all know how not to act at football games.  We don’t need to do the unified chant “don’t be a jerk” every game anymore. It’s getting old and crusty. Out of 70,000 people there might be 100 or so “jerks.”  It’s like eating the same thing for lunch every single day for 13 years.  How about something new and different?

I see MASN and the Ravens parted company. No big deal. I don’t watch MASN for anything except Oriole games. They need to associate the Nationals and Orioles with either MASN or MASN2 permanently and stop switching back and forth. If you have Comcast you can’t find MASN2 Hi-Def  unless you go searching into the #800 channels. MASN is 247 and easy to find. Remember when the days of Home Team Sports was so  much simpler?

What really happened to Sergio Kindle?  I have heard no details whatsoever surrounding his accident, except that he could suffer from narcolepsy. If he fell down 2 flights of stairs, wouldn’t there be other injuries like maybe a broken arm, bruises, cuts?  Haven’t heard a thing other than he suffered a fractured skull.  Something is still a little fishy here.

The Ravens traded John Beck to the Redskins for a fringe player who happens to be a cornerback. People are all up in arms about the secondary again this season. The secondary is only as good as the pass rush. If there’s little or no pressure on the opposing QB, the secondary will be exposed if they can’t cover receivers for more than 5 seconds. If the Ravens put constant pressure on the QB forcing him to throw and your secondary still gets burned, then you have a problem with personnel. It’s too early to go trading and searching for the next Darrell Revis. Let’s see what some of these guys can do first. 

What made Lardarius Webb such a rock star last season?  He was a really good kick return guy who was pressed into CB duty when Fabian Washington went down. I seem to recall he played maybe 3 games at that position and did fairly well. So why do people think he is the next best thing to sliced bread?  He’s almost getting backup quarterback status as being the most popular guy on the team.

Troy Smithwill be traded or released this season. With Mark Bulger’s arrival, Smith’s days are numbered. It doesn’t matter how he plays in the preseason either. Bulger is getting a lot of money to be the Ravens’ insurance policy should Joe Flacco go down withan injury. Teams passed on Smith for 4+ rounds in the draft. He will be playing in the preseason to find a future with another team.

In regard to the Ravens’ training camp autograph policy, I’m not leaning either way. I don’t think young kids appreciate autographs as much as adults. I got  programs signed by Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer when I was a kid, but today getting their autograph and being able to talk to them and thank them for helping to make my childhood fun means a lot.  Look at Cal Ripken. The guy signed everything . There’s nothing rare or expensive about a Ripken autograph, unless it was coupled withthose of his brother and later father and all authenticated. My sister-in-law handled an insurance claim from Cal back in the late 80’s. I guess his signature on that claim form could be worth a lot of money because it’s not a baseball related signing. everything else he signed is pretty much a dime a dozen, so to speak.

There are a lot of people who try to make money off of  player autographs but they’ll never get rich from it unless they are lucky enough to get that rare signing. Most people I know have their autographed items on display in their library, bedroom, family room, or basement. I have seen some of these autograph hounds hanging out by the player entrance to the stadium and at the  player radio shows. Not all are looking to make a profit. I would be willing to bet most  just want something to be proud of and show off to family and friends.  One of my favorite possessions is a baseball signed by both Eric Davis and Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds. I got it signed in Philly on May 15, 1986 in the last baseball game I ever attended with my father. He passed away a little less than a  month later. There were no cell phones, digital cameras or authentication forms back then and sadly I threw the ticket stubs away, not knowing what the future would have in store. The only ones who saw Davis and Rose sign that ball were my dad, me, an usher and a few other people in the hallway. Is it worth a lot of money? If Eric Davis and Pete Rose were in the HOF, maybe so, but that ball holds a cherished memory that money cannot buy.

Aren’t sporting events supposed to supply us with those memories we can be proud of for a lifetime?