Bored? Play the game of Manfra!

March 12, 2009 | Keith Melchior

With no consistent decent pitching on this season’s version of the McFailures, aka Baltimore Orioles, prepare yourselves for a long, long, long, losing season.  They can’t even get it together as a team this spring. Guthrie is pitching in the World Baseball Garbage, Koji has a sore hammy and has allowed 2 runners per inning pitched, Pauley is the workhorse thus far but is this season’s reverse Daniel Cabrera by throwing TOO many strikes that turned into 20 hits in 9.1 innings (as opposed to walking TOO many batters) They are still trying to figure the bottom of the rotation from the rest of these ragamuffins and hopefully Jamie Walker and jim Johnson will  be able to be the stoppers in the middle innings until they burn out from being overworked by May 15th.

I have listened to parts of 2 Oriole broadcasts and still have no love for Fred Manfra and Joe Angel at all. Both are rather dull and boring play by play announcers. Angel tries to do his Jon Miller interpretations when pronouncing the names of the Latin players and that, along with his, “the Orioles are in the win column” is totally sickening to listen to. I swear I counted 20 as the number of times Fred Manfra said a player’s name during an a single at-bat. He’s done it for as long as he has done play by play. It’s like nails on a chalkboard or listening to someone being interviewed and counting the number of times he says, “you know”.. It’s awful radio, but what else are you going to do on a spring or summer night to pass the time when at home or at a friend’s house?

Do i have you as disgusted as I am yet?  Sorry. Here’s something you can do to pass the time when listening to the broadcasts on the radio. You can even do this at home with your buddies. Play as often as you wish in the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th innings. If you are watching on TV, just turn the sound down and listen to the radio.  Play the game of Manfra!!

Here’s how you play;  Pick a player who is on deck and roll 3 dice (or 1 die 3 times) to set the over or under how many times Fred Manfra will say that player’s name; either first name, last name, or the whole name. For example, Felix Pie is on deck..the dice are rolled (5, 3 1 = 9) the over/under is set at 9. You choose over/under 9. Then, count the number of times this occurs for that chosen batter until he either makes an out or gets on base safely and the next batter is announced….”Felix Pie is at the plate, Pie batting .100.. Felix has 4 hits in 40 at bats….pitch to Pie.. Felix fouls it back …0-1 to Felix Pie…etc etc..”  Loser does a shot or chugs a beer and if the number of times Manfra says the name is exactly the total, everyone drinks up. Roll the dice and start over with the next batter or skip a batter. It’s all up to you how often you play, but the game can ONLY be played when Fred Manfra is doing the play by play.

Call it the Oriole baseball version of beer pong if you want. It’s simple, it’s free (as long as you have enough beer or shots) and by the time the game is over, you won’t care what happened because you’ll have a nice buzz.   You could be passed out by the 5th inning and be spared the misery of another potential loss.

That’s what the 2009 Orioles season will be all about, cuz other than putting Baltimore on the road jerseys and catching a good buzz every now and then, there won’t be very much to be happy about with this Oriole team until the Ravens start playing.