Orange and Black onderings as the baseball All-Star break rolls around:
> If I could give some advice to Chris Davis, it would be this: stop answering questions about steroids. It’s not going to help you to continue answering questions about it, because as long as you keep hitting home runs like this, people are going to ask. It is what it is. You have 37 home runs at the 96-game mark. Your previous best was 33 home runs after 162 games. People are going to assume you’re “on something”. And, here’s the tricky part – lots of guys in the past have done the “deny, deny, deny” thing only to have it backfire on them later on down the road when we found out – shocker, here – they actually WERE using steroiods. So, Chris, just don’t answer the questions anymore. Simply say: “I’ve already made my comment about steroids…”
> I was at the game on Saturday afternoon against Toronto. After batting practice, hundreds of kids lined the seats right down next to the field looking for autographs and a chance to meet a player. J.J. Hardy walked within ten feet of the throng of kids and when pestered long enough without making eye contact, Hardy was forced to address them. So, he said, “I’ll be back in a few minutes for you guys…” And he never returned. C’mon man…those kids expected you to return. If you’re not going to come back, don’t tease them like that. Meanwhile, I should give credit and some real thumbs up to Emilio Bonifacio of the Blue Jays, who worked the crowd and signed for 6-7 minutes prior to the game. Nice gesture…
> I assume the Nolan Reimold experiment is about to end. I felt sad for him on Saturday, actually. He looked so overmatched against Toronto pitching it was just…well…it was just sad. Maybe he can go somewhere else and be productive, but it’s fairly apparent by now he can’t do it here in Baltimore.
> On the flip side, I’m feeling more and more confident about my “Brian Roberts will be your Orioles 2B in 2014″ prediction with each passing game. As long as Roberts stays healthy — and we’re two weeks into his latest return now, which is a borderline miracle — I’m expecting him to sign a one-year deal in the off-season and be the club’s second baseman next season. He looks solid in the field and is starting to find his groove again at the plate. A healthy Brian Roberts is an asset for this team over the last two and a half months of the season.
> Playoff tickets are expensive. Times are tough. But you’re going to want to be there in October. In other words, you better start saving your money now. The Orioles are going to the playoffs. I said it back in March and now, with 96 games gone and 66 games to go, I’m telling you again: The Orioles are playoff bound. Again. Yes, it’s a lock. Well, it’s a lock as long as something goofy doesn’t happen like Jones and Davis both getting hurt in mid-August. All being equal, though, it’s a lock. Start saving your money for October baseball.
> With all due respect to football and hockey, both of which are outstanding spectactor sports, there’s still nothing that comes close to watching a baseball game in person. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the company, maybe it’s the fact that the players are right there in front of you…but nothing beats going to the ballpark and watching two major league teams. It’s the best.
> It’s a rarity in the summer when I’m around for ten straight work days. So, in honor of that, I’m going to have a little fun with music. I’ll be giving you the ten most “under-appreciated” (different than under-rated) bands of my lifetime. It’s better than talking about steroids in baseball, which is what we’ll be doing a lot of later this week when the suspensions come down. Anyway, I’ll play some music from an “under-appreciated” band for the next days, culminating with #1 on Friday, July 26.
So, my #10 most under-appreciated band is RIGHT HERE. Yes, they are under-appreciated.