Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., July 24

July 24, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Jason Hammel said after last night’s game, “That was the best fast ball command I’ve had…I just wasn’t getting the calls.”

Yeah, *those calls* sure were the problem.

So were all the runners on base.  And the balls driven to all parts of the field.  And the 14 base-runners in six innings that Hammel allowed.

In his defense, even though he stunk on Tuesday night, it wasn’t Jason Hammel’s fault the Orioles could only muster two hits and one run off of Major League Baseball’s version of Charlie Brown — Bruce Chen.  To borrow a phrase from that great sports philosopher Gisele Bunchden, “What’s Jason supposed to do — pitch the ball AND hit the ball, too?”

But, back to Hammel’s performance on Tuesday evening in KC.

If the Royals had any idea what they were doing at the plate, the mercy rule would have been invoked in the 4th inning because it would have been 12-1 by that point.

With the bases loaded and no one out in the first inning, and just seconds after Hammel issued a free pass to Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler came up and swung at the very first he saw, grounding into a double play that plated a run but diffused any chance for a huge inning.

The same thing basically happened in the second inning when the Royals had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out and could only manage a single lousy run.

All of those missed opportunities ran up Hammel’s pitch count and kept the Orioles in the game at the same time.

And then, afterwards, the starting pitcher spoke casually about it all with Gary Thorne in the post-game show.  If I hadn’t been watching the whole thing, I would have assumed Hammel pitched like Bruce Chen.

Thorne, of course, isn’t in position to laugh at Hammel when he says stuff like, “I had good command of my fast ball…I just wasn’t getting the calls.”

That kind of stuff cracks me up for some reason.


I like the Francisco Rodriguez acquisition as long as he shows up here and pitches well and doesn’t beat his girlfriend or get thrown in jail.

People who say, “We got a great deal!” are forgetting that it’s only a great deal if K-Rod comes in does the job.

It’s a shame the Birds gave up on Nick Delmonico, but that’s the price you pay when you’re good and you’re sniffing a playoff spot.

Five years ago, they would have hung on to Delmonico because, of course, they were a last place team.

The Birds are finding out – thankfully – that you have to take July gambles like this one if you want to press the issue with teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.


I’m a John Harbaugh fan.

Anyone who has listened to the show or read my work at WNST.net is keenly aware of how much I respect the coach and think he’s one of the best leaders in the NFL.

But, I sure hope snarky John isn’t going to hang around all season — the way he started off the campaign by handing The Sun a bunch of half-answers in his Q&A session and then snapping off a few edgy replies about “repeating” and “Super Bowl hangover” and other perfectly reasonable questions to be lobbed at the coach on the opening day of training camp.

Just like John has a job to do — winning games — the media does as well.

Every coach in the last 25 years has been asked about the “Super Bowl hangover” heading into the season that follows a title.

No one in the media is WISHING a Super Bowl hangover on the Ravens, but it’s absolutely acceptable to consider and ask the coach about it, no matter what John thinks.