Wednesday, April 27, 2005


So I'm watching the Red Sox and Orioles last night and it was one of those games where (a) no lead was safe, and (b) because no lead was safe, it was going to last as long as the first round of the NFL draft. Making matters worse was the fact that I had to watch all of this while listening to Jimbo Palmer. And before I get going about the Orioles, let me just say that if Red Sox pitchers continue to throw 83 mph fastballs over the middle of the plate, they'll be battling the Yankees for last place by the middle of May. Is it bad when you're up 8-3 and give up 8 unanswered runs (4 of which come of two moon shots in the 8th inning off closer Keith Foulke) simply by throwing a steady diet of batting practice fastballs? I'm just asking. Anyway, back to the Orioles...

As a Red Sox fan, I'm obligated to hate the Yankees -- you know, natural rivalries and all. But I also have quite a distaste for the Orioles, and as far as the 2005 season is concerned, they're at the top of the list. And here's why (other than the obvious fact that they're making beating the crap out of the Red Sox routine, despite what some idiots might say):

* Owner Peter Angelos is a dirtbag. And the fact that Bud Selig and MLB allow all his shenanigans make them dirtbags by association (who would've guessed that an ambulance chaser and a used car salesman would be involved in some questionable stuff).

* Jimbo Palmer. He's a homer and I hate having to listen to him just because I happen to live in the DC area. And I don't fault him for being a homer -- every local commentating crew is -- but I just don't want to have to listen to his dopey observations. And if he tells me one more time that Bellhorn "walked 88 times last season, but he also struck out 177 times," I'm going to kill myself. Look, I get it, Bellhorn walks a lot and strikes out a lot too. Enough.

* Rodrigo Lopez. This guy is infuriatingly good. He throws his fastball in the mid-80s, but he averages 7 K's a game and he can throw a shutout without even thinking about it. I was actually glad to see he was human when the Red Sox knocked him around last night. I think from this point forward I'm only referring to this guy as Herve. One, because he's short, and two, because he's French. OK, he's not really French, but I'm still calling him Herve.

* Brian Roberts. I don't care if this guy bats .800, hits 95 homers, 200 RBI, and 350 stolen bases. He's a nerd. And there's nothing he can do to change that. What's worse is that every time he comes to bat you invariably have to hear about how he leads the league in every conceivable offensive category and he's having a breakout season. Hey, here's a thought: the season's 20 games old. If this was little league he'd win the MVP. But it's not, so everybody needs to relax

And as long as I'm whining about Roberts, I came across this post in defense of Roberts based on this mini-diatribe busting Roberts up. It's not everyday that I agree with something associated with ESPN, but I'll side with David Schoenfield on this one.
This is what bugs me about April baseball: Brian Roberts.

Look, I know you Orioles fans are all excited about Mr. Roberts. I'm tired of hearing of this guy. He's not going to be the AL MVP. He may not even be an All-Star. A guy who hits .273 with four home runs doesn't suddenly become one of baseball's best hitters.
And no I didn't write this, but I wish I had. What's funny is that Ben Volin, the defender of all things Brian Roberts, takes Schoenfield's rant personally.
Surely, if you're a baseball fan with half a pulse, you've heard plenty about O's second baseman Brian Roberts this season.

...Listen, you ignorant turd. Roberts is 27 years old, an age where players are just entering their prime. The last two seasons were his first with over 450 ABs, last season his first over 500 (641).

...In the offseason, while many players are getting fat (hi Curt Schilling!) or writing stupid books (hi David Wells!), Roberts underwent a serious daily workout regimen in Arizona. Busted his ass all day, every day, to come back in the best shape of his life (insert steroid joke here).
I think the first sentence pretty much sums up why I'm sick of Roberts -- I can't turn around without someone comparing him to Brady Anderson (the year he hit 50 homers, not when he used to challenge random dudes to footraces in the Wal-Mart parking lot). And concerning the two guys who got fat and wrote books this offseason while Roberts enlisted the help of Richard Simmons to get in shape for the season, it's probably important to remember that Schilling and Wells are a combined 115 years old and have a couple of World Series rings between them. If Arroyo and Foulke were competing in pie-eating contests all offseason then it might be an issue.

And if all this makes me an ignorant turd too, I'll take it. It's better than being an Orioles fan. Of course, if the Orioles continue to hit like they have this last week, they might win the AL East by 40 games and score 1,500 runs. And then I'd really be upset.