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Sunday, April 6, 2008

And now, a word about the O's

The Orioles just completed a 4-1 week to start the season. Sunday's game ended in the bottom of the ninth, when Luis Hernandez--perhaps the worst starting player in the major leagues--blooped a single off Mariners' temporary closer Mark Lowe to complete a 3-run inning and complete the sweep against the Mariners. It's great that the O's are playing pretty well to start the season, despite minuscule crowds at Camden Yards, including it's all-time smallest crowd ever Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. The Sun and several other blogs are even signaling a return of "Orioles Magic".

But the funny thing--well, maybe not funny--is that there is NO Orioles Magic at Camden Yards. At least not over the public address system.

The O's DJ played the familiar refrain opening day as the O's took the field, as has been tradition for lo these many years. It's a song that is meant to inspire and cause reflection for the good days all at the same time. It was a way to link today's players to the heroes of the "the good ole days" of the championship years of the late sixties, early seventies and 1983.

But after the opening day loss the DJ stopped playing the song. Whether that decision was made by the warehouse, the players or the DJ is immaterial really. What does matter is that the players are happy that it's no longer played over the P.A. Instead, they are playing it in the locker after games as a "mocking, team-unifying guffaw" according to Sun columnist Dan Connolly.

Kevin Millar is credited with playing the song, which apparently was loaded on his i-Pod, and Aubrey Huff is quoted extensively on the subject in Mr. Connolly's column. You can read what they say for yourself.

Today's players have no idea what this song and this team mean to the city and community. It's a shame that something that is supposed to be inspirational and reminiscent at the same time is played as a "mocking, team-unifying guffaw". While some of the younger players seem to thing it's pretty cool, the "leaders" of this team are the ones that are playing it in a mocking manner.

I'm not bent out of shape that it's no longer played when the O's take the field, but it would be nice if the current O's knew a little bit about the history of the team they currently play for.

Maybe if they did, Huff wouldn't have spouted off on the radio over the off-season denigrating the city and talking about getting drunk and watching porn, Millar wouldn't have made himself look like a donkey's rear end on national television shilling for the Red Sox in the World Series, and this team could begin to salvage some respect and dignity with its success the first week of the season and the hard work Andy MacPhail has been doing to rebuild this sagging, moribund franchise.

But I guess to gain respect, you have to self-respect, and it seems like the veterans of this team--Millar and Huff--don't qualify in that regard.

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