Aug. 31, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis (21) hits an RBI single to center against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

And Now For Something Completely Different

With the NHL & NHLPA labor negotiations having come to an impasse after yesterday’s meetings, I’m not in the mood today to discuss the latest developments.  The two sides met and agreed that they can’t agree and are on recess after only a 90 minute session which is broken down nicely by Harrison Mooney from Puck Daddy.  With no meetings scheduled over the next few days, with no apparent urgency to get a deal completed I too will recess from writing about hockey.  For at least today.

I’ve said this before to anyone who knows me.  I love baseball, but I’m passionate about hockey.  As deep as that passion runs, the emotions of this current situation has grown negatively on all of us.  For today, maybe even tomorrow I’m going to focus on something I love……Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles.  Read no further if that disturbs you.

Being September 1, with the Orioles hot on the trail of the damn New York Yankees, my birds are two games out of first place, and should this weekend series be a sweep, there will be a tie for the division lead.  Next weekend is bigger as the Orioles will host the Yanks for a four game series at beautiful Camden Yards.  Last night in New York, the upstart Orioles trounced the Yankees 6-1 behind the pitching of rookie Mike Gonzalez and a couple of outstanding plays in the field from first baseman Mark Reynolds.  The teams meet both today and Sunday at 1:05.

The Orioles have been my favorite team since I was 4! They have a glorified history dating back to the late 60’s, and have had a significant amount of success through the late 90’s.  They have had a number of Hall of Fame players that played for them, namely Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, and of course my all time fave, Cal Ripken Jr. They were so good for so long, and so consistent that their methodology of playing ball was known as “The Oriole Way”, which resonated from their lowest level minor league teams, all the way up to the big leagues. However the last decade has been dismal for the most part.  So you ought to be able to appreciate my enthusiasm as they sit 15 games over .500, and haven’t been in the pennant race this late in the year since I can’t remember.  My new fave is Nick Markakis, who is in the image above.  Nice to see the Greek heritage having some major league success.

With no hockey, I have no worries.  I can turn my attention to baseball and get some satisfaction of watching Baltimore chase, and hopefully takeover first place in their division.  I have a lot of angst for the Yankees, especially due to this disgusting call back in 1996 which ruined Baltimore’s World Series aspirations. As you can plainly see, there was interference, the ball was catchable, and the “fan” who interfered dropped it as well.  This kid makes the Steve Bartman play trivial.

Beating the Yankees and making the playoffs for the first time since 1997 will definitely take my mind off of any “recess” that the NHL has imposed.  The Birds with manager Buck Showalter have surprised everyone except themselves, as they all believe in each other and have displayed the true team spirit all season long.  Look out Yankees.  We’re coming!

Somewhere I hope that Jeffrey Maier is squirming.

Thanks for reading.  We welcome your comments and opinions.

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Tags: Baltimore Orioles Baseball Cal Ripken Jr Jeffrey Maier New York Yankees The Oriole Way

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