Friday, April 27, 2007

Who Do VooDoo? Apparently, I Do

This will be my last post for the week, for a plethora of reasons, among them: 1) I have more important things to do (study for finals anyone?); 2) Reporters don't write sports stories on the weekend, so it's hard to find material; 3) I can't keep this pace of a new post every single day, so I think it's a good time to start the precedent of taking the weekends off. With that said, today's post...

It was brought to my attention after yesterday's post that I have mystical powers. A reader who asked to remain anonymous (it was Keith) said:

"I would like to know what kind of voodoo you are into. Two blogs ago you
about the Cubs and their pitcher Mark Prior. Later that same day reports
Prior is out for the season after undergoing shoulder
surgery. In your last blog
you talked about Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii
Hunter, that very same day
Hunter is beamed in the mouth with a fastball
(while facing the Kansas City
Royals in fact)."

First of all, players do not get "beamed", Scotty. They get beaned. Secondly, behold my power. It is nice to know that I have the power to drop the whammy on whoever I wish, but before we start carelessly slinging the whammy around, let's try to understand my power a little bit.

First and foremost, it appears as though my powers only extend to baseball players, seeing as my first couple of posts pertained to football, and Vince Young, Brian Urlacher, and Ricky Williams are yet to appear on the side of a milk carton. This is going to be quite a useful tool, however, and I will demonstrate why.

The next post was about A-Roid, speculating that his super human start could have been caused by something else, possibly illegal. I mentioned the Yankees in that post, dated Saturday, April 21st. The Yankees have not won a game since (yay me). The next post was about the red-hot Orioles getting no love from the media. That post was dated April 22nd. The Orioles haven't won a game since (I need to know when to shut up).

On Tuesday, I reported on the prolonged ineptitude of the Chicago Cubs, mentioning by name Mark Prior. Prior was placed on the DL for the rest of the season the next day because of shoulder surgery. On Wednesday, I wrote about the situation involving Torii Hunter, and on Thursday he got clocked in the mouth by a fastball. All of these serve as evidence that I in fact have a considerable amount of power in these typing fingers, but only when it comes to baseball players and teams. Hopefully, the trend continues, because yesterday I wrote about Curt Schilling, and it'd be nice to see him have a few aches and pains, if nothing else just to bloody up some more socks.

As a firm believer in all curses, and most things supernatural, it's nice to finally give back to the curse community with one of my own. That being said, I would like to introduce my new friend who will assist me in carrying out my powers. His name is El Whammo, and he will be called upon usually twice a week to do my bidding. For the weekend, I leave you with this:

Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Indians.

Have a good weekend.


Droppin' El Whammo: Cleveland Indians

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Put a Bloody Sock In It

Nothing makes me happier than when someone challenges the misguided beliefs of millions, except, of course, when the challenger represents one my favorite sports teams. Allow me to explain...

In 2004, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had experimental surgery on his ankle during the playoffs. Instead of giving his ankle ample time to heal, he rushed back to the mound so as to not miss his start against the hated Yankees. Schilling pitched well (as usual), but the "stuff of legend" was made by some wily cameramen. During the game, a camera noticed some red splotches on Schillings sock, right around that same surgically repaired ankle. Everyone assumed that the ankle was bleeding while Schilling was pitching, and that he is not mortal, for surely mortals cannot pitch with a bloody ankle.

Schilling won the game, the Sox won the series, and eventually the World Series. This performance was lauded (means praised), and the bloody sock was sent to the Hall of Fame and placed on display (ewww). Tales of Schilling's gutsy performance were canonized by baseball pundits, and have gone unchallenged.

Enter Gary Thorne. Thorne is the freshman play-by-play man for the Orioles this season, and possesses both a good announcer voice and a firm grasp of the minute details that occur within a game. This past Wednesday during a broadcast of the Orioles/Red Sox contest, Thorne started a rather nice conspiracy, saying that Schilling's ankle was not bleeding, the sock was painted red (ironic), and the stories were just the stuff of lore like Babe Ruth calling his shot. Most Oriole fans probably shrugged their shoulders and said "Yeah, maybe". Boston, on the other hand, was just about ready to declare war on the City of Baltimore, and the media was serving as the back up.

Unbeknownst to Thorne at the time, the statement he made was in fact sacrilege of the highest degree, a blasphemy worse than that of which the Romans convicted Jesus Christ. Thorne offered the other side to the coin (raising a skeptical eye is good), and good lord is he going to pay, maybe Don Imus style. This story has been the top headline on both and for at least 4 hours. It has been on Baseball Tonight, Sportscenter, and I think CSPAN. The Food Network has gone off the air in respect to those affected by this tragedy, and the President has declared a state of emergency. I, for once, got my wish, as the national media has descended upon Baltimore to cover this story of high treason (careful what you wish for).

I am somewhat offended, not by the comment by any means (I'm a believer in Thorne... more on that), but by the response this has garnered. On ESPN's "Outside the Lines with Bob Ley", Ley was quoted as saying that the comment was of, and I quote, "monumental proportions". That sounds vaguely familiar, as if I had heard it before somewhere recently. Oh, that's right, those were the EXACT WORDS used by Virginia Tech President Charles Steger to describe the shooting massacre that took place on campus. According to Bob Ley, Gary Thorne questioning Schilling's ankle is the same as 32 people losing their lives in an environment of academia. Bob Ley should suddenly be the one on trial, not Gary Thorne. The problem is, we live in an ass backwards society, so lets crucify Gary Thorne first, and let Bob Ley slide. Just know that Ley's comment was tasteless, classless, and disrespectful, and represents a sad day in editing when trash like that can make it to the air waves. In my mind, Bob Ley is no better (possibly worse) than Don Imus, and deserves the spot in the unemployment line directly behind Imus. With that, I announce that I will never, ever, watch Outside the Lines again.

Back to the story. Red Sox nation, the media, and the Hall of Fame have all come out in support of Schilling, all saying there is no possible way Thorne's comments are true. But lets check some sources, shall we? Thorne says he was told that the blood was fake from Schilling's catcher that night, Doug Mirabelli. When the comment was brought to his attention, Mirabelli called Thorne's comment a "straight lie", with the same vigor as President Bill Clinton denying the Monica Lewinski scandal and Rafael Palmeiro denying steroid use. It was hard to tell from the article, but I got the impression that Mirabelli was pointing his finger at the interviewer when he said "straight lie" (by the way, aren't lies, by definition inherently crooked? Wouldn't a straight lie be a truth?).

What people are forgetting here is that Thorne didn't question Schilling's performance that night. He did not say "Curt Schilling used a stand in that night, and did not pitch against the Yankees, but still took credit for it". The only thing he questioned was the substance that was on the sock. The Hall of Fame has come out in support of Schilling, saying the stain has since turned brown (ewww), which is the natural tendency of blood. I propose this question: how do we know the blood wasn't applied after the game? How do we know that Curt Schilling didn't paint the sock for the game, then apply blood later, knowing it would one day come under scrutiny? Red Sox manager Terry Francona has also come out in support of Schilling, saying that the pitcher's performance was just short of heroic (again, our priorities as a society are way out of order when a pitcher in a GAME is heroic, but cops, firefighters, and teachers still live paycheck to paycheck). The Red Sox nation (of which the national media is a card carrying member) has definitely come out to support Schilling in his moment of need, but what does the pitcher have to say for himself?

Schilling, naturally and as expected, has denied Thorne's claim, saying he has the scar to prove it. He went as far to say that Gary Thorne is a "bad man". Apparently, Schilling knows things about Thorne that the rest of us do not. In Schilling's mind, "Bad Man" Thorne made the challenging comment whilst lighting his crack pipe, selling military secrets to Al Quaida, kicking a puppy, ripping off senior citizens, stealing candy from a baby, and parking in a handicap space. These comments do not make Thorne a bad man, because he didn't call Schilling a "nappy headed ho" or anything derogatory. He simply questioned the sock that Schilling wore that night. What I would like to know is if Schilling is so vehement that the sock was bloodied during the game, why can't he let Thorne's comment roll right off his back? Why does he have to create such public backlash over the issue, and take such a defensive stance? The same goes for Mirabelli as well. If they are so sure that they are right, why bother fighting?

While most of the Western Hemisphere has Schilling's back, who is carrying Thorne's banner? Well, there's me (though I be but small, I am mighty), and hopefully my readers (I know where you live), and that's about it. Not even the network that broadcast the game has Thorne's back. MASN (my favorite network ever) re aired the game today, and left Thorne's comment out of the broadcast as if it never even happened. The network has left Thorne hanging out to dry, which really should be MASN's motto. "MASN: Hanging people out to dry on two networks for over 2 months!"

In all seriousness, the media is blowing this entirely out of proportion. Thorne simply offered a second explanation of what actually happened that night, and he has gotten nothing but the third degree since. The man is entitled to his opinion, and people like it better when there are two sides to an issue. Yes, it's a controversial stance, and yes, it creates a conspiracy, but who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory? Maybe Schilling brainwashed Mirabelli into retracting the comment, and paid off the media to keep it hush-hush. Who knows? All I know is that putting Gary Thorne on trial for making this comment is not worth the trouble. He didn't question Schilling's performance that night, and in the end, the performance was all that mattered.


Hours after I made this post, Gary Thorne retracted his statements, saying he talked to Doug Mirabelli and they cleared the whole thing up. The real reason is that he's spineless, was afraid to stand up for himself, and was terrified of the media.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Trend?

As you all undoubtedly recall, last Wednesday's post was about the absurdity involved with Brian Urlacher being fined by the NFL for his vitaminwater hat. Today, the story is even more absurd, leading to a peculiar Wednesday trend... does Wednesday need a special moniker, such as Wacky Wednesday? You be the judge...

Torii Hunter is both a good baseball player and a general all around good person. He is articulate, well spoken, thoughtful, and most of all, likes to have fun. As center fielder for the Minnesota Twins, fun must abound for Mr. Hunter, but late last year, he decided to create some more fun.

During the last week of the season, Hunter's Twins were in second place in the AL Central, behind Detroit. The Tigers were in Kansas City to rip the lowly Royals a new one before heading off to the playoffs. Something strange happened on the road to the playoffs for Detroit, however; they lost to the Royals, and the Twins ended up winning the division, with the Tigers taking the wild-card spot.

When alerted of this news, Torii Hunter jokingly quipped that he would send each member of the Royals a bottle of champagne for helping out the Twins. This weekend, he semi-made good on his promise, having four bottles of champagne delivered to the Royals locker room before their game with the Twins. Then, things went awry.

Major League Baseball caught wind of this seemingly harmless joke (which also doubles as a nice gesture, which is a rarity among jokes), and acted swiftly with the hand of judgement. First, the league ordered the champagne be returned to Minnesota unopened, as this was in violation of the league's antiquated "No Gift" policy. Then, the league had to decide what to do with the sinister perpetrator, Torii Hunter.

The "No Gift" rule is a rule that exists to prohibit players from one team giving gifts to players of another in an attempt to bribe the opposing team to throw the game or what have you. It most assuredly came about in the wake of the Chicago Black Sox scandal, but has since been enforced maybe this once, and here's why: violation of the no gift rule carries a minimum suspension of THREE YEARS!!!!! Minimum three years. Minimum. The least amount is three years. Years. Three sets of twelve months. Three cycles of 365 days. That's a long time in baseball.

The league, it appears, is not going to level the harsh punishment upon Torii Hunter, since the bottles were returned unopened, although slightly confused as to why they (being champagne bottles) were almost wasted on the Royals. What a horrible life for champagne, but I digress. Hunter should not have the punishment levied upon him for a plethora of reasons. First, the drinks were a thank you for an act already performed, so the gift served no purpose in influencing the Royals present day performance (although many fans would argue it always seems as though the Royals are drunk). Second, the rule is antiquated. There is so much riding on any game late in the season, and there is so much press in every locker room the entire season, that it has to be impossible for anybody to sneak a gift to an opposing team without someone noticing. Third, IT WAS A JOKE! It was meant to thank a team that is a perpetual bunch of losers, and give them a reason to enjoy champagne. The Twins were going to the playoffs anyway, so the only repercussion of KC winning was the the Twins drew the A's in the first round instead of the Yankees (which backfired anyway, seeing as the Twins got pasted in the first round).

In addition to all of this, the penalty most definitely does not fit the crime. In a league where players found guilty of taking a performance enhancing drug get a 10 game suspension, a man found guilty of having fun gets a 3 year suspension. How does that even begin to make sense? The league refuses to suspend the big headed, pill popping "slugger" from San Francisco when everybody knows hes on the 'roids, but it was ready and willing to pass swift judgement upon a man who represents the league with class and dignity for just having a little bit of fun. Imagine the scene when Bud Selig found out about Gift Gate (yeah, its gate-worthy): the commish is seated in his huge leather chair, behind his huge mahogany desk, lighting a cigar with a five dollar bill, when his pee-on aide rushes in. Upon hearing the news from the pee-on, the commish drops his cigar, utters a nice "Oh my sweet lord", opens the second drawer of his desk, and presses a huge red button labeled "GIFT GIVER". At this moment, air raid sirens go off, and the office transforms into a defense bunker, where a huge map of the US has a tiny blip on it in Minnesota. Only one person could be responsible.

Luckily, it appears as though leveler heads are going to prevail, and Hunter will not get the three year ban, since the bottles were returned unopened. That's good for Hunter, in that he doesn't owe three years of salary to the Twins. Its good for baseball in that it doesn't look quite as ridiculous. It's good for the champagne, because it won't be wasted on the Royals. And it's good for the Royals, because they won't be confused as to what type of play merits champagne. Of course Hunter, in his usual good nature, had a laugh about the whole thing, saying, "I have three brothers that can help me finish them". That sounds like one hell of a party. Thank god there are people like Torii Hunter in sports that can keep things like this in perspective.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Singin' a Familiar Tune

This just in from the Department of the Obvious... the Chicago Cubs are not good at baseball.

This comes as a shock to only one, that being Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "Sweet Lou" apparently hasn't watched Sportscenter in the last 100 years, or he would have known what he was getting into when he agreed to coach the most famous losers in the history of sport. Now, Piniella's tirades over his team's ineptitude are constantly on Sportscenter. With the Cubbies off to another dismal start that will likely end with a familiar dismal finish, I have one question for Sweet Lou: what the hell did you think was gonna happen?

Lets set history aside for a brief second, and focus on the here and now. The Cubs are a disaster on the base paths (they recently had a man thrown out at second for over running the base while advancing on a walk); nobody can name one member of their bullpen, which is good, because these men would prefer to not have faces put to their names; multi-million dollar uber free-agent Alfonso Soriano has as many homeruns as me, and only one more RBI; and oh yeah, theres Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

Wood and Prior, once thought of as the makings of the greatest pitching tandem ever, started off another season in the trainer's room, and it looks as though the season may already be over for Prior. The last 6 (I think; it may be more, may be less) seasons has seen both of these potential aces end up on the DL, usually for the duration of the season. When they manage to stay healthy, they are two very good pitchers. The problem is, they pitch for the Cubs, and the Cubs are just as cursed as the Madden cover.

The Cubs suffer from a curse that lies deep in the lore of sports legend, the Billy Goat Curse. In 1945, the last time the Cubs made it to the World Series, a man and his goat were admitted to the park to watch the game (the man bought a seat for the goat... whack job), but were ultimately ejected due to the odor of the goat. The man then placed a curse on the Cubs, saying they would never win another pennant or World Series. So far, he's right.

Which brings us back to Sweet Lou. Piniella is a good coach. Piniella is not a great coach. It's going to take the greatest baseball coach of all time to break the Billy Goat Curse. Piniella is apparently delusional, thinking that his pedestrian resume (one World Series win, in 1990 with the Reds) can conquer a curse that lives on when it has no business living on. People want to see the Cubs win (except me... I wanna see the O's win); they've been "Lovable Losers" for so long that it takes people with very cold hearts to not want to see them succeed (I'm frigid). But Lou Piniella is not the answer to the Cubs problems. The problems lie way deeper than Lou Piniella.

The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. That's almost 100 years. A century. Ten decades. Theodore Roosevelt was President. The last World Series they won was World Series V. They were working on breaking a pretty hefty drought before all the Billy Goat business in 1945, and now haven't been back since. They went 20 years without a winning record. Most of those 20 years saw them finish in last place. Even when they get close, people like Steve Bartman act on behalf of the Billy Goat just to ensure that defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory. This is not a problem one season or one man or one act can solve.

And that's most of the problem with the Cubs... they want to solve the whole thing in one felling swoop. Last season, after Wood and Prior made their annual pilgrimage to the DL, fans called for then- manager Dusty Baker's head, saying he worked them too hard in spring training. The ownership listened, and axed Baker, who I think is a better coach than Piniella. Piniella is a time bomb, as any of his tirades will tell you, and he hates to lose. He is a glutton for punishment, as well, seeing as his last two coaching stops (the Devil Rays prior to the Cubs) are with two teams who are currently redefining losing. So now, the Cubs have a lesser coach with a shorter fuse, and Wood and Prior are still on the DL. Some things just aren't meant to be, and the marriage of Piniella with the Cubs is one of them. Piniella is a horrible fit for the Cubs, and the Cubs are a horrible fit for Piniella, but both parties are delusional, so what can you do but fugghedaboutit. Fire Sweet Lou, and try again next year.

To recap: the Cubs have sucked for 100 years; they filled their head coaching vacancy with a short tempered average coach who hates losing; the coach is shocked at the incompetence of the team, and takes it out on the media. Wow. I just thank my lucky stars that the Orioles are only a tenth of the way to that point.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Two for the Price of One

It's your lucky day, two rants in the same space as one, and each of the same high quality that keeps you coming back for more (that and the fact that you're all family and friends, and I know where you live)...

As much as I wish I didn't have to, I would be absolutely remissed if I didn't comment on the Red Sox- Yankee game from last night. More correctly, the Red Sox and Yankees took batting practice against each other. There were 6 (count 'em) homeruns hit in the game, including two by Mike Lowell, and 4 in A FRIGGIN' ROW from the Red Sox. The question I ask is, where the hell was the pitching? Aren't these two teams supposed to be the powerhouses of Major League Baseball? Don't powerhouses usually have people who don't throw meatballs when the count is better than 3-0? Even the immortal, sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer Dice-K Matsuzaka (I contest that he deserves 100% of the votes) had a less than stellar outing, plunking both A-Roid and Derek Jeter (if you're gonna do it, do it right). Pitching is the definite mark of a playoff team, and right now, neither one of these teams has any, as evidenced by the home run derby last night.

When I heard that Boston teed off four times in a row, it made me wonder, "When was the last time that happened, because that's pretty hard to do?" Well, it turns out that the last time it happened was in '06... 2006. Somehow, the media managed to slip the Dodger's four homerun night last summer by me, even though I spend half of my waking hours scouring the web for sports related news. I cannot put it any better than's Peter McEntegart, however, so I will let him finish my point:
"The Red Sox set a new major league record by hitting
back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in Sunday's 7-6 win over the Yankees to
sweep the series. Well, teams have technically hit four consecutive homers
before, but those don't really count because it wasn't Yankees-Red Sox."
You have to love when words carry that much truth.

One strange connection between the Dodgers four homerun feat and Bostons turning Fenway Park into a driving range is the presence of JD Drew on both teams. Not only that, Drew homered for both teams during the onslaught, meaning he obviously must have some sort of mystical powers. Lets hope he limits his powers to one night a year, unless he dons Black and Orange one day.

Speaking of the Black and Orange, it almost looked as though my prowess in the sports-media world had finally taken hold. One day after ranting about the lack of coverage the surging Orioles were receiving, I found this headline on's baseball page: Orioles winning, Blue Jays ailing. I was about one second from doing a Chandler Dance in victory for using my considerably squeaky wheel to get some oil for the O's, but alas, I was misled by the tantalizing creativity of the headline editors. When I actually read the article, it became appalling apparent that the purpose of the article was not to exalt the Orioles, but rather to point out that the Orioles' winning streak has been against the likes of Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Toronto. The writer (a Cliff Corcoran... who is now On Notice) credited the Orioles' winning to the other teams losing, and Toronto falling to pieces because of the injury bug. After the Orioles got some mention in the first paragraph, Mr. Corcoran writes about the Jays woes, then slips back into the norm of writing about the Sox and Yankees (how cliche). Thankfully, he was writing a blog, and the sports world (O's fans and non-O's fans alike) were wise enough to rip him a new one. Click the link to view both the poorly written article, and stick around and read the comments that question his writing ability and his credit as a sports journalist.

After reading the unbearable filth that Mr. Corcoran felt was Internet worthy (it was a slap in the face to blog writers everywhere), I figured I could lick my wounds by reading a credible journalist, the honorable John Donovan, the Power Ranker for baseball on John does the right thing by ranking the Orioles 7th overall (probably a little high... he must've been hanging out with Ricky Williams), but then falls flat by backhanding the crap out the Orioles when he thought no one was reading (I read everything, John Donovan). For the comment next to the #17 Blue Jays, Donovan says "The Jays tumble down the PRs courtesy of a five-game skid, the last three losses to a team (the O's) that shouldn't be beating them." Jerk can go to hell. I'm done with him.

I'd like to end on a happy note, and nothing makes me happier than the misery that is the Washington Nationals. Go here
and scroll down to April 21. Click on "Chico's Wild Pitch", and watch the worst wild pitch since the Mayor of Cincinnati on Opening Day. I'd even go as far to say that this may be the worst display of professional athleticism in the history of sport. The announcer is dead on when he quotes Bob Uecker... this one was "Juuuuuuuuust a bit outside" (outside in this case meaning OVER THE FIRST BASE DUGOUT!!!!). Watch the video, and smile knowing that the Orioles cannot possibly be as bad as the Nats.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hey, Look at Us

Here comes the rant you all must have known was coming...

What the hell does it take to get noticed by the beat writers covering Major League Baseball nowadays? Is an 11-7 record and a half game out of first in baseball's "toughest division" not enough to get even a meager mention?

If you're dense and didn't realize what I'm ranting about yet, it seems that I am the only sport-knowledgeable writer on the entire Internet that has noticed the Orioles this year. On, the O's were briefly mentioned as the last headline on the MLB page (and it was a rather derogatory headline, I might add... "Orioles finish rare home sweep of Blue Jays"). On, they couldn't even buy space on the baseball only page, despite winning their fourth game in a row and 8 out of their last 9 (seriously, just a mention would be nice).

So what, then, is taking up all this prime cyber-real estate? Well, it's not football season, so it's not Peyton Manning or Pats v. Colts. Pro basketball hasn't reached the critical phase yet, so it's not Lebron. College basketball is long over, so it's not Coach K. That leaves only one option... hockey! (sorry, couldn't resist). No, seriously, it's Yankees v. Red Sox, shocker.

Let's paint the picture here... First place versus third place. Team that overspent on unproven Japanese "superstar" versus one-trick pony (see previous post). First series of what seems like four hundred to be played between the two teams this year, and each one will get just as much media attention as all the rest, unless, God help us, one is played in October. Sadly, this one is in April, the month that nobody will care about come October anyway.

Which brings me back to my original point... where's the harm in giving the Orioles a little love while we're still mathematically alive? April 22nd of 2006 was the last time the Orioles were 3 games above .500, and here we are, on April 22nd, 2007, and we are now 4 games above .500 and in second place. The Orioles couldn't string together four wins until August last year, and as we all know, by August its time to fugghedaboutit in Charm City, cause Raven's camp will be starting soon. At this point, the Orioles have put together two (count 'em) four game winning streaks, with only a loss to those pesky pesky Devil Rays preventing a 9 gamer.

This is the time of the year when almost anybody (sorry Nats and Royals) still has hope that they can be this year's Detroit Tigers, and damn it, in Baltimore, it just feels right (gotta love the false hope of April). The hitting is streaky, but at least someone is getting it done each night. The starting pitching, long the Bird's main weakness, looks like it may have hit its stride a little bit. And my God, did my eyes deceive me, or did the bullpen actually hold the lead three times against Toronto this weekend? This is the time of the year when nobody really cares about baseball, so why can't Sports Illustrated and ESPN give a little attention to the little teams that could?

The answer, of course, is money. New York and Boston have bigger populations, and therefore more potential readers. Load up the front pages with pictures of Dice-K and A-Roid (nice touch, I know), and the loyal Stankees and Red Sux fans will be drawn like moths to a flame. That, in turn, results in more advertising dollars for the respective websites, which is all that really matters. Forget that the Orioles are red hot right now, and actually deserve the headlines over the Yankees especially.

The second part of the Orioles' apparent lack of importance lies in who is actually delivering the 11-7 record so far. The Oriole lineup has one bonafide star, Miguel Tejada. Sure, we have a two-time All-Star third baseman, an All-Star caliber second baseman, and stars in the making both in right field and in the starting rotation, but that can't compare with the overall sex appeal of the New York and Boston lineups. Those lineups, pricey as they are, are chock full of "All-Stars" (on paper), and are even easier to market. Of course, neither lineup was good enough to win the World Series last year, and one wasn't even good enough to make the playoffs, thereby justifying my point that neither team is above the rest of the league.

The Orioles are probably doing their annual April practice of giving each fan just enough hope that when the wheels fall off the wagon in late May/ early June, we will be genuinely upset. However, while the team is good, it would be nice to see the media recognize it for a little while. Let the teams that will ultimately buy their way into October (again) wait their turn... they'll get plenty of coverage when the leaves turn brown, football starts again, and I forget that Baltimore even has a baseball team.