Friday, May 19, 2006

A Call To Arms

Can you feel it in the air? The tension? The enemy is just 35 miles to our north, and they're advancing quickly. There'll be blood in the air tonight when the Baltimore Orioles march into town only to be ridden out on a rail. You bring the tar. I'll pluck the feathers off Screech. And we'll meet up with torches a blazin', ready to defeat the army of Czar Peter. Bloggers are certainly ready. (And when you have blogs on your side, what more could you need?)

I had the displeasure of living in that rathole of a city to the north, and was sentenced to several years of watching that team play, flipping dirty nickles to the Greek God of lechery and vileness. No more! I shan't miss it.

Well, maybe I will. I enjoyed going to the games, rooting for the other team. It's hard to explain how much joy I took from Orioles losses, especially listening to the post-game wailings on WBAL as caller after caller complained, longing for the "Oriole Way" -- I still instictively wretch when I hear that phrase. I fondly remember sitting in the seats rooting for Gary Disarcina to get a game-winning hit, which he did. I remember cheering Ben Grieve's RBI double. I won't forget Shane Spencer, the Home Run Dispenser, hitting one of the 10 or so Grand Slams he did that one September. All moments I cherished.

Ah, the memories. Of taunting Brady Anderson from the center field bleachers. Of booing Cal Ripken (which always got a bunch of stares). Of being lectured by some old lady after I laughed and yelled at Ryan Minor when he swung three weeks too early on a changeup.

I witnessed history. Jesse Orosco's record-breaking games played appearance. Cal Pickering's first major league homer. Jeff Reboulet somehow playing regularly. Then there was that thing with Cal Ripken. He did something or ended something some night I was there, but I don't really remember it; it didn't seem to get much coverage.

I've sat everywhere in that godawful park. The overpriced seats down the line. The nosebleeds down the wings in the upper deck, where you have a better view of RFK than of the actual game on the field. The Club seats right behind the plate where you have a strange mixture of Baltimore's pseudo business class yammering on about synergy and people (with the classic MD box-shaped head) who think they're at the WalMart in Dundalk.

I miss Jim Hunter and Michael Reghi. The latter famous for the automated way he made calls and his faux cowboy "Pardner" -- not to mention the unintentional comedy of him overusing 'fisting', especially with respect to the aforementioned Mr. Anderson. But Hunter? He's a special kind of hack. He replaced Jon Miller, which is a bit like firing Michelangelo halfway through the Sistine Chapel and replacing him with one of those Airbrush T-Shirt guys who makes what most Baltimorons think is the height of style. If a player has a cutesy nickname then Hunter's sure to use it. I really do miss his extended interviews with "The Bird" which consisted of some doofus playing a slide whistle and Hunter pretending that he's carrying on a conversation.

Oh, I definitely miss Peter Angelos the most. What's not to love about that wonderful asset to humankind?

Baltimore, I miss ye. I miss ye crabs and syphillis. I miss ye open air drug markets. I miss ye child beheading scumbags. I miss it all!

So, maybe tonight, my allegiences will be torn. I'll put up a brave face, but inside it'll be rough. There's just so much to love about Baltimore. Somehow I'll soldier on!

GO NATS!

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