Even Simple Tasks Baffling for the O's

By Heller, Dick | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 20, 1996 | Go to article overview

Even Simple Tasks Baffling for the O's


Heller, Dick, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


I was going to visit Camden Yards this week, catch a few rays between raindrops and see whether the Rangers could score, say, 27 runs against the Orioles' "pitching staff." (If you're wondering why the previous two words are in quotation marks, you must be a Major League Soccer fan.)

Trouble is, I didn't know when the next slugfest would start. One game or two? Last night or today? Game time of 7:35, 4:05 or 1:35? So I said to heck with it and watched David Letterman, whose worknight finishes earlier than the Orioles' anyway.

If you're looking for another negative aspect to the deeply disappointing '96 O's, this would seem to be it. We already knew the pitching was about the level of the Laurel Senior Women's Slo-Pitch League (sorry, ladies, I know that's an insult). We already knew it takes them longer to finish their business than a Congressman making a speech on C-SPAN. Now we know, too, that it's harder for them to get started than a '78 Nova on a cold morning.

The fiasco about rescheduling Monday night's rained-out game with Texas lasted so long that it appeared the Orioles might have to play it against the 1997 Rangers. In this case, making up nearly proved impossible to do.

There were negotiations, charges, more negotiations and counter charges. Talks between the clubs began Monday evening and lasted until 3 a.m. They resumed Tuesday and went far unto the night without agreement.

Compared with the O's and Rangers, it would have been relatively easy for Bill and Hillary to reach accord with the special Senate Whitewater committee.

Bob Dole could have talked Colin Powell into becoming his running mate in less time. Heck, Yeltsin and Zyuganov could have settled the Russian election faster. (OK, Gennady, you can run things in St. Pete, I'll take Moscow, and we'll flip for Ekaterina Gordeeva.")

Let's see: The Rangers wanted to play this afternoon because they have to fly home for a series starting tomorrow. The Orioles wanted to play tonight to accommodate Monday's ticket-holders who might not be able to make a day game. Some players reported to the park earlier than usual Tuesday thinking a doubleheader would be played that night; Orioles batting coach Rick Downs learned that only a single game was scheduled from another coach in an adjoining men's room stall. …

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