Your job's made simple, Weaver reminds Johnson

This Just In...

April 01, 1996|By DAN RODRICKS

Opening Day advice to Davey Johnson, new Orioles manager, from Earl Weaver, old Orioles manager: "A manager's job is simple. For 162 games you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December."

Palmer and 'Spanky'

This is a pretty good indication of a pretty good book: The number of times I am tempted to read sections of it aloud. Such temptations were frequent with "Palmer and Weaver, Together We Were Eleven Foot Nine," Jim Palmer's memoir of his turbulent relationship with the fiery No. 4.

Palmer's friend and co-author, Jim Dale, has done a skillful job turning Palmer's long, detailed anecdotes from life with The Weave (or, as Phil Jackman used to call him, "Spanky") into a funny, shootin'-the-breeze read. It's not for the tender-eared, however. If you wondered what Weaver used to say to Palmer during all those mound conferences, this book provides graphic insight.

The book is written with a great deal of humor and affection -- it's full of amusing stories from the Orioles' best years -- but it's hard to imagine Weaver being flattered at the descriptions of some of his, shall we say, more animated moments. One wonders: What is the relationship today between these two men?

"We're friends," Palmer writes in the introduction. "We understand each other. We respect each other. He knew when I said I was hurt, I was hurt. I knew he knew how to manage. I knew he'd spit in an umpire's face just to get us charged up. (I knew I never wanted to be an umpire.) He's stubborn. So am I. We disagreed on everything. So, with everything out of the way, now we won't disagree anymore. We understand each other. I know just what's wrong with him and he knows what's wrong with me. Except he's wrong about me."

'Life goes on'

Letters keep arriving from readers who are angry with me for pointing out that this year's Baltimore Symphony Decorators' Show House was the site, less than two years ago, of a double murder. Most of the letters were from people associated with the symphony or the annual spring event, or they were friends of the victims, Walter and Mary Loch.

All the letters say the same thing: It's not in bad taste for this mansion to be turned into a public showcase for interior decorators; it's not even "bizarre" or "strange." What's in bad taste is my mention of the murders in the context of the event. xTC

Did I have to bring that up? And did I have to point out that the house is in Guilford? Why did I make the decision to use the Loch mansion seem so insular and air-brained? The decorators' show house is a grand event, and don't I have any public spirit?

The following letter is from Barbara Ireland, a daughter of the Lochs who resides in Massachusetts. Of all the responses, it was the most temperate. She writes:

"I found it very painful to read your comments about the Baltimore Symphony using my parents' house as their decorator's show house. You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but let me give my perspective.

"My siblings and I have had the house on the market for quite a while without success. When the symphony group approached us about using the house we felt that this might be a good way to progress. It would give a fresh new look to an old house, it would benefit a worthy cause, it would give more exposure to our house, increasing the likelihood of a sale, and it would give the house a new focus. Maybe some people will point it out as a show house rather than a murder scene.

"After a great deal of thought and discussion, we decided that our parents would have agreed and that we should approve the project. I realize now that there are probably others who share your view that it is 'bizarre' and 'in bad taste.' I am truly sorry for that and hope you can see the other side. I hope people who will tour the house will stand in my parents' bedroom and see that there is nothing evil or macabre there now. It was there only briefly. Our house was full of love, happiness and laughter, and we hope it will be again.

"Allow us to be 'Pollyann-ish.' Our grief is still intense, but life goes on. Let us move on."

Marching to the Ravens

"We're still evaluating things" is how a spokesman for the Baltimore Ravens was quoted in Saturday's New York Times with regard to whether the Colts Marching Band will become the Ravens Marching Band. Why, on earth, is there any question about this? It should be a done deal.

Dinner disruption

"It's Time For Dinner," a poem by Baltimore fourth-grader Bartow Desmond Wooden IV, appeared in Frederick Elementary School's literary magazine:

I am an only child/ But I have many friends.

My friends are over at my house today.

We play and laugh, and play some more.

Sometimes we just sit/ and talk.

We share our secrets and our deepest fears.

I tell them things; they tell me things.

They listen with rapt attention./ Suddenly there's a disruption.

My Mom says Desmond put away your toys./ It's time for dinner.

If you have an item for This Just In, give me a call on 332-6166, or drop me a line at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278-0001. Love to hear from you.

Pub Date: 4/01/96

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