And Mary Anne Domowski wrote: "Kevin Cowherd is nuts, nuttier than any nut ever to be found in a Planter's can. How can you change tradition?
"You better apologize for this most strange idea and get on with your stupid little life. Don't ever interfere with my Orioles."
My STUPID LITTLE LIFE, Ms. Domowski?
Where did you get that one?
Have you been talking to my wife?
But most of the mail expressed a fervent desire to see "Country Boy" disappear for good, which reaffirms my faith in the clear thinking of Orioles fans.
David Rupkey wrote of "Country Boy": "I still remember the first time I heard that insipid little ditty played at Memorial Stadium. I couldn't believe my ears. It was an affront to the classy Orioles tradition.
"Please, Mr. Angelos, I implore you. Banish this silly song to the bad music wasteland, so it can live with other incredibly bad songs such as `Convoy,' `The Green Berets,' `Afternoon Delight,' `Disco Duck,' etc."
Mr. Rupkey, I tip my hat to you, sir.
Summoning from memory "Convoy" and "Disco Duck," two of the most horrible songs of all time -- that's a stroke of genius, that is.
Helen Glazer wrote that "Country Boy" is "shlocky, it's inauthentic and the lyrics are dopey. Plus I used to live next door to a rowhouse occupied by members of the Unification Church on Calvert Street years ago.
"And in the late afternoon, the sound of one of the Moonies playing the piano used to waft through the walls, and it was always the theme from "Rocky" or a John Denver song. What does that tell you?"
Well, Ms. Glazer, I'm not sure.
On the face of it, it tells me you were smart to move out of that place.
Termites, you could put up with. But Moonies banging away on the piano -- well, who WOULDN'T break a lease?
And Bruce Warner, loudly advocating the demise of the O's current hick anthem, wrote: "I think I'll ask the lawyer sitting next to me on Opening Day if he finished milkin' the cows before he came to the game."
Hear, hear, Mr. Warner.
Plus, you might even be doing him a favor, because it might count as a billable conversation.
OK, so a clear majority of the respondents are for putting "Country Boy" out to pasture.
As to what they'd like to see replace it as the seventh-inning-stretch song, well, that wasn't so clear, at least from the mail.
A total of 27 readers agreed with the idea advanced in the earlier column that John Fogerty's rollicking "Centerfield" might be a good substitute.
But this idea was not received well by Scott Birckhead, a "Country Boy" advocate who wrote, with withering sarcasm: "Oh, sure, let's be like everyone else. Why don't we just revive playing `Wild Thing' whenever [Mike] Timlin comes in from the bullpen?"
Mr. Birckhead, you have made me ashamed, sir.
More importantly, you've made me see the error of my ways. I now agree with you that "Centerfield" is too derivative for our stretch song.
Camden Yards already has been called the world's biggest outdoor Bennigan's. Why should we have to listen to a stretch song on the playlist of every other ballpark in the land?
I mean, they play "Centerfield" in CINCINNATI, for God's sake.
But what, then, is a suitable replacement for "Country Boy?"
A half-dozen readers suggested various versions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," including the one sung (if that's the word) by marble-mouthed Chicago Cubs icon Harry Caray.
Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" also received a few nominations. But after that, the balloting, such as it was, devolved into wild stabs at black humor, with one cynic suggesting the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion" and another Cyndi Lauper's "Money Changes Everything."
So the challenge, then, is this: Those of us who would see "Country Boy" put in mothballs must find a truly suitable replacement, a stirring, get-up-and-dance number that is somehow unique to Baltimore, or to baseball, or to both.
And when we find it -- and we'll find it, all right -- I plan to present it for the approval of the Big Man himself, Orioles' owner Peter Angelos, in the very near future.
Still, perhaps the best idea of all came in an unsigned e-mail, which suggested replacing the seventh-inning-stretch song at Camden Yards with a recording of a cell phone ringing.
That way, this person wrote, we could all have some laughs watching all the yuppies scrambling to see if it was their phone going off.
You, sir or madam, are very, very cruel, indeed.
Have you ever considered writing a column?
The next 'Country'
What might replace John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the Orioles' seventh-inning stretch? Readers suggest:
1. John Fogerty's "Centerfield"
2. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame,"
3. Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Down in Mary's Land"
4. Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll"
5. Temptations' "Ball of Confusion"
6. Cyndi Lauper's "Money Changes Everything."