To comprehend stance on O's and Beltran, walk a mile in these flip-flops

October 20, 2004|By PETER SCHMUCK

I'm Starting to feel JOhn Kerry's pain. It isn't easy to keep track of all the positions I take during a long sports campaign, so I guess no one should be surprised that some of my detractors are accusing me of a major league flip-flop on the Carlos Beltran question.

Let me just say to the people of Baltimore that I have been very consistent on the Beltran issue. I initially came out against wasting time bidding on a player who almost certainly will end up with the Yankees, then I argued for signing injured White Sox star Magglio Ordonez, then I wondered if it would be wise to sign a player who just underwent major knee surgery and now I believe the Orioles should forget about Ordonez and give Beltran whatever he wants to come to Baltimore, including - but not limited to - two of Melvin Mora's quintuplets.

Flip.

What's the point? George Steinbrenner has all the local revenue in the world, and he knows he can't take it with him. He'll have three of the best young players in the game - Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Beltran - batting in the middle of his lineup for the next five or six years.

Flop.

Peter Angelos needs a pep talk from 18th century British politician and philosopher Edmund Burke, who clearly saw the threat of Yankees hegemony more than 200 years ago and delivered a quotation that is as true today as it was then: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Flip.

Don't believe the hype. Beltran isn't the outfield version of Rodriguez and he isn't going to hit 10 home runs every postseason, so somebody is going to pay him way too much - probably more than $100 million - and it might as well be the Yankees.

Flop.

Then again, this guy just might he the second coming of A-Rod, and the only way the Orioles are ever going to cool off the Yankees' dynasty is if Angelos uses a bunch of his asbestos money as a fire retardant.

I think my position on this issue is now clear.

The best thing about the alleged "Curse of the Bambino" is how little it really has to do with Babe Ruth. It's true the Red Sox have not won a World Series since the last year that Ruth played for them, but Ruth did not hold a grudge against the franchise for selling him to the Yankees and - according to Michael Gibbons of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum - was more positively inclined toward the Sox after he retired as a player, because the Yankees would not take him seriously as a managerial candidate.

Gibbons, who took me on a hard-hat tour of the new Camden Station museum site yesterday, ought to know. He speaks fairly regularly with The Babe's daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, who is a Red Sox fan.

The new museum is still in its formative stages, but it's clearly going to be something. Camden Station drips with Maryland history, which will get its due alongside the region's sports history. Obviously, the ambitious new facility will have a huge Orioles presence, but it also will feature a Baltimore Colts wing, a Ravens wing, a large Negro leagues section as well as displays honoring just about every other college and pro sports entity in the area.

There's a lot of work to do, but it is scheduled to open next spring.

Final thought: Don't know about you, but I'm starting to think Terrell Owens made the right decision for all concerned when he stiffed the Ravens.

Can you imagine what it would be like in that locker room right now if T.O. were still waiting on his first touchdown pass?

Kyle Boller would be thinking Jeff Garcia got off easy.

Contact Peter Schmuck at peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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