No more Mr. Diplomatic: It's time to turn negative about the Orioles

July 06, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

SO THIS IS what we've come to as the Orioles limp toward the All-Star break looking less and less like a serious playoff contender:

Ray Miller may have to change his signature slogan to "Work fast. Throw strikes. Duck!"

The latest starter to employ this new philosophy was Rodrigo Lopez, who took the mound on three days' rest yesterday and quickly surrendered 10 runs, which - if you're still looking for bright spots - at least erased any chance of the Orioles wasting another exciting comeback.

For those of you who don't get the New York Post, George Steinbrenner released a statement early yesterday thanking the Yankees for "the great birthday present" after their eighth-inning comeback in the opener of the two-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Steinbrenner turned 75 on Monday.

The Orioles were beaten so thoroughly yesterday that The Boss should have spent part of the game drafting another thank you note - this one to Lee Mazzilli.

Not big on stream of consciousness? Come back tomorrow.

The slump has gotten so bad that authorities in Jimmyville have removed all the sharp objects from the Hunter mansion.

You know it's getting to Jim, because he's starting to call all the relievers by their last names.

I'm frustrated, too. When Hideki Matsui homered to make it 12-2 in the sixth inning, I opened the paper and started reading about the Tour de France. I think it's a bicycle race, judging by the tight shorts ... I'm guessing somewhere in France.

While we're on the subject, can't wait to see if Paris is going to be the site of the 2012 Olympics. Most Parisians know that Paris is a much greater city than New York or London, but they hope to feel even more superior after the official announcement early today. Who knows, if Paris gets the nod, maybe they'll introduce rifle-dropping as an Olympic demonstration sport.

The 117th IOC session opened yesterday in Singapore with the president of the session's organizing committee, Ng Ser Miang, saying that hosting the meeting was the "next best thing" to actually bringing the Olympics to the tiny nation.

Singapore apparently is a very exciting place.

Don't despair. The Orioles open a four-game series against the first-place Red Sox tomorrow at Camden Yards. There will be plenty of time to despair after that.

If you haven't already noticed, I have decided to "go negative." I've consulted with several political handlers, and they've advised me that I've been way too diplomatic during the Orioles' dramatic midseason decline. Not anymore.

I still think that Sammy Sosa will snap out of it, but he's getting no more slack here. He's a stiff until he wakes up at the plate or buys me a drill press. I'm good either way.

The Orioles may get a break this weekend. Curt Schilling was expected to return to the Red Sox's rotation during the four-game series, but he pitched so poorly in his second rehab start that the club is considering holding him back for the series against the Yankees after the All-Star break.

Then again, maybe it's not a break. The Triple-A Charlotte Knights touched up Schilling for five runs on eight hits Monday night. Bring him on.

I've had almost a week to digest the Kenny Rogers situation and this is all I've got:

If he had been half that nasty in New York, he'd still be a Yankee.

Congratulations to the Bowie Baysox and their fans for entering the Guinness Book of World Records by simultaneously sitting on 4,439 whoopee cushions Monday night. Proud moments like that don't come along every day.

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