Roch around the clock

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November 22, 2005|By ROCH KUBATKO

Veteran Sun sportswriter Roch Kubatko has launched a blog about a range of sports topics, called "Roch Around the Clock." It can be accessed from the main Sports page at baltimoresun.com. We will run regular excerpts from his blog on The Kickoff page.

After nine years on the Orioles' beat, I've been handed the keys to my own sports blog. The ride won't always be smooth, especially the first few miles, and I have a tendency to become reckless behind the wheel - which allowed me to blend in perfectly with the Orioles. But it was time for a change. Nothing lasts forever, except for Sidney Ponson's attempts to recite the alphabet after a night of drinking. ...

I have to admit, I'll miss standing around the Orioles' clubhouse 3 1/2 hours before the first pitch, realizing once again that there's way too much nudity in baseball.

But where else could I witness Channel 13 sportscaster Stan Saunders, with microphone in hand, asking second baseman Brian Roberts why he decided to bat right-handed in the eighth inning after swinging from the left side earlier in the game? Rattled only for a moment, Roberts politely responded: "Um, because they brought in a left-handed pitcher." Spoken like a true switch-hitter.

I'll always appreciate the chance to watch, up close and personal, Rafael Palmeiro's smooth swings and Albert Belle's mood swings ... And even though I'm no longer working exclusively on the baseball beat, I'll still be available to inject Peter Schmuck with B-12 shots whenever he's feeling a little sluggish.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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