Roch around the clock


April 01, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

Where am I? Fooled by the unseasonably warm temperature. This is Maryland. The people aren't dressed like they're headed to a nightclub, even when buying milk at the Circle-K. And they're speaking English. I'm weirded out.

What I wouldn't give to have one homeless guy in a pink T-shirt trying to sell me a newspaper.

The Orioles left themselves open to some criticism this spring, with the Melvin Mora negotiations dragging along and the offense shutting down and their spring training record looking like it should belong to the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But what a nice touch having Elrod Hendricks' sons, Ryan and Ian, throw out the ceremonial first pitches on Monday.

Tributes will be paid to Hendricks, longtime team photographer Jerry Wachter, executive Harry Dalton and outfielder Pat Kelly, who died in the past year. The Orioles will wear a patch with Hendricks' No. 44 on the left sleeve.

I know plenty of people are waiting for an Anna Benson reference after she filed for divorce. Having gone through one myself, I figure it's best to say nothing. These things can be plenty painful, especially one this public, and I don't want to add to it. I just hope Kris gets through it all right and can focus on pitching. Each bad outing will have people wondering.

He's a good man. He deserves better.

One question before I go ... Raul Chavez? Chavez, a catcher claimed off waivers yesterday by the Orioles, has batted .215 in 154 major league games. Geronimo Gil would have been pinch hitting for this guy. But I'll assume he brings something behind the plate, if not beside it.

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