O's officials should get ready for full season of empty seats

April 06, 2008|By PETER SCHMUCK

News item: The Orioles drew an announced crowd of 10,505 on Wednesday night - by far the smallest in the history of Camden Yards.

My take: Club officials insist there were a lot of season-ticket exchanges for that night, but breaking the all-time low attendance record by nearly 2,700 fans in the second game of the season can't bode well for the rest of the year. If the O's end up drawing 1.7 million fans this year, we'll remember that crowd as the canary in the mineshaft.

News item: The Detroit Tigers have committed $138 million in payroll to make another playoff run but are the last winless team in the major leagues.

My take: Gosh, I'm sure glad the Orioles' prudent ownership doesn't spend money like that.

News item: The Maryland General Assembly is close to passing a bill that would allow mixed martial arts competitions in the state.

My take: These are the same people who wouldn't pass a slots bill because of the supposed negative societal impact of gambling, but somehow think legalizing ultimate fighting is in the public interest. Vicious beatdown anyone?

News item: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Tuesday that he factored the disenchantment of some Ravens players into the decision to replace former coach Brian Billick.

My take: I think we all knew that, but I'm surprised Bisciotti came right out and said it. I hear Ray Lewis can't wait to see his new office.

News item: Recently retired quarterback Brett Favre is denying a published report that he already is considering a comeback.

My take: He probably won't really start considering a comeback for a couple of more months.

News item: New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk said Thursday he takes "full responsibility" for an offseason marijuana arrest, but claims the four joints were in the pocket of a borrowed jacket and did not belong to him.

My take: I didn't know millionaire athletes needed to share clothes, but I'll take his word for it because he passed an immediate drug test. At least he didn't try to convince us that he smoked dope only once and just to recover from an injury.

News item: Randy Johnson gave up five runs and eight hits in a rehab start against the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

My take: I've been waiting all this time for Daniel Cabrera to morph into the Big Unit. Looks like it's going to be the other way around.

News item: Larry Brown said Wednesday that he's bored and wants to get back into coaching at either the pro or college level.

My take: If I'm Larry, I stick with the NBA until I've walked out on all 30 franchises.

News item: The Cincinnati Bengals released wide receiver Chris Henry after his latest brush with the law.

My take: Apparently, the decision is part of the NFL's new Five Strikes And You're Out disciplinary policy.

News item: Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez suffered a hamstring strain in his first start of the season and could be lost for six weeks.

My take: The supposed slam-dunk New York Mets have been so banged up this spring, I heard they renamed their trainers Hawkeye and Trapper John.

News item: The York Revolution unveiled a bronze statue honoring Brooks Robinson yesterday in front of Sovereign Bank Stadium.

My take: Wouldn't surprise me if the sculpture can go to its right better than about half the guys currently playing third base in the majors.

News item: Seattle Mariners closer J.J. Putz has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a rib cage injury.

My take: As you know, J.J. would be one of my favorite players if he would embrace his funny name and stop insisting that it isn't pronounced the way we all know it should be. If I can be a sanctimonious Schmuck, he can be an unapologetic Putz.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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