Unsettling

THE SCHMUCK STOPS HERE

Favre's arrival creates even bigger Pack of problems

August 04, 2008|By PETER SCHMUCK

Newly unretired quarterback Brett Favre last night arrived in Green Bay, where he will rejoin the Packers and - as things appear right now - compete with Aaron Rodgers for the starting quarterback position.

Glad that's settled.

No, of course it's not. The public relations crisis that Favre has created is about to turn into a public relations disaster that will soil everyone it touches - Favre, the Packers and even Rodgers, who now gets to take part in a competition that he will lose even if he wins.

Favre's presence will drive an emotional wedge into Packers Nation, dividing the die-hard Favre faithful from the fans who were ready to adopt Rodgers and get on with their football lives. Favre will be a daily distraction until he either takes back his job or takes apart the team trying.

Maybe things will become clearer when coach Mike McCarthy reveals his plan for the quarterback situation after meeting with the team and the quarterbacks today, but don't hold your breath. This is a bad situation that is going to get worse if the Packers don't find a taker for Favre in the next few days.

* The Orioles really couldn't be in a worse position to insert an inexperienced starter into the rotation - with Hayden Penn banged up and a couple of other top prospects not in sync to pitch tomorrow - which explains why manager Dave Trembley doesn't want to announce the Tuesday guy until tonight.

Penn probably was the guy before he got hit in the leg by scrap of broken bat. Now, it appears the club will recall 27-year-old Chris Waters from Triple-A Norfolk, though that doesn't necessarily mean he will start the second game of the series against the first-place Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif. I'm guessing Trembley is withholding judgment because he wants to see how much bullpen he needs to use behind Dennis Sarfate tonight. Theoretically, if Sarfate comes through with six or seven innings, the Orioles could trot Lance Cormier or his other mystery major league candidate out there for as long as he can go tomorrow and hold Waters to pitch in long relief. Seems simpler just to start Waters, but if that was the plan, why all the intrigue?

Either way, it's not a great situation. The Angels have the majors' best win-loss record. Going into Anaheim with three green starters (Sarfate, whoever, Garrett Olson) is like going to Michael Vick's house with a poodle.

* I'm telling you, if Trembley had walked out to the mound in the ninth inning of Jeremy Guthrie's first career complete game Saturday night, I think I might have flown to Seattle and tackled him myself. Guthrie was nothing short of masterful in the Orioles' second straight eight-plus-inning start and the Orioles didn't need any more bullpen drama.

Neither did I. Everyone knows how much I enjoy reading and posting your comments, but if George Sherrill had come in and given up that lead, I would have had to hire an assistant to sort through all the emotional wreckage in the posting area.

The Orioles are suddenly playing so well, I wasn't even tempted to switch to Saturday Night Live at 11:30, which is saying quite a lot when you consider that they're in last place and the Mariners are so far under water they could scout the continental shelf for promising drilling sites. Throw in my unhealthy obsession with Maya Rudolph and missing SNL was no small thing.

That was five wins in six games, and though they didn't complete the sweep yesterday, the Orioles are within four games of .500. Not bad when the possibility of a respectable finish seemed almost laughable a week or so ago.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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