Orioles get major love from 'Sunday Night Baseball' crew

April 15, 2013|By Kevin Cowherd | The Baltimore Sun

The final score was a bummer for the Orioles: Yankees 3, O's 0 in the rubber match of the three-game series. And the weather in Yankee Stadium was chilly and breezy, better suited for football. But the Orioles had so many nice things said about them in their first nationally televised Sunday night game in five seasons that they probably hated to leave the Bronx.

As The Baltimore Sun's Ed Encina reported, Orioles such as center fielder Adam Jones made it clear they understood this was not just another game.

"It's 'Sunday Night Baseball,'" Jones said. "The whole league watches this game. Most of the world watches it ... the eyes of the public will be on us."

Whether Jones was going a little overboard with that "most of the world watches it" stuff is debatable. What isn't debatable is that the Orioles had so many nice things said about them it was almost embarrassing. 

The ESPN broadcast team of play-by-play man Dan Shulman and analysts John Kruk and Orel Hershiser talked about O's manager Buck Showalter as if he were baseball's version of Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking.

They said so many flattering things about his baseball acumen and ability to motivate his players that it was as if they were talking about that other "little genius" who used to manage the Orioles, Earl Weaver.

When they gushed about Showalter bringing back "The Orioles Way" of playing fundamental baseball throughout the Baltimore minor league system and the camera panned to him in the dugout, you could practically see a halo forming over the man's head.

Unless that was just my TV.

And it wasn't only Showalter who was fawned over by Shulman and Co. Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy and Wei-Yin Chen also received effusive praise -- at least until the fifth inning, when the Yankees exploded for three runs and the broadcast crew found other things to talk about.

The loss dropped the Orioles' record to 6-6. And it left a sour taste in their mouths as they returned to Baltimore to begin a nine-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays.

Still, in terms of being in the national spotlight, the Orioles have spent worse nights in the Bronx.

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