Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lew Ford (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the O's) (Wednesday LINKS)

For at least the last seven years, being an Orioles' fan was like going to a job you hate.  Neither of us were going anywhere.  Although never satisfying or fulfilling, the O's filled a basic need for summer baseball that we would either have to extend our commute (Nats) or go destitute without.  When everyone else would talk about their cool jobs (Yanks, Red Sox, 25+ more successful MLB teams), we would meekly nod and say "Oh, well I'm an O's fan, so I don't pay much attention to baseball come August."

We would even undergo the distinct shame of having those other fans talk about our current players with lecherous desire...TO OUR FACES!  "Adam Jones is going to look good in pinstripes."  That has little to do with having a job you hate, but everything to do with having our enjoyment of a sport undercut by its cruel terms.

But last night Lew Ford hit his second home run in two days.  Even better, I sort of predicted it.  Here's my Facebook status from yesterday afternoon:

Impromptu Orioles game tonight. Three rows back in section 80. Hoping to catch Lew Ford's first opposite field home run.

Lew Ford hit an opposite field home run...about 20 feet from where we were sitting.
To borrow a phrase from Governor Christie: "Ya see" Lew is the embodiment of this team.  Prior to Monday, Lew Ford's last home run was July 29, 2007.  That means there were kindergartners being sent off to school this past month who had been a mere twinkle the last time Lew jogged the base-paths.  He's a journeyman baseball player that has probably had at least a dozen "Are we sure that you still want to do this baseball thing?" conversations with his wife...just as hundreds of thousands of Orioles' fans have had that conversation with themselves.

The Orioles are on track to break 2 million attendance this season; the highest total since 2007 and notably outpacing the White Sox, Oakland, and Tampa Bay, three other Wild Card contenders.  TV viewers have rocketed from an average of 44,000 per game to 62,000.  The Yard may not be packed, but the daily marathon of baseball is a matter of habit, one that has been broken in Baltimore on the back of over a decade of poor performance.

I'm not going to say that it is ok to give your heart to this team.  For one thing, I am incredibly superstitious and such a post would surely foretell a tailspin unheard of in baseball history.  Secondly, if you're not there already, you probably never will be. 


I made it home in time for Gov. Chris Christie's Convention Speech.  I have yet to read any coverage of the event, but by my personal review, I think Christie came up short.  As a practical matter, I don't think you ever want to have to tell people to stand up when you're giving an inspiring speech.  He did.  Christie also had some of the most grating verbal ticks that I have seen of a politician at his level.  "Now..."  "Ya See..."  Nevertheless, I think his message was attractive (i.e., giving Americans the "hard truths" and governing out in front), but it also came off a bit like "Eat your vegetables."  All in all, this was a speech for the faithful and he delivered on that much.  After seeing Senator Marco Rubio interviewed later that night on The Daily Show, I think he was the best pick to introduce Romney and will be the person we are talking about next Monday.

I was horrified to see that yet again people are being rescued from their roofs in Louisiana with 12 feet of water in some places.

The 15 year-old Perry Hall High School shooter will be charged as an adult with attempted murder and assault.  As angry as we all may be, I don't feel this is just.  

Thankfully, this tragic story comes with a hero in Jesse Wasmer.  After the slew of tragic shootings all over the Country, I imagine most of us have asked ourselves what we would do if it was our turn to step up.  Mr. Wasmer will never have to ask himself that question again.

Not only was Delegate Don Dwyer's boat going full throttle while he had a BAC of at least .20, but even WORSE...the name of his boat is "The Legislator."  We can only hope that there's some sort of criminal sanction for that kind of maritime name-choice malpractice.  (I think the remaining comment regarding a Tea Party GOPer railing against the "elites in Washington" while piloting a boat called "The Legislator" writes itself.)

Howard County Republicans are opening a new headquarters in the Normandy Shopping Center and are predicting that Romney will win "in a landslide."  It also looks like they've had a lot of success with their voter database and precinct structure, potentially putting their organizational capacity slightly ahead of the blue team.  Personally, I was also happy to see GOP Central Committee Vice Chairman Dave Myers quoted as speaking at the event.  He is a strong young leader who will bring the local party into future success, including his own candidacy.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Sarah stands up for cyclists everywhere with a post looking at the motor vehicle laws governing how much space should be provided to cyclists on our roads.  Whenever I get into a conversation with non-cyclists about the 3-feet rule, I almost inevitably hear a story about some cyclist not obeying the law.  That's well and good, but that is no reason to endanger every other law-abiding cyclist, much less ignore the fact that motorists aren't otherwise known for their strict adherence to the rules.  And here's a much more stark fact - if you hit a cyclist, the "Cyclist-that-ran-the-red-light" defense will not help you in court or with the permanent guilt that you will carry for the rest of your life.

That's all for today.  Have a great Wednesday doing what you love! 

O-R-I-O-L-E-S!  Magic magic magic magic.  Orioles' Magic, feel it happen.