Baltimore Orioles Newsbeat
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Jack Brett raged at his nice boy son. And George Brett learned to fear failure. He learned to fear embarrassment. He learned to fear that voice, the rumbling voice of his father, tearing him apart over an error he made in the third or a swing out of the strike zone. After one such conversation, George tore the phone off the wall in the clubhouse. After more than one, he headed out into the night to find relief.
George Brett did not grow up to be a nice boy. He took a bat to the toilets in Minnesota. He broke a players’ leg in a collision. He leaped up to punch Graig Nettles. He struck a photographer with his crutch. He got into a fight with Willie Wilson. Nice? No. He became like Jack Brett, the essence of fury.
“Maybe I was too tough on George,” Jack would say after Brett had secured his Hall of Fame career.
Fathers. Sons. Such a riddle. When Jack Brett found out he was dying of cancer, he implored his family to not tell George.
“He’s in the middle of a slump,” Jack Brett said. “Wait until he turns it around.”
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Basically impossible not to read this without getting choked up:
I was collecting mental snapshots in the clubhouse following last night’s clincher. Better than exposing my iPhone to the champagne being sprayed.
The moment that probably meant the most occurred when Zach Britton walked over to me with two beers, handed one to me, tapped them together and said, “This is for Monica.”
I needed a few minutes to compose myself. Just a beautiful, heartfelt gesture, and more evidence that Monica Barlow, the former PR director who passed away on Feb. 28, remains close to this ballclub. [...]
“I just doused [Monica’s husband Ben]. I just got him,” said reliever Tommy Hunter. “He came in here and I gave him a big hug. Chris (Davis) had her picture up the whole year, Buck’s got her picture up over there. She’s finally smiling. She’s a special person.
“Man, it’s awesome. It’s not awesome, but it’s awesome. I don’t know how to explain it. It brings a tear to your eye. I mean, I wish she was here. I do. Everyone does.
“To see her husband in here and be able to throw a beer on his head and give him a big hug right afterward, it meant a lot. I’m glad I got to do it. She was special.”
No matter who I talked to about Monica over the past few days, they all had the same reaction. Such a coincidence that I brought up her name, since they were just thinking or talking about her.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
For whatever reason, David Ortiz hates it when you bring up the fact that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. The latest target of his ire: MLB Network hosts who declared he has received a “free pass” for his transgression.
Friday, May 02, 2014
An excellent, lengthy profile of one of baseball’s most interesting managers. Tons of interesting anecdotes and insights. RTFA.
Another thing Showalter harps on is that it’s the players’ job to respect their fans. Again, some get it, and some don’t. To the players who don’t get it, the fans’ purpose is simply to worship them and pay their salaries. But Showalter is devoted to the fans, always recalling his years in the minor leagues as a player, coach and manager. Those parks are small, the fans close to the action. They can talk to the players in the on-deck circle, the manager standing in the dugout, the coach at third base. Those fans feel that they’re part of the team, close to the players in a way that major league fans, at a distant remove, never are. When Showalter finally got to the majors, he brought with him his respect for the fans. When the Orioles were playing a meaningless game in Seattle one night, Showalter hounded his players to play hard, because “it’s 12:30 at night back in Baltimore,” he said. “Somebody’s sitting in front of the TV, dying with everything you’re doing. And you better take that seriously.”
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