It was a good night for the Orioles – a close game in Toronto, which is a place that has been exceedingly difficult to gain wins. The Birds took the series opener 7-5.
I have a few issues of repentance about which to confess:
I have been unimpressed with Wilson Betemit and actually cringe when I see him batting 6th in the lineup. I admit that I’ve not really seen him play that much, but from what I had seen, he appeared rather ordinary at best. But the guy got the key hit tonight in the clutch – a two-out bases loaded single to drive in two runs and give the team the lead. Clutch hits have lately been as difficult to find as wins over the Jays.
I have been too much of a skeptic about Robert Andino. He is playing well and has been consistent throughout the pre-season and in these early games. He appears to be a guy who has gained enough experience now on a regular basis to seriously put it all together. He is an athlete. Jim Palmer was this evening talking about another guy who wore #11 for the Orioles – Luis Aparicio. He was the shortstop for the Orioles in the mid 60s and is in the Hall of Fame (though he played more seasons for the White Sox). I am old enough to remember Aparicio playing, and though I don’t think there are no similarities or that Palmer is whacked for saying this, I do not think Luis could hit a ball 420’ like Andino did tonight. But Aparicio could really run, and in fact stole 57 bases one year for the Birds!
I was too skeptical and somewhat mocked the Orioles for employing a sports psychologist this year. Though I still believe that skills and hard work are the best basis for success, there really is something to say about the mental aspects of the game. Reimold is a guy who clearly has mental highs and lows that affect his play. His recent successes over the past several days could be HUGE for the team this season. His 9th inning homer (just plain crushed) was huge tonight. But on the other hand, Reynolds appears to be in a mental and performance funk – the stereotypical “deer in the headlights / what hit me?” sort of look. I wonder what Buck thinks about “the look in his eyes” (since Buck uses that phrase to describe people positively).
This was a good game – the guys kept battling and adding runs, and the bullpen got r’ done! So let’s do it again, and again, and again!