Baltimore Orioles: Did Jim Palmer foreshadow last night?!


On Opening Day Baltimore Orioles great Jim Palmer quoted Clint Eastwood’s character in In the line of fire when he purposely used the line “aim high.” If you’ve never seen that movie, you have no idea what I’m talking about. There are a million Clint Eastwood lines, but that’s probably one of the lesser-known ones in a sense. But while I think about Dirty Harry telling us never to put ketchup on hot dogs, think about this – did Palmer foreshadow the opening moments of last night’s World Series game three?

New York’s Noah Syndergaard opened the game by throwing the first pitch very high and very tight to Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar. The Kansas City dugout, and Escobar himself took exception to the pitch. Speaking for myself, I don’t have such an issue with it, save for the location. Escobar always swings at the first pitch – it’s kind of his trademark. He made New York look fairly inept when he swung at the first pitch in game one (which was a fastball right down broadway) and ended up with the World Series’ first inside-the-park home run since 1924.

Courtesy of Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter of time before teams started using Kansas City’s now legendary aggression against them – and we saw it last night. But as Escobar himself said after the game, the location is what bothered him (quote courtesy of Jerry Crasnick,

"I didn’t like it. He said yesterday that he had a plan against my aggressiveness. If that was the plan, it’s a stupid plan. No pitcher should throw a 98 mph pitch at the head of a batter in the first at-bat. If he wants to, he can throw it at my feet. He can throw it at any part of my body — but not at my head. That’s just wrong."

The part about it being a stupid plan was a bit off target in my book. Throwing inside is a great way to target someone’s agressiveness. However I do agree with Escobar in that it shouldn’t have been thrown that high and that tight. Now it’s also possible that a pitch at his feet intending to make him dance wouldn’t have sent the same message. But speaking for myself I wasn’t a fan of the location.

More from Orioles News

For his part, Syndergaard said after the game that he wasn’t trying to hit Escobar in the head, he was just trying to send a message (quote courtesy of Jerry Crasnick,

"I mean, I certainly wasn’t trying to hit the guy, that’s for sure. I just didn’t want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away. I’ve got no problem with that."

What Syndergaard doesn’t know is that Kansas City is a team that probably has no issue with that either. Stay tuned!

I also wanted to take the opportunity to welcome Frank Pickel to our staff at Birds Watcher. Frank is a recent graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, and he now lives in Baltimore. For the record, he’s a step ahead of me; I looked at JMU and very much wanted to go there when I was in high school – the grades just weren’t good enough!

Next: Baltimore Orioles: Does excitement win games?

Frank grew up in southern New Jersey, and is a NY Giants fan when not writing about the O’s. Join me in welcoming Frank to our merry group!