2000-04-29 / Sports

The Oriole Report

Is A Playoff Spot In The Stars?

By Theo Baxter

Finally, after almost nine months of boring, irrelevant articles published week after week, the Oriole Report has come back to The Wave. The column that paved the way for such fare as "The Round Ball Report," "The Big Dog Report," and "The Police Blotter" is back and better than ever. And although the O.R.’s originator (and the man who first brought the Jamaica Bay Softball League to the Internet) has hung up his pen (see below), we promise to give all the inside news and results that the Oriole-holics demand.

Many Orioles felt that after the team’s dismal performance in 1999, a major shakeup was needed. Practicing hitting and fielding; bringing in ringers; and getting into shape were some of the ideas tossed around this winter. Predictably, none of these plans were implemented, and so the 2000 Orioles almost look identical to last year’s 4-24 version. However, one big change has been made -- Den-Den has taken back the captain’s reins from Chope.

As all the die-hard Oriole fans know, Denny Mac started the Oriole franchise back in 1995. After three seasons of futility, he left to join the playoff-bound Cardinals. Chope inherited the team right before the 1998 campaign, and rallied the troops (and Trooper) to a 13-15 record, by far the Birds’ best ever. But last year, the wheels fell off the wagon, and the team won only 14.3 percent of their games under the big man.

Realizing that his playing days are coming close to the end, Chop decided he didn’t have time to stay with the perpetually rebuilding Orioles if he wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of winning a Jamaica Bay Softball League championship. So he decided to jump ship to the Mudsharks, a top-level team that takes softball way too seriously.

With Chope’s departure, the O’s needed a new captain. After a tireless search of the pubs, ginmills, and gentleman’s clubs of Rockaway, a top secret committee of Orioles found the one man with the strength, intelligence, dedication, talent and patience to take over the task of running the team. Unfortunately, that guy wouldn’t return our phone calls. So a few weeks later, Denny Mac took back his old title, and declared that under his leadership, the Birds would be buzzing for a playoff spot this season.

Can Den-Den do the impossible? Can he lead this Oriole team to the playoffs for the first time in their six- year history? The impossible journey takes its first steps this Sunday, when the boys in Orange take the field against the Inwood Assassins, at 12:30, over in Broad Channel.

Orioles’ News and Notes…

Although the Orioles home opener is more than a month away, their millions and millions of their fans are invited to join them this Sunday over in the Channel for the festivities. WWF maniac the Miser is offering fellow wrestling fans a free Coors Light in honor of Stone Cold’s return to the ring that night. Also, a very special guest is rumored to be coming in to throw out the first pitch…..

In other Seany O news, doctors told the longtime backstop for the Birds over the winter that he could no longer catch. (Did they tell him he couldn’t hit much, either?) The masked marvel is thinking about ending his career, but will take a few weeks to decide….

Former O.R. writer O’Neill not only resigned from this column, he stepped down from his position of "assistant co-captain" (Chope’s right hand man) and as the Orioles best Karioke singer. This season he vows to concentrate playing right field; keeping the book; and exterminating bugs….

Happy Birthdays this week to original Oriole Whalehead and Ms. Whalehead, who celebrated birthdays this past week. The team’s second cutest couple (behind B.K. and Larkin, of course) turns 25 and 23, respectively….

Congratulations to Moonie and Jackie, on the birth of their baby boy last Thursday, and to Jack and Jessica on their baby girl born last Sunday…

See you at the field…..

 

 

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