By Theo Baxter
The Orioles’ season-long losing streak continued as they dropped two more games this past Sunday. This time, the conquerors were the Marina Mudsharks; a team made up of some of the greatest softball players in JBSL history and Chope. Big Daddy Chop took the mound versus his former mates in both games, and was on the good side of a doubleheader sweep for the first time in years.
In the first game, the Sharks jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Luckily, DJ Teddy finally found the right field, and took over the pitching duties. He held the Marina in check, and the Birds chipped away at the lead. After four innings, the score was cut to 7-4, and all the momentum was in the Orioles’ favor. But then the floodgates opened. Led by Randall, Keller, Diver and the McCarthys, the Mudsharks put up eight runs to make the score 15-4. The O’s scored twice in the bottom half of the frame, but eventually lost 16-6 in seven innings.
The second game lacked some of the softball-related excitement that the first one provided. The bad guys won 9-2, and the big news was that the perennial powerhouse Mudsharks could not mercy rule the league doormat Orioles. "A moral victory" was what Rooster called it, until he was reminded that the Birds had no morals.
There were a number of big moments on the field for the day, such as:
Sully’s Two At Bats In Game One: Team batboy J.W. gave Matthew some advice on working the count. But as Chope (pronounced "Choppy") released the 3-1 pitch, the Magnum P.I. lookalike assured everyone "I got it," and stroked the ball into center for a solid single. In the nightcap, as Sully dug in at the plate, a plane flew by the field with a banner that read, "Are You Human?" Matt, obviously flustered, refused to answer the question, and promptly pooped out to left.
The Revenge of Chope - The big man had some lows (striking out; a couple of bobbles on grounders hit to him; giving up the Mizer’s only hit of the year) but it was mostly a banner day. He had a couple of hits, he was credited with two pitching victories, had a song dedicated to him by J.W. ("His name was Chope; he was a showgirl; but that was 100 pounds ago…"), and won about 20 stuffed animals from the Connolly’s Skill Crane game. How did the Orioles let a man of his talents get away? Some blame the salary cap; some say it was his desire to win a championship ring; others haven’t put any thought into it at all. Regardless, that night it seemed like nothing had changed, as he was the only Mudshark at the bar for more than an hour after the game.
The New Guy: The highlight of the Orioles day, and the season so far, has to be the debut of Captain Den-Den’s cousin Brian (a.k.a. "New Guy") He not only played a very solid shortstop; he went 4-6 on the day, including a shot over the heads of the Marina outfielders for a homer. To top things off, he was also later spotted partying the night away at Connolly’s with a multitude of ladies. He has become an instant hero to not only the dozens and dozens of the Orioles’ fans, but to his teammates as well. In fact, he’s so popular that Denny Mack is now referred to as "New Guy’s Cousin."
This Sunday, New Guy and some of the other Connolly’s Orioles take on the Healy’s Round Balls at 10 a.m. in Riis Park. Can the Birds’ new sensation lead them to their first victory of the century? Be sure to get to the field early, since the good seats will fill up fast with men, women and children of all ages hoping to catch a glimpse of the hottest newcomer this side of Ricky Martin. And afterwards, the teams return to Connolly’s, where all fans will get a chance to buy drinks for not only New Guy, but his new publicist as well (me).
-Speaking of the Round Balls, a full squadron of them was spotted in Connolly’s on Saturday night. Were they scouting out the competition? Preparing for this Sunday’s post-game drink-up? Ball spokesman Fred Gray wouldn’t comment on those questions. He did mention that he often looks back to his days as an Oriole, and misses the team greatly. Awww. We miss you too, All-Star.
-Last week, Channel 2 weatherman Mark Damon was busted for allegedly trying to buy some coke. That goes a long way in explaining why he was the only local forecaster predicting snow for May 22.
-Advice to those Oriole Report fans who complained that last week’s column was not available on the Wave’s website- Spend the 35 cents and buy the actual paper! Of course, any actual Orioles who complained are forgiven, because once again they paid $120 for the postgame keg. For $120, they could have bought:
-342 copies of the paper (which is about half the number of people who buy it only to read this column)…
-Two kegs at regular price from Beach Beverage…
-Almost 30 of Connolly’s frozen drinks for Round Ball spokesman Fred Gray (now that’s almost as big of a waste of money as $120 for a keg)…
-15 bottled beers at "Flashdancers"…
Connolly’s bar was packed all Memorial Day Weekend, with many taking advantage of the nice weather to enjoy the world famous frozen drinks. Joining the Pina Colodas in the drink machine was Fun Bobby’s fiancée Colleen’s favorite -- White Russians. And here’s a tip from Massapequa Col -- add some chocolate syrup to the White Russian, and it becomes a Mudslide. So take Colleen’s advice and join Rich, Martin, Zamm, Bob, Laura and the all your other favorite bartenders this weekend for a few rounds.