Mark. My Words.

Dear Baltimore Orioles,

Me, again.

With just 11 days ’til baseball season starts — the earliest Opening Day ever — I thought I’d drop a note and say “hi.”


I see that lots has been going on in Birdland.

You’ve set up a new program to let kids attend Orioles games for free through the 2018 season. You’re expanding play areas at the park and creating new menu options especially for kids. Awesome!

Since I last wrote, you’ve picked up a couple of starting pitchers.

Good for you.

Welcome back, Chris Tillman and your 7.34 ERA.

You were a broken Bird most of last season which, we’re assured, is the reason for the stinky ERA. I hope you’re feeling better because I hate when Editor/Husband yells when starters get shelled in the third inning. (Or, second. Or, first.)

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Listen … It’s Babe Ruth!

via National Public Radio

That’s A Home Run Swing From Babe Ruth

Look, I’d love to sit down and write you a long blog post this morning. Really, I would. But, you wouldn’t read it anyway, because, as we learned in my last post, no one reads things anymore.

Babe Ruth, apparently, was on to this “I’m never reading words again” thing the internet has cooked up. So, perfectly timed to coincide with the death of the written word, a long-lost radio interview with Ruth has shown up.

No reading required. Just listening. To Babe Ruth.

The interview was part of an Armed Services Radio Network program recorded during World War II. It turned up recently in a school archive in Connecticut.

What did Ruth think of fastballs?

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Stupid Word-Hating Internet

Oh for crap’s sake.

The New York Times just decided that reading words is passé. The future of the internet is audio and video. Even for a simple little blog like mine.

That means … well, that means, oh hell, you’re already gone, aren’t you?

I’m just sitting in this blog all by myself, tapping out worthless words on a worthless keyboard counting …

The days ’til pitchers and catchers report.  Three.

The number of starting pitchers that the Orioles have on their roster. Two.

And, the number of people reading these words. One.

Just you, I’m afraid.

Qwerty, not so purty. (Poetry – even bad poetry — is screwed now, too, I guess.)

Sure, it’s ironic that The New York Times had to inform me that reading is dead using … actual written words.

Oh, for crap’s sake.

Or, as you wordless people say …

What can I do to make you love reading again?

Or, just letters.

Like the letter K.

K is one of the alphabet’s resident hoodlums. Look at it slouched there lazy against its own wall – a street tough – sticking its leg out, just waiting to trip a non-suspecting sweet p, flipping it over into a d.

K is both letter, word, and complete sentence.

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The Super-est Bowl-Free Sunday Of All

It’s been a few years since I began my football boycott.

I can’t remember which Super Bowl was my last.

I don’t remember much about the games I did watch. I remember halftimes though.

Fun Fact: The University of Arizona and Grambling State University Marching Bands were the halftime performers at the first Super Bowl in 1967. The highlight? Their performance of “The Liberty Bell” which all of you know better as this …


And, who can forget Up With People in 1982?

Or, Mickey Rooney in 1987?

I know I was boycotting by the time Madonna did the halftime show in 2012.

I began my lonely football boycott because, well, because I don’t support traumatic brain injuries. I think traumatic brain injuries, Grade Three concussions, and permanent brain damage are bad things. The National Football League does not. We agree to disagree on this, but I am right.

So, I don’t watch. (Neither does Editor/Husband, because he is supportive like that, and because he, too, recognizes that a sport that not only allows, but encourages, traumatic brain injuries is a bad sport.)

If you need a reminder, here’s my list of 50 reasons why you shouldn’t watch football.

It’s been pretty lonely up here on my NFL boycott soapbox.


Until NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to “take a knee” rather than stand for the National Anthem – his nonviolent protest against racial discrimination in our country.

Embed from Getty Images


Some people, apparently unbothered by Grade Three concussions, took offense to Kaepernick’s protest and started their own football boycott.

And by “some people,” I mean some, but not all, white people (and, I may be wrong, but I’m assuming those “some people” boycotting also include the two families on my little gravel farm road who fly the Confederate flag in their yards).

I’m being elbowed on my boycott podium by people who are boycotting for an entirely different reason.

While I hate to get all political on here, I do want to make clear my boycottish intention.

I boycott brain injuries in football.  I do not boycott a person’s right to nonviolently protest an issue that affects them personally and deeply.

Not only do I not boycott that, I applaud it.

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Dear Baltimore Orioles,

Dear Beloved Baltimore Orioles,

Hi! How are you? Have you had a nice relaxing, restful, lazy, nap-filled off-season?

Of course you have.

Yes, you certainly have done a lot of do-nothingness. In fact, I’m not sure there’s another team that has done less than you have these past few months.

(Correction: The Cleveland Spiders have done less. But, then the Spiders disappeared in 1888.)

Sure, we all need our rest.

But, enough napping. It’s time to wipe that sleepy drool off your chin. Enough lollygagging.

Pitchers and catchers report on February 13. That’s not a lot of time.

And, guess what?

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“Weather Has No Favorites; All Games Off”

Chicago Tribune, 4/15/1950

“Weather Has No Favorites; All Games Off”

It was 2-below this morning here in Virginia. Even colder in some parts of the state.

I know this because I, like many of my Virginia friends, took a photo of the thermometer. Evidence. It’s like a pseudo-selfie.

It was 117 degrees in Sydney, Australia yesterday. So, there are degrees of miserability. (Miserability. Not a word. Should be.)

It was a cold, snowy spring in 1950.

On April 13, a snowstorm blanketed much of the east coast from Virginia northward. On April 14, it was still cold … and still snowing. Baseball season hadn’t officially started – Opening Day was four days away – but the teams were just back from spring training and exhibition games were on their calendars.

It was so cold and so snowy, they cancelled all the games.

Every single one.

Lansing State Journal, 4/14/1950

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New Year’s Rulin’s

First of all, New Year’s Resolutions are stupid.

Because if you waited an entire year to decide you need to make some major life change, because, while unpleasant, you know it will be good for you, then why did you wait until today to start it?

I’ll tell you why. Because you don’t want to do it. That’s why. And, eventually, we don’t do the things we don’t want to do.

So, resolutions stink when you make them – because they are things you don’t want to do. And, they stink even more when you fail at them – because now you’re a failure.

Resolutions just stink.

But, there are always exceptions. Woody Guthrie wrote these – his “New Year’s Rulin’s” for 1942.

I can’t tell you if he kept them, but I’m hopeful he at least took the occasional bath and sent money to his kids.

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Waiting To Go Home

We were booted out of our house today.

Me, Editor/Husband, and all three cats.

Workmen are in there doing workingmen things. Things that must be done without the interference of humans or cats.

It has taken us the better part of a week to prepare the house for this upheaval.

And, today, I am tired, stressed, and, at least for now, homeless.

(I am promised that our home will be opened back up to us by dinnertime. Yes, dinnertime. So, sure, I’m being a little melodramatic here. But, I’m also so tired my eyes hurt. And, cranky. And, I’m sitting here in my studio with the volume on my phone turned all the way up so I don’t miss the text that says I can come home.)

As the workmen do their workingmen things, and the cats are boarding at the vets thinking cat thoughts about how much they hate us now for taking them away from home this morning, I am looking through the photos I’ve taken over the past year.

There’s a lot of waiting going on.

Charlottesville Tom Sox, June 2017 © The Baseball Bloggess

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Walter “Steve” Brodie: Warrenton’s “Duke of Roanoke”

Take one part Yasiel Puig crazy …

Stir in Adrian Beltre …


… and that thing about people touching his head.

Toss in last summer’s nacho incident with Addison Russell …


And, there. You’ve got Walter Scott “Steve” Brodie.


No, wait. We need some angry David Ortiz, too.

There. Walter Scott “Steve” Brodie.


Goofy. Quirky. A bit of a mean streak.

The starting centerfielder of the 1896 Baltimore Orioles, Brodie wasn’t the greatest player on that legendary team, but he wasn’t the worst either.

1896 Baltimore Orioles. Brodie, Middle Row, Far Left.

He was loved by fans nearly everywhere he played, including Boston, St. Louis, and Baltimore, but not Pittsburgh, because … well, they had their reasons.

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Macy’s New-Old Baseball Balloon: Harold In Black & White

Embed from Getty Images


There is a new balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this morning and you must stop whatever you are doing this morning to watch.

It’s Harold, the baseball player balloon, from Miracle on 34th Street, recreated for 2017. In black and white.

Could there be anything more wonderful, more perfect, more … more … well, everything?

It’s a baseball player throwback balloon … in black and white!

Courtesy: Macy’s

Here he is in the 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

On this Thanksgiving, I hope that you have much to be thankful for.

I do.

Including you. Those of you who stop by here … who comment … who agree that baseball isn’t too slow … who agree that box scores are best read in a newspaper spread out on a table, not on an iPhone (although in a pinch, that iPhone is going to have to do) …  who cheer me up when the Orioles lose … you guys are great.

I love that baseball has made us friends. I’m thankful for you!

My dad and I always watched the Macy’s Parade together on TV. It was one of those magical things that we always did together. My dad died 11 years ago – on Thanksgiving Day. But, he would never want me to lose my love of the Macy’s Parade.

So, I need you to do just one thing for me.

Watch for Harold the Baseball Player today with me, would you? He’s the one in black-and-white.

Here’s a little more about new-old Harold.

Happy Thanksgiving!