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From the past

So you’re driving to work this morning, and you can barely concentrate on the road because you have no idea whatever happened to former Orioles Eric DuBose and Calvin Pickering. If you don’t find out soon, you can forget about sleeping tonight. It's that important to you.

I could ease your mind and tell you that DuBose and Pickering are both playing for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish, but that wouldn’t be the entire story. And when your name is Roch, you don’t leave any stone unturned.

It’s more interesting to learn how DuBose is being used by Bridgeport manager Tommy John, who, coincidentally, has the same name as a common elbow surgery. What are the odds?

I hear Dubose’s name and I immediately think about the time three years ago when he was arrested for driving under the influence in Sarasota, Fla. while on assignment at the Orioles’ minor league complex. He was sent down there to pitch while his teammates were off, and he got in a little trouble.

Scroll down at this site and you’ll find my story, and one of the funniest quotes I’ve ever come across. If nothing else, I’ll always be an Eric DuBose fan for providing that quip - though the police officer might not have been as amused.

I have to give the Orioles credit for downplaying the impact of that 27-minute rain delay yesterday. Time was called in the eighth inning after Luke Scott’s pinch-hit double put runners on second and third with one out and the Nationals leading, 2-0. When play resumed, the Orioles hit two balls hard – Brian Roberts’ sacrifice fly and Melvin Mora’s liner to right – but they hadn’t tied the game.

Maybe the stoppage didn’t matter, but it had to be frustrating.

“That’s just part of the game,” manager Dave Trembley said. “You have to go through it. You can’t make excuses about it. It was a long day for everybody.”
 
It’s a lot longer when you end up losing.

What is it about Sundays that wreck this team? They’re 1-6 this year, mostly because the offense shuts down. They’ve scored 13 runs in those seven games.

John Lannan tied them in knots yesterday. I saw him pitch once in spring training and he did the same thing to the Orioles, holding them to one run and three hits in six innings, but he was mostly facing minor leaguers with uniform numbers better suited for an offensive line. Trembley kept most of his regulars back in Fort Lauderdale instead of subjecting them to the long bus ride to Viera.

No such excuses yesterday. Lannan kept getting ahead of hitters and forcing them to beat the ball into the ground.

Kevin Millar held up a copy of The Sun’s sports section yesterday morning as reporters gathered in the clubhouse and took notice of the extensive lacrosse coverage – and how he could barely find any mention of “the local baseball team” that just happened to win its fourth straight game the previous night. One story was buried on 9D, he noted, but at least we ran a huge photo of the losing goalie in the Maryland-Virginia game on the front page. And the stands in the background appeared to be empty except for "a father and son," which also became part of Millar's skit.

Millar was having fun with it, drawing huge laughs all around. Fortunately, none of the clips ended up taped to George Sherrill’s locker.

One of my articles is still there – the one that ran in the space normally reserved for Bill Ordine’s “Last Word” that included all the low batting averages on the team and how there wasn’t an immediate solution on the bench or in the minors. It wasn’t meant to slam a team that was in first place at the time. It was just an observation that pitching help was more readily available at Triple-A (Jim Johnson, Garrett Olson), and if the offense was going to start churning out runs, they would have to come from the guys presently in the lineup.

It caused quite a stir for a day, and I made Sherrill’s wall of shame. But I consider it a badge of honor. Better to be noticed than ignored, I suppose.

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