There figured to be no shortage of nostalgic reminisces with 20 members of the Orioles’ 1992 team in front of the media Friday afternoon, but no one expected trash talk.
The players and coaches are in town as part of Camden Yards’ 25th anniversary weekend and the talk quickly turned to Saturday’s Home Run Derby featuring Brady Anderson, Mike Devereaux, Chris Hoiles, Joe Orsulak and Sam Horn.
When someone asked Anderson if Cal Ripken Jr. had been invited to take part in the event, Anderson didn’t blink.
“No, he’s not good enough to be in the derby,” Anderson quipped.
Ripken, who actually won the All-Star Home Run Derby in Toronto in 1991, would defend himself during his group media session by accusing his good friend of setting up the home run competition for personal glory.
“Brady’s still hitting in simulated games out here,” Ripken said. “I think Brady is setting the home run thing up so he can win.”
Slugging first baseman Sam Horn isn’t conceding anything. When he was asked about the home run derby, he pointed out the seventh-floor window of the Warehouse Babe Ruth-style and predicted that he would emerge victorious.
Glenn Davis’ bittersweet return
While the players exchanged reminisces about the first season at Oriole Park, Glenn Davis tried to put a positive spin on his star-crossed Orioles career.
Davis, everyone recalls, was acquired in the deal that sent Steve Finley, Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch to the Houston Astros, but a freak shoulder injury sapped his power and kept him from ever living up to his billing as a premier home run threat.
He acknowledged it was hard to come back and even got a little misty talking about the struggles he had as well as the support he said he got from his teammates.
“We know what it’s like internally, working together, the bond, the fellowship, the brotherhood of going out day after day; no matter what the circumstances or conditions, you’re going out together trying to work for a common goal,” Davis said. “And these guys were some of the best guys I’ve ever played with.
“Even though going through challenges in my career, these guys were some of the best guys in providing support and just keeping your mental focus and your attitude where it should be done.”