I hadn't planned on sending any entries during the game, but I couldn't resist. Javy Lopez made an error at first base, on the third pitch of the game. And the next batter reached when David Newhan booted a ball at second.
At this point, John Halama probably began to wonder if he had done something to anger his teammates. Maybe he used the last of the hot water in the shower.
A bloop single to left, the ball eluding Melvin Mora's glove by inches, loaded the bases with none out, but Halama limited the damage. Mora ranged to his left to field Ryan Zimmerman's grounder and threw home for the force. Nick Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly to medium center to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead, but Daryle Ward hit into a force to end the inning.
It could have been much worse.
The Orioles tied the game in the first on Jeff Conine's sacrifice fly, after singles by Luis Matos and Melvin Mora. Washington took a 2-1 lead in the second, but the Orioles tied it in the bottom half on Ramon Hernandez's single and Nick Markakis' double, and they went ahead on David Newhan's single and a two-base error on right fielder Ryan Church. Another run just scored on Ed Rogers' single.
Jumping topics real quick, John Maroon is leaving Ripken Baseball after 5 1/2 years to start his own public relations firm. Maroon PR will open its doors on April 3. I wonder if he needs a blogger?
Besides being a terrific friend, and one of the funnniest guys on the planet, John has an incredible gift when it comes to the PR business. He was the Cleveland Indians PR director during the spring training boating accident that claimed the lives of pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews. Some people in his shoes would have been overwhelmed, but not John. Hardly prepared to deal with such a tragedy, he handled every request and responsibility, and held the organization together while grieving along with everyone else.
He had the same title with the Orioles when they made their historic trip to Cuba, and when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record. And when the Orioles reached the ALCS in 1996 and 1997. And when Cal played in his final game.
Events don't just go off without a hitch under John's leadership, they are brilliantly staged.
And it's not simply out of friendship that Cal, and Ripken Baseball, have become John's first clients. There's nobody else he'd trust or respect more.
Good luck, John. I have no doubt your company will be a huge success. And please keep me in mind for all your blogging needs.