Hello again, from the guy who keeps working on the Fourth.

I just drove my daughter to her friend's house so she can go watch fireworks, leaving me alone with my thoughts, and my laptop.


For some reason, I find myself sipping red wine and watching Must Love Dogs on HBO.

Quick, let's talk sports.

How about those Orioles?

OK, bad start.

The Lopez-Lopez pairing was cute for a while, but I'm pretty sure it's no longer relevant. The next time Rodrigo's turn comes up, and we'll assume there will be another turn in this rotation, it's not necessarily imperative that Javy catches him.

It's nice to give Ramon Hernandez a break behind the plate every fifth day, and it's not like manager Sam Perlozzo has his pick of healthy catchers. But Javy no longer seems to be the solution to Rodrigo's problems.

By the way, remember when Javy was supposed to play first base on this team?

Do you think the Yankees might have given up on Jose Contreras a little too soon? Or was the heat always going to be too much for him in New York's pressure cooker?

The last time this guy lost, Jose Canseco was afraid of needles.

Does Diane Lane always have to play a woman whose husband was unfaithful to her (when she's not being unfaithful herself in...what was the name of that movie?...oh yes, Unfaithful?)

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.

I'm officially off the Sendy Rleal bandwagon. I haven't given up on him completely. He shows promise. He spent the past two years pitching at Double-A Bowie, so it was a stretch to expect him to last all season in the majors. I think he needs a little Triple-A time.

I've switched to another HBO - I have about 57 to choose from, making the executives at ESPN look like slackers - and I'm reminded again that the first Vacation movie is the best, and Chevy Chase was never funnier.

The Orioles must decide what to do with Jay Gibbons when he comes off the disabled list. They didn't ask my opinion, but I'd keep Nick Markakis in right field, where he's clearly in his element, and give Gibbons his starts at first base and designated hitter - especially if/when Javy Lopez is traded.


I know Gibbons prefers right field, but Markakis is better defensively, and maybe it's no coincidence that his average is soaring now that he's not struggling so much in the field. The guy was getting bad jumps in left and looked lost.

Anita Marks of ESPN Radio 1300 will be filming a television commercial tomorrow at Camden Yards. I'll be co-hosting her show again later that day after sitting in for the last two hours on Monday. Feel free to call in and rave about the blog. I don't embarrass easily.