Jay Payton picked a good time to hit that grand slam yesterday, and not only because it gave the Orioles a 6-3 lead. Ninety students and staff from his former school, Roosevelt Middle in Zanesville, Ohio, were in attendance.
The group, which was making its yearly field trip to Washington D.C., also included Tim Norris, his former soccer coach at Zanesville High.
The baseball field at Zanesville High has been renamed Jay Payton Field. Payton couldn't attend the ceremonies, but his parents threw out the first pitch.
Meanwhile, the detention classroom at Old Mill High has been renamed in my honor.
With no game scheduled for today, we can ponder whether a rivalry actually exists between the Orioles and Nationals. The word was tossed to one player yesterday, who replied, "There's a rivalry?" Then he smiled. And so did everyone else.
We're just not feeling it yet. Are you?
The Nationals will have a presence at the Inner Harbor today. The Racing Presidents, their mascot "Screech" and the Nat Pack will be distributing Nationals promotional items to fans from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in advance of their three-game series at Camden Yards.
Triple-A Norfolk’s game tonight against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (not to be confused with the IronBirds) will be broadcast on MASN beginning at 7 p.m. Radhames Liz is scheduled to start for the Tides (not to be confused with the Liquid Cheers).
If you live in the Norfolk area, the game will be shown locally on WSKY-TV (channel 4).
In alumni news, the Pirates have called up reliever Marino Salas.
Brandon Snyder drove in the tying run for Single-A Frederick last night with a two-out pinch-hit triple in the ninth, and he scored on a wild pitch to give the Keys their first victory in 12 tries when trailing after seven innings.
Jake Renshaw, acquired from the Cubs in the Steve Trachsel trade, allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings.
At Double-A Bowie, Jason Berken allowed one run in seven innings and didn't issue a walk. Rocky Cherry relieved Berken in his first injury rehab game and tossed a scoreless eighth, though he walked a batter and gave up a hit.
And one level higher, Triple-A Norfolk has lost nine in a row. Bob McCrory couldn't find the plate again, walking three batters in a row after entering the game – forcing in two runs in the process. He walked four in 1 1/3 innings and was charged with two runs. But at least Greg Aquino still has a 0.00 ERA.
Luis Terrero hit a three-run homer and Oscar Salazar had a solo homer among his three hits.
Brady Anderson will be calling into The Anita Marks Show today at 4:20 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1300 and MASN. He wants to talk about Barry Bonds. I mean, he REALLY wants to talk about Barry Bonds.
He doesn't believe certain stories about Bonds have been accurate and he wants at least 15 minutes on the air. And we're going to give them to him.