You may recall that Gehrig also earned his nickname as "The Iron Horse" by playing in a record 2,130 games before succumbing to a bizarre muscular disease that eventually was named in his honor. His record for that playing streak lasted 56 years until Cal Ripken Jr., kept going and going before snapping it in 1995.
Millwood's last year was ... um, interesting. He made 31 starts and pitched 191, which was no doubt valuable on a team stocked mostly with young, tender-armed pitchers.
He won four of those 31 starts, thus becoming only the fourth pitcher since World War II to start at least 30 games and win fewer than five of them. Millwood did deserve a better fate -- anyone would -- but his 5.10 ERA wasn't exactly sparkling and at this point in his career he just gives up too many home runs.
In his rehab outings with the Yankees last month, he gave up three home runs in nine triple-A innings.
All of which is neither here nor there, really. Kevin Millwood is a replacement-level pitcher, at best, but there's obviously a place in the game, and sometimes even the majors, for replacement-level pitchers.
I just don't figure how there's a place for him on the Orioles.
When the Orioles traded for Adam Jones in the winter of 2007, he was considered by many to be a future star. His potential to be a power-hitting center fielder with above-average defensive skills had Orioles fans drooling, but he hadn't put it all together up to this season and the frustration level among fans was raised to a critical level.
Since the beginning of this season, it's been obvious that Jones has worked hard on his defense. He is consistently making plays both shallow and deep that he didn't always get to last year and the year before. It's been encouraging to watch, but to start the season his offense was still headache inducing.
Through the first two weeks of the season, he had 12 strikeouts against just one walk and was getting only base only about 20 percent of the time. His penchant for striking out on pitches way out of the strike zone was infuriating and his cold start to the season had the Orioles' blogosphere buzzing with the thought that maybe Jones would never be what was advertised when he was traded for. Without the track record of someone like Nick Markakis, he's an easy target.
A month of games is still a little early, but it's fair to make a general pronouncement about the Orioles as they settle in for the long haul of the season:
They're better – a more respectable major-league team than they were last season or, for that matter, in any recent season.
They carried a 13-14 record into a three-game series in Kansas City Tuesday night, and while that's certainly no cause for shooting off fireworks, the mediocrity actually represents quite an improvement over the disastrous starts that have undermined their most recent seasons. They were 7-20 after 27 games a year ago, 10-17 the year before that.
And they have done it despite having several breaks go against them, including the injury that knocked out starting pitcher Brian Matusz, a major piece of their puzzle, and the slumps experienced by a number of their cornerstone hitters, from Nick Markakis (.217) to Derrek Lee (.248) to Adam Jones (.228) to Mark Reynolds (.176).
Luke Scott is talking in the back corner of the visitors clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, which means the company that is paying him $6.4 million this year is nervous. Very nervous.
You can never be sure what Scott will say, only that he'll answer your questions. Some athletes sound like polished graduates of the Crash Davis School for Talking to Reporters, no cliché too overused or boring, but Scott is more like your weird uncle except with enough platform that people pay attention.
"(President Obama's) birth certificate has yet to be validated," he is saying.
Scott is a baseball player for the Orioles, and a pretty good one. Only 11 men have hit more home runs in the American League since 2008, including a three-run shot in the Royals' 6-5 win on Tuesday.
Scott is also a proud member of the so-called birther movement, a group of people who challenge Obama's citizenship. Donald Trump is among those who made enough of an issue out of it that the White House released Obama's birth certificate last week. Or, as Scott puts it, the White House released what looks like Obama's birth certificate.