Dear Mr. Baseball:
What exactly is or is there any difference between a hit-and-run and a run-and-hit situation?
Dear Thomas Letterman:
Before he goes any further, let Mr. Baseball congratulate you on your brother's highly successful show business career. And let it be known that Mr. Baseball always is available as a guest, even when Charles Grodin is booked.
As for your question, Mr. Baseball put it to Buster Olney, Sun Orioles writer. His explanation:
The hit-and-run is geared more toward the hitter. Its intent is to have the runner draw either the second baseman or shortstop toward second, thus opening a hole for the hitter. In this situation, the runner often will glance and try to pick up where the ball is hit.
In the run-and-hit, the focus is on the steal. The hitter may swing, perhaps trying to protect the runner, but the runner often will go with his head down, concentrating on the steal.
Not exactly a stupid baseball trick, but Mr. Baseball is sure you understand.
Dear Mr. Baseball:
Which Orioles player has been ejected the most?
Dear Ron Kropkowski:
Mr. Baseball wandered into the Orioles offices to ask your question. The first time he posed it, a secretary kicked a pile of papers all over his shoes. Then Mr. Baseball asked another person, who proceeded to scream in Mr. Baseball's face. Mr. Baseball asked one more time, and he was ejected from the office. Mr. Baseball went quietly -- though he did toss a few cans of soda on the carpet before departing.
After things calmed down, Mr. Baseball learned that former Orioles manager Earl Weaver was ejected from 98 games for conduct unbecoming. Further research by the Orioles determined that, since 1961, Rick Dempsey was the player tossed the most -- six. And, you know, he looked so calm holding that microphone during the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
Tied for second were Lee Lacy, Eddie Murray and Gary Roenicke at five each. And, as Vin Scully might say, it's interesting to note that Lacy's total was achieved in just three seasons.