A weighty issue for an O's fan


Overheard at the diner:

Joe: Hargrove's contract is up. Laura Vecsey in The Sun says they should rehire him.

Mo: Oh?

Joe: I think she's right. What do you think?

Mo: I don't think so.

Joe: Why?

Mo: He's too fat.

Joe: I'm talking baseball here, not joking around.

Mo: I'm serious, he's too fat. He doesn't even wear the Oriole uniform anymore, he wears that black jacket to cover the bulk. His butt is so big it looks like a backpack that he wears real low. He might start wearing an Orioles raincoat to the mound.

Joe: What does a manager's weight have to do with his managerial capabilities?

Mo: There has never been a fat manager who was successful in baseball -- never was, never will be.

Joe: Listen, some people are heavy. That's got nothing to do with baseball managers.

Mo: Joe Torre keeps in shape, keeps winning. Felipe Alou, in his 60s, thin as a reed -- look what he's doing in San Francisco. All the greats, Casey Stengel, not really fat. Walter Alston, Miller Huggins ...

Joe: I am talking serious baseball, not nonsense. Weight has nothing to do with managing.

Mo: Here's a clue: Late innings, he gets hungry. It could cloud his judgment. He's thinking pasta, a sub ... he loses focus.

Joe: He's thinking food, not baseball?

Mo: Exactly! He's looking over stat sheets, but he's thinking menu -- not matchups, but dishes. How else do you explain some of his decisions?

Joe: What decisions?

Mo: Using Morban as a DH for four days. The guy's batting around .150. You might as well send up the pitcher.

Joe: He got a key hit in the Boston series.

Mo: So does a pitcher sometimes. He likes Morban. The kid's fast. Rumor has it, Hargrove has him run out for some takeout. He's back in a snap.

Joe: You are so sick! You call yourself a baseball fan?

Mo: That's why Hargrove liked Ponson. Eating buddies. And Ponson liked to pitch complete games, which saved Hargrove a trip to the mound. It's a long walk with that excess weight.

Joe: Well, this is not the talk of ESPN.

Mo: Hargrove's got no discipline. He should be working out. He's surrounded by trainers, workout rooms, doesn't use 'em. The average Joe has to make an effort. He's got to get in his car, drive 15 to 20 minutes, needs a membership, costs him money. Hargrove's 20 feet from a full workout room and doesn't use it.

Joe: So, you wouldn't rehire Hargrove?

Mo: I didn't say that. I would rehire a thinner Hargrove. You gonna eat your french fries?

Filmmaker Barry Levinson is a Baltimore native, a lifelong, devoted Oriole fan and a minority partner in the team.

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