It didn't seem likely three weeks ago, but Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo appears to have weathered the storm.
Speculation about his tenuous job security has died down, and he received a big ovation from the Camden Yards crowd in the sixth inning Friday night when he got ejected from the game by first base umpire Larry Vanover.
That represented a quantum shift in fan opinion since late May, when the message boards and talk-show types were calling for Perlozzo's head after every discouraging late-inning defeat.
Perlozzo acknowledged before last night's loss that life has been a little less stressful lately, but he's taking nothing for granted.
"I think you're just a losing streak away from people starting to talk again," he said. "We just have to keep plugging away. We've had some things that didn't fall into place that we expected to fall into place, and people are going to put the blame on the manager.
"My job is not to worry about that kind of thing and keep trying to find ways to win."
While the Chicago White Sox were celebrating "Mullet Night" at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, a baseball humor site on the Web called Bugs and Cranks was devising baseball's all-time All-Mullet Team.
The starting rotation had Randy Johnson, Moose Haas, Pete Vukovich, Zane Smith and - drum roll, please - Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan, who sprouted some pretty impressive locks out of the back of his cap on the Topps 1976 Rookie Pitchers baseball card.
"I wouldn't really call it a mullet," Flanagan said yesterday, "because it was long on the sides, too."
Flanny stopped short of saying he was honored by his inclusion on the tongue-in-cheek all-star team.
"No," he added, "I wouldn't say I was flattered by that."
The International Olympic Committee is considering adding skateboarding as a discipline for the 2012 Olympiad in London, which should come as no surprise considering that BMX cycling has been added to the 2008 Games in Beijing.
The IOC wants to make the Olympics more relevant for young people, which is nice. That's probably why it's keeping speed walking and threatening to drop baseball. Makes perfect sense.
Roger Clemens pitched six innings in his 2007 major league debut yesterday to record a quality start and his first victory for the New York Yankees, who surely will now recover from their double-digit divisional deficit to overtake the rival Boston Red Sox.
Clemens is a minor deity. I know this because I just got back from Greece, where I saw several statues of him.
I really did spend nearly two weeks in Greece, easily the longest I have gone without watching a baseball game during the spring and summer since I wore pajamas with feet.
There was plenty of soccer on television in Athens, but only the occasional Yankees score on CNN International. The locals don't care much about baseball, but I did find a few who were familiar with well-known Greek-American Peter Angelos, who helped pay for the development of Greece's national baseball team for the 2004 Games.
Game 1 doesn't rate
At last, statistical proof that LeBron James is not Michael Jordan. The television ratings are in, and Game 1 of the NBA Finals was the lowest-rated Game 1 ever in prime time.
Now for the bad news. Tonight's Game 2 is going head-to-head with the HBO series finale of The Sopranos, so I guess we already know who's going to get whacked.
Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.