Schmuck stops: My take on Koji Uehara's retirement, 'Game of Thrones' Night, Rich Hill's tirade and more

News item: Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara announced his retirement. He was the first Asian-born player signed by the Orioles and also pitched for the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs before returning to play in Japan last year.

My take: He pitched in two World Series, one each with the Rangers and Red Sox, and made the All-Star team in 2014. But his biggest contribution in Baltimore was the trade that sent him to the Rangers for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter in 2011.


Bonus take: Davis’ current struggles notwithstanding, that was one of the better trades in recent Orioles history.

News item: New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres has hit 10 home runs against the Orioles this season … and it’s only May.


My take: This might be all the proof we need that the baseball is juiced … if we could find any of them.

Related news item: The Orioles just became the fastest team to give up 100 home runs in the long history of Major League Baseball, and we all know that isn’t the first dubious big league record they’ll set this year.

My take: We aren’t even a third of the way through the season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they set a dubious major league record for setting the most dubious major league records before it’s over.

News item: It was “Game of Thrones” Night on Tuesday at Camden Yards and the Orioles gave away “Game of Thrones”-Oriole Bird bobbleheads to fans who purchased a special ticket.

My take: Perfect timing. Winter is coming and it can’t get here too soon.

News item: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed briefly by police after knocking down a security guard at a music festival in Las Vegas last weekend, but wasn’t arrested when the guard declined to press charges.

My take: Of course, he still gained his usual 4.7 yards on the play.

News item: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill, the ultimate late bloomer who couldn’t find the strike zone with a map early in his career, burst into an expletive-laced tirade that went viral after Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi beat a right-side shift with a bunt down the third base line.


My take: Don’t remember Hill ever showing any emotion other than embarrassment when he pitched for the Orioles in 2009 (7.80 ERA), but he’s not the only pitcher who would rather play the game straight up.

Bonus take: I’ll give him this: If you’re going to go postal and spray the field with F-bombs, you might as well do it at Tropicana Field where everybody can hear you.

News item: New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano suffered a quad strain running hard to first base Wednesday, just days after taking flak for not running out a couple of not-so-routine ground balls in Miami last weekend.

My take: Some might call this delicious irony. Some might call it poetic justice. Some might call it a sling blade. I just think it’s proof that hustle is overrated, a principle that I have lived by throughout my life.

News item: NFL owners are already considering changes to the new rule allowing video review of questionable pass interference calls. They apparently are going to fold it into the overall coach’s challenge system.

My take: So, if that was in place last season and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton had already used up his challenges in the NFC title game, that horrendous, league-humiliating, Saints-robbing screw-up would have stood. Upon further review, it looks like they’re going blow this call, too.


News item: A new professional swim league is set to launch in October and has scheduled one of its seven meets this season on the campus of the University of Maryland.

My take: That’s cool, I guess, but I’ll be more excited about visiting College Park when the football team shows it can tread water in the Big Ten.

New item: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, who has heroically fought a long and torturous battle with cancer, got some great news this week. “Another ‘clean’ scan,” according to an Instragram post by his wife, Jill.

My take: No jokes here. Kelly, who lost his son to a rare disease in 2005 and has been fighting for his own life since 2013, has selflessly used those tribulations to make a positive impact on society. He should be an inspiration for us all. Godspeed.