Splitting hairs over Orioles

May 06, 2002|BY MARK KELLER

Who'd have thunk it?

Two weeks ago, I left the Baltimore Orioles for dead. They were floundering at the bottom of the AL East with a 5-11 record and their pitching was downright awful.

Today the Orioles are sitting at the .500 mark after winning 10 of their last 14 games. The pitching has improved and the O's are getting some great hitting from Marty Cordova, Geronimo Gil, Jay Gibbons and Melvin Mora.

Since Baltimore decided to start playing ball, I've gotten a few e-mails from readers reminding me what I wrote.

I've watched the Orioles play a little bit this year and they really do have some potential. Still, I'm not convinced that this is the year they will live up to it.


In fact, I'm so sure of it that I'm willing to make something of a wager.

If the Orioles finish the season with a .500 record or better, I will allow one Orioles fan the opportunity to shave my head in The Herald-Mail parking lot while I profess how misguided I was in making such a prediction, all the while wearing a Baltimore Orioles T-shirt.

Now this might not sound like a lot, but coming from a folliclely challenged person like me, offering to give up what little hair I have left is a pretty big deal.

And, with the season ending at the end of September, I figure I could be bald until the middle of October, so I would be exposing myself to severe head colds.

Oh, and I will not be permitted to cover up my shining scalp with anything other than a Baltimore Orioles cap.

Sound fair? Good. You've got a bet.

If you would like to be the Orioles fan who gets to do the honors, send me an e-mail before the end of May to get in the running.

Let me know how long you have been an Orioles fan, why you should be the one to give me a buzzcut and any other information you feel is pertinent.

Be creative. Entries will be judged by the other four members of the sports staff.

Not that any of it will matter. I'm confident the Orioles won't let me down.

n n n

How's this for justice? Two general managers and one head coach were fined $30,000 each by the National Hockey League this week for "inappropriate comments to the media."

Most of the comments were in reference to the officials involved in their first-round playoff series.

Thirty-thousand dollars for saying, "Those refs stink."

That's fair, until you consider who else was fined this week ... and what he was fined for.

Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman was fined $10,000 for "being involved in a physical altercation with a reporter."

Bowman alledgedly pushed a reporter from the Detroit Free Press and was fined one-third what the others were for stating their opinions.

Actions speak louder than words?

Obviously not in the NHL.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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