This, that and the other

I try to put Alfredo Simon in the bullpen and he holds the Twins to one run over eight innings. I try to put Jo-Jo Reyes in the bullpen and he holds the Twins to one run over six innings.

That settles it. The Orioles should go with a 12-man rotation. Empty the bullpen. Everybody gets a start.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi really wanted a doubleheader today. I feel terrible that he didn't get his way. How can we make it up to him?

We still have more than a month left in the season, but you have to like what Ryan Adams has done so far with his latest opportunity. Or I should say, his first real one.

Adams, trying to convince the Orioles that he should be the starting second baseman next season, is 6-for-15 with an RBI and two runs scored since being recalled a second time from Triple-A Norfolk. He also made a nice backhanded stop yesterday of a Drew Butera grounder in the fifth inning.

Mark Reynolds dug out the low throw, yet another fine play he's produced at first base.

Reynolds is batting .220 with 22 doubles, 29 homers, 70 RBIs, 61 walks, 149 strikeouts and 23 errors (all at third base.) If someone told you in spring training that Reynolds would post these numbers by Aug. 26, would you have approved?

Nolan Reimold, trying to convince the Orioles that he should be the starting left fielder next season, went 2-for-4 yesterday and is 9-for-25 with a triple, homer, five RBIs and five runs scored in his last six games.

Chris Jakubauskas, trying to convince the Orioles that he should be a starter or reliever next season, threw two more scoreless innings yesterday after replacing Reyes. He's allowed two earned runs in his last 11 appearances spanning 20 1/3 innings, though he's surrendered 17 hits and walked five batters. It isn't always pretty, but he's getting the job done.

Down on the farm, Single-A Frederick's Manny Machado hit his fifth homer last night, a three-run shot, and Steven Bumbry hit his 11th. Bumbry has three homers in his last eight games.

Writers from around the country have been crafting tributes to Mike Flanagan, and this piece from the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice is a must-read.

The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott passes along this story:

One spring in Miami, Orioles right-hander Dennis Martinez made his exit off a highway and crashed his car into an empty Howard Johnson's restaurant. No one was injured. The next day spotting Martinez in front of his locker, head in his hands, Flanagan walked over, cigarette in hand.

"Dennis, Dennis, I've told you a 1,000 times," Flanagan said. "Burger King? Yes! McDonald's? Yes! Wendy's? Yes! But Howard Johnson's does not have a drive-through window."

I also enjoyed this anecdote from Elliott:

Once, former pitching coach Al Widmar, who walked with a limp due to a bad knee and arthritis, headed to the mound asking "Stiff?"

Flanagan answered "I wasn't when you left the dugout five minutes ago ... but I am now."

During one spring training in Fort Lauderdale, a reporter asked Flanagan if he planned on making the trip to Port Charlotte for an exhibition game. I'll never forget his response, because it became a catch phrase among the beat guys.

"I don't do Ports and Forts," he said.

That meant no Port Charlotte, Port St. Lucie or Fort Myers.

Flanagan also had a knack for disappearing from a room without anyone noticing. A bunch of us would gather after a road game, and he would slip out the door while the conversation continued to flow. No warning, no goodbyes. We'd look around, and he was gone.

It became known as "Pulling a Flanny."

Former Comcast broadcaster Michael Reghi was usually part of that group. Reghi and Flanagan became good friends over the years, and they remained in close contact after Reghi left the network following the 2004 season.

Reghi continues to work college football and basketball games for ESPN, along with hosting an ESPN-Cleveland drive-time radio show and doing Cleveland Browns TV and radio postgame shows. He also did 30 Washington Wizards pregame and postgame shows last season on Comcast Sportsnet.

Reghi said he last spoke to Flanagan in May.

"I couldn't tell any difference," he said.

"You get so close to someone, and man, we were close. All of us. The bond we formed and the friendships, and Flanny was at the forefront of that with his humor and wit and how gregarious he was. A time to work, but also a time to play and have fun. He was always laughing. Had a heart of gold.

"It was like everything you wanted in being able to have people around you that you were so fond of and who put forth a good effort job-wise every day. He was the life of the party. I was very fond of him. Big admirer of him as a man. A man's man."

Reghi kept saying he's "devastated" that Flanagan is gone. Nobody saw it coming. And nobody should believe there's just one reason that it happened, that it can so easily be explained. I don't care how many sources are in your ear.

In this age of social media and the increased obsession over being the first to report anything - and I use the term "report" loosely here - it's not surprising that Flanagan's death has sparked curiosity and criticism over the way various outlets handled the news.

From my end of it, I had to wait until the Orioles issued a statement before posting on my blog, and that wasn't going to happen until Flanagan's family had been notified and police confirmed his identity. Meanwhile, Twitter was blowing up with updates, tributes and condolences. Many were heartfelt, a few transparent.

Many of us knew Flanagan had died long before owner Peter Angelos' statement reached our e-mail baskets. We knew the cause. We'll let others in the pack fight over who "broke" the story.

I just hope I don't have to write another one like it.

blog comments powered by Disqus