Joan Jett loves the Orioles

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Now that the Orioles are headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 1997 fans are coming out of the woodwork and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote an article about some celebrities making their Orioles fandom known.

My favorite was this little tidbit about lifelong Orioles fan Joan Jett:

Jett sent a letter this week to the Orioles that was posted on the bulletin board in the home clubhouse. She wrote about how her dad took her to Memorial Stadium on Aug. 13, 1969, which was the date of Jim Palmer’s no-hitter against the Oakland A’s. She wrote that she’s been taking her iPad on stage and hiding it next to her amp so she can check the Orioles’ scores this year.

For some reason picturing Jett on stage checking to see how Luis Ayala is doing cracks me up, although Connolly also noted that “truthfully most of these Orioles weren’t born when Jett was on top of the music world, but surely the support was much appreciated.”

Also, if you want a peak behind the scenes of HardballTalk … we decided Joan Jett is pretty great.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?