Questioning Clayton Kershaw’s character is a sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about


You knew this was coming:

Commenters have told me that the lesser Skip Bayless-types on various talk radio shows are calling him “Clayton Manning” this morning. Clever.

I do a lot of sports talk radio. I’m usually the token baseball guy they go to for five minutes to interrupt their two-hour-plus block of football stuff. It’s very clear that, with a few exceptions, sports talk radio is both ignorant of and indifferent to baseball. It doesn’t have a week between games which more easily allows the yakkers to come up with imagined storylines and controversies. It is quantifiable enough to where the lingua franca of sports talk radio — questioning guys’ guts and character — carries less weight. It’s also a game where no one person has anything close the impact on a game that, say, a quarterback or a point guard does. Talking about strategy and probabilities and how some 25 people a game interact is not as sexy and visceral as asking whether Johnny Utah is “elite” is.

But God love ’em, the sports yakkers try. They only try when the story is big enough, of course, because it’s just baseball. They come out of the woodwork during the playoffs for this stuff and when they offer it they look ridiculous, like Skip does here. I don’t know if their listeners care. They probably don’t. It’s all a grand game of “hero or bum” for so many sports fans, and there’s little room in their heads, it seems, account for what actually goes on in a baseball game.

Thank goodness for Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette at Sirius/XM. Thank goodness for my pal Norm Wamer at The Ticket in Toledo. Thank goodness for the folks I talk to during my Wednesday morning radio tour across various cities. These are men and women who get and appreciate baseball and, I imagine, have had to fight hard to get smart talk about baseball on the air in anything other than a token role.

Too bad there are way, way more yakkers who try to reduce everything to some dumb lowest common denominator like that which we’re seeing here.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.