Bordick school - Part II

Here are a few leftovers from Friday night’s interview with new minor league offensive coordinator Mike Bordick:

On how the Orioles look to him: “They’re looking good, in my opinion. And obviously, after the season they had last year, there’s really only one way to go and that’s up. I know the competition in the East is tough. The other teams aren’t getting any worse, but I think the talent’s there, I think the pieces are in place. I think (Kevin) Millwood’s a huge help. (Add) maybe a couple key components, and I think there’s going to be a huge shift here in Baltimore.”

On how far the team has fallen: “After ‘97, I thought we were still headed in the right direction, and we ended up not doing as well, obviously. And ‘98, that’s when the Yankees started making their push, but I thought we were still competitive and had a great group of teams there, from ‘98, ‘99 and even 2000. Then 2000, we didn’t live up to expectations and there was a big sell-off. It is frustrating, being a member of this community now and an Orioles fan and just hearing what’s going on. It’s disheartening because I think the fans deserve a lot more.”

On losing the ALCS in ‘97: “It definitely does haunt me, and every time I talk about that ‘97 season, I tell people we were the best team in baseball. We should have won the World Series. And it’s unfortunate, but that’s the way the game goes. When you’re in the playoffs and the best teams are going head to head and a mistake’s made, one way or the other, that team’s going to pay.”

On the importance of veteran leadership in ‘97: “A key to that team that (Pat) Gillick put together was so many guys were part of winning teams. Eric Davis came over, Jimmy Key, I came over from the A’s and we had success over there, and Cal (Ripken) obviously had won a World Series here. And the list goes on and on. When there’s that type of experience and a winning attitude, that just breeds it. And there was a nice chemistry on that team. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to bring it home.”

On teaching the current crop of young players how to win: “I think that any guy who’s a professional baseball player has tasted success in one form or another, either it’s their own personal success or being part of a winning team. So they know what’s in there, they know that it takes drive to be successful, and it’s just a matter of the team coming together and the chemistry being there and everybody being on the same page and understanding that over the course of 162 games, there’s going to be ups and downs, but to continue to go out there and play the game hard and play the game right. I think that’s crucial. And guys have to step up a little bit. I think some of the veteran guys that we have...Brian Roberts has done a great job. He really has. I think he’s a great veteran now and a great major league player, and I think he’s done a super job, but some veteran players have to take charge and say, ‘Let’s go, let’s change this thing around.’

“I have no problem with Brian or (Nick) Markakis not being vocal. As long as they go out there every day and play the game hard and bust down the first base line and show younger guys that this is what it’s all about. If we’re going to be successful, we’ve got to go into second base hard, we’ve got to go first to third, we’ve got to score runs. At least have that type of attitude, because that’s the stuff that rubs off on younger guys, when they see that kind of fight. That’s going to make them better.”

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