The Orioles wasted consecutive singles by Corey Patterson and Miguel Tejada in the first inning.
Livan Hernandez escaped the jam by retiring Nick Markakis on a fly ball, striking out Luke Scott and inducing a ground ball from Adam Jones.
How appropriate that Hernandez is starting today, since he also pitched against the 1970 Orioles.
The last three members of the ‘70 Orioles who were introduced to fans today:
Would you move Brooks behind Frank or keep it this way?
Weaver says the Orioles don’t receive enough credit for their dominance from 1969 to ‘71 because they went 1-2 in the World Series.
“I believe that’s true,” he said. “109 games, 108 games and 101. Only one other team won 100 games three years in a row and that was the early ’40s St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees never did that, as great as they were. And I’m not putting them down. But this is one of the greatest teams that was ever put together, I believe, in the history of baseball.”
The Yankees actually did it under Joe Torre, but point made.
Only three questions into the press conference, the group was asked about the current state of the franchise compared to the glory days.
Paul Blair took his hardest swings in retirement.
“I just think that we do not have the kind of leadership from coaches that you need here to make this a better organization,” he said. “There’s no structure here, there’s no leadership here. Until we get that, we’re going to continue to struggle.”
Asked for his opinion, Frank Robinson lightened the mood.
“I want Paul to really tell it like it is. He’s holding back.”
“I am not going to sit here and tell you what’s wrong with this organization and this team right now,” he continued, “but it saddens me to see the course that this team and this organization has taken. It bothers me and I don’t feel good about it because I’ve always taken a lot of pride in wearing this uniform and I always will. Hopefully, they can get it going sometime. I know they’ve been saying it for a number of years and they’re trying.”
Robinson is standing in the back of the press box as I type this entry. There’s something really cool about that.
Game update: The Orioles have the Nats right where they want them, now that Washington has taken a 4-0 lead in the third. Adam Dunn lined a two-run double to right. Roger Bernadina added an RBI single with two outs.
Brad Bergesen has thrown 65 pitches through the third.