Growing up as a kid on Third Street in Overlea, Christmas was a magical time for me.
As another holiday season has arrived, I hope we all can experience some of that magic we felt as a kid and remember the special friends and family in our lives.
Since my parents would always let us open a few presents on Christmas Eve after returning from my aunt’s house, here are a few presents for the Orioles on this Christmas Eve.
Nick Markakis: A Gold Glove and continued leadership ability. Everyone in that clubhouse from players to coaches to media seem to like and respect Markakis very much. We all realize how hard he plays and that he plays the game the right way. Don’t be afraid to make it your team, Nick. You took some real steps toward that in 2010. Feel free to take more next season.
Adam Jones: The ability to realize his potential. The young man is loaded with talent. He needs to understand fully how hard he needs to bring it every night, every at bat. Also, Jones needs to learn that being cool is not important. Let everyone see the real you, Adam. You are a bright, young guy that likes people and loves Baltimore. The sky may be the only limit for Jones.
Brian Roberts: A completely healthy season.
Mike Gonzalez: See Brian Roberts. Also, let the writers know it’s okay to refer to you as Mike in print.
Here is a Christmas wish for a healthy 2011 season for Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, Brandon Erbe, Jim Johnson, Luis Lebron, Troy Patton, Alfredo Simon, Chorye Spoone, Felix Pie, Paco & Danny Figueroa, L.J. Hoes, Robbie Widlansky, Tyler Townsend, Kieron Pope and anyone I may have missed that was on the sidelines at times last summer.
Brian Matusz: Maybe a few pounds of upper body strength, but this kid has just about everything else he needs.
Jake Arrieta: Solid control and he’ll have just about everything he needs.
Nolan Reimold: Another season like 2009 where we all see a healthy Nolan hustle and hit homers.
Luke Scott: Six hundred at-bats.
Zach Britton: One heck of a rookie season, whenever it starts.
Joe Mahoney: Another season like last year, followed closely by his inclusion by Baseball America among the O’s top 10 prospects.
Josh Bell: Plate discipline.
Brandon Snyder: The ability to not worry about hitting homers and a shot at first base down the road.
And, for the new sheriff in town.
Buck Showalter: Nuggets, lots of nuggets and keep ‘em coming.
Once again this year, I plan to make some time over the next day or two to watch at least a part of my all-time favorite movie at this time of year, “A Christmas Story.”
I triple dog dare you to miss it.
I hope Ralphie gets everything he wants this year and all of you do, too. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!