I must admit I don't watch the Mets on SNY very often. I'm too busy draining my emotions rooting for the Orioles and when not doing that, I'm rooting against the Yankees on the YES Network.
Today Sunday August 6 the Yankees were not on YES network - the game must have been on a "premium" network so I was focused entirely on the Orioles successfully pulling off a sweep against the bedraggled Mets on the SNY network. (Without too much agonizing on my part, I let Houston salvage a split with the Yankees in a four-game series in New York.)
I also watched the Fri and Sat night games on SNY with Gary Cohen and Ron Darling providing a pleasant and informative listen. As the cameras zeroed in on Mets southpaw Jose Quintana kicking the dirt to create an ideal landing area, Darling said he used to imitate Gerry Cheevers clearing the goal crease with his skates for Darling's beloved Boston Bruins. (Quintana deserved a much better fate than a 2-0 loss but such is life
these days for the unmoored Mets.)
The Orioles put on a defensive clinic the whole weekend. Near the end of Sunday's 2-0 shutout, Jeff MacNeil
was shaking his head in disbelief when Ryan McKenna robbed him with a running catch in left field foul
territory. Every Oriole player this season has been flashing the leather which is wonderful to see, and virtually every batter hustles out of the box thinking extra bases.
A sense of humility is also evident. On Sat night the camera caught Oriole starter Kyle Gibson saying "Wow!" when MacNeil pulled an inner half fast ball for a two-run homer just inside the right field foul pole. It brought the Mets within a run but as they have done so often this season, the O's quickly answered the runs and went on to a relatively stress-free 7-3 win.
Same was true of the 10-3 Friday night opener as 22-year-old shortstop Gunnar Henderson (who also plays a very good third base) delivered big hits. Vengeance was also sweet for backup catcher James McCann who had a five-RBI game against his former team that is still paying most of the salary from the Mets' four-year deal he signed.
My only nitpick with the broadcasts was when Gary Cohen criticized the larger left field playing area at Camden Yards. I still maintain the triple and being thrown out trying for a triple are the most exciting plays in baseball, and the new acreage in left-center adds to that possibility. IMO, Cohen's criticism should be leveled at the bandboxes in the new stadia in Cincinnati, Philly, and yes the third Yankee Stadium, too.
There are still more than 50 games of regular season baseball left, and the Orioles must travel twice to the West Coast and also play 6 games with defending champion Houston beginning with a three-game series in Charm City, first game on Tuesday night Aug 8.
But the Birds have met every challenge so far in 2023. They possess the "deep depth" that Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Earl Weaver emphasized as the key to success.
So far the Orioles new right-handed mound additions, starter Jack Flaherty from Cardinals and reliever Shintaro Fujinami from Oakland, have looked promising.
Over 10 years ago, Fujinami and Shohei Ohtani were considered the two best prospects in Japan. Ohtani is already a deserved legend as hitter as well as pitcher. Alas, all the trade deadline additions to the Angels have not helped the team and the odds of Ohtani leaving for a better team after the season are increasing.
As for Fujinami, after many years in minors, Fujinami failed as a starter in Oakland. The Orioles took a chance on his improved early summer work as a reliever and he almost threw an "immaculate" 8th inning in Sunday's 2-0 shutout. He struck out first two batters on three pitches and then got an easy out after going 0-2 on the third batter.
The caveats with Fujinami are his bouts of wildness and his high-strung nature that may make him only
successful when he starts a "clean" inning, i.e. with no runners on. Lurking in the minors for my Birds is D.L.
Hall, once hailed as a can't-miss starter drafted out of a Georgia high school in 2017 (!). He's now regaining his strength in Triple A and could be a wild card bullpen addition come September/October.
That's all the baseball for now. Let me close with some TCM tips starting with
MON AUG 7 a cornicopia of Robert Ryan films starting at 6A with Fritz Lang's "Woman on the Beach" (1947) a triangle with Joan Bennett and Charles Bickford; at 730A Fred Zinnemann's searing "Act of Violence" (1949) with Van Heflin and Janet Leigh; 1030A Anthony Mann's "Naked Spur" (1953) with Janet Leigh and Jimmy Stewart; and also at 545P "Billy Budd" (1962); and 945P Robert Wise's "The Set Up" (1949) perhaps the greatest boxing movie ever, at 1115P Nicholas Ray's "On Dangerous Ground" with Ida Lupino, music by Bernard Herrmann, and ending at 430A Tues with "Secret Fury" (1950).
TUES AUG 8 has three Busby Berkeley classics from the Great Depression 1930s:
315P "We're In the Money" (1935); 8P "Golddiggers of 1933" and "Footlight Parade" (1933)
TH AUG 10 has three Noir classics back-to-back:
6P "Out of the Past" (1947) a triangle among Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Jane Greer
8P "While The City Sleeps" (1956) I believe Fritz Lang's last American film set in a newspaper office with Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Sally Forrest, Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price
10P "The Killer Is Loose" (1956) - former Ohio State footballer Budd Boetticher directs Wendell Corey, Joseph Cotten, Rhonda Fleming
F AUG 11 a lot of Alan Ladd including:
8P "Shane" (1953) with Brandon DeWilde wanting Shane to come back
10P "This Gun For Hire" (1942) an early Noir with Veronica Lake at height of pageboy craze - soon government urged her to get haircut because too many women were getting hair caught at defense jobs
SA AUG 12 12A "Blue Dahlia" (1946)
2A "The Glass Key" (1942)
SU AUG 13 - A Paul Newman day starting at 6A
And coming on W Aug 16 8p "High Noon" (1952)
That's all for now. Take it easy but take it and stay positive test negative.