Morning everyone! We are still going through the pictures and the video from the Holiday Party yesterday, so we'll have more starting tonight into the next few days.
The readers have enjoyed what has been shown so far, and I have already got some great emails about the first video posted.
We were able to speak with the players about various topics, more on the lighter side and focused on their community work for a few minutes, as they were focused on making the kids who came out the ESPN Zone happy.
In addition to the big day yesterday, Brian Roberts, Jamie Walker and Jay Gibbons after the Holiday Party, met up with members of area law enforcement and fire departments to make the holiday special for four local families.
According to Spencer Fordin of the Orioles.com, "Roberts donated money and put in a public appearance to help the four families with their holiday shopping at a local Wal-Mart, and he got fellow teammates Jay Gibbons and Jamie Walker to join him. Roberts was counting on contributions from Baltimore Ravens Matt Stover and Mark Clayton in his endeavor, which started as a simple brainstorm..."
As we all know, Brian Robert's name has been in trade rumors, notably with the Cubs. Whether he is traded or not, it was a good thing to see him focus on making the lives of others better when he simply could have been doing something else with his time. If he is dealt, Baltimore would be losing not only a great second baseman, but also a pillar of the community.
James Baker of Oriole Magic, and myself appeared on 'Suchy on Sports' on WNST this past weekend and his name came up; more or less, regular readers of this blog know my stance on the drug issue -- I find it a joke; however, James Baker was a little more forgiving of Gibbons, while Suchy was a bit more negative than I was towards him.
However, I and Beatlefanatic observed him attentively at the Holiday Party for the Orioles, and I'll say he was very good with the kids and relished the chance to attend the event. Although Gibbons will no doubt face flack from some fans for his suspension, I'll say it was a good thing he showed up as well as continued his work with the community when he could have stayed home and hid from plain view.
He, in an interview with the Sun said he "wants to win back the fans".
It's good thing to see that the sordid tales of HGH, drugs and whatever else about the team was on put on the back burner for day, and it's even better thing that the kids in attendance could have cared less about the news we as adults soak up.
As well, MASN personality and announcer Jim Hunter has joined the blogging community and his also gives his take on Gibbons. He's an insider, and has intimate access with the team that we as fans cannot even fathom, and he gives not only his reflections of the party, but also of Gibbons.
While some people find Jim Hunter to be a "homer", or overly enthusiastic on the air, I very much respect his opinion and very candid sentiment on Jay Gibbons. I know I have been critical of Gibbons and the whole drug debate, but seeing him with my own eyes yesterday and what he did for the kids makes me sympathetic; thus, in a way I commend him for coming out and doing community service.
Alas, Monday for the Baltimore Orioles was about helping those in the community enjoy the special times of year, and we cannot thank the Orioles and the ESPN Zone enough for letting us report on a small part of it. We got to see another side of these guys who we all root for that is rarely shown, and we all should be thankful for that.
In light of athletes like Michael Vick, Pacman Jones and whoever else, we should be glad we have guys like Brian Roberts, Jeremy Guthrie, Jamie Walker and Gibbons too on the team and devoted to the community.
Only if more athletes would take the lead of the aforementioned athletes above.
WNST's Rex Snider has a commentary on the event too and gives this thoughts on Brian Roberts.
In news that we otherwise had more than an inkling on, he spoke Monday with the Baltimore and divulged that he used steroids and purchased shipments from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski. I'd assume he spoke out because the release of the Mitchell report scheduled on Thursday.
At this point, I don't find it a big deal, and I'm sure everyone is waiting for the Mitchell Report to come out, so we can find out who did the stuff, speculate, chat, blog about it and then move onto the next topic. Like I said, I don't think this report is going to do any good and things may get worse before they get better.
The Baltimore Examiner has more on David Segui.
Roch Kubatko and David Steele of the Sun have their respective takes on the issue. Also WNST's Rex Snider gives his take as well.
Meanwhile, former Oriole reliever, LaTroy Hawkins has signed a one-year deal with the Evil Empire...