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The 1999 meeting between Cuba and the Baltimore Orioles did not go well for the major league squad.

The Baltimore Orioles, led by their owner Peter Angelos, made a bid at international diplomacy in 1999. After a large push by Angelos, Major League Baseball and the Cuban government (along with a little help from the State Department, I'm sure) agreed to play a home-and-home series between the Cuban national team and Angelos' Orioles at the start of the season.

The first game was played in Havana in March before a roaring crowd of 50,000-plus. Angelos was joined in the front row behind home plate at Estadio Latinoamericano with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. After the home team tied it up in the bottom of the 8th, the crowd was treated to a 3-2 Baltimore victory when an 11th-inning single from Harold Baines scored Will Clark from second. It was a thrilling but, ultimately, predictable game.

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Maury looks at the attendance data for both the Orioles and Nationals to see if there was anything to Peter Angelos' fears.

It's Brooks and Frank. It's Hondo and Short and the Griffiths. It's Camden Yards and the relocation of the Expos. In the case of one club, it's the admiration of fans that still cling to the greatness of its past, while the other tries to reconcile with a past that was, for the most part, horrid, while trying to forge a new identity. It's the Orioles and the Senators and now, the Nationals. The obsession has been daily for almost 6 years, and there seems to be no indication that it'll change.

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It's an all-employment issue of The Week in Quotes, as Jose Lima's still looking for a job, Miguel Tejada and Manny Ramirez may be after a transfer, and Theo Epstein might be back to reclaim his old job.

"There will be no trade. I'm staying in Boston, where I'm familiar with the system and where I have a lot of friends, especially David Ortiz."
--Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez, on how his desire to leave Boston is gone (MLB.com)

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December 27, 2005 12:00 am

The Year in Quotes


John Erhardt

It's time to relive the 2005 season with the year's zaniest quotations as our guide.

"I don't think they have the team to go to the World Series now."
--Magglio Ordonez, on his old team, the White Sox (Chicago Sun-Times)


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The Astros defeat the Cardinals, Ozzie Guillen's still at it, Journey's a manly band, and a classy outfielder hangs 'em up.

"I thought about Craig more than anything, all the time we've spent together, working, trying to get to this moment. Running out there, that's for the kids. Young guys jump around. Us old guys would just get hurt."
--Houston first baseman Jeff Bagwell, on finally making it to the World Series after 15 seasons (Houston Chronicle)

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Ozzie Guillen is back and responding to the media, George Steinbrenner would have done things differently, the Royals lose a squeaker, and John Dowd reports on steroids.

"He's Johnny B. Good. He's every All-American boy clich you could think of. That's Jeff Francoeur."
--Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (Baltimore Sun)

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Gary Sheffield sounds off about leadership, Yogi Berra doesn't know what salsa is, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Reds bring joy in a time of sorrow, and Joe Morgan mourns the loss of a simpler game. Oh, and some guy named Palmeiro got busted for something.

"That's not for me to determine. I hope that people look at my whole career and appreciate that I have given everything I've got. I respect the game, I respect my opponents, I respect the players who have come before me."
--Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, on whether he still belongs in the Hall of Fame (Baltimore Sun)

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The Cubs and Orioles have new right fielders, the Blue Jays have new money to spend, and Edgar Martinez has lots and lots and lots of time on his hands.

"It's a great place for me to come here and win the crowd like I'm going to do and be happy again. I like the situation in Baltimore. They have a great ballpark. I think I'll be perfect here."
--Sammy Sosa, on his new team and new city (Chicago Tribune)

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Who knew January had something left in the tank? The Marlins and Mets get first basemen, the White Sox get a second baseman, and Kevin McClatchy makes mewling sounds.

"What [Delgado's] going to do is take the pressure off those guys. There was a lot of pressure on the kid [Cabrera] and Mike [Lowell], especially at the beginning of the year when Jeff [Conine] got off to a slow start and before we got [Paul Lo Duca]. Now you're kind of balancing it out."
--Marlins manager Jack McKeon on the addition of Delgado their lineup (Miami Herald)

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Jim Palmer plays the fool. Bob Feller preferred Wheaties to steroids. Rey Ordonez gives way to Khalil Greene. Dallas Green thinks the time is right for younger talent to take over GM jobs. These and other quips in The Week In Quotes.

"In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it... I'm the fool."
--Jim Palmer, former Orioles pitcher and Hall of Famer, on the issue of steroids in baseball (Baltimore Sun)

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The Orioles' pitching has come to life, costing Geronimo Gil his job. The Rockies got a strong debut out of Chin-Hui Tsao. The Mets sift through their B prospects while waiting for Huber, Wright, and Kazmir. These and other news and notes out of Baltimore, Colorado, and New York in today's Prospectus Triple Play.

  • Pitching In: The Orioles, a team that has struggled with their pitching all season, recently had a remarkable streak. For 10 straight games, five on either side of the All-Star Break, the Oriole starters delivered a quality start. After it was broken, they ran off four more--even if they managed to blow two of them in the seventh inning--making it 14 times in 15 games that Oriole starters finished six innings with less than three earned runs. The breakdown:
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    Melvin Mora's earned more than a token All-Star invite. Ron Belliard's injury couldn't have come at a worse time. Armando Benitez shows the dangers of jumping to conclusions based on small sample sizes. Plus more news and notes from the Orioles, Rockies, and Mets, BP-style.

  • Unlikely Star: Two weeks ago, Melvin Mora was having the best season of his career, posting a .324 EqA through Monday. Since then, with two weeks right out of one of Barry Bonds' best seasons, he has raised his EqA to .360, and come within five points of the American League lead. His .455 on-base average leads the American League, his .350 batting average is just two points shy of Hank Blalock for that lead, and his slugging average places him fourth. He's taken over the #2 spot in the batting order (scoring 11 times in just the past week), and he's also taken over as the regular left fielder.
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