Game MVP and has a ring from the 1983 Orioles Championship.
He's played for Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver and with future
Famer Eddie Murray. He became the consummate Oriole, playing
his entire career in Baltimore, while many stars exploited the free
agent market. He even had a dream come true playing for his father,
Cal Sr., and with his brother, Billy.
early in his career with the Rochester Red Wings
has had a storied career, most notably obliterating Lou Gehrig's
consecutive games streak by 501 games. He even handled ending
"the streak" gracefully, asking manager Ray Miller on Sept.
20, 1998, to remove him from the starting lineup 30 minutes before
the Orioles' final home game of the year to end his consecutive games
streak at 2,632 games. He is only the seventh player in major league
history to reach 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. He's been Rookie
of the Year, AL MVP, Gold Glove shortstop,
the fairytale went south is when Ripken decided he was going to hang
on until he fell apart. Instead, he began showing some divisive
traits like an unrelenting stubbornness to relinquish his shortstop
position - even after a shoddy 22-error effort in 1997 - and staying
in a different hotel than the team on road trips. After
stepping out of the shadow of the streak in 1998, he should have
called it career. He stepped aside because of a twinge in his back
that eventually lead to back surgery in late 1999. Again, Ripken
could have walked away. Instead, he came back and insisted on
starting at third base while hitting an unflattering .239
combined in 2000 and 2001.
it dulls the luster of a truly great career. I'd like to
remember Ripken as the great player that would put his team and the
game above himself, instead of the recent ghost of Christmas past.
I hope you can, too.
so you know that I don't just blow smoke when I suggest players,
here's a follow-up snapshot of my recommendations on 5/4/01.
Brent Mayne (Col): .322 BA, a rough 2-for-26 rut in May that
ratcheted down his BA
Paul Loduca (LA): .333 BA, has dropped off slightly
Tom Lampkin (Sea): .243 BA, as predicted - he slid back to his
Einar Diaz (Cle): .310 BA, with 27 RBI already surpassed total in 2000
Jeff Fassero (Cubs): Good news: hasn't allowed an earned run in 22
games; Bad news: Tom Gordon is now the closer since coming off the DL
LaTroy Hawkins (Min): Still effective, but didn't have a save from
May 19 until June 8 (a fantasy nightmare!) and had 5.40 ERA in May
Wade Miller (Hou): Ballooned ERA up to 4.29 after going 3-2 with
5.72 ERA in May and June
Esteban Loaiza (Tor): Fell out of bed going 1-6 in May and June
Willis Roberts (Bal): Also 1-6 in May and June with a 8.12 ERA;
again, still a kid.
Doug Mientkiewicz (Min): .315 BA, but he's having a terrible June:
David Ortiz (Min): Broke his wrist sliding into home the next day .
. . still on the DL
you ready for some football?
training camps are just about here, football fans. Are you
ready for another season of fantasy football? Find out
everything you need to know. Check out this weeks "Fantasy
Room is written by Michael Skordeles