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Playing Orioles Baseball - A's Style

You couldn't see a better example of classic Orioles' baseball today, played by the A's:  solid pitching, great defense, and three-run homers.

Also a great day to be reminded why Eric Byrnes had to go.  Not that his error turned the game -- Johnson was only the first of many to take Julio deep.  But his fielding miscues and other poor decisions were a constant worry, and hurt more than his bat and his hustle helped.

Earl Weaver was a great manager, along with being a verbal, quotable guy.  His most famous quotes about the game are appropos of the A's:

"Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same - pitching. "

"The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers. "

But he also said a few things about managing that are useful to reflect on when tempted to get down on Ken Macha:

"A manager's job is simple. For one hundred sixty-two games you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December. "

"You win pennants in the off season when you build your teams with trades and free agents. "

"My best game plan is to sit on the bench and call out specific instructions like 'C'mon Boog,' 'Get ahold of one, Frank,' or 'Let's go, Brooks.'"

And, finally, two of my favorites: on religion, and on football.

Religion:  When one of his players told him, "Gee, Earl, you got to walk with the Lord," Earl replied: "I'd rather you walk with the bases loaded."

On Football:  "You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all."  

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