- Bret Holmes Baltimore Md

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I Kan't Spell

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oriole Walkout

I was proud to be a part of this yesterday.

The rally to let Oriole ownership know how dissatisfied we are with the Orioles was taken to the streets yesterday. I was in the midst of about a 1000 or so friends of the feathered who wanted to let our lying lawyer owner Pete Angelos know that his handling of one the greatest sports franchises, not only in baseball, or in America, but in the world, is absolutely appalling. And you may roll your eyes at the "World" reference but I implore you to look up the fact that from 1966 - 1997 nobody won more games in baseball than the Baltimore Orioles, and we started the sellout crazes of the 90's with one of the most beautiful sports fields on the planet. I really think that the park, the team, and fan base around it at one time rivaled any other franchise.

The Orioles were the classiest organization in baseball. We had something that no one else had. We had the "Oriole Way". That saying was echoed throughout not only the organization but the rest of baseball and the streets and ball fields of Baltimore. It was a tradition of always doing things right through hard work and honor. I really believed that and still believe that that is what it was meant to instill inside the people that rang those words. "We do things the Oriole Way." was a flagship for not only the team, but the sport of baseball and the city of Baltimore.

On top of that philosophy sat the pillars and cornerstones of personell that any team would treasure. We had stoic community heroes and team leaders. We had the classiest man in baseball in Brooks Robinson. He was so revered through the sports world that he was even immortalized by one of America's great revelers of Americana; Norman Rockwell.

We had possibly the greatest left fielder in history and the man who brought official legitimacy to the team in Frank Robinson. When Frank came to this team he was considered an "old 30". Well Frank proved them wrong by winning the Triple Crown and had it not been for a freak beaning early the next year Frank may have hit 600 homers in his career.

We also had the greatest thinking man's pitcher and only Cy Young award winner and hall of famer to have never given up a Grand Slam in Jim Palmer. He was the embodiement of grace on the mound and nobody wanted to face Palmer in a rubber match.

We have the man who single handedly brought the fans back to baseball after the strike in Cal Ripken. Cal was the symbol that baseball needed and the Orioles had him. We had him and he was brought up with his legend father Cal Sr. through the Oriole way and he preached that way to all those around him. I heard the calls of milk commercials and workmanlike mentality through my daily activities. I think it is safe to say that as a child Cal Ripken was one of my heroes.

We had the man with maybe the sweetest switch hitting swing and amazing ability to be clutch in Eddie Murray. Eddie Murray was quiet and stand offish but the man was great for this city. He was our African American link to what is a culturally divided town. While Frank was the original African American star in the city, it was Eddie that really got the city integrated into baseball. He was the idol for half the kids on the west side of Baltimore in the early 80's.

We have beloved colorful local fixtures in Boog Powell, Paul Blair, and BJ Surhoff. All of them still remain inside of the cities corridor. We have my favorite Oriole, who never even swung a bat for the team, and is considered by most to be the first statistician and the pioneer of thinking man's baseball in Earl Weaver. We have all these cornerstones of tradition but how many do you see honored by the team or embedded at the games? I see Jim Palmer in the broadcast booth but I don't see Cal, or Brooks, or any old Orioles for that matter besides Boog sometimes.

The legacy that has been left has all but been demolished and it is a sad state of affairs when something so beloved to so many has gone tarnished by the constant neglect and mishandling of so few. I actually get very emotional when I think of the times my father and I would go to games or watch at home and listen on the radio coming home from little league games. I remember being 5 games back in September and wanting to know what happened every night. "Did we sweep? We Swept 'em? Shit, that means we are only 4 back!!!" I used to eat fruit loops because of Mickey Tettleton and I drank a half glass of milk every time Cal Ripken came to bat.

But over the years, especially the last 9, the team has grown cold. New management has signed non-Baltimore type players in the time of this ownership. Players that spoke nothing to the city the way the fond names of those above did. We had born losers like Glenn Davis, Albert Belle, Will Clark, on our rosters. These were men who embodied everything a working class city hates. Then we started signing over the hill players to huge salaries. We managed to procure the following gems well into the DL days: Andy Van Slyke, Chris Sabo, David Segui, Marty Cordova, Joe Carter, Scott Erickson...the list can get long. But the major hits are the guys that they let go. If you take a cornerstone out of your house, that house is going to tilt and then one day fall. When you take all of them out, then you are truly hopeless. The departures, mistreatment, and misunderstanding of talent of players such as Mike Mussina, Eddie Murray, Bobby Bonilla, Rafeal Palmeiro, BJ Ryan, Steve Finley, and Curt Schilling have left the team's house teetering on stilts.

The team is so bad that I have to convince people that I am a fan. I have to plead with them trying to convince them that the team is turning around, and that Baltimore still loves them. But in actuality, we are a laughing stock and Baltimore does not love them. We have confederate money being offered by the nastiest of owners. Players now automatically put Baltimore in their "no-trade' clauses. Peter Angelos came to us in sheeps clothing, explaining that he was a true Baltimorean and that he would rebuild and carry on a proud tradition. He has revealed his wolfish nature in ravishing our beloved team from perennial contenders to bottom dwelling embarrassment. In all honesty, "wolfish" may actually be too proud an endorsement as it is more likely this team's struggles lay not at paws of a cunning wolf but the hands of a fumbling old man that micro manages everything down to the hot dog prices to churn another nickel for his vast gold money vault pool.

I was proud to be there at the rally yesterday. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like an Orioles fan. I didn't feel like I was just some sucker there to line that hideous human being, Pete "asbestos" Angelos, pockets with my pipe dream hopes.

The Orioles are very important to me as they encapsulate a lot of what I remember as a child and they have a gleam to them that warms me. I have a hard time now finding that gleam and it hurts me to know that one of the things I cherish most is struggling to even account for anything in my life anymore.

It is not the losing that makes the gleam less bright. I could honestly care less if we were losing. I would enjoy some winning of course, but I still loved them in '88 and 91' and '00 when they were losing. I might even have loved them more in those years because it was as if we suffered through the hard time together. I loved them losing and loved them winning.

The bottom line in the meaning for my distaste of the Orioles as of late is that I feel as though I am being lied to. I feel that what was once a great incorporation of pride is now a sagging and bloated sack of mismanaged bumbling shit. I don't feel any pride surrounding the team. I don't see much light at the end of the tunnel and I don't feel any warm embrace coming from what I love.

There is a dishonest looking gray shrouded around the stadium. It is a gray that envelopes a gleaming golden mystique that I once looked to in order to smile and even hope. It is a gray that is currently reaching out to its most loving fans and slapping us with lies, deceit, and false promises. It lacquers us with these misgivings wrapped in shiny marketing campaigns and hokey gimmicks. It is a gray that I am sick of seeing.

I don't know what the answer is to solve the issue with, what I believe, was Baltimore's most cherished civic institution. I am not a baseball owner nor am I a GM or VP of personnel or public relations. I am a fan. I am the team's surrogate child. I will love them and be hurt by them until they see fit to do so no more. It may sound sad to really adore something that much that doesn't even know you exist but to me, loving this team and what it stood for and still stands for inside of me is something that I take pride in. It is part of my past and will be part of my and my family's futures.

Please bring back that gleam. Please lift that gray shroud and put the people that love you back where they belong. Put them back in their seats, in your arms, and under your roof. We would really like to come home.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two if By Sea - DC9

Their Cd Release is this weekend at DC 9 if anyone wants to make a jaunt...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

From Plaid to Pinstripe

Todd Schuler - My sophomore year elected class President at Calvert Hall has been elected to the 8th district House of Delegates. I wish I could drudge up some old pics of Todd in pink plaid pants with a mopped head of blonde hair while he snuck "away" at soccer / football / and lacrosse games, but alas no dice. He was a really funny guy though and easily the most memorable upperclassmen while I was there aside from sports guys.

However his slogan for his mature campaign - holy shit his slogan is actually -
"Putting the party back in the Democratic party." I fuckin shit you not - He's going to be a celebrity sooner or later.

Go Todd - here's all the best to you "Brother". Actually let me tell you about that "Brother" thing. At CHC we had Lasallian Brothers as part of the teaching staff. About 25% of the teachers were Brothers. Well, Todd and all the Todd friends were really into the Dead and Phish and wore tie died stuff, and really accelerated the plaid sport jacket/pants fad that swept through the school over the next 4 years. Well, him and all his friends would religiously call each other "Brother" and that phrase spread throughout the school like the Fonz had started the wild fire. Everyone was calling each "Brother". Now of course "Brother" was like a partying term that cool kids used to mean that you were "cool".

So...for one class President address to the school before Cardinal Keeler was to give a liturgy, Todd got up on the stage and addressed the school the following way -

"Members of the clergy, faculty, Brothers, and all my BROTHERS!" The entire school was just struggling not to erupt with laughter. Cardinal Keeler leaned over to the guy next to him and wondered why the crowd was giggling and squirming. Someone must have told him something that coincided with the term Brother being used as a term of peace or a standard address because Cardinal Keeler rose to give the liturgy and addressed us with "Students and teachers of Calvert Hall. As your School's Class President has said, we are indeed all Brothers."

I laughed so hard I almost cried. I think I did cry and it was so friggin awesome looking back and picturing Schuler sitting on the stage next to the President of the school with his hand over his mouth giggling.

This guy hangs with the pope.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Kid on the Block

This is my friend Jer and his new baby girl Paige Isabella Brodey.

Welcome to the world little one.

Get used to doing this ALOT:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Box Ramblings

I am so gray as of late. Not gray to my love but gray to me. I try to color myself for her but I feel like I'm slipping into a melancholy that will be harder and harder to get out of unless I start living.

I wanted to write about the box. I wanted to write an entire story about a box. It was about the box that we all sit in. It is the box of the ordinary. I wanted to write about the box of God that holds the dead soul. The soul wants to climb out and live and stretch and touch apple trees but it just keeps rearranging what's in the box and tapping the walls. It knows pointless corners of the box for which to talk to. The soul has no body for which to carry. The soul has no breath to even choke on. It has nothing to look forward to and so it sits. It sits there like a 5 year old at the bottom of a well for 3 days. It no longer cries to the sun. It accepts it's fate and just goes to sleep.

Because it makes me feel like I'm a man. I wish I would have sailed more seas and gone from this land here to that. I want a life of inspirational direction back again. And by 'again', I'm pretty sure I mean, once. I suffocate and can't move. I can't do anything. I can't write. I can't smoke. I can't drink. I can't glaze or love. All I can do is sit in a box and wait for something to entertain me. There are no more alpha waves coming out of me. There is nothing in my mind that challenges me to grow. I can't grow. I can't plant roots anywhere. I have no feet. I have no legs to stand on. I have no smile to give. I have a well that smells like a box and a box that smells like a coffin.

What shall I tell her when it comes time for me to die? What shall I tell anyone? I have no idea. I have no idea what God would know about me. He isn't aware of anyone anymore. He bowls on the weekends and roots for his favorite football team on Monday's. He wishes he was fishing with me. He wishes he was alive. He has my box.

Well I am a time bomb. I have no expectancy of when it will explode. I have no idea when I'll run like myself again. I died the second I thought it. I died the second I stopped trying. I died when I emblazoned those who I would never have known nor cared about and I found myself in their traps. I found myself wanting their stupid things. I found myself rolling around in pig slop with them. I am disgusted of who I was. I am disgusted as to where it has brought me. I hate so much but will not tell it to the sun. He only sleeps as I'm getting to the good parts. I crawl into my box and go to sleep.

I have a longtext buffer that has yet to expire. I have pretty pictures in my box to keep there. I have a door somewhere but i won't walk out of it because it's scary outside the box. The box houses all that I feel good about me. It houses no stares or suggestions from anyone else. "They are all stupid anyway", that's what I tell myself in the box. "Fucking morons!" My box says I'm right. My box tells me it loves me and that I'm not wasting away. My box let's me know that'll all be ok as long as we can get to Friday and we can pay the rent. "Pay the rent and get to Friday son.""Pay the rent and get to Friday." "Come see me on Monday and I'll hold you. I'll tell that you are special and we can be happy. I'll keep you warm. Well I'll keep you warm enough."

I love her. She helps me. If I think about her she helps me. She is becomming my strength. She is now what I turn to when I have a bad day. I haven't ever done that. She makes it easy to do. She stays out of the box because she's smart.

I get lost. I become this dark gray peace of pain. I just loathe and lie and joke and jest and judge and cower and throw up my hands to the cards that God has dealt me. Me and my box are going to get into it soon. I have a feeling I'm going to win.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Janet's Weight Issue

SINGER Janet Jackson has told how she became obsessed with her figure because of 'brutal' taunts from brother Michael. Her weight yo-yoed because he called her names such as "Fat Butt". But she forgave him, saying the jibes were due to "issues" with his own body.

Janet, 40, tells Q magazine: "I was always made to feel I was a fat kid by Michael. "He'd call me brutal names . . . it really affected me, even as an adult."
Janet, Janet, Janet, this is almost too easy a comeback. Of course, I'm a wizard and you're mainly known as that chick who showed her "deflated-tire" boob at the Super Bowl a few years back. Anyways, here are your two responses to Michael the next time he calls you fat:

1. "Dude, you're a FUCKING child molester. I may have big hips but at least I don't FUCK kids!"

2. "I'm're glue...YOU FUCK KIDS!"

That pretty much trumps anything he could ever say. You're welcome.

Favorites List
Pandora Song List
Amazon Wish List
Revolutionary Wealth - Tofflers
Brian Jones

Things Making Me Smile
The City
Listening - [out of 5]
Benjy Ferree - 4.8
The Thermals 3.1
David Gray 3.8

Like the guy with the beard? YES - like the guy with the beers. What? Yep

Bands That I Check Schedules For
Badly Drawn Boy
Belle and Sebastian
Benjy Ferree
The Black Keys
Drive By Truckers
The Eels
Kimya Dawson
Mark Hopkins Band
Iron and Wine
Mates of State
Ted Leo
Two if By Sea

Places I Rock in the Flesh
9:30 Club
Black Cat
Electric Factory
The Knitting Factory
The Otto Bar
Recher Theatre

Places I Eat/Drink in the Flesh
Bishop's Collar
Cross Street Market
Hull Street
Joun Gak
Mick O'Shea's
No Way Jose
The Irish Pub
The Waterfront Hotel

My Greatest Hits (that's so lame)

The time I almost killed a child
July 4th in Korea
Excerpts from Demian
Why I screen phone calls
Bret's Death Metal Report
A conversation at a cocktail party
A conversation at breakfast
So you think you are a Baltimorian
A conversation about a girl singer
Observations from a bar
Observations of strippers
Tech Language
Why I love Oasis
I would go to war
"You Son of a Bitch" An Open Letter to Tom Friend
Dance to Your Ocean
Dream Ranch
When men become pussies
Jason Whitlock is a racist propaganda promoter
Pitchfork takes music snobbery to new level
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
The Hatred that is Runts Candy
Starting corporate line-up
Google Bio
Do you know me? List 1 / List 2 / List 3
The Night I Burned Philly Down
So You Want to be a Booze Hound
She Said it was Free
Funniest Corporate Story Ever
Striped Shirts and the Fucks that Wear Them
Death Peddle
Pieces of Morning
Oasis Album Revew
The Art of Tipping
Starting Fires With Grass Stains
Bret's Federal Hill Food Review
Sexcapades and your Picture on the Internet
Stupid Secrets
Stupid Secrets the Return

Contact Me

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