An Open Letter to Andy McPhail - re: Kevin Millar
Dear Mr. MacPhail,
I'm writing to express my disappointment with your decision to grant permission to the Boston Red Sox to invite Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar to participate in pre-game activities during the American League Championship Series.
Now, throwing out the first ball is innocuous enough, and perhaps that it all you expected Mr. Millar to do. However, as I'm sure you're aware he also referred to the Red Sox as "we" on the FOX network and made a crack about "lending" the number 15 he wore in Boston to their second baseman Dustin Pedroia. I'm trying very hard not to overreact to this, but I hope you're already exploring ways to send Mr. Millar back to Boston, or to Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay...anywhere but Baltimore.
The Orioles franchise brought you aboard to help rid itself of the "culture of losing" that hangs over the ball club like a cloud. Things like Millar's behavior during the ALCS only reinforce the idea nationally that the Baltimore Orioles are a joke, not to be respected or taken seriously. The New York Mets were prescient enough to refuse permission to the Red Sox to even ask Pedro Martinez to participate. How I wish the Orioles had come to the same conclusion.
Even Terry Francona, the son of former Oriole Tito, seemed a bit perplexed by the chain of circumstances leading to Millar's presence at Fenway Park. "He's a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He's going to be spurring on the Red Sox, and nobody's going to say a word," said Francona. Well, Mr. MacPhail, somebody -besides the Orioles most devoted fans- should have said something.
I will continue to root for the Orioles as I have all my life. I grew up in Baltimore, and my baseball loyalties won't ever shift. I feel strongly that it sends the wrong message to the fans and the younger players to have a member of the team actively cheering a division rival to a pennant, especially considering he's paid very well by the Orioles to prevent that same rival from prevailing for six months out of the year.
Thank you for reading.