some reason or another, folks' warm memories of the slugger have cooled.
We've hashed and rehashed the ignominious end of Palmeiro's career-ending second swing through Charm City, so I thought I'd share an entertaining story from better times. This one comes straight from Brady Anderson, who was recently talking to ESPN's Buster Olney about the legacy of retirement-bound Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Some of those late-90s Birds had uncommon success against the great closer, particularly Raffy (.331/.471/.556) and Roberto Alomar (.385/.438/.615). The duo had a special, smaller-than-usual bat (32 inches long) that was intended to help them get inside of Rivera's trademark cutter. The bat was socked away safely until it was time to face #42. Then the All-Star infielders would summon "Stumpy", as it was called. Brady says that he relished the challenge of facing Mariano with his own standard-sized bat, and his numbers were decent, but well below the bar set by his teammates: .273 average (6-for-22), with a walk and a pair of doubles. Anyhow, Anderson used Stumpy once, perhaps out of curiosity, and promptly got jammed by Rivera. He broke Stumpy.
That's why the Orioles can't have nice things, I guess.