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SteveA

RIP to an old nemesis

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Tony Fernandez passes away at the age of 57.  He suffered a fatal stroke while hospitalized for treatment of kidney disease.

His HR off Armando Benitez ended the Orioles 1997 season and ushered in 14 straight losing seasons for us. It landed about ten feet away from me in temporary bleachers on the flag court.

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I was very sorry to hear about this.  57 is too young. 

I will never get over the 1997 ALCS.  As Orioles fans, we simply don't get the opportunities to compete and win in the playoffs that most other teams do.  So every chance we get is absolutely huge.  That '97 team was as good a team as we have had in my lifetime.  Not getting to the World Series that year was an incredible disappointment.  I never blamed Tony Fernandez though....he wasn't even supposed to be in the game.  Bip Roberts got hurt. 

I will always blame Armando Benitez.  He was unclutch as hell every time he got to October and he cost us that series with three back-breaking hits to Grissom, Alomar Jr, and then Fernandez.  Guy was a mental midget under pressure. 

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29 minutes ago, JR Oriole said:

I was very sorry to hear about this.  57 is too young. 

I will never get over the 1997 ALCS.  As Orioles fans, we simply don't get the opportunities to compete and win in the playoffs that most other teams do.  So every chance we get is absolutely huge.  That '97 team was as good a team as we have had in my lifetime.  Not getting to the World Series that year was an incredible disappointment.  I never blamed Tony Fernandez though....he wasn't even supposed to be in the game.  Bip Roberts got hurt. 

I will always blame Armando Benitez.  He was unclutch as hell every time he got to October and he cost us that series with three back-breaking hits to Grissom, Alomar Jr, and then Fernandez.  Guy was a mental midget under pressure. 

I also remember him costing Cal an award or two and not hating him due to respect.    His game was really solid in the field. He made shortstop look easy to me many times.  I can’t disagree with you about 1997, it’ll always sting in a different way.  Hope he rests in peace.   

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Yes, 57 is way too young to go.  The guy was a terrific ballplayer and later became an ordained minister.   RIP.

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14 hours ago, JR Oriole said:

I was very sorry to hear about this.  57 is too young. 

I will never get over the 1997 ALCS.  As Orioles fans, we simply don't get the opportunities to compete and win in the playoffs that most other teams do.  So every chance we get is absolutely huge.  That '97 team was as good a team as we have had in my lifetime.  Not getting to the World Series that year was an incredible disappointment.  I never blamed Tony Fernandez though....he wasn't even supposed to be in the game.  Bip Roberts got hurt. 

I will always blame Armando Benitez.  He was unclutch as hell every time he got to October and he cost us that series with three back-breaking hits to Grissom, Alomar Jr, and then Fernandez.  Guy was a mental midget under pressure. 

'97 was the year. I was ten. Wire to wire. It also was the year Cal moved to 3rd for good. I remember  his offense numbers were down, he hit a home run in that ALCS and I went crazy  since I was a huge Cal fan. 1996 with Maier hurt because the Yankees and all that but '97 really stung the most because that series in Turner in May really felt like it could have been a World Series preview. I was so looking forward to seeing my favorites: Cal, Brady, Robbie, Raffy, and all face Atlanta's big 3 on the big stage. Turned out we got Cleveland-Florida which was a great World Series in itself but man what if. Sandy Alomar always seemed to have our number as I recall. He was the one that broke up Mussina's perfecto. Closest I ever got to watching one was that one.

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4 hours ago, Palmoripken said:

'97 was the year. I was ten. Wire to wire. It also was the year Cal moved to 3rd for good. I remember  his offense numbers were down, he hit a home run in that ALCS and I went crazy  since I was a huge Cal fan. 1996 with Maier hurt because the Yankees and all that but '97 really stung the most because that series in Turner in May really felt like it could have been a World Series preview. I was so looking forward to seeing my favorites: Cal, Brady, Robbie, Raffy, and all face Atlanta's big 3 on the big stage. Turned out we got Cleveland-Florida which was a great World Series in itself but man what if. Sandy Alomar always seemed to have our number as I recall. He was the one that broke up Mussina's perfecto. Closest I ever got to watching one was that one.

I lived in Atlanta then and now.  We swept the Braves in Atlanta.  Two great teams.  Of course, Florida swept us that year also.  I agree about 1996.  That was rough, but the Yankees beat us 9 out of 9 times in our own park.  They owned us.  1997 was our year.  Hard to believe we have zero ALCS wins since Game 5 of that series.  I am not sure that any franchise in baseball other than us has 0 LCS wins over the last 22 seasons. 

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9 minutes ago, JR Oriole said:

I lived in Atlanta then and now.  We swept the Braves in Atlanta.  Two great teams.  Of course, Florida swept us that year also.  I agree about 1996.  That was rough, but the Yankees beat us 9 out of 9 times in our own park.  They owned us.  1997 was our year.  Hard to believe we have zero ALCS wins since Game 5 of that series.  I am not sure that any franchise in baseball other than us has 0 LCS wins over the last 22 seasons. 

Pirates

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51 minutes ago, backwardsk said:

Pirates

Yup.  I was thinking about them, but I couldn't remember if that series they lost to St. Louis was in the NLDS or NLCS.  Of course, they did beat us in two Game 7's on our own field in the World Series, so at least they have that on us.  Amazing to think they used to be a relevant franchise once.  They never recovered from "Sid's slide."

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Yup.  Spot on about the As and Reds.  I forget about them bc they won titles when I was 14 and 15 years old, which are prime years for a kid and his sports teams.  All you have at that age is tons of time and energy to devote to your teams.  

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On 2/18/2020 at 3:44 PM, JR Oriole said:

Yup.  I was thinking about them, but I couldn't remember if that series they lost to St. Louis was in the NLDS or NLCS.  Of course, they did beat us in two Game 7's on our own field in the World Series, so at least they have that on us.  Amazing to think they used to be a relevant franchise once.  They never recovered from "Sid's slide."

Doesn't help the Bob Nutting hasn't done anything to help that and management under Neil Huntington and Clint Hurdle were the poor man's version of Showalter and DD with an owner who couldn't be bothered to spend more money on players, latin america or anything. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 8:12 PM, MDtransplant757 said:

Doesn't help the Bob Nutting hasn't done anything to help that and management under Neil Huntington and Clint Hurdle were the poor man's version of Showalter and DD with an owner who couldn't be bothered to spend more money on players, latin america or anything. 

Yeah the Pirates had a brief renaissance that ended up being nothing. It's weird given they beat us twice in the WS but the Pirates are actually the closest I have to a NL team- long story but they haven't won a playoff series since they beat us in '79 I want to say.  Because remember when they lost to the Reds in the 90 ALCS and later the Braves in the 91/92, that was before the Wild Card. 

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8 hours ago, Palmoripken said:

Yeah the Pirates had a brief renaissance that ended up being nothing. It's weird given they beat us twice in the WS but the Pirates are actually the closest I have to a NL team- long story but they haven't won a playoff series since they beat us in '79 I want to say.  Because remember when they lost to the Reds in the 90 ALCS and later the Braves in the 91/92, that was before the Wild Card. 

I put them right there with us in terms of lack of playoff success over a sustained period of time.  I have to check on this also, but I don't think any team in baseball has won fewer LCS games (3) since our 1983 run than us.  Not that winning a game here or there means much.  But it is pretty remarkable that two pretty storied franchises like Pittsburgh and Baltimore have been so unsuccessful in the playoffs for so long.

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