"He talks, but when it comes, it's not out in the open," Konerko said, chuckling knowingly. "He doesn't like to be open. He doesn't think he needs to promote himself. He's just a regular guy. It would be nice to see a guy like that win (the MVP award) because that's usually not the kind of person who wins. ... He can be funny. He's funny on the plane. He's funny on the bus."
Thankfully, just before it all dissolved into a Dr. Seuss rhyme, White Sox GM Kenny Williams checked in.
"He can be a talkative guy," Williams said. "I've seen him talk on the field, on the golf course ..."
I know, I know. On a train, in the rain ...
Earl Weaver would be proud
The MVP talk, of course, doesn't extend to Baltimore these days. Sadly, there isn't much use including the Orioles in any baseball talk as the dying club plays out the string yet again.
But there is one meaningful day left on the Orioles home schedule, next Thursday, Sept. 21 -- the day local radio talk show host Nestor Aparicio is organizing a "Free the Birds" rally, the goal of which is to make enough noise and ruffle enough of owner Peter Angelos' feathers that he'll sell the team.
Now I normally don't waste time with every potential nut job coming down the interstate looking to publicize whatever his flavor-of-the-month cause is. But since Angelos needs to be slapped around as much as anybody in the game, I'm more than happy to oblige here.
In a nutshell, here's the deal: It's a grass-roots movement. Aparicio and his crew are asking that it remain a "classy" event, inviting all Orioles fans to bring the family, anybody who loves baseball and the O's, and to bring homemade signs. They are encouraging fans to buy tickets in the Camden Yards upper bowl, out in left field, for the rain makeup game against Detroit that starts at 4:05 p.m.
The plan then is for the entire group -- Aparicio's goal is 10,000 or so, but we'll see about that -- to make their statement by standing up at 5:08 p.m. (the 5 for Brooks Robinson, the 8 for Cal Ripken), silently filing out of the ballpark and causing enough congestion on the sidewalks and streets around the park that the local news crews will turn it into a major story.
The goal is to "bring national awareness and more local awareness to the plight of the Orioles fan in the hope that this ownership group will consider selling the team and give another ownership group a chance to rectify the state of baseball in Baltimore."
Aparicio says his Ticketmaster sources tell him that roughly 4,000 tickets in that particular part of the stadium have sold since the announcement of "Free the Birds" day. If this is true -- if -- it's not a bad start. Another way of looking at it: There's plenty of room for more protestors.
"I'm expecting 10,000 people," Aparicio says. "If there's less than that, then the Orioles have bigger problems than I think, because there's no more love and hate. Then it's indifference, and if it's indifference, then it's done here."
From allowing beloved broadcaster Jon Miller to leave town to meddling with respected general manager Pat Gillick to hamstringing every other executive who has tried to make the Orioles a winner ever since, Angelos's fingerprints are all over the scene of this self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Once, Baltimore was one of the game's most respected organizations.
Now, it's one of the most laughed at.
"Everything the Colts did wrong 25 years ago, this clown is doing now," says Aparicio, a Baltimore native. "The only difference is, he's not from out of town, and he's not publicly drunk all the time."
For more information, check out the radio station's website.
Padres reliever Rudy Seanez had the guts to drive to work the other day in a gaudy pickup truck that served as a moving billboard for Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. I don't know how much razzing he got from his teammates, but being that Seanez owns a Cold Stone franchise location in El Centro, Calif., it seemed only polite to ask him his five favorite things about owning in ice cream shop:
1. "Free ice cream."
2. "You get to drive a cool truck."
3. "I get to keep all of the tips." Really? All? "Well, it's a 60/40 thing."
4. "I get to boss people around."
5. "I can go home whenever I want to, or I don't have to show up at all."