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In a country where no one agrees about anything, everyone loves Vin Scully

In a country where no one agrees about anything, everyone loves Vin Scully

As soon as I sat in my press box seat in Dodger Stadium, I heard the voice. “Dave,” he kept calling to the field until the Orioles pitching coach finally responded. 

“I’ll come up and see you, Vin,” Dave Wallace yelled back. 

It had been 25 years since I had been in Dodger Stadium, and 14 years since I had seen Vin Scully in person, and I knew I wanted to thank him for all he’s meant to baseball and the hours of enjoyment he’d brought to me. 

I was hardly alone. 

A minute later, I heard another familiar voice in back of me in the press box. It was Adam Jones, and he had come to say hello, goodbye and thank you to Scully, too. 

This year, players, managers, coaches and umpires have trekked to the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth to pay their respects to the living legend who’ll cap his 67-year career on Sunday in San Francisco. 

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has visited. So has New York Mets skipper Terry Collins, and when the Nationals were in L.A., Dusty Baker and Bryce Harper went up, too. 

Wallace came the day after Jones did. The longtime Dodgers pitching coach adores Scully. 

“A finer man you’ll never meet,” he said. 

Wallace brought bullpen coach Dom Chiti, and after Jones visited, he told Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop about it, and they went two days later. 

Even David Ortiz went to visit the great man, and the attention humbles Scully. 

“I'm deeply touched and overwhelmed with gratitude that they would take the time,” Scully said in a conference call last week. “It's just one of the loveliest things that's ever occurred in my life.”

The umpires salute Scully, too.

“All of them, when they come in, after the exchange of lineups, they take their hats off, they look up, some bow kiddingly and I wave or bow or do whatever I do.  It's just a wonderful emotional bridge.  And now they're coming up to say hello and goodbye,” Scully said. 

At 88, Scully is still doing marvelous work. Not long after the Dodgers visited Baltimore in 2002, he decided to drastically reduce his travel, and other than Opening Day in San Diego and the Freeway Series in Anaheim, this weekend’s games will be his only trip of the season. 

It’s funny that in a country that seemingly can no longer agree about anything that everyone loves Scully. 

I first heard about him as a small boy in Brooklyn. My father, a casual baseball fan, told me about Scully whose Dodgers had broken Brooklyn’s heart when they left in 1957. I had been born the year before, so I knew only the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Scully never went back to Brooklyn after the Dodgers’ final game there 59 years ago. “I had no reason, really, to go back,” Scully told Sports Illustrated in 2014. “There wasn’t anything there for me.” 

He became a legend in Los Angeles, but has admitted he was tempted to return to New York in 1964 when there was an opportunity to replace Mel Allen with the Yankees and reunite with his mentor, Red Barber. 

Of course Scully didn’t, and like Harry Caray became a national legend late in life. 

For years, the only time viewers outside Southern California got to hear Scully was when the Dodgers won the pennant and NBC, in a charming custom, allowed the local announcers to work the home telecasts. 

Later, Scully worked on CBS football and golf. While NBC had baseball in the 1980’s, he called those games, too. 

For years afterward, his national exposure was severely limited. Then along came satellite radio where Scully simulcasts the first three innings on TV and radio. Baseball packages online and on the air helped a new audience discover him. 

After Orioles games, I’ll sometimes watch an inning of Scully when I get home, savoring this year because I know it’s his last. 

Twenty years ago, he called the Braves-Yankees World Series on radio, and talked about Joe Torre yelling from a distance to the home plate umpire.

“The dugouts are so far away here, he might as well be a guy in the balcony winking at a showgirl,” Scully said. 

He can even get away with a political crack. A few months ago, in referring to a Venezuelan catcher, Scully talked about the disaster of  that country’s economy. 

“Socialism failing to work as it always does,” Scully said. “Who’s the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello.” 

This weekend’s games will likely be an anticlimax after he called the Dodgers’ division winning 10th inning home run, but they’ll be unforgettable, too. As Buck Showalter might say, take a good look at him, he’ll never pass your way again. 

MORE BASEBALL:What would an Orioles' postseason roster look like?

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Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

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USA TODAY Sports

Rainout delays Orioles RHP Cobb's reunion with Rays

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays have to wait at least one more day before taking their swings against former teammate Alex Cobb.

Cobb, now with the Baltimore Orioles, was scheduled to face his old team on Tuesday night before the game was postponed by rain.

Thus, Cobb will start Wednesday in the delayed start of this series between the only two AL East teams with losing records.

The rainout will be made up as part of single-admission doubleheader on May 12.

It was the 27th major league game to be postponed this season, the most related to weather through April since the commissioner's office started keeping records in 1986. Detroit's game at Pittsburgh was washed out later Tuesday, raising the total to 28.

Cobb, 30, spent his entire career with the Rays before signing with Baltimore as a free agent on March 21. Over six years with Tampa Bay, the right-hander was 48-35 and one of the leaders of the staff.

"He was a crucial part to this organization's success," Rays starter Chris Archer said. "He's a big-game pitcher and somebody who's very consistent, very routine oriented. The competitive nature rubbed off on me and rubbed off on the other guys in this clubhouse as well."

Cobb signed a $57 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, who will be counting on him to deliver the same kind of pitching and leadership in Baltimore.

Thus far, it hasn't gone well. Cobb got off to a late start because he missed most of spring training, and since his return he's gone 0-2 with a 15.43 ERA.

"Abbreviation has affected that," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's going to get going here. Hopefully he can wait one more start before he does."

Brad Miller was down to bat cleanup for the Rays on Tuesday night before the game was called. Miller knew better than to chat with his old friend beforehand.

"Definitely wouldn't talk to him on his start days," Miller said. "Thought about maybe texting him just to rattle him a little bit, but ... ."

Miller won't know what to think when he sees Cobb wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"It's definitely going to be weird seeing him on the mound," Miller said. "I miss Cobb a lot. He was the ultimate competitor."

And that, Miller contends, is what sets Cobb apart from most pitchers.

"He's a bulldog. Really intense, kind of an old-school throwback starting pitcher," Miller said. "He's going to go out there and do anything he can for his team. So that, for me, is obviously his biggest trait."

The rainout came at an opportune time for the Orioles, who are hampered by injuries and have lost nine of 10 games to fall 11 games under .500 (6-17).

Baltimore's projected starting lineup did not include infielder Tim Beckham, who's been bothered by a groin injury and is expected to land on the 10-day disabled list.

With Beckham out and Trey Mancini playing with a tender right knee, manager Buck Showalter would have been operating with a short bench.

Help is on the way: Baltimore claimed utility infielder Jace Peterson on waivers from the New York Yankees. He's expected to arrive Wednesday.

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Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

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USA TODAY Sports

Indians' 14-hit victory hands Orioles 8th loss in 9 games

BALTIMORE — The Cleveland Indians figured it would only be a matter of time before their struggling offense provided some support to a solid starting rotation.

Jose Ramirez and the rest of the batting order finally got into a groove Sunday, and the result was a 14-hit attack that carried Corey Kluber and the Indians past the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Cleveland came into the game with a .211 team batting average and ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs scored. On this day, however, Ramirez hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth, and Yan Gomes had three hits to lift his batting average 41 points to .261.

"When things are not going my way, I stay positive and work it," Ramirez said through a translator. "I know eventually I'm going to break out."

Ramirez has three homers in two games and a team-leading seven for the season.

"I try not to do too much," Ramirez said. "I just look for a good pitch and then I hit it somewhere."

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Kluber yielded two home runs to Manny Machado, but the Indians twice came from behind before tacking on three runs in the ninth.

"I thought we did a pretty good job," manager Terry Francona said. "When they came back, we came back at them. We kept pushing and took some better swings."

Kluber (3-1) allowed three runs and six hits over seven-plus innings. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner walked none and struck out four to move past Charles Nagy into sixth place on the Indians' career strikeout list with 1,238.

"It doesn't matter if you feel you pitched well or didn't pitch well. The goal is to end the game with more runs they do," Kluber said. "That's what we did."

Machado's third multihomer game of the season wasn't enough to prevent the Orioles from losing for the ninth time in 10 games, a skid that has dropped them 10 games under .500 (6-16).

"You know what? There's no excuse for what's happening," Machado said. "We need to play better overall. Nobody is in here pointing fingers. We are in here together, and we are going to ride or die together."

Andrew Cashner (1-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings, walking two and striking out seven. He's 0-3 with 7.41 ERA in three lifetime appearances against the Indians.

After Machado connected in the first inning, Cleveland went up 2-1 in the fourth when Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso hit successive doubles following a leadoff homer by Ramirez.

Baltimore regained the lead in the bottom half. After Machado homered, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Chris Davis.

A pair of walks and run-scoring singles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley put the Indians up 4-3 in the fifth.

"Once you get the lead, you can't give it up," Cashner lamented.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Indians: CF Bradley Zimmer was a late scratch with a mild right ankle sprain. He was replaced by Rajai Davis.

Orioles: LF Trey Mancini missed a second straight game with a swollen right knee. ... DH Mark Trumbo (strained right quad) will begin a three-game stint with Double-A Bowie on Monday, then play three games with Triple-A Norfolk later in the week, manager Buck Showalter said. He won't be rushed to return. "It's important we get it right the first time," Showalter said.

WELL RESTED

Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a side session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against the Cubs. Francona opted to skip Tomlin's last scheduled start Wednesday to reset the rotation after Cleveland had two straight games postponed last weekend.

UP NEXT

Indians: Carlos Carrasco (3-0, 3.48 ERA) starts the series finale Monday night. The right-hander is 9-0 with a 1.75 ERA over his past 11 starts since Aug. 27.

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 5.57) makes his fifth start of the season after allowing 27 hits -- including six homers -- over 21 innings.

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