Palmer: Face of the Orioles


Palmer: Face of the Orioles

Jim Palmer is 66 now. Thats hard for lots of Orioles fans to believe.He still looks terrific, moving easily around the batting cage and visiting in the clubhouse, talking with players, coaches, managers and anyone else.Palmer is the face of the Orioles. That may be hard to believe, but Brooks Robinson hasnt been around the club much in recent years and Cal Ripken has moved on to success in the business of baseball.Palmers the one now.As the still outspoken analyst of half a seasons games, Palmer can take shots at Jake Arrieta or Brian Matusz and viewers will appreciate that. Others couldnt do that.
Outsiders dont know that Palmer will talk pitching for extended periods of time with Arrieta or Matusz, give them advice and the bristle when they cant or wont take it.Some years back, David Segui, who became notorious during the steroid period, groused that Palmer should stay out of the clubhouse. No one wanted him there. No one appreciated his advice.Segui is long gone. Palmer is still there.Palmers advice is wise and friendly and offered to Orioles and opponents alike. Hes one of the few local broadcasters who regularly visits opposing clubhouses, too. Its probably a remnant of his years at ABC, when he did national games.On Saturday, Palmer gets his statue at Oriole Park. Two weeks after Earl Weaver, Palmer will stand and speak. Hell also cry. He said that on a telecast last weekend. Palmer and his broadcast partner Gary Thorne joked about when he would start to cry on Saturday. Pretty quickly, Palmer said.Weaver will be there as Palmer was there for him two weeks ago. Their arguments have now been reduced to caricatures, and both are probably eager to forget when they were serious.Neither Palmer nor Weaver would have had the success they enjoyed without the other.Palmer is the only Oriole to have played in each of the franchises six World Series and three championships, in 1966, 1970 and 1983. Its no coincidence that Palmers time coincided with the greatest sustained success in franchise history. In only one of his 19 seasons did the franchise finish below .500.While no one will break Ripkens consecutive games streak, its highly unlikely that any pitcher will win as many games in an Orioles uniform as Palmer.He was 268-152, a .638 winning percentage and a sparkling 2.89 ERA. He won 20 games eight times. Only one Orioles pitcher has won 20 since he retiredand that was in the season he retired.Palmer was a teenager when he signed with the Orioles, learning the game under Cal Ripken, Sr. and coming to Baltimore at 19. A year later, Palmer became the youngest player to throw a shutout in the World Series as the Orioles swept the Dodgers in four.He often talked about his injuries. While critics thought he was hypersensitive, he was just well informed. Palmer had terrific moundmates, too. He, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson each won 20 games in 1971. Sadly, hes the only one who survives.He stayed around long enough to have a new generation of equally skilled pitchers join him in the late seventies and early eighties: Mike Flanagan, Steve Stone, Scott McGregor, Dennis Martinez, Storm Davis and Mike Boddicker.
Thirty years ago, Palmer was one of the first athletes to appeal to non-sports fans. He thoroughly enjoyed being an underwear model for Jockey and posters of him were sold by the thousands.He has a rich life as a father, grandfather and stepfather. Recently, he was in the news for auctioning off his trophies to help provide educational funds for his grandchildren and teenaged autistic stepson.A friend of mine who monitors these things told me recently that Palmers charge for autographs is far less than other players of his stature.Free agency came along during Palmers salad days. He never really cashed in. It was unthinkable for him to leave the Orioles, and according to, he never made more than 250,000 a season.Weaver retired after the 1982 season, and by the time he returned in June 1985, Palmer was gone. After a few ineffective appearances in 1984, the team let him go.As cold and calculating as Weaver could be, it must have relieved him that he didnt have to be the one to tell Palmer he was finished.He talked about pitching elsewhere and seven years later tried an abortive comeback in spring training. At his farewell news conference at Memorial Stadium, he started to talk, broke down and ran off to the parking lot.On Saturday, hell break down, but this time Palmer wont head to the parking lot.

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)


Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

NBC Sports Washington

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 9/16 Colts
Week 3 9/23 Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 10/8 (Mon.) @Saints (8:15)
Week 6 10/14 Panthers
Week 7 10/21 Cowboys (4:25)
Week 8 10/28 @Giants
Week 9 11/4 Falcons
Week 10 11/11 @Bucs
Week 11 11/18 Texans
Week 12 11/22 (Thanksgiving) @Cowboys (4:30)
Week 13 12/3 (Mon.) @Eagles (8:15)
Week 14 12/9 Giants
Week 15 12/16 @Jaguars
Week 16 12/23 @Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 12/30 Eagles


  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December.