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Kevin MillarSo I’m watching game seven of the ALCS and there’s Kevin Millar throwing out the first pitch. There he is again introducing the Red Sox starting lineup on TV.

Did anybody else think that was kind of weird?

I’ll tell you who wasn’t too thrilled to see Millar back in Beantown — the city of Baltimore.

Millar is currently employed by the Baltimore Orioles. And, according to the Baltimore Sun, quite a few of the team’s remaining fans were pissed to see one of their players show up in support of a league rival.

Can you blame them?

Let’s look at this from another angle. Do you think there’s any chance the Red Sox extended a similar invitation to Johnny Damon, another former “idiot” who left the Red Sox after their 2004 World Series to play for another AL East rival? Hell no.

I’ll concede that leaving Boston for New York is just a little more traitorous than leaving for any other destination. But let’s not kid ourselves. Damon left the Sox to chase more money, and Millar did the same. It just so happened that the only team offering Damon more money than Boston was the Yankees.

If you’re an Orioles fan, seeing Millar introducing the Red Sox lineup on TV was a slap in the face. It told you that nobody takes your team seriously. Not the Red Sox. Not Millar. Nobody.

I’m curious, how did you Red Sox fans feel seeing Millar throw out the first pitch?

UPDATE:

It seems the consensus on NESN is that it was at least a little inapropriate for Millar to throw out the first pitch, but that only Millar could get away with it. Jerry Remy says he heard that the Sox invited Pedro to throw out a first pitch before one of the other playoff games, but that the Mets had denied him permission!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/yHjCnaxR8J0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

13 Responses to “Kevin Millar: traitor or life-long idiot?”

  1. Coley Ward says:

    The AJC says Jon Schuerholz is going to be president of the Braves. That’s good news for Jonathan Schuerholz, Jon’s son, who is no doubt due for a promotion to the bigs despite, you know, sucking.

    http://umpbump.com/press/its-good-to-be-a-schuerholz/

  2. Northern oriole says:

    Much to do about nothing, Dave Roberts, active memeber of the Padres will throw out the 1st pitch wed. nite. Padres fans have no problems with it. Sadly, O’s fans can’t separate their hatred towards RSN from a simple act.

    The empty seats in Camden speak loudly of O’s fans’ loyalty. I watched every game every inning, even the blowouts. And you?

    Before you call someone a name, use spellcheck. It’s traitor.

  3. Watching Millar throw out the first pitch was great!

    I wish I’d had the TV on in time to see Mueller throw out the first pitch in Game 6.

    I look forward to seeing Dave Roberts throw out the first pitch on Wed.

    And I say let the O’s fans stew. Sep 27th, I walked into Camden Yards having bought tickets off a scalper for half price. Those tickets sat me 7 rows from Third Base for slightly more than I (gladly!) pay to stand at Fenway Park.

    Saying it was 1/3 full would have been generous.

    I think the whole event casts Boston fans in a better light, as they are still willing to honor the guys who brought home the trophy in 2004. Johnny Damon aside, they continue to appreciate them. Trot received a round of applause in Game 2 of the ALCS. Roberts was given a plaque.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Did Millar really leave for more money? Because in my memory, he left because the Sox FO realized that as good as he is for clubhouse chemistry, they had better options for a first baseman/occasional outfielder. His power numbers have resurged with the O’s (and we in Boston are generally happy for him, even though Boston and Baltimore are in the same division) but at the end of 2005, it really looked like he was done. The Sox had to let him go.

    But if my reader mail is any indication, I was far from the only Sox fan calling for him to make a cameo in the ALCS.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Oh, and Coley! Those are some dang cute baseball babies he’s got there. I keep meaning to do more with that category…sigh.

    And yeah, that typo is just a total synapse misfire. Bummer. At least you didn’t accidentally make up a new Upton brother! Though I did think for a minute that maybe Millar was retiring from baseball to work for the New York Stock Exchange, which was really shocking and newsworthy.

  6. First of all, yes, I’m an idiot.

    Second, even if I had used spell check, it wouldn’t have pointed out my error. “Trader” is a word, after all.

    Third, I didn’t call Millar a traitor. Lots of Orioles fans are calling him that, as reported by the Baltimore Sun. Though I do think it was tacky that he agreed to throw out the first pitch. It sends a terrible message.

    Finally, Sarah, you’re right. The Red Sox didn’t do much to keep Millar, though that had as much to do with his perceived market value as it did with his skills. If Millar had volunteered to take less money, he probably could have stayed in Boston. But he chose to take more money and play in Baltimore. Nobody blamed him, but it was, like Damon’s, an economic decision.

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, I think you’re mistaken. I did some searching to try and find a reputable article from when Millar left the Red Sox, and this is what I came across. I think my memory is correct—the Sox didn’t want Millar anymore, they made no effort to keep him, and he was soon pounding the pavement looking for work.

    The reason Johnny Damon will never come back to throw out pitches in Fenway Park is that the Red Sox did make a concerted effort to keep him, but that he instead chose to go with their arch-rival the New York Yankees. That is about as different from Millar’s situation as you can get. I mean, it was 40 million for 4 years or 53 million for 5 years. Yeah, it’s a 13 million-dollar difference over the life of the contract, but it’s not a huge difference in per-annum salary. Plus, Damon was a cult figure in Boston—he could have had as many endorsement deals as he wanted and he could have continued to be a hero in Boston for several more years. But leaving to become yet another overpaid superstar in New York’s galaxy of overpaid superstars? Now *that’s* tacky. Kevin Millar throwing out the first pitch? That’s just sentimental.

  8. As an impartial observer, I would be pissed at him if I was an Orioles fan, and I would love him if I was a Red Sox fan. I mean, I think it’s really cool that he shows how much he loved playing in Boston and how much winning a championship there meant, and still means, to him. BUT, when you’re playing for a team in the same division, you just can’t do that. He should wait until he retires, or at least moves to the NL, to be Mr. Red Sox Fan in the offseason. The Lowell eye-brow comment was great though.

  9. Nick Kapur says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. The Orioles were terrible this year, and were out of contention months ago. They won’t be playing real games again until April.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Millar was a key member of a historic, curse-breaking run, and he will always be remembered for that. Throwing out the first pitch was Boston’s way of honoring him for that, and there is no reason he shouldn’t humbly accept that honor.

    What, he should have stridently refused?

    All ballplayers whose teams get knocked out root for their friends in the postseason. It’s just natural. If I can’t win, at least maybe my good buddies will win.

    And ballplayers, who actually know each other as people, don’t stop being friends with their friends just because their friends are now on a team that fans think they are supposed to hate.

  10. Nick, I think you’re right that ballplayers don’t stop being friends just because their friends are now on a team that fans think they are supposed to hate.

    And nobody would blame Millar if he called up Varitek after the ALCS and congratulated him. Or if he went hunting with Youkilis in the offseason.

    But actually showing up to throw out the first pitch is too much. Privately, these guys can and should do whatever they want. But publicly, as long as the Orioles are paying him, I think he should be an Oriole. And only an Oriole.

    For what it’s worth, Jerry Remy agrees. And so do the Mets. Remy says the Mets denied Pedro when he asked permission to return to Boston to throw out a first pitch.

    Plus, I’m pretty sure he botched the player intros, calling Jacoby “Jacob” and referring to Daisuke Matsuzaka as “Daniel”.

    Check it out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=xHVKgb5sdcA

  11. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, I think you’re misinterpreting the intros: a) everyone knows it’s Daisuke, so that was Millar’s idea of a joke and b) Jacoby is called “Jake” around the clubhouse, so either Millar is playing with us again and joking about it, or he’s playing around with the kid’s nickname. I really doubt he just accidentally bungled it.

    As for Pedro and the Mets, that’s too bad. Who wouldn’t want to see Pedro throwing out the first pitch? He probably would have found a way to notch either a strikeout or a hit batsman. Or, knowing Pedro Martinez, both.

    Finally Coley, I think you sort of mischaracterized what Remy said. I mean, from the youtube clip you posted, the consensus on NESN seems to be that it was unusual, but that “there’s only one Kevin Millar.” The NESN crew, Remy included, were laughing and shaking their heads about it, not saying it was too much and not saying he should be only an Oriole.

  12. The Mets were just afraid that Pedro would injure his shoulder again, requiring career ending surgery.

    They learned from Little’s mistake. When Pedro’s thrown a hundred pitches, he ain’t throwing no more.

  13. Northern oriole says:

    Coley, sorry I was just teasing you about “trader” vs “traitor”. The O’s fans are actually angry about not seeing a playoff in 10 years, about the RSN invasion into Camden, which wouldn’t happen if O’s fans went to the games but they only want to see a winning team. They don’t have the patience to wait 10 years never mind 20 or 86. Little do they realize that Millar actually woke them up so I expect to see them filling Camden (not) because they care so much about their team.

    Unfortunately there are team fans that root for a uniform and there are baseball fans that understand the significance of 2004. The ones that go online to rip Millar are the former. After all, when Janet Jackson’s boob popped out people complained about that but I doubt if anyone called to give positive feedback for an encore. The internet is great for whining & commiserating, not positives. Plus, it’s all anonymous.

    In 2005 D.Roberts (Padres) & Lowe (Dodgers) came to Fenway to get their rings during the opening ceremony. Both wore street clothes with their RS WS jersey over them. Only Lowe was skewed by the Dodgers fans big-time.

    The RS didn’t want Millar, they had $500K/yr Youk in the wings. The FO spent 1/2 of ’05 saying they wanted to get away from the “idiot” attitude so to be honest I don’t think they really wanted Damon back & later said they had their eye on Crisp for 1.5 years. They also didn’t want the fans’ wrath considering at the time Theo had just escaped in a gorilla suit. Letting Damon sign with the Yanks was a perfect out. But that’s business.

    Bill Mueller threw out the ball the game before, he may not be an active player but he is a front office man. If Roberts can’t escape due to the fires to toss the ball tonight, Derek Lowe may be the sub. The Mets suffered such a tumble I can see why Pedro got a “no”. And Damon, if he wasn’t with the Yanks… even tho’ he was integral to their win. But that’s a shame on RSN.

    Power of the internet, makes it easy to cyber bully or to destroy anyone you want anonymously.

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