It’s kind of weird how – and when — things happen.
Since I’m at most Orioles’ home games – and have been for the past 17 seasons – I don’t listen to the team on the radio much anymore.
When I’m away from the team, I’ll mainly watch the games on MASN.
So, my exposure to the Orioles’ radio crew has been limited in recent seasons. However, I did have Sirius XM Radio for several years and listened to a lot of West Coast games while driving home from Camden Yards. I stand by my oft-written opinion that the Orioles’ play-by-by announcers are among the best in comparison with other teams’ broadcasters.
That point was driven home – pardon the pun – this weekend when a sudden family situation forced me to leave Saturday’s game while it was ongoing.
So, I listened to 105.7 The Fan while heading home Saturday night and again Sunday afternoon while running errands that kept me from attending the game.
In a bizarre sense, it was fortuitous timing for me, because I had the opportunity to listen to Fred Manfra and Joe Angel combine for two final broadcasts together.
Manfra, who has been part of the Orioles Radio Network for 25 years and a broadcaster for roughly 50, called his last game Sunday afternoon. He has been dealing with health issues in the last few years and had scaled back the number of games he did per season. He’s now headed toward a new career as a full-time grandfather.
On Sunday, Manfra and his long-time partner, Angel, talked on the air about their relationship, and how it was so comfortable for them to work together all these years.
And I think that’s what I’ll most remember about the duo: the seamless camaraderie between two different, but talented men. Angel is the wisecracker and Manfra was the straight man. It worked. Worked great.
For me, it goes beyond that, of course.
I’ve written it before, and I’ll reiterate it here. There are very few people I’ve met in this business who are as gracious and kind as Manfra. I’m proud to call him a friend.
And though he may have been overshadowed in his career by some tremendous radio partners, Manfra was a consummate pro and very good at what he did. He also was a local guy – East Baltimore resident, Patterson High graduate – with deep institutional knowledge of the franchise, and that always meant something to me.
He’ll be missed. That was evident this weekend with the outpouring from so many.
O’s acquire Tejada
No, not Miguel Tejada again. I’m pretty sure that 43-year-old ship has sailed.
On Sunday, the Orioles announced they had sent cash to the New York Yankees to acquire infielder Ruben Tejada, the 27-year-old former New York Mets infielder who was hitting .269 with a .345 on-base percentage in 37 games at Triple-A. Tejada will be assigned to the Orioles’ top affiliate in Norfolk.
A couple things about this move: First, it is stunning to me that Tejada is 27. He has been around for a long time, making his debut with the Mets in 2010. He was 20 then.
Tejada’s never been a particularly good hitter. His career average is .252 and he batted .167 in 36 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants last year. But he is a versatile defender with the ability to play shortstop, second base and third base. Those guys, especially ones with major league experience, are good to have at Triple-A.
And Tejada’s not taking up a 40-man roster spot, though the Orioles created one Sunday by passing lefty Paul Fry through waivers and outrighting him to Norfolk.
So, this is another low-risk move by Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette which likely will not affect the big league club this year. Then again, we’ve said that before (how about it, Alec Asher?), so I guess you never know.
Accused killer of Mora’s sister-in-law arrested
There’s some comforting news in what was a terrible tragedy involving the extended Orioles’ family recently.
The man accused of murdering the sister-in-law of former Orioles star Melvin Mora in New York City late last month was captured by police in Delaware on Friday, according to various reports.
Gabino Genao, 30, was arrested in a Delaware hotel room by a regional police task force. He is expected to be extradited to New York and formally charged with the death of his estranged wife, 30-year-old Iveliss Alvarado-Genao.
Alvarado-Genao, a mother of two who lived much of the past decade in Maryland, was shot in the face and killed outside of her uncle’s home in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 26.
She was the younger sister of Gisel Mora, the wife of the longtime Orioles’ third baseman who was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Mora family reached out to the media to try and help find Genao, who reportedly fled the scene after the shooting.