Mellifluous Monday

Mellifluous: Adjective, sweet or pleasant to hear

For about a year I hosted a weekly sports talk show on a small radio station outside of Baltimore. The station was part of the Orioles radio network.

One week I had the privilege of having former Baltimore Colts Art Donovan (the first Colt elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame) and Jim Mutscheller in the studio as guests. Sadly, both are no longer among the living.

I knew Donovan because I was the Associate Producer (as mentioned here, a fancy term for a call screener) for a sports talk show on another station and on Mondays during football season he was part of the show, which was actually conducted in a restaurant and not the studio. He was more than happy to drive out to the small town where I hosted the show and surprised me by bringing Mutscheller along.

Coming out of a commercial break I said, “We’re back with the mellifluous tones of Art Donovan and Jim Mutscheller.” Donovan then exclaimed, “What the hell does that mean? Hey, Bugs, he’s cursin’ on Sunday!” (My show started at noon on Sunday.) I laughed out loud for quite some time.

Artie was never one to hold back. In response to a question about the increase in the popularity of pro football in the late 1950s–for which the 1958 Colts-Giants overtime championship game is given too much credit, in my opinion–Donovan said, “We were at the right place at the right time. Baseball was around, but people were tired of watching guys tightening their gloves and scratching their asses every time they swung.”

I can only imagine what he would have thought of political correctness, wokeness and other similar societal lunacy.

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Speaking of Baltimore sports, today is a milestone birthday for someone with whom I worked in Baseball Operations for the Orioles. To my face, he always told me how much he respected my knowledge and passion for the game.

He called me at home about three weeks after the Orioles fired me in January, 1994 and told me he looked forward to working with me again. I soon found out he played a major role in my being fired by telling the General Manager I was a double agent of sorts by working for a player agent while I was still working for the team. That was false, but since I was an at-will employee, I could be fired at any time for any reason.

This person did become a General Manager for two different teams and was in that role a long time. Still, I was warned about him around 1990 by Birdie Tebbetts while he was a scout for us. Tebbetts had a long and distinguished career as a player, manager (he was Frank Robinson’s first major league manager), scout and executive. Birdie told me that this person would stab anyone in the back he thought was a threat to his ascending to a GM position. As usual, Birdie was right.

At that time, almost no one with my background could have hoped to aspire to being a General Manager. Moneyball wasn’t published until 2003. Still, this person was so paranoid and so ambitious he thought nothing of getting me out of the way.

I have often thought I should let him know that I know of the role he played in my being fired by the Orioles. What would that accomplish, though?

If anyone has any relevant thoughts on this matter, I would like to read them.

 

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