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Bill Foley (@Foles74)
Contributing Writer

Seriously, what is the deal with Jim Palmer? 

The Hall of Fame pitcher and Baltimore Orioles analyst has a serious problem with David Ortiz. Palmer is upset because Big Papi got ejected — and suspended — for arguing a called strike on a check swing last week.

Palmer was so upset that he has called for Ortiz to apologize for his actions, which he compared to a puppy who needs to be housebroken. Papi, by the way, is 273 years old in dog years.

To whom Papi should apologize to isn’t quite clear. Is it to Palmer? That seems silly because Ortiz getting ejected seems like it was a good thing for the Orioles homer.


His teammates don’t need an apology because Ortiz has bailed them out countless times over his great Red Sox career. For that same reason, Ortiz doesn’t owe an apology to Red Sox fans, either.

The ejection isn’t the only thing Palmer has against Ortiz. Apparently he also doesn’t like the way the Boston designated hitter admires his home runs before slowly jogging around the bases.

“To put this to rest, all David Ortiz has to do in this three-game series is watch the way Adam Jones plays the game,” Palmer said. “If he hits a home run, he puts his head down, runs around the bases, doesn’t show anybody up. To me, that’s the way you play the game.”

It’s hard not to wonder what Palmer thinks of David Lough’s walk-off home run for the O’s Saturday night. Lough and his teammates celebrated that home run like they were Bobby Thompson and the New York Giants after the Shot Heard ‘Round the World.


Of course, that is the way all teams celebrate walk-off home runs these days. Baseball, like all professional sports, has changed since the days Palmer pitched for the Orioles.

Yankees take curtain calls on first-inning home runs, teams celebrate walk-off hits like they just won the pennant, and David Ortiz takes 12 minutes to round the bases after a long home run. That’s just the way it is in baseball these days.

We don’t have to like it, but it is, as they say, what it is. It is only going to get worse year after year.
Singling out one player like Palmer did with Ortiz, though, is beneath a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

However, is anything beneath a guy who routinely posed for pictures in his underwear for Jockey ads like Palmer did? That puts him on par with Justin Bieber, not fellow announcers or Hall of Famers.

Perhaps Palmer should look at the work of Jerry Remy or Bert Blyleven or, dare I say, Ken Harrelson. 

Not only would those guys never appear on underwear posters, they are also former players who don’t make it a habit of calling out current players from their seat as a game analyst.

But if they do, they have enough courage to face the players they publicly criticize. Palmer skipped out on his usual pregame visit to the Red Sox clubhouse before Friday’s series opener.

In Palmer’s defense, though, he might have been busy with an underwear shoot.

Since Palmer is 483 years old in dog years, we can only hope that is not the case.

Bill Foley 4/26/2015 03:44:00 PM Edit
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