"I was surprised," said Bill Geivett, the team's director of major-league operations. "Basically, Tracy called me and told me his intentions, and we talked about a lot of different things, but he had already made up his mind."
Geivett said he wanted Tracy to return next season, but said he didn't try to change Tracy's mind. (Ah.)
Worth the wait?
It had been 15 years since the Orioles appeared in a playoff game in Baltimore, so you have to figure the fans at Camden Yards took the over two-hour rain delay on Sunday in stride.
Besides, they had their powerful disdain for the New York Yankees (it's a natural resource everywhere but the Bronx) to keep them warm.
Said Carol Pounsberry, who was the first in line at Gate A, three hours before the scheduled 6:15 p.m. start of a game that started at nearly 8:40: "I want to see the Orioles beat the pants off the Yankees." (Hey, it was cold out there!)
It didn't work out, with the O's losing, 7-2, - but there's always Game 2.
The Oakland Athletics likely will have some extra fielding practice when they get back to Cali after two losses to the Detroit Tigers in the AL division series. (Either that, or repeated screenings of the manager's lecture in Bull Durham: "This is a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball.")
In Game 1 on Saturday, Jarrod Parker tried to scoop Quintin Berry's grounder down the first base line with his glove, then flip it to first baseman Brandon Moss - who was not on first base.
Berry was safe at first and Omar Infante scored to give Detroit a 2-1 lead in the game the Tigers won, 3-1.
Parker seemed to think that Moss - a converted outfielder - should have covered, but the pitcher took the blame, saying he meant to step on the bag.
"I guess the momentum just flipped it out of my glove," Parker said, gamely.
Then, in Game 2 on Sunday, A's centerfielder Coco Crisp came in on a Miguel Cabrera fly ball and turned an attempted Willie Mays-model basket catch into a Cirque du Soleilesque pratfall with a single salchow.
(It's OK, Coco. You still have one of baseball's best names.)
Battle of the beards
A Twitter fight broke out on Saturday between the beards of Nationals slugger Jayson Werth (a former Phillie, we're contractually obligated to state) and Giants reliever Sergio Romo. (Neither player was actually involved, it's important to note; just the Twitter monikers placed on their facial follicles.)
We'd quote the exchange, but as with most social-media tussles, it was the equivalent of taunting kids throwing dirt clods at each other, only with tweets (You stink! No, you do!, etc.)
Of course, this was only possible because the reigning champion beard, that of Giants closer Brian Wilson, is on the disabled list - since it's attached to a righthander recovering from Tommy John surgery.
(And what may be the best beard in sports, the Barry-White-meets-ZZ-Top number worn by Oklahoma City guard James Harden, is otherwise engaged, entangled in the NBA preseason with the Thunder.)
Contact Michael Harrington at email@example.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.