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One (Shorter) Paragraph, March 23

On my drive in to work yesterday, I heard Buck Martinez laud Adam Loewen of the (Baltimore) Orioles. He said Loewen was "a baseball player," and yes, the italics were inflected into the praise. What this vague commendation means, I cannot precisely say, as I am not a Baseball Man. Often, I try to analogize Baseballspeak to my profession but that won't work here; if someone is characterized as a "lawyer," I'm not certain that would be interpreted as praise. Anyway, as far as Ryan Church is concerned, the implied charge has been that he's not a "baseball player." Church's performance this spring, prior to last night's outburst, was doing nothing to disabuse the notion. Chris Snelling had started to infringe on Church's turf in left field, and Church was . . . slouchin' around? pressin' too much? somethin' in between? Whatever. He had a big game last night, and I'm sure some people would suggest he was responding to the competition. Maybe. Maybe he was just in a slump; a guy slumps for 41 at-bats in the middle of June and it's a problem but not evidence of absence of manhood. The team has its own mechanical explanation, apparently remedied before the game. Let's accept that one . . . until Church's next oh-fer, I suppose.