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A nice little article here on Orlando Hudson from the Florence (S.C.) Morning News. It paints a very different picture of Hudson than the one he drew for himself -- with more than a little help from the Toronto media -- with the "pimp" comment. It's another facet of someone who appears to be a little deeper than first guessed. As usual, the truth about someone lies somewhere in between all the things said and written about him, but it's certainly good to see Hudson demonstrate a maturity and generosity beyond what first impressions might have led us to believe. Nice piece.
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Coach - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:49 AM EST (#99457) #
Jordan, thanks. How in the cyberworld did you find this? I almost never check the South Carolina papers.

A very long time ago, I worked in Camden, SC for legendary thoroughbred trainer Frank Whitely. Most of our crew spent the summers in New York, at Belmont Park, but several local characters, who preferred unemployment to the big city, joined us for the winter. I admit to forming an opinion of O-Dog based on memories of those guys. They were simple but wise, and all of them were funny if not clever, with the intuition and empathy common to great horsemen.

Hudson's a chatterbox, and he's not the most cerebral player, but his heart's obviously in the right place:

"I always loved autistic kids, kids with special needs," he said. "The Lord blessed me and I've been living a great life. Those kids don't get the chance to live the life that I'm able to live, outside of baseball, the life that the rest of the kids live. That's the type of life I want to be able give them, some freedom so they can just have fun and do as they please."

O's game is instinctive and joyful, not the disciplined approach that management prefers, and the organization is brimming with 2B talent, so I still fear that he's not a permanent fixture. This article confirms what I've said before -- if the Jays trade Orlando, I will remain a fan wherever he goes.
_Jordan - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 11:09 AM EST (#99458) #
Kent, I snagged this one from Fanhome, which I visit every so often to see what's brewing. Where they found it, though, I also have no idea.
_R Billie - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:18 PM EST (#99459) #
If you do a search on Hudson on Google, you may turn up a similar article or two to this one. I remember reading last year about how he wears a toy lizard around his neck given to him by a very ill girl. Every so often, you'll see Hudson take hold of something around his neck and point skywards and it's the same lizard.

Hudson is a bit of a flakey character who likes to run his mouth a lot (sometimes to the irritation of even his own teammates) but by all accounts he's a quality person.

JP is smarter than to let one comment made in last year's spring training cloud his assessment of Hudson's value, either to the Jays or on the trade market. If given a chance to play the year in Toronto, I think he'll grow on JP...who I think may be guilty of underrating the importance of defence in the middle infield, particularly with a staff favouring groundballs.
Dave Till - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:26 PM EST (#99460) #
I really like watching Hudson play second base - he and Woodward are the best double-play combination the Jays have had in some time. I hope the Jays keep him.

It'll be interesting to see whether Hudson can remain unspoiled by fame. When Alomar first came to Toronto, the exact same stories were written about him. Now, nobody thinks that Robbie is untouched by success. (Question: when Alomar gets into the Hall of Fame, whose cap will he wear? He's only won rings with Toronto.)

It must be hard to keep your head when everybody's telling you that you're wonderful, and you spend most of your waking hours in the unreal atmosphere of major league athletics. I think what keeps athletes from becoming as spoiled as, say, movie stars is that staying on top in the big leagues requires a heck of a lot of work.
_Jordan - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 12:37 PM EST (#99461) #
It must be hard to keep your head when everybody's telling you that you're wonderful.

Oh, I manage it quite easily. My tremendous gift for modesty is very helpful in that respect. :-)

Alomar's Hall of Fame cap is a very interesting question. My guess is that he'd prefer the Indians, since that where he seemed happiest. But the Hall will have to decide among the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, and probably one or two more teams before his career winds down, never spending more than five years anywhere. Has there ever been a Hall of Fame player who bounced around the league so much he never really established an identity with one particular team?

And wouldn't it be doubly interesting if the Hall decided that Alomar's superior production and World Series rings with Toronto mean that he goes into the Hall as a Blue Jay? I think a lot of people would be pretty unhappy if Roberto Alomar were the first man to wear a Blue Jays cap into the Hall of Fame.
Dave Till - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 02:18 PM EST (#99462) #
I don't have a problem with Alomar wearing a Jays cap. Subsequent events have proven that it was mediocrity, not Toronto, that Alomar disliked. He also wanted out of Baltimore and Cleveland when they started to go downhill. While this may not be the best attitude for a ballplayer to have, at least he's been consistent. And, hey, everybody wanted out of Toronto at that time.

I seem to recall reading a couple of years ago that Alomar would have been happy to return to Toronto if the opportunity arose. Mind you, I think Griffo wrote that, so it's probably not true.

Clemens, on the other hand, should go into the Hall wearing a cap with a dollar sign on it, and perhaps devil horns as well.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 04:23 PM EST (#99463) #
A veteran (Carlos?) should take Orlando Hudson under his wing, much like McGriff did with Sheffield in San Diego. Orlando Hudson would appear to have the tools to be a good baseball player, he just needs to work on his professionalism (in the absence of Sheffield's skills, he won't be granted Sheffield's lattitude).

Rule no. 1: Think before you speak. If you're going to utter a sentence with the word "pimp", better not to say it at all.

Rule no. 2: Straighten the damn hat. Ain't no room for gangstas on the ball field.
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