One final note about the Bird: the kids love him. One recent Sunday I took the girl next door to an Oriole game. Mary is eight years old. She thinks the Orioles are wonderful, but she knows very little about baseball. I tried to explain the action, but she was clearly bored. Then, toward the middle of the game, the Bird came on and did his number. Mary was delighted and entranced—and after the Bird departed, her interest in the game perked up considerably.
I think the Bird will lure Mary back to Memorial Stadium. In time, I think, she will realize that it is baseball, not the Bird, that matters. But if the Bird helps her get the baseball habit, then I say: bring on the Bird.