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August 25, 2011

Sharing thoughts about Mike Flanagan

The lights are low at Connolly’s today. The Orioles banner behind the bar is at half-mast.

I knew Mike Flanagan -- who died outside his Sparks home Wednesday at age 59 -- for more than a decade. I knew him first as a broadcaster and then for six years as a co-general manager and then as a broadcaster again.

I knew him as a tremendous storyteller. And, yeah, to be honest, I grew up cheering for him. His glory years coincided with my time as an Orioles fan. And if you were a kid in the late 1970s/early '80s, you had to love Flanny.

Today, I’m gonna kick back and let others talk about Flanagan. I apologize for the length, but I feel it is appropriate.

Please, share your thoughts, too.

We’ll start with Jim Palmer, and this statement: “I don’t know the circumstances of his death. I don’t know that anyone does yet. But whatever it is, it’s a tremendous loss anytime you lose somebody like Mike.”

More Palmer: “Mike was such a unique guy: Talented, witty, funny. He had a reserved side of him, too, when you experienced all the things we experienced. I was kind of his mentor, and I was proud to do that. Robin Roberts did that for me, and I was proud to carry on that tradition with Scotty [McGregor], Storm Davis, [Mike] Boddicker, and Mike and Denny Martinez. That’s what made us what we were. …

"You are not ready to lose someone like Mike Flanagan. But on the other side, I feel lucky to be part of the organization and have had him as a friend and a confidant and buddy and see all facets of him. That’s what baseball is all about, the ups and downs and good times and bad times. He was one of my students and then became one of my friends. It is just horrible. You could go into shock. It’s surreal, it’s like it hasn’t happened. …

"I think about losing my dad at 10 and my stepfather and my mom. This is a terrible time for his family, it’s tough for all of us. We all had so much respect for him. He was such a super guy in so many different ways. …

"Flanny was somewhat of a selfless guy. I don’t think he talked much about himself. You don’t find that in most people. He was a terrific pitching coach. He was a special human being. You don’t replace people like that in your life. That’s why I feel so fortunate to have spent so much time with him as I did.”

Rick Dempsey: “Flanny was, gosh darnit, there was just no doubt that everybody loved him. He was just a huge part of our lives in Baltimore. In the wintertime, he would come to my house and we would fish together. …

"I know he has gone through some tough times. I think he was very down about the GM job, but it seemed like he rallied when he got the [MASN] color job again. It’s just shock right now. I know everybody that played with him loved him to death. He was the backbone of that pitching staff. He never quit, this guy never quit. He was there for the duration. We had so many great games and so many great times, I just can’t believe it. …

"He had the driest and funniest sense of humor of anybody I ever played with. He was just a magnificent person and magnificent teammate.”

Peter Angelos: “It is with deep sadness that I learned of the death of my friend Mike Flanagan earlier this evening. In over a quarter century with the organization, Flanny became an integral part of the Orioles family, for his accomplishments both on and off the field. His loss will be felt deeply and profoundly by all of us with the ballclub and by Orioles fans everywhere who admired him. On behalf of the club I extend my condolences to his wife, Alex; and daughters Kerry, Kathryn and Kendall.”

Buck Showalter: “Mike made a point of making me feel welcomed from Day One. First time I spent time with him, he was in a line at the Welcome Home banquet. I feel like it was yesterday and he was trying to help me help our left-handers with their moves. …

"I always looked forward to him coming in and sitting down and drinking coffee with me and not only talking about baseball, but talking about life. He was a passionate man about the Orioles and family, and he impacted a lot of people’s lives, not just by the way he pitched, but he is someone our organization has always been proud of not only for the way he pitched, but the way he treated people. …

"You think about how many great ways he impacted fans’ lives and the Orioles’ life, but he impacted people that never got to dance underneath those lights. I’ve always marveled at the way he treated everybody. Regardless of background, whether this guy never played in the big leagues or whatever. The Orioles lost a real source of wisdom. It’s just hard to imagine not getting to see him now and then.”

Scouting director Joe Jordan: “Mike was just one of those genuine guys. He was a former major leaguer and an accomplished and successful one, and you’d never know it to talk to him. He was just genuine. He was a very intelligent man, and if you got into a baseball conversation with him, he’d control it. He had just so much insight. He was a thinker, and that is what impressed me the most. …

"I didn’t know him at all [before Jordan was hired]. Jim Beattie was my contact. But when Jim left, my friendship with Mike really grew. We just had a good friendship. I am just shocked. A good man, a good friend.”

Cal Ripken Jr.: “I am so sorry to hear about Mike’s passing. He was a good friend and teammate and our thoughts are with Alex and his family. Mike was an Oriole through and through and he will be sorely missed by family, friends and fans. This is a sad day.”

Jeremy Guthrie: “It’s a really sad day. I think he was so close to so many people in this organization and he has touched the lives of countless, thousands of people in the Baltimore community and in the baseball world. So the news of him passing is a big blow to this team, to this family, to this organization, to this city and to Major League Baseball. …

"I have a strong connection with him. I think since the day I was given the number 46, I had thousands of people tell me that was the number of their favorite pitcher for the Orioles when they were growing up. So from Day One, I think I have been reminded of the legacy and the work Mike did, not only as a player, but as a member of the community in Baltimore. It has always been special, and now it takes on even a new level. He is not going to be forgotten soon, that’s for sure. …

"I heard it I think somewhere in the third or fourth inning. It is one of those things, our hearts were in another place but … we tried to stay focused on the game. But certainly those who heard during the game, part of their thoughts were taken away from what we were doing out there on the field. … Once you are on the mound, you realize the task at hand and you try to focus on that. I wouldn’t say it was so much a distraction from pitch to pitch as much as kind of a heaviness inside during the game.”

Michael Gonzalez: “I don’t even have the words. My heart goes out to his family. You see the difference in the clubhouse. We get a 'W' and we didn’t turn the music on right now. Everyone is feeling the same right now. My heart just goes out to his family. …

"[I knew him] well enough to know what kind of quality person he is. We lost a great guy, besides from the baseball and everything else. Just the man himself. He was a great guy, besides the knowledge and everything he would talk to you about. He was just cool to have around.”

Adam Jones: “It just hits the whole Oriole family, and he was a big, big part of it. The last couple years I got to know him pretty good. … He obviously was a guy when I met him, I knew I could learn from him. Every time I was around him, I stuck around him and made it my mission to try and pick up any information. That was the kind of guy he was to me. …

"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it out there [on the field]. But I try to focus as much as I could on the game. “

Daily Think Special: Share your thoughts on Mike Flanagan

Posted by Dan Connolly at 1:13 AM | | Comments (55)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


I was fifteen years old, and just getting into baseball, when the O's made their run in 1979, and Flanny was cool as they come with his crafty left handed stuff from the mound. With Palmer, McGregor, Bumbry, Murray, et al. I was a big O's fan living in Virginia. When Willie Stargell and the Pirates came back and won the Series, I was heart-sick. But Flanny's Cy Young was enough to get me through. I loved following his career both on and off the mound and my brothers and I always loved the Southpaw, even when he went to Toronto...RIP Mike Flanagan

I too am very sorry to hear of his passing. 59 is still young. He was a great ball player-that's whan the Orioles were the ORIOLES- What a team! R.I.P. Mr. Flanagan.

I was watching the game on TV tonnight and I found myself thinking about how much I enjoyed listening to him do the broadcasts. I went to work before the game ended and came back home to find out that he was gone...what a terrible shock for all oriole fans.

I have no stories.
I have only my feelings of loss- what a funny, smart, experienced gentleman.
It was a true joy to watch him close out Memorial Stadium.

Did I mention the funny? What a joy to hear his stories, to appreciate his wit. Awesome. Awesome.
Once again, I'm at a loss...
thank you to Mike for his love for US.

I have only love for his memory, and the best of best wishes for his family, friends, co-workers, and teammates.

God Bless you 46.

As a White Sox fan, I'll never forget Flanny, the dart throwing assassin of our World Series hopes.
In 1983, our AL Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle faced Flanny in a crucial at bat early in the series. Kitty hit 35 homers and drove in 100 during the regular season, and was as dangerous a hitter as they come.
He was also hobbled by a gimpy left knee, but nothing to keep him on the bench. Until he faced Flanny.
With a surgeon's precision, Flanny drilled Kitty right in the meniscus of his knee, folding him up like a broken lawn chair.He left the game hobbling and was out for the rest of the series.

Condolences & best wishes to his family and the Orioles family.

An "Amazing O". RIP #46

I remember fondly that he loved to pitch in cold weather. I think it was a playoff game or a WS game, and most of the players on the other team were wearing long sleeves under their uniform and obviously very cold. U could see the frost when they exhaled. Flanny just went out to the mound like it was a spring day in Florida lol, wearing only his short sleeves uniform, and proceeded to pitch the Orioles to a win.

I remember fondly that he loved to pitch in cold weather. I think it was a playoff game or a WS game, and most of the players on the other team were wearing long sleeves under their uniform and obviously very cold. U could see the frost when they exhaled. Flanny just went out to the mound like it was a spring day in Florida lol, wearing only his short sleeves uniform, and proceeded to pitch the Orioles to a win.

The first time I ever saw him pitch was in 1991 as a reliever. I was 10 years old. I didn't think much of him then, but eventually learned how much history he had with the Orioles. My father was a big fan of him and always talked about his "big breaking ball".

I'm sad to hear how hard he took his past as GM. He obviously had a lot of heart for the O's and only want to see them be successfull. Depression isn't something to be taken lightly, and if that is reason for his passing, it's very, very sad and a very heavy thing to think about.

Anyway, lets hope he can help shine some celestial light on the Orioles with the Baseball Gods from above....

I am from NH and i am glad to hear what a great guy mike was...i remember all those kick A oriole teams from late 60s to 1983 and Mike was part of the oriole mystique...he made NH very proud when he won cy young but we are even prouder that he was a hall of famer off the field Mike, you were a original and black and gold lifer from red sox nation..leo

This is so sad. Flanny was a link to that earlier era when the Orioles were not only great ballplayers, but also great characters. I always loved hearing his stories from his playing days, delivered with his dry New England wit. He was often so self-deprecating you could forget how stone-cold excellent he was on the mound. He was clutch too: I remember when we traded him to Toronto in '87 and he pitched 11 shutout innings (yes, that's right) in one important game for the Blue Jays. I was rooting for the Jays because of him that year. I also have fond memories of his days as a lefty reliever in 1990, still solid in his final years.

Just can't believe it. RIP Flanny, a true Oriole. I hope we get some more like him soon.

Life is tough, and this is a particularly tough moment for the Orioles and their fans. As someone who watched Mike pitch -- and later teach and talk about pitching -- for his whole career, I feel his loss very deeply. My heart goes out to his friends and family. What I remember most about Mike is his saving grace of humor. May it stand him in good stead on his journey ahead. God bless, Mike. And Godspeed.

A sad, sad day in Birdland.

Another link to the lost Oriole Way has left us all too soon.

Flanagan was everything we Orioles fans loved about our Birds in those wonderful years of "Oriole Magic". Tough, gritty, determined and a gamer.

Rest in Peace Flanny.

Its a harsh reminder to me that this is still a game. The losing seasons streak will never bother me again.
Maybe the desire to win that made him a champion was ultimately what cost him his life.
RIP too soon.

I was at Memorial Stadium for Mike's first appearance and was very saddened to hear about this.

My favorite Mike story was the "CY" scenario. You are CY Possible, then CY Future, then CY Present, then CY Old and then its CYanara.

I am so sorry to hear of Mike's passing. He was an Oriole Icon... Every young up coming pitcher would like to follow the career of Mike. Prayers are with the family.

When the waters were at their roughest, Mike was the calming voice. He was the guy O's fans turned to for a calming confidence. I take comfort in knowing that Flanny, Cuellar and McNally are re-united. - A sad day.

Flanny was a true member of the Oriole family. No single memory for me, other than him pitching (very effectively) with the knee brace one year, and his part in the combined no-hitter. I appreciated his humor as well as pitching knowledge that he shared as a broadcaster. He will be missed.

Thoughts and prayers to his family.

I was just stunned when I heard the news during last night's game. He was one of the great O's pitchers, someone who could go out and get you a win when you needed it badly. My condolences to his family and friends.

I don't think the death of a celebrity/sports figure has ever hit me the way this has...I haven't followed the Orioles nearly as closely as I did when I was a youngster in the 80's, but he was probably my favorite Oriole next to Dempsey back, if I flipped on a game and heard Flanny's voice, I stopped to hear more of his dry, witty humor that you'd always hear during a broadcast...the Orioles and the city of Baltimore have lost one of the best...RIP

I remember watching Mike pitch in a game against Ron Guidry the year he was unbeatable. Mike gave up one run and Doug Decinces hit a two run homer late in the game for an Oriole victory. That was probably the most exciting baseball game I have ever seen.
Mike's family are in my thoughts and prayers.
An Oriole fan since '66

I was at an Orioles game in Toronto a few years back when Flanny was in the front office. My buddy is in a wheelchair, so we had to take the elevator up to our seats. Imagine our surprise when we step inside and there's Flanny, towering over us.

We exchanged a few words and he had a smile on his face. The elevator ride only lasted a minute or two, but even in that short time we just got the impression that Flanny was an incredibly nice and genuine guy.

Godspeed, Mr. Flanagan. You will always be rememberes.

Always and forever a favorite.

Mike flanagan was my first crush in high school. He was at Manchester memorial high school in new Hampshire and I was at Dover high. I remember how cute he was and how he was si incredible at every sport, not just baseball. I kept his newspaper clippings and dreamed of the day we would meet. In 1982 when I had moved to Baltimore and was working as a cocktail waitress at th Pimlico Hotel, the Orioles pitching coach came in for a drink and I shared my "crush" story with him. The very next week, there was a package waiting for me at the restaurant, it was a signed autograph of Mike, "sorry we missed eah other"! although we never did meet, I will always have a "crush" on Mike Flanagan. I am sad he is no longer in the world.

I think Mike Flanagan's performance in the 83 season was a critical piece of their world series win. He showed guts and determination; a never quit attitude and a real competitive desire to win. This in spite of a severe knee injury and the loss of 3 months. He still went 12-4 and I can see no reason why he would not have been a 20 game winner that year. The vision of Flanny with a bulky brace on his knee under the uniform pants showed the nature of his guts.

Interesting - NO statement from Andy MacPhail ? Is it because he forced Flanny out? Not very classy of Andy IMHO.

Mike Flanagan was a thoughtful human being as much as he was a great pitcher, baseball player and dedicated Oriole team member. My father, Lou Amato, was Mike's Babe Ruth coach and I can remember how excited my dad was to have Mike part of his team because dad knew Mike had all the makings for a great player. Dad's team made it to the Babe Ruth Nationals in Alaska the year Mike played. I don't think anyone would dispute Mike's role in the advancement of that Manchester team that year. But more importantly Mike remembered my dad even years later by sending my dad tickets, unsolicited, to games when he played in Boston or the most touching to me he sent my dad a personal touching note of encouragement when Mike found out my dad was stricken with lung cancer 9 years ago. That note remained on his bedside table until his passing.

Watched Flanny at Memorial Stadium. Had beers with Flanny ay Ocean Pride in Towson. Great pitcher, great Oriole great guy.

You'll always be one of us Flanny. RIP my friend.fifther expedition

I grew up in Baltimore with baseball as my passion. My father and I would go see the Orioles quite a bit at the old Memorial Stadium and many hero's were formed and many memories were made. We would sit up in the upper deck on the first base side where the breeze would cool off the warm summer day. As many memories as I have of the then Orioles... Brooks, DeCinces, Belanger, Grich, Dauer, Boog, Dempsey, Singleton, May, Bumbry, Martinez, McGregor, just to name a few, the one memory that I remember most of all was the night that Mike Flanagan had pitched a No-Hitter into the 9th inning. It was in the 7th inning that i had noticed that Mike hadn't allowed a hit. I turned to my father and said "Hey dad, Mike Flanagan hasn't given up a hit... he's throwing a No-Hitter". My father, immediately turned to me and said "No, don't say that! You'll jinx it." I, at 11 years old, thought to my self "oh no, maybe he didn't hear me." Then as the 9th inning came and he got the first two outs of the inning, we all had our fingers crossed for him to get that final out, but it wasn't meant to be. For years I felt that I was the one who ruined it for Mike. I prayed for forgiveness and even though I never met him personally, I know now that he would have forgiven me for breaking a golden rule - to never mention a No-Hitter. This memory will continue to be the greatest "HERO" memory of all for my lifetime as an Oriole fan. I've been fortunate enought to watch a lot of Baseball History and have seen many memorable plays and performances, but this particular performance by Mike Flanagan is the one that sticks with me the most. Thank you for all of the memories Mr. will be missed.

I have been an orioles fan since they moved from St. Louis to baltimore in 1954 and I would just like to send my sincerest condolences to Mike's family and his many friends. GOD BLESS

I hope the family sets up a good charity foundation in his name. I can just barely remember Mike's 2nd stint with the O's as I was about 7 at the time, but I was an Orioles fanatic. I still remember the players from those days. I was always pleased to see that he was still involved with the team after his playing days. This tragedy makes me miss those summer evenings as a kid and as an O's fan, even more. "he was an Oriole through and through" Well said.

What a tragedy. In effect Mike is collateral damage resulting from his close and personal association with a grossly underfunded professional sports franchise. The fact that his beloved Orioles were not allowed the resources to compete in the AL East must have gnawed at Mike very deeply. God bless you Mike and your family. I would say what is really on my mind right now but the time is not appropriate, it is a time to mourn.

Losing Flanny is like losing a member of my family. He is one of those former Orioles that makes you remember there excellent tradition and exemplifies the "Oriole Way". When I think of my youth, no matter what year, there is some Orioles moment or memory that coincides. No doubt Baltimoreans love our Orioles, and we love our former Orioles.

The circumstances surrounding his death make this even more tragic. I truely hope Mike Flanagan is at peace. This had made me step back and remember that the Orioles to me are more than a baseball team, but a part of my life. Much like family, you need to stick with them through the ups and downs, and stick together through adversity and sorrow. I'm sorry it took this for me to realize it. God Bless You Flanny!!

I had the pleasure of shaking hands with Flanny in January at Fan Fest......he gave me a big "how you doing?"
Seemed like the great guy, like everyone is saying. Great loss for the Orioles family.

He was a GREAT Oriole back when the Orioles were GREAT!

Deadspin is reporting Flanagan took his own life because of the community's perception of his role in the prolonged failure of this organization. What a shame. We'll miss you Flanagan, and if you're up in Heaven listening - Angelos destroyed this organization, not you.

Mike Flanagan - Thank you for 30+ years of Orioles memories. Thank you for 1979 and the great 23-9 Cy Young year. Thank you for 1983, the great 6-0 start, then coming back to play a major role in the great run through the playoffs and World Series. Thank you for caring so much about the Orioles that you wanted to pitch the final inning in Memorial Stadium in 1991. Thank you for your years as pitching coach trying to mold a staff with not much talent to begin with. Thank you for your tireless work as GM, again with not much talent and without a budget large enough to compete. Thank you for the many years of announcing for HTS and MASN, always witty, knowledgeable and entertaining, yet never self-promoting. And finally thank you for being a good and decent man. We will miss you. RIP #46

Im still in shock. Such a great player and better person. And I know I shoukld've expected this but ESPN is just ticking me of by just ignoring this like it was a 5th string QB thast died.

I wonder if Mike was an ex Yankee or Red Sock if theyd have done it this way? Yeah,right.

i remeber walking behind Flanny at oriole park at the end of the 1999 season, i hollered over to him that he should go out on the mound and show these guys how to pitch, he just turned around gave me a big smile and waived.
we all had favorite Orioles growing up mine was Roenicke, my one sister was Dauer,father's favorite was Triandos, when he was a kid and palmer. My youngest sisters favorite was Flanagan what a difficult phone call to make last night to see if she had heard the horrible news. it was like losing a family member. the thoughts and prayers go out from my family to the Flanagan family. #46 will always be remebered.

Mike Flanagan defined the Orioles when they exemplified the Oriole Way. And he defined what it meant to love the Orioles when they didn't.

Goodbye, Flanny. I miss you.

As a 49 year old man, I feel like I just lost a family member and part of the innocence of childhood. Flanny was just an awesome person. As a pitcher you knew he would win. He was a real treasure for all of us to have in our lives. Maybe if he only knew how mush all of us cherised him, this never would have happened. God Bless You #46

If Flanny thought that HE was the reason for the Orioles failure these many years...he was wrong. Such a tragedy to lose him this way...

I just want to say as a major sports fan and a daughter who lost her own dad to a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 58, my heart breaks for the family left behind. Some things we will never understand in this life, but good people die of suicide everyday. It is not our job to speculate the whys, but to honor them by treasuring the memories and carrying the family through this time of devastation. RIP, Mike Flanagan

I came from a fairly unhappy home growing up near Baltimore. The Orioles of the late 70s/early 80s gave me lots of joy during those tough years. Mike Flanagan was a big part of that time period. I broke down crying as I tried to explain to my wife this morning how much that team meant to me and how Mike Flanagan was such an inspiration to young kids like me. RIP Flanny.

He brought a very mellow and laid-back approach to his commentary. But always well-spoken. And he seemed like a good person. Great player but better person.

I am really sorry and shocked to hear and read of Flanny’s passing. Suicide is an extremely selfish way to die. A permanent solution to temporary problem(s).
Now Mike’s family is left with the everlasting tortuous question “why?”
I doubt very seriously Mike's so-called ‘failure’ as the Orioles GM had anything to do with his death. I can’t comprehend Mike would want to kill himself working for P.A, as much as I dislike him as the Orioles owner.
As another poster commented in here, I too was at the last game at Memorial Stadium in 1991. It was my first attended game in 10 years after the 1981 strike. Mike pitched the last inning after we fans chanted “we want Mike, we want Mike.” And when he did come in, we erupted with a standing ovation.
Then all the past and present Orioles gathered along the infield to say goodbye to Memorial Stadium. Wow, that was a sight to see.
I do hope that MASN and Tom Davis use the “Take Me out to the Ballgame” program as a tribute to Mike like they did for Boog Powell.
Thank you Mike for all you contributed to the Orioles during your career – as a Pitcher and GM. You did your best and this all a person can do.

this is awful too soon it seemed so unreal i would love hearing his voice I thught Amber theo harris was sad for somme reason and then BAM they announce this sad too soon For the week no orioles news no trade could trump this.

Buck if you read this win it for Flanny

I don't have any stories about meeting Mike Flanagan, although I wish I did. The closest I got was at the Fanfest that was held at Camden Yards, in 2005 I believe, due to a boat show at the Convention Center. I sat in on the Fan Forum with the front office staff and I asked him a question and afterwards, I shook his hand as he walked by. I was just thrilled to be shaking hands with an Oriole great, who represented the Oriole teams from when I was very young; the same teams that made me the Oriole fan I am today. So my memory of Mike Flanagan is just that; before last night, hearing his name reminded me of those great teams and great pitching staffs. It made me think of the emotion he showed when he left for Toronto, and also when he walked off the mound for the last time at Memorial Stadium. He was one of Weaver's Orioles. Today, hearing his name just makes me sad and a little mad for the way he left us.
I am glad for the outpouring of Love and admiration that is being sent his way and to his family and I am glad the rest of the baseball world is getting a glimpse of such a great member of the Orioles who represents the Oriole Way. It's just too bad they are only finding out upon his death. I'll miss hearing his voice and insight during Oriole games and I am sad that yet another member of the Oriole family is gone.

i remember mike flannagan from high school in manchester nh, although at the time he was a basketball player. he also played baseball so it was no surprise that he ended up in the majors. it breaks my heart to hear he took his life when he was loved and respected by everyone everywhere. you are now at peace.

i remember mike flannagan from high school in manchester nh, although at the time he was a basketball player. he also played baseball so it was no surprise that he ended up in the majors. it breaks my heart to hear he took his life when he was loved and respected by everyone everywhere. you are now at peace.

I'm crying as I'm writing this comment. Mike was one of the great "Orioles". I enjoyed watching him pitch during the great Weaver years. As we got to know Mike on and off the field; we realized how much he loved Baltimore and the Orioles. He was one of us. As someone who also suffered with clinical depression; I understand how he came to this horrible place in his life. To his family, remember if he thought he had any other choice, he never would have left any of you. He obviously wasn't thinking clearly. When your able, please forgive him. Rest in peace Flanny.

As a journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno four years ago, when Flanagan was still vp of baseball operations, I pursued an interview with him for a feature story I was writing in a sports writing course. Flanny's wife was so kind and got me in touch with him. He gave me a 30-minute interview. I was just some journalism student in Reno and here is a Cy Young award winner giving me an entire half hour.

I was also lucky enough to listen to Flanny nightly as I child on Delaware's eastern shore, before my parents moved to Nevada when I was 12. I will miss Flanny very much.

So many moments, yet the entire stadium chanting FLANAGAN FLANAGAN in the last inning against Detroit in the last Memorial stadium game. When Mike came out the place went nuts.

We loved you Mike.

Mike was in my high school class, played hoops too, a great 2 sport star. Was always class all the way, and tremendous commitment to excellence. Every small town has their local HS stars, and that's usually where it ends, but a few years later when I heard of a Mike Flanagan pitching for the Os was thrilled and was clear that Mike really had those extra levels of commitment to excellence that was able to take him to the top of the game. Can't but think when you have his level of commitment, but have a continuous frustration over the results, if that explains part of what happened.

Thank you for the comments of his ex team mates who seemed to speak from the heart. Except for one, of course, whose comment looks like it was written by his agent. (Despite Cal's icon status, somehow not surprised.)

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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