Orioles: Here comes the judge
The Orioles are putting together a Kangaroo Court this season, with catcher Gregg Zaun set to preside as judge when it is called to order later this month.
Lots of teams have held court over the years, but one of the most famous Kangaroo Courts was here in Baltimore in the early 1970s, with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson perhaps the most famous Kangaroo magistrate in baseball history.
The Kangaroo Court concept is meant to be fun -- how else do you explain Frank fining Brooks Robinson for "showboating" in the 1970 World Series -- but the courts also have a practical purpose. They allow players to call other players on fundamental errors and lapses in baseball etiquette in a non-confrontational setting.
The money collected either goes to charity or is used for some kind of late-season team meal or party...or both.
"It's just a way to keep people accountable,'' said Zaun. "It's also a good excuse to raise some money and get everybody together for dinner."
A couple of plugs: I'll be holding a live chat at noon at the baltimoresun.com site along with fellow columnist David Steele today and I'll be back on the air for my nightly talk show on WBAL (1090 AM) and WBAL.com at six. So you've got two opportunities to jump me today. Don't waste them.