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May 5, 2005

O's on "The Move"

With the Orioles off to their best start since 1997, there have been plenty of wins to celebrate in this young season—eighteen, to be exact, against just nine losses. And the Birds' on-field leader, Miguel Tejada, has introduced a unique, intricate mode of celebrating those wins with his teammates. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about: immediately after each Oriole win, Tejada greets infield-mates Brian Roberts and Melvin Mora with a dizzying routine of hand- and back-slapping that ends in an embrace or a macho pose.

Gettin' Miggy wit it

Columnist Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun examines this phenomenon in a story today entitled "The Move." The headline comes from the name of the ritual employed by Tejada and Cowherd in the story. Actually, Cowherd takes Tejada's unimaginatively generic description and elevates it to quasi-official status:

That hand-slap, hug, gangsta-pose routine - you have a name for that? we asked.

"No, we don't have a name," says Tejada. "We just call it a move. The move. Sometimes maybe somebody hits a home run, and we say: 'Let's do the move.'"

OK, well that's a name, isn't it?

The Move?

Tejada nods and smiles. Sure, why not?

So now we have a name for it: the Move.

To me, "the Move" is not descriptive enough a name for such an elaborate practice. I have decided to call it "the Miggy," after Tejada, who authored the ritual. Again from Cowherd's article:

As for the back story, here it is: The Move is the artistic creation of Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic, who first saw a version of it while playing winter ball in the Caribbean.

He started orchestrating it after O's wins last season, his first in Baltimore after arriving as a free agent and signing a zillion-dollar contract.

I'm not sure whether, in that last sentence, Cowherd is trying to make a causal link between Tejada's contract and the development of the ritual. Did Tejada want to give fans a little something extra for their money, as if his fine hitting and glovework weren't entertaining enough? Well, more likely Miguel's effervescent personality felt stifled by the muted way that baseball players usually celebrate wins: a handshake or a fist-bump here, a back-pat or a butt-slap there. And so he invented his own victory dance, giving us the Miggy.

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