04/13/11 4:41 PM ET
O's Guthrie takes a spin around MLB Fan Cave
By Thomas Boorstein / MLB.com
But Guthrie, who rides to Oriole Park for home games, wasn't content to do laps around the cave. On a whim, he took the bike out the front door and disappeared into the New York streets.
After 15 minutes of waiting for Guthrie, Ryan Wagner, one of two Fan Cave inhabitants, finally saw the Orioles pitcher reappear.
"I knew I wanted to go to Union Square," Guthrie said. "I just didn't know how I was going to get there. So I had to pull out the old iPhone and pull up the map and figure out which direction. I made a couple of stops along the way. I would have ridden that thing for four hours."
That's not to say Guthrie, who rode about two miles, didn't enjoy his time with Mike O'Hara and Wagner, the two fans who will be watching every Major League game this season from the MLB Fan Cave on East Fourth Street and Broadway in Manhattan. The pitcher, whose Orioles were in town to play the Yankees, took a tour of the Cave and saw its large wall of TV screens, map of all 30 Major League stadiums and game room.
"From the pictures, it looks exactly as I hoped it would be," Guthrie said. "It's a great concept. Great couple of guys, obviously. The guys make it happen. Everyone here is phenomenal. This is fun. It will be interesting to see how it turns out over the summer, and I anticipate a lot of people coming down here and making it worth the fans' time."
Guthrie talked with O'Hara and Wagner on topics ranging from baseball -- the three discussed Dave Bush's inclusion in the Rangers' rotation -- to boy-band music. The Major Leaguer said he'd love to be a Backstreet Boy and even cued up a video of "Don't Turn Off the Lights," a new single released as a collaboration by the Backstreet Boys and New Kids On the Block.
As an unabashed fan of Justin Bieber, Guthrie even had to deal with a mock intervention from O'Hara and Wagner about his musical tastes. He raised eyebrows when he said Eminem "had a good run" and that he was "more of a Shania Twain fan" than he was of Taylor Swift.
Guthrie's visit was the second this week by an Orioles player. Center fielder Adam Jones stopped by on Monday.
"At the end of the day, I'm still a fan," said Wagner, a Maryland native and Orioles fan. "To be able to goof around with him and hang around on the couch and watch him ride a bike -- that's the neatest thing in the world."
Guthrie joined Austin Jackson, Joba Chamberlain, Nick Swisher and Huston Street on the Fan Cave's guest list. And Guthrie, like Wagner and O'Hara, loves to watch baseball. Some Major Leaguers may shun the sport when they leave the stadium, but not this Orioles hurler.
"I like to watch them all," Guthrie said of Major League games, "moreso if there is a pitcher that I enjoy watching. That makes it more attractive to me. But I watched almost every playoff game when the season ended. If I'm not at the ballpark, I love to watch a baseball game."
Guthrie also loves to ride a bike. The Orioles stay in Midtown Manhattan when they visit the Yankees, and Guthrie is a veteran of the Central Park loop. His brief experience on the streets of New York left a different impression than his rides to games in Baltimore.
"It's not as crazy," Guthrie said of the Baltimore traffic. "For the most part, I'm on sidewalks or bike paths where I am. It's downtown -- they've done a nice job with the Inner Harbor. So I don't run across too many cars. Right here, it's all cars, trucks and taxis driving around."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.