Free The Birds? They look free to me now.

September 04, 2007 | Drew Forrester

So Nasty blogs about a disgruntled O’s fan who thinks WNST should follow through on a proposed Free The Birds2 event to continue exposing the disheveled look of the ’07 Birds.

My first thought?  The Birds are as free right now as they’ve been in a long, long time.

Everyone is off the hook at this point.  They hired Dave Trembley as their ’08 manager two weeks ago and the club has won exactly one game since then.  But Trembley’s safe…the club certainly wouldn’t do anything with him, no matter how poorly the team plays down the stretch.  After all, it’s not HIS fault that Jim Hoey has to pitch every other night, is it?  Andy MacPhail convinced a kid who didn’t have two nickels to rub together to take a $6 million signing bonus and he did.  Put another feather in MacPhail’s cap for that one, huh?  And as of last week, based partly on injuries to their regulars, the O’s have started trotting rookies and wanna-be’s out there on a fairly regular basis hoping someone like J.R. House, Scott Moore or Rocky Cherry catches lightning in a bottle.

There’s no pressure at all right now.  Sure, they don’t like losing.  I’m not even going to hint that the veterans like Tejada, Mora and Roberts would rather lose than win.  They’d rather win, obviously.  But there’s really no pressure on anyone in the clubhouse right now because they all have an excuse.  The vets can say, “you played rookies the last month of the season” and the rookies can say, “the clubhouse was a shambles when I got here in September – I was just happy to get the $94.00 per-day per-diem.”

The Orioles have become baseball’s version of Robert Downey, Jr.

Time and time again, the Birds have promised us all that they’re taking a different road.  A better road.  And time and time again, we’ve believed them, only to find them curled up on their bed with the distinct odor of marijuana in the air and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” booming out of the CD player.

How many times will we see the Orioles sniffle and rub their noses before we realize they’re using again?

Sadly, a lot of people bought into the “they’re getting better” theory about two months ago.  I have the bumper sticker on MY car, in fact.  Another late season collapse and a probable last-place finish in the A.L. East have earned us all a meeting with the “Cleat of Reality”.  Robert Downey, Jr., wearing an Orioles jersey, isn’t sober after all.

A series win over the Red Sox, followed by two out of three against the Yankees, and we all thought maybe, just maybe, our son was clean again.  But a couple of days later, we found a straw, some rolled up dollar bills and a half-used bottle of visine in their jacket pocket – and it came in the form of a 30-to-3 thumping and a home sweep at the hands of the – gasp! – Devil Rays.

So now, like a family dealing with another setback, we all gather around and wonder aloud, “what are we gonna do with the O’s?”

Rehab again?  Disown them?  Let ’em learn about the ways of the world on their own?

I don’t know, frankly.  Some days, I believe they’re beyond help.  I fully expect them to lose tonight in some kind of bizarre way.  It’s become their calling.  Just for s*its and giggles, here’s a scenario I could see playing out this evening in Tampa Bay.

Manfra –  “OK, O’s fans, here we are, top of the 9th, two outs and the bases are loaded for the Orioles and they’re down 7-6 with Brian Roberts at the plate.  Roberts is 4-for-4 tonight, so it’s looking pretty good right about now as he’s suddenly wielding a hot bat.  There’s ball one to Roberts…and, ball two…and there’s ball three to Roberts…the O’s are just one pitch away from forcing in the tying run.  Carlos Pena strolls to the mound to talk with Rays closer Al Reyes.  Pena trots back over to first.  Here’s Reyes with the pit – wait, Pena has tagged OUT Freddie Bynum at first base using the hidden ball trick!  Can you believe it?  The Rays win, 7-6 as Freddie Bynum took his lead at first and Carlos Pena had the baseball in his glove and merely stepped to his right and tagged Bynum out to end this ballgame.”

Don’t think it could happen?  You’re 1000% sure that couldn’t happen, right?  I have three words for you:  thirty-to-three.

Anyway, back to reality.

If you want a photo that epitomizes the Orioles 2007 season check out page 7 in today’s sports section of The Sun.  Take a look at that picture and tell me it doesn’t sum up the whole campaign.

It’s not Robert Downey, Jr., but it might as well be.

BRob is a beaten man.

We’re all beaten down too.

It’s been a long summer.

You know what they say:  “I’d go to rehab, but I’m not a quitter.”

When’s the ’08 opening day, again?