Great, here they come. Our friends from the north returning once again to our fair city to remind us just how far our beloved Orioles have yet to go, just to be respectable, and not, orange kool-aid drinkers, competitive.
There was a time, just recently in fact, that I wished nothing but doom and gloom on the Evil Empire. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate them more than any other sports team not named the Steelers or Penguins. But there is something different. Something that has taken away a bit of the venom….the Orioles themselves.
If you listen to MASN, and for that matter, any of their on air “talent”, they would tell you that the Yankees arriving in Baltimore is the renewal of a fierce rivalry. Rivalry??? Give me a break. In order for their to be a rivalry, it has to go both ways. And while it’s fun, and just, to hate the Yankees and their rotten, stinking fans, do you think for one second they care at all about the Orioles? As far as New York is concerned, they are coming down to Yankee Stadium South for what probably will be a cake-walk sweep in what is turning into a runaway in the division. For all the hatred and anger I have thrown the Yankees way over the past several years, I have come to one unfortunate conclusion….the past 12 years, we have been irrelevent.
While the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2000, they at least have played meaningful games this time of year, in every season since. Why hate them for that? Sure I will root against them at every turn, and hope that 2009 is yet another in a series of post season collapses. But why hate them for fielding a competitive team every year? Yes I think the way they go about it is wrong, but in all honestly, that is a problem with Major League Baseball, not NY. The Yankees are just playing the “game” better then most. The Orioles have just as much money to spend as the Yankees, let’s not kid ourselves there. And no, I did not think for one second that Mark Texiera was ever coming here, and you know what??? I don’t blame him. What the Orioles lack, that the Yankees have, is a front office willing to spend the money necessary to win, the fortitude to let a few high priced stinkers (see Carl Pavano) come in and only collect a paycheck without actually helping the team, and the trust of baseball people to know that year in and year out, no matter what, they are dedicated to WINNING!!!! What a novel idea! Run a baseball organization in a way that every year they actually want to win. The New York Yankees of the 1980’s proved that they could be a mediocore team, and still rake in the money. What changed in the early 90’s, thanks to Steinbrenner not being there, was that just making money, wasn’t good enough….they wanted to win. And they did, have, and are. How great it would be if our Orioles were run that way. They used to be. Back when winning and being a respected organization was more important than making a few extra bucks. But those days are long gone, and until Mr. Angelos sells this team, it will be a long time before they return. And no, Adrian Gonzalez isn’t coming here this off season either.
Ok, so I’ve rambled enough. Here is the conclusion of my rant. Again, I HATE the Yankees and their fans with a passion passed onto me by my father. But I’m not mad at them. They are what I want my team to be. Perennial contenders run by quality baseball people who are trusted to make the baseball decisions necessary to be perennial contenders. Seems kind of simple doesn’t it? Like an easy formula to follow. So why the heck have we been suffering for the last 12 years???
Because in this organization, making money and alienating good people, trumps putting a quality product on the field and in the community. Hmmm, makes me hate the Yankees, just a little less.