As I sit in my house watching the Orioles on track to lose their thirteenth game in a row I feel like I have to end my silence. It has been one month and twenty-two days since I have written about a baseball team that I have loved for as long as I can remember. A team that once ruled my life has become so inconsequential that I realized I have not watched a full inning of Oriole baseball in well over a month.
As this team is about to hit a new low point with 100 losses this season I have come to the realization that baseball in Baltimore is completely off the reservation. Nobody in Baltimore cares what this team does anymore and I have about as much interest in baseball in Baltimore as watching the Lifetime channel…I am serious I was watching a Golden Girls marathon a few weeks ago and after seeing the Orioles were playing I watched three more hours of Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche’s geriatric hijinks over an Orioles game.
While it is tough for me to face the cold hard facts about the Orioles, how terrible must it be to try and play for a team that absolutely nobody cares about? I was watching the Ravens game last Sunday and during a timeout switched over to MASN to see the Orioles losing to the Indians. After thinking about it I wondered aloud to some people I was watching the game with, “How many people in Baltimore are actually watching the Orioles instead of the Ravens?” It has to be completely deflating to play out a season in a city that doesn’t even know the season is still going.
Now tonight as I attempted to sit through my first full Orioles game in well over a month I am treated to some of the most contradictory announcing I have ever heard. Gary Thorne made reference to what a small crowd had shown up in Tampa Bay to watch the game. After a few jokes about the irrelevancy of the Rays in Tampa he continues, “I am sure the attendance will be announced at 10,000 but that is being generous”. Really Gary? The Orioles have been pulling in crowds under 10,000 for well over a month now and continue to fudge the numbers to make their attendance look “respectable”. The Orioles can’t even draw 10,000 when they are giving away one dollar tickets (a sham in and of its self that could fill up an entire blog).
A coworker told me that I had to watch Matt Wieters game winning home run against Tampa Bay two weeks ago but not because it was a historic, exciting sign of things to come but because it was hilarious. I had no idea what he was talking about until I got home and saw Matt Wieters hit a shot to left to lead the Orioles to a rare win…the most amazing part…there was literally one kid sitting in then front row of the left field stands. Sadly it is no exaggeration there was literally one solitary kid in an Orioles jersey with thousands of empty green seats that should have been filled with Oriole fans celebrating.
Things are as bad in birdland as they have ever been…I am going to the game Saturday after receiving two free tickets and I will be looking for my defining Orioles moment of 2009…being one of 7,000 people to see the teams 100th loss.