It’s “must-win” territory for O’s between now and Sunday

September 30, 2009 | Drew Forrester

It might be a first in baseball history, but the O’s are faced with a “must-win” game in one of the next five days.

Yes, it could very well be the first time EVER that a team in last place and light years behind the first place team has the must-win label applied to them — but the O’s MUST win a game between now and Sunday.

If you don’t agree, you should just turn in your Fan Card.  Or your Brain Card.

If our orange feathered friends end the season with five more losses (which, by the way, I don’t think they will…they’ll win again before Monday) and post a 17-game losing streak to finish off 2009, they might as well just move into the Carolina League for 2010 and let the Keys play at Camden Yards.

17 games in a row – losing them all – to end the season?

It just can’t happen. 

It better NOT happen.

What the hell are you going to sell for six months this winter if the team limps into off-season with a 17-game losing streak wrapped around their head?  

“Hi, would you like to buy a $250,000 sponsorship from us for the 2010 baseball season?”

“Aren’t you the team that ended the season losing 17 straight games and drawing no one to the ballpark?”

“Yes, that’s us.”

“Sure, where do we sign?  On second thought…no thanks.”

They’re gonna have enough trouble attracting free agents this winter as it is, no matter if their win total ends up at 60 or if they win all five and finish 65-97.  

But to end the season on a 17-game losing streak?

Holy Embarrassment, Batman.

It’s interesting to watch these final few days.  They’re still trying, the Birds are.  I watch the games.  I might be the only idiot in the market STILL watching, but I’ve watched most of the first two games in Tampa Bay.  They’re still trying. 

They’re fielding a AAA team at this point, in all reality.

And losing to major league teams night after night.

If Norfolk played in the major leagues for 12 days, they’d lose 12 straight too, trust me.

Somehow, some way, the O’s have to win a game between now and Sunday afternoon when the Ravens have polished off the Patriots in Foxboro.

It’s been a whacky year at OPACY.  The team really isn’t this bad.  I’m not trying to take Steve Melewski’s spot as Chief- Explainer-of-How-It’s-Really-Not-As-Bad-As-It-Looks — but – *ahem* – it probably ISN’T as bad as it looks.  The team was reasonably competitive through 100 games, at 43-57.  A World Series threat?  Of course not.  But they had some shining moments through mid-July.  Once they dealt Sherrill, the bullpen started to creak like an old wheelbarrow with a bad tire. The bullpen, including closer-by-mandate Jim Johnson, has easily squandered 10 games for them in the last 50 or so.  And when Aubrey Huff left, and Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones suffered season-ending injuries, that became just too much for the offense to overcome. 

And they’ve been left with a lineup that would probably win the Colonial Athletic Association title but wouldn’t make it through the 2nd round of the NCAA playoffs. 

The team that played the first 100 games would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 wins by now had it stayed intact.

Alas, it didn’t.  And they’re now struggling just to get to 62 wins and avoid the mammoth baseball-shame-mark that is 100 losses. 

This team, as we’ve seen for the last 45 games, is really bad.

But this isn’t the team we’ll see in 2010.  

At least I hope not.

Then again, I’ve already heard the on-air propaganda from the team’s collection of paid sheep, hinting aloud about how “this winter’s free agent crop just doesn’t have much to choose from”.

Andy MacPhail, in fact, admitted as much in Minnesota a month ago when he told the Twins TV crew “we’re probably looking at spending money in the free agent market in the winter of 2010.”

I’m one of the 109 people in town still following the team on September 30 and I’m rooting like hell for them to win one of these last 5 games.

Really, I want them to win 3…to at least get to the 63-99 mark.

But at this stage, with a 17-game losing streak a legitimate possibility, I’ll take one if I have to, I guess.

Just one win.

I’m not asking for much.