JUMP ON THE ROLLER COASTER

August 26, 2014 | Tom Federline

Thursday, August 21st – Birds up by 9 on the Spankee’s and 9 on the Boo Jays. Four (4) days later, August 25th – Birds up by 6 on the Spankee’s and 8 on the Boo Jays. Just when you start thinking - the Orioles (73 wins), might just be able to coast into the playoffs - BANG – O’s get  swept/outplayed by the Chicago…….Cubs (58 wins). That downer coming right after riding high sweeping the Chicago……….White Sox (59 wins).  Then to add salt into the wound, the Cubs sweep came at the hands of former Orioles, i.e. Jake “I’m on juice”" Arietta, Pedro “Strope Me Strope Me” and finally the guy who never pitched one inning for the O’s but collected a heckuva paycheck – “One hit” Wada. Up/down/hold on - roller coaster is at turn 1.

On top of being swept, lets add some more salt, O’s fans get the official news – Machado is gone for the rest of the year. Not that you didn’t know that already, especially if you had seen the knee buckle (live) that night. But you go, Orioles front office and media relations. You go, with your weak attempt to fill our minds with hope that it was only a “strained” ACL. The knee bent at almost a 45 degree angle and “it’s just a strain?” SO, during this past year we have learned Manny is not so “Mucho” Machado with week knees, week/slippery hands and bad aim. It’s a shame, Machado was just getting into playing shape, after missing preseason and over a month of the regular season. Machado threat gone joining the Wieters threat that was gone.  Down and further down – keep holding on through turn 2.

When the O’s are hitting, there are moments of, “Man - the Orioles may actually have a shot, they got this.” Unfortunately, those moments are to few and far between. But……….. those moments…… are there. The Orioles are still in first place of the American League East. They didn’t get there by luck. They don’t give up, they show sporadic confidence and even with the injuries they are fairly solid in the field. At least CC Sabathia is out for the year, so he can’t sabotage the O’s by taking Markakis out for this years playoff run. Up/Up and Up - getting ready for turn 3.

The dilemma is, they are probably going to need more game saving catches (Nick). They are going to need late inning wins and walk off home runs. They are going to need someone to pick up the offensive slack (Steve Pearce). They are going to need some serious staring pitching (Chen?Tillman). They are going to need some “lights out” relief pitching (O’Day/Britton). They are going to need some Orioles Magic (Buck-Buck). Down/Up/Down/Up - through turn 4.

Can the pitching save the Orioles? It’s going to have to. I’m feeling better about Cruuuuuuuuuz. If any team had a decent pitching coach, Jones would be out 90% of the time. Feed him down and away and he’s toast. Davis needs a shot of “juicy juice”. Brady – where are you? Isn’t that your job - ”Juice” without getting caught? Davis whiffs and the whole stadium feels a breeze, consistently. Can we get Mark Reynolds back? Whoops weak moment there – forget that one. When the opposing team gets  Markakis out - their odds of winning the game quadruple. There is minimal threat left in the line-up. Wieters gone. Machado gone. Davis – no threat. I’m a big fan of Delmon Young – we need to see more of him. At least he is a major league hitter. Coast/Down/Coast/Up - getting set up for the final stretch.

Then there’s the secret weapon – the manager. The O’s have a shot with Buck-Buck. Buck-Buck is going to keep these boys focused. One of the few criticisms I have on Buck-Buck is, I wish he would get tossed more. Yes, I was and always will be an Earl Weaver fan. It’s going to take the leadership of Buck-Buck, Markakis, Jones and Hardy. If the O’ lose another key player – we are not going to be on any roller coaster ride. So you have your choice – The O’s Rollercoaster or the “Love Rollercoaster” – (Ohio Players). Both rides affect the blood pressure and adrenaline levels. I recommend jumping on both. Go O’s!

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. JC Says:

    Dan:
    Yes the roller coaster ride has been fun, but it has had it’s anxious moments. 26 games remaining. 8-1/2 game lead over the evil empire. We’ve got the division sewn up right?
    Well, we still have 8 games left against the Yankees and 6 more against the Blue Jays. Something tells me there are still some stomach turning dips left in ride before we get to take in the Magic of October baseball in Baltimore.

    Somehow in all the gloomy clouds of no Matt Weiters, no Manny, Davis looking like he couldn’t hit your whiffle curve in the back yard, our $50 mil free agent pitcher coming in for mop up duty out of the bullpen, we still have the second best record in baseball and lead the league in homers.

    Is it Buck? divine intervention? team chemistry (whatever that is)?
    Whatever it is, I’ll take 2 of those. These guys just seem to find ways to win way more than they lose.

    Who will be the hero is this year’s version or Oriole Magic?
    Will Steve Clevenger turn into the 1983 Rick Dempsey?
    Will Jonathan Schoop be the proud owner of this year’s Tito Landrum “shot heard round the world”?

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
    Until then let’s just sit back, put the safety bar in place and try not to scream like a baby during the scariest parts of the ride.

    For now, I’m playing,”The waiting is the hardest part” – TP

    jc

  2. Fedman Says:

    JC,

    “Let’s Ride.” And the hits just keep on comin’. Pearce down (“strained” abdomen). Hardy down (lower back spasms). You have to check out tonights starting line-up. Names in the line-up: Alejandro (where is my plane) De Aza, Jimmy (5-hole) Paredes, Ryan (.200) Flaherty, Caleb (I’m not Amish) Joseph, Jonathan Rufino Jezus Schoop (.217).

    And this team has the second best record in the American League? RUKM?
    Team leadership has to be it – Jones, Nick, Hardy and I’m guessing O’Day is rounding up the pitchers.

    The division is NOT sewn, as you elude to. The media and bandwagon baseball fans seem to think so. Show me the math I’m an engineer, prove it. They are looking good though. But they can’t start losing more key players. It’s “O”mazing they made it this far. That line-up tonight is NOT taking them to the promised land.

    Thanks for the feedback. Keep ‘em rolling.

    PEACE

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