Losing in Real Time… A Night with the Oriole

May 03, 2007 |

I’m seated at one of my favorite taverns, sipping my third Tanqueray and tonic, and watching the Orioles game on MASN.  I’m scribbling this piece on a cocktail napkin in real time.

The Orioles are down 5-3 in the top of the ninth and about to lose again.  I know they are.  I can read it on their faces.  All game long I’ve been paying special attention to the dugout camera shots.  No one on the team seems happy with their chosen profession.  They look like toll booth operators or those friendly folks who work at the DMV.  Worse.  They look like losers.  They look like the Kansas City Royals or the Washington Nationals.  They look like Bob Dole in ’96 or Martin Scorcese before he finally won his OScar.  There’s a fatalism about this team.  They know they’re going to lose and don’t particulary care. 

One out.  Roberts is on first. 

Markakis smacks a double to left field.  Roberts moves over to third. 

Now Tejada is up and he has the look of someone who’s about to fail.  The multi-million dollar crybaby isn’t happy in Baltimore.  He keeps saying he is, but he isn’t.  I can read it on his face. 

He taps a ball weakly to third. Roberts crosses the plate. Markakis moves over to third.

It’s 5-4. 

Tejada will tell you he didn’t fail because he drove in a run.  It’s good for his stats.

But is that what superstars do with runners on second and third and one out- tap a ball weakly to short?  Does Alex Rodriguez do that?  Or David Ortiz? 

And now, of course, there are two outs.

Aubrey Huff steps in.  He’s the big bat the Orioles picked up during the off season.  He’s the guy who provides that left handed power the Orioles needed.  He’s the guy currently hitting .233 with 3 home runs. And he too looks like he’s about to fail.  But, then again, he spent seven years playing for the Devil Rays so to him failure comes naturally. 

Three balls and one strike.  A hitter’s count.

Huff SWINGS…

… and pops up to short. 

“Drop it! Drop it!” says a guy sitting next to me.  A desperate plea which falls on silent ears.  The catch is made and the game is over.

Orioles lose.  Again. 

This, folks, is your 2007 Baltimore Orioles.  A team of failures who don’t seem to really mind.

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