Time for a reality check brought to you by this year’s Baltimore Orioles. Kevin Millar’s appearance during the Boston-Cleveland series really has no bearing on the current state of the Orioles because, right now, there IS no Baltimore Orioles. There’s a theoretical team playing on a field of dreams. Somewhere in our collective conscience lives a Baltimore roster filled with players who actually take pride in wearing the Orioles uniform. Somewhere in our minds there are young, talented ballplayers who come to the park every night with a burning urge to bring a championship back to Charm City.
It’s a fantasy folks. It doesn’t exist. I think we all got fooled into believing that, in a world filled with Tejadas, Moras and Bedards- selfish players who seem to play only to find the next big contract- lived a player like Millar who believed in Orioles magic. In some ways, we saw Millar as our newest B.J Surhoff. A guy who might even settle into Baltimore for a few years and help instill the winning attitude this team sorely lacks. Millar isn’t that guy. Sadly, neither are Brian Roberts nor Nick Markakis. Do you think for a second Nick Markakis will stick around when it’s time to re-up? Doubtful. Brian Roberts? Not a chance. Not unless the Orioles are the highest bidder.
There are no Orioles on the Baltimore Orioles anymore. There’s no one who invokes the spirit of Memorial Stadium, Chuck Thompson and Baltimore blue collar baseball. There’s no "Brooksies". There’s no "Cakes". There’s no "Cals". There’s neither an "E-DDIE" nor a "Booo-g". There are 25 guys who wear the same uniform and get together for a few hours to smack a ball around. Sometimes they win but mostly they lose.
They may play in Baltimore but they don’t live in Baltimore and they mostly didn’t come up through the Baltimore farm system. Which is not to say you must be "homegrown" to be a true Baltimore Oriole. Frank Robinson was an Oriole. Ken Singleton was an Oriole. John Lowenstein, Joe Orsulak, Mike Bordick, Jeff Conine, Scott Erickson- all of them were Orioles too. Hell, even Rafael Palmiero and Roberto Alomar were Orioles until they weren’t anymore.
The Baltimore Orioles don’t exist right now. They live only in our hopes. Thanks, Kevin Millar, for making me realize my delusion and here’s hoping we find some Baltimore Orioles once again.