Orioles 2012: Why Not? before Why Bother?

April 18, 2012 | Paul Hoke

I was scrolling around Youtube the other day looking for catchy Baltimore Orioles’ tunes like my personal favorite, “How Bout Dem O’s”, even if it is a few years old.  And I came across an oldie, but definetly a goodie in the cherry 1989 tune, “Orioles: Why Not?”

We all, well, those of us old enough to remember anyway, what a wonderful season 1989 turned out to be.  After a dismal 1988 which featured a team record 107 losses, 21 of which came to start the season, and perhaps the lowest point in Orioles’ baseball pre-Peter Angelos, 1989 was a magical season here in Baltimore.  It all got kicked off on Opening Day when the O’s, donning new uniforms with the “ornithologically” correct bird on the cap, bested Roger Clemens and the Boston Red Sox, 5-4 thanks to a three run Cal Ripken, Jr. homerun and a catch that saw Steve Finley crash into the right-center field wall at Memorial Stadium, only to separate his shoulder.  I remember that game like it was yesterday.  I also remember the headline on The Sun paper the next day.  It read, “0-21? Not this Year.”  1989 stands as one of my favorite Oriole seasons in my 30+ years of fandom.  Mostly because there hasn’t been a whole lot to cheer about when it comes to Orioles’ baseball over the past three decades, especially the past 15 years.  But I can even look back with fondness on that final weekend in Toronto when the Orioles and Jays fought down to the 161st game to decide the American League East.  Having everything to play for on the season’s final weekend is something I, and every Orioles’ fan can only dream about.  Which brings me 23 years into the future….2012.

After defeating the Chicago White Sox, 3-2, last night, the Birds’ have run their early season record to 7-4 and sit atop the American League Eat, a half game ahead of those hated Toronto Blue Jays.  By the way, side not here, I would personally like to thank the Toronto Blue Jays organization for going back to their more traditional lettering and uniforms.  I usually don’t care about what the other teams do, especially to their laundry, but Toronto’s recent uniforms were absolutely hideous.

Anyway, back to our Birds.

11 games into their 2012 campaign, the O’s have won 7 and sit in first place.

I could sit here and nitpick over the two games against the Yankees that should have been wins, but weren’t.  I could also point out that the Orioles have won 7 of 11 with little to no production from Mark Reynolds.  Or that if Jim Johnson wants to load the bases every ninth inning of every game, he’s not notching a whole lot of saves this year.  But I won’t.  For now, I will just ejoy pulling up MLB.com and seeing my team sitting in first place.  And quietly thinking to myself…Hey, Why Not?  Like that 1989 song, which sounds a awful lot like it was sung by Rob Fahey, says, “Come on O’s we can win this thing, Why Not?”

They’ve started good out of the gate, and are getting better then expected starting pitching from everyone not named Brian Matusz.  So, hey, Why Not?  Why can’t this be a 1989-type year?  Hell, it may only be April, but can we see if the MLB will let us at least float around the idea of printing “Baltimore Orioles 2012 American League East Champions” pennants?

I guess this is what it’s come to around here.

Why Not?  Unfortunately the answer to that question is all too obvious.  Because it’s the Orioles and the season is 162 games long, not 11.

But at the very least, I’m going to have fun with this.  That is until mid-June rolls around and “Why Not?” turns into “Why Bother?”  But hey, by then we’ll only have a little over a month before the Ravens open up camp.  But let’s see how far this ride takes us.  Before one of our starting pitchers, or two for that matter, makes their annual trip to the DL.  Before the bullpen begins to wither from over work.  Before Chris Davis, Nolan Riemold, and Wilson Betemit realize that they are still…Chris Davis, Nolan Riemold, and Wilson Betemit.  And of course before the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox start playing like, well, the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox.

It’s fun for the moment, but reality is lurking right around the corner.