After years of vigorous support and optimism, the three game sweep at the hand of the Blue Jays almost has me at my breaking point with the Orioles.
As I am typing the Orioles look like they will finally get back into the win column, however, the damage has already been done to my psyche.
I am only 25 years old and for the last 11 years of my life I have been rooting pitch by pitch and inning by inning for one of the worst teams in the Major Leagues.
Despite a lot of other fans turning their back on the Orioles, I have stuck by them and even have been a season ticket holder for the last three seasons.
This Saturday was when I realized that the Orioles ineptitude might finally have started to break me.
I was covering a high school track meet for one of the papers I work for and I was not able to watch or listen to the game.
Normally in this situation I would be on my phone checking the score or having one of my friends text me updates. When I finally received a text from one of my friends that George Sherrill had blown another save, I realized that this was the first time in a long time that I did not really care.
I have watched or listened to almost every game for as long as I can remember but Sunday afternoon I was flipping between the NBA, NHL and Poker and only turned on the Orioles when all three other things were at a commercial. This is something that has NEVER happened before.
By no means did I expect this team to make a worst to first run but I never expected them to be this bad this quickly into the season. It is May 4th and the Orioles are already eight games out of first place and have lost 14 of their last 17 games.
This team made some moves in the off-season that had me excited and I was looking forward to another of going to the Yard and supporting my beloved Orioles, but I do not know how much more I can take.
I expected this team to hover around the .500 mark early then when they started losing I would remain interested because at that point the young players would likely be called up.
The main reason I have been agitated is because of the term “seasoning” that I hear every single night I watch the game. Seasoning is something I put on my food to make it taste better it is not a word I want to hear when it comes to describing our young arms.
The Orioles are averaging about 10,000 fans a game and still trot out Adam Eaton and Mark Hendrickson every fifth day in front of a fan base that does not want to see them. The Orioles need some reason to bring people to the stadium and calling up the likes of Wieters, Reimold and Arrieta would be that reason.
I have been on board with Andy MacPhail’s “plan” since day one and I like some of the moves he has made thus far, however, me along with the rest of the fan base are becoming impatient and want to see these players now.
I do not want to see two journeymen pitchers on their 4th team and who are on the back end of their careers give up seven runs a game when we have pitchers who are just coming into their prime that can be just as effective.
The argument for keeping the players down on the farm for more “seasoning” is because people think that bringing them up too early and having them struggle could ruin their psyche, but this a terrible argument.
Pitchers like Matt Riley, Garret Olson, Calvin Maduro, and Rick Krivda are some of the pitcher the Orioles “rushed” that had little to no success at the major league level. These pitchers are not even the same class as Tillman, Arrieta and Matusz and the current crop of young arms should not have to pay for the ineptitude of previous Orioles call ups.
The longer and longer Matt Wieters stays in Triple A, the more and more I become frustrated with this team. Greg Zaun is a great defensive catcher but he couldn’t hit sand if he fell off a camel and I can’t stand to watch him hit a cool .100 any longer.
Calling a game is important but Wieters’ bat will over ride his lack of game calling skills and more importantly he will put butts in the seats.
In my opinion there is nothing better then going to the yard, especially when it full, and watching the team I love, but going to the games is starting to become less enjoyable.
I have been willing to endure all the losing seasons with the hope that when they are competitive it will be that much sweeter and I am yearning for some meaningful September baseball.
Please Andy do something before you lose one of the biggest fans you have. I can’t imagine my life without baseball so please do not take it away from me.