I did the smart thing and waited a day to opine on another lost weekend for the Orioles.
And it worked.
I’m not nearly as aggravated this morning as I was yesterday, watching our beloved Birds keystone-cops their way to another shameful series sweep — this time at the hands of the Angels.
It shouldn’t matter anyway, right? I mean, after all, we have a football season on the horizon and as anyone who walks the streets of Charm City knows, the Ravens are really the only team that truly matters to the entire community these days.
But for some reason, weekend sweeps and embarrassing losses and big league players making minor league blunders still matters to me.
It still matters to me that Kevin Gregg couldn’t get anyone out on Saturday night in the 12th inning – despite being staked to a 2-run lead in the top half of the inning – and then had the balls to stare down Buck Showalter as he came out to get him off the mound and, later, throw Josh Bell under the bus for his defensive miscue that contributed to the Angels 3-run uprising and unlikely win.
For some reason, that s**t bothers me.
It still bothers me that Mark Reynolds strolled up to the plate in the top of the 11th inning on Saturday night and, with a runner at first base and no outs in a tie game, decided on his own to try and bunt the runner over to 2nd. That actually might have worked…if Reynolds knew HOW to bunt. Instead, he bunted the ball right back to the pitcher, who easily threw Matt Wieters and the piano-on-his-back out at 2nd base.
It bothers me that Buck Showalter brought the aforementioned Kevin Gregg in on Saturday night after Chris Jakubauskus buzzed through the Anaheim/LA line-up in the 11th inning on just 11 pitches. I’m not a baseball manager but I had a hunch that move would backfire. Why? Uh, because I’ve watched the games this year, maybe?
I still get aggravated anytime I see Felix Pie in the lineup and yesterday was no different. I get it. Someone has to play left field. And I also see the big picture thing going on, where maybe Buck plays the likes of Pie and Gregg and Reynolds and Josh Bell and Blake Davis, who made 3 errors yesterday, to say to Andy MacPhail, “Look, dude, you’re the one who brought these dudes here. I told you they stink. But you took ’em anyway. So I’m going to play them.” But playing Pie? There’s just no excuse for that. As yesterday’s futile effort in left field showed, the kid just can’t do it. Period.
Lots of stuff about the Orioles still gets on my nerves. The only two guys I’m watching day in and day out who are actually playing hard and still producing to at least an acceptable level are Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Everyone else is firmly entrenched in going-through-the-motions moments that tell me they’d rather be somewhere else.
Then again, who DOES want to be in these moments?
The season’s over but the games roll on — and the only thing left worth watching is to see whether or not the whole thing collapses and the Orioles lose 104 games.
That’s not much fun, no matter how much you make or how many years you’ve been in the league.
Then again, when you put your roster together without a SERIOUS intent to win, this is what you get.
As the NY Times report indicated on Sunday, this is what happens when you have a regional sports TV network that generates roughly $160 million in revenue and you don’t use that money to bolster your playing roster.
If you stick that money in your pocket – as the Orioles have done since 2005 – and you don’t follow through on your promise to improve the team via free agency, you SHOULD get your asses kicked 104 times a season.
All of this stuff still bothers me.
It bothers me that the team stinks.
It bothers me that they’re once again the laughing stock of the league.
It bothers me that the farm system is basically bare.
It bothers me that there doesn’t really seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.
It bothers me that I really thought this team would be better and, voila!, they’re not.
It bothers me they’ve taken my money over the last 7 years via my monthly cable TV bill and have used it to stock their wine cellar instead of buying baseball players.
It all bothers me.
But I’ll watch until the end.
If nothing else, it’s interesting to see who gives up on any given night.
And as my late mother used to say…”Quitters never win”.