Sunday Woes: The O’s & Soccer

June 29, 2009 |

Yesterday was a disappointing day for Baltimore and American sports fans.   


The O’s continued their poor play on Sundays and series finales. They had plenty of opportunities to sweep their rivals from Washington but couldn’t make the big play offensively or defensively.


I can take Matt Wietters bad throw trying to gun the runner out at 3rd in the eighth inning. He got excited and tried to rush the throw. How do you drop a fantastic throw from Adam Jones to let Josh Willingham score in the sixth? This is a drill all catchers practice at every level of baseball. You have to catch and secure the ball before doing anything else. I guess these are the rookie mistakes we’ll have to live with, as our rookies go through their growing pains.


Now onto the terrible base running.  The mistakes the O’s are making on the base paths are the mistakes you expect from 8-10 year olds, not professionals. Luke Scott got caught in a run-down after taking a wide turn at 3rd after he kept his head down. He and Juan Samuel CANNOT let this happen. There is a chance to have a big inning and you run yourself right out of it and into an out!


Huff Daddy was equally as bad in the eighth inning. He hits a shot into the gap in right-center field to drive in a run. He didn’t look to see if the ball got through. He gets about a third of the way to second and sees the ball has been fielded. He doesn’t try to go back to first. He’s a dead duck at 2nd. End of the rally and the O’s chances. Another fundamental mistake that shouldn’t happen in the Major Leagues! The first base coach might as well not even be on the field!


I have been a Dave Trembley supporter because I thought no one would win consistently with the talent that the O’s have had the past few years. The more I see of the lack of fundamentals and discipline the more I think a change has to be made with the manager. Earl Weaver would have chewed a little ass on the bench for these blunders. He may have even pulled Scott for making an out at third. We cannot allow the team to abandon the basic fundamentals of baseball and expect to be competitive in 2 years. It just won’t happen.


USA vs. Brazil: I’m not much of a soccer fan so I didn’t watch the game yesterday. To play soccer is one thing but to watch the International version on TV is another. I can’t stand to watch them go up-field with the ball and then kick it back to the goalie only to start the process all over again. It bores me to death. It seems like everyone is afraid to attack the goal. I know someone will point out the strategy of why they do it this way but I don’t care. I just cannot watch it.


Still, I was disappointed to hear the US was up by 2 goals to start the second half and lost the game 3-2.  This is the type of game that team USA needs to win to generate more interest and excitement.  If they had pulled off their second upset, they might have grabbed my attention. It might have made me want to take a trip to DC to see a MLS game in person. It could have gotten me psyched about the World Cup next year. It may have pulled America’s Pele off a skateboard or the basketball court. The team lost and nothing has changed.


Unfortunately, this game showed we can’t consistently compete with the big boys. Until we have a realistic chance of competing and winning, soccer will be a minor league sport in the US. Interest in soccer will be there for young kids but as they get older they leave it for lacrosse or the X-games. For some reason most kids don’t stick with it.


As a father of a pee wee soccer player, I would watch soccer if my son wanted to. But he doesn’t so I don’t force myself too.  I’ll watch our World Cup games, wave the flag, and root for the US during the tournament. Only to pack my interest away once it’s over.


Of course if the 2010 Orioles are competitive and the rookie pitchers are rocking I may have to watch in between innings!