Those O’s sure are a lucky bunch

April 21, 2010 | Dwayne Showalter

As I sit hit here in front of my laptop, the Orioles are in the midst of another dismal performance to start the 2010 season.  They trail 2-1 out in Seattle and it looks for all the world they will sink to 2-13.  I’ve heard all the bashing on the radio the last week.  I’ve heard Trembley is a bum.  MacPhail has swung and missed.  The owner needs to go and Cal needs to come into the fold.  Things look bleak – again.

Then I started to think that really they are a lucky bunch.  They have done nothing but lose for 12-going-on-13 straight seasons so why in the world would I think that? (By the way, its now 3-1 Seattle)  Well, its because they have been so bad for so long that no one really cares.  There are far too many other things a sports fan can engross themselves in to divert their attention from this nightmare decade-plus.

The O’s are lucky the season usually starts the day of the finale of March Madness.  After twelve dismal seasons, Major League Baseball pushed the Birds off the first Monday in April this year but the general point still holds.  As this team prepares in the Florida sunshine to go through the 162 game slate, we focus on Terps and the tournaments.

After that we have  the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  And this year, the Caps actually are a legitimate threat to win it.  Even though they have been the kings of choke in the playoffs for last 20 or so seasons, the fact that they can hold your intersest until May is good news for the Orioles.

The Orioles are lucky because May comes and the horses run.  Everyone watches the Kentucky Derby.  The Derby winner always comes to Baltimore for the Preakness and no one notices how many games the Birds are now under .500.  Memorial Day comes and we focus on the lacrosse championships that nearly always have a local team reaching the Final Four.

June comes and if you can stomach the NBA, the best athletes in the world are battling in the Finals.  At the same time the NHL is trying to finish its season before it can’t get a sheet of ice to freeze indoors.

The Orioles are lucky that by July, people are talking about training camp.  In August, preseason is in full swing and NFL takes over from there.

I am lucky because there are still a few people out there that love the Orioles so much that they are willing to bet they will finish above .500 each year.  If you doubled up your $20 wager that they’d lose more than they won in each of the last 12 seasons with someone, you’d be nearly $41,000 richer.  But to me, thats not luck, its common sense.  They aren’t winning this year.  Probably not next year either.  Anyone out there wanna double up?  You know who you are.

They are lucky the Pittsburgh Pirates exist (lucky since 1996, not so much back in the ’70s when they blew two World Series to them).  The Pirates have lost a record 17 straight seasons.  But don’t look now.  They are 7-5 this season.  If the Bucs win this year, folks, we are officially the worst baseball team around.

They are lucky MASN exists and baseball basically gave the team a free pass to not put a winning product on the field.  (btw – they are down to their last out now….but Weiters singles to bring up tying run)  They are lucky the Ravens thrive and force the state to update the venerable Camden Yards on its own dime.

I am lucky the game has finally ended.  They lost again and I can rest comfortably knowing that no one really cares that they are last in on-base percentage and next to last in ERA in American League.  I am lucky that this season is over before the end of April this year as opposed to the usual mid-June. 

They are lucky that no one cares they finished 4-13 last year only to start 2-13 this year.  They are really lucky that no one cares that their winning percentage has actually GONE DOWN the last five seasons.  When does rebuilding end anyway? 

They are lucky the losses are so comical that you cant get mad.  30-3?  Really!?

I’m lucky that, at 40, i can remember counting down the outs when they beat the California Angels in 1979 to make the World Series.  I’m lucky to have been at the ballpark for Earl’s last game.  I remember the feeling of winning it all in ’83, getting  jobbed in ’96 and blowing it in ’97.

I’d feel bad for the kids today – if I thought they cared.  They don’t.  In a weird way, they’re lucky.