Is It September Yet …..

January 21, 2009 |

As we sit around licking our collective wounds, it seems like we have nothing that inspires our interest, on the immediate horizon, right?  Yep, what really stings is there is nothing to look forward to ….. for the next six months, when the Ravens roll their “Summer Tour of 2009,” into Westminster. 

It’s pretty safe to say a meaningful game will not take place in this city, until the upcoming summer has come and gone.  And, I’d bet this very notion harbors in the soul of every real sports fan, in Baltimore.  Hurts, doesn’t it ….. 

Unless, you’re a big fan of St. Valentine, the Easter Bunny or the guy who drives the salt truck (NO !!!  NO SNOW !!!), your immediate future is looking pretty bleak.  Welcome to a town with a very bad baseball team. 

To be honest, every Baltimore fan should have the expectation that after a week of mourning the loss of the ’08 Ravens, the promise and life of the ’09 Orioles should take center stage in our hearts.  But, that’s not the case, is it? 

As February looms and March follows, traditional baseball fans welcome the start of spring training, while watching the dwindling rosters in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.  For ages, we would anxiously await revelation of the Orioles’ final roster spot.  Now, we just wait to see how they’re gonna fill that same staff. 

I’m on record as saying I’m willing to give Andy MacPhail the benefit of ANY doubt.  After 18 months on the job, I’m not expecting earth-shattering results.  I bought in – and I believe it’s a long-term process.  But, this commitment doesn’t make my winter any easier. 

The sobering truth is a Baltimore sports fan relishes the final six months of the year (give or take a month) ….. and we absolutely dread the first 180 days, right?  In Boston, New York and Tampa, baseball fans are brimming with optimism – spring training is less than a month away !!!! 

In Baltimore, we’re joining the fans in Nashville, Charlotte and Jacksonville ….. as the countdown to the NFL Draft, in April, has begun.  Think about it, if we’re talking “springtime” and “April,” which date is more important …… (A) Orioles Opening Day, or (B) NFL Draft Day ??? 

It wasn’t always this way.  There was a time when the Orioles owned a big chunk of this town ….. even in January.  Fast forward through a decade of losing and total dysfunction, and they can’t even control the month of April, when new beginnings seem eternal. 

Perhaps, the saddest testament to the downfall of the Orioles legacy is they can’t even bring an indirect level of comfort to their legions of fans, when we’re hurting most.  Uh-huh, it sure would be nice to have FanFest just a couple weekends away.  I suppose that’s a subject for another day ….. 

In fact, you can see the real disparity in regard, when a former Ravens coach makes more local headlines than the signing of the Orioles next franchise player.  If Rex Ryan garners more attention than Nick Markakis, the Orioles have a serious image problem. 

Will it ever change?  I don’t know.  But, in the meantime ….. we’ll just hibernate in the spring and summer.