Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., August 21

August 21, 2013 | Drew Forrester

Drew’s Morning Dish — Wed., August 21

OK, it’s gut check time in Baltimore.

Two nights…two home losses to the Rays.

And Oakland is coming to town this weekend.

Then, it’s off to Boston and New York.

The Orioles might literally eliminate themselves from the post-season by this time next week if they’re not careful.

I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I’m also smart enough to know that one of these bad runs where you drop 7 of 10 can put you so far behind the 8-ball that you just can’t make up enough ground in the final 30 games of the season.

As I often say:  ”The hardest thing to do in sports is to stop losing…”

That’s why tonight’s game becomes ultra important.  With Oakland coming in, the Birds simply can’t afford another loss to the Rays.  Not now.  Not tonight in Baltimore.

There’s not much to say about Tuesday night’s affair except the game was there for the taking, even with only four hits through eight innings of baseball.  Tampa Bay blew it open with four runs in the top of the 9th, taking a 3-2 squeaker and turning it into a  half-a-romp.  Only a Matt Wieters homer in the 9th inning created a momentary sense of excitement.

Jim Johnson wasn’t very good on Tuesday night.  True, it wasn’t a closer situation, but a bases-loaded-with-one-out-double-play-ball saved him from a sound beating in the top of the 9th.

Yesterday I wrote that Tuesday’s game was “almost-must-win” territory.

That means tonight is “you-gotta-win” territory.

Still not MUST win…but awfully, awfully close.

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Everyone knows the Ryan Dempster “suspension” is a joke.

He doesn’t even miss a start.

He’s not actually suspended.

It’s more like detention.

As long as baseball allows these idiots to throw baseballs at each other, the message — the proper one, anyway — will never be sent.

By not sitting Dempster for fifteen games (which would turn out to probably be two starts with Boston’s August/September schedule), you’ve basically said, “We have to do something just to show we’re actually awake and paying attention, but we’re not going to affect the pennant race by sitting you out.”

What if A-Rod takes one in the shoulder and can’t play for ten games?

Wouldn’t that affect New York’s playoff chances?

Anyway, baseball sucks.  They know it, too.  They’ve lost so much control of their game over the last decade, they don’t know where to start in terms of fixing it.

The players are creeps, too.

Ryan Dempster proved that on Sunday night.

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There’s a bubbling story involving the Orioles that will completely boil over in the next two weeks if they continue to stink.

When the Orioles decided not to move their game on September 5th to accomodate the Ravens and their planned home opener to celebrate the Super Bowl win, one of their easy fall-back considerations – and rightfully so – was “we plan on being in the pennant race on September 5th and we’re not going to intentionally schedule a doubleheader and tax our pitching staff…”

I agreed – back then – that it’s not the Orioles responsibility to make sure the NFL’s season opener gets kicked off the way the NFL wants it to get kicked off.

We all know what the solution to that fiasco was — the NFL should have opened their season in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 4.

Alas, they didn’t take that path and they put all the pressure on the Orioles to “do the right thing”.

Anyway, if the Orioles continue to struggle over the next two weeks, September 5th is going to roll around and that White Sox series is going to be nothing more than something for fantasy baseball junkies to watch.

If that happens, the Birds are going to get shredded in town…especially if the Ravens go to Denver and get clobbered on opening night (which, honestly, I don’t think will happen — but I’m just saying “if” that happens).

Watch and see.

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    The “bloom is off the rose” for the O’s, sad to say. For all their brilliant roster moves the past two years, they went into this season without a legitimate DH and, while difficult to quantify, it has hurt them! Add to that the fact that for all their offensive prowess, they haven’t been able to “manufacture” runs all season, stranding far too many RISP! The pitching, particularly in relief, is not as good as last year, but it wasn’t the pitching that hurt them in the post season last year, it was the lack of hitting. As for the Dempster travesty, it’s just more evidence of MLB’s impotence in their ability to manage their sport effectively. Finally, I said it back then and I say it again….regardless of who was initially at fault in scheduling the Ravens’ important home opener, MLB makes changes all season long on the spur of the moment and it would have been by far easier for the O’s to reschedule with 6 months notice. Angelos coulda/woulda/shoulda been a hero for a change; instead, he remains a…..laughing stock!

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Drew, you are way more optimistic about the playoffs for the O’s than me. I think it’s over for them with too many better teams still to play.

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    Even if things turn for the owns the next 5 weeks I agree with Armchair QB. DH is a joke this year and second base is not far behind.
    Got to fire on all cylinders to win it all. Duquette aint McFail. Now for a Tampa or Boston collapse in Sept.

  4. Justafan Says:

    So the Ravens can’t open the season on a Thursday night in Baltimore! What’s the big deal? The Ravens will still play 8 home games and 8 road games, as will every team in the NFL. This is so overblown it’s ridiculous! Whether or not the game is Nationally televised, it is still counts as only one game in the standings.

  5. BK Says:

    Sadly the O’s are done and to any non-bias fan, that is pretty much completely obvious at this point. I hope I am wrong but they have about a 1% chance of making the playoffs based on the scheduling for all teams in the race and the teams vying for those two wild card spots. DH and no real #1 starter ace are to blame IMO. And don’t use the line about us making it last year without them, as we squeaked into the playoffs because EVERY single thing went our way. We got every lucky break, every move worked, and we had a ridiculous one run record, extra inning record, and leading after 7 record that may never be matched. It wasn’t lucky that we had a good baseball team last year, but it was lucky that we got into the playoffs with the way we were structured. Everything is not going our way this year and hence the struggles you see now and the fact that we won’t make the playoffs.

    Spend some money, sure up this line up and starting rotation, and win back more of the fan support and loyalty. That is what the ownership needs to do. Until then, this is what you will get. A descent baseball team that sniffs the playoffs but falls short every year without getting every break our way.

  6. John In Westminster Says:

    Statistics are catching up with the O’s from last year. Can’t count on a dominating winning pct in 1-2 run games every year. The bats have cooled off and the arms are growing weary.

    Agreed with JustAFan on the Ravens home opener issue being overblown again. While emotionally it might be an issue, rationally its the best time to play the Broncos. Playing in Denver the first game of the season before Peyton has a chance to really develop chemistry with Wes Welker, and facing their new defense sans last year’s dynamic pass rush of Dumervil (with us) and Von Miller?….Advantage: Ravens

  7. Jason Manelli Says:

    Justafan and John – what is the point of being a fan of the home team and following them on a SuperBowl run if you have no emotions?! You say take emotions out of it, sorry, no can do, I’m a fan and season ticket holder, and getting emotionally wrapped up in the team is part and parcel of being a fan. That’s why it stings to see us open on the road. Yes we will still play 8 at home and 8 on the road, but we will not get a chance to open the season at home and shine in front of the whole nation, reminding them who won last year’s Lombardi. it’s a big deal for the city, the franchise and the fans, and it’s 100% emotional and valid.

  8. John In Westminster Says:

    Agree to disagree, Jason. The country already knows who the defending champs are. Best time/chance to pick up a road win against a favorite to win the AFC for this season vs. re-living the recent past in last season? While I’ll continue to display my SuperBowl champs shirt and hat proudly, my ‘emotion’ is now focused on the Ravens 2013 season and the quest for Lombardi #3.

  9. BK Says:

    Although I mostly agree with you John, you still cannot discount the fact that opening up the entire 2013 NFL season at home, on national television, with all that comes with that like the media, entertainment sources, and possible celebrities in town to spend money and attract attention, is not a big deal. It is a big deal for the fans, the city, and the economy. Also, I don’t know if I agree with the whole Denver away at the best time theory either. I would rather have the additional help by playing them at home while they are vulnerable and play the Jets or Vikings away instead of home as the trade off. Denver away and Jets at home or Denver at home and Jets away (not that this is exactly how it would have happened), but which would you rather play?

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