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Boycott the Orioles - An Open Letter to Buck Showalter

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

It is now July 2011. Your team has now lost 7 of 8 and 16 of the last 22. And this was supposed to be an improvement year?

As of today, the Orioles sit 11 games under .500, dead last in the AL East. We have injured players, over paid veterans, a constant shuffling of people to and from Norfolk, and very empty stands on a nightly basis at home.

I am what one would consider a great Orioles fan. I attend 35-40 home games a year. I have been to every Orioles minor league affiliate (with the exception of the Gulf Coast Orioles) within the last 3 seasons. I own quite an abundance of Orioles merchandise and I also write for this blog.

And despite my constant loyalty and dedication, this is how I am rewarded? With sub par play and laughable mistakes?

Buck, when you arrived here last August we noticed a significant change in attitude and play. But the team seems to have regressed again. Starters getting knocked around like a pinball machine and sluggers who can't hit a ball to save to their lives? Not a good combination if you are trying to build a winner.

For those who do not know, the Orioles finished in last place only 2x prior to 2008. In 1986 and in 1988. Very admirable for any franchise. Now we are facing our 4th consecutive last place finish. Absolutely disgraceful.

Buck, I know you are not to blame for this annual collapse. But there is much work to be done. I would take the radical approach and shake up the clubhouse. Bench people, designate them for assignment, skip people in the rotation. Do whatever it takes to send a jolt through these guys. Just because someone makes the biggest salary on the team, it should not guarantee him a starting job at any position. Playing time is earned through effort and results. Nothing more.

We here in Baltimore are absolutely starved for a winner. People favor football around here since that is the professional club that seems to get it done. Most Orioles fans have become cynical in their logic and love of the team. We blame ownership, poor scouting and drafting, and other front office goofs for 13 years of losing. That is not the Oriole Way.

It is up to you Buck, to steer the ship back on course. But as we near the All Star Break of 2011, it is still painfully obvious that you and your club have a long way to go. And unless we see a change soon, I will bet you that most fans will not come back this year.

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