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Into the Pit

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

It takes a lot to be and stay an Orioles fan. The abuse, the laughter, the butt of jokes, the frequency of losses, and the last place finishes do a number on the psyche. Since my own mental state is now so fragile, I think I may have to go see a shrink and then send the bill to the team.

Last night's loss to Toronto puts us now 19 games under .500. And it is only July 29.

Let us look at it this way. This team is bad. Just plain bad. In all aspects of the game of baseball too. Hitting, base running, fielding, and of course - pitching! Just to cheer us all up, the Orioles are dead last in MLB in the following pitching categories: ERA, home runs allowed, runs allowed, and opponent batting average. Dead bleeping last! So how is that growing the arms mantra working out for the Birds?

For the last 4 years, Andy MacPhail has been preaching patience. Well, we are still in the same boat. Still a lousy team with a very jaded fan base. All the cavalry that was supposed to help is delayed at best and pure busts at worst. So maybe all this time the crummy record was not the fault of Perlozzo or Trembley. Maybe it is, in fact, the fault of the ownership and GM. Maybe the pitching coaches in the minors are not worth their salt or the players they select are just not good enough to be in MLB. As we are well aware, our drafting and scouting divisions need major overhaul too.

So as we hover around the trade deadline, we must wait to discover who we send away and acquire, and who we dump just because they are awful. Buck was able to work his magic last year after August 1, so perhaps we are in store for another late summer revival.

I for one want to seem a team with some fire or passion. We can blame pitching coaches and from off people all we want, but the players who just dog it for a paycheck should not be on this roster. In the real world, if you stink at your job, usually you get reprimanded, suspended and ultimately fired. Very few times do teams cut a guy under contract simply because he sucks. They do not want to eat all that money as we know. So we are stuck with the Mike Gonzalez's of the world while they continue to be paid to be lousy and hurt the club at the same time.

I must confess that I am losing my enthusiasm. Not for baseball as a game but certainly for the Orioles. As an ardent defender of the franchise (not the current club but the franchise as a whole dating back to 1954), even I am at wits end. Not sure how much more I have left in the tank to stay in a constant state of misery that comes with following the current Orioles.

Perhaps the team will go on a 15 game win streak and perk me up. We can only wish.

At least until the end of the season we have Boog Powell's sandwiches to make us happy.

Then it will be on to the Ravens season, a franchise that actually knows how to win.


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