I’m not gonna say it. The season just started. So I won’t say it.
Happy New Year! Welcome 2010, to officially start!
I have had a terrible, terrible day, but through some instinctual force deep within me knew exactly when to turn on the television at just the right moment to catch the start of the opening ceremonies of Opening Day. The resounding “O” of the National Anthem, watching Brooks and Boog simultaneously throw out the first pitch…dissolved all my troubles in an instant.
I thought for a brief moment a couple of days ago that I wasn’t ready for this season, for all the losing and frustration to start anew. I’ve never thought that before. But it’s true, there was a brief, “I’m not sure I’m ready for this” moment.
But today, a lovely bright sunny day…it’s a day when your heart betrays you…you cannot deny that which you love the most. The people, they come and go, but baseball, the Orioles, that is what is there every Spring to lift one’s spirits, to give hope for all the potentially bright days ahead. This is the day when your willpower is tested to not pack up your car and head straight to Camden Yards.
Ahhhhhhhhh! Orioles! Win or lose, I love you!
Every year I make resolutions about how I would like to be a better person. As an Orioles fan, I have many points of failure and much cause to renew my resolve to hope against all odds that I am capable of reform. Just for an example, I may have convinced myself, before today, the start of the season, that I would try to provide all three of my readers with more composed and measured evaluations of the games. Nevermind…you’ve heard it all before.
It’s the first game of the season, the Os played marvelously. There was much happiness. And then…there was the fateful ninth inning which hates Orioles fans, which consciously sets out to turn us all into alcoholics, which leaves us ashamed and frankly, surprised, at the vocabulary that escapes our tormented and apoplectic lips.
So, in the interest of not using all my bad words up on the very first night of the year, I will summarize the painful events of tonight’s evening as “unfortunate.” Unrealized Oriole homeruns in the top of the ninth, Tampa seizing theirs and winning in the bottom. Choose nearly any game over the last three years, replay it and you will know all you need to, should you instead have spent your valuable hours on this earth doing something more productive than testing your blood pressure and your ability to suppress tears, real and actual tears.
Keeping my expectations in check is futile. I’ve been down that road and no matter how obvious it should be that I shouldn’t hope for better, I apparently have a special type of brain damage that is conducive to being an Orioles fan. So here we are again. Me in disbelief, in disbelief that I’m in disbelief, my husband saying, “What did you expect?!” me feeling a touch indignant at his lack of faith, me thinking that he’s right to lack faith, and you, dear poor reader, suffering right along with me. For the rest of the season, I, for one, will make sure that my bottle of Merlot is close at hand.
Nevertheless, Happy Opening Day!! Losing Orioles is still better than no Orioles. Happy Opening Day!!
Happy New Year Orioles fans! I hope that 2010 is full of love, health, and riches in all things that bring joy to you. This is the time to also hope that our beloved team somehow finds a way to provide us with a season that does not leave us pondering our masochistic tendencies while we watch and wonder how fans of certain other teams, though thoroughly soulless, are able to cheer remorselessly and gleefully for teams that win — or at least don’t lose in record — no, it’s the season of joy, so the remainder of that sentence will remain untyped. In short, I wish you a year and season without rue. And for me, I wish a chance to touch Cal Ripken, Jr. again, and maybe, if it’s not too fantastical, maybe Eddie Murray and Earl Weaver. (Dreams came true last year, so why not dream some more!)
Again, I apologize for such a long delay since my last post. Contrary to all logical supposition, my lack of posting is not due to my utter despondency about the Orioles, nor the utter hopelessness that our beloved team will ever see both quality pitching and batting on the same roster. It is not a result of this blog author submitting herself to an Orioles treatment program for depression (only because one does not yet exist – the actual market for such a service being so small — though desperately needed for that small market). No, no. My lack of posting is due only to the limited number of hours in the day. And sometimes, the lack of imagination to say in a brand new way, “Huh! We lost. Funny, that,” or “The Orioles hurt me bad. Bad.”
New Years is always a time for me to make a long list of resolutions — some of which are never realistic, like finishing everything on my reading list, and some of which I actually manage to accomplish (I can’t think of any examples at the moment, but I know they exist). In the past I might have been wont to resolve to no longer complain vociferously about our team. I may have even once promised to not use the words “chipper” and the name of an Orioles pitcher together in the same paragraph. Recent years and this blog have taught me however, that I am weak of character (and mind) and the futility of such promises only assures that I will have just one more reason for self-loathing, one more reason to regard myself as a failure and screw up. Sure, I feel mean and judgmental when I make such statements, but at least I achieve a temporary outlet for the frustration that is being an Orioles fan and loving, despite all reason, a team that elicits a response of laughter and “WHY!?” from anyone outside of our circle. (If you have to ask, I could never explain it to you. And go get a soul you idiot Red Sox fan.)
So may 2010 bring many more Orioles friendships and reason for us to cheer everything in our lives outside of baseball, as well as the pleasures of our favorite past time, even if very few other people understand its appeal or our loyalty and devotion to a hobby that causes sometimes real and physical pain (and occasional alcoholism). Count on much more complaining emanating from this url, and occasional unrealistic and unwarranted enthusiasm. Virtual love and hugs to you and many thanks for your friendship and patience in reading this blog.
Happy, happy 2010!
One day it occurred to me that someone outside of my loving mother and the kind but clearly masochistic Mindpinball might read this blog. It is on the Internet, after all. But, prior to that day, I figured that my Orioles focused ventings wouldn’t garner much of an audience (if you can call three readers “an audience”–yes, I realize I am being a little free and loose with the word). I wrote my posts for their cathartic effects, needing an outlet that was not my long-suffering husband who deserves better than to listen to my frustrations about a team and sport that will never capture his interest. When it became clear that Jim Palmer (I love you Jim!) turns to this very blog for its deep insight and wisdom, I turned over a new leaf. Since that day, never wanting to offend anyone, I have tried to post somewhat kinder, if less honest, opinions about each game (except about Red Sox fans, who I really, really hate). Usually, as you might have noticed, that has left me speechless.
If you saw yesterday’s game and the one before it, you might expect that this post is going to be about how utterly discouraging and depressing it is to be an Orioles fan these days. But, on the contrary, I feel more optimistic than ever. Yes, it’s true that we have some challenges with our pitching, but we’re working on that. Our fielding and batting are good and despite our recent crushing losses, the future looks bright.
Or maybe I’m just numb to it all and have lost all expectation of winning.
In other words, yes, we lost again and there isn’t really anything new to say about it. I’m just not that creative–because that sort of creativity is outside the realm of human capability. We’re close though. Really, really, close…
(Look at that! I managed to write an entire post without employing the word “chipper” in reference to an Orioles pitcher. I, too, along with our dear Orioles, am making wonderful progress.)
Here, finally, are more pictures than you would ever care to look at (412 to be exact). Included are pictures of the injuries of Pie and Jones. Enjoy!
I just tuned in to the game. It’s the bottom of the eighth and Albers just walked a Ranger Cabrera style. The score is now 17-4. What is it with the Rangers and is there a way we can bring the Royals back to the American League and move the Rangers to the National? There must be some way we can get out of playing them.
And here I thought the past two routs were bad.
Bases are loaded and Albers just threw a wild pitch. One thing the last two years have taught me is to not torture myself unnecessarily. I’ve seen all I need to…Now it’s 19-4. I’m out.
My wish for you is that you missed tonight’s game entirely.
I know I said I wasn’t going to use words like “chipper” this season to refer to machinery that should be used to ameliorate the ability of our staff, namely by freeing up some empty positions, and I’ve done well so far, don’t you think? (That is what is known as a “leading question.”) You must grant me some leeway here.
You know I have tried to love George Sherrill. I have. And I do. But he is still Triple Shot. In the bottom of the tenth (in Texas) after letting two runs score, he delivered two pitches that were driven into the warning track,with men on base. In the end, our Stanhouse (with a much sexier head) pulled us through, but it was a nail-biter finale. We all know people who grumble that baseball is boring. Maybe forcing them to watch a Sherrill ending would change their minds.
I know this is the same as last year at this time, but still, it’s hard to not feel a little hopeful. In the end, deep down we all know (even me!), it is what it is, maybe it doesn’t really mean anything. Even so, this is so pretty:
I can only think of one thing that would make that picture prettier.
Perhaps like me, your favorite movie is “Field of Dreams.” Perhaps like me, you thought Moonlight Graham was a fictional character. He was not.
Brett Friedlander has written a book about him, called “Chasing Moonlight: The True Story of Field of Dreams’ Doc Graham.” Listen to an interview with the author here. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I can’t wait to have time to read the book!