Archive for the ‘2007 Season’ Category

My love affair may be over

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

I heard this crushing news from Camden Chat. I’m pretty naive and I blame myself for being so out of touch with the Orioles for the last few years, but the news hits hard. My Orioles, my Orioles doping? No, please say it isn’t so.

I heard the news a few years ago about Rafael Palmero, but I thought he was an isolated case.

The Orioles are my team, and I can stick by them through decades of losing, but doping/cheating is too much. I already have issues with the MLB, the players salaries, the expense of tickets, and accepting that stadiums are named after corporations. What has happened to us? Are there any limits to our greed?

I hope that further investigation vindicates the players, and reveals that the Orioles staff had no knowledge and did not condone or encourage such behavior.

Just don’t tell me that Cal doped too, or it will be the end of me.

Predictability and Surprises

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Today’s word of the day:
commination \kom-uh-NAY-shuhn\, noun: 1. A denunciation. 2. A threat of punishment.

Let’s use it in a sentence.
1) Comminations have been issued from both teams for Daniel Cabrera’s intentional pitch to hit Dustin Pedroia in last night’s game.
2) After Cabrera nearly hit Dustin Pedroia with an intentionally aimed pitch towards his head, the Boston dugout emerged angrily onto the field. Despite repeated comminations to restrain himself, Cabrera continued to incite argument that resulted in the Orioles dugout, and both bullpens rushing the field in preparation for an all out boxing match.

Here’s a review. In the fourth inning Cabrera, nervous about Crisp on third, balked, sending him home and resulting in a 3-0 Boston lead. Now, I suppose, angry about this, Cabrera lost his cool and took aim at Pedroia. I’m so naive, I thought he must have done it accidentally. Our bullpen is so pathetic, I can’t even give them credit for having enough mastery over their pitches to control where they go. At this point, I just assume that when a pitch makes it over home plate, it’s by some extraordinary stroke of luck, especially since the pitches aren’t the sort to help the Orioles win a game. If they had control over the ball, one assumes the pitchers might understand their role as part of the Orioles roster to limit the runs scored by the opposing team. A look at the score of any game in the last month will clearly demonstrate this lack of understanding by the Orioles bullpen.

At any rate, Cabrera took aim at Pedroia and members of the Red Sox dugout immediately emerged onto the field. Instead of collecting himself, Pedroia continued to lose his temper, and provoke a fight. He had to be held back, first by one of the umpires, and later with the help of Melvin Mora. Both dugouts and bullpens spilled onto the field ready for the ensuing brawl. I bet as frustrated as the Orioles must be, they were itching for an opportunity to release some aggression. Palmer said during the hoohah, “They might as well just tackle each other.”

Narrowly, the teams escaped any punches being thrown, but I found myself almost wishing for someone to put Cabrera on the DL. It’s not bad enough that we can’t pitch, but then we act like school kids getting angry at the other team because we can’t pitch? Haven’t we endured enough shame at the hands of our pitching staff this year?

The rest of the game was pretty uneventful and no surprise, we didn’t score even one run.

I pity Dave Trembley. I think of his joy the day he accepted the job as manager and what a miserable experience managing the Orioles must have been for him since that day. I bet he lays awake at night trying to figure out new strategies, new lineups, new combinations of his pitchers and wondering how he let himself get in this situation. Poor guy, his bubble burst, a long awaited dream turned nightmare.

Yet, for every press conference he maintains his composure, even last night, when he was struggling to hold back his frustration about Cabrera’s unacceptable behavior. He continues to stand up for his team and compassionately coaxed Cabrera off the field when he was ejected, deservedly, I might add, when I’m sure a part of Trembley really wanted to throw his own punch to Cabrera’s head.

The final score was 4-0.

So once again, I find that the Orioles surprise me in new ways. I can’t remember the last time I saw a bench clearing incident. And simultaneously, the Orioles are as predictable as the rising sun. Much like the sun they’re always in a lot of heat, they’re hard to look at, you stick around too long (past the sixth inning), you’ll get burned, and while they provide some warmth, sometimes you just need to get away from them and cool off.

Tonight’s game will be even harder to watch. The stadium will surely be packed with even more Red Sox fans and I’ll miss at least the first hour of the game. We’re having friends over for dinner and I’m afraid I’m going to be a rude hostess hurrying them out the door as quickly as possible. By the time I tune in, we’ll be down a good five runs if things are going well. At least we have the DVR so I won’t have to miss anything worth seeing. The question is, will there be anything worth seeing?

Jeremiad: V. 07, Edition 109, Prayer proves futile

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Here are two new words for tonight’s post:

toper \TOH-puhr\, noun: One who drinks frequently or to excess.
animadversion \an-uh-mad-VUHR-zhuhn\, noun: 1. Harsh criticism or disapproval. 2. Remarks by way of criticism and usually of censure — often used with ‘on’.

Can you guess the outcome of tonight’s game? Before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you that the Orioles took the lead in the first inning and came from behind twice. The game stayed tied for three innings until one team scored in the ninth. Can you guess who it was?

Oh, who am I kidding? If you didn’t know already that it was the Red Sox in the top of the ninth, then you’re either stupid or as hopelessly in denial about the Orioles as I am. Let’s be honest, those two words are synonymous. It is with great animadversion that I say it’s amazing I haven’t become a wretched toper by now. I’m only wretched.

Here’s the real animadversion, with the focus on adversion (to winning) and adversity, our baez team is really hoey. What should have been the first out in the top of the ninth, resulted in Coco Crisp getting on base because Brian Roberts was unable to pick up the ball. It’s true I haven’t played in the majors but that looked like a routine out to me. While Varitek was batting, Crisp made an attempt to steal second and was successful. Why? Again, he should have been out, but Hernandez’s aim is worse than a 3 year old’s and our fielders are no better. After that, Varitek’s line drive easily allowed Crisp to score and that was the go ahead run for Boston. Yet another crushing defeat.

It took about every ounce of willpower to not grab every object in the room and throw it at the tv. It’s maddening beyond description.

Someone in the chat room put a Boston hat on after that. I question how he can even own such a loathsome object, but I sympathize with his disgust. Even I feel like giving up. You stick with them through the whole game, just hoping for that ninth inning comeback, or even better, holding onto a lead they already have! What reward is there? If I feel this defeated, I can’t imagine what the team feels like.

On the other hand, what are their salaries again? I could stink for that kind of money.

They’re killing me. Toperism isn’t far off in my future. Tankeray, liquor of losers.

A small part of me feels like someone in the universe ought to take some pity on us. I mean, is it possible to lose this badly, night after night, by coincidence? A higher power must be at work, it’s the only logical explanation.

I’m not generally of the opinion that there’s an afterlife or all powerful forces at work, but it’s given me pause that before Wild Bill died, the Orioles were really close to third place – I mean with a lot of luck close to third. I told my husband all about how we were going to at least finish third, we were on such a roll. Since Wild Bill died, we don’t just lose, we lose in a hateful, make the fans bleed from their eyes kind of way.

As a rule, I don’t pray. I haven’t seen much utility in it in my life, but then maybe I’m just not one of God’s favorite people. At any rate, I don’t think I’m powerful enough to influence God to do what I want just because I’m miserable, or happy, or want it, or asked politely (and sometimes not so politely). But this team makes me hurt so bad, they’ve reduced me more than once to plaintive cries, “Please God, please let them get another out, please, and make this inning end,” and “Please God, please, can’t we use a pitcher from the other bullpen?” Once again in my life, prayer has proven to be futile.

I can barely feel anymore, my brain has made me numb to protect me from this repeated abuse. If you know me personally and happen to be reading this, wonder not anymore why I always expect the other shoe to drop. You see, as a lifelong Orioles fan, you never trust things that seem to be good until the event is done and passed and you have the pleasure of reflecting back on it, time unable to take steal your joy.

This is why I live by cautious optimism, “Sure things are great, but I’ll let you know at the end of my life how it all turned out. It’s just too soon to tell yet.”

As an Orioles fan, even in the ninth, with two out, and two strikes, and no men on base, with an Oriole lead, it’s just too soon to tell yet.

Sisyphus had it good

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Sisyphus has nothing on the Orioles fans. Tonight’s game against Tampa, let me say that again so you get the full effect, Tampa, ended 17-2. Guess which team had 17 and which team had 2. We Oriole fans are running out of analogies to describe this team and this season.

Several times during the game I updated my husband on the score. He replied, “You act like it’s out of the ordinary.” Sadly, from his perspective, this is ordinary. This is the first season he’s ever been subjected to games, night after night. This is all he knows of the Orioles, with their hideous fielding and their…their…the word doesn’t exist yet to describe the bullpen. In fact the Orioles could probably coin a new word to describe the worst possible bullpen in baseball history. There was a time when I would have called it a “Stanhouse,” as in, “the Orioles stanhouse bullpen failed them once again.” Now though we have so many choices, how do you narrow it down. Baez? Cabrera? Hoey?

So I won’t waste your time recounting the details of yet another baez game with our hoey bullpen. You know the story already. At least I have the fans at Camden Chat. I’m so thrilled to have found them. They make me laugh, and remind me that I’m not alone. There might not be a big Orioles audience, and it might be decreasing at an accelerating (speed of light) rate, but at least we have each other.

Tonight daydztoe brought the Tankeray, the liquor of losers, moonshine of the Orioles fans. See a picture of it here. With his permission, I’ll post it later on the Orioles page.

Tomorrow night starts the series against Boston. Maybe if I start drinking with my morning coffee, I’ll be able to get through the game. One day at a time.

Well butter my butt

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

and call me a biscuit. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what that Southern expression means, but I love it so much that I look for any opportunity to use it. My Southern accent isn’t bad either.

The Orioles WON. I know what you’re thinking, but fear not. You are okay. No need to make an emergency call to your doctor to report the sudden onset of Wernicke’s aphasia. You read that correctly.

I’m not guaranteeing that the world isn’t ending though and to be honest, I feel a little unsettled. There’s a kind of peaceful joy enveloping me and I don’t know what to do with it.

What I hope Trembley has realized is that just like with every dysfunctional relationship, the important thing is to break the existing destructive, entrenched pattern. Whereas normally we have the lead and then approach the opposing team and say, “Hey, would ya’ll like to win tonight?” and they reply, “Hell yeah” and we say, “Okay, hang tight. We’ll pitch you a bunch of homerun balls.” Tonight we tried something different. We decided to wait to score and then came from behind to win it.

I do seem to be gradually learning to take the Os in stride, and with some more exposure, I may yet be able to calmly watch a typical game without revealing my seething rage.

There’s only one more week of games for me. We leave next week for our vacation, so I hope I get to see a few more winning ones – particularly this weekend against the hateful Red Sox. Saturday we’re having friends over for dinner and even though they’re from D.C., they’re not particularly Orioles fans. I know, I find it appalling too. The good news is that through my influence they’ve learned to hate the Ys. I’m rather proud of that. One fan at a time.

Sleep tight, mes amis! Savor our victory!

The Making of Tankeray

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

jeremiad \jair-uh-MY-uhd\, noun: A tale of sorrow, disappointment, or complaint; a doleful story; also, a dolorous or angry tirade.

Welcome to yet another jeremiad about the Orioles.

I should title every Orioles blog post “Yet Again, We Lost, We Had the Lead, but Decided We Were Just Kidding, We Really Don’t LIKE Winning.”

Here’s the short version – we were ahead by 4, early on, like usual, gave up the lead, as usual, then gave up more runs, as usual, then scored a couple more runs, but were so far behind there was no way possible to catch up, as usual.

Gary Thorne said, “Tonight though, that bullpen did not have it.” It reminds me of the weather in Tampa. The weather forecast is the exact same thing every day. In the winter, the temperature is 83 degrees with a chance of rain. Every day. The weather reporter could go on vacation and play the same clip and you wouldn’t know the difference. The Orioles are much the same way. The uniforms on the other team change, but otherwise, it’s the same predictable, painful pattern night after night.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was a “bad” call by the first base umpire in the 3rd inning. Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford was called out at first, but he was safe by a hair. Perhaps. It was hard to tell even with the DVR. Crawford lost his mind. It’s not like it was the World Series and it’s not as if TB wasn’t going to win the game anyway. He jumped about three feet in the air and threw his helmet on the ground. In the end it made no difference. Tampa scored three runs that inning and tied it in the 4th. Then scored five more in the remaining painful five innings, starting with three in the bottom of the seventh. Does that sound familiar?

I made progress tonight. I didn’t curse once. I mentally prepared myself for the seventh.

If needed, I can always rely on Tankeray. It’s an Orioles-branded Moonshine created by some folks at Camden Chat. For sale during every Orioles game.

At the end of the game, I’m sure I looked disgusted (after we scored three in the ninth and it still wasn’t enough) and my husband said, “Just don’t watch.” Just don’t watch. More than remembering to call home plate, “home” instead of “4th,” I’ll know he really gets it when he understands why I watch and how I can say something seemingly illogical like, “I still enjoy watching them.” It’s true “enjoy” isn’t quite the right word, but until I figure out a better word, it will have to do.

So tomorrow, I’ll prepare myself for another loss, and I’ll get the Tankeray ready for Duck, dayzdtoe, merdon, Balto, theWaywardO, and Born Under a Bad Moon, and we will drink virtually to numb our pain.

We make history again

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Yippee.

Here’s the wrap from Os.com:

BOSTON — You may not have known his name when the night started, but you will by Sunday. Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz no-hit the Orioles on Saturday night, etching his name into the record books alongside some of the all-time greats. Buchholz, who had made just one big league start before Saturday, never left much doubt in Boston’s 10-0 victory.

The no-hitter was the third of the season — joining Chicago’s Mark Buehrle and Detroit’s Justin Verlander — and the first against Baltimore in more than five years. Hideo Nomo no-hit the Orioles in April 2001. Prior to Saturday night, the Orioles were the only team in the Majors that hadn’t been shut out.

The Orioles never really came close to touching Buchholz, and only two plays even looked like they had a chance at breaking up his bid for history. Center fielder Coco Crisp made a long run to catch a ball in the sixth inning, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia robbed Miguel Tejada by making a highlight-reel diving stop and strong throw to first in the seventh…blah…blah…

Sigh. What can I say? At least we didn’t get close to scoring a run tonight, so at least I didn’t get my hopes up. A little easier to take than most games.

Holy Mother of God, we WON!

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Let’s start with this quote:

“The more you refrain from judging every event in your life as either good or bad and trust that good can come from any situation if you allow it, the more you open yourself up and allow yourself to attract that which will bring you joy.” – Drew Rozell

Okay, that’s one perspective. The other is that some things are just GOOD, and tonight’s win is one of them. The ORIOLES WON!! Wow, they tried their damnest not to, not trying to let anyone stand in their way of finishing in last place, but somehow, the Gods deemed that they would overrule the Orioles burning desire to disappoint the fans and cause them great pain, forcing them to win a game against their will.

The Gods aren’t all powerful though because the Os still did cause us great pain. Recounting how we lost our six run lead to end the game 9-8 with the Sox scoring two in the bottom of the ninth would make me relive that painful experience and I refuse, since I’ve suffered through too many late inning losses this season already. Once is enough, night after night and there are plenty of bloggers who will provide you the gory details.

Believe me, there are so many times during a game when you have to fight the urge to jab a sharp stick in your eyes and gouge them out to save yourself future misery. Were it not for copious amounts of Vodka, I can’t say how disfigured I’d be.

Perhaps the best part of the game was Trembley showing his Weaver side, totally losing control with the ump and getting ejected from the game. Man, was it beautiful! I don’t even have words to describe the feeling that stirred inside of me watching it. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to 1979 in a heartbeat.

My husband just doesn’t know what to make of all this, but he’s learning. He runs into the room when I start shouting at the TV and will grab the remote and rewind the DVR to watch for himself. I love him for that.

Even so, he has still banned me from most shouting, making me go stand outside on the front porch to let out my stream of obscenities. Of course, there are neighbors, so I end up speaking in tongues as my eyes roll back into my head and my tongue wraps around my head and licks my eyeballs. I can imagine my neighbors are making up interesting stories about our fights, not being Orioles fans themselves, or having any idea what is sending me in apoplectic fits.

Anyway, we won!

Thank you Orioles gods, and may we make a sacrifice that is pleasing in your sight. Amen…

30-3?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

I forgot there was a double-header today and thank goodness, because my heart likely couldn’t have handled watching the first game. My husband was watching something recorded and I asked if I could put on the game. He said, “I just checked, it starts at 8:30.”

“8:30?” I thought to myself, “That’s odd. They’re playing Texas at home. Hmm…OH!! Darn! It was a doubleheader today.”

So we turned on MASN. Dempsey and Hunter were wrapping up the last game. Blah, blah 30-3.

WHAT??? What did they say? That’s impossible. No one scores 30 in a professional baseball game. This isn’t little league. Haha. That’s funny. I thought he said 30.

I looked on Orioles.com. Yes, 30-3 against the Texas Rangers. TEXAS!

HOLY SHIT!!! What the %^#*#@%^!!

There was a Sunday game back in the 80s when the Orioles were hating life and went through not only the entire bullpen, but had people like Elrod Hendricks pitching. My parents were at the game that day and we had a big laugh about it. I think that game ended around 18 runs.

But 30??? That has to be a record. Oh, Jim Palmer just said it was. Last record was set 100 years ago. Guess I can give up any hope of finishing above 4th this year. Some days, it’s really hard to be an Orioles fan. I guess in a way, I’m glad Wild Bill left before he could see that game. If he hadn’t, that would have been the last straw.

““““““““““““““““““““`
Blogger Matthew Taylor of “Roar from 34” has written a cathartic post about last night’s game. If you need a laugh like I did, check it out.

Favorite Video

Monday, August 20th, 2007

I’m doomed…

Church sign captures precisely how we feel about the Ys and Sox.