Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ya Big Bully

At one time, the Baltimore Orioles regularly wreaked havoc on the American League. The Hall of Fame players to be in Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer. They played the game the right way. Great pitching, great defense, timely hitting, and were fundamentally sound.

Boy are those days gone.

The current group of Baltimore Orioles is a sad lot. They are now the regular whipping boy of the American League. One of those teams regular pounding on the O's is the Yankees. Last night the Bronx Bombers sent Baltimore 27 games under .500 with a 4-2 win. The Yankees are now 10-1 against the Orioles this season (so the Orioles are a mere 15-33 against the rest of baseball).

CC Sabathia wasn't at his best, but he worked his way through seven innings to improve to 6-3. Robinson Cano continued his latest tear with three hits and an RBI and Mark Teixeira followed up his three hit performance on Tuesday with a pair of base hits.

In addition to being beat up, the Orioles continued to not draw good crowds, even with the Yankees in town. At one point the fans tried to get a "Let's go Orioles" chant going and it sounded pathetic with a very partisan Yankees throng in attendance.

I thought things would begin to turn around for the O's when Andy MacPhail was brought in to run the show, and though the Orioles have a bevy of good young talent, it's going to be a while before they start pay dividends.

The team has made many mistakes in trying to build a veteran presence around the kids. Miguel Tejada started off hot, but shouldn't have been brought back. Garrett Atkins was one of the worst signings of the off-season by any team.

Make no mistake, it's not easy playing in the AL East. The O's haven't been regular contenders since the late 1990s. This is a franchise that I feared in the 1970's. A team that remarkably only won one World Series between 1969 and 1979 despite a bevy of divsion titles and pennants. But success isn't always measured by World Series titles. I know I'm repeating myself here, but it was the team I hated as a kid and teen. Not the Red Sox. That would come later.

Those Orioles teams treated the Yankees like a rag doll. Then one day Peter Angelos came along. A George Steinbrenner wannabe, that didn't and hasn't come close to his predecessor's success. And things have gone from bad to worse.

Orioles' fans loudly booed Mark Teixeira last year for not signing with Baltimore and were upset that Mike Mussina was allowed to leave. But their lack of attendance in beautiful Camden Yards has sent a direct message to Angelos. You are the problem Mr. Angelos, you and no one but you.

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