Here’s something I never thought I’d write at anytime this year.
The Baltimore Orioles finally lost a game.
Going 4-0 in a 162-game baseball season is normally nothing to go nuts about. But for a team that has normally been out of pennant races by spring training, the Orioles quick start is something to crack a Natty Boh about.
The O’s undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander Wednesday night, no shame in that really. But one thing I hope owner Peter Angelos and general manager Andy MacPhail take out of this start is that, yes, Orioles fans will get behind the team again.
The secret is, as Charlie Sheen says, “Duh, winning.”
It won’t happen with just the 4-0 start, no. But if this team can consistently win games, especially early this season, the people will come to the ballpark and they will support the team. With the NFL season in jeopardy, the Orioles have a unique opportunity to regain a foothold in a community that has become all-Ravens, all the time. Why is it that way? Duh, winning.
Yes, plenty of fans deserted the team thanks to Angelos and his skinflint ways. But the main reason Oriole Park has plenty of empty seats is because no one wants to shell out hard-earned money, particularly with the uncertain economy and because they don’t want to watch losing baseball. Why pay $30 for good seats to see a guy like Julio Lugo jog to first base on a ground ball?
The pitching so far has been outstanding and figures to get better with the return of Brian Matusz. The lineup hasn’t gotten going yet – especially newcomers Vlad Guerrero and Mark Reynolds – but you have to figure they will start bombing away soon.
A 4-0 start is no reason to start printing playoff tickets and the O’s will probably again find themselves fighting to stay around .500.
But for once, it is good to say, “At least we’re not the Red Sox.”
That’s because Boston is now 0-6 after losing to Cleveland Thursday. For most O’s fans, the Red Sox and their horde of carpetbagger fans from the Virginia suburbs have become public enemy No. 1, surpassing the Yankees.
Sox fans can never figure out why other team’s fans hate them so much. Let me put to you this way; at least the Yankee fans KNOW they’re jerkwads and embrace it.
Sox fans were merely obnoxious whiners before they won it all in 2004, complaining endlessly how awful it was that they hadn’t won a World Series in 86 years. Then they win and most people, myself included, were happy for them.
Then this whole even-more-obnoxious “Red Sox Nation” thing started and full-on invasions of Sox fans started coming to Camden Yards. Going to an O’s-Sox game became an unbearable experience, and not just because the Red Sox won all the time.
It was their fans, which went from self-hating to loathsome in the span of a year. All the sudden, the green jerseys and pink hats started showing up, the type of people who have been long-suffering Sox fans since 2005. After enduring a game with the Sox fans, your average O’s fan was begging for the Yankees fans to show up. Plus, as if he couldn’t be any more of a profit-seeking scoundrel, Angelos started catering to these carpetbaggers. But that’s another rant for another time.
The point is, the Sox are 0-6 and my only reaction is to quote one of my least favorite athletes of all time, Joey Porter, who said, “I laugh at their sorrows.”