Monday, April 25, 2011

Flipping the Bird(s)

Remember when the Orioles were awesome, perennial post-season participants, and World Series champs? Yeah, me either.

Year after year I wait with anticipation to Opening Day, excited for the start of baseball season. How many hits will Nick Markakis get? How many bases can Brian Roberts steal? How many times will Felix Pie's last name make me hungry? And then June rolls around. The Orioles are virtually eliminated from the playoffs and all I have are bittersweet what-ifs and a whole long nine months to forgive and forget.

But this year I thought things were going to be different. A week and a half in, the O's were 6-2, earning them a spot on ESPN's Power Rankings AND garnering the top play on Sport's Centers Top 10. Buck Showalter had the best winning percentage of any manager taking over. The excitement was building in Baltimore, and Camden Yards looked poised for a return to the big times. But before I could dig out my Larry Bigbie shirt (don't judge...he was hot), the dream came crashing to a halt.

Having now lost 10 out of their last 12, the Orioles bright start is once again mired in the sub-average muck and mire of April baseball. With only a split series against the Twins to brag about, it seems the O's have yet to figure out a permanent solution to the problem.

So how do the Birds flip their season around? Well, first of all, it would be nice to take the Yankees off the schedule. One third of the O's losses have come against the New York club. But since that's probably not going to happen, the Orioles need some key offense to back up their relatively young pitching staff. Newly signed veterans Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, along with Markakis, Roberts, and Adam Jones, must find a way to reclaim the magic that they started the season with. Otherwise, it's going to be a sad day in Mudville for O's fans.


Kristin said...

I could totally see you on the The Sports Reporters on ESPN every Sunday morning, just hangin' out talkin' sports with Mitch Albom and John Saunders and crew.

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