I understand that this article has nothing to do with Minor League coverage, but I felt compelled to share this story. Today, I attended my fourth Orioles game of the 2014 season. As I said before, I have not attended a game where the Orioles have come out victorious since 2005.
Although I told myself I would go into the game with the expectation that they would lose so that I would not be disappointed if that were the case, on the drive down I could not help but think, “Hey they have a chance.” I knew Miguel Gonzalez has not had a solid outing in some time and the team’s track record on Sundays has fans pulling their hair out, but I kept thinking, “They could turn it all around today.”
When I got to the ballpark, everything was perfect. The weather was great with not a cloud in the sky, the Geno’s Giant I ordered was delicious and my seats for the game were great. In addition to this, the 1954 giveaway hat looked awesome (even though I did not appreciate the huge DAP logo on the back of it). Most of all, when my family and I were walking on Eutaw Street, I was able to meet an Orioles legend.
Boog Powell was just about to sit down to start signing autographs and take pictures with fans. Before the giant mass of people swarmed him, I was able to be one of the first ones in line. He not only signed my ticket, but I was also able to get a picture with the hulking former first baseman. He proceeded after the picture to tell my uncle who is a Tigers fan by birth how he loved to beat up on Detroit when he played with Baltimore.
After meeting one of the players who helped the Orioles stay on top of the American League for so many years, we went to our seats trying to see the modern-day Orioles get a win and erase my nine year curse.
The game did not start off great as I could see Gonzalez did not have his good stuff today. Gonzalez was falling off of the mound and it seemed that the Rays had the green light from the first pitch on to take a hack at the ball. To say that the right-hander is not a ground ball pitcher would be an understatement.
The Rays were driving the ball to all parts of the outfield and beyond the confines of Oriole Park as well. After the top of the third inning the Orioles trailed 2-0, but right when I was about to chalk this game up to be another loss, the Orioles brought my interest back into the game when they scored in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings. This was highlighted by a Manny Machado two-run home run to right field which gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead going into the top of the fifth inning.
This lead was erased quickly in the next half inning, but then was regained in the bottom of the fifth due to a wild pitch that scored Nick Markakis from third. After this half inning, I was thinking that this would be a back and forth type of ball game and the Orioles have a better-than-not chance to pull away in the eighth and ninth innings where their bats have come alive as of late.
Unfortunately, this idea was squashed as were my hopes of seeing a win today when the Rays scored seven runs in the top of the sixth inning. It all happened so quickly I could not tell you what batters hit home runs that inning or even who all scored. Basically, everything that could go wrong that half inning did.
With the sun beating down and the score so lopsided, my family and I decided to leave after the sixth inning came to an end. As we walked down the ramps from the upper decks, we were not surprised when we heard the boos reverberate off of Camden Yards when the Rays hit a two-run homer to extend their lead to 12-4.
The ride home was filled with disappointment, anger and astonishment. I went to Friday’s afternoon game along with Sunday’s game and the O’s lost both contests. Could it be that I am really bad luck for this ball club?
Once we left, the Orioles did rally for some runs in the ninth inning before I heard Joe Angel on the radio say, “And that’s the ball game.” All I could think about when the Orioles started their rally in the ninth was if they come back and win this game I will never go back to Camden Yards again because I am a bad luck charm to the Orioles.
Luckily for my own sake, the team did not come back meaning I could come back to “the Yard.” The next game I go to will be July 11th’s game against the Yankees. Maybe the Orioles could end my streak with a win against the Bronx Bombers. Despite nine years of agony, I still have faith!