Could it really get any worse at this point?
Since the last time I made a post here on BirdsWatcher (Opening Day), here’s how things have gone down: 1 win, 11 losses, multiple injuries (Felix Pie, Miguel Tejada, Mike Gonzalez, Brian Roberts), and even more embarrassing finishes. Today, the O’s continued on with the madness, leading 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with replacement closer Jim Johnson on the mound. After one out was recorded, Johnson got Athletics’ outfielder Rajai Davis to strike out swinging, only to see the ball hit a divot at home plate and shoot over Matt Wieters’ head. Later in the inning, Ryan Sweeney would hit a two-run single to give the O’s the worst record in the Majors. In other words, it’s getting ugly.
Not only are three starters now missing from the lineup, arguably the best hitter (Pie) is gone as well. Overall on the season, the problems from 2009 continue to haunt the club. The team is 1-for-41 with RISP and two outs this season (For anyone wondering, that is a 0.024 batting average.) Add on the fact that the leading hitter on the team is utility infielder Ty Wigginton’s .269 BA, and we can say, with confidence, “Baltimore, we’ve had a problem.”
I could go on-and-on about the offense; however, I can not fail to leave out the pitching. It appears as though four ER is enough to get a loss now-a-days in “Charm City”, and B-more pitchers are beginning to feel it. The only O’s pitcher (both starters and relievers) with a win is rookie southpaw Brian Matusz, and another win for anyone else doesn’t look promising in the near future.
To all of this, add on the fact that reports are spewing from journalists around the country that Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos denied Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. a position in the front office. Honestly, could things truly get any worse (I may repeat this a few more times here.)?
My thoughts on the entire situation: As I ranted about in the latest podcast, someone on this team needs to get a grip and take charge. As a fan, here is what I see: a team with a boatload of talent without a leader to push the envelope and enable change in the organization. It isn’t manager Dave Trembley, who I have supported up to this point. A manager can not be choking up after a loss. He should be rallying the troops. It isn’t any of the youngsters. Last time I checked, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, or Matt Wieters have yet to take charge of this team. And it sure isn’t any of the veterans. Message to Tejada, Garrett Atkins, and Kevin Millwood: Step up to the plate and spark some life into this team. The veterans are there to lead by example. Start leading. This has been a sickening last few weeks here in Baltimore. At this point, something has to change. Whether it’s the owner (please let this be the case), the manager, or the players themselves, a move has to be made. For our sake, let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.
By the way, the NFL Draft is this Thursday. Anyone else looking forward to it? At least the Ravens give us something positive to think about.