This is painful! The hole is getting pretty deep. Getting out of this will require beating the best teams – over and over.
There is really nothing working right now. The starters can’t quite get far enough into games – often giving up runs toward the end of their stint. The reliever’s just don’t! They don’t provide relief, that is. And the offense doesn’t hit in critical situations.
So what is a writer to write about? Tearing the team apart is simply piling on the obvious. I could point out about the entire bullpen situation, that if you reference my body of written work on this subject, I could say, “I told you so.” But I won’t do that. Instead, I’m just going to ramble through some isolated and probably bizarre thoughts.
I love the camel
“What day is it? … come on, come on, I know you know!” says the Geico camel on the commercial aired on every Orioles game. “It’s hump day!” Yep … the hump. That is what the Orioles have been unable to overcome all year. That hump is the 10-12 wins above .500 hump. They need to get to the 20+ wins over .500 level to move past September. I am beginning to think I’ll be writing in October that the Orioles are a better than average team that is short of playoffs caliber, and perhaps a year away from a serious run … thus making 2012 a true anomaly.
Aug. 13, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Baltimore Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez reacts after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks batter Gerardo Parra in the eighth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
You choked, right?
So, pitching coach Rick Adair has been announced to be on a personal leave. Around the message boards on various Orioles sites, questions have been raised about the curious timing of this – at a time when the pitching staff, particularly the bullpen, is imploding. Along with similar curiosities about Pedro Strop and Jason Hammel going on the DL conveniently … well, it all is fodder for conspiratorial thinkers. No, I don’t honestly think that happened, but, it reminded me of a story in my life years ago (this is some of the rambling I promised at the top … hey, I’m an old man, OK?). I was in grad school in Texas and had lousy health insurance provided at a discount rate by the school for students – most of us rather poor. I had a trip to the ER from an allergic reaction to shellfish, and was submitting the claim to the agent – presuming there was no way it would be covered. The old fellow with a stereotypical long Texas drawl listened to my story and said, “So, you choked, right?” And I said that, no, not exactly, that there was some constriction I supposed … to which he said, “Look son, I’m jes tryin’ t’help ya … You choked, RIGHT??”
No, really, I’m happy!
Not about the string of losses! But I’m pleased for Scott McGregor. He is truly a good guy – not just as an Orioles legend – but truly in the game of life. I’ve actually met him a number of times, and he is an extremely likeable person. He has been to my church for several events (I’m a pastor for those who did not know), as he is a person of faith with a good heart for outreach. And beyond that, he knows pitching and how to work with young players.
Gotta love that name!
I see where the Rockies have a pitcher named Josh Outman. That is an excellent name for a pitcher, and I’m sure hundreds of writers whom I’ve never read have made the same association. He’s a 28-year-old who came up with Oakland and has a career ERA of 4.56. He had a clean 1-2-3 inning tonight (Friday). Imagine a position player named Josh Hitman! That is certainly better than a pitcher named Hitman or a position player named Outman! It reminds me of an orthodontist friend I have named Ron Toothman … no kidding – I did not make that up!
It’s just a game, right?
There are more important things in life than baseball, although I’m sitting here right now trying to think what they would be! There are many, many reasons why I like baseball better than football, and one of them is that the next game is not a week away. Tomorrow could well be a breakout day for the Orioles!