Are the Baltimore Orioles in the way of destiny?


The Baltimore Orioles were perennial losers for 14 seasons. They along with their fans endured slight after slight both on and off the field. Throughout that time period and even well before it started, Kansas City’s plight was ust as futile – if not worse. According to an unscientific ESPN poll taken before the series began, most of America is rooting for Kansas City.

It seems that in America we love underdog stories. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but just as a matter of fact. So Kansas City is seen as this little team that’s been awful forever and who’s so deserving of a winner, while the Orioles apparently are seen as the villains standing in their way. Kansas City has the fun-loving bunch of over-achievers, and the Orioles have the souless group that might need a lesson in loosening up and having fun while playing the game.

Okay, that might be exaggerating just a bit. But the fact is that America wants to embrace this Kansas City team as the lovable losers who will finally make it over the hump, and discard the Orioles back in the pile. And that’s not something that should sit right with any Orioles fans out there. Maybe it’s easy for Orioles fans to see the pain that they went through because they were in the middle of it. However keep in mind that the AL East is baseball’s most prominent division; both winning and losing is ampified.

Courtesy of Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

And that’s why I mention the fact that the O’s suffered through slight after slight on and of the field. Whether it was being embarrassed on the field in games, having opposing fans take over their stadium, players such as Sidney Ponson finding themselves in trouble, or anything else, the Orioles suffered through some really bad years. And again, given the markets represented it just seems that things are louder in the AL East.

This is not to say that some of that didn’t happen to Kansas City as well. But Kansas City didn’t have to go up against the NY, Boston, and even the DC media on a daily basis. The point here isn’t to measure who suffered more or for longer. My point here is that it shouldn’t sit well with the Orioles or their fans to think that from the beginning of this series they were being seen as the team standing in the way of destiny for Kansas City.

I think we saw some of that sudden success get to the heads of the Kansas City players on Saturday when Jarrod Dyson said that he didn’t expect to come back to Baltimore and he didn’t think the Orioles did either.

That’s hardly the type of comment that one would expect to come out of the mouth of a humble underdog that’s just happy to be here. Could one see Coach Norman Dale (played brilliantly by Gene Hackman in the movie


) saying something like that?

What Dyson did was offer the Orioles a life raft. It’s one thing to say that he doesn’t expect to return to Baltimore. (Incidentally the proper response would have been something to the extent of we hope not to come back here, but the Orioles are a good team and anything can happen.) But to say that the Orioles themselves don’t expect to come back to Baltimore is basically saying that the series is over. The implication there is that the Birds will simply roll over in these next two games, making way for the rightful American League champions to move forward.

And if I’m the likes of Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Wei-Yin Chen, et al, I say NOT ON MY WATCH. The entire team should now be inspired to do everything in their power to ensure that Dyson personally has to eat his words. That’s how sports works, folks. Whenever I hear something like that I see a player trying to be the next Joe Namath in trying to guarantee a win. My recommendation to Dyson would have been to say nothing and to just let his play and that of his team continue to speak on the field. But now the O’s have a real inspiration to take this fight to Kansas City on their turf.

For their sake, Orioles fans certainly hope that they accept the life raft thrown their way. The aforementioned Chen will get the start tonight in game three, and he’ll be opposed by former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie. Game time is set for just after 8 PM this evening.