Saturday, July 31, 2010
Orioles: Give Buck a Break!!!
This just in, the Orioles will finish with over 100 losses. Even if Buck Showalter could bring the team to play .500 ball during his tenure, the Orioles will lose at least 101 games. The Orioles face all teams in their division both home and away, three of which will be in contention, the other having beaten them in all head-to-head competition so far this year in September. The remaining team, Detroit, could well be in competition for either a Wild Card or their division too. August won't be easy either. He starts against the Angels, a team that has been particularly harsh on the Orioles in recent years and the team travels to California for three games beginning August 27th. They'll play at home and away against the White Sox, the first place team in the Central. They'll also host the Rangers, first place in the West. The only losing teams they face are Cleveland, away, and Seattle, at home. If they were the New York Yankees, the remaining schedule would be a difficult challenge.
What remains will be a lot like Spring Training evaluating talent and working on establishing structure and discipline. Like Spring Training, most players will have their jobs on their line. On September 1st, players on the 40 man roster can be called up. This will be an appraisal for several players with the Tides and possibly a couple with the Bay Sox.
For what few fans are continuing to follow the team, surely there will be lots of idiotic calls to local talk show forums. They'll assume the team still can finish better than last year -- doubtful. They'll also propose all kinds of ridiculous trades and chastise Andy McPhail for not making such deals. The bottom line is, "Hello dum-dums no team is giving up top line players for our chumps or unproven entities. Welcome the the real world. Some might argue the Orioles have to lose for fear of losing the number one draft pick in 2011 to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It will be two tough months to endure, but thinking back to 1988 when the team appeared in a similar situation, it could be fun to see a young Brady Anderson, just acquired from Boston, play tough in the outfield or a few of the young newcomers show flashes of what could lie ahead. This is not suggesting next year's team could be like the "Why not?" 1989 Orioles. There is much hard work to do.
What we won't see given the difficulty of the schedule is much that will help us see what the future could look like aside from a few brilliant individual players here and there.
Welcome to Baltimore, Mr. Showalter, hon.