Monday, August 23, 2010

Sad Reality Settles In

With their loss Sunday to the Texas Rangers, the Orioles record stands at 44-81 guaranteeing no winning season for the 13th year in a row since winning the division in 1997. For the Orioles not to finish with 100 losses, they must go 18-17 the remainder of the season. At their current pace, they will finish the season at 57-105.

While that certainly is embarassing, here's the silver lining, on June 3rd after Dave Trembley's last game, they were on a 45-117 pace. On Juan Samuel's last day as manager, they were headed for a 49-113 finish.

It's tantalizing to think that the kind of improvement fans have seen since Buck Showalter's arrival will continue; however, after the upcoming roadtrip to Chicago and Anaheim, aside from seven games versus the fading central division, Tigers, all the rest of the games, one series at home and one a way versus each team, will be against the American League East with Boston desperately trying to get back in the fight while New York and Tampa Bay appear jousting for post season positions. The Toronto Blue Jays have been equally rough on the Orioles in recent years.

There's a new sheriff in town, and he's getting results. It's obvious there is a new clubhouse culture as players are playing for their jobs for next year. Can anyone on the coaching staff seem likely to return next year?  Doubtful, many are Trembley associates and the sooner the team can be sanitized from all Trembley influence the better. He might have been a nice man, but he was ill-equipped to face the enormous challenge of retooling a struggling franchise.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now heading where the Orioles appeared headed. They have already cinched a losing season with 84 losses leading to a 53-109 ending having not won since 1992, the Barry Bonds/Jim Leyland era when they finished in 1st for three consecutive seasons before being dispatched in the playoffs. To think when the Orioles and Pirates met in the 1979 World Series, they were two of the proudest, most envied franchises in all of baseball!

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