Circles of Losing O’s Style- Part 2

Circle 8 (above) The Unforseen Disaster

I swore off talking about this, but seeing as to where I’m talking about the varying pains of losses, I must touch on the scars of this one. There’s the losses where something was blotched. It had a ball call, fan interference, and the old extra inning loss. Of course, it all could have been avoided if umpire Richie Garcia would have made the right call. At the time, he said there was no fan interference and awarded Jeter the homer. Davey Johnson and Tony Tarasco, God bless ’em, argued and yelled and pointed to the kid in the crowd who was being gleefully mobbed by Yankee fans….but Garcia held fast to his ruling until after the game where he basically said “Whoops, there was fan interference, but that ball was uncatchable.” Which is nonsense. This was the Bartman before Bartman and worse because this ball was catchable and if it was caught, there would be no extra innings because the O’s would have won in 9 nine winnings.

I was just 12 or 13 at the time, but I was old enough to feel angry and jaded after this loss. We were on family vacation at my Grandparents in Missouri at the time of this one and it put a damper on the vacation.


Circle 9- The complete utter disaster

The complete and utter blowout. The one that makes your team a laughingstock. You wear your O’s hat or shirt in public and for about 2 or 3 weeks after this loss you hear “The O’s? They’re terrible? How can you wear that?” This is the game that got your team the most televison exposure it had of all 2007. The game where the Oriole pitchers might have well have been a teeball stand.

This is the loss that makes you want to cry but you laugh because it’s so comically terrible. They managed to give up 30 runs. It seems impossible to give up that many runs in a 9 inning game. Sure there were bad pitchers in the 07 pen. But even a bad major leaguer is still a major leaguer. They had to have been good at some point to get to where they were at that fateful day. Surely one of them could have done something to stop the bleeding. The O’s lead 3-0 through 3 innings. Then the Rangers scored 30 unanswered.

Daniel Cabrera went 5 and gave up 6 runs, this night he was a beacon of pitching mastery and stability for the O’s.

Brian Burres got 2 outs and gave up 8 runs

Rob Bell went 1.1 innings and coughed up 7.

Paul Shuey gave up 9 runs in two innings.

You question the decisions you’ve made earlier in your life after games like this one, questions like “How do I manage to endure this team?”

Bonus: Circle 10- The worst of the worst

Last Mother’s Day, you know this one well. Jeremy Guthrie had completely mastered the Red Sox. Through 8 innings, he had held the Red Sox scoreless. Then with one out, Guthrie gives up a hit. Guthrie gave up only 3 hits total that day. Sam Perlozzo does the unthinkable and pulls Guthrie. Dany Baez comes in needing only to get 2 outs with a 6 run cushion. Baez can’t get one out. He gives up 3 runs. Two of his own and one that got credited to Guthrie. Chris Ray comes in needing to only get 2 outs with a 3 run lead. He gets one but gives up 3 more.

They blew a 6 run lead with 1 out in the ninth. It was the perfect storm. A bad manager and a bad bullpen pretty align to make the perfect storm.

I watched that game and through 8 innings, I felt awesome. We were making the Red Sox look stupid. We were cruising. It was going to be a great Sunday. Then that fateful ninth inning happened. When Perlozzo pulled Guthire, I was shocked. He’s only threw 91 pitches. He only needs to more outs. He has a 6 run lead. Then Perlozzo brought in Baez. I was equally shocked. Baez? Ugh…he’s been rotten. Well, there’s no way he can screw this one up. But he did. 3 runs later, Perlozzo pulls him and then brings in Chris Ray. I was still holding out hope at this point. Ray can get two outs. Nope. He couldn’t and I was in a rotten mood for a week after this one. I’d rather lose 30-3 than lose like this.

Losing hurts. It’s no fun. As O’s fans, we’ve had more than our share of losses over the past decade. It hurts. In 3 years, 15 years, or how many years it takes the O’s to get back to being a winning team, No matter how good they’ll get….they’re still going to lose some games a year. Good teams win more than they loses, but even still, some of those losses are painful. Ask the Mets last season during their season ending skid. Ask the Braves with their many trips to the World Series and only 1 title to rake out of it. Ask the ’99 Yankees about game 7. The only thing that stops the pain of yesterday’s loss is a win today.




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