My two week absence happened at the same time as the O’s yearly end of season season collapse. I’m glad I missed it. The first week of my absence was my yearly Ben’s week o’ fun. It didn’t start out as fun.

Me and my now former roommate Chris met up in Asheville for an Asheville Tourist game. Chris goes to grad school now in NC, so it was a good spot to meet up. If you ever have the chance to go to a Tourist game, do it. The ballpark is a great little park. Anyways, we got to the game late. The reason for this was I-26 was backed up like any other interstate on a Friday should be. Once I hit I-40, it was marginally better. But that was 40 minutes I lost. I met up with Chris and we rode to the park. We got near the park and the park looked more like a major league park inside of a single A park. Cars were parked on the streets for a mile or two. There’s not a real parking lot for the park, so you have to fend for yourself. We made the mile, maybe two, walk to the park from where I parked only to find they were sold out. I bought the first scalped tickets of my life at this point. They were face value, it wasn’t like I paid 20 bucks for a minor league game. It seems unfathomable that I bought a scalped ticket for a low A game. It turns out that this was the final game of the season AND fireworks night, thus the crowd.

We got into the park and the seating is about 80% general admission. Our hot tickets were general. In the Greenville park, you can always find somewhere to catch the game even if there’s no seats. You can sit on the grass, in the Spinx club, or stand around. It wasn’t like this in Asheville. It was the packed and nowhere to sit or stand. After about 15 minutes, we decided to cut our losses and split. On the hike back to car, a gnat flew directly into my eyeball. This would plague me the rest of the night. 

Since baseball wasn’t in the cards, we went and grabbed a couple of drinks before we split our seperate ways back to Greenville. When I hit the interstate, my car’s thermostat needle went straight to hot. Since my car is a mobile indian burial ground, I was very concerned. I stopped and put some anti-freeze in it. Ten minutes later, it was hot again. I stopped at a gas station and bought more anti-freeze. Seven minutes later, it was hot again. I was hoping to inch my way back to Greenville. Two minutes, it was hot again. Lucky, I managed to get a rest area. I called Chris and he met me there. Then after getting arrangements made for a wrecker, it was an hour and half wait for the wrecker. Needless to say, it was one of the worst nights in awhile. I have the car back sans the old raditor and I’m sans some money.

The rest of the week o’ fun went better. Labor Day I went down to Clemson with a few friends and met up with some friends down there for the FSU/Clemson game. Death Valley is an awesome place. The tickets I ordered were from the FSU website since I couldn’t get any from the Tiger site. I didn’t make any new FSU friends that night. Clemson got out to big start and in usual fashion, hung onto a close win.

The following Saturday, I took my Mom down to Atlanta to our yearly trip to a Braves game. This year it was the Nats playing the Braves. The Braves rolled 9-2, but it was still a fun game. Washington looks as bad as their record. Still though, going to a baseball is great.

It was a busy week. I’m going to Charlotte a week from Sunday to catch the Panthers play. So I’ll manage to catch all my teams play this year except the O’s.

As for the O’s, I missed a lot.

-Danys Baez going out for the season and likely all of next.

-Victor Zambrano signing

-Daniel Cabrera taking over the role of this season’s Rodrigo Lopez.

-Nick Markakis hitting 20 HR and 100 RBIs

and every thing I mentioned last post.

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30-3

The Rangers embarrassed the O’s in the first of two games tonight. 30 unanswered runs. It’s a reccord night…literally. It’s been 110 years since this happened. Great….ugh.

Your list of offenders

Pitcher IP H R ER BB K HR NP-ST ERA

Cabrera                                     5        9        6        6         1        4         2       96-62   5.10

Burres                     a meager 0.2      8       8         8         1        1         1        34-22   5.24

Bell                                            1.1       5       7         7         3        1         1        54-32   6.14

Shuey                                        2.0       7      9         9         3        5         2        68-41   9.49

bloody boxscore stats from SI.com

I think its time to cut the cord on Shuey and probably Bell…but especially Shuey 0r as I now call him, Paul SHOOOO-WEEE! As in Shooo-wee that stinks. 68 pitches in 2 innings and 9 runs. 2 HRs! The funny irony of it is that 5 of his 6 outs were strikeouts. It’s time for this year’s Jim Brower, Mike Dejean, Steve Kline, Jon Halama to go.

Not a good night.

Yeah, I’ve slacked lately.

I haven’t posted much lately. Its not for lack of effort. I’ve logged in 4 or 5 times this week and attempt to write something…ANYTHING, but I had nothing. This team has not inspired me to write anything. Oh I could just repost something of the following templates that I have saved on here, like:

“Perlozzo needs to go”

“Good pitching performance by _______ ruined by absence of offense”

“The trillion dollar bullpen blows it again”

“Blow it up”

Its depressing. I pay 160 bucks a year for Extra Innings just so I can watch the O’s. It begins the same. The first month of the season I clear my schedule so I can watch my O’s. When they get off to a lackluster start, I simply say “Hey, it’s early in the season.” Now after several losing streaks and uninspired ball, I catch the O’s game if I have nothing to do. Like tonight, I just got home and turned the game on. It’s now the 8th inning and Bedard’s been great, but now it’s 3-1 in the 8th, 2 on and 0 outs. Something tells me that this isn’t going to end pretty.

Barring a miracle it’s going to a decade of losing. 10 years. To put this in perspective, the last time the O’s had a winning season was 1997 season. I was a gangly sophomore at the fine educational institutional of Travelers Rest High School.

Since then I’ve

  • Learned to drive
  • Graduated high school 
  • Have had 3 cars
  • Moved three times
  • Went to college
  • Worked full time for 5 years
  • had my wisdom teeth cut out

There’s a few more things I could on here, but I’ll do that another time…and I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. Anyways, its pretty damned depressing knowing that two years prior to my freaking senior prom would the O’s last winning season for a long time. Random fact that I still remember: My prom’s theme was “A Night to Remember.” I remember it because we all laughed about it.

Anyway, I’ll still be around. I’ll still post, but its hard to get excited about a team that gets swept by the Nats. The Nats are better than us. I used to take solance in the fact that “The Orioles are better thant the Pirates, Nats, Royals, Mariners, and D-Rays.” Guess what, we’re not. It’s time to cut bait on the bulk of this bunch of unlovable losers. I’m still planning to get up to my first O’s game this season. Hey, I’ll still watch the games when I have time…..as I write these words Todd Williams gave up a 3 run homer that foiled Bedard’s bid for a win. This is why I’ve been distancing myself from this team. Its the same stuff everynight. That said, I’ll never give up. That winning season has to happen at some point. And I’d like to believe after almost 9.5 years we’re closer to it rather than farther from it.

Chris Ray

If Jeremy Guthrie goes Carlos Zambrano on Chris Ray, I’m going to give him a pass. Yesterday was at least the second time, there may be a third in there, Ray’s cost him a win.

I’m not going to blame Sam for this loss. It’s easy to with Guthrie being at only 88 pitches after 8 innings. But Guthrie didn’t look great in the 8th. There was a couple of hits and a run, so Sam gets a pass on this one.

You’re supposed to be able to go to your closer in the 9th with a one run lead and get the win. Well, Chris Ray hasn’t had much luck lately. There’s no excuses that “well, there were men on base when he came in” or any lines like that. Ray’s shown a tendency to give runs (especially homeruns) in the bottom of the ninth.

It’s always those close ones too. Boston, New York, and the Angels are the three blown saves that come to mind. If your closer can’t seal the deal against the big boys, then its time to start looking around at other ninth inning solutions. I want to give Ray the benefit of the doubt, but honestly he hasn’t looked all that great this season. He gives up a hit or two, a walk, and squirms his way out of it. That comes up and bites you more other than not and it bit him again.

This isn’t the same deal in Boston, in my opinion. Sam went with his closer in a save situation and he couldn’t do his job. If Sam’s to blame for anything in this situation, it was assuming that Chris Ray could do his job.

I guess we’ll get them next time.

Mariners and Rockies up next, let’s get back to .500!

Time for a Major Change

I took a little time to cool after the Mother’s Day Massacre before I posted again. Last night I caught a couple innings of the game, but turned it off in disgust after Troy Glaus homered, so I didn’t catch Melvin Mora and Jay Payton trying to duke it out. After this fiasco I think it’s pretty clear that Perlozzo is losing or has lost this team.

It’s still pretty early in the season but we’ve got:

-2 teammates wanting to fight

-The ill-advised pulling of Guthrie

-Gibbons and Millar venting about not knowing their roles and lack of playing time

-A wore down bullpen

The worst part…it’s ONLY MAY!

I’ve tried to keep a positive vibe in my blog. When I started doing this, I didn’t want to be one of those guys who say they’re O’s fans, but trash the team and always have a negative tone. Well, after what will look like a decade of losing, I can see why many of them possess a cynical point of view. I’m not going to turn this blog into a forum of woe and O bashing, or at least I’m going to try not to. After the past two weeks, it’s been pretty easy to do so.

It’s pretty evident that this franchise needs a change. While canning Perlozzo would be start, after 9 plus years of losing, the Orioles have a climate of defeat. Getting rid of Perlozzo in all likelihood won’t magically transform the O’s into a first place time. Geting rid of Hargrove didn’t do it and neither did ditching Lee Mazilli. It’s going to take more than firing an inept manager to turn this sinking ship around.

 It’s time for an overhaul. I love this team and I’ll be a fan win or lose, but if something isn’t working it’s time to scrap it. It doesn’t matter who’s a ‘fan favorite’ or who’ll bring butts to the bleachers. In reality, attendance continues to dwindle, so fan favorites mean really nothing.

It’s time for the O’s to become sellers. We are not a player away. I’ve heard that the past few seasons. By the time we finally get THAT ONE player, all of the players we have will be in decline.

The only players who I don’t want to see traded are Nick Markakis and Daniel Cabrera. I’m leary on trading Eric Bedard, but you have to give up something to get something (reference the Florida Marlins).

I’m tired of 70-92 seasons and nothing but the status quo next season. I want to be excited about Orioles baseball again.

@#$#*&##@!@*#!!!!!

Man, I hate this team sometimes.

Today is one of team.

Jeremy Guthrie, thanks for your 8.1 innings of shutout ball. To bad our 100 trillion dollar bullpen can’t get 2 dang outs. I’m staring right at you Chris Ray.

Sam Perlozzo, you haven’t earned much love either by yanking Guthrie out after Ramon dropped the pop-out. But this one is mainly on the shoulders of Baez and especially especially especially Chris Ray.

2 outs.

2 simple measly outs.

And we can’t get them.

I feel sick to my stomach.

O’s haikus

I could whine today about how we’ve lost 9 out ten in a rather limp fashion. We get good pitching and our offense comes up lame. The defense has been bad at times, bad enough for that one blunder to cost a game. The offense has stunk. It’s stunk like a dumpster full of rancid meat on a hot Carolina summer day.  Pop-ups, strikes outs, clutchless players, and groundouts….geez, it’s been rough. Maybe it’s a team wide slump.Maybe the team is just getting all the suck out of their system. All the hope that I’ve had bottled up for this season, has been thrown around, stomped, and kicked around. What better way to express my sadness than with haikus.

Bitter Old Man 

Again seven strong,

but yet again, no offense

Sorry poor old Steve.

Frustrated shortstop 

Range is declining

Batting average is still high

Miggi, hit it out

Huff, you kill me, yes

bat glued stiff to your shoulder

slow starter indeed

Genius at work 

First inning of game

runner on first, no outs

Sam signals to bunt

Puzzle piece that does not fit 

He can’t play first base

outfield defense is spotty

I wish Jay could hit.

Noodle armed pitcher 

2004 wow

maybe it was fool’s gold

Wright, where has that gone?

Veteran presence 

A weak bat he swings,

defense is bread and butter

Bako cuts his chin

Everynight 

Bases are loaded

two outs, and a 1-2 count

Huff hits a pop-up.

Bad times 

9 out of 10, boo!

watching games hurt at this time

one day we will win.

There’s no game tonight, of which I am thankful for. One can only hope it can only get better from here.