1910: The Battle For The “Buzz Wagon”

When your team goes bad … and not run-of-the-mill bad, but wholesale “we are the worst of the worst, nearly the worst that ever was, and there is no clear indication that we will ever not be the worst” bad … you start digging around to assure yourself that someone out there, long ago, was worse than you.

Bad news, Orioles fans.

The 2018 Baltimore Orioles are among baseball’s stinkiest ever. And, there’s still a week to go.

While the 1910 baseball season won’t change that, it might help assure you that your grandfather or great-grandmother or great-great-someone also once felt the sting of horrible, horrible failure.

Well, if they lived in St. Louis, anyway.

1910 St. Louis Browns

In 1910, the St. Louis Browns (who would, in 1954, become the Baltimore Orioles) won 47 games and lost 107.

No need to rehash the Browns’ rotten year. Let’s just talk about the double-header on October 9, 1910, the last day of the season.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/9/1910

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My Day In “The Sun”

Pop Quiz, Baseball Fans!

Which is more unbelievable …

a) The Orioles won last night!

It’s a win!

b) I found these snow booties in my size. On sale!

Adorable and On Sale!

c) I’m on the front page of today’s Baltimore Sun sports page.

Trick Question … Continue reading

“I Know How Bad It Is.”

“I know how bad it is.” ~ Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter, via The New York Daily News

In case you don’t know how bad it is, the Baltimore Orioles are 42-106 and 59.5 games back in the AL East.

Bad.

Primordially bad. (Maybe I’m not using that term correctly? Who cares?)

Suckity, suck, suck bad.

(I’m definitely using those terms correctly.)

Stop Smiling.

“A week ago, Buck Showalter was sitting at his desk in the visiting team manager’s office at Tropicana Field when his bench coach, John Russell, dropped the lineup card in front of him for the day’s game between the Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. As he picked up the card, Showalter winced, then placed it on the desk face down.” ~ The New York Daily News, Sept 15, 2018 Continue reading

The Lodestar of Losers

“Hey, I know the rules. Someone has to have the worst record in baseball. I just wish it wasn’t the O’s.” ~ A thoughtful Orioles fan in this morning’s Baltimore Sun. (Oh wait … hey, it’s me!)

I am in a bad mood this morning.

Fun Fact 1: The Baltimore Orioles lost their 100th game last night and the Kansas City Royals will likely lose 100 before the season is through. The Boston Red Sox would have to stink mightily to not win 100+.

Fun Fact 2: In 2017, three teams – the Dodgers, Indians, and Astros – each won more than 100 games. No one lost 100.

Fun Fact 3: In 2016, one team – the Cubs – won 100+. And, one – the Twins – lost 100+.

Fun Fact 4: In 2015, one team – the Cardinals – won 100. No one lost 100.

Fun Fact 5: In 2014, the Orioles, with 96 wins, won the AL East. No team won or lost 100 games.

Fun Fact Analysis 1: Losing 100 is rarer – and, ergo, much more interesting – than winning 100.

Fun Fact Analysis 2: The Baltimore Orioles winning the AL East in 2014 is the best part of this analysis.

(Am I helping?)

There are other teams that have had worse seasons than the 2018 Orioles. I don’t care. The Orioles are the worst of now.

When you go from trying to win games, to trying to win “to salvage the season,” to “we’re rebuilding, so we’re not really trying to win at all,” it requires a new mindset.

I still don’t know what that mindset should be.

Why are you still smiling?

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Baseball Dreams, A Forgotten Hoops Star, & Sen. McCain’s Best Baseball Moment

Let me save you some time.

Here are three sports’y things you should make time for. And, one thing you shouldn’t.

First, shouldn’t.

When Sports Illustrated includes a recipe – and, I assure you, they do slip recipes into their magazine from time to time – don’t think, “Oh, look, Sports Illustrated has a recipe. How quirky! Maybe I should try it!” No. No, you shouldn’t.

What idiot would actually make a BBQ sauce with two kinds of mustard, some bourbon, and an awful lot of vinegar simply because Sports Illustrated published it?

Sports Illustrated has its place … in the kitchen is not one of them.

(Editor/Husband dunked a cracker in it and thinks it has potential. He is wrong. It is awful.)

So, before you go rushing off to buy bourbon (it’s not like you have any just lying around, right?) or to watch college football (which, I’m told, is a thing) … here are three things you should make time for. Continue reading

1884: Richmond Joins The Major Leagues

Our story so far … On August 2, 1884, after an atrocious 12-51 record, the Washington Nationals of the American Association folded mid-season. The Richmond Virginians, playing in the lesser Eastern League, were tapped to complete the remaining games on Washington’s schedule. Those games represent the only major league games in Richmond baseball history.

If you’re going to picture Richmond, Virginia’s history of major league baseball – 71 days and 46 games in 1884 – you’re going to have to use your imagination.

They played at Virginia Ball-Park.

And, the outfield – rocky and uneven, but wider and deeper than most outfields – was over here, more or less …

… where the controversial statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart stands today on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.

And, the front gate, home plate, and wooden grandstand where the brass band would play were over here …

… where the even more controversial statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee now stands just a few blocks away.

That’s Richmond, Virginia in a nutshell. Its history is a wonderful pastoral pastime and its history is a conflicted and ugly war. And, sometimes they converge.

Like they did in 1884. Continue reading

1884: Those Other Washington Nationals

“We are going to have a genuine baseball revival this season.” –  Lloyd Moxley, 1884.

Lloyd. Lloyd. Lloyd.

God knows you tried.

There you were spending your money on a brand new baseball team, bringing major league baseball to Washington, DC. You had plans. Big plans.

You polished up a ballpark. Paid for a fine team of players.

You filled the schedule with Ladies Days, giving women free admission.

You put comfortable cushions on the seats.

You bought a “giant gong” to announce the start of games.

Sure, you wouldn’t sell alcohol, but who needs beer when you’ve got cigar stands and concessions galore? Continue reading

Worst Place

Editor/Husband thinks it’s important to tell you, before you go any further, that I had a migraine. He thinks this is the headache – and the headache sleep – talking. (Maybe. Maybe he’s right.)

A line of trees curved around the outfield. Trees where the fence would be. Should be. But, this outfield was lined only with trees.

And, in the trees, high up, with their legs splayed over the thicker branches like they were riding ponies, were men. Fans. All sorts of men, at different heights among the tree branches. Different ages, but none too young, and none too old. And, every one, with legs splayed over the branches. Tree riders.

And, some were smoking. And, some hadn’t shaved. And, each one held a rolled-up newspaper that he beat in rhythm – along with the others – against the branches, rattling the leaves. They all seemed angry. Or, maybe they were just irritated that nothing had happened yet in a game that had yet to start.

And, there was an umpire explaining the ground rules. Explaining them to me, perhaps, but mostly to the players.

Explaining why the third base line that ran in from left field, was not a line but a crick of running water. But, not quite a crick, exactly, but something narrower than that. What would you call it? Would you call it a rill? OK, that’s what it was. A rill. And, the water in the rill bubbled and ran from the left field line, cut through third base, and flowed to home, and continued past home, extending into a wide field well behind where the game would be played and out of sight.

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We Broke The All-Star Break

The Baltimore Orioles entered the All-Star break — baseball’s halfway point — on Sunday with two things:

1) A 28-69 record which is almost, but not quite, the worst record in baseball. (Ummm, thanks, 27-68 Royals?), and

2) Shortstop Manny Machado, a starting All-Star and one of the best players in the game.

The Orioles leave the All-Star break with just one thing. Almost, but not quite, the worst record in baseball.

Some things that might be helpful for you to know, should your team ever end up being as awfuliciously bad as the Orioles are this season.

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