T.S. Eliot said April is the cruelest month.
How did I get in this post?
Eliot didn’t mean baseball. If he had he would have said August.
But, Eliot was a baseball fan and, it’s said, his heart was broken when his team, the Red Sox, sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919.
So, yeh, he knew cruel.
(Hemingway once slammed Eliot’s writing by telling a friend that Eliot “never hit a ball out of the infield in his life.” Also cruel.)
The Baltimore Orioles are slowly tumbling down the AL East ladder.
They’ve been looking increasingly listless and pitiful, like a ratty old tomcat trying to hack out a hairball. So much hacking and all that comes out is a desperate, sad noise that sounds, best I can translate, something like, “Ggggackuck [brief pause] Aahkgggackuck [longer pause] geeeeeeack.” Then he stops, swallows, shakes his head, and starts all over again.
I mean, you still love that ratty old tomcat, sure, but mainly you’re just hoping you’re not the one who’s going to get stuck cleaning up whatever is trying so hard to come out.
The Orioles were 11-14 in August through the 27th. Which doesn’t look that bad. It looks sort of average, I guess.
But, average isn’t good enough, you know that, and the Orioles are now third in the AL East.
The O’s were blown out twice by the Yankees this weekend. 14-4 on Friday and 13-5 on Saturday.
On July 26, 1928, the Yankees blew out the Detroit Tigers 12-1 in extra innings.
You don’t have to be a baseball scientist to know it’s not easy to get blown out in extra innings.
The 1928 Yankees.
The two teams ended the 9th inning tied 1-1.
They ended the 10th tied 1-1.
They ended the 11th tied 1-1.
Then in the top of the 12th, 15 Yankees came to the plate. Two triples, three doubles, and five singles later, and it was 12-1 Yankees.
Babe Ruth had just one double and one RBI in five at-bats, but Bob Muesel hit for the cycle with 3 RBI.
(Editor/Husband will be interested to know that that 12-inning game took only two hours and 33 minutes.)
It had to suck to be the Tigers that day.
Or, maybe it only sucked for that one inning.
Because, that was just the first game of a double-header.
Detroit won the second game 13-10.Embed from Getty Images
Tiger outfielder Harry Heilmann, an 0-fer in game one, had a grand slam, a triple, and 8 RBI in game two.
For the Yankees, that second game, The New York Times reported, “was a horrible exhibition, one of those married men-single men clambake atrocities where the final score is 23-21.”
I have no idea what that means, but if you do, I hope you’ll tell me, because I may need to use that line when September comes.
The Times concluded: “Gentlemen, it was awful.”
The Times was being melodramatic. The 1928 Yankees finished the season 101-53 and swept the Cardinals in the World Series. Things weren’t so bad.
This weekend, the Orioles re-signed lovable reliever Tommy Hunter, part of their AL East-winning 2014 team, who was cut loose by the Indians on Thursday. He pitched a scoreless inning for the O’s today.
Games come, games go.
Hairballs come out.
The Orioles shut out the Yankees 5-0 this afternoon. They’re still in third in the AL East with 32 regular season games remaining.
Gentle readers, at least for today … it wasn’t awful.
Something about the last two weekends doesn’t sit right with the O’s. They give up tons of runs then find themselves to salvage a game. What with everyone (well, Tillman and Jones) breaking down, the starting staff in a shambles and the hot and cold hitting, who knows what to expect next month. Of course, they gotta get through this month first, and the Blue Jays are up next. Yikes…or Let’s Go, O’s!
If only the Orioles could just play the Nationals every night! Well, at least Tommy Hunter’s back … which isn’t going to fix anything, but it still made me yelp with delight when I heard the news he was back on the team. Hang on to your lap bar, O’s fans, it’s gonna be a roller coaster ride ahead, isn’t it?
Oh yeah! Buckle up!
Orioles? You want to talk about the Orioles? Try being a Giants fan, this dismal, dispiriting month- or last month, for that matter. They were 7 games up- SEVEN games up on the Dodgers, first place in the NLW before the fracking all-star break, and then, somehow, someone just pulled the plug, and (to mix my metaphors) down the drain they went.
All you can say is, it ain’t over, yet. They can still make the wild card, and they’ve clawed their way out of the cellar before, with many of the same people- which is both the good news and the bad news.
End of rant. I feel your pain, dammit.
I won’t give up on my All-Orange-and-Black World Series dream just yet. And, I’m watching the Giants-Braves game with Kruk and Kuip right now as I type … home runs, triples, and the Los Gigantes have just won 13-4 … that’s a fine blow out and a good way to get some mighty-mo and start the climb back up the NL ladder. Still some baseball left for both of us …
In my part of the world some of the churches used to have Sunday get togethers that included a potluck or box lunch followed by a ball game. In the game the usual way you picked sides was single men vs married men (and a powderpuff softball game would be between married women and single women). I suppose the Times was referring to something like that. Don’t see it much today.
Sorry about your O’s, but they’re still in wildcard territory.
A brilliant explanation! As always … this acronym is just for you: TYFTMS “Thank you for teaching me stuff.” :)
Thanks for the explanation. It seems so obvious now! “A horrible exhibition, one of those married men-single men clambake atrocities where the final score is 23-21.”
Only you, Bloggess, could find a way to combine baseball and hairballs in the same post! Will keep my fingers crossed for your O’s in the coming weeks.
Yup, baseball and hairballs … I write what I know!
It’s the time of the year when every little mishap takes on too much importance and every break gives hope. But as they way, there’s a lot of baseball left.
I think that sort of proves my theory from last week’s post — that the notion that the games in April count the same as the games in August may be mathematically true, but they’re still not entirely the same. Stumble in April and you have 130 or 140 or 150 chances to right the ship. Stumble in August and there are only 30-odd games left to fix the mess you’ve made. But, you’re right, 30 games is still a lot of baseball!
I’m not sure how to handle the Blue Jays. Donaldson (Dono) fouled a pitch into his foot in the first inning of Sunday’s game vs. the Twins and was said to be “hobbling,” then he homered in his next three at-bats. If you pitch them inside, that just makes them mad. Need a good junk ball pitcher to change speeds– just don’t leave the pitches up or they’ll fly out of Camden Yard.
Apparently, Donaldson is using Nolan Arenado’s bats to hit all those home runs. Well, heck … that explains it!
Josh Donaldson Used Nolan Arenado’s Bat
Enjoyed this one! The weaving of hairballs and baseball – wonderful! Rockies are also on that roller coaster – some days we look fantastic and others we look uninspired. Bring on September – we need another Rocktober!
The Rockies have a much tougher September to conquer … lots of teams between them and the post-season. The O’s are currently in the 2nd wild card spot, but they’re still looking listless and there are lots of teams nipping at their heels (Tigers, Astros, Royals, Mariners). But, it’s not a 130-game season … it’s a 162-game season and anything can happen! :)
What’s that saying about singing fat ladies?! :)
Thanks BB – Always good to know that I have you along for the ride on the Os rollercoaster…:)
This rollercoaster is making my stomach roll!