Swamp Funk. Orioles Slump. The Sultan of Swat Shows The Way Out.

July 26, 1928

Everyone slips into a rut at times.

The Baltimore Orioles haven’t won a game in a week.

They’ve looked listless and weary and miserable. It’s only May and they look like they’ve been playing on fumes for months.

Their pitching has been unreliable, often stinky, but, with no real starting ace, no closer, and a constantly rotating cast of bullpenners, what can you expect?

Last night, in losing to the Houston Astros on national television, the broadcasters put much of the blame on Orioles closer Zach Britton being on the disabled list (where he’ll stay until at least July or, who knows when). His absence, they thought, must be why the Orioles are so stinky.

But, Britton’s bum arm can’t explain some atrocious starting pitching, sleepy hitting, or the stab-me-in-my-heart-this-sucks-so-bad errors in the field.

Are Orioles slumps worse than the slumps that hit other teams?

Probably not, but I’m going to go ahead and say yes anyway, because I don’t care about other teams and Orioles slumps put me in a swampy funk.

It’s only May. Too early to panic. (Right?)


There is only one person who can pull me out of this swampiest of swampy funks.

 “Every year I get a lot of letters from kids asking what I do to get out of a slump when one comes. The answer is nothing!”

Public Domain

Babe? Babe Ruth, is that you?  Are you sure about this? Very sure? A slumping team should do nothing? Nothing at all?

Public Domain

“I just stay in there and keep on swinging. The worst thing about a slump is that fellows get their spirit down when one comes along.”

My spirit is down, Babe. It seems like the O’s spirits are down, too. Gloomy Gusses all. Chris Davis, one of our sluggers, is batting .091 this past week. Seth Smith, generally an Old Reliable, is at .059. (You probably didn’t even realize numbers could go that low, did you, Babe?)

Public Domain

“Slumps come to everyone. … I don’t know what makes them. No one does. But, I do know there is nothing to do but stay in there and keep trying. And, after a while they go away just as suddenly as they come.”

The Orioles play the Houston Astros again today, Babe. I know you’ve never heard of the Houston Astros, but believe me, they’re awfully good. So, could today be the day the Orioles come out of their slump?

“After awhile they go away just as suddenly as they come.”

These slumps are horrible, Babe. They’re breaking my heart.

“They go away just as suddenly as they come.”

July 16, 1928

Babe, you wrote this column, published in national newspapers, in July of 1928. But, I think you wrote it just for me. I knew I could count on you.

“There’s no explaining a slump and no way to keep one from coming. All you can do is laugh it off and keep swinging.”

Public Domain

Thanks, Babe Ruth. You’ve been very helpful.

Laugh it off and keep swinging.



13 thoughts on “Swamp Funk. Orioles Slump. The Sultan of Swat Shows The Way Out.

  1. I’ll see your Orioles funk and raise you a Mariners funk. Lost seven of their last eight. Worse, they had a twenty-three inning scoreless streak going. Twenty-three.

    If they had been shut out again today, they would have been only the second team in history to go scoreless in a three game series at Fenway. They scored one run in the fourth–on a wild pitch. They won’t make history–at least not that kind.

    So, Jackie, at least you can console yourself with the thought that, however bad the Os’ slump may be, they’re still doing better than the only team to go scoreless in three games against the Red Sox.

    Uh, that’s the 2015 Orioles. (You knew that was coming, right?)

    • As I read your comment, the Orioles Astros game is on. It’s the 2nd inning and the O’s broadcaster just said, “This has been a disastrous inning for the Orioles.” And, I didn’t even flinch. Because, of course it has.

      Good luck to your Mariners. The disastrous Orioles inning of one paragraph ago is still underway. It’s gotten disastrous-er. May one of our teams unfunk soon.

      • A six run inning? Yeah, that’s pretty grim. I’ll give you that.

        On the other hand, your guys have scored three this game, and it’s only the fourth inning. Mine just picked up their second run on an infield single that could easily have been called an error.

        Let’s agree that we’ve both got frustrating teams this year.

  2. I agree, never doubt The Babe! My biggest disagreement is with the sportscaster laying the slump on 1 guy. Nope. Just as there is not a player that carries a game. And well oiled 1 day can be disastorous the next. This game, we live those edges and grooves just as well as the smooth patches.and if ya beat Houston, it looks pretty good to give them a loss!

  3. Aw, Babe … an endless inspiration for baseball AND life lessons.
    I’m very sorry about your Orioles – if it helps, I heap curses on the Astros. I’ve never liked them, particularly after that Roy Oswalt plunked my Michael Barrett in the back in ’04.
    Through all this baseball misery, you’ve still made me laugh, provided great music and a lovely Jean Harlow clip – so thank you!

  4. So…I’m watching today’s O’s-Yankees tilt. The O’s have a lead. Should I stop watching so I don’t see how the lead gets blown today?

    Love the Cyril Neville joint. Because even if the O’s lose and can’t get out of the funk, the funk sure does get out.

    • Hey, the jinx is broken … And, the bullpen actually looked sharp! On the worrisome side is Adam Jones sitting out for the past 3 games, so you know the news is likely not going to be good.

      I love that “Swamp Funk” too … :)

    • Why yes, very nearly so and it was just a few weeks ago. April 28 versus the Yankees … Orioles are cruising with a 8-run lead in the 6th. They blow the lead … it’s horrible. They lose 14-11 in 10 innings. It was an ugly game all the way round. But, yes, yes, yes, I feel your pain, Twins-fan.

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