Let me tell you a story. It won’t take long.
This is Mookie.
Mookie is one of three feral cats who now live with us. He’s adorable, isn’t he?
Sweet as can be. Especially considering he was born in a barn a couple years ago to a very wild, slightly nuts feral cat, and wasn’t touched by a human until he was nearly six months old.
Mookie is just the best.
Can’t you tell?
One morning, a couple weeks ago, I was in the bathroom getting ready for work – hair, makeup, last-minute stuff. Sweet, friendly Mookie jumped up on the bathroom counter. Adorable fuzz-muffin Mookie spending some quality bathroom time with his person. Is that just wonderful or what?
Then, he walked over to my toothbrush, chewed on it, and walked away.
Yes, my bathroom is harvest gold and avocado and hasn’t been updated since, ever. So? That has nothing to do with this story. Let it go.
Now, you and I both know that a cat chewing on a toothbrush is gross. (That toothbrush was instantly trashed.)
But, here’s the thing. It was quite clear from Mookie’s actions that morning that this was not a first-time chew. Clearly, he had done this before … just passing through the bathroom from time to time to take a little chew on the chewy toothbrush that sits there on the counter.
I had been brushing with a cat-chewed toothbrush. For how long? Days? Weeks? A year? Who the hell knows?
I just know that even the most adorable cats in the world can’t be trusted.
And, neither can the Baltimore Orioles. Because they’ve been chewing on my toothbrush for weeks now.
You knew we were going to get here eventually.
On June 3, the Orioles lost to the Red Sox, 5-2. And, in every game since – 20 in a row as of Friday night – they have given up five or more runs.
In those 20 games, they have given up a total of 160 runs.
In that same span, the Orioles have scored 89. They have won just six of those 20 games.
I hate math, but even I know that winning just six of 20 games is not good. Not good at all.
Last night, the Orioles allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to score their fifth run of the game – and it was just the second inning.
And, when that happened, the Orioles tied one of those incredibly annoying records that baseball mathletes love to dig up: The last time a team gave up five or more runs a game in 20 consecutive games was when the Philadelphia Phillies did it in 1924.
Fun facts about 1924: Lime, lemon, and orange-flavored Life Savers were invented.
So was Kleenex. (Just in time, I guess, for Phillies fans to cry.)
In the Summer Olympics, held in Paris that year, France won the gold medal in “Literature.” (That’s right, until 1948, the Olympics awarded medals for art, music, architecture, and literature.)
“It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’” was one of the biggest songs of the year. The Washington Senators won the World Series and the Phillies, by some miracle, finished two games out of last place, thanks to an even more miserable season by the Boston Braves.
The Orioles are very stinky right now. They are chewing-on-my-toothbrush stinky.
That game last night? Those five runs? It got worse.
You can say, “Well, every team has a rough patch. They’ll work it out.”
But you would be lying, because you know, deep down, that the problem with the Orioles is not a rough patch. It is not because a few players are injured. It is not because of a juiced baseball, or a difficult run without an off day, or a couple bad calls in a couple of games, or … or anything.
They are stinky because they are. Their pitching is sub-par and their hitting is spotty.
And, today, if the Orioles give up five or more runs to the Rays — and, to be honest, there’s no reason to believe they won’t — the Orioles will break that Phillies record that has stood for 92 years.
And, I think that’s probably what they’ll be remembered for when this season is done.
Look, I still adore Mookie, even though he’s a scoundrel and can no longer be trusted.
And, yes, I’m still hanging with the Orioles, even though I don’t trust them either.
Well, at least I can protect my toothbrush.
Photos of that scoundrel, but still adorable, Mookie, and of my retro-awesome harvest gold and avocado green bathroom: © The Baseball Bloggess