Dear Baltimore Orioles,
Sure, we knew it was going to happen. You lost your 100th game last night, to the Detroit Tigers, the team with the worst record in baseball … even worse than yours.
But, look! You can lose a game (a game you coulda, shoulda won) by giving up a grand slam in the 12th and you’re still not the worst team in baseball.
So, there is that.
Someone on Twitter noticed that today’s game – Baltimore Orioles at the Detroit Tigers – will mark the first time in American League history that two teams with 100 or more losses each will play each other.
So, see. You’re making history, too!
It seems that every game a new guy shows up on the field. And, I wonder sometimes, did they win a contest? Can I play, too?
But, I know you’re just looking over the new kids. Kicking the tires. Putting young pitchers, with unfamiliar names, out in untenable situations that the old kids, with names we know, created. So, if they give up a walk-off grand slam, well, I’m sure this is an important learning experience. I’m sure you have a plan.
(That grand slamming Tiger, John Hicks, is from the University of Virginia. So, a “wahoowa” is in order. I guess.)
Last week, Mike Bordick – former Oriole and now a broadcaster – said that the Orioles were looking forward to spring training.
I see we’ve entered the “we’re looking forward to spring training” part of the year. (This “looking forward to spring training” thing typically pops up around December, but hey, you’re like the Christmas decorations that show up at Wal-Mart in September!)
Last week, it was reported that people who put up their Christmas decorations early are happier. So, have at it, early birds!
Anyway, I just wanted to say, I still like you. You frustrate the hell out of me some days most days. But, you’re still kinda, sorta fun to watch most some of the time.
There were Orioles in Baltimore back in 1902. Back in September 1902, those Orioles were playing the Detroit Tigers. Just like you are today!
And, things didn’t go so well then either.
“Then Of Course Orioles Lose”
I’ll let the 1902 Baltimore Sun explain:
“It is to laugh! There is nothing else to it, for if there was a ridiculous piece of work it was that of the Baltimore baseball team during the last week. … On the road they have not been able to smack the ball hard enough to hurt its feelings, and their trip has been one long series of crushing defeats. Games have been lost through indifference and utter lack of brainwork.”
Baltimore lost that game to Detroit on September 7, 1902 by a score of 11-to-6.
But, you know what happened next? You know what those never-give-up Orioles did next?
Orioles “Make A Plucky Fight To Stay In Last Place”
They lost. Twice. (Clearly this motivational message is not going the way I intended.)
The 1902 Orioles finished the season with a 50-88 record. Last place.
But, hey, you know what happened next?
They won the World Series … sweeping the Dodgers in four games.
(True, it would take 64 years to get to that sweeping in 1966, but in the grand sweep of human history, 64 years is really just the blink of an eye.)
Back in 1902, only 138 fans turned out for the last game of the season in Baltimore. And, it would be the very last major league game in Baltimore for the next 52 years.
(This post is clearly not going well.)
But, hey. It’s not 1902. Yay!
1902 was a terrible year. Baseball grandstands were still made mostly of wood (and were prone to burning down). And, it wasn’t until 1903 that people got around to inventing important things like airplanes and Crayola crayons.
(Admit it. You didn’t expect the invention of crayons to show up here, did you?)
On the plus side, you could get a “large plate of ice cream” at Bernheimer Brother’s over on Lex for three cents.
But, there was no pizza in 1902. (OK, maybe in Italy and in Italian homes here, but the first pizzeria wouldn’t open in the United States until 1905.)
At least we have carryout.
And, you, my darling young birdlings.
Because, I still like you.
But, just to be sure. You’re still rebuilding, right? Don’t forget that part.
Your Friend Through 100-Whatever Losses, The Baseball Bloggess