Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Dear Baltimore Orioles,

Hi.

It’s been a while since we talked and I didn’t want it to come to this. Really, I didn’t.

But, you leave me no choice.

You see, I’ve put up with a lot from you lately. And, by lately, I mean over the past 1,183 days.

That starting point is not arbitrary. It was March 29, 2018 – Opening Day. You won that game. Good for you.

Sure, it took 11 innings. But, you won.

In the past 1,183 days since Opening Day 2018 you have played 458 games. You’ve lost 67 percent of them – 309 games.

You’ve lost games by a run, two runs, 13 runs. Like Baskin-Robbins ice cream, you offer a lot of variety in your losses.

Baseball Nut? Yes. Pink Bubblegum? Entirely unnecessary.

While I hate math, even I can see that you have lost nearly all of the games you have played since 2018.

Nearly all of them.  

I have kept my mouth shut long enough.

I was doing my best to enjoy my morning coffee today as I scrolled through a newsfeed littered with bad news. A covid Delta variant threatening our world’s health. A filibuster threatening our democracy. Severe weather threatening people, homes, and our food supply.

I’m sure you’ll agree, my sweet Orioles, that there’s more than enough bad news in the world. Bad news that’s far more important and far, far worse than your embarrassing and lazy 13-0 drubbing by the Houston Astros last night.

Ugh.

I do not need any more bad news. I cannot handle any more bad news.

And, I certainly do not need to read in this morning’s Baltimore Sun that you’re dangling Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini as a trade chip.

What is wrong with you people?

I’ve been friends with you for a long, long time. Thirty-three years. You see, I keep track of our anniversary, even if you don’t.

Can you just give me one sliver of hope? One bit of promise? Can you let me keep one of the only bright spots on the Orioles this season? Can you let me hang on to the hope that Mancini – who fought Stage 3 colon cancer last season and has returned to the team with an inspiring fire of purpose – will stay with the team?

Embed from Getty Images

You talk about rebuilding this team. Look no further than Trey Mancini.

His 14 homeruns this season leads the Orioles. So do his 52 RBI. But, I don’t care about any of that.

photo: The Baseball Bloggess, 2019

Mancini fought through cancer and brutal chemotherapy last year to get back to baseball, to get back to the Orioles, to get back to us. His story and his fight is the inspiration we all need right now.

Seriously. What is wrong with you people?

I don’t want to break up with you. We’ve had a long relationship and, sure, it’s been rocky at times. But, I’ve stayed with you.

Loyalty is important to me. Staying loyal to you is important to me.

But … this is unacceptable.

There’s a line that comes in many relationship breakups. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

That’s garbage.

Because, it’s not me. It’s you.

You.

And, you need to make things right … right now.

You need to assure me that Trey Mancini will stay with the Orioles. You need to assure me that you have learned the value of loyalty from a fan base that has been extremely patient through these past 1,183 days … through days and days and days and days of flaccid pitching, powerless hitting, and listless fielding.

I’m not asking you to win today. Or, tomorrow. Or, even ever again.

I am asking for one thing. Trey Mancini.

photo: The Baseball Bloggess, 2017

Your Friend (for now), The Baseball Bloggess

24 thoughts on “Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

    • The O’s have won 23 games … the Mariners have won 39. That would be a big step up for me!

      That said, I realize that the first O’s one-pitcher no-hitter since 1969 came this season against the Mariners. And, I do realize that the Mariners were no-hit again after that. So, I do understand your anguish. :)

    • There’s something to be said for “rebuilding.” Orioles fans don’t expect any “highs” in their season, so there’s no herky-jerky toy-with-your-emotions roller-coaster effect. Knowing going in that you’re going to lose (at least) 100 games makes the disappointment a bit more bearable, I guess.

  1. Jackie – thanks for the post. I (we Os fans) feel your pain. For me, it’s been 55 years, and I do live in that past (1966-1983) when my team, these same Os were the best in baseball for 17 years. As they say, that was a very long time ago. 28 years ago, I bought an MLB “Extra Bases” mastercard, which earns points for use buying MLB tickets for participating teams. It has the Oriole bird on the card. Since I went to the WS in 1979, and had tickets for games 6-7 in 83, I KNEW they would be back, so I’ve been stockpiling points to use on WS tickets.

    Sure, I’ve used points for regular season games, but mostly saving. Well, I relented in 2016 and bought playoff tickets for my lifelong Cubs fan brother-in-law, who finally ended his suffering. In 2019, I even used points so my traitor nehpews could go watch the DC team in the WS. But, I sure knew that this accumulation of points will pay off, soon, soon as Chris Davis contract is finally over (2024) and our crop of minor leaguers tearing things up now will be full grown Birds.

    So what happens this week? The announcement that this program will be discontinued after the 2021 season. Uh, I don’t think I will be using my points for the WS this year, or ever it would seem.

    But, but, that does not mean dem Os will not return. The Cubs returned and won. Even the new money Red Sox got back this century and have won the stinkin thing 4 times since 2004, four times.

    So, here’s hoping Elias reads your blog and keeps Trey Mancini, throwing the few remaining loyal fans a bone, and here’s hoping for better times ahead.

    Now you can write about UVA’s loss to TX. Bad week for you, keep on cheering.

    • I’m surprised that they discontinuing the “Extra Bases” program at the very same time that they should be trying to encourage fans to come back to stadiums. Apparently “short-sighted” is a contagious condition in the MLB.

      Here’s to better days ahead for the O’s. Or, at least an occasional “W” in the box score. (It’s become even less fun as Jim Palmer has become moodier and more fed up with the team’s listlessness during games. Maybe Kevin Brown will be back soon to cheer him up in the booth, with conversations about music, movies, and other happy things.)

  2. Pingback: The week gone by — June 27 – A Silly Place

    • Yup. I’ve been sore ever since they let Nick Markakis go. (I’m still a little annoyed about Mike Mussina, too.) But, trading Trey would be so short-sighted. He could be an important leader as part of a reinvigorated, rebuilt team. Plus, he’s Trey. Fans need someone to cheer for …

  3. Spot on. I’ve been a birds follower for most of my 51 years and to even see Mancini dangled like a carrot turns my stomach to the point of calling this less of a rebuild and more a recoup of the bottom line, and we’re not talking the box score. I know these young gentleman are giving their all alongside the handful of vets trying to keep their careers afloat. I’m not even annoyed by the managerial and coaching. This shameless grooming and getting people’s hopes up with developing talent, only to be used to as trade stock has gotten OLD at this point. I agree with all the sentiments behind Trey Mancini. This guy is a rock solid player who overcame adversity and has enough charisma we lost after Adam Jones was let go. To even think of trading a man battling for his life and then PRODUCING thereafter…shame on you, O’s front office.

    I was privileged to grow up watching winning Orioles ball through the 70s and 80s, and only a few years ago did we have that vibe back in town. I was aghast by the senseless purging, trading off, selling of a contending team in light of a break-even season following a few successful years with one of the best O’s lineups they’ve had in ages. I grew up cheering my hero, Eddie Murray, at Memorial Stadium, and felt so good for the newer generation they had a a boatload of talent to rally behind, inclusive of competitive pitching and usually lights out 8th and 9th inning. What the absolute eff, O’s organization? This city has stayed patient for too long and the telling tale an empty Camden Yards with the reopening of full capacity speaks volumes. It’s the lack of respect for the fans and the club itself by these appalling trades of secured talent that drives us away. I never in my life expected to feel disconnected from a team I’ve been passionate about, but if Trey Mancini is let go, or worse, Cedric Mullins, the evidence points to a fiscal year even more sour than this year’s worsening win-loss record.

    • I try to watch at least a little of every game, but it’s hard to stay interested when the play seems so listless. Even Jim Palmer has gone surly and is fed up with them, and who can blame him?

      During the College World Series it’s been so nice to have Ben McDonald doing color for some of the games … there’s just an excitement to the games and he’s definitely in his element.

      I understand that 2020 upset the timing of everything, but I still don’t have a sense of this rebuild’s timeline.

      In 1882, work began on a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia. And, it’s still under construction — more than 140 years later. They say it will — finally — be finished in 2026. I worry that the Orioles rebuild is going to be like that.

      • HA! That’s beginning to feel exactly like you say…under construction in perpetua.

        Thing is, can the club float itself the next five years with this noodling, shifting, trading and grooming, the latter being essentially for other teams? I get at a loss over the years seeing the Orioles’ farm system (pitching especially) become more of the Yankees’ farm system by attrition. So much talent lost to them especially, in the past three decades, from the Moose on down.

        The attendance speaks for the town’s attitude toward this rebuild. Promotional nights aren’t going to cut it at this time, while they were draws in recent years.
        Of course, people WANTED to come out for an Adam Jones or Darren O’Dea bobble or a special themed tee or a Buck gnome, because they cared about a team that produced and gave them something to cheer for. Every city outside of New York, SF or LA has to stomach lean years and rebuilding years. I’m impressed by Cincy this year, actually. They’ve waited a long time to rebuild and it’s starting to come around. Milwaukee, as well. They and the Padres are now powerhouses after rebuilds. I’m no Astros fan other than Dusty Baker (who couldn’t love that man?), but for years they sucked until they moved to the AL and their rebuild is nothing short of epic.

        Yes, the O’s tapped into Houston’s front office for this rebuild, but I’m afraid to say the patience level is thin having to stomach subpar baseball through some of the 90s and early 2000s. The great hope we had here a few years back was so refreshing and both Palmer and Dempsey had much to groove on in their broadcasts. I get Palmer’s disgruntlement. He’s been in the booth forever and as a HoF pitcher having to color commentate over what has been essentially a spit in the face to the fans by disbanding a highly competitive and largely personable team as quickly as they molded it…. Again, I get it. Thank you, Ben, for giving some audile cheer. He was definitely one of my favorite hurlers of his time.

  4. I love this post. Loyalty to things/people/places is going to lead me straight to my demise, I’m sure, but loyalty matters. It takes a significant shake-up to sway me, but when it’s done, I’m done. I sincerely hope your relationship with your Orioles (and the Orioles’ with Mancini) stays intact. This guy should be a beacon to hold up and build around—let’s hope management sees it too.

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