Boundaries: Game 162

Every fan knows that baseball mimics the seasons.

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The year starts with the freshness of spring when anything — everything — is possible.

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On to summer, when the sun runs high and hot, the nights turn steamy, and the hottest teams go on sweaty win streaks and the homers fly out like crazy because, as every fan knows, baseballs love the heat and humidity.

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Now it is fall. Game 162. Things have grown chilly and the teams drop away, one by one, like the leaves on a tree. Until no one is left.

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The season gets rolled up and tucked away. Just a bunch of games that all run together when you try to remember where you were when …

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And, then you count the days until you get to do it all over again.

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Those are the boundaries of a baseball fan.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Boundaries.”

Photos: Orioles Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland. 2015 © The Baseball Bloggess

Coulda Been Worse

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Hey, kid! Don’t freak out! The Baltimore Orioles have had plenty of seasons worse than this one. 

Sure, the Orioles will finish a crummy third in the American League East this season. They’ve hovering a game under .500 with just one left to play.

But, it coulda been worse.

In 1899, the Baltimore Orioles finished 4th in the 12-team National League with a 86-62 record.

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The Baltimore Sun, September 9, 1899

“The Poor Orioles”

Their .581 win percentage, good enough for 4th place in 1899, would have won them this year’s AL East pennant. So, there. Take that, Blue Jays.

Those Orioles weren’t that bad, especially when you realize that 1899 was also the season that the Cleveland Spiders went 20-134, the worst team in baseball history.

(The Spiders were so bad – and attracted so few fans – that most teams refused to travel to Cleveland for games, forcing the Spiders to play most of their games on the road. Teams don’t get to do that anymore. It doesn’t matter if raw sewage is seeping into the dugouts, you still have to play in Oakland.)

But, finishing 4th wasn’t good enough. At the end of the season, the League decided to cut its “deadwood” and the Orioles were tossed in the chipper along with those lousy Spiders, the Washington Senators, and the Louisville Colonels.

In 1902, a patched-together Baltimore Orioles, now in the American League, finished 8th – 34 games out of first – with a 50-88 record.

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The Baltimore Sun, September 30, 1902

“Almost Like a Funeral”

At the end of the season, that team was packed up and moved to New York.

Damn Yankees.

In 1988, the Baltimore Orioles started their season 0-21, the worst start by any major league team ever. They finished the season 54-107.

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The Washington Post, October 3, 1988

Worst O’s Team. Ever.

But, they got to stay in Baltimore.

So, hey. There is that.

And, this season?

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Even All-Star Center Fielder Adam Jones couldn’t figure out how to fix this team.

One game left. And, one win away from finishing at .500.

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All-Star Third Baseman Manny Machado. A lot of this season was kinda stinky. (But, not Manny.)

Ending the season with a win today over the Yankees sure would be nice.

But, either way … it coulda been worse.

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Photos: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore. 2015. © The Baseball Bloggess