• Jun

    Should we become like Cubs fans?

    It's certainly tough to be an Orioles fan right now.  After another heartbreaking loss last night, the Orioles have fallen to five games below .500 at 24-29. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, this team just can’t avoid long losing streaks. They’ve had an eight-game losing streak, a five-game losing streak, and two four-game losing streaks. Since starting the year 6-1, the team has played .391 baseball (18-28). They are the only team in the AL East with a losing record and according to their Pythagorean win-loss expectation based off their current stats, they have played two games better than they should be (22-31). So basically the Orioles have been lucky to be as bad as they are.

    At this point I think it's best if we just embrace the Chicago Cubs fan type of fandom. The kind of fan that knows their team is going to be bad and they know they are going to rip their hearts out more times than not, but in the end, they watch and cheer for them just the same. It's sad that this organization has become that, but after 13 straight losing seasons and another club that can't find ways out of long losing streaks, the only defense as a fan is to expect them to stink and just hope for the best.

    I usually don't go numb to the Orioles before June, but the last two years has made me go numb earlier. Last year they obviously tanked from the get go, but this team's main issue is it has no one who can carry a team offensively for a few weeks so they tend to slide into these long losing streaks. No one has gotten red hot and gone on a tear, and honestly, they just don't have that kind of player. Luke had been that player at times over the last few seasons, but I think that shoulder is hurting him more then he's letting on. Roberts is out, but he hasn't been the same player since the back injury anyways. Markakis is a solid player, but nothing more than that, and Guerrero can still hit singles, but his bat speed is gone and so went his power. Reynolds is who he is and Lee was a disappointment even before his inevitable injury. Jones has played well but he's more consistent then a guy who can carry a team. Hardy is certainly an upgrade over Itzuris and has found a way to get some timely hits here and there, but he hasn't shown an ability to get red hot either. And finally, we have Wieters who has improved with the bat, but still is not an impact bat.

    At the end of the day, this team continues to miss that impact bat, that true number four hitter that all good teams have. Who is feared in the Orioles lineup? Who makes the pitcher lose sleep at night trying to figure out how to get them out? Who can put this team on his back for a month or so?

    The Orioles will always be my team, but when you remove the orange color glasses you realize it's just not a very good hitting team overall and there's little to get excited about besides Machado and maybe Schoop offensively in the minors. The Orioles ought to take out some seats and move the fences back about 20 feet and try to become the Oakland A's and out pitch the other teams because it’s pretty clear there's not a lot to get excited about offensively with this organization.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.