I’m not really trying to get too philosophical on you at Connolly’s today, though I do have my BT degree (bartending) in philosophy.
The thought for this one came to me while I was talking with ESPN.com’s Boston Red Sox beat writer Scott Lauber about this Orioles-Red Sox series on our “Around The Beat” podcast.
Lauber said he didn’t expect to see a sweep. He said he felt a split might be the most likely scenario – which would mean the Red Sox would stay three games ahead of the Orioles in the AL East race with nine remaining after Thursday.
He surmised that the Red Sox would be happy with that scenario, and the Orioles would be disappointed.
I agreed, but then I added that I didn’t think Orioles’ fans would be exceptionally disappointed by a split, simply because my sense is they are expecting the worst anyway. That many Orioles fans have been waiting for the other cleat to drop all year, and that this four-game series would be as good as any for it to hit the ground.
I can’t tell you how many times in 2016 I’ve told friends or readers to relax as they’ve complained about the flaws of this team: the all-or-nothing offensive approach, the shaky starting rotation, the streakiness, etc.
My response: It’s a long season. The Orioles will play meaningful baseball in September. And, really, that’s the realistic goal of all teams in April.
Well, now they are doing that. And the goal obviously has shifted – and should shift — to the playoffs.
I still think this club makes the postseason. They are flawed, but resilient. They have a lot of veteran players who won’t crack under the pennant-race pressure.
I’m also not sure how far they go in that said postseason, but I don’t imagine it will be much beyond a wild-card game or the ALDS – because of the above-mentioned flaws.
But, then again, I can’t effectively predict the future.
The whole beauty of the playoffs is you work to get there and then see what happens.
Still, there’s just this aura of doom surrounding the fans and their relationship with this particular club – a team, I might add, that controls its own destiny for the postseason. Something many of those same fans would have killed to witness five years ago.
There were only 18,456 at Camden Yards on Monday to kickstart the most important series of the year. And a third or so was Red Sox fans.
I don’t want to make this another post about why fans haven’t attended games at Camden Yards this year. We’ve beaten that one with a crab mallet.
I want to get into the philosophy, not the action.
I guess I want to know why this team appears to be so unlikable to a large chunk of this fan base. It sounds funny, and maybe it’s the nature of those that reach out to me, but I’ve gotten more negative feedback about this team, which already has 82 wins, than last year’s that won 81.
I understand that these Orioles can be frustrating to watch at times, but they win. They win more than all but six other teams in the majors. And, to hear and read the comments, this is a mail-it-in squad of 100 losses. This is the same old, can’t-win Orioles. Everywhere I go, people complain to me about this likely, playoff-bound club.
I really don’t comprehend it. So share.
I’ll pour the drafts.
Tap-In Question: Why do O’s fans seem to dislike this team so much?