No looking up at Camden Yards - just more and more freefalling - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

No looking up at Camden Yards — just more and more freefalling

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I’m really not sure where rock bottom is for this Orioles’ club. It seems like every day they excavate more.

Perhaps the nadir was Friday night, when the Orioles extended their losing streak to eight games – their longest since July 4-15, 2011, a nine-game skid.

They’ve now dropped 10 consecutive games at Camden Yards, a place that used to be so forgiving to their all-or-nothing offense that is now a nothing offense.

On Friday, the Orioles lost 2-0 to a dismal Miami Marlins squad that sold off their best players in the offseason.

The Orioles managed just one hit in the first six innings against Miami right-hander Jose Urena, who was 1-8 with a 4.59 ERA heading into Friday.

And the only hit the Orioles had in those first six innings was a single off the bat of infielder Corban Joseph, who was called up Friday from Double-A Bowie and was making his first appearance in the majors since 2013.

Nice moment for him, but further embarrassment for an offense of veterans and millionaires, most of which have seemingly forgotten how to hit.

Afterward, there was nothing new to ask manager Buck Showalter, who tried to find a new way to express his frustration.

“As you can imagine, it’s tough. There’s a lot of positive things being said before the game, and it just seems when we get into the game, we get back to … getting in that same situation we’ve been in many times,” Showalter said. “We’ve got to do something. We’ve tried a number of things and will continue to try them. It’s just, it can never be ‘Groundhog’s Day.’”

That was a comedy. This is pure tragedy.

A club that’s roughly in the top half of payroll in the majors and spent $70-plus million to upgrade its starting pitching doesn’t have 20 wins at June’s midpoint.

The Orioles (19-49) are 30 games under .500 for the first time since September 2011. They haven’t won at home since scoring 17 runs against Tampa on May 13. They’ve scored 14 runs in 10 Camden Yards contests since then.

“It’s going to take more than just one game. We’ve had a couple of games when we scored a bunch of runs and think it’s going to take off,” Showalter said. “I think everybody’s tired of giving credit to the other pitcher. That’s certainly the case at this level, but we have guys capable of doing a lot better than we have. But as far as in the dugout and in the clubhouse, there’s frustration, I’ll tell you that.”

Frustration abounds. And now it is walking hand-in-hand with intrigue, On Friday night, theathletic.com reported that the Orioles have interviewed former Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti for an executive position and that it has interviewed others as well.

No hirings or firings have occurred so far, to be the best of our knowledge.

Dan Duquette is still employed by the team, though his contract is up in October. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for ownership to hire an executive above the current regime while the season is progressing, however.

Owner Peter Angelos did it in June 2007, hiring Andy MacPhail and placing him as president, above Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette.

Those were desperate times.

These seem to be desperate times, too. Especially since rock bottom might still be down there somewhere.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. HBGOSFan

    June 15, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Dan, I think you meant 2007 not 2010 with Andy MacPhail. Do you think Dan Duquette will be let go during the season, it seems headed that way with Rosenthal report.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 16, 2018 at 12:16 am

      Yep. Caught it quickly. Thanks. I honestly don’t know. This organization does almost nothing conventionally.

  2. Ben1

    June 16, 2018 at 7:02 am

    So many empty seats on a fireworks Friday with a floppy hat giveaway. That alone speaks volumes of why changes will be ahead.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 16, 2018 at 10:56 am

      It actually wasn’t a bad crowd, imo. Certainly not what they drew in the past for those promotions you mentioned. But it is the Marlins. So there was almost no boost from opposing fans.

  3. mlbbirdfan

    June 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Dan:
    Here’s something the Orioles could try. Move Manny back to third base!

    Buck hasn’t been the same since the Britton Wild Card debacle. I wonder how deeply damaging that was to the psyche of a proud old-school Baseball man.

    And, I’d love to know who decided to move Manny to shortstop. The Orioles were pitiful until he arrived to play third base, pitiful when he injured his knees, and now historically pathetic. We miss Hardy! The defense is inept everywhere but third base is a special kind of black hole. I’m surprised no media person has picked up on this dynamic.

    • Dan Connolly

      June 16, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Well, I’ve picked up on the fact that when Machado moved to shortstop — that was his preference with Hardy gone — whoever was gonna play third wouldn’t be the same defensively. Beckham was learning the new position and was injured. He is on his way back but the Orioles haven’t had a natural third baseman there all year.

      • mlbbirdfan

        June 16, 2018 at 11:22 pm

        So, why not move Manny? This historically bad season could hardly get any worse. When players control team decisions, fans have a right to feel alienated. I cannot believe that Buck really wanted to Move Manny to shortstop

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