It’s official. The energy has left the building. During the course of another mind-numbingly frustrating 6-1 loss Saturday night at Camden Yards, the aura of good feelings that had surrounded the Orioles early in the season seemed all but gone.
Even before Tommy Hunter was plagued by his 23rd and 24th home run this season, leading to his exit with a 5-0 after 5 and 1/3rd innings, it seemed as though the feeling in Camden Yards had gone back to how it had been for the past 14 years. The wave, which had been prevalent at Camden Yards early in the year, was not started until the 8th inning and was met with lukewarm enthusiasm. People weren’t yelling charge on cue and weren’t cheering when prompted by the big screen. The seeming disinterest was as disheartening as it was appalling. In the fan’s defense, it’s not like the Oriole’s gave them much to cheer for.
There were only 5 people in the lineup last night that were hitting over .250 for the year. One of them was Omar Quintanilla who has a career batting average of .223 according to baseballreference.com. Tommy Hunter has been gritty this year, giving a few desperately needed quality starts, but he still can’t seem to keep balls from leaving the park.
Earlier this year I asked Orioles fans to step back from the ledge. I said everything would be OK. The young pitching will hit their stride and the fielders will play up to their capabilities. Neither has happened. This team gave us a fun ride for the first few months, but it looks as though that is coming to an end. This team just doesn’t have the talent to compete.
For the 14th year in a row, let us all say in congregation, “Maybe next year.”—Blog from Max Grossfeld
Comments from yours truly—Max, it’s way too early to announce the season is over. In spite of how bad the O’s can on occasion when the day ended Sunday the Orioles are 53-49.