When I went to the Orioles’ Memorial Day game against the Washington Nationals one month ago, I was certain that it would be the last time I saw Manny Machado in an O’s uniform. And Brad Brach. And Richard Bleier. And maybe Adam Jones, too. I was heading for a one-month study abroad in Berlin, and because of that, I would miss the deconstruction of a team that took Baltimore to the MLB playoffs for the first time in my life.
Of course, those exciting times are well in the rear-view mirror, but regardless, I was sure that the end was near. I should have known better. Jason has been using the word paralysis to describe the state of the franchise; that and any of the following would suffice: passive, lifeless, senseless.
It is appalling that the only significant “shock to the system” that this ballclub has received since the commencement of this dreadful season is the week-long benching of a player slashing .155/.229/.269. Where is the ambition? What is the ambition? At each level, something must drastically change – and there’s only one month left for some of these changes to be made. But the scariest thing is that the most important decisions – those dealing with personnel – are potentially to be made by a man who is halfway out the door. And that’s just one problem; in reality, there are likely too many of them for this team to fix.
However, through it all, the players and manager continue to acknowledge that the “frustration is mounting.” I guess that’s a good thing, because if it wasn’t, our problems would be even bigger. But quite frankly, for most of Baltimore, the frustration was mounting this time last year. Remember when Jason and Jerry implored the Orioles to re-sign Jonathan Schoop and trade Manny Machado before his value dropped? Neither has happened and now, the O’s are in the same position with Schoop as they were with Machado a year ago. Knowing them, they’ll make the same mistake twice.
I am usually a cautiously-optimistic Orioles fan. I predicted that they would go 88-74, locking up the first Wild Card position! This type of disgust towards the team is quite unlike me. But their paralysis has driven me to a point of unwavering repulsion, and honestly, being unable to watch the birds for an entire month brought that to light. I knew exactly what would happen night-in and night-out. The Orioles would lose; I wasn’t missing anything. Really, the only reason I paid any attention at all was that I knew that I would wake up one morning to the news that their cornerstone infielder, Manny Machado, had been traded.
But again, I should have known better, for this franchise is paralyzed.