Baltimore Orioles and the Times That Try Fans’ Souls


Sep 26, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder

Mookie Betts

(50) and center fielder

Jackie Bradley

Jr. (25) score on an error by Baltimore Orioles third baseman

Manny Machado

(13) during the eighth inning of the game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

These are the times that try fans’ souls: The summer fan and the sunshine enthusiast will, in this crisis, shrink from the followership of the Baltimore Orioles; but he that stands by them now, deserves the love and thanks of the franchise and fanbase.

Of course, those are the words of Thomas Paine … with a few alterations and edits.

Here we are with seven games to go, three games under .500, having been swept by the Boston Red Sox without scoring a run. The O’s go home for seven final games against the Jays and Yankees. When first seeing the 2015 schedule a year ago, these two series jumped out as exceedingly interesting, surely having playoffs implications. But they don’t — not for the Orioles at least.

Wasn’t it true that the Boston Red Sox had horrible pitching this year? Indeed, they rank 14th in the American League in both ERA and runs allowed per game — ahead of only the Detroit Tigers. It looked pretty good this past weekend, or at least the O’s made it look good.

But for the first time ever, the Red Sox shut out the Baltimore Orioles in three consecutive games. Of course there was the infamous catch over the wall of the Chris Davis home run on Friday night, which, if not done would have only slightly modified the wipeout nature of this devastating weekend series in Boston.

So, how does one absorb and feel better about the palpable disappointment of the 2015 Baltimore Orioles season? Turn on the Ravens? Geez, no… they are now 0-3. Turn to the Terps football? Oh boy, no encouragement there, and they haven’t even hit the Big 10 yet.

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It really is terribly sad. An era of Baltimore baseball is coming to a close. There will be enough turnover of this team that it will look in 2016 like a rather different outfit and like the beginning of a new day.

But in the big picture of things, I will in the future recall the 2012-2015 Orioles as a time of many warm memories—especially the 2012 season. There were disappointments in 2013, but the Chris Davis season was amazing to watch. And 2014 featured the 96 wins and pleasure of a divisional championship. Though 2015 was quite a disappointment, compared to the decade before the ascendance of this Showalter-era outfit, it was still a time of baseball enjoyment with significant games being played in September.

I would certainly rather win than lose; keeping my competitive spirit in check has been a lifelong struggle I’ve not always managed well. But, I love the sport more than even the championships, and I will be sad a week from now that Orioles baseball is over for the period of the horribly cold winter months. And helping me through that dark time will be the ever-new anticipation of spring and a new bunch of roster additions.

So, while I haven’t quite yet turned the page, I have to top corner squeezed between my thumb and index finger, ready to flip.

But I will love the Orioles to the end, hoping to be like this man that Thomas Paine also described about 240 years ago …

"“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”"